Event Report

April 16, 2005 at Ishimaru Denki SOFT1, Akihabara, Tokyo
Featuring Akira Kushida and Psychic Lover, and emcee Shocker OH!NO!

In thanks to customers who bought Columbia's "Super Sentai 'Spirits' Live 2004" two-DVD set at any of its branches, electronics retail giant Ishimaru Denki coupled with Columbia to present a pair of mini-live events on April 16. Both starred Akira "Qu-cy" Kushida and duo Psychic Lover, who'd been among the headliners at last November's concert captured on the DVD set.

The first show (limited to 400 attendees) was at 1pm in the 3rd-floor event hall of the chain's SOFT1 store in Akihabara, and the second (limited to 250 attendees) at 4pm in the 8th-floor event hall in the SOFT2 building a few blocks away. I went to the first show. Outside the hall before the event, each attendee turned in their reservation ticket (given with the purchase of the DVD set) and drew a number from a box. The number determined the seating order--and my number, 18, was good enough to get the final seat in the front row!

An hour before start time, waiting attendees browsing the floor's anime CD and DVD aisles could hear Qu-cy from behind the hall's closed doors, singing a sound-check verse of "Taiyou Sentai Sunvulcan." The hall opened about a half-hour later, with TV-length versions of tokusatsu theme songs being played over the sound system. A few fans got their cameras ready; for this event, Ishimaru Denki's policy was that photos could be taken with film cameras, but not with digital cameras.

Time came for the event to start--and out bounced a big surprise: Shocker OH!NO!, super-energetic emcee of the various "Spirits" live events! The event's goal was to recreate the great feeling of the Super Sentai Spirits concert, Shocker told us--looking around, he quipped that "Shibuya O-East" somehow seemed smaller than before--and with his "Super Sentai..." and our roared response "...SPIRITS!", the mini-live was off to a mighty start!

Psychic Lover bounded onstage and burst into Dekaranger opening theme "Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger," vocalist Yoshiyuki "Yoffy" Wada planting one boot atop a speaker at the stage's edge (he wore the most amazing, blindingly-bright belt...looked like black leather studded with a constellation of disco-ball bits!), and guitarist Tatsuhiro "Joe" Imajo going to town further back. They followed that with "Swat On Dekaranger"--written by Yoffy--and then "Mahou Sentai Magiranger," opening theme of the newest sentai series.

Shocker returned to interview the pair, and mentioned that Joe had been a guitarist for some of the joushibu anison concerts (which feature women singing primarily shoujo anime songs). Yoffy revealed that not only will Psychic Lover have a song coming out in June for a new pro wrestling-related creation by Gou Nagai called "King Kabuto Beetle," but also, this event would be the first time they'd perform that song for an audience! We backed them by chanting "King Of Kings! King Of Kings!" in certain parts.

Then it was time for Akira Kushida, who came out to sing the bookends of his tokusatsu career to date, Abaranger end theme "We are the ONE ~Bokura Wa Hitotsu~" from 2003 and Sunvulcan opening theme "Taiyou Sentai Sunvulcan" from 1981. The crowd gasped as he came right down off the stage and sang lines directly to various lucky fans!

Between the songs, Shocker ribbed him about the black jumpsuit he was wearing--his website URL was printed across one leg--and asked about his upcoming plans. Qu-cy will be performing in Osaka during Golden Week. July will be a big month for him; he'll perform in the Anime Friends concert in Brazil in early July, and has a new CD, "Akira Kushida Best: Feel So Nice" (gathering some oldies but goodies), coming out July 27.

A long table was then carried onstage for the concluding portion of the event, a handshake session and signing. Brought up one row at a time, attendees were able to walk along the table and shake hands with each of the three performers, have a few words with them, and receive a signboard already autographed by the three.

Qu-cy thanked me for buying the DVD, and I thanked him for performing at this event. He said the next "Kimi Mo Solo De Utau-zo" event would be held sometime after he gets back from Brazil, and invited me to attend again. I told him I'm really looking forward to it, and wished him a safe trip.

Next was Yoffy, and as we shook hands, I told him I enjoyed the performance. Then was Joe, and after shaking his hand and repeating that I'd enjoyed the performance, I couldn't help gushing that his guitar technique is really superb (it is!)--and he offered his hand for a hearty second handshake, grinning!

Afterwards, more than one fan headed for Ishimaru Denki's SOFT2 building, having bought the DVD set twice to be able to see both shows. I didn't have the financial chops to join them--but hey, it would be tough for the second show to top the first!


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This page was created April 20, 2005. Last updated July 24, 2006.

This page's text and source code are copyright Ardith Carlton; photos are copyright Queer Yoko. Do not reproduce any of the content or images on this page.