Yup, I went to the event where the iDOLM@STER Movie was announced: The Music Festival of Winter! Set in Makuhari Messe, the same place where the 5th Anniversary (where Kugyu cried) took place, the event seems super massive because it was surrounded not only by Producers, but people going to the WonFes, AND a bunch of people taking entrance exams for university. This (and the fact that Scamco is Scamco) is probably the reason why they had goods presales the day before the concert.
Having gone to the presales, I didn't need to line up for goods early in the morning on the day of the concert, so I came about an hour before the concert start to pick up the Call Book. As usual, people were showing off their power levels in the area, so Producer cosplayers, itabike riders and people wearing happis of their favourite idol were everywhere. At about 10:45ish, the line to enter started forming, and everyone immediately lined up. Heard from the guy sitting beside me in the area that the line ended up going to the park nearby.
Had a heart attack as I got in the arena, as for some unknown reason (buying all 3 Shiny Festa games), I somehow got the front arena seat, about 8 rows from the front. The live started pretty late, about 30 minutes late as they were doing body checks and bag checks before you were allowed to get in, which was a first for concerts. Did not matter though, as when they started showing random commercials on the screen, everyone did the calls for RE@DY!!
As the commercials died down, President Takagi came on and welcomed us to the stage before calling Akabane P to give us the usual warning (No taking photos/recording, no waving cylumes too hard). At this point, the lights started turning up, and the music for The iDOLM@STER started, with the girls silhouettes being shown on a massive white screen in front of the stage.
1. Jibun Rest@rt - All
Suddenly starting with Jibun Rest@rt is cheating! And even though they were missing 4 people (Kugyu, Mingos, Chiaking and Hirorin), Jibun Rest@rt does not stop being awesome. The girls' new costumes were adorable, although the colour scheme reminds me too much of the American flag. After the song, they did the usual introduction, with Asapon (who had the most adorable ribbon) calling for all niichan and neechan, and there were surprisingly a LOT of neechans. After their intros, the girls who needed to prepare left, and we had Nu, Harami, Akky, Maya and Juri doing MCs which includes what their hope is for this year (Nu's is to get her driving licence).
2. Honey Heartbeat - Asapon/Naomi
So much fun done live. Asapon is super expressive, and she keeps making a lot of faces during her performance. Kami's cool too as usual! At this point, everyone noticed that they had a live band backing them, which is pretty unusual for imas. They had this rocker style outfit going on, with a black jacket covering a silvery dress with the idol's colour as accent and a big ass ribbon on the back.
3. I Want - Eririn
I WANT! I NEED! It was as if Harukakka herself was on stage. Wanted to be stepped on by Eririn so bad at this point orz orz orz
4. Alright* - Azumin
She opened with another "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!" this time around, and it was pretty amazing hearing it with a live band backing. She started on my side of the arena too, so that was another thing. Azumin's smile is that of an angel's.
5. Genki Tripper - Maya
Maya's entrance to this song looked as if she got shot out of a cannon, cause she jumped REALLY high, and proceeded to fall on her butt. It was just like the accident part in the games. She immediately got up, and was all energetic as usual though. Was as if Yayoi herself was on stage.
6. Me Ga Au Shunkan - Nu/Akky
ME TO ME GA AU SHUNKAN~ Perfect song done by a great pair who can sing and dance as well. Did not expect this to come out, but at this point, imas has around 200 different songs, so having old songs like this show up is really awesome.
7. Meisou Mind - Harami/Juri
Having Harami and Juri who mostly does ballads do this song was a little surprising, but awesome. The way they carry themselves on stage, and the way the song was performed was perfect.
8. Vault the Borderline (M@STER Version) - Eririn/Naomi/Juri
Was wondering how they were going to do Vault since two of their members were missing, but having Juri as the pinch hitter was not bad at all. Heard this live before during Tokyo Game Show and wasn't super into it, but the full version is great. They used Vault the Borderline to end the first part of the show, which was the rock part. Even introduced their band and everything!
9. Visionary (M@STER Version) - Asapon/Maya/Nu
Adorableness to the max. Visionary has always been my favourite of the three different game songs (cause it has Iori), but seeing and hearing the full version done live was just too much. Asapon is super expressive as usual.
10. Brand New Day - Nu
Such a happy, sunny song that fits Nu perfectly. She had one of those mic stands and used it as a prop awesomely.
11. Reimei Starline - Asapon
Asapon gave everyone a salute as the music started, and started waving Ami/Mami coloured cyalume during the ending part.
12. Lovely - Eririn/Maya/Naomi
Azusa's song! Done by this trio. Was a little weird, but the sheer adorableness just poured out from those three. Eririn was terrifyingly cute when she did the "Anata ga suki yo~" part.
