- In the beginning
- Hikari-no-Sekai “World of Light”
- Yoake-no-Uta “Song of Dawn”
- Ihoujin “Gentile”
- Kimi-ni-Aitai -Dance with you- “I Miss You”
- Kesyo “Makeup”
- Haru-nanoni “It’s Spring But”
- Kemono-Yuku-Hosomichi “Narrow Road with Beast”
- Fuyu-no-Hana “Winter Flowers”
- Kanashimi-no-Hate “The Furthest Reaches of Sadness”
- Ukiyo-Kouji-no-Blues “Blues of Transitory lane”
- Kaze-ni-Fukarete “Blowin’ in the Wind”
- Koyoi-no-Tsuki-no-Yoni “Like the moon tonight”
- Anata-no-Yasashisa-o-Ore-wa-Nani-ni-Tatoeyo “What Can I Compare Your Kindness to”
- Kono-Michi-no-Saki-de “Down the road”
- Izayoi-no-Tsuki “Moon on the Sixteenth Night of a Lunar Month”
- Rain –Ai-Dake-o-Shinjite- “Believing Only in Love”
- P.S. I love you
- Momen-no-Handkerchief “Cotton Handkerchief”
- In the end
In the beginning
I went to Aomori for Hiroji Miyamoto’s solo tour.
The tour, called “Japan Nationwide Tour”, is literally a grueling tour of all 47 prefectures in Japan.
Even at 56 years old, Miyamoto is still going strong.
We were seated in the 20th row from the front, a position from which we could see the band members quite clearly.
The tour started on time with the darkening of the stage.
Hikari-no-Sekai “World of Light”
The band started with the first song from the new album, “Juo-Mujin”.
First of all, Miyamoto’s voice came out wonderfully.
It was on par with the album, or even more so, plus it was more full of emotion, and the venue instantly became Miyamoto’s world.
The lighting, which gradually brightened from the dimly-lit proof as the song got more and more exciting, was also brilliant.
It was a type of song that had never been performed by “Elephant Kashimashi” before, and I was surprised to see how many more ideas Miyamoto had in him.
It is also interesting that a quiet song that starts as if morning is coming is placed as the first song on the album.
The anticipation for today’s concert was building.
Yoake-no-Uta “Song of Dawn”
A song from the first album “Miyamoto, Doppo” (what a cool title!).
I had only “Juo-Mujin”, so this was the first time I had heard it, but Miyamoto’s music is already catchy enough to touch my heart.
However, it is not as simple as it sounds, the melody has a complex musical scale.
It may sound contradictory when written in words, but it is amazing that his music is both catchy and complex at the same time.
This is an energetic rock number from the new album.
The groovy rhythm naturally made the audience’s bodies, hips, and arms swing up in the air.
The venue was already filled with a strong sense of unity.
I have been to many live shows in my life, but I have never felt such a sense of togetherness in a venue.
The audience ranged from the young to the elderly, and the way they were all united as one was truly a live performance!
The lyrics could be taken to mean many different things, but it sounds like Miyamoto is talking to the other person in his heart.
A cover of a hit song by Saki Kubota (now Sayuri Kume).
The beautiful melody and beautiful lyrics are carefully sung.
The impressive intro of the original has been daringly rearranged, and the content of the song is a gem that is quite faithful to the original.
I have seen many covers by many artists that have been reduced to mere karaoke, but Miyamoto is still amazing.
Before the song titled “Ihoujin,” this song had suggested “Stranger,” so I feel some kind of karmic connection between the two.
Kimi-ni-Aitai -Dance with you- “I Miss You”
This is another song from the previous album.
The stability of the performance is amazing, as is the singing voice.
The video projected in the background was not too much, allowing the audience to focus on the player.
Today was the 36th show of the tour, so it might have been a very good time to see the show.
A cover of Miyuki Nakajima’s “Kesyo”.
The original is a great song, so Miyamoto’s soulful singing really stuck in my heart.
I almost cried when he said, “Don’t let the tears flow”.
Haru-nanoni “It’s Spring But”
This is the only cover song included in the new album, and the original is by Yoshie Kashiwabara.
However, this were written by Nakajima Miyuki, and the song flows smoothly, leading easily from the “Kesyo”.
A beautiful melody that everyone has heard before.
I have never seen a singer who can produce such an accurate pitch.
That is why it sticks in my heart with a zap.
I’ve been waiting for this!
My favorite song in the new album!
It has a oldies melody, like Carmen, but the ups and downs of the melody make it Miyamoto’s own.
It is hard to take my eyes off Miyamoto, who sings as if he is trying to squeeze out a song from his slumped position.
Kemono-Yuku-Hosomichi “Narrow Road with Beast”
This is another song from the previous album.
What is it about this song that I don’t feel like I’m hearing it for the first time, even though I’m hearing it for the first time?
It makes me feel as if I have known this song for a long time.
It is not a simple matter of the similarity of the songs he makes, but rather the variety, which is quite strange.
A cover of Hiromi Iwasaki’s song, which is a must for those born in the Showa era.
Both the lyrics and the song are wonderful.
The song is by a combination of Yu Aku and Kyohei Tsutsumi, which is no surprise.
At first glance, it seems like a mismatch for Miyamoto to sing such a song, but he manages to make it compatible with the song, which may be due to his tolerance.
Fuyu-no-Hana “Winter Flowers”
Once again, a song from the first album.
