With that, we have come to the final part of our Lantis Festival in Singapore coverage. We will end with a bang the way the concert did and what better way to end our coverage than with JAM Project, the group of Anisong veterans?
Their first appearance during the concert though, was at the intermission of the concert. Fans saw JAM Project on screen with backstage footage of them getting interviewed. The reporter asked JAM Project who was the most hyper member. Each of them answered a different member, but shared the same “secret” with the reporter. The answer to Jam Project’s energy during their concerts, according to them is a health product called “Yunker”. The clip also showed the invidual members’ personalities and how they want to make everybody excited and happy with their songs
At 9:30pm, it was time to say goodbye to Minori Chihara’s act and welcome JAM Project on to the stage. Their sheer appearance already radiated an aura of awesomeness and power. Perhaps it was their group dynamics or their seniority alone that gave them such an aura. Either way, they had an overwhelming presence on stage that would only hold true with their own performances.
They started with Super Robot Wars’ GONG with the big screen showing several intense battle scenes from the video games involving the gigantic mecha. When it came to the chorus, the whole crowd screamed out “towa e!” beyond their limits. After which everybody sang along with them with enough power and energy that made JAM Project.
Up next though was a song that was close to the heart of many members of the Singaporean audience. The trading card game scene in Singapore continues to persist, what with the multiple re-runs of CardFight Vanguard on the local television channels and the presence of many TCG cafes in Singapore. It was no surprise then that when Vanguard from the hit anime was played with the screen showing the opening sequence of the show, the crowd went wild and started headbanging to the energetic number. It was clear that the fans love Vanguard and were enamored by JAM Project’s performance!
The 3rd song is Garo’s “SAVIOR IN THE DARK”. A recent hit, the opening sequence of the Garo was played on the big screen. While the song is relatively new for the veteran group, the members of the audience who were familiar with the song sang along and waved their penlights furiously to mark their enthusiasm.
JAM Project followed it up with a few solo songs from each member with each song lasting for the TV size duration of the full version.
During Masaaki Endoh’s solo, 勇者王誕生! (Yūshaōtanjō), the opening for GaoGaGar was played. The crowd chanted ‘GaoGaGar’ whenever it came out and while the song lasted for only two minutes, it was definitely enough to keep the audience members pumped up for the next four solo segments.
Masami Okui took the stage once again with her song, PREDESTINATION which was used as Garo: Makai Senki’s ending song. The soulful number was definitely worth the praise and applause, illuminating Okui’s prowess as a vocalist.
Yoshiki Fukuyama then proceeded with PLANET DANCE, which was an insert song from the classic anime, Macross 7. While most of the audience were not familiar with such a retro anime, they still appreciated the sheer power of his voice and the passion he put into the live version.
Up next was a song that many were familiar with because of the sheer popularity of the anime series that it came from. ウィーアー！(We Are! ) by Hiroshi Kitadani saw the crowd going wild at this beloved tune from the still-running shonen series, One Piece. Girls and boys alike were singing along and joining Kitadani in this iconic number. While he had already performed it during Anime Festival Asia 2014, Kitadani breathed new life into this repeat performance anyway!
The last solo segment was by Hironobu Kageyama. The audience sung along to the whole song once we heard the familiar opening tune. It was CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA, the opening to yet another shonen anime that is almost synonymous with anime: Dragon Ball Z. With so many iconic songs from these individual members, the solo segment certainly caught on well with the audience members as it became a karaoke session and live performance at the same time!
And it was back to the group segment once again as they would belt out their iconic tunes together. When the opening notes to VICTORY from Super Robot Wars MX were played, the audience went wild once again! Indeed, the limitless energy from JAM Project can spread to the audience members! レスキューファイアー (Rescue Fire) was the next to be played. While it was used as a tokusatsu theme song, the audience certainly had fun with it and were deeply engaged in the heavy rock number.
Then came the grand finale. Which iconic song would JAM Project sing? It had to be SKILL, which was the Daiji Super Robot Wars α opening themse! The audience chanted along with JAM Project for the 1st and last lines of the song, while some of them saluted the members from the seats. Audience participation was rife as well during this number as the members led the audience to do the respective calls. The audience also screamed all the English lyrics, “ohohohohhoh” “Mada Mada” and “Motto Motto”. They even extended the song to include more chances for “Motto Motto”!
All in all, JAM Project gave the night an ending that it deserved: one that is every bit as energetic as the previous performers. Their segment marked the end of the Lantis Festival in Singapore, leaving many wanting more.
牙狼〜SAVIOR IN THE DARK〜
勇者王誕生！（Masaaki Endo solo）
PREDESTINATION（Masami Okui solo）
PLANET DANCE（Yoshiki Fukuyama solo）
ウィーアー！We Are! （Hiroshi Kitadani solo）
CHA-LA HEAD CHA-LA（Hironobu Kageyama solo）
レスキューファイアー (Rescue Fire)
And indeed, the fans’ voices were heard! After many shouts of ‘encore’, all the performers were lined up on stage, along with the in-house band. All of them were clad in the event T-shirts, creating a sense of uniformity. With their return on stage came a thunderous applause!
The stars then asked their interpreter to step forward and translate their thoughts about Singapore for the audience. Much laughter ensued upon Kensho Ono’s imitation of his translated thoughts. Kenichi Suzumura and Minori Chihara also followed suit, showing a more fun-loving side to the performers! Even the band was given the due credit that it deserved during the closing segment. Majority of the cast expressed a reluctance to leave Singapore, especially Suzumura who loved the warm climate and Chihara who loved the food.
The night ended with all eight of them singing the theme song for Lantis Festival, Starting STYLE!!. The performers even covered for the artistes who were absent for the Singapore stop! Highlights included Chihara and Suzuki’s duet and Suzumura belting during the bridge. JAM Project members covering Kishou Taniyama was another noteworthy moment! The song definitely highlighted the professionalism of the artistes as well! Unfortunately, all things had to come to an end. The performers took one last bow.
For a group of fortunate people however, that would not be their last encounter with the stars. This reporter had the opportunity to participate in the high-touch session having purchased a VIP ticket last year. When it was her turn to high-five the artistes one by one, she was impressed by their friendliness up-close and personal and their willingness to exchange words with her! While the two minutes of high-fives were short, it certainly was a blissful two minutes for the lucky ones who got to participate in the high-five session!
With such warm reception from the fans, perhaps there is a chance that the Lantis Festival crew will come back one day and enchant Singapore with their stellar line-up of artistes again! Fans dying for more can look forward to their future performances in Shanghai and Taipei this month! Furthermore, a live viewing of the Taipei concerts have been announced and fans living in Japan and Hong Kong can watch the Taipei stop ‘live’ from the comforts of their local cinemas!
We hope you have enjoyed our detailed coverage of the concert! In the meanwhile, fans in Southeast Asia can look forward to the Penang Anime Matsuri in May and Anime Festival Asia Indonesia in September and Anime Festival Asia Thailand X Bangkok Comic Con in April for their Anisong fix!
Photo credits to Lantis Official Facebook Page