An Cafe’s ANCAFESTA ’12 SUMMER DIVE: Day 2
The Summer Dive continued with another ambitious turnout at Kokuritsu Yoyogi Kyogijo (National Yoyogi Gymnasium) on September 9. This time, the band popped up directly in front of the show’s title banner walking around the stadium from behind the stage, up through the crowd and finally taking their positions.
The very first number announced their intentions for the second day, contrasting the insatiable pop-rock of the previous with a burst of heavy rock, yells and a boom of firework kicking off “Maple Gunman.” miku heaved the stand over his head on a declaration of his rock-star persona while the crowd pointed gun-shaped fingers at the stage. teruki crashed full-bore from start to finish, cymbals ringing frantically. “Snow Scene” lightened the atmosphere only a touch but enough for yu-ki to dance away energetically behind his keyboard though teruki headbanged to the chorus.
Smoke jets led into a deep red lighting scheme soon punctuated by flashes of green for “KAWAYU’S ЯOCK.” miku aggressively grabbed kanon from behind, bringing the mic up to the bassists lips though the vocalist himself made up for the previous day’s lighter atmosphere with some powerful growls. “Who came yesterday?” he asked, a huge cheer giving away that more attended the two days than not. “Once more I want to thank you all for waiting. Today is Harajuku Dakkan (Recapture of Harajuku)!” That earned an even prouder cheer. “Hey, you, lolita over there,” miku began, picking out a girl from the arena. “If you went out in that, it’d be embarrassing, right? But if it’s Harajuku, it’s ok, right? We need your strength!” he cried to the combined masses. “Let’s make it so people say Harajuku equals An Cafe! Got it?”
The crowd were overjoyed to hear “Tekesuta Kousen” for the second time in two days, the melody hot and guitar leading the other instruments on a wild chase through the instrumentals. “Hey, you! Jump! … That’s good,” miku approved, singling out more fans. “Escapism” began with a clap rhythm, teruki striking his sticks overhead to test the pace. A tough guitar line gave the piece a mature atmosphere though miku tore it down, limbs flailing about in an odd dance that better suited the poppy chorus of the somewhat bi-polar song. Meanwhile, the simple summer havoc guitar theme of “Merry Making” certainly inspired sufficient jumping to suit miku’s shouted order. He bounced off down the catwalk, setting the rest of the band in motion to visit all areas of the stage including the walk up behind keyboard and drums where the back portion of the crowd greeted them enthusiastically. “Nanairo Crayon de Egaku Hikari (Portraying Light With Rainbow Colored Crayon)”’s almost ballad-style opening was met with a handful of colorful rays reaching out from the stage, light wands raising all over the stadium to wave to the music while miku crooned. For takuya’s solo, the beams gathered into a cross right on top of the guitarist. Slow and moody, the solo sped up into an up-beat bridge, bringing the song home.
“There’s something I wanted to ask you,” miku began, addressing the crowd in a break. “How many new people are there?” A few fervent cries resounded. “ah, not many. How about fans from before?” A roar shook the venue. “And guys? Oh, could we call you Cafe-O?” The O for otoko (male) was well received. Enthusiastic masculine shouts were mixed with feminine laughter. “I wanna hear you guys do ‘Nyappy!’” miku insisted, inciting a deep rendition of the traditional motto.
“It might even be possible to do a guys-only live,” teruki mused.
“Let’s do CYBER! (Ikebukuro CYBER – a small but popular visual kei oriented venue)” miku cried, enthusiastically latching onto the idea.
“Isn’t there somewhere in Ni-chome?” teruki wondered, referring to the “alternative lifestyle” district in Shinjuku.
“You’d have to ask yu-ki that,” miku replied.
Next on the list of fans to name were the over-25 ladies. “Cafe-ba!” miku shouted with a grin before apologizing for his bad humor.
Finally, he requested all of the girls to give him a dark and dirty “Nyappy” which was even more shocking that the ‘Cafe-O’ version.
“I wouldn’t want to date that,” miku confessed and the crowd laughed at themselves as much as at him.
“Natsu no Owari” began with a nostalgic air, starry wands glowing throughout stands and arena. It came to a sweet end with acoustic guitar and ringing keyboard notes. It was a touching moment which gave way to a repeat performance of the short play introduced the previous day. (Read the details here.) Once again, the band took their turns to sing “shou shuu riki!” culminating in a performance by the combined crowd who this time cleared the requirements on the second try.
“NATSU KOI ★ NATSU GAME” revved the show back into full swing though yu-ki remained down on the main stage dancing the complicated choreography with the crowd. He and miku both hurtled down the runway for the next song “NYAPPY in the world 4”, punching out the end and then rapping together as they circled each other warily. High energy and speedy, the exciting number was let down only by yu-ki’s repeated failure at jumping on the right beat no matter how many re-tries the band gave him—and that was how it ended.
