Sunday, June 12, 2016

Matenrou Opera Live Report Toronto Canada



摩天楼オペラ (Matenrou Opera)
Anime North, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
May 27 to 29, 2016

Written by : Christine Wilson.
North American Street Team
MJHR

This was the first time Matenrou Opera has come to Canada and with the announcement of Anzi leaving the band in July, fans were more than excited for then to come here.

Opening Ceremonies were held at the North Building at 4.pm., we took seats near the front to be able to cheer the band on once they took stage. We were also awaiting the arrival of my friends from Montreal/Ottawa and surprisingly they took seats in our row, we haven’t met in person yet. Once the image of the band appeared on the large screen, several of us cheered.

The Master of Ceremonies took stage, welcomed us to the 20th Anniversary of Anime North. Got all of us to stand up, as we are attending the convention, then proceeded to ask those who attended last year to remain standing, then 5 years, 10 and finally 20, with a handful still standing.




The Master of Ceremonies proceeded to announce some of the guests who gracefully came to attend the convention to take stage to say a few words. Once they announced 摩天楼オペラ, our little group started to cheer loudly, but they were still trying to round them up backstage. Around 40 seconds later the band took stage, the cheers and clapping got louder. Many called out to them in Japanese, getting reactions from the band, even a kiss from Anzi!


After they left the stage, we went in search of the JRock North table, they have a different location every year, with this year being right next to the Autograph Section. Usually every year the bands come back to the booth for an autograph session, but not this year. So we each purchased items, for future signing session on Saturday and Sunday. I picked up the "Justice" and "Avalon" albums and a towel. After we looked around the artist alley and took in some panels of interests.






Saturday morning, we headed over to the convention, did some early morning panels, had lunch then proceeded to see the line-up. My friends from Montreal/Ottawa had been lined-up since 5a.m.!! I couldn’t believe it, I felt so bad not being there so support them. I passed off the markers for the flag to get signed by those attending the concert. While my friend headed over to the fashion show, I staid for a bit to chat, then made my way to the fashion show. There were so many interesting designs, from cute to visual kei to kimonos.

Made our way back to the line to help out the team to fill the flag with signatures, messages and art for the band. So many fans from all over the world, Brazil, Russia and Japan, we couldn’t believe it and thanked them for coming!! Once it got closer to time for the doors to open, I handed off the flag to staff with instructions to give it to the band.




We were let in a little late, but that was fine, our group took up most of the front row. The curtain was pulled in front of us so we weren’t sure how far the stage was in front of us, so we felt for it, some of us getting their hands slapped by those behind the curtain. Then staff announced that the first band,Red Handed Denial will be taking stage shortly. This band played last year at the convention, we really enjoyed them. Once the curtain was drawn back, we took a step forward to have our hands resting on stage, no barrier at all. Being so close to stage, mostly saw knee caps and such at eye level. The crowd really enjoyed the band, headbanging and dancing to their music. Sadly I could barely hear the vocalist as she sung, the music was drowning her out too much, so I couldn’t enjoy her growls. We loved them so much we also got an encore!

We were asked to move back while the closed the curtains after Red Handed Denial’s set. We could hear each member of摩天楼オペラ checking their instruments, each getting cheers and their names called out. After 30 minutes, we were told the band is ready, the curtains opened, rushed to our spots, began cheering the band to come on stage. 悠 (Yu), 燿 (Yo), 彩雨 (Ayame) and Anzi took stage into their positions, 苑 (Sono) walked up the stairs the sound was deafening.

We started off with "PANDORA", the crowd got into it, headbanging, jumping and enjoying themselves. Unlike last year the members kept their distance from fans in order not to be touched inappropriately. By the third song Sono was sweating, and really enjoying the energy off the fans, he danced more, moved around the stage and had so many smiles. Yu was so amazing on drums and always had smiles for fans. Anziloved to stare into the crowd to catch all the beautiful women’s eyes, he played phenomenal even while playing above his head, we are so lucky that he came to play here. Ayame was very cute, he moved around stage, enjoyed the crowds enthusiasm for the music. Yo, from what we were told after, actually moved during the concert, and seemed happier to play here for us.

We sung back the songs to the band, which they seemed very impressed by. I remember looking over at my friends during Orb and they had tears in their eyes, it was so touching!

