“A Look Into Lantis’ Bright Future!”
- Event: New Generation Live 2020
- Date: Thursday, November 26th 2020
- Location: Livestream
Intro: A New Kind of Concert
Just like most things in the world of 2020, live music and concerts have been heavily affected by COVID-19 around the world. Music artists have adapted in a lot of different ways to the current world of social distancing, working hard to still pursue their craft and bring their music to fans. One of the solutions has been livestreaming concerts on the internet, allowing fans who buy a ticket to tune in from the safety and comfort of their homes to watch the shows. Lantis did exactly that on the evening of Thursday, November 26th, 2020, with an online concert called New Generation Live 2020. Just as the name suggests, all of the musicians featured at the show were new talent, most of whom had released their first song just this year.
New Generation Live 2020 was a way for Lantis to showcase seven of their newest performers over the course of two hours. Each act had around fifteen minutes of live time during which they would perform two songs, and then chat with the MC. They all also would have the chance to plug something new they were working on, from new singles and music videos to upcoming live performances in the future. It was a good system for introducing new artists to the music scene and letting them showcase their latest work, allowing fans to get a taste for the upcoming talent they’re likely to see more of in the next few years.
Leading up to the concert, tickets could be purchased in advance through the official website for ¥2000 (around $20 USD) each. These tickets included a link for where the livestream would begin to broadcast, and that link in the meantime took fans to a playlist of some of Lantis’ other hit music - including a lot of anime tracks! There was also a chatbox on that page, full of fans speaking both English and Japanese getting hyped for the start of the show. Not only fans in Japan were tuning in, but fans around the world were ready to see the new artists Lantis was about to showcase. There was also limited goods available for sale on the official website, including a t-shirt and a towel to commemorate the concert.
Performance: Showcasing New Talent
There were eight performers at the New Generation Live 2020 concert. The first that took the stage was Ai Furihata, a voice actress best known for her role as Ruby Kurosawa in Love Live!! Sunshine. She recently has become a singing talent in addition to her voice acting. Furihata opened with a slow song, setting what would be a pretty relaxed and intimate atmosphere for the rest of the show. Then she went into a faster song called “CITY,” which was full of a lot of fun guitar rifts along with the upbeat lyrics. She had a lot of energy both on the stage and off of it when she went backstage to talk to the MC, and had the chance to advertise (with a lot of enthusiasm) her upcoming birthday live in Tokyo. Hopefully, she will get the chance to have it in person!
Next came Marina Horiuchi, who performed solo on the stage with Ai Furihata, who had a live band. Horiuchi made use of the whole stage, had a great presence, and looked elegant in her long white dress. Even without a live audience, her expression was passionate and emotional throughout her two songs. Her second song, “Welcome to Nanoland,” even had some English peppered in throughout the Japanese lyrics. When she talked to the MC, her bubbly personality showed through as well as her excitement to be able to perform and advertise her new music video coming soon.
Moving forward, the next act was the only group of the evening, Arcana Project. They came onto the stage with flashing strobe lights, and when the lights settled it revealed the group of young women all wearing matching blue floral dresses. The dresses were all made of the same pattern and material, but the cuts were unique for each of the performers. They performed their most famous song at the moment, “Campanella Hibiku Sora de,” which is the opening for the anime Monster Girl Doctor. Their second song was also a lot of fun and high energy, and the young women took the time to introduce themselves individually after both songs and announced that a brand new single would be released soon.
Then it was time for the first of two male performers, Takao Sakuma, to take the stage. He had a much cooler look than anything that had been seen so far, with bleach-blond hair and wearing all white, and two back-up dancers dressed in all black. Along with singing two fast-paced songs, he and his back-up dancers did hip-hop style dance performances that were really cool to watch, especially with the added effect of strobe lights! His song “Chase the Core” is set to be the opening for a new anime called Skate Leading Stars, which will start airing in January. It was really cool to get a preview of an upcoming anime song! Sakuma was passionate about the anime as well, encouraging viewers to watch it when it begins - and to enjoy his song, too, of course.
The next act was definitely a unique one to see - Kaede Higuchi, a former Youtube music star who, in 2020, signed with Lantis to become a professional. What makes Higuchi stand apart from everyone else is that she does not show her face; she performs under the guise of a 3D avatar! Her avatar was really cute, with extremely long blond hair. It had great lip-syncing and even danced. Even when she spoke with the MC through a TV backstage, she used the avatar, which moved very naturally. Her second song, “Answer Song,” only had its music video released this past week so it was a great chance to hear such a new song in the live show.
The sixth performance was MindaRyn, whose sound was rock-pop and more intense than the other acts. She had a full band on stage with her, too, giving her a rock star vibe. Her first song was “BLUE ROSE,” the ending song for Kimi-tachi ni Hirowata Otoko (By the Grace of teh Gods), which is currently airing. MindaRyn appealed a lot to audiences tuning in from around the world when she introduced herself and her music, speaking in both Japanese and English. Her second song, “Start,” was performed in Japanese for New Generation Live 2020, but it has an English version available as well. Hopefully, in the future we might hear more English from MindaRyn as she bridges the gap between Japanese and Western fans and helps make the Japanese pop music scene more accessible to everyone.
The next to last performance was the other male singer, Koutaro Nishiyama. He also used to be a voice actor, and just became a singing talent in 2020. Nishiyama himself was not able to be at the actual performance, though, so his two songs were shown as music videos on the screen. To still make the performance special and more personal for fans, though, he did have a long, pre-recorded message about his upcoming works, which he delivered with a huge smile.
Finally, the last singer to take the stage was Kanako Takatsuki, best known for her performance as Hanamaru Kunikida in Love Live!! Sunshine. She really tried to involve the audience at home as much as she could, and brought a lot of energy and passion to the stage with her performance. She also took the time to introduce not only herself but all of the members of her back-up band, too. With a red strobe light effect, she performed “Anti-World,” which was a lot heavier than any other song in the live show. Her second song, “Ashiteru wa Gram,” showed a totally different side of her, and was a lot more peppy and upbeat.
Outro: A Strong Future
All of the artists who performed at New Generation Live 2020 did their best on the stage, especially considering the unique circumstances. Most of them have been performing for less than a year, and have only come into fame during this unprecedented time for live music. It certainly made for a unique début show! They all did a great job trying to bring energy, positivity, and fun to everyone watching from their homes, and they certainly succeeded. New Generation Live 2020 has set the bar high for the future of Lantis’ talent and left fans hungry to see more of the people they only got a brief glimpse at during the show. Lucky for anyone who had a ticket to the livestream, the video can be rewatched as many times as they want until the start of December - though, after that, they’ll have to wait for the next show just like the rest of us.
Online concerts are not the same as a live concert, but they have their own benefits! In a world living with COVID-19, livestream concerts offer a safe way to enjoy music without being around other people, and also offer something fun to do for people stuck at home. Even outside of COVID-19, though, a livestream concert like New Generation Live 2020 give fans from around the world the opportunity to tune in and enjoy the concert along with Japanese fans. It also makes concerts accessible to people that otherwise cannot attend a live show, such as people with disabilities or illness. New Generation Live 2020 was a show that was accessible to so many people, done tastefully and safely, and was affordable, too. It was fun to tune in a watch from home, and we hope that fans around the world enjoyed it as much as we did!