13. Ippai Ippai - Naomi
Ricchan's Noble Phantasm. Third time hearing it live, and it is still awesome as usual. IPPAI IPPAI IPPAI IPPAI~
14. Ai like Hamburger - Naomi/Maya
Adorable big band type song, done by the girls who did it for the Namassuka album! Went and got a burger for dinner because of this song.
15. Kyun Vampire Girl - Akky/Harami
Hearing Akky and Harami do 「はああああああ～ん」 live was just too much. This is my favourite new DLC song for the second game (mostly because My Dear Vampire goes SO well with Iorin), and getting to see Harami and Akky perform it live was so great. From my memory, this was the end of the second part, which was about cute songs, before they went for FEELs for the final part. This was also the point where Takagi announced the movie, Gami P going up the stage to be called "HENTAI!" by several thousand people, and showed us the announcement PV.
16. edeN (M@STER Version) - Akky/Azumin/Harami
Objectively, this is the best Shiny Festa song, and they even prepared violins and cellos for this part. The dancing, and the music was just perfect. They were trying to look all serious for this part, but Azumin's serious face was too cute to be taken seriously.
17. Little Match Girl - Azumin/Eririn
Finally getting to hear the full version after hearing a short version during the 7th Anniversary medley was so much fun! Azumin shone on stage, and the red provided by Eririn made it seem like the snow was on fire.
18. DREAM - Akky
Excellent choice of song by Akky, and I really did not expect to hear this live. Perfect combination of dancing and singing, and she pulled it off really well!
19. LOST - Harami
Back in the days, before we had Yakusoku, this was my second or third favourite imas ballad song after my song. Harami put all her heart and soul into singing this song, and it was just too much. Seeing her expression while she was performing this song makes it look as if she just lost someone important, and this was met by a round of applause from everyone.
20. Futari no Kioku - Asapon/Nu
And before we had LOST, this was my second favourite ballad song (because its an Iorin song), and I really did not expect them to do this song, especially not by the genki combination of Asapon and Nu. Asapon actually used Amimami's voice during the performance, and it was impressive
21. First Step - Azumin
The mythical song that was not released until last week was finally performed live, on the stage where Azumin debuted two~three years ago. The kindness, the amount of heart radiated by Azumin's smile made her seem like a celestial being, arriving from the heavens to share her song with us. If Yakusoku was the peak of feels during the 7th Anniversary, First Step had the same effect on the Winter Festival. The whole crowd gave her a long round of applause as she left the stage.
22. Sachi - Juri
In Namassuka Curtain Call, Kotori sang this song as a representative of the fans as a way to deliver our feelings of gratitude to the idols. And it was exactly that. Juri's always been good at ballads, and this was no exception. Even though she is just an office worker, she definitely shone on stage today. Everyone also clapped for this.
23. Music (M@STER Version) - Everyone
Everyone came back on with their group costume for the final song of the day, and it was the theme song of the Festival: Music! Like the other Festa songs, I've heard it when they performed it during TGS and did not really get into it, but the game, and now the full version definitely made me change my mind. The beat, the rhythm, and the melody of song was excellent to use as an ending song.
Except its not, as everyone kept standing up after the girls went back and started calling for encore.
24. Encore: READY!! - Everyone
Yeah like we weren't getting READY!! at a post Animas iDOLM@STER concert. Of course they did this song, and the amount of awesome does not change no matter how often I've heard this live (4 times at this point). All kinds of cyalumes were being waved around at this point, and everyone knows the calls and did their best to cheer for the idols on stage.
25. Encore: MUSIC - Everyone
And for the final song of the day, they did the M@ster version of Music again, but this time, they had the lyrics showing on screen, and had everyone sing the song. Was definitely a perfect way to end the concert without doing Go My Way or The iDOLM@STER.
Well there I was, my 4th time seeing iDOLM@STER live, and my second time being in an iDOLM@STER only concert. It has never stopped being awesome, and I doubt that it will. Not having everyone up there on stage today was kinda disappointing, but then again, everyone up there definitely did their best, and this is definitely almost as good, if not actually as good as the 7th live. After Lisani at the end of last month where Mingosu did Aoi Tori, I was wondering if they'll ever do more imas concerts with live bands, and there they were, performing with the backing of a great band, and not only that, they even brought out instruments like the violin and the cello to do their songs.
At this point, I don't think I'll ever stop loving this franchise. It doesn't matter if they're mostly doing it for money because dammit, any franchise that can make you cry from the sheer amount of happiness you get is definitely worth the money.