Aira Mitsuki "???" tour final

Text by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound

Last Sunday I had the chance to catch Aira Mitsuki's last stop of her tour for the release of latest album "???". The show was held at Ebisu LiquidRoom on January 30. For each song Aira was accompanied by up to 8 cute back dancers, though most of the time four.

The show began as the K-Pop that had been playing faded out, the last was a song by idol group Kara. Opening with a rap intro by Roxanne (funnily also heard on capsule's latest album), Aira and all the dancers appeared on stage. The girls wore the same outfits as I had seen at an in-store mini-live in Akihabara for the release of the album last November, Aira wearing a red-pink-ish checked dress with short-sleeved white shirt, and the dancers with shorts of the same checked pattern and white shirts. The show opened with a short version of "Parameter" chained with "321" and then the intro of title track "???".

Then followed many songs from her earlier releases, I was happy to hear "Galaxy Boy", and single B-side "Sazae Funkadelic" which features a choreography with Japanese umbrellas.

Set list - Part 1: Parameter (short edit) / 321 / ??? (intro) / Robot Honey / Galaxy Boy / Heat My Love / Wonder Touch / Sazae Funkadelic / Change My Will / Bad Trip

Later, after a short 5-minute break, Aira showed up in a different black and white outfit with a polka dot skirt. Her dancers all wore a similar skirt and a long-sleeved sweater of a dog wearing rabbit ears (it's the year of the rabbit after all!). There were more songs from the new album, "rainy tone" followed by "Human Future", and then later a part where Aira played various instruments: drums (acoustic) along to "Barbie Barbie", shoulder keyboard to "Heart Line Alive" and live vocoder to Cornelius' "Star Fruits Surf Rider". And then was some more from the new album, starting with Ozawa Kenji's "aishi aisarete ikiru no sa" for which Aira DJ'd a mash-up with the original, and then she sang "Train Train" and "Why Two?".

Set list - Part 2: Rainy Tone / Human Future / Darling Wondering Staring / Barbie Barbie / Heart Line Alive / Star Fruits Surf Rider (Cornelius cover) / aishi aisarete ikiru no sa (Ozawa Kenji cover) / Train Train / Why Two? / L0ne1yBoy L0ne1yGirl / Fantasy Candy / Sayonara Technopolis / Plastic Doll / China Discotica / Colorful Tokyo Sounds No.9 / ??? / Summeeeeeeeer set

After more early singles and hit songs, the show took another break before the encore. Here I was getting a bit worried as 3 of my favorite new songs had yet to be heard..! The girls showed up again all wearing the tour's T-shirts. Luckily my songs were all played (despite a slight deception that "fly" was a short edit). For "smile", Aira got to sit down and she asked the audience to sing along as the lyrics were shown on the screen. The show was ended with "Yellow Super Car", the song where everyone is welcome to spin their towels in the air.

Set list - Encore: fly (short) / Rainbow / smile / Love Re: / Yellow Super Car

The whole show had a total of 32 songs! And what a feat to fit in all songs from the new album (except maybe for the regular edition-exclusive "last love"), all with original choreography. Best of all, there was the news that this show will be released on DVD on April 20! Plus a CD single with 2 new songs will be packaged together! Stay tuned for details. Meanwhile, go over to Natalie for a few photos.

Aira Mitsuki can be caught live again this month on February 20 at Shibuya Glad. The event will also feature Saori@destiny (also of D-topia) and Ram Rider.

Tags: Aira Mitsuki (click for more info)

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