In these four stops, we get an interview about “12 Gatsu no Love Song,” Chacha’s thoughts on music, lots of airplanes, and Chad mishearing Gackt (maybe).
The third venue in this post has no English name noted anywhere, so I wrote “Matsuyama Shimin Kaikan,” which, were it to follow the pattern of other shimin kaikan, might be called “Matsuyama Civic Center.” There are also venues in this post which now operate under different names. The Ishikawa Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan is now known as the Honda no Mori Hall, and the Hiroshima Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan is now the Hiroshima Bunka Koryu Kaikan. Of the four venues here, only the first, the Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, was used for the 2016 LAST VISUALIVE Tour presented by
To read earlier parts, please see the Table of Contents.
November 28, 2002 Niigata Prefectural Civic Center
Since I had to return to Tokyo for work, I unfortunately wouldn’t be making it to the venue today until right before the start of the show. I was sure Gackt would rib me about it somehow once I showed up backstage to greet him. Imagining just what kind of jokes he’d bust out, I got on the evening bullet train.
The daylight hours had gotten shorter. While gazing at my train window awash in setting sunbeams despite it being only 4 p.m., I remembered that today, the 28th, was the day after the release of “Jūni-gatsu no Love Song.” This is a little bit off topic,1 but I’d like to insert here an interview I did at the time related to “Jūni-gatsu no Love Song,” and look back on those times.
—Last year you said “Jūni-gatsu no Love Song” would be released every year, and with this release, it looks like it’s really happening.
Yeah, I thought the record company wouldn’t go along with it, but everyone’s working hard.
—So you only half believed they’d do it?
Oh yeah. I thought, if they break their promise, I’m gonna have to break with the company. Ahaha!
—Quite the threat there…ahaha…
Well, it was a promise, you know? But a verbal agreement alone is no guarantee.
—Let’s see… What’s going to be on the single again?
The Japanese version and the English version. And probably the instrumental track, too. I’m thinking what I wanna do is release it in a different language every year.
—Is the arrangement on the English version the same as for the Japanese version?
In general I’m thinking of not making too many changes, but the melody of the vocals is gonna change, after all, so because of that there are going to be some parts where the sound has to be redone. I’ll change the parts that absolutely have to be changed, but I’m not thinking of re-recording everything from scratch all across the board. Honestly I get the feeling the song would turn into a completely different thing if I started from zero again. Even if I told myself to stay close to this [the song released last year], I get the feeling there would be a point where I wouldn’t be able to get any closer. Because I’m not that clever, you know. So if I re-recorded it, it would turn into something totally different. I think this project would turn into a mountain of work if I did that.
—When I heard “English version,” I thought maybe you’d do like an R&B arrangement, thinking you were thinking of something along those lines, but were you?
Songs aren’t something that happen with the arrangement in mind from the beginning. I think they’re something that naturally change as you go, like “Oh, maybe I should do this for that…” So it’s possible that in the end it’ll turn into something like R&B, but I’d like to keep it the way it was as much as I can. See, it’s easy to go in the direction of a particular genre, but I’m not terribly interested in that. I want it to have the standard Gackt feel as much as possible.
—”Jūni-gatsu no Love Song” hasn’t been performed live yet, right? Does that mean it’s a song you can’t sing unless you’re absolutely of the mind that you want to sing it?
Yeah, it’s not a song you can sing just because someone tells you to sing it.
[End of interview]
Holding this “special place,” this song would be, as you know, performed live for the first time at the Christmas Eve concert in Yokohama Arena. It might be nice to try to imagine now what thoughts and feelings Gackt would be having at that time.
I got to the Niigata Prefectural Civic Center at show time. Since no sound was audible from the outside, instead of going through the front door, I rushed backstage and found that things seemed to be running a little behind schedule. Right at that moment, every one was coming out of the dressing rooms having just changed into their costumes.
“Oh, you made it in time. Did you practice your backflip like you were supposed to?”
