The Anisong World Tour – Lantis Festival in Singapore was, without a doubt, the best Anisong concert yet that has been held locally, and sets the bar for all future group performances.
Since the initial announcement during AFA Singapore back in December 2014, the concert had been a resounding success in Japan, as were their previous 2 stops of Las Vegas and Hong Kong. This tour, primarily to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Lantis recording label, was highly promoted to have never-seen-before collaborations as well as special performances by the artises. The festivities will end after subsequent visits to Seoul, Taipei and Shanghai, but let’s recap the entire events of the Singapore leg!
The festivities were well underway before the start of the concert, with folks queuing up earlier than the 1pm sales starting time. Albums of performing artistes and others under the Lantis label were being sold, as well as Lantis Festival merchandise, some of which were sold out in under an hour.
Folks were huddled together, preparing items for the artistes, and even flower stands were prepared to congratulate various performers on their upcoming live. Presents aplenty from the fans to the artistes were placed in the gift box as requested by the management.
The Star Vista itself has seen a number of Japanese acts in recent years, and is an excellent location, with sloped seats and awesome acoustics in a theatre setting, granting full view to those in the middle and back rows, and an excellent vantage point for those on the second level.
Before the concert started, the emcee requested that everyone present mark a minute of silence in honour of the departed first Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kwan Yew, and the mood was as somber as you would expect. However, everyone was able to raise their spirits for the start of the live.
ChouCho was the top batter, starting off with “Dream Riser“, the opening theme of Girls und Panzer, arguably the song that propelled her to fame. Her sweet vocals quickly energised the crowd, and then she followed the opener with her other famous song, “優しさの理由“, the opening theme of Hyouka. The crowd slowly turned into hues of blue and white to follow the melody and the appreciation at the end from all sections was immense.
Surprising all of us was her emcee part where she hailed the crowd in English and tried her best to convey her emotions, before leading us to the first of the cover songs of the night, “Snow Halation“, a μ’s song, which gained a huge pop from the audience. Her last piece was “starlog“, the opening theme of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya, before she set the stage for the second performer.
Tadokoro Azusa was next, and she kept the high tempo going with “Hello My Revolution“, the lead song for her 1st album Beyond Myself. Considering that we last saw her a scant three months ago, her performance has improved since then and she showed none of the nervousness in her two previous appearances in Singapore.
After a very nicely-worded emcee section that she spent hours preparing, she launched into a cover of her favourite song, “Lost my music” from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuitsu, the very same song that catapulted her to victory in the 36th HoriPro Talent Scout Audition. Naturally the lightsticks of the audience swapped to red for this red-hot classic and it gained one of the biggest pops of the evening. She concluded her short and sweet set list with “DREAM LINE“, her 1st single which will be released on 22nd April.
It was clear Lantis was sending out their youth as the early showcases, so it was natural that the fan girls would have their evening too. Kensho Ono was up mere seconds after Tadoroko left the stage, and their screams were wild and loud, as he blasted off with “TOUCH” followed by “NEEDLESS TO SAY“.
His emcee section was also conducted in English, where he introduced himself as an actor, seiyuu and singer, being the voice behind the Japanese dub of the Harry Potter movies and more famously, the voice behind Testuya Kuroko in Kuroko no Baske. He completed his repertoire with “Future Line” and “Fantastic Tune”, both featured in Kuroko, and ended the latter with his trademark back flip.
Enter Suzumura Kenichi, to even more screaming. Better known as a voice actor than a singer, he nevertheless has excellent vocals, as demonstrated by this opening number “INTENTION”.
A quick banter with the crowd where he introduced himself in English before switching back effortlessly in Japanese to rally the crowd to his next songs, namely his anime-related songs “あすなろ” the ending theme of Kamisama no Memochou, as well as “シロイカラス” the ending song to CODE: BREAKER. Proceeding to banter with the crowd, he explained his experience in Singapore with exaggerated actions, which only drew a lot of screams.