“yu-ki rocks,” miku said with a laugh. “He’s so cute. This is yu-ki Time.” Though soon enough it became “Nagata Time” and teruki announced that he would do an impression of someone he doesn’t resemble at all. The result was his “Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi Collaboration” consisting of teruki singing in an impression of Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi singing An Cafe’s “Amazing Blue.” The drummer jokingly borrowed takuya’s guitar though his attempts to strum went badly. After teruki poured his soul into the impression and earned complimentary cheers, miku forced the crowd to practice laughing along with An Cafe—who proved disturbingly adept at wild, forced laughter. “This is the Antic Cafe I wanted so much to come back to?” teruki lamented. miku actually fell over with laughter. “If we go on hiatus again, don’t complaint on me about it,” teruki sulked. The crowd offered him up a range of shouts from “You’re cute!” to “We loved it!”
It was time for “Duck no Magical Adventure,” miku breaking out his very best Donald Duck impression (much clearer than the previous days’ attempt) and singing through his hand puppet of the beloved Disney character like a somewhat unsuccessful ventriloquist. His question to the crowd this time, was “Who do you think is the member most likely to be kind to women?” Though the majority of the shouts seemed to say “teruki,” miku announced that roughly 98% of the venue judged the kindest to be yu-ki. “yu-ki’s mails are very kind! He has very good mailing technique, giving advice like ‘No, u have to wait! This isn’t the right timing for that email!’ What do you think of teruki? Personally, I think he’s useless. teruki’s just an old man so he doesn’t understand young people.”
“But you’re the closest to me in age!” teruki retorted. The final revelation came from the drummer about kanon. “He’s very vain. He once told me about a picture he took, ‘Don’t worry about your wrinkles. I’ll delete them!’”
The song flared up again, Donald going wild, words unintelligible. He was cast aside before the next song.
“Ok everyone, raise your lights! We’ll make a blue sea. Now, clap!” Blue lazers fanned out to add further credence to the title “Amazing Blue” in which the crowd joined their voices to the bands in a series of “Woah”’s. When the number came to an end, the band took a moment to appreciate the view. “Wow, that’s beautiful,” said miku. “Bird no Higeki (Bird’s Tragedy)” contrasted with its heavier style turning miku’s tone into a lazy drawl before “Koritsu Hospital” exacerbated the atmosphere and the crowd went mad headbanging and dancing excitedly to the strong guitar line. takuya’s solo at the end of the runway was surrounded on all sides by arms spread wide in adoration.
“We’ll finish with this song!” miku announced. “Thank you so much for today!” Arms opened wide, softly flowing to the tune of “Cherry Saku Yuuki!!.” Switching from sweet to cool in a moment, the eclectic song featured a variety of styles and melodies, proving a truly fun ending for the crowd—though of course they were far from satisfied yet!
Continuing on from the previous day, miku affected a similar, soppy speech accompanied by gentle keyboard. “We selfishly went on hiatus but you all accepted it well. Thank you for that. By putting Antic Cafe aside, we used that time to work on ourselves and our skills. I decided that I want to be your dream place. We’re different from other bands. We can go on just doing childish things and become a place where you can return to your childish feelings, too. Let’s have full-powered fun here when you need to! Those two and a half years of feelings are going to be poured into this next song. Please listen to ‘My Heart Leaps For ‘C’.’”
The number started slow but burst into positivity itself, miku tearing down the runway with endless enthusiasm. Towels whipped up in parody of the first day for “BondS~Kizuna” and red and white lasers careened through the air. yu-ki yelled into the mic, leading the crowd and punching out from behind his keyboard. The energy and unity created throughout the venue made for the perfect atmosphere for some thrilling announcements. Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo will be seeing a Zepp tour from An Cafe beginning on Christmas Eve in Tokyo with some very intriguing plans in the works for the latter locations from the mysterious “Nyappy Jump” to a fan-sung karaoke competition. “We’ll be going overseas in November, so we’ll look forward to seeing you again,” miku announced. “Well, yesterday began with a smile and now we wanted to finish with a smile! ‘Smile Ichiban…’” “Ii Onna!” finished the crowd.
Super bright and fun, the number truly did begin and end the two-day SUMMER DIVE with vibrant smiles all around. Silvery streamers flowed in hands all through the arena. “I love Antic Cafe!” miku cried, passionately. “Guitar, takuya!” The guitar solo came from between drum kit and keyboard, lining takuya up with yu-ki and teruki.
“This truly was the best summer memory and next we’ll make the best winter memory! You can have high expectations! I’m the type of guy who never lets down expectations!” miku boasted. With that in mind, the whole stadium joined hands for an An Cafe special, the unique and heartfelt count of “1-2-3 Tiramisu! Tiramisu!” ending in swinging hands rather than the expected jump, inevitable laughter at the in-joke closing the evening. If any new fans were not in the loop or memories rusty from the hiatus and if any of those fans completed the jump they’ll certainly remember the drill over the winter Zepp tour!
- Maple Gunman
- Snow Scene
- KAWAYU’S ЯOCK
- Tekesuta Kousen
- Merry Making
- Nanairo Crayon de Egaku Hikari (Portraying Light With Rainbow Colored Crayon)
- Natsu no Owari (End of Summer)
- Etcetera THE SUMMER
- NATSU KOI ★ NATSU GAME
- NYAPPY in the world 4
- Duck no Magical Adventure
- Amazing Blue
- Bird no Higeki (Bird’s Tragedy)
- Koritsu Hospital
- Cherry Saku Yuuki!!
- MY HEART LEAPS FOR “C”
- Smile Ichiban Ii ♀ (Onna)