Saturday, August 01, 2015

LiSA LiVE is Smile Always ~Singapore~: An Unforgettable Concert (Report)


LiSA - LiVE is Smile Always ~Singapore~ concert on Sat, July 18 2015

After entering the theatre around 6pm, we waited and waited and there was still no sight of LiSA at 6.30pm. Finally, twenty minutes later, at 6.50pm, LiSA and her band strode onto stage and the entire hall erupted in applause and cheers. She was dressed in a getup similar to the one she wore for her “LiVE is Smile Always - PiNK & BLACK” concert in Nippon Budokan last year, albeit without the donut-embellished costume.

LiSA in Singapore 2015
Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: Airport Welcome
Part 3: An Unforgettable Concert


(Disclaimer: We may not be able to remember the exact words which LiSA had said and the order of events as we were enjoying ourselves during the concert. However, we have some vague recollections. Please forgive us for any inaccuracies.)

LiSA! LiSA! LiSA!” the crowd chanted.

Singapore, do you love me?” She asked the audience.

A resounding “YES!” filled the entire hall.

I am so happy to be back!” she screamed ecstatically. “This is my fifth time in Singapore but my first solo concert!

Immediately, she launched into her first song, コズミックジェットコースター (Cosmic Jet Coaster), off her second album LANDSPACE. I wasn’t very familiar with the song, having only listened to “Launcher” in full. Nevertheless, the lyrics didn’t matter and I pounded the air with my fists, unarmed without the concertgoer’s quintessential lightstick, lifting my feet into the air.

LiSA performing Cosmic Jet Coaster live at Nippon Budokan

The audience was a sea of pink as many bright King Blades illuminated the hall. Everyone was so hyped up and full of energy. The wait was over- the concert had begun and we were all in for a long and great night!

The fever from her intense entrance only set the crowd on fire for her next song. As the familiar melodies began playing, the crowd erupted into cheers as LiSA began singing the first line of “crossing field”, the opening to the enormously-popular Sword Art Online (SAO) anime.

“Mitometeta okubyou na kako…WAKARANAI”

When she got to the chorus, the audience roared and jumped… again!

Yume de takaku TONDA!

Karada wa donna

Fuan matottemo FURIHARATTEKU...!

We lost ourselves to the sound, music and her voice as the crowd were on their feet, waving their lightsticks fervently. Everyone knew the song. We were all no strangers to SAO.

LiSA singing "crossing field" live at AFA 2012

It was a song that was really close to me and for some reason, brought back memories of how I used to admire the adorable beast tamer Silica. Alas, I no longer bear any ardour for her or any other two-dimensional girls in the present day.

Next up was “Thousand Enemies”, one of my favourite songs of all time and one of the first Japanese songs I had heard. It surprised many fans that she was going to perform Girls Dead Monster songs from her time before being a solo artiste at this concert too. It was not the last which she was going to perform for the night either.

Hai! Hai! Hai! Hai!” the hall chanted in unison as LiSA rallied them up with her powerful battle cry.

As she sang, the crowd began waving their pink lightsticks in synchrony with her waving her hand on stage.

“Itsu made mo kaenai de koori no you ni.

Natsu no hizashi atsukute mo tokezu ni ite ne.”

As I heard the chorus, memories of Yui-nyan from the anime strumming her electric guitar while singing it flashed through my head.

“Katachi aru.” “KATACHI ARU!

“Sonna kokoro.” “SONNA KOKORO!

The crowd echoed along as she sang the parts.

HAI! HAI! HAI! HAI!” the hall resounded in unison.

The energy of the crowd never wavered and continued to remain high as pink lights pulsated back and forth in the hall while LiSA demonstrated her vocal prowess while performing a “V” with her fingers to “oath sign” on the mini platform set up for her on stage.

The song would be especially dear to fans who have followed her career since the very beginning, being the first anime opening theme she had ever sung, for Fate/Zero.

What came next was a track off her new album “Launcher”, one of the more well-loved tracks, “蜜 Mitsu”. As the electric guitar strums from the track were heard, accompanied by the sounds of a the piano, the crowd broke out into a frenzy once again before settling down. Hands slowly extended into the air as she sang the first verse of the song.

Mitsu was a really unique song in its own sense because it combined both slow and fast parts of a song. There were parts where the audience were just chanting along loudly while they were silent at other parts.

LiSA also made some slightly provocative gestures while singing on stage, which I was guessing were in tune with the song and its lyrics. “Mitsu” means “Honey”, which seemed to suggest a sweet, maybe overly-sweet girl.

LiSA followed up the fast songs with two slower songs, both sung during her time in Girls Dead Monster.

The first was the peaceful and calming "Ichiban no Takaramono", which was sung during Yui’s emotional disappearance scene and the final scene when Kanade and Otonashi parted ways. It was also the ending theme song for the anime Angel Beats.

The second was "Little Braver", also a very sweet and heartfelt song with guitar riffs, drum beats and piano melodies.