The members went off stage, and came back changed into the band’s t-shirts. SpottedSono off-stage getting our flag ready, he brought it and proudly held it out for all to see, then placed it near the drums. We were graced with three encore songs, members tossed out picks and drumsticks to the adoring crowd.

They announced after the concert had finished that we had to line up for the autograph session, make two lines, those who need to purchase and those who already had items.

When my turn came, Sono was up first, had them sign my "Justice" album. Sono noticed the tattoo on my arm and said cool, so I turned so he could get a better look at it. He jumped back in his seat and said so cool! Thanked him, we did a double handshake and smiled. Ayame was next, gave my thanks and double handshake. Yo came after, he seemed a bit off, he gave me a double handshake while I only did one and he passed the album to Yu instead of handing it back to me. Yu gave me a big smile and I thanked him and did a double handshake and lastly was Anzi, he quickly signed the album, we did a double handshake and waved goodbye to each other.

Set List
1. PANDORA
2. 致命傷 (Chimeishou)
MC

3. BURNING SOUL

4. Diorama Wonderland

5. Psychic Paradise

6. INDEPENDENT

7. アブサン (Abusan)

MC

8. RUSH!
9. Justice

10. ANOMIE

MC

11. Orb
Encore
1. GLORIA
2. IMPERIAL RIOT
3. 天国の在る場所 (tengoku no aru basho)

Sunday came too quickly, after checking out of our hotel, walked over to the Plaza where the Q and A would be held, waited an hour before we could officially wait in line for the panel as some where going on beforehand in the same room.

Watched as the band and staff road the escalator up 2nd floor, pausing on the other side to gather everyone. Room was ready to be set up, everyone made their way over, we waved to them anxiously waiting to get in. Took a little while to set up, we were let in, our group took up most of the front row on the right hand side of the room.

Were told to cheer while the band came into the room from the service area. They did not have mikes for us to pose our question, so we had to speak up. Eventually they allowed us to use a mike while walking up to staff.


A few of the more memorable questions asked:

Q: If you weren't doing the job you're doing now, what would you like to do?

Anzi: I would like to be a bartender so I can talk to women.
Yu: I would like to be a chef.
Sono: I like to write and create my own worlds so I would like to be a novelist.
Yo: It's not a career, but I would like to be a cat.
Ayame: I would like to open up a sushi restaurant in Toronto.

Q: What hobbies do each of the members have?

Anzi: Japanese Major League Baseball. Yokohama Baystars is my favourite team.
Yu: Major League Baseball as well.
Sono: Even though I only do it once a year, I like fishing.
Yo: Gaming, cats and sausages.
Ayame: Travel. I have been to Taiwan by myself but also try to travel more abroad this year. I would like to come back to Canada.

Q: Comment of Toronto and sightseeing...but I want to know, do you how to dance and do you know what "dab" is?

Band was very confused, so the translator asked the fan to show them what "dabbing" was. Fan proceeded to dab. So most members tried.

Q: Asked if the members have gone to Tim Hortons?

A: Sadly at that time they haven’t, but later went.

Q: What bands influenced you to get into music?

Anzi: Iron Maiden
Yu: X JAPAN
Sono: X JAPAN
Yo: I can’t say that I was influenced but I like Dream Theater
Ayame: L'Arc-en-Ciel

Q: Was the first time performing in Canada, was how it?

Sono: It was really fun. Everyone is singing with us were very happy together. I felt hot passion.

After the last question we then lined up for our last autograph session. Anzi was first, which he signed my "AVALON" album, took my hands, held on to them and stared at each other for a little while. It felt comfortable to stare just for those few moments, he handed me back the album, we said our thank you's and I gave him a bow. Yu was next, he had a smile for me, we did the double handshake again and said our thank you’s. Up next was Sono with a smile waiting, he was happy, we did our double handshakes and said our thank you’s. Yo came after, again he was the same, his double handshake, my single one, said thank you's and then he passed the album on to Ayame. We did our double handshakes and said our thank you’s while he passed back the album.


The lined up with my friends for the photo shoot, which was not announced till after the Q and A was finished. Our group of seven took photo with the band, which was unusually rushed, as we really didn’t have time to set up and take positions.
Overall, the band had an amazing time as did the fans and we hope that they come back soon so we can show them how Canadians rock!


A huge thank you to the band, staff and J-Rock North Promotions for bringing them over and thank you to my other admins over at the Matenrou Opera North American Street Team for their help and support!