SCANDAL at AM2 July 10, 2011Posted by Nights4Saturn in Jpop.
Tags: AM2, SCANDAL
Last Sunday driving through downtown Anaheim on my way to the Anaheim Convention Center (the location of AM2, which is actually right across the street from Disneyland) that Sunday afternoon I started to notice some odd looking people walking on the street.
People wearing odd brightly colored clothes, outlandish unnatural wigs, and most telling of all, gigantic cardboard swords. Ahh, an anime convention must be afoot! I found it rather amusing how much more out of place a cosplayer walking on the street looks in more suburban Anaheim compared to urban Downtown Los Angeles. I wonder what the rest of Anaheim thought of the Narutos and Cloud Strifes walking around their town?
Despite seeing a decent handful of people on the street, I was pretty surprised at how small the convention really was once I arrived (after paying $15 to park my car of course XP ). There actually weren’t overbearing throngs of people! Maybe only one or two thousand people were there spread out over the main areas, which really isn’t that much considering the overall size of the Convention Center.
When I first arrived I decided to kill a bit of time by hitting up the main exhibition hall. There they had setup their vendor booths and Summer Festival game booths. When I first entered the hall I noticed they were playing some classic 1980’s idol pop, which was pretty cool, but it took me about 10 minutes to realize that it was actually live!
Turns out AM2 had live acts performing nearly continuously throughout the convention on their “Summer Festival Stage,” and on the 3rd they had Amy Singer perform at 3PM. She was actually quite good, and I managed to get her rendition of ANRI’s Cat’s Eye on video:
After Amy Singer finished up her set, a pre-teen band named IMPAKT came on, and I decided that would be a fine time to leave and check out AM2’s arcade.
To put it frankly, their arcade was pretty pathetic. They had a Strikers 1945, some version of Initial D, Beatmania, and a handful of other generic rhythm games. Where were the awesome games like Daytona USA, Scud Race, or even Super Hang-On? After being utterly crushed by the selection at the arcade (albeit not before dropping a buck in quarters into Strikers 1945) I decided it was high time to start queuing up for the concert.
And queue I did. For two and a half hours.
Something cool did happen while I was queuing, though, as I saw Ish again. Who is Ish you may ask? Ish was the staff member that was hanging around and talking with my group of friends while we waited to register for Anime Expo back in 2009 to see Morning Musume! I had almost completely forgot about that guy, but as soon as I saw him (and especially after hearing his stories again, lol) I immediately remembered. Apparently he decided to volunteer for AM2 instead of Anime Expo this year, still it was definitely very cool to see him again!
So after an epic two and a half hours of queuing I finally managed to be seated inside of the ballroom aka concert hall. Now, since I was in the standby line, aka “the cheapskates who didn’t by an AM2 passport or event ticket,” I didn’t get the best of seats. I ended up sitting on the aisle, just to right of the stage, which is actually pretty good if I wasn’t in the very back row. Still, they weren’t too bad as I could still see alright.
After about another thirty minutes of waiting inside, the show began! Set list courtesy of SCAN-DL:
SPECIAL LIVE in USA Set List:
1. SCANDAL のテーマ (SCANDAL no Theme)
3. EVERYBODY SAY YEAH
4. 少女 S (Shojo S)
5. 星の降る夜に (Hoshi no Furu Yoru ni)
7. LOVE SURVIVE
8. ハルカ (Haruka)
9. ひかれ (Hika re)
10. 瞬間センチメンタル (Shunkan Sentimental)
11. カゲロウ (Kagerou)
12. SCANDAL BABY
What did I think of the performance? It was definitely a whole lot of fun. I was rather impressed by the level of energy that all of the girls were able to bring to the stage, and their music itself ranged from merely okay to quite good. There did seem to be a slight issue with the audio, though. While not quite as bad as what happened with Morning Musume at Anime Expo, the sound level of the instruments seemed to be turned out slightly too high as I found it rather difficult to make out the girl’s actual voices during the performance. Of course, this could have just been an issue for those of us in the back. As for my favorite song of the night, I actually really liked Haruka. While it wasn’t one of their more powerful numbers, it seemed the most well put together. I might actually pick up a copy of it on my next CD order!
While I certainly enjoyed myself at SCANDAL’s concert, I would have to put this one behind Morning Musume’s and AKB48’s events from the last two years. Though to be fair I think my opinion might be a bit tainted by the fantastic seats I had for those events, and my preference for that specific genre of Jpop. Still, I had a fantastic time at the event, and one couldn’t beat the price. Though, I hate to say it, if another group that I want to see comes to AM2 next year I might just buy a ticket or VIP pass to keep myself out of the nosebleeds…