La la la la la la, la la la la. La la la la la la, la la la la------ la la la, la la la la----------------

The theatre was one as everyone “la-la-la-ed” and waved their hands along to LiSA’s cue, taking the time to soak in the vibrant concert atmosphere and taking a respite after all the zealous cheering, hopping up-and-down, fist-pumping and hand-swaying.

It was time for an intermission after that and LiSA brandished an electric guitar, to everyone’s delight. There was no surprise there, considering that most rock singers are able to play the guitar. LiSA was no exception and she was exceptionally talented at playing as at communicating with the audience.

Do you like Japanese pop music?” she asked.

YES!!” the audience echoed loudly in affirmation.

Next song is a very famous song...

Upon hearing this, I wondered what LiSA was going to sing next. Having heard that Ayano Mashiro had surprised the lucky fans at Anime Expo with her own rendition of LiSA’s "Oath Sign" and "This Illusion", I was looking forward to a cover by LiSA too. What song was she going to sing? Who’s song? I was so excited!


The delighted audience recognised the song instantly, showing that they were no strangers to AKB48. The video of first-generation AKB girls Acchan, Sasshi and Yuuko dressed in lingerie, hugging and tossing around played through my head as she sang the lyrics to the song. What a nice song, I thought.

Thereafter, LiSA switched gear to a rendition of “Flying Get”, another popular AKB hit before finally transitioning to what must be the most-heard and most well-known AKB48 hit of all time, “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie” and its viral dance.

I tried to remember the dance steps but it was to no avail. It was still wonderful getting to hear LiSA cover those songs while playing her guitar despite not performing them in full. No doubt one of the best parts of the night.

Come on come on come on baby! Koi suru FORTUNE COOKIE!

I would always remember the part at the start where the DJ says “What’s up, Japan? Can you hear me? Is life getting you down? No money, no job, too much bad news? … so DANCE JAPAN, CRAZY!!” and then Sasshi would make her entrance as the center (yes, Mayuyu fans!) showing that heart sign ever so cheerfully.

(On a side note, I wonder if Sasshi can follow up her 2013 hit with her new Senbatsu single for this year and set even newer records. Kokoro no Placard was good but it was nowhere near the level of Fortune Cookie and one wonders if her new song can get anywhere close to it. All I can say is “Go Sasshi!” I’m hoping for this song to eclipse the former.)

Back to LiSA, that was really the best! “最高!Saikou!” the audience shouted.

Do you like AKB48 or me more?” LiSA questioned the audience.

“You!” Some members of the audience screamed aloud.

LiSA made a hand gesture showing that she was touched by her fans.

You, you, you, you and you.” She said as she pointed to members of the audience standing in the left, right, front and center of the theatre. “LiSA48. Everyone is a member of LiSA48.

The audience cheered in positive affirmation.

The Japanese singer followed up her high-spirited performance with yet another track from her latest album, singing “君にピエロ Kimi ni Piero” this time.

The song played like a pop song, infused with rock elements. A charming song to listen to, bob your head and groove along to. A song that is quite different from her usual brand of fast rock songs, displaying her versatility. I would still prefer her on rock songs though- the frenetic level of energy that you can get from her rock performances is incredible.

Suddenly, she surprised us yet again by singing “Yuukei Yesterday”, a hit song from Mekakucity Actors by Jin featuring her, which she had incidentally sang at Countdown Japan 13-14. No wonder it sounded so familiar, like some Vocaloid song.

LiSA singing Yuukei Yesterday at Countdown Japan 13-14

With it’s quirky tune and beats with LiSA’s high energy and funky outfit, it was a good match which brought out a cheerful, cheeky and yet calm atmosphere after several rock songs. The crowd was waving their hands earnestly throughout the entire song and singing “la-la-la” along with her once again, albeit with a different melody.

That made it four slow songs and counting, excluding the AKB covers. By this time, the concert had reached its midway mark and an hour had passed by quickly without realising. I was thinking, “Rally Go Round”- when?

Not keeping us any longer, she gave a gesture and the drummer started the beats. A familiar tune enter my ears. As if it was adrenaline was pumped into me, I immediately cheered while jumping uncontrollably when I realised that the song being sung was indeed the opening of the famous anime Nisekoi, “Rally Go Round!” “Mou sanzan guruguru shita janai…”

The fast beats came in with the rapid swinging of the kingblades. The audience sang as the background singers and that proved that they do know the lyrics. I sang too, as it was a high rock and sweet song that you can’t forget from a great series. Cheers erupted whenever LiSA finished each rap.

The lights dimmed after “Rally Go Round” and LiSA started shouting “HEY OH… HEY OH…!” and “SINGAPORE… SINGAPORE!” She darted to the left, to the right and to the center of the stage, rallying the concertgoers from each segment to shout as loud as they can. “SINGAPORE!!” The entire theatre roared with life as she signalled for everyone to cheer together.

With that, she broke into the cheer-heavy “Confidence driver”, making her way around the entire theatre, up the steps on the right, going up all the way to the middle, then going across and greeting all her fans while doing so, before descending down the steps on the left and making her way back to the stage. All the while, she was mustering the entire crowd to give their best while doing so.

