And the crowd goes completely wild. And I don’t even know that song :P

So I made a day trip down to Anime Festival Asia 09. Will probably do a coverage post of sorts for that in awhile, but right now I’m gonna just do a quick after-event (okay, more after-concert) impressions pen-down.

In short, it was yet another awesome experience. I don’t know who it is behind the AFA organisers that wield the muscles to pull these ‘celebrities’ down to little Singapore, but hell I’m not complaining. I only went down for a day, and caught only the concert featuring May’n (yes, again! w00t) and Yoshiki Fukuyama. Was plenty of Macross-tastic awesome right there already :)

Fukuyama was up first. And, coming clean, I didn’t recognize a single song he sang :P I think most of it was from Macross 7, which is a leeetle way earlier than when I came into the world of anime. Did it stop me from enjoying the live? Hell no. This guy’s got a lot of soul in his performance. He swung from one end of the stage to the next, singing, yelling, leading the appreciative crowd along the pace of his energetic performance. And then came the guitar! Man, that was some guitar-ing. Not in the sense that he played anything eye-poppingly difficult or anything because he didn’t. It’s the energy, the feel of it. You could feel it, even if you didn’t know the song. I admit I was there mainly for May’n, but I warmed up quickly to his performance, and was yelling and waving with the crowd in no time.

Then May’n swept onto stage amidst her writhing dancers to the roar of the ecstatic crowd. Her segment of the performance started on a slower note though, since she came in with a selection of songs from her new album – which, lets face it, most of the people there didn’t know nuts about. Also, she was markedly different from Fukuyama in performance style. She wasn’t as involved, as embedded, in her music, and she didn’t engage the crowd in Fukuyama’s brilliant and aggressive way. I guess the paradigm shift took awhile to sink in. But she danced (with her really good stage dancers), and she was fluid, she was elegant, she was radiant, on that stage. And damn she sounded magnificent, with her signature shrill, ringing voice. And when she finally dug into her Sheryl Nome numbers, the crowd was implacable. Our resounding ‘MOTTEKE!’ must have been heard within a mile radius of that convention hall.

By the end of it everybody in the hall was screaming for an encore. Chanting the tagline for AFA 09: “Mou ikkai! Mou ikkai!“. “One more time!”. And to our amazement Fukuyama and May’n retook the stage and jointly did two more songs. To my intense delight and wonder, the first was ‘Diamond Crevasse’, which May’n sung to Fukuyama’s pure guitar accompaniment. And it was breathtaking. Fukuyama played magnificently, May’n sung beautifully, and well, of course, I loved the song itself too, so I was completely intoxicated and bedazzled. Then came Macross 7’s “Dynamite Explosion”, bringing the crowd back up to a roaring fever, and concluding the concert – and AFA09 – on a high and resounding note.

Damn was great :) Being the binbou gakusei that I am I obviously didn’t buy premium passes and so did plenty of queuing and waiting and standing. God I don’t remember the last time I stood around so much. I got a nice leg-ache for my troubles but oh well, was well worth it. And I got a kewl light-stick too (they were flung into the crowd and I caught hold of one) so it’s all good :)

I took some pictures and would likely do a post on the rest of the event too. It was a pretty cool con with a good number of things worth talking about – like the K-ON live-dubbing session (!!). Stay tuned! ;)

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