I see, so that’s where he went with that. (Ahaha…)
Anyway, after getting pumped up, it would be time for the show. A circle naturally formed around Gackt.
“It’s been a while since we played Niigata. Looks like everyone’s been waiting for us, so let’s make our feelings reach all the way to the back of the second floor seats. Let’s do this!”
Before “Noah” came on, I dashed off to the last row of seats on the first floor.
This venue had also been used in the previous two hall tours, and far as I was concerned, it was a place that left a particularly good impression. I think Gackt probably felt the same way. Since the venue got exceptionally dark once the lights went out, it had this atmosphere that made it easy to concentrate without overexerting oneself mentally, and the acoustics were pretty good.
The inside of the venue was dominated by an unusual stillness, as if everyone were holding their breath while awaiting Gackt’s arrival. I hadn’t felt anything close to this level of nervousness at any of the other venues. But once the show started, there was a complete 180 as loud cheering erupted from the crowd. This was the biggest change in audience attitude of the whole tour.
However, the stillness took over once again for “Fragrance” and “rain”; the audience members found themselves unable to make a single sound as they held their breath. When the rain started falling onstage, the man in the seat in front of me, who had remained seated the whole time, was brought to his feet, dumbfounded. All around, people were frozen in place. When Gackt finished singing “rain” and disappeared from the top of the stairs, sighs finally escaped from the audience’s lips. Gackt’s ability to control the audience’s emotions was even more perfect than it had been in Osaka.
I was a little concerned about how sounds in the higher registers were coming out a bit shrieky for the audience,2 but it wasn’t a major problem. From “ANOTHER WORLD” onward, the audience was freed from the nervousness that had bound them earlier, and they welcomed Gackt Job with heated excitement. The call & response section during “Mirror” escalated into something longer than ever. Gackt fooled around onstage with not only the band members, but also the instrument techs. Before the talk portion, Gackt did the bit where he sips water to spray it over the audience for the first time. You could tell that he was excited in a good way.
“The excitement’s boiling over today! Think of this as the first and last concert, so put your all into it and follow us!”
Everyone seemed high during the talk portion, and it closed off with the long-awaited, first-ever band member introduction in Niigata. The people in the audience got super riled up. The show continued and ended with a truly wonderful vibe.
Outside the venue was a scene unique to the regional shows: parents lining up neatly, waiting for their children to emerge. Surely they would go home with their enraptured kids telling them all about today’s show at a million words per minute.
It was unfortunate that the strain on Gackt’s throat finally got to be too much, so his voice wasn’t carrying as well as it could. However, he was radiating an unusually kind aura (especially in the second half). At that rate, he probably wouldn’t lose consciousness to the extent that he did when he performed violently.
Sure enough, he came out of his dressing room immediately, and headed to the lobby to greet the relevant parties. That said, it was clear his throat and legs were hurting.
“I was subconsciously moving while compensating for my right leg, so now my left leg hurts too…”
Despite that, once he was out in front of the people he needed to greet, he smiled brightly as he shook their hands and had a nice chat with them in a low voice. Then he moved on to greeting the staff. Once all that was done, he headed back to his dressing room slowly, when suddenly—
Gackt screamed and fell to his knees on the floor. Holding down his legs, he didn’t move an inch as a bodyguard ran to him. He heaved a sigh and tried to stand, but it was impossible. Leaning on the bodyguard, he was able to walk slowly, one step at a time.
After the shows in Osaka, everything about this live performance had stabilized at a high level. Of course, it would be possible to find problems if one were to split hairs, but it was clear that, having reached this point, the band members and the staff had found their groove remarkably well. But the flip side to that was that the show was taking an ever greater toll on Gackt’s body, which at this point, barely had an uninjured spot left on it.
Gackt, who had dashed headlong in pursuit of putting on the ideal live show, would now have to fight with himself in all earnestness. How far could he go? How much could he level up? The answers to those questions would be revealed at Yokohama Arena.
