Tomomi Itano, an ex-member of the popular girl group AKB48, hit Singaporean shores earlier this month for a solo fan meeting and mini-concert! She certainly delighted the fans with her energetic dance moves and her infectious energy! What went down at MILLIAN SINGAPORE on 8 October 2016?
MILLIAN SINGAPORE, located at the rear of St. James’ Power Station, and acting as both a club and a live music venue, had dozens of fans lining up early to catch the Ex-AKB48 idol, Tomomi Itano, also known affectionately by her fans as Tomochin.
Here is a video of what Tomomi Itano had to say to her Singaporean fans who were anticipating her fan-meeting:
At around 5pm, our team from J-Network made their way to the venue , and was greeted by the fans of the enthusiastic fans of Tomomi Itano, patiently waiting at the porch of MILLIAN SINGAPORE. Also, at around the time our team arrived, it was clear that fans were lining up to snag Itano’s concert goods from the counter, which included:
- A T-shirt
- Sticker set
- Ticket Holder
- Muffler Towel
As the skies darkened in the horizon, the number of fans queuing at MILLIAN significantly increased, with the lines going so long that people who arrived later had to queue by the carpark!
For those who are unaware, Tomomi Itano first joined all girls Idol group, AKB48 in 2005 and was part of the first team, Team A. She released her first single, Dear J, on 26th January 2011, and it reached the number one spot on the Oricon Daily Charts and number two on the Oricon Weekly Rankings. She announced her leaving of the group on the 1st Febuary 2013, during a stage greeting, and had her graduation ceremony on the 25th August 2013 during AKB48’s 2013 Manatsu no Dome Tour ~Mada Mada, Yaranakyaikenai Koto ga Aru~ at Tokyo Dome. Soon after, she debuted as a solo artist and released her first solo album, SxWxAxG, on the 2nd July 2014.
Soon after dark, the time had come for the popular idol to meet her hyped up audience and the stage lights began to dim gradually. The fans burst into ecstasy as the idol and her two supporting dancers entered the stage and started off the concert with her first ever solo single, Dear J. During the opening song, fans raised their lightsticks in sync with the beat of the song, and flashes of pink could be seen moving up and down in sync. Not only was the audience in sync with Itano, but they were also unknowingly in sync with each other!
The second song, 1%, was right up after Dear J. At around this timing, the lights went bright and a club setting was created at that instance. The audience rocked to the beat, waving their lightsticks together in support of Itano. The fans were clearly mesmerized by the dance moves of Itano and her dancers, and most of them were singing along with her as well.
After 1%, a short MC introduction session occurred, where Itano told her fans that although this was her first time performing in Singapore, this was not her first time in the country and that she liked the country’s night view. Apparently, the fan-meeting was her fifth time here in Singapore, as she had been here privately on four other separate occasions.
Immediately after the MC session, Itano and her dancers hyped up the crowd with the song “Crush“, from her solo album, SxWxAxG. The crowd was seemingly pumped up, with some concert goers even dancing to the beat at the side of the stage!
Up next was “Girls Do“, also part of her solo album SxWxAxG. The fans were clearly delighted that this song was chosen as can be heard by the fans fanatic cheering, and the mass raising of the pink lightsticks. During the songs, Itano encouraged the audience to sing along with her and shout out parts of the chorus of her song, and it was simply delightful that an artist was able to get the crowd to become part of her performance through songs!
The next two songs, Little Devil Girl, followed by Man Up!!!, and finally, Belly Dancer, which got the audience attention up as they were all singles that she had released the year before. The rock/pop themed songs were just a delight because Itano totally rocked the place! There was also a fan interaction segment that took place shortly after “Little Devil Girl“, where Itano asked the audience whether they understood Japanese and if it was okay to converse in Japanese with them. Much to our team’s surprise, the majority of the audience was able to understand basic Japanese and responded with a fiery “Hai, nihongo wa daijoubu desu!”( ENG: Yes! Japanese is fine with us!”) Itano herself was also surprised by this reaction, as can be proven by her facial expression at that time.
There was then an final MC, followed up by the most anticipated question and answer session with Itano herself, where lucky fans who had submitted questions could get their answer directly from the idol herself. We found out that she had been to Singapore for the 5th time, and that she loved the night view in our country, even to the extent of stating that she might know more about restaurants that allow for spectacular night views even more than us locals do! However, the most interesting “question” was the last one, but one might not really call it a question, because it was a request to wish one of the fans a happy birthday, and boy was it that guy’s lucky day, because he sure got his wish fulfilled!
Up till this point, all the songs that were performed were all part of Itano‘s single releases or part of her solo album, SxWxAxG, which is what made the next half of the concert even more exciting and interesting! To the delight of the audience, Itano also decided to include songs from back when she was an AKB48 idol, performings songs such as Heavy Rotation, Everyday, Katyusha, Ponytail to shushu and Flying Get in good fashion, and thought the group was not physically present, the audience could clearly feel the hype in the songs and cheered as though the entire AKB48 group was at the venue.
After the AKB48 hype train had passed, the audience waited patiently for the next few songs to be performed, and after a minute long wait, the venue exploded in lights, and Itano appeared centrestage, asking the audience if they were ready. The songs “Gimme Gimme luv” and “Come Party“ were then performed, with the audience still very hyped up.
However, after “Come Party“, Itano left the stage and the venue fell into quietness for a minute, and all of a sudden, the fans started chanting “アンコール” (which means Encore in katakana), and this chant for an encore lasted for about five minutes. And just when everyone thought that there wasn’t going to be one, Itano, with a different outfit, walked back onto the stage and was greeted by adoring cheers from the fans.
After appearing on stage, the next song was instantly being performed, with the audience going along with the beat of the song “Fuini“. After the song, she told the audience that she was going to sing a new single, named “I am the only one“,which is to be released on 2 November 2016 and part of the album, “Get Ready”. The song was nice and refreshing, and she said that she hoped that the fans could listen to it whenever they were feeling down and needed some emotional support, as the song was made from her motivation to make her fans happy.
The concert ended with the last song being a blast, and happy fans chattering away, screaming lines such as “I love you, Tomochin“. Tomomi Itano’s First Live and fan meet in Singapore proved to be a truly exciting and enjoyable night for our reporters at J-Network. Tomomi Itano’s charisma and love for music was truly displayed on the 8th of October 2016, and one day, you might just become a fan of Tomomi Itano after listening to her songs!
- Dear J
- Girls Do
- Little Devil Girl
- Man Up!!!
- Belly Dancer
- Heavy Rotation (AKB 48)
- Everyday, Katyusha (AKB 48)
- Ponytail to shushu (AKB 48)
- Flying Get (AKB 48)
- Gimme Gimme Luv
- Come Party!!
- I am the only one! (New song, releasing on 2nd Nov 2016)
Image credits to SOZO