LIVE REPORT: Avanchick Christmas Live Special @ Ikebukuro Black Hole

On December 25th, Avanchick gifted their fans with 2 live shows on the same day; an acoustic show in the afternoon followed by a full electric performance in the evening. VKH Press caught the acoustic portion which featured all-round entertainment from the band including a special Christmas skit.

The show began when the curtain parted, revealing the band standing on stage in suits. A voice-over of the members’ voices began playing and the band acted out the words. They were arguing with each other over whether or not Santa Claus was real. If he was real, they would have to find a way to get him to the livehouse. All the members came up with ideas from bribing Santa with chicken nuggets to guitarist Otake trying a “black magic” summoning chant. Finally, they decided that having a Christmas party would surely bring Santa out of hiding.

There were mysterious paper bags on the stage and each member grabbed one. They held up the bags and turned to the crowd saying “We have a present for everyone!”

The audience all looked at the bags expectantly.

“The present is this live right now!”

The crowd groaned in mock-disappointment as the band continued to tease them “Haha, you thought we brought presents for you?!”

Then the band formed a circle to start the show with a good old fashioned Christmas gift exchange. While music played, they would pass the bags from one person to another until the music stopped. They played with only 4 presents in order to determine a loser and when the music stopped, NOAH was empty-handed.

There was still a present for him though and the band tore into their presents like excited kids and displayed their winnings to the crowd. Otake got a Mike from Monster’s Inc plush tissue case from Hyu-ga, Kagari got a cute pass case from Rey, NOAH got a bee-shaped Gudetama tissue plush from Otake (and started singing the Gudetama theme song), Hyu-ga got a USB mug from Kagari and Rey got a Buriburizaemon plush from NOAH.

After admiring their presents, next up was “Ikemen Situation Tournament ~Christmas Edition~”. Otake had taken the time to write out a special scenario that he would narrate and each member would act out.

The members had no idea what he had written but just to make it even more dramatic, Otake’s mic was tweaked to a more “erotic” setting so his voice came out deeper and he sounded like a love interest from a dating game. The crowd went wild and the members were cracking up.

The lights dimmed and pink, swirling spotlights danced around the room. The first contestant was Kagari. Otake’s narration went something like this:

“My name is Kagari. Today is December 25th, it’s Christmas. Christmas is a lover’s holiday but up till now I’ve been single. However, when I woke up this morning, I got a present from Santa lying next to me. It’s a woman! But she’s asleep...”

In order to make the simulation more “realistic”, they used the Monster’s Inc. plush Mike as the “woman” whose name was now changed to “Maiko”. In order to wake up Maiko, Kagari needed to say magic words.

Face turned completely red, Kagari mumbled at the plush to “wake up” and she did.

Fast forward to a year later. Kagari and “Maiko” had been dating since then and now, on Christmas day, he was going to propose to her. Kagari turned even redder as he realized what he had to do. The crowd cheered him on as he hurriedly proposed, much to the amusement of everyone, and then the scenario was over.

Next up was NOAH.

The situation was exactly the same. Only this time, NOAH was much more romantic, giving Maiko a kiss to wake her up. His proposal was special since December 25th was also his birthday.

When it was Hyu-ga’s turn, he went all out with his “magic words”. Taking the sleeping Maiko to the drum set, rang a bell and began chanting in deadpan buddhist style “Wake up Maiko, wake up Maiko.” The crowd exploded into laughter.

For his proposal, he rang the bell again, clapped twice and solemnly said “Goodbye Maiko....” It was her funeral. They had stayed together until death.

Last up was Rey. This time the narration changed just a bit.

“My name is Rey Sam Winchester, a foreigner.” And when he discovered Maiko in his bed, “Such a nice smell, the smell of Febreeze.”

When it was time to say the magic words, Rey the foreigner decided to wake her up in English. Unfortunately he could only remember the word “up” so in the end, he became Japanese by the power of his magic words.

At this point, the entire audience and the band had been laughing nonstop. Otake asked the crowd which member did they think was the most “Ikemen”. Before they could respond though, NOAH complained that it wasn’t fair that Otake didn’t get a turn. He volunteered to be the narrator so Otake could be the next competitor.

Otake used the chance to be as overly dramatic as possible. When he had to say the “magic words” to wake up Maiko, he tried his black magic Santa summoning chant from earlier.

This time it worked. When it was time to propose the other members couldn’t stop themselves from snickering as he realized how embarrassing it was. Even so, he followed through to the end (adding in squeaky voice for Maiko) and proposed with a dramatic “MARRY ME!”.

The highly entertained audience applauded all the members and finally it was time for the musical portion.

Since they had decided on an acoustic live, there wasn’t much preparation or setup to be done. The members grabbed their instruments and everyone sat down. NOAH called the crowd closer to the stage in order to make the setting more intimate. Then he sheepishly admitted that since they went a bit overboard with their skit, they were short on time for the live.

Without further ado, they began with “Phantom”.

The lights dimmed to a warm glow and the slow, shimmering lights from the disco ball overhead played across the walls and the stage. NOAH commanded the space immediately, his strong voice held the notes and switched effortlessly between the high and low notes. It harmonized well with the warm tones of the guitars and bass.

The crowd stood still, all attention fixed on the performance. The energy in the livehouse was relaxed and mellow and you could feel Kagiri’s bass playing reverberate across the room.

When the song was over, NOAH commented that doing an acoustic live was really fun. For the next number, since it was Christmas, they wanted to do a cover song. It was “Cassis” by the GazettE.

Red lights flooded the stage as Otake played the opening notes. The band tweaked the arrangement a bit to suit their own style of playing, while still remaining true to the original. It gave the song a more raw, stripped down feel that emphasized NOAH’s voice. It was a beautiful cover but definitely not a copy.

For the final chorus, the lights in the venue lit up. After the crowd had applauded, NOAH told the crowd, “Gazette has great songs right?!”

He explained that for this live, they wanted to do songs of bands that they aspire to. He asked that they please listen to the next song which was a cover of “Fuyu no Maboroshi” by Acid Black Cherry. The crowd got really excited then stilled as blue and white lights lit up the stage.

The bridge was sung acapella and you could really hear the power and emotion come through in NOAH’s voice.

The crowd clapped and cheered when it was over and the whole band agreed that it was really fun. Since Avanchick doesn’t have many ballads it was even more special.

This marked the end of the first part of the Christmas special. There would be a break for a couple hours then the second part of the show where the band and the fans would continue their search for Santa.

1. Phantom
2. Cassis (the GazettE cover)
3. Fuyu no Maboroshi (Acid Black Cherry cover)

More photos here.

Many thanks to Avanchick and MarinovichPR for this opportunity!

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