November 30, 2002 Ishikawa Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan
The party had gotten into Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, from Niigata the day before, but as I had had to return to Tokyo, I got into Kanazawa by air. I listened to the minidisc of Chachamaru’s solo album, which he had given to me in Niigata, during the whole trip. With progressive rock and hard rock as its base, the album incorporated diverse styles to build a unique world. With that excellent work filling my ears, I was thrust into the Chachamaru World, but what surprised me more than his guitar was the power of his songs.
“For me, it’s like music isn’t complete without singing. I think there’s nothing that can appeal to humans more than the human voice. That’s how important songs are.”
These words, which he spoke in an interview afterward, left quite an impression. This statement contained not only his stance toward music, but it was also plain to see the awareness he had as a result of taking music head on as a member of Gackt Job. It hasn’t happened yet, but I wish I could see his solo show soon.
Continuing the trend from last year, Kanazawa was in a rainy mood, only that this year, it was absolutely pouring. I arrived right when the rehearsal was wrapping up. Rushing my way backstage, I found that a strange excitement had come over everyone.
“How are you doing?” I asked Ren. Even though he usually didn’t talk much, he replied in a loud voice, “I’m in the greatest shape today!” Then, I turned around at the sound of YOSH yelling out, and saw that he was being massaged by HAYASHI in the green room.
“Ouch! I SAID, that HURTS!” He shrieked repeatedly.
Apparently, the party’s fatigue had gone beyond its peak, and they had all completely snapped. If they acted as Gackt’s support with this energy, today’s show would surely turn into an interesting one.
Thinking I should greet Gackt, I knocked on the door to his dressing room.
“Hey. My condition? It’s bad. My body’s got problems here and there, it’s even affecting my stomach. I’ve had a stomachache since morning.”
While saying so, he kept incessantly writing something on a piece of paper.
“Oh, this? I’m figuring out what my autograph should be for next year. Ahaha…”
Unable to control myself, I laughed at him, saying, “Are you serious?!” But in truth, I always end up admiring him, because he never wastes time, he’s always doing something that will be useful in his activities. That probably makes him relax. It’s a relaxation technique that clearly differs from what we would normally think of.
When I looked at the crowd starting to gather outside the venue in the rain, I noticed that there were many men. That male audience members increased whenever we went to shows in countryside cities seemed to be a new trend for Kagen no Tsuki.
The Ishikawa Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan didn’t have a second floor; the compact, fan-shaped seating arrangement had a capacity of almost 2,000 people. On this tour, Gunma, Matsuyama, and Kanazawa had venues with similar capacities, but of course, this place had an atmosphere that made it easy to bring about a sense of unity, and since the stage was close to the audience here as it had been in Gunma, I could expect this show to get passionate.
Once the show started, as I’d imagined, loud cheers pierced my ears. The members, who had gone a little off their rockers before the concert even started, skillfully rode the wave of cheers, playing and moving energetically. The wire work during “Lu:na” was so-so, but at the end of the song, Gackt froze for an instant. I thought maybe he had forgotten the choreography, but when I saw his expression, I figured he must have stopped due to the intense pain in his leg.
For Jōgen no Tsuki, “Lu:na” was renewed with moves resembling karate kata making up the majority of its choreography, but for Kagen no Tsuki, the song demanded extremely detailed footwork. If you tried to mimic this dance (as I did during the tour), you would understand how tough it is on the legs. When I thought about what Gackt must have been feeling, performing as if nothing were wrong while enduring the terrible pain in his legs, a sigh escaped my lips.
Not forgetting the pain, a particularly worked up Gackt let the call & response part of “Mirror” escalate to new heights.
He busted out a new phrase, and as the audience continued to follow along, he himself gave them a round of applause. With the good vibe in place, during the talk portion, he sent a message to the people holding up opera glasses:
“Don’t peek through those lenses, watch with your own eyes!”
Also during the talk portion, after introducing the band, he said,
“Shall I introduce myself too? I’m Gackt of Gackt Job.”
The crowd went wild over the unusual inclusion of a self-introduction.
