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Aug 21 2015

Momoiro Clover Z – Microsoft Theater 2015 Live Report

Momoiro Clover Z
Live at Microsoft Theater, July 2, 2015

Live report by Nhu Nguyen

NekoPop-Momoiro-Clover-Z

“U.S. is the best! Japan is the best! KISS is the best! Momoiro Clover Z is the best! Woo!” exclaimed Momoka Ariyasu. Momoiro Clover Z (MCZ) performing their first U.S. concert at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles was akin to the ladies performing at an intimate venue compared to their past shows at venues like the National Olympic Stadium in Japan, an arena with a 60-70,000 capacity. This was a long awaited concert for both Momoiro Clover Z and their American fans.

The night kicked off with the music video for “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina”, MCZ’s collaboration song with KISS. After the video, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS came out to receive the 2015 Commissioner’s Award from Japan’s International Short Shorts Asian Film Festival for this music video they produced. This would be the only appearance of KISS for that night. It made for a bit of an awkward start as this isn’t how concerts traditionally start off.

After the mini award ceremony, the real concert began. The sound of bells tolled around the venue as if we were in a Buddhist temple, followed by the sound of monks chanting. A monk appeared on stage telling the audience, “Listen everyone. Tangible things are not based on reality. The intangible exists as a tangible thing, only temporarily. Don’t get stuck on what you see. Don’t cling to what you hear. Be open. The mind goes away, the soul comes. Here is everything which is beyond all things.” I was bewildered, unsure of what to make of his words, when the music suddenly interrupted my thoughts.

Outfitted in the dresses from the “Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina” music video, the ladies started off their set with “Moonlight Densetsu” from Sailor Moon, much to the delight of the Anime Expo attendees. For these anime fans, they would also sing “Gekkou” and “MOON PRIDE” from Sailor Moon Crystal, and “Z no Chikai” from Dragon Ball Z. During these songs, the big screens spliced videos of the animation in between the live shots of MCZ on stage.

Their attempts to speak in English were met with adoration and appreciation. When leader Kanako Momota asked, “Do you like Dragon Ball?” the crowd would cheer in response. The group clearly loved America, even getting the audience to stand up and chant, “USA! USA! USA!” After riling everyone up, she requested, “Let’s together dancing!” before breaking into “Chai Maxx”.

For the entire show, smiles never left the faces of the five members. When it ended, I thought of what the monk had said in the beginning of the show. Perhaps it was a warning to the fans that the ladies were real and no longer a figment of what they see on YouTube–they were tangible. “The intangible exists as a tangible thing, only temporarily.” Seeing the faces of the fans who wore smiles as big as the ladies, I knew the post-concert depression was going to hit them hard.

Set list
1. Moonlight Densetsu
2. Nippon egao hyakkei
3. Believe
4. Yume no Ukiyo ni Saitemina
5. Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimitachi yo
6. Gekkou (from Sailor Moon Crystal)
7. Mugen no Ai
8. LOST CHILD
9. Mite Mite Kocchichi
10. Chai Maxx
11. Z no Chikai
Encore:
12. CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA
13. MOON PRIDE
14. Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujo