NICO Touches the Walls steadily continues to move forward, having released their first best album on February 5 and planning to hold their second Nippon Budokan performance in August. They have now created a new kind of live performance, setting up a limited-time live space in which they held twenty performances in one month. Filled with the intention to challenge themselves, NICO Touches the Walls changed the theme and set list each day for their month-long event, "Kabe ni Mimi."
This performance was limited to members of the "au Smart Pass" program, and there were a fair amount of people who got information about the show from au smart pass and were seeing NICO Touches the Walls for the first time. The members decided to directly answer questions that they'd received from these people. To the first question, "What are you careful of when you perform live?" vocalist Tatsuya Mitsumura responded, "Firstly, if we aren't having fun, it's not a show." To the question of what song they would recommend to someone who was seeing them for the first time, he responded, "I'd want them to listen to 'THE BUNGY.'"
"One of our greatest pleasures is to play completely different live versions than CD versions, and that is represented best in 'THE BUNGY.' On the CD, it's three and a half minutes, but there are times when we play it for fifteen minutes live. You should enjoy that difference. (laughs)" (Mitsumura)
First-time listeners to NICO should check out their best album as well as their new single "Rawhide," which will be released on March 5. Then, first-time listeners have five months to prepare themselves for NICO's August 19 performance at Nippon Budokan.
"Our best album is a summation of the 'NICO culture,' which is something that we've created with our fans at our live performances. I especially want the people who are seeing us for the first time to listen to it." (Furumura)
"'Rawhide' is a song that represents our determination about this year. It expresses our feelings that we'll keep running even further forward and that we'll be able to give you a lot of interesting things this year. We think of the August performance at Budokan as a second chance after our performance there four years ago. That day, we got the impression of the audience getting excited for us, but next time, we want to make everyone excited. We want to make this a magnificent second chance." (Mitsumura)
Then NICO Touches the Walls gave a message to members of the au Smart Pass program. To them, au Smart Pass is an indispensable way to connect with new listeners. Mitsumura spoke passionately about the fact that their duty as a rock band is to show those new listeners excitement and emotion that they can't find anywhere else.
"As we create more doors for fans to enter, I believe we must also create more exits. If you can go through various doors and attend live performances and it's always the same, that's boring. The real pleasure of a live performance is that you don't know what will happen. So to the people who found out about us through the au Smart Pass and came today, we always want to create unexpected exits." (Mitsumura)
Following the end of the performance, we talked to members of the audience, who said things like, "I'm always checking on my smart phone for various artists' live performances to attend" and "I found out about this members-only performance from my au Smart Pass timeline and reserved a ticket. This was my first time seeing NICO Touches the Walls live, but it was really good." Another fan said, "I wasn't an au Smart Pass member, so I joined and came to this show. It seems like there are a lot of contents that are limited to members of au Smart Pass, so I'm going to check it regularly in the future." Those who found out about the performance from au Smart Pass talked about their joy at having seen a wonderful show. NICO Touches the Walls, who create great thrills at their live performances, and au Smart Pass both deserve special attention.