Day 3 - Sapporo!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sapporo Dome!
The first day of Sapporo Dome! Kelly and I arrived in Sapporo at around 9:30 in the morning, and by the time we reached our hostel we were ready to just crash into our beds and sleep til noon. Instead, we went back out and slogged through the snow to get to Sapporo Dome, to buy goods! Luckily, there wasn't really a queue for goods today. One of the girls at our hostel told us that the earphone jacks (which are red for Sapporo, by the way. Yay!) sold out the day before. Thanks to the lack of queue, we got all our goods pretty quickly. This also meant that we had extra hours to kill, and all the nearby restaurants and cafes were completely full (with Arashi fans, of course). There was a display of Nino's Pocky ads at a supermarket we passed. The entire area was crowded with fans buying Pocky, because they had a special where if you bought two boxes, you get a devil horns headband. I bought a couple, to give to my sister, who's a Nino fan.

Let's Share! Nino!

We bought cheap bento from the super and found seats at the bus station, where we sat to eat. By the time it was 3pm, we got too cold and decided to just queue early to get into the Dome. A good thing we did, too, because there were very few gates (compared to the other Domes I've been to) which meant there were more people trying to get in at every gate.
Inside the Dome, the staff were extremely strict about the "no photography" rule. At the previous concerts I've been to, they were usually lax when people took pictures of the stage before or after the concert, but the moment we got into this Dome we were bombarded with "no photography/recording" signs at almost every aisle, repeated announcement saying the same, and staff continuously patrolling, wearing a "no photography/recording" sign on them. I saw them stopping quite a few girls from taking pictures of the stage, and when the girl before me was texting someone, one of the staff told her to put away her phone. I guess they're really strict here.
They started the concert with "Up to you", but really it was the second song ("Welcome to Our Party") that got us going. It was pretty obvious by then that the two girls sitting before us - they had two seats each, so that they could dance around better - knew all the dances to the new songs, so we figured they must have attended the Osaka dates as well.
During the greetings, Jun asked us, isn't it hot here in Sapporo? ^^
I was really happy by the time they got to "Kaze no Mukou e", one of my favourite songs, because it seemed like they were sticking to mostly the same setlist as Osaka. Not that I remembered the exact setlist or anything. "Kaze no Mukou e" and "Superfresh" were the only songs I voted for that didn't make it into Arafes, and I'm so glad they both were in the Popcorn setlist. My favourite moments - Juntoshi in "Kitto Daijoubu" (J doing his "nuzzling" thing again); a Junba... almost kiss? I only caught a bit of it, as I was looking elsewhere; Matsumiya in "Wild at Heart" (MatsuJun took Nino's hand and waved it at the audience, and then made Nino blow us a kiss); Aimiya in "Tabi wa Tsudzuku yo" (they were in the hot-air balloon-like things and throwing balls at the audience, and Aiba threw one at Nino/Nino's balloon); singing happy birthday to Riida; Nino's solo (*_*); "Refrain" (so, so beautiful); the water/light play thing they did before "Refrain"; MatsuJun being really, extremely, super duper cute jumping and dancing around in his popcorn costume during "Lucky Man" and then becoming Mr. Diva again the moment he took off the popcorn head and changed (on stage!) for his solo; I think my list might actually not end if I go on. Not-so-awesome stuff: there were a lot of fans screaming noisily when Arashi were talking >_< At one point I think Sho actually look pained, like its taking him great effort not to scold the screaming girls. I kinda wished he would, though.
During the MC, Sho (I think) reminded us that Riida's birthday recently passed, and asked if we wanted to sing happy birthday. Of course everyone shouted YES. They made Aiba start us off, and Aiba immediately launched into song before we knew where to join in, so he got scolded and was asked to do so again. Aiba's second try, he immediately sang, "Happy birthday to you... chan chan!" as a signal we should start singing, but he was scolded again and was told to say "se- no!" (ready, set!) instead, like normal people do. So he did, and we all sang together, until we had to sing Oh-chan's name, because everyone called him something different. Arashi were going with "dear Riida" but the fans were mostly "dear Oh-chan", making them change midway to "dear Rii...chan". And the name kinda stuck XD At several parts of the concert, Riida was referred to as Rii-chan XDD
Arashi complained that Oh-chan hadn't replied to any of his birthday messages, to which he replied with a long explanation of him going fishing (as Mui pointed out to me on twitter, didn't he say he was going to cut back on that this year?) two days before his birthday, and fell into the water (with his phone). He received the messages but didn't know which people sent them, and so never replied. Hmm. Well, Oh-chans will be Oh-chans.
When they came out for the double encore, they took turns to say their thank yous first (I don't remember them doing so earlier). Jun said thanks to the band and the backup dancers and the staff, and to the fans who braved the cold for the concert. He said, Sapporo is cold, but Sapporo Dome (the audience) are warm - "so warm, it's getting too hot!" Sho-kun was last, and he asked if we've enjoyed ourselves and a good time. We all shouted back, yes. Then he said something like, the concert ends here. We all went "EHHH!?" which made them laugh. But Jun agreed with Sho, patting Nino's shoulder and saying "concert's over; let's go eat!" We went "EHHH!?" again. In the end they left it up to Oh-chan, who asked if we wanted more songs. We shouted back yes, and he said he did too, so that was that. Haha. They sang "WISH" and "Happiness" as the final encore songs.
Because everyone taking the subway had to leave using the same gate, getting out of the dome took a very long time, but I did manage to sneak one photo of the stage while waiting. I know there would be photos of it circulating online anyway, but I wanted a picture of my view, to remember the day by.

our view
The moment we got back from the concert, the lady who ran the dorm asked us if we had fun, and switched on yesterday's Himitsu no Arashi-chan for us, which she had recorded beforehand. So we watched it while having dinner, during which a few other Arashians (or Arashikku, since they're Japanese :D) arrived and joined us.


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