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So I travelled across the Pacific Ocean for NOWNESS Live in Japan...


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#1 travoltajc

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 03:06 PM

A message to all BoA fans across the world,

 

So I travelled across the Pacific Ocean to see BoA 2015 NOWNESS Live in Japan, and I had the best time of my life. I barely spoke any Japanese (apparently listening to BoA for about 10 years doesn’t really help on Japanese conversation) and it was my first BoA live concert and first time going to Tokyo and Japan. Forced to travel alone because it was a busy time of the year for my friends, I lived up to the promise that I’ll go watch BoA the next time she performs in Japan, which was a promise I made to myself one year ago after 2014’s “Who’s Back” concert.

 

Song List

NOWNESS can be summarized as a BoA 15 year celebration concert. The list of songs was plenty, because about half of the time the songs were cut short into medleys in order to fit in as many of her classic tracks as possible. She ran through the popular hit tracks from every album all the way from 2000’s “ID: Peace B” to 2015’s “Kiss My Lips”, singing in Japanese if the song was available or otherwise in Korean. Obviously it was impossible to include everything because she simply has so much history.

Those of you who watched her concerts over the years would know that the songs in her Korean concerts were mainly fast paced, primarily focused on dancing. In Japan, it would be half dance tracks and half ballads. NOWNESS Live in Japan was imported from her earlier Korean performance in August. Thus, it had more fast tracks than usual. It’s great nonetheless because it kept everyone on their feet for the entire concert!

 

Singing

Because many of the songs were cut short, this concert was probably less difficult to sing than her previous live concerts. Still, her singing was flawless, especially in the ballads showing her great ability with alternating head voice and falsetto smoothly. Nowadays many singers who can’t sing live (nevermind dance at the same time) would cut short the end note of a phrase in order to save breath, versus holding it until the end. BoA sang like she did in her CDs, hitting every pitch and holding notes for full duration vibratos. She was good even until the last song “Meri Kuri”, something that she wasn’t able to do at every concert previously as you would notice fatigue in her voice. Her singing had truly matured over the years.

During a medley section, the stage’s background screen played the MV of the song that BoA was currently singing. It was fascinating to see her sing and dance in perfect synchronization to the MVs.

 

Dancing

BoA never ceased to impress her audience with her world class dancing, and NOWNESS was no exception. Once again she delivered with the finest dance moves and perfect timing with the background dancers. From the best of hip-hop dancing such as in “Spark”, to sexy moves in “Kiss My Lips”, to the lovely and cute routine in “Green Light”, to Latin style dancing in “Valenti”, the concert was a display of her wide variety of dancing talent. But, knowing she is BoA, she always takes every opportunity to make things better. In NOWNESS, she turned the instrumental break of “Clockwork” into a Tango ballroom dance routine with a male partner. The routine was extremely difficult, including multiple sets of 360 degree turns with the male dancer swinging BoA in the air, and BoA’s full extension back-bending dance poses. The crowd couldn’t stop screaming, nor did I.

The concert was full of highlights, but to me the climax was at about two-thirds through when she sang the new release song “Lookbook” at the end of a medley series. She sang the entire “Lookbook”, including a separate dance routine break and a rap part. To top it all off, at the very last beat of the song (EDITED: I remembered incorrectly), she sang another high tempo energetic song "Masayume Chasing" afterwards, where the stage shot out silver paper ribbons into the audience at the song's climax. I yelled harder than I had ever before in my life.

 

Interlude Videos

Every concert has interludes where the singer leaves the stage to change outfit and drink water. Usually the band plays background music for a few minutes until the singer returns. What’s different in NOWNESS was that the band only did this about twice. In her other interludes, the background screen played videos of her. There were documentary videos of her young days in training, videos that resembled her “Making of…” various music videos, and reality-like videos showing “A day in the life of BoA” scenes (filmed by BoA wearing a head camera so you could see things from her 1st person perspective). It was a great way to keep the audience entertained rather than being brought into a lull by the band. The videos made some people cry, it brought us shivers, it brought us laughter, and it made everyone smile. Again, with her long history in the music industry, there was so much content to create from.

 

Smiles

Speaking of smiles, you can tell a singer is enjoying the performance if she smiles throughout the song. Even during her nervousness and fatigue, BoA smiled throughout the entire concert, which was something that she couldn’t do in her earlier days. It was pleasing to see that she wasn’t overworked leading up to the concert and was able to relax and perform the music she loved.

 

Photo with BoA for 100 lucky fans

During the official souvenirs purchase period before the concert, there was a booth to pre-order BoA’s new “Lookbook” single (which came with a BoA cover folder). Those who bought the CD will be given a lucky sticker to open, which would tell you if you won or not. Upon winning, you would be able to have a personal photo with BoA after the concert, limited to the first 100 people. Unfortunately I didn’t win, but there were many “dedicated” fans who bought multiple CDs until they won. I realized that it was a smart way to promote CD sales, but I was even more impressed by the fact that a world class artist would still stay behind after a concert to please her fans.

