I thought about this. I thought about going to the concert would be do or die time. Would I continue doing this? I was already on the fence about continuing, and I felt that my experiences at the concert would determine whether or not I wanted to stay as a fan. And it wasn’t just the actual concert itself, but also the community, as well as my lifelong dream of sitting next to and chatting with cute girl fans.
Unfortunately, it just didn’t do it for me. I was severely disappointed with the concert.
First of all, my seats were in the back. Luckily, they were in the center, but at that distance all I could see were girls with black hair and I couldn’t distinguish anyone. Sure, I could watch the monitors, but in that case I should’ve just stayed home.
Second, I attended the first day, and the set list for the first day was absolutely awful. I understand that they wanted to shuffle stage songs, but in the end they were still AKB songs and not NMB songs. I can go watch any number of concerts dating back to whenever those stages were first done to see AKB perform them. Let’s not even begin the lip synching argument, though I think that there were only 2 or 3 that were live voiced… I think it was Blue Rose and Kinjirareta Futari.
With that said, I was stunned when Eddy told me the set lists of the other concerts. Are you kidding me? I have to go to all 3 concerts to have a chance at getting the set list I want? I loved watching full versions of the singles, or watching B-side performances because they are hardly ever performed, and they did it as part of the set lists.
Lastly, that transitions into the community. I don’t know anymore. Spending the money to go to 3 days of concerts is ridiculous. I should be able to go to one concert to really enjoy it. And then when I see the community, the amount of money that is being spent just absolutely astounds me. I must’ve seen hundreds of thousands of dollars being passed around for concert goods, for trading cards, etc.
Is this what it means to be a good fan? To spend money? I can’t get behind that. It bothers me to know that to be a good fan, you need to go nuts buying pictures, towels, whatever the hell to support your oshimen.
“But wait,” you might say, “There is room for people like you who don’t need to spend that much money.”
But then, what are they doing to the fans who ARE spending that much money? Are they on the same level? If you were an NMB member, how would you view someone who has spent thousands of dollars for years supporting you, versus someone who hasn’t spent that much?
Whether you favor one group or the other… you know one of the groups is being exploited, and I don’t like that at all.
However, there were also some positives.
I still enjoyed the fact that the girls themselves were having fun. I still enjoyed the Udon-bashing, I liked the MCs that I’ve seen (except for one really awkward one, which was the one that had Aya/ShimaRena) and the little catch ball segment they had before the concert. The energy of the crowd is unreal, and as much as I personally dislike MIXes, you can’t argue about how energetic and lively they are when they get into it. It’s also awesome to look into the crowd and see a lovely kaleidoscope of colors that moves with the music.
Eddy’s friends were also hilarious. For all the fanbashing that I just did, I really enjoyed hanging out with them, they were really nice and friendly and many jokes were made that day.
As for where I’m going, I still don’t know. It’s definitely something I’m going to have think about, and a large portion of this vacation is actually dedicated to figuring out what’s important to me… it’s not just idols, but other hobbies as well.