A consummate veteran entertainer, he taught the crowd to the correct calls and sing-a-long parts before seamlessly moving on to his usual crowd pleasing and interaction-inducing “SHIPS”, where his constant moving allowed him to interact fully with the audience. His last song was also another lively number, “あいうえおんがく“ with the crowd pumping their fists and lights together with the beats before he finally exited the stage.
Up next was the veteran Ogata Megumi, who started her set with her cover of ” 残酷な天使のテーゼ” the opening of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the very show that propelled her to fame. The crowd responded with the loudest cheers of the night yet, fueled by one of the most popular anisongs of all time.
After a short introduction in both English and Japanese, she wasted no time in announcing the night’s first collaboration, a duet cover with Tadokoro Azusa for “ムーンライト伝説” the opening song for the original Sailor Moon animation. To top it all off, she added in lines of Sailor Mars (whom she voiced) while Azusa provided the needed young vocal chords to match her deep voice. It was pleasant to see the old guard with her hand-picked successor together, even teaching her how to do the final pose at the end!
After another short speech thanking everyone, she finished her performance with two of her more recent songs: “再生-Rebuild- ” and “出航-departure- “, the theme songs for Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair respectively, to rapturous applause from the audience.
A much needed break came after that, where some folks dashed off to buy the Lantis Kingblade in order to resonate better with the crowd, who were able to swap colours quickly with the different songs. As a nod to Japanese concert breaks, the rest time was punctuated with clips of performances from the artistes yet to appear, a full version of “Starting Style”, and in full quirky Japanese advertising style, a product placement ad involving the members of JAM Project promoting an energy drink “Yunker”, much to the amusement of everyone who were waiting for the restart.
The second half started with a bang, as OLDCODEX took the stage, starting off with “WALK”, the ending theme of Kuroko no Baske. Ta_2’s (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) strong vocals resounded with the artist Yorke providing slick dance moves and backup vocals, all the while painting a mural with the song title proved to be a hit as fans jumped and screamed to the beat.
With their set list already released prior to the event, the duo and their band carried on with “Dried Up Youthful Fame” from Free!! before a short emcee session where Tatsuhisa cheekily apologised for his lack of English skills, and Yorke playfully teased the eager crowd.
Without missing much, they carried on rocking to “Seek Your Turn” and “Landscape” while Yorke carried on with his flamboyant pieces and Ta_2 happily providing the vocals. “Rage On” from Free! was the next, and this time they played to the crowed, encouraging everyone to sing the chorus with them.
The screaming did not abate before they started with their second emcee session, promoting their final set of the night, “fool K”, and did not end after they the group took their leave for the next performer.
Up stepped Lantis’ biggest female star, Chihara Minori. She immediately blew the crowd away by starting with her single “純白サンクチュアリィ“, followed surprisingly by her usual finishing song “TERMINATED”, the opening theme for Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. But that was not the end of her performance of course. Greeting the crowd first in English then in Japanese, she enthusiastically proclaimed her love for the weather and food here.
The surprises didn’t end there. She called out Okui Masami for the second collaboration of the night, “輪舞-Revolution“, a long-awaited collaboration for fans of both as it is not only Masami’s song, but it has also been covered by Minori before. On the night itself, as a nod to both artistes, they partnered to a pitch-perfect duet of Minori’s cover.
She followed the awesome duet with “境界の彼方” from the same-titled show Kyoukai no Kanata, which has proven to be a big hit in the past year, and then continued surprising us with a crystal clear rendition of “雪、無音、窓辺にて“, the character song for Nagato Yuki in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuitsu. Many in the galvanized crowd followed the second song by swapping their lights to white, creating a unique blue-white hue around the theater.
One last surprise was in store for all of us. Minori had one final song left, and it was “Paradise Lost” from the hit series Ga-Rei Zero. The song tempo flew up and the crowd responded in kind, and many managed to scream out to at the top of their lungs during the call responses.
