a-nation'07 BEST HIT LIVE

review - 06.27.2010 03:30

The summer in 2007 was hot.

Every year, there is an a-nation tour withthe newcomers and the big stars of the Avex label, and so there was one in Summer 2007 as well. The tour stopped in Miyagi, Ehime, Shizuoka, Hyogo and Tokyo. The two-day final in Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo was recorded, and a modest selection was released on DVD a bit later. The borders between the 25th and 26th of August were masterfully blurred by Avex; you’ll never know which artist performed on which day.

After an inviting intro, the name of the performing artist is shown, and after that the spectacle begins. Suzuki Ami and her summer hymn Delightful, AAA and their summery contribution, and surprise artist My Little Lover and their lighthearted dreamy success await the home cinema spectator within the first 15 minutes. The Korean girl band Tenjochiki delivers a sexy stage performance and delights the gathered audience within the venue.

A horde of children gather on the broad main stage and a bit later, the second surprise artist KEN MATSUDAIRA, in company of four young men with visual kei styled haircuts, joins the crowd. Together, they dance and celebrate. Takasugi Satomi, a newcomer at the time, receives a warm welcome and sings her sensitive song. Then with much feeling and soul in their voices, the four-man R&B group COLOR presents their a-nation contribution.

Shortly after that, Natsuki Mari - the grand dame in music business - takes the stage. Over her black ankle-length dress, she wears a long, white feather coat; but the moment she tosses off her coat, Kimi e-ONE NIGHT ONLY- really starts and the aged singer shows her powerful voice. Happy and lighthearted Every Little Thing continues the event. The group is followed by the second Korean export: Tohoshinki. The five young men enjoy clearly themselves and earn deafening applause for their acrobatic dance and the lively song itself.

A true feeling of American gospel is provided by mink and her version of Amazing Grace; because the singer came onto the little stage situated next to the main stage with an organ player and a choir, the effect is a small, contained powerhouse that leaves you in awe. Calm and touching as well is Nakamura Ataru’s ode to friendship. The singer herself plays piano on stage, and she is supported by a bassist, a drummer and a double bass player.

Getting closer to the event headliners, the next performer is Otsuka Ai and her weird performance of CHU-LIP; it coincides nicely with night falling on Tokyo and this supports the ludicrous image of the song. After this pop sounding track, Koda Kumi’s FREAKY feels hard with its rock elements, fire and hot choreography. But Koda used the chance and worked in an intermezzo of Queen’s famous We will rock you. The following artist, TRF, is the penultimate group of the evening. The band is featured on the DVD with two songs, the first of which is the lively, yet also soft and dreamy BOY MEETS GIRL. The audience is washed in blue light as they sing and dance.

The second contribution of the group, a soft love song, brings joy to the crowd as well. However, the performance of pop princess Hamasaki Ayumi was anticipated with the most impatience. She is featured on the DVD with three tracks! There is the loud and sexy 1 LOVE, in which Ayumi and her dancers twist and contort in cages, on chairs or at poles; for her captivating love ballad fated and the soft pop song glitter, she interacts with the crowd. Then, while showing the fireworks that fill the night sky, the credits roll. During the staff roll you’ll see some backstage and extra stage material before the DVD fades out.

This recording offers a lot of musical styles and artists to the home cinema spectator. Not all artists or dancers are convincing all the time - sometimes they are standing too still or the choreography doesn’t fit the melody - but you’ll definitely be entertained. All in all, you get to see a lot of artists in their element.

Along with the DVD is a nice picture booklet in which all the artists are featured with a small image. The DVD also contains two bonus movies. The OPENING ACT feature is a splice of all the opening acts and runs approximately ten minutes. J-Min, SEARA KO-JO, JONTE, MAY, Lambassy, the children rap group FONK and Maekawa Hiroki each take a turn on your screen. The longer, more entertaining and interesting BACK STAGE documentary shows scenes from all stops on the tour. There are clips of building the stages, the rehearsals and some live recordings. The musicians or their dancers give comments or talk about their impressions of what's going on. Furthermore, you get to see TRF singer Yu-Ki and Koda Kumi rehearsing a duet. The feature runs approximately 30 minutes total.

For those who are open to something new and aren’t afraid of trying several genres at once, a-nation’07 BEST HIT LIVE DVD will be a lot of fun. Discover new artists and enjoy the music!
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