After this, there was a wonderful feeling of unity in the hall. For “Missing,” the number of audience members crying really stood out. The dancers perfectly executed the backwards fall for “memories” (TAKA had been out of sync in Niigata and was extremely worried about this move), and when the drop curtain came down after that, the cheers were unbelievably passionate.
This was a show where the audience continued to react ideally as had the audiences in Osaka and Niigata. I was worried about the slight roughness to today’s performance, but they were maintaining a high level as always. There were six more shows in the tour. It would be crucial to keep this momentum going, but…Gackt had blacked out completely. He was sound asleep in his dressing room. Perhaps the fact that there would be a 10-day gap in the tour starting tomorrow had eased the tension that had kept him on his feet. Even the staff left him alone, letting him sleep right up to the last minute.
Afterwards, during dinner, at some point Gackt fell over on the tatami with arms and legs splayed out. A staff member put a coat over him, as had been done that night in Ōmiya.
While hoping the ten free days until the performance in Matsuyama would yield good results, I gazed at a moon that was all too fitting for the ancient capital of Kanazawa.
December 11, 2002 Matsuyama Shimin Kaikan
Although it couldn’t be said that ten days was a particularly long time, as I headed to Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, I looked forward to seeing how the show would go, and if Gackt and company could make it progress to the next level yet again. I also work as a lecturer at a professional school, but today I canceled my afternoon classes, and rushed to Haneda Airport from Takadanobaba to jump on a plane.
Following the live house tour this past summer, this would be the second time in Gackt’s solo career that he sets foot on a Matsuyama stage. However, the past show was an event at a small live house. Today would be his first time doing a proper hall concert here. Actually, there had been a stop at this same venue scheduled for the previous tour, Requiem et Réminiscence ~Chinkon to Saisei~, but the venue was damaged in the earthquake, and the show had to be canceled hastily.3 Because of that, surely the fans who had been looking forward to that show would, today, let their feelings explode and give the show a different kind of excitement…
So there I was, on board the plane imagining these things, when—oh no! The plane shook violently as we got closer to Matsuyama. At this time of year, it was common to experience turbulence due to the prevailing westerly winds, but, experiencing air sickness for the first time, even I was surprised. Maybe the fact that I had already been feeling a little under the weather, perhaps having a slight cold, made the situation worse.
After landing, I got on a bus headed into the city. I sat down in one of the frontmost seats, and when I happened to look behind me, I could tell with one glance that everybody else on the bus was headed to Gackt’s concert. Carrying big pieces of luggage, they all got off together at the stop closest to the civic center.
It’s difficult to get your hands on Gackt concert tickets. Accordingly, there are many fans who say, “If I get tickets I’ll go anywhere.” I hadn’t noticed it, but at every single concert, fans were gathering from every single corner of the country. It’s something to be thankful for. That’s precisely why it’s crucial to concentrate on every single concert as if it were the last. Of course, Gackt and company were well aware of that.
I got into the venue precisely as rehearsals were ending, as I had in Kanazawa. The layout of the seats was also similar to that of the Ishikawa Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan, so I had a sense of déjà vu. When I peeked into the green room, I found that YOSH seemed a little down.
“What’s wrong, YOSH?”
“I got airsick…”
He also seemed to have a bit of a cold, so he had been hit with a one-two punch. All the other members from Gackt on down where, of course, quite well.
I went to talk with Mr. Takeuchi, one of the staff members on this tour.
“When we arrived at the airport, there were more fans waiting than usual. But when I said, ‘Please make way!’ the crowd parted smoothly in an instant, forming a path for us. It was like walking down the red carpet. Ahaha!”
As I had thought, there were many fans eagerly awaiting this day. An image of Gackt walking down a red carpet, waving, floated before my eyes.4
Meanwhile, I happened to catch a glimpse of the actual Gackt laughing hysterically. A staff member coming in from Nagoya, who did not ride well in propeller planes (flights from Nagoya to Matsuyama used propeller planes), was talking about how it had taken them five hours to get to Matsuyama by rail. Listening to this story, Gackt gibed over and over, “What a weakling!” For some reason, there were so many plane gags backstage.