The last act of the triple main event was none other than the legendary JAM Project. After a short video introducing all five members, they belted out “GONG”, one of their most popular songs, and immediately followed that up with “Vanguard”, another one of their popular songs. It didn’t end there, and they kept up the energetic pace with a third song “牙狼~ Saviour in the Dark ~”, the main theme of the tokusatsu show GARO. It was only after the first three songs were the audience given a breather, and the entire group greeted the audience along with self-introductions.
Being the main show of the night, the five of them quickly moved on to their next segment, a short solo segment featuring each of their most famous songs. Endou Maasaki started off with “勇者王誕生!”, from GaoGaiGar. He passed the baton next to Okui Masami who sang “Predestination” from 牙狼 Makai Senki, who was then followed off by Fukushima Yoshiki’s “Planet Dance” from Macross 7. Kitadani Hiroshi was fourth, going with the full rendition of “We Are!” from One Piece, and finally Kageyama Hironobu finished off with “Cha-la Head Cha-la”, the classic opening of Dragon Ball Z.
After a quick breather where the five members gathered on stage once more, they went into their final, and yet THE most energetic performance of the night, kicking off the last stretch with a Super Robot Wars song, “Victory”, then jumping their way straight into “Rescue Fire!” and then ending the non-stop stretch with their standard finisher, “Skill”, which is a non-stop jump-fest peppered with Call & Response moments, a Kitadani solo intermission, as well as multiple “I can fly! You can fly! We can fly!” jumps.
The sight of five people in their forties jumping around energetically without missing a beat or catching their breath is a sight to behold, given that most of the audience were unable to keep up by the end. The rapturous cheers at the end showed that their star power had not diminished despite all the up-and-coming acts, and their desire to pass the torch to the younger generation.
Finally all the stars and artistes came out for one encore song, “Starting Style!“, the theme song of this year’s Lantis Festival. They bantered amongst one another, while addressing the crowd individually one last time before a final salute to those present. A fitting end to a fitting evening, with the crowed acknowledging the salute with their own “thank you” claps. Those fortunate to have gotten VIP tickets were also given a hi-5 (which turned out to be a hi-10) session with all the performers (sans Ogata), an autographed card, and their very own Yunker to savour.
For an international version of one of Japan’s biggest anisong concerts, Lantis Festival did not disappoint one bit. They brought all they promised, which were collaborations and covers, and came with live bands ready to roll. The artistes were readily willing to speak in English to address the audience, and there were virtually no downtime between acts, with only an introductory video which lasts all of 30 seconds before the next one took the stage. Even a break of 15 minutes did not feel lengthy with commercials and songs being played in the meantime, and the four hours flew past in the blink of an eye.
Concert-goers were given definitely a run for their money, with tired and happy faces everywhere, and maybe a few new fans gained by the artistes whom have never graced the stage in Singapore before. All in all it was a tremendous success for the fans and the artistes, and we hope to see them sometime in the future for more mega-concerts like this.
Lantis Festival 2015 (Singapore) Setlist
3. Snow halation
5. Hello My Revolution
6. Lost my music
7. DREAM LINE
9. NEEDLESS TO SAY
11. FANTASTIC TUNE
18. ムーンライト伝説(feat. Azusa Tadokoro)
22. Dried Up Youthful Fame
23. Seek Your Turn
25. Rage On
26. fool K
29. 輪舞-Revolution-(feat. Masami Okui)
32. Paradise Lost
35. 牙狼〜SAVIOR IN THE DARK〜
36. 勇者王誕生！（Endo Masaaki solo）
37. PREDESTINATION（Okui Masami solo）
38. PLANET DANCE（Fukuyama Yoshiki solo）
39. ウィーアー！（Kitadani Hiroshi solo）
40. CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA（Kageyama Hironobu solo）
44. Starting STYLE!
Official Concert Photos, Special Thanks to Amuse Entertainment Singapore
Lantis Official Facebook Page