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[Live Report] SCANDAL: The band’s biggest show - Hall Tour Finale

SCANDAL played the final show of their 21-location, 40,000-attended, <SCANDAL HALL TOUR 2013 “STANDARD”> at Tokyo International Forum Hall A on December 3. We brought the preliminary report to you already. This report will cover the concert performance.

SCANDAL enlarged image

This is a miraculous story about four young girls who attended an Osaka dance & vocal school in 2006. At first, they were grouped together against their will, but eventually, the band became their lives. In March 2013, SCANDAL fulfilled one of their dreams by playing Osaka-jo Hall with a good response. They also commemorated their fifth year together as a band. The next stage in their development was their latest album, “STANDARD”. It was a very significant record for the band and was followed by their biggest tour to date, <SCANDAL HALL TOUR 2013 “STANDARD”>, which started in October. The three-month tour approached this final show, and the audience felt the energy.

7:05 pm: As the hall resonated with fanfare, the anxious crowd met the anticipation with huge applause. The stage setting was reminiscent of an old-fashioned theater with flavors of East and West. SCANDAL has timeless worldwide appeal, but their pure essence of chasing their dreams was definitely felt here.

As the four band members appeared on the dimly lit stage in all white, it made you imagine the album cover. As HARUNA yelled “TOKYO!”, RINA’s giant drum sound rang out while she flung her long hair. The curtain came down and the final show began.

The girls chose the emotional title track, “STANDARD”, as their opening song. TOMOMI’s aggressive bassline and super fast vocals heated up the crowd. As the words, “Hey! Hey!” were chanted, the crowd chanted right back. During the heavy rock tune, “EVERYBODY SAY YEAH!!” HARUNA enticed the crowd even more by saying “Everybody, let’s get louder!” The crowd jumped up during the chorus, and for three songs straight, the venue went wild.

“Let’s have the word’s wildest concert today! We’re ready to go all out. Are you ready?”

These first words were like adding oil to the flame. They followed with the groovy song, “Orange Juice”. TOMOMI wrote the lyrics to the song as if to say “I wrote these lyrics while thinking that HARUNA’s voice would be better suited for it”. HARUNA sang even sexier and Tomomi sang with more transparency. Their voices matched perfectly. Although the lyrics were girly and full of girl psychology, during the interlude, MAMI played noisy guitars and shook her head around. The outro had a jazzy feel and showed that skill was needed to execute the playfulness. A mutual understanding between the band members was needed for this to happen. The tempo change in “UCHIAGE HANABI” was skillfully executed by MAMI and RINA who looked each other in the face and matched their breathing.

“Did we go through the first half too fast? We’re about to talk a lot, so please sit down.”

HARUNA addressed the crowd, and each of the band members talked about their experiences on tour. HARUNA admitted, “I can’t sleep on the night before the tour finale. If I dream, I dream about the show…” RINA followed, “Yes, yes. I dreamed about playing at the International Forum. It sounded terrible, so I felt like I had to run away. Then HARUNA said ‘It’s ok. Let’s all hold hands.’ She said ‘It’s ok’ when it was obviously terrible. I thought it was so cool, but I also wondered if it was ok that HARUNA alone could decide the fate of 5000 people (laughs).” The crowd all laughed in unison. The fact that these two girls actually had dreams of playing made one believe that they were serious at heart. On the other hand, the free spirited MAMI said about her dream, “There was a polar bear next to me.” RINA interjected, “It’s already strange at that point.” TOMOMI followed by saying “I dreamed about being friends with the cast of ‘Terrace House’”. Nobody was able to interject to this comment. It seemed like each member had her own distinct personality, and that the balance between was what held the band together.

The real talk session then began as HARUNA predicted. She then declared, “This is abrupt, but it’s time for “Today’s Standard” corner! This was the part of the talk where audience members rate the various venues’ oden and rice bowls by applause. Today’s topic was “band part”. “If you were to do one, what would you do?”; vocal, guitar, bass or drums? HARUNA said, “We handed out a surveys” and proceeded read out the various features of each band part. “Vocals are the band’s face. You can stand out. When there is work, you are always invited and you can go to many places (laughs). The guitarist can play at home without an amplifier. At a concert, they can wow the crowd with just their guitar sound. The bassist can make different types of sounds just with his or her hand by picking, fingering, and slapping. There are a lot of female bassists, and that makes me happy…” TOMOMI interjected, “Yes, Baseball Bear, RINTOSHITE SHIGURE, and Sakanaction all have female bassists. Wait, yesterday, I could think of about 10 people…” RINA interjected, “You forgot seven of them?”, and the crowd once again laughed.

RINA then admitted, “When I was handed the survey the other day, I couldn’t think of one good thing about the drums.” She continued, “When I searched on the internet, ‘I don’t understand people who play the drums.’” is what came up… I got super depressed.” Then the members cheered her up by saying, “It’s good because it makes the set exciting.” (HARUNA); “It’s not a concert unless you hear the drums.” (MAMI). In the end, the band members complimented each other, to which TOMOMI and HARUNA said, “This is kind of weird.” They laughed awkwardly, but it was easy to see that these four band members had a strong bond that brought them together. To describe the rest of the voting process would be too long, so the details will be omitted. This day’s winner was the drums. RINA seemed truly happy with this decision.

The show made a quick turn from the MC talk session. As a red spotlight lit HARUNA, she said, “We’re going to keep bringing up the energy! The next one is a bit harder.” The band then went into the heavy “Metronome”, and the venue went back into concert mode. RINA seemed to break through her shell and said “We make all of these serious songs”, as she went to the chaotic number, “KOI NO Gestalt”. HARUNA put down her guitar and walked around the stage with a megaphone. As if to match a constantly changing rhythm, the band members listened to the sound of the drums carefully. This was a very memorable image.

For the next tune, “GEGEN NO TSUKI”, each member had a solo, starting from RINA’s powerful drum hits, to HARUNA’s heavy guitar solo, and then to the groovy bass. During “AWANAITSUMORINO, GENKIDENE”, which can be considered this tour’s starting point, the crowd once again jumped in the air while chanting “Hey! Hey!” It was yet another climax of the show.

“Thank you for coming out on a weekday! We celebrated our five-year anniversary while we were on tour. When we look at our mentor bands, we see that we have a long way to go. But we’re still glad that we are a band. Especially so in 2013... I want to continue with all these members.”

HARUNA expressed her thoughts and feelings. In fact, the seventh song of the set, titled “August”, was written by HARUNA with these thoughts in mind. The image of when she sang the song earlier and said “Thank you” quietly afterwards, left a huge impression. “You all gave us your smiles and energy, and we want to keep making more and more memories. We came along these five years at a constant pace, but in 2013, we want to change the pace… Everybody, we have something to we want to tell you… In June 2014, we will play our second ever Osaka Hall concert and our first ever Yokohama Arena concert!” The crowd was surprised and overjoyed as they said “Congratulations”.

HARUNA said, “We want to keep our dreams big and keep moving forward. Please continue to follow SCANDAL! The future will be fun. Sing with us towards the future!”, as they surge into the final stage of the concert. They went into the catchy and danceable “KIMI TO MIRAI TO KANZENDOKI” and followed with “OVER DRIVE”. The electro-based pop-rock song, “OVER DRIVE”, made news because they collaborated with Yasutaka Nakata of CAPSULE on it. For the hugely popular “TAIYO TO KIMIGA EGAKU STORY”, 5000 people flung their towels in the air. They then went into “NAMIDA YO HIKARE”, which MAMI called “a forward-looking tearful new song”. It was a song that only SCANDAL, who cried many tears, could perform. They finished their set off with a shortened version of “STANDARD”.

Chants for an encore roared as the four left the stage. They came back on stage in a rough style wearing different colored T-shirts. “We wanted so badly to tell you about our arena shows. We were finally able to tell you~”, RINA told the crowd with a sense of relief. “I wanted to be on stage since I was three years old. At the time, I didn’t dream of becoming a drummer. I was not in a band, so I don’t think my dream came true. I will be in a band for the rest of my life, and I will not lose to anyone. Let’s work hard together.” RINA addressed the crowd straight from the heart.

It seemed that SCANDAL followed these words of wisdom and experienced the joy of being in a band up until now. That is why so many people fully support them. The very last song of the night was their debut song, “DOLL”. Everything started from this song. The band followed their dreams they came up with back then. The four band member’s expression of joy and fighting spirit after the last song confirmed their drive for the upcoming years. SCANDAL is sure to surprise and entertain us in 2014!

Report & text: Yuko Kitsukawa

Ticket details and purchasing page
SCANDAL official site
SCANDAL official fan club

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