Today, once again, the show was able to start practically on time. Everyone got together and formed a circle. It was time for the huddle.
“Well, there shouldn’t be any propellers attached to the seats at dinner, so…ahaha!”
Even now, Gackt kept that conversation going. (Ahaha…)
“There are six shows left, including today, right? But you don’t have to worry about the other five. This is the smallest hall on this tour. Let’s make it so that everyone gets as hyped up as possible. Let’s do this!”
The show started. There was nothing whatsoever that would make one feel the ten-day gap between shows. Rather, the amount of energy Gackt emitted to the audience, combined with the fact that the seats were close, was quite intense. He wasn’t merely maintaining the high level and tension from the previous shows, he was releasing a power that seemed to be one level above that. During “death wish,” the audience members were completely frozen in place as they stared intently at the stage.
However, perhaps because there were many first-timers in the audience, the nervousness in the seats remained even after “ANOTHER WORLD” started, preventing a more lively air from taking over. Certainly, if someone feels a huge gap between what they imagined of a Gackt show and what it actually turns out to be when seeing it for the first time, they might be so surprised as to freeze in place. Even if it does turn out to be exactly what the person imagined, if they can’t give back as much energy as Gackt throws out, they won’t be able to free themselves.
“Is that all you’ve got?!”
As if sensing the tension in the audience, during “Mirror” all Gackt did was rile them up. For the customary jumps during the interlude, the members successively jumped as high as they could possibly go. Thanks to that, the venue was finally starting to feel the heat.
Perhaps out of substantial consideration for the fans in Matsuyama seeing this live show for the first time, the talk portion also turned out to be incredibly long, and there was also a band member introduction. Afterward, from “Soleil” and “Wasurenai Kara” onward, Gackt’s legs, which had been cause for so much worry, seemed greatly improved as he moved with truly light steps. After the end of the show, there was nothing but silence and sighs.
Gackt and the members released a high level of energy from start to finish, and although the performance they put on didn’t change, it was unfortunate that today the wire action, sound, and lighting was not the very best. It was a difficult situation due to the unique characteristics of this venue, but the higher registers sounded shrieky while the lower registers were dull; the lighting was too bright given how small the venue was, to the point the rain during “rain” was hard to see; everything didn’t come together at a high level. Perhaps this seems like nitpicking, but once every single factor comes together perfectly, that’s when Kagen no Tsuki will be refined into an even purer form. It was still necessary for everyone to hold the goal high and run after it for all their worth.
Apparently in good physical condition, Gackt recovered quickly after the show. He could stand without having to rely on one good leg, and seemed in very good spirits.
“But it’s still tough, you know. At first the pain in my legs was horrible, but for some reason halfway through I became unable to feel it. Hm, yeah, my body’s definitely in better condition now, I think.”
In contrast, I was feeling unsteady from my cold. And, actually, last night I pulled an all-nighter writing my manuscript for the issue of uv that would go on sale on December 25. Taking advantage of the power I’d gotten from the tour, I was able to write a pretty convincing piece, but it would seem I burned myself out in doing so.
I had to get up at 5AM the next morning, get on the first plane back to Tokyo, and teach my class, so I told a manager that I wouldn’t be joining everyone for dinner that night, and greeted Gackt as usual before returning directly to the hotel.
I heard about this a few days later, but apparently uv had sent Gackt my manuscript, and he was reading it at dinner. He wanted to tell me what he thought of it and was looking for me. When he found out I wasn’t there, he told the manager, “Make sure to tell him ‘Thanks for the lovely piece.'” It truly is a very Gackt-like story; these kinds of exchanges, the way he makes people feel his consideration for them naturally, this is what makes everyone fall in love with Gackt and follow him. This is one of the reasons I made it my life’s work to write about Gackt.
December 14, 2002 Hiroshima Kōsei Nenkin Kaikan
I’m starting from the end, but in a complete reversal from the post-show Gackt in Matsuyama, this time he collapsed horrifically after the concert. The amount of time it took for him to recover after collapsing was abnormally long, but what caused that difference? The reason for this dangerous collapse was actually quite clear…
Getting into the venue at noon, Gackt and company started acrobatics practice as was the norm. Having already improved tremendously, it was now a given that Gackt would land a forward somersault flawlessly. He always stuck the landing with a precise thud. I expected he’d be able to use this move in performances from now on without trouble. I went to ask him about it.
“Incredible. It looks like you got the hang of it at some point.”
“Yeah, I changed my line of sight. Once I did that, I got good at it. With this technique, I feel good about doing it. Actually, this practice itself feels pretty good today. There’s this sense of accomplishment. It would be perfect if now I could just go straight into a back flip from a round off after doing the somersault…”
As most people know, Gackt was finally able to pull this stunt off during “Lu:na” in Jōgen no Tsuki.5
Maintaining his feeling of accomplishment, Gackt went into rehearsal seriously but with an extremely cheerful air about him. He was unusually talkative, and even asked me what I had thought of the wire action during the rehearsal.
“Which is better: doing the flip with legs straight, or doing it with the left leg bent?”
“Bending your left leg makes it look like you’re floating, and it looks like you’re kicking too which is cool, so maybe that’s better.”
After that conversation, there was a new, short rehearsal for “Jūni-gatsu no Love Song” and “Kimi no Tame ni Dekiru Koto.” Apparently the time to start rehearsing with the Yokohama Arena show in mind was just around the corner, but the fact that Gackt had forgotten part of the lyrics to “Kimi no Tame ni Dekiru Koto” was absolutely adorkable.6 A relaxed atmosphere pervaded the venue, and the longer than usual rehearsal ended.
On the way back to the dressing room, Chad the bodyguard went up to Gackt.
“What are those lines you’re speaking during ‘Fragrance’?”
The question was in English, but that’s basically what it was.
“That’s a secret,” Gackt replied.
“It sounds like ‘I want your sex’,” Chad informed him with a chuckle. Gackt and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing, too.
Actually, I didn’t know what those lines in “Fragrance” were about either, so I figured I’d try asking Gackt what he was really saying too, but…
“Nope, not gonna tell ya. It’s a secret!” Gackt laughed it off as he went into his dressing room.
“Gackt seems to be in good spirits today. I think it’ll be a good show. Especially with how close the audience is,” Chad said, turning to me.
I had the same premonition. After all, the band had had a wonderful effect on the audience here during the previous tour, and the fans in Hiroshima seemed to be pretty passionate.
Well then, the time for the show to start was drawing closer. Everyone got into the huddle.
“We’ve come to yankii town, Hiroshima. I imagine today’s crowd will be the most excited…if you take them lightly, they’ll run you down. You gotta go hard enough to knock the socks off even the people all the way in the back… Let’s do this!”
As expected, the audience was all riled up right from the start. Their cheering was loud, and more than anything, there was a good modulation between tense moments and moments when they would completely let themselves go.
During the call & response part of “Mirror,” Gackt pushed his throat and lungs to their furthest limits yet as he shouted out. From this point, he went beyond full throttle. This was the note I scribbled as I watched the performance:
Gackt’s expression is bursting with energy, makes him look pretty insane. Presence so strong I can’t even see the other members.
The moves during “Wasurenai Kara” were also unusually big. Today, Gackt was making his presence as front man felt beyond question. So of course, this made his collapse after the show particularly awful. The staff said he had already fallen down before the encore, and had attempted to go back out on stage without putting on his costume. It seemed matching the audience’s power had been a heavy emotional burden. Certainly, their reaction had been good, and a conspicuous number of people were even crying after the show ended. However, it was also true that there were some people who looked like they didn’t really get it.
At dinner, the all members were down. Even Ryu muttered as he ate an unusually small amount of food, “It didn’t really click…”
Gackt, who happened to be sitting next to me, furrowed his brows as he stared at his laptop screen. But suddenly, he slammed it shut, and turned to me.
“You know what it comes down to? I stuck out so much during today’s show because the members behind me didn’t have power. They completely lost to the audience’s power. So I had to compensate for the lack of power behind me.”
I see… So that’s why he used too much energy, and passed out horribly. Gackt gradually raised his voice, turning to the members and appealing to them in a forceful tone. This was a strange sight for the dinner table. That must be how strongly Gackt felt about this.
“I don’t walk around the venue before a concert just for show. If you don’t feel what aisles everyone will pass through, what seats they’ll have which angles from as they watch, you lose. You, do you walk around the venues?”
“Come on, I’m talking basics here! That’s why when the crowd starts going ‘Wooo!’ you all end up losing. I couldn’t feel any energy pushing me from behind today. That’s why, when it matters, I’m pushed on by the audience. …Try to redeem yourselves with the next one in Hakata, okay?”7
The air in the private room was tense as each person reflected on their performance; the table was lined with faces full of renewed resolve for the upcoming shows.
Precisely because the shows had reached such a high level, tonight was a reconfirmation of what was needed to soar to even greater heights. Still feeling the echoes of Gackt’s plea to the members that they must not forget the most basic exchange of energy between them, I wondered, at this rate, I can probably expect a great deal from Hakata onward…
[Continued in Chapter 4, Part 11]
1. Hirose used the words 閑話休題 (kanwa kyūdai) here. According to all dictionaries I’ve seen this is basically like saying “But I digress” before you get back to the main part of the story. That doesn’t make sense here, as Hirose is actually about to digress from the main thing (the tour). However, this page on the web dictionary Hatena Keyword says that “many people” mistakenly use this term to mean the opposite of what it actually means (in other words, using it to introduce the off-topic thing rather than getting back on topic). So, I have translated assuming Hirose was one of those “many people.” ⤴
2. The word Hirose used, 外音 (maybe pronounced “gaion”) doesn’t appear in the usual dictionaries, but online (such as this guitarist’s blog), it’s explained that 外音 is the sound the audience hears, composed of the musicians’ raw sound and the sounds coming from the speakers. In contrast, 中音 (“chuuon”?) in this particular context refers to what the performers themselves hear: their own raw sounds, the sounds from their monitors, and the rebounding sounds from the speakers turned toward the audience. Given this Wikipedia article on foldback, I think the proper technical term for 外音 in English is either “main mix” or “front of house mix,” but as I’m not a professional musician, I hesitated to put that in the translation. ⤴
3. As the RRI tour was in May & June 2001, and the only “significant” earthquake to hit near Ehime in that year was the March 24th, 2001 earthquake near Hiroshima, I assume this is the one Hirose is referring to. ⤴
4. The word used here wasn’t “red carpet” but rather the “hanamichi” which also came up in the footnotes to the previous part, but as is clear from Hirose’s usage, the meaning of hanamichi isn’t strictly “an elevated platform that connects to the stage,” it can also be used in general for any path the shiny beautiful people walk down, hence, “red carpet.” ⤴
5. Previously I had translated rondaado as “cartwheel” due to my lack of familiarity with gymnastics. As explained in the edited footnote, a rondaado is actually a round off. So, what Hirose is talking about here is the stunt right when the Spanish guitar comes in. ⤴
6. This may seem like an overly liberal translation, but I’d like to make the case that it’s not. Hirose used the word ご愛嬌 (“goaikyō”), which means (translating from my Japanese dictionary as my Japanese-English dictionary omits this nuance): “Some action or speech that makes the listener feel friendly toward the speaker, often used with the honorific ‘go’ to include the feeling of apologizing for the speaker’s mistake.” What is that if not adorkable? LOL (Side note: it was particularly funny reading he forgot the lyrics here, because in the video for this song there’s a part where he looks like he forgot the lyrics, or at least missed his cue. Like he didn’t know the camera was rolling or something. XD) ⤴
7. Hakata AKA Fukuoka. ⤴