The band seemed to be playing without much MC, but I could feel the audience gradually becoming one with the music.
We can’t feel this kind of sensation even if we watch them at home on TV.
That’s why I say it live.
Kanashimi-no-Hate “The Furthest Reaches of Sadness”
Oh! I might have shouted, even though I wasn’t supposed to shout.
They play “Elephant Kashimashi” songs, too.
And it was a classic.
It is unique among “Elephant Kashimashi”‘s hit songs, and it is not unnecessarily long, but rather ends gracefully when we still want to listen to it.
When I heard it on CD at the time, I remember being astonished by the melody.
A refreshing song from the new album.
Although Miyamoto has grown up, he still continues to pursue his dreams.
It has a different charm from the dream-chasing lyrics of his youth.
Ukiyo-Kouji-no-Blues “Blues of Transitory lane”
A bluesy song from his new album.
The lyrics are typical of Miyamoto’s love of walking.
“What on earth was it that I was looking for, walking the tightrope from dream to dream?”
It shows the character of Miyamoto, who walked, worried and suffered, but still moved forward.
With this, the first part of the concert came to an end.
After a short intermission, the second part started.
The second part started with the energetic song used in “Minna-no-Uta” (TV program).
I wondered how they managed to fit this song into about two minutes.
The song was so dense that it was like hexagonal close-packed.
Now, what will happen in the second part?
Even if they were going to play an “Elephant Kashimashi” song, they were going to bring a “Gastronger”!
That was the most amazing moment of the day!
I don’t know how this song, filled with depressing narratives, did in terms of sales, but it had a huge impact on me as a college student who was also depressed.
I listened to it over and over and sang karaoke to it.
Yes, “More Powerful Life in My Hands.”
Kaze-ni-Fukarete “Blowin’ in the Wind”
This was another hit song that seemed to have entered the “Elephant Kashimashi” corner.
I was a student at the time, and I remember not liking it so much because I felt the usual extreme Miyamoto verse was thin.
Listening to it for the first time in 20 years, I can’t help but feel that it is still a classic.
Koyoi-no-Tsuki-no-Yoni “Like the moon tonight”
This is a classic song in the history of “Elephant Kashimashi” that cannot be left out.
It was a time when “Elephant Kashimashi” was getting milder and milder from the early days, and the fans must have been quite confused.
I always think that the bridge melody of this song is amazing.
As a musician myself, I remember thinking, “Well, how did he come up with this bridge-melody?”
Anata-no-Yasashisa-o-Ore-wa-Nani-ni-Tatoeyo “What Can I Compare Your Kindness to”
The song started with the preface, “This is a song I wrote with Mr. Kobayashi 20 years ago”. (Included in Album “Life”)
This one is just beautiful, isn’t it?
I guess he likes this song so much that he wants to include it in his set list on his solo tour.
My partner, who was watching next to me, seemed to have reached a critical point of emotion and was listening to it with tears in her eyes.
Kono-Michi-no-Saki-de “Down the road”
They started this song with, declaring that they would play a lot from the new album.
I think it’s one of the most extreme songs in Miyamoto’s works, which have a lot of ups and downs in the melody.
The melody, which starts from the lowest key that Miyamoto leaves and climbs up the nodding hill, is a mind blowing performance.
Izayoi-no-Tsuki “Moon on the Sixteenth Night of a Lunar Month”
This is another song from the new album that is also typical of Miyamoto.
By this point, what drives Miyamoto is no longer technique, but a force of persistence.
The way he persistently overcame the high tones and difficult passages was sure to move those who were watching.
Rain –Ai-Dake-o-Shinjite- “Believing Only in Love”
And then, as if to add insult to injury, we come to the newest song.
By this time, I was also caught up in a whirlwind of emotions and tears.
Let me transcribe here what I wrote on Twitter right after the concert.
“Miyamoto was amazing. His emotions flew freely from the stage and entered into my heart. I felt like I was being forced to review my life up until now. It’s hard to put into words how I feel right now.”
P.S. I love you
On top of that this song was played.
I’m getting older now, so I’ve had good and bad things happen in my life there.
Still, I felt as if I had been pushed back, “Be serious as an adult” and “Go for it,” and tears started to flow on their own.
The main program ended with this song.
I found myself crying like a child.
The audience around me must have thought it strange.
Momen-no-Handkerchief “Cotton Handkerchief”
From here on, it was an encore, and the atmosphere was relaxed for a change.
We heard a few words from each member.
The song is a big hit by Hiromi Ota, with lyrics by Takashi Matsumoto and music by Kyohei Tsutsumi.
It features sad lyrics, and no matter what the man in the lyrics says, he is denied “No”.
The song ends with the energetic “Hallelujah.
In a sense, “Hallelujah” is the theme and key word of his life, a goal he has yet to reach.
He will continue to search for “Hallelujah” and express himself while suffering and wandering.
I wish him all the best and light!
In the end
So, the concert that pierced my heart with a deep impression.
I tried to put it into words, thinking that it would be difficult to put into words, but I wonder how much of it I managed to get out.
It was such a wonderful concert that I thought I would like to see it again if there was another concert nearby, but Iwate and Akita are already over.
There is no guarantee that we will see him again, but he is such a powerful performer, I am sure he will tour again to show us how he is doing.
What will I feel then?
Will I be any different then?
I would like to put down my pen while asking myself such questions.
April 21,2022 Freakz