Monday, October 7, 2013

Backstreet Boys in Hamamatsu!

This past weekend I went to a Backstreet Boys concert in Hamamatsu! I bought the tickets back in early July and knew about it for a while before then so I had been looking forward to it for a long time!

Earlier this year one of my roommates from college posted about going to a Backstreet Boys concert in her city in the US. I knew that when BSB toured they usually went to Japan so I checked online for tour dates. I got really excited when I saw one in Nagoya, a city less than two hours away from Iwata (an hour with shinkansen). It was on a weeknight, but it would work out. I figured that had to be the closest one but then I scrolled down and saw one in Shizuoka. Only about an hour away! Then I saw the details of that concert and saw that it was actually in Hamamatsu! It was Shizuoka prefecture, not Shizuoka city! I looked up where the concert would be held and saw that it was really close to my boyfriend's apartment! It just kept getting better and better! :)

I was super excited! I loved the Backstreet Boys when they were really popular but I never went to a concert. This was a really great chance to finally see them. All five members are back together and it's their 20th anniversary year. Despite their cheesiness, I still think they're great! I was so excited about the concert that even when I found out that tickets were 9,500 yen (almost $100!) I still HAD to go.

The concert was held at 5:00 on Saturday in Hamamatsu Arena. As we set out on our bikes Jonathan said, "Let's take the back streets." He didn't even mean to make a joke, but I was amused.

It was less than a half hour bike ride to the arena and Jonathan and I arrived a little after 4:00 when they had started letting people in.

Jonathan was also attending the concert (I paid for half of his ticket because I didn't want to go by myself) and we wondered how many guys would be there. It turned out there were quite a few guys. It looked like many other girls had also made their boyfriends and husbands go with them. I didn't see any younger people there and I was a bit surprised by that. I thought that some of the women would drag along their kids or something. But it turns out that all the Japanese concerts were only 18+. I have no idea why. The US concerts don't have any age restriction.

Seating was assigned so there wasn't a rush to get in so we took our time and I looked at the merchandise for sale. I had seen several people with towel scarf things and I bought one, too. I wanted a t-shirt with all the Japanese tour dates and cities on the back, but the t-shirts were 4,000 yen so I passed up on that. The towel was 1,500.

We then waited in a line for a few minutes which ended up being the wrong line, but there was plenty of time so it didn't matter. When we were let into the arena we were given fliers with all the tour dates on it. It's an awesome souvenir! I always love seeing American things with Japanese writing so this is just perfect.

Jonathan was so excited for the concert! Hahaha.

The arena was small so there weren't any bad seats. Actually, I think our seats were better than some of the more expensive ones. The ones in the lower area were more expensive, but the seating was flat so it may have been a bit harder to see. 

The concert was really good! They had a lot of energy and their voices were great live. They mostly did older songs and did a few songs from their new album. I enjoyed all of them. It was so much fun! I was really amused every time they spoke Japanese. They didn't speak much, mostly just greetings and "arigato" and counting, but the audience loved it. I was excited when they would yell "Hamamatsu!" Between some songs each member had a chance to speak. They spoke English so most people didn't understand too much. Brian had the best idea. He didn't say anything and just held up a bunch of cards with Japanese on them. It was cute. Haha.

At one point, I forget which song it was, they told us to get out our cell phones and use the lights on them. It took a while for people to understand that haha. Anyways... photography wasn't allowed, but I took the opportunity to sneakily take a picture. It didn't turn out well, but at least I have something. Other people had the same idea, but I saw one girl near us get caught.

I found a video from the concert on Youtube though! It's from when they did I Want it That Way. That was one of my favorite songs of the evening. It was a lot of fun because the crowd was really into it and knew the words and stuff.

I have no idea how someone was able to take video without getting caught and I hope it doesn't get taken off Youtube. Anyways... here's the video:

Here's another video that's not very good quality, but oh well!

It wasn't completely crazy like videos I've seen from their concerts back when they were really big, plus I've heard Japanese concerts are calmer, and the US ones probably are now too, but there were still plenty of people really into it. There was a girl near us who knew all the words to every song and even a lot of the dance moves. The girl in front of us had a sign for Kevin, but was told she couldn't have that. There was an older woman sitting next to me who was by herself. Before the concert started I saw her wave to someone down below so I guess she was with someone with a more expensive seat. So I thought she might just be with them and not really into the Backstreet Boys because she seemed a bit old. But she was just as into it as everyone else.

The concert lasted about an hour and a half so it ended around 6:30 or a little after that. I would have liked to get a better picture with this sign, but there were so many people trying to do the same thing. Here I am pointing to Hamamatsu! Sold out! 

I'm really glad that they came to Hamamatsu. It's really kind of random because it's not nearly as big as the other cities in their Japan tour. It was their first time performing in Hamamtsu so it's the perfect time for me to be living here!

They didn't do this song at the concert, but here's a video that BSB made in Japan. Maid cafes, karaoke, arcades... yay. :) It's making me excited to go to Tokyo next month for a three day weekend!


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