Base Ball Bear Live by the C2 Live Report (Tokyo 04/30/16)

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There were three or four albums that defined my summer of 2010. One of them being Base Ball Bear's 17 sai. It was quirky and energetic, something my ears hadn't been exposed to before. I remember listening to it on my walkman, pressing the play button to put the album on again and again before finally giving up and falling asleep. When the opportunity appeared to actually see them live, I took it. It wasn't because I had listen to them religiously throughout the years but rather a sense of commitment, an obligation to my past. It was nostalgia that I wanted to experience.

So, on April 30th of 2016, I went to Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall for Base Ball Bear's 10th & 15th Anniversary Hibiya Nonfiction V ~ LIVE BY THE C2~ tour. In retrospect,  it hadn't occurred to me that the venue was completely outside and that meant the sound wasn't enclosed. Despite there being a large wall surrounding the stage, anyone in the park could essentially listen to the concert, free of charge. Take note, music goers for any  free "tickets" to hear artists at Hibiya Park. I opted for the standing tickets at the back as the reserved seating had sold out. It didn't matter whether you stood or sat because once the band came on stage, everyone was standing. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how co-ordinated the audience is. They know exactly which way to wave their hands, which hand gesture to use, the timing...absolutely everyone is in sync. It's downright awesome! I attempted to fit in but alas, I'm pretty sure I was outed at some points.

The concert, itself, was lots of fun. Base Ball Bear had a variety of guests to fill in their absent guitarist, Shohei Yuasa as he withdrew from the group. No one from management nor the band was able to contact him, and he had announced his departure through a third party! That was a shock to me. I didn't even know about that! The band announced their intent to continue their music. Yusuke Koide (Vo) mentioned there were tons of things he wanted to do, there were still music to make, paths for the band to continue upon. The guest guitarists were one of the best, if not the best part -of the concert. Teru Ishige (lovefilm, the telephones), Hisako Tabuchi (toddle, LAMA), Hayashi (POLYSICS) and Furukawa Yutaka (ex.DOPING PANDA) all participated! I can't believe I got to see one of the members of LAMA! Each guest came on stage for a couple of songs and did a short MC with the band but mostly only Yusuke talked. He and Hiyashi had a great gag going on. They seem to be really good friends.

I was bothered by how little he involved Shiori (Ba) in the conversation. She's quiet to begin with but I would have liked more of the focus to be on the trio. It was a celebration of BBB's 15th year together after all. The set list was a nice mix of old songs and new songs from their latest album C2. I will admit the nostalgia factor did hit me quite a bit as I started to tear up when they played short hair. Then they transitioned into other songs like 17sai and my all time favourite, changes. I was really satisfied at that point. The middle/high schooler in me was happy.

Growing up and seeing bands that played a part in your past is a weird experience. It's more of revisiting memories associated with certain songs. Also, like meeting up with an old pal to see how things are going for them. That's how I felt after seeing Base Ball Bear live. I probably won't see them again for a long time but it's nice to know they're doing okay and will continue doing what they love.
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