Hollywood, June 21, 2012
The drive down to the Sunset Strip at the heart of Hollywood, California is always a frustrating one no matter which part of Los Angeles you are coming from. Even in the middle of a work week, it makes no difference. The restaurants, the bars, the landmark concert venues are normally bustling as people leave their work and meet up to begin their night life. But on this particular Thursday night, four old school Macross fans, now far removed from those sorts of activities, decide to meet up with interests piqued to witness a true singing idol from their favorite anime series. BigKid24 (one of the winners of the forum contest) Eternl D, Kirik, and I braved thru the infamous L.A. rush hour traffic to see May’n.
When we first passed by the Key Club, the line at the door was longer than I expected, especially since our arrival was so close to start time. In line we see a couple of familiar faces, JasonC and his wife Cheryl (Reflex Point) and Egan. After a few minutes we get inside and head straight for the bar, as I’m sure Focker would say, nothing like a good drink to take the edge off a long journey.
We make our way to the floor. Immediately, we see the crowd holding glow sticks. They were all in good spirit and everyone was friendly. We find Jason and stood by his party, one of his friends, a pretty girl with pretty green eyes even gave me one of her glow sticks. Kirik knew about the glow sticks from previously attending the May’n and Megumi 2010 Anime Expo concert (where they were treated to a surprise guest, Yoko Kanno) and handed some out. Pretty soon the show starts.
The show over all was really, really good. Only knowing the Macross Frontier songs and having recognized the few ones I’ve watched on YouTube, almost all the songs were catchy and well performed enough for me to not lose interest. I was perfectly entertained all the way thru. I never had that moment where I would just wish she’d get to the next Macross song. May’n did her share to rile up the crowd also. She was upbeat and exuded genuine excitement towards performing for her audience. I was surprised that the crowd was generally mild. They weren’t bored or uninterested, they were definitely entranced by her performance and the glow sticks moved in unison rhythm with every song. There were even a lot of people singing along, but I’ve never been to a show where the audience seemed a bit too subdued and focused, even as she tried to get them to shout and show some excitement. This worked well though when she went to her pre-encore farewell song, Diamond Crevasse.
May’n’s performance rang with genuine feelings throughout her concert. But it wasn’t more apparent than when she sang Diamond Crevasse. She even had a heartfelt intro speech for what she said was the final song of the night. I can’t remember exactly what she said because all I heard was Kirik shouting “Diamond Crevasse! Diamond Crevasse!!!” into my ears as he was standing behind me. But when the familiar keyboard notes began, his chants turned to, “I called it! I called it!” The crowd cheered but then was silenced by the voice that slowly filled the room like fine wine fills a lonely crystal stemware. Soon the audience was drunk with the emotion that she poured out. Does she sing as herself or the cartoon diva it was written for? It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even matter that maybe only half of the venue understood the language she sang in. That was true pure raw state of loss and heartbreak.
It can’t end like this!
The stage lights dimmed and now the crowd was cheering. Pretty soon it turned into the familiar calls of “Encore! Encore!” The band still didn’t return. After a while, Bigkid started to shout “Rock Your Beats! Rock Your Beats! Rock Your Beats!” which is the tagline of her tour, and the crowd chanted along. The stage lights slowly lit up and the band returned.
She sang a couple of more songs, each of them were consistently great. At the end she introduced her band. The crowd chanted each of their names until they each beated their chest to signify how awesome they felt. And finally she introduced herself once more and the crowd shouted repeatedly, “Bucho! Bucho!” as she said earlier during the show that that was her nickname. Then she said goodbye to literally each person in the club. She seemed to be having fun and didn’t want to leave. She said her final farewell and promised that she will return. I’m pretty certain that we’ll be waiting.
During the concert she said that she was knew that the word ‘beats’, referring to the tour tagline, had two meanings for her. One was the obvious connotation for the rhythm of music. But the other meaning stood for exhaustion and weariness. But I think after that performance, May’n should know that the word has a third meaning. It also means ‘triumph’. To beat the odds, leave all the obstacles behind. She has come a long way to share her music with us and I hope she knows that it was a pretty triumphant night for her and her band.
Thanks May’n! Hopefully the rest of tour is as successful. Next time, how about singing Izorado for me!
Sorry, no photos were allowed during the event.