 

Make yourself a promise

NOWNESS was a great celebration of her 15 year milestone. I hope BoA continues to make great music for us forever, but at some point it must come to an end. For an artist to be in the music industry for 15 years, it makes me wonder whether she’s a little burnt out. She’s not getting any younger and full length concerts take a tough beating on her body. Her popularity is dropping and in order to stay successful in the industry, she’s already diverged in other areas such as in movies, dramas, TV shows, music writing, and other things that require less work on the body. So, if she performs a concert again, make yourself a promise to go see her at all cost. See for yourself why she is the Best of Asia and Best of All. I can promise you this is an experience you’ll never forget.


Edited by travoltajc, 01 March 2016 - 07:30 PM.


#2 Ryoga

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 03:29 PM

Thank you so much for sharing, it was a pleasure reading it! Glad you enjoyed it! I wish I could go to one of her concerts.. just because im a fan for over 10 years now. Shes my ultimate bias and i respect her so much.


Edited by Ryoga, 16 December 2015 - 03:30 PM.


#3 OneLuv

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 05:59 PM

What a great read. Thank you for sharing. I too wish one day that I would get to see BoA live. Unfortunately, that would mean traveling across the Pacific Ocean as well haha. This is why I love her and have so much respect for her.

#4 celbel

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 11:33 PM

That was a great read! Thanks for sharing. So happy for you that you got to travel all that way to see her live! I hope I'll be able to do so soon as well! :D



#5 Baco__

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 02:07 AM

Isn't satisfying reading such a feedback/review of a BoA live show? I love BoA fans, really, I love you haha cause you are the ones who understand what I feel for her work. That was a great read and I'm genuinely happy for you. One day we will all meet in a live show, you'll see. <3

#6 travoltajc

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 12:53 AM

PICTURES!

 

Concert starts at 7PM. Doors open at 6PM. Official gift shop opens at 3PM. I arrived at 3:30PM there was a huge line up.
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Many dedicated fans from previous year.

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Dedicated Japanese fans wearing a self made dress from "Who's Back" concert.

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VERY DEDICATED FAN with a BoA outfit from "Make a Secret" CD cover.

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Booth for purchase of pre-release of Lookbook CD or CD+DVD. Any purchase comes with an exclusive Lookbook plastic file folder. Any purchase allows you to have one lucky sticker, which can give you a chance to have a personal photo with BoA after the concert. Limited to the first 100 winners. (I didn't win)

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CDs and DVDs for sale.

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Booth to register for SOUL membership. (Limited to Japanese residents with address)

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Flowers given by media, TV stations, radio stations, celebrities etc.

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This was given by some official SOUL members. The attached card in the middle has names of SOUL members. The red names are supposed to form the "Kiss My Lips" sign.

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Obviously, photos inside the concert hall, during and before show, is strictly prohibited. You'll be asked to delete the photo or have camera/phone taken away. If you want fan cam pics go look elsewhere.


Edited by travoltajc, 20 December 2015 - 05:30 PM.


#7 Ryoga

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 01:01 AM

wow awesome thank you :) im amazed by how many guys are at her concert =) equal men and women



#8 Baco__

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 05:18 AM

I know this will sound stupid, but I feel really emotional after seeing pictures where there are such dedicated fans like me (and, well, like us). I'd love to sit with one of them and talk about her music, go on a trip driving a cara with nothing but her discography and sing along with friends haha

#9 2boamystar

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 01:26 AM

I am happy for you :) going to BoA's concert has always been my dream :)



#10 jcwc

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 07:20 AM

thanks for sharing tis account. i really wanted to go to the concert too, but there was a family issue and i couldnt leave my home country. 

 

but the biggest qn i have is, HOW did u get a ticket???



#11 travoltajc

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 12:27 PM

but the biggest qn i have is, HOW did u get a ticket???

 

...LOL let's say I got lucky.

 

For those who don't know, SOUL members get the first round to buy tickets. Public seats are purchased online afterwards with a local Japanese credit card (I don't have one). You enter into a "lottery" after the purchase, and you'll be announced if you won or not 1 week after. For NOWNESS, there were 3 rounds of lottery (Yahoo Tickets Japan Premium, Yahoo Tickets Japan, Official website). The last option is to buy at the door on that day (which I saw happening), but they'll be bad seats.

 

So, once NOWNESS was announced, I asked every Japanese friend (and some travel agencies) I know back home, and none had a Japan credit card. In the end, I got in touch with my parents' friend, who has a husband, who has an ex-coworker, who has a coworker that lives in Tokyo Japan with a credit card (that also speaks and writes some broken English, because my Japanese sucks). So I ended up talking to this middle aged stranger by email only and he was nice enough to enter the Yahoo Premium lottery (which I won), get the ticket mailed to his house, and arrange a meeting with me in person 2 days before the concert date for ticket pick-up. Japanese people are so nice.

 

I had 2nd floor 6th row seats, slightly slanted to the right. I can't complain, because seats are given randomly (all at the same cost), but I have a feeling SOUL members get better seats.


Edited by travoltajc, 21 December 2015 - 12:31 PM.


#12 jcwc

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Posted 24 December 2015 - 07:15 AM

^ wow.. u really went thru a lot of trouble but it paid off! i was ready to get a 3rd party reseller and pay extra for the service. i didnt know that there was a lottery for public sale!






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