Otakon 2014: ALTIMA Friday Concert

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Motoka Segawa (Motsu), best known for his work with the group m.o.v.e. performed with his new group, ALTIMA, at the Friday Otakon concert.  Composed of himself, Satoshi Yaginuma (Sat) from fripSide, and Maon Kurosaki, they performed a high energy, pulse-pounding performance, ensuring that no one in the crowd was bored.

Shortly after the stage went dark, Maon began the opening to “I’ll believe”, which was received with thunderous applause, almost to the point of drowning out the music.  When it came time for Motsu to begin, the stage lit up and he strolled on stage, never missing a beat.  The song ended to an ecstatic crowd, and quickly segued into Strike the Blood’s “Fight 4 Real”.  The performance sounded as good as the original single, but had its own live flavor.  At this point, most of the people realized that the entire center crowd had equipped themselves with glowing flashlights and began to shake them to the beat of the music.

After the two songs, Motsu addressed the crowd and thanked everyone for coming, and introduced the rest of the members.  It was obvious that his English was better than his other members, but that didn’t stop Maon from telling the crowd how happy she was to be there, as well as thanking everyone for the enthusiasm they were showing.  There was also some light jabbing at her haircut, to which she compared it to a mushroom.  After much applause, they went straight into a few songs from their new album, “TRYANGLE”, the first being Mission Dispatch.  The opening to this song is very reminiscent of m.o.v.e.’s “Around the World”, with a heavy slap bass riff, that made Maon dance before Motsu began.  “ONE” followed, which takes a slight detour from the other songs in terms of beat.  “Backfire” was next, once again bringing the pulse of the crowd to a higher level.

Motsu then again addressed the crowd, asked if everyone was having a good time, which the crowd promptly and very enthusiastically answered with much applause.  He told the crowd that his influence for music came from older American rock, and that they were going to play a few songs that were different than what we would expect from them.  Sat, who had been glued to his keyboard so far, then procured a sunburst Gibson Les Paul, and began to play a few riffs.  Immediately, the riffs started into “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith, and the band played their own rendition.  Following this surprise, was a cover of “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett, which could arguably be as good as the original.

Motsu then encouraged Maon to say a few words to the crowd, translating as needed.  She wished to express her amazement and gratitude, and to say that we had all made her very happy and welcome.  She then thanked the crowd for making her first time in America a great experience, one that she would never forget.  Capping off with the statement, “I Love America, America Daisuki”.

Thus began the final block of their performance, in which they played “Here We Are ~Mountain Explosion…”, once again proving that they were completely in control of the crowd’s energy.  Shortly after that, followed “Indefinitely”,  from their single “I’ll believe”.  Once again slowing down, they launched into “WISH I WISH”.

Before the last song, Motsu once again approached the crowd, asking for their assistance in the final song.  He explained that we were all to concentrate our energy into our foreheads, and use our right hands to make a “C”, and when it was time, to scream “CYBER CYBER”.  He then jokingly said to not use our left, for instead of a “C”, it would make a ‘Tsu’ and would therefore effect the energy, causing the audience to laugh.  “CYBER CYBER” was, of course, the last song played on the standard set, and elicited a huge applause.  The members then walked off stage, with the audience still screaming for more.  After a minute or so, Motsu reappeared, and said they would do one more, and asked the crowd to be quiet for the beginning.  Of course, when the audience realized that “Burst the Gravity” was the encore, all hope of any quiet was immediately snuffed, and they went wild.  When it was over, all members held hands and bowed, thanking the crowd, and they walked off stage, waving as they left.

Set List:

M1. I’ll believe

M2. Fight 4 Real

MC (挨拶)

M3. Mission Dispatch

M4. ONE

M5. Backfire

MC (USA, OTACONについて)

M6. Walk this way (ギター)

M7. I Love Rock’n roll

MC (motsu short MC)

M8. Here We Are (ギター)

M9. Indefinitely

M10. WISH i WISH

MC

M11. CYBER CYBER

EN. Burst The Gravity

Press Conference:

During the Press Conference, Motsu told of the beginnings of ALTIMA, claiming that after m.o.v.e. had disbanded, he was looking for something else to do, something different.  He wanted to be more J-Pop than the direction that m.o.v.e. had taken, and was really interested in Sat’s music.  He reached out to him, only to discover that Sat himself was interested in a collaboration with Motsu.  When the two decided that they would indeed do something, they began to look for a singer.  It was at that time that they saw Maon’s solo career, and asked her to accompany them.  He then claimed that in the beginning, many publishers were hesitant to listen to them, since their sound was so different than other J-Pop groups, but were eventually asked to do the ending for Shakugan no Shana FINAL.

Maon then piped up claiming that she was a huge otaku, and a big nerd when it came to games and anime.  She credited her start as a singer to other artists such as Ayumi Hamasaki, Nana Mizuki, Minori Chihara, and other anime openings.

Their message for US Fans is that they want them to enjoy their different style, and to stay excited for their music, and that they will never forget their first performance in the States.

Written By: Christopher Shelley

 

Read about the Sunday Concert featuring Yoshiki’s Classical Performance and X Japan guests, PATA and HEATH!

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Long time film lover and occasional writer. I watch anything and everything though I have massive love for the works of Shunji Iwai, Jackie Chan, Johnnie To, and Kinji Fukasaku. POP! POP!

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