Amuro Namie Finally Afterthoughts

I caught Amuro Namie’s final concert tour, Finally, on Wednesday and the songstress didn’t disappoint. For an almost 3-hour performance, there was no emcee segment. No, she just sang and sang. And sang. The stoic professional was so good at what she does, her voice didn’t let out an ounce of heaving even when she dances and runs while singing.

I find dressing the part an important aspect in enjoying a concert. That’s why, I always make it a point to buy the T-shirts. When we were queuing for the merchandise, we already decided which T-shirt we were going to get since there were a couple to choose from. But over an hour later, when it was finally our turn to get into the merchandise area, my cousin Z, noticed on the board that the one we wanted to get is only available to fan club members. I made the decision to sign up for the membership on the spot on my phone just before our turn so that we could get what we intended to. And now, I am officially an Amuro Namie fan club member until her official retirement this year.

It’s amazing how many people dressed like Amuro herself in outfits of her music videos. The most popular ones of them were the white concert tee with a red overall that both male and female fans donned. The other one was either the black or white concert tee with checkered mini skirt and high-heel boots. Female fans even went as far as getting their hair curled and tied in Amuro-esque buns or twin tails.

The concert was a brilliant show. That, it definitely was. If you enjoy musicals, her concert will unlikely disappoint. It was a great performance of magnificent showmanship and stage display of moving props, laser shows, dazzling colors, amazing projection mapping and awesome backdrop graphics. You could tell the amount of effort put into creating this great show. However, that was it. It was a great show; not so much a great concert. But that was to no fault of Amuro herself.

A great concert is not solely the responsibility of the artiste but also of the crowd. Having been to 3 other concerts so far, i.e. Visual Japan Summit 2016, Luna Sea’s The Holy Night 2016, and X Japan’s We Are X Acoustic Special Miracle 2017, Amuro’s audience was a disappointment. They were mostly quiet and a few also remained seated for much of the show. Of the ones standing, they were also doing just that—standing. I could hardly hear anyone singing along, but that could be the sound team’s responsibility. The music of the show was so perfect, at times, it actually sounded like Amuro was lip-syncing. The harmonizing backing tracks were at times a little too overwhelming, I couldn’t tell if the audience was singing along to the songstress pointing the microphone at us. Fans also only occasionally moved their hands and waved along, but the consolation was, they clapped to the beat for a lot of the show.

Thankfully, a group of younger fans nearby were more enthusiastic and saved the atmosphere just a teeny bit with their cheers and on-the-dot singing. But the biggest disappointment of them all would have to be myself. Knowing that I got the ticket to her show, I should’ve spent the last many weeks listening to her songs and knowing them by heart. Because it’s just more fun to be able to sing along and knowing where you’re supposed to do what (i.e. scream the lines). In the 3-hour show, I probably know only half the songs and for most of them, I could only sing the title part of the lyrics.

All in all, it was a great show worth another watch. What more, this is going to be her last tour.

If tickets were still available, I wouldn’t mind paying to catch her again this tour.


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