The audience members who were greeted by her must have been very lucky and happy. She was still emanating so much energy despite having performed for over an hour already. Respect.

She followed the high-energy set up with “ROCK-mode”, another song good for rousing up the crowd. LiSA really knows how to inject her fans with energy, doesn’t she?


With the heavy guitar riffs and drum beats, ROCK-mode was really a fantastic song to echo along to and headbang to. I could not help but swing my head up and down, forwards and backwards as I chanted along the lyrics to the song.

“Manyuaru mo kime goto mo nai aikotoba wa-”


(a little headbanging here)

“Kowakunai hazukashikunain da yo”

LiSA performing ROCK-mode in Nippon Budokan

“Riyuu toka imi toka nante

Wakaranakute mo-”


(more headbanging)

TARIRA! TARIRA!” The crowd roared to life whenever it was their turn to echo LiSA.

It was surely thoughtful of LiSA to stir the audience up with Confidence Driver (what an apt title) and ROCK-mode because it was such apt preparation for what was to come next.

“Next song… RISING HOPE!

“Woooooooooo!” The whole hall cheered as they threw their hands up into the air

Nigitta messeji, that’s RISING HOPE! Here we go!

HAI! HAI! HAI! HAI!” the crowd chanted indefatigably as the guitar and drums played.

I love Rising Hope. Despite having not watched Mahouka, I think that it is a really solid and incredible song on its own. A song which can make you really jump around unsuppressed and toss your hands into the air, shouting and singing the lyrics non-stop at the same time too, especially at the chorus.

"Rising Hope" live at Nippon Budokan





(swings lightstick swiftly while singing)

This song is just incredible. Probably one of the best songs of the night. This was when the crowd truly soared to fever pitch and enjoyed themselves to the fullest. We all knew that the concert was about to end soon and we wanted to cherish every moment of our time left with LiSA.

LiSA taught the audience how to dance along to her song "エレクトリリカル Elect Lyrical" next. Demonstrating the simple dance moves on the stage, she spurred us on to follow her steps. Soon, the entire hall was moving along with her and we were ready for the song!

Elect Lyrical is a catchy and upbeat song off her newest album, "Launcher". Giving off happy and vibrant vibes, it is one of my favourite LiSA songs and I was so glad that she was performing it in Singapore together with us. It was definitely one of the most memorable moments of the night when everyone were together as one.

LiSA and fans dancing along to "Elect Lyrical"

After this, LiSA eased into the closing stages of her concert with the slow ballad, “シルシ Shirushi”, the ending theme to Sword Art Online II, a song which really allowed her to exhibit her impressive vocal range.

As much as I love her heavy and fast rock songs, I enjoy listening to her demonstrate her vocal finesse through her soulful songs too and” Shirushi” and “No More Time Machine” are really two of the best songs which allow her singing talent to shine.

As she sang with all her heart on stage, the fans extended their King Blades and hands outwardly upwards to show their support and I did so too, transfixed by her enchanting performance.

LiSA will be voicing Marge in the Japanese dub of the Minions movie

Midway through the song, an audience member from the left of the theatre handed LiSA a Minions plushie and she accepted the cute, little guy from the Despicable Me movies gratefully. It was an allusion to her landing a voice-acting role in the Japanese dub of the recently-released spin-off movie.

The song drew to a close and LiSA shouted “Last song! BRiGHT FLiGHT!” It seemed like we were not going to get “No More Time Machine” and “L.Miranic” tonight but “BRiGHT FLiGHT” was also a song I enjoyed all too much.

As the band began playing the song, of which the opening reminded me of stars glittering for some reason, zealous fans cheered passionately and once again, the entire hall turned into a sea of pink.

“Sumi kitta ozora ikkini FLiGHT darenimo jama dekinai

Waku waku shichau ashita e BRiGHT love atashi wo tsurete tte”

(Piano and guitar playing)

Wo oh oh dive into the sky


Wo oh oh to the brand new world


It was a fitting song for the finale. After performing an incredible 15 songs almost non-stop throughout the entire night, her 6th single, an upbeat pop tune, helped to lift up the entire audience while wrapping up a night of unforgettable memories.

The sound system was perfect, LiSA and her band Ra-menz were knocking it out of the park all night. The crowd had an extremely wonderful time interacting with them. It was unbelievable that they were brimming with so much liveliness and energy, delivering a tireless performance after performance, all the way till the final song. Even I was slightly drained from all the cheering and jumping.

She held the Minion plushie with one hand, waving it as she sang BRiGHT FLiGHT, with the microphone in the other. Fans swayed along in harmony to the song and the little yellow creature in her hands on stage. The night was one to remember for everyone- for both LiSA and her fans.

It was Singapore where she launched her overseas career, where she has performed the most number of times abroad and consecutively so and finally, it was time for her to shine in the spotlight alone. Tonight was her night and she shone brightly, delivering a mighty one-man performance that would be remembered for years to come.

Peace! Peace! Peace! Peace!” LiSA shouted as she did the “V” sign with her fingers and sprinted across the front of the stage, greeting the audience from each corner as she did so.

Thank you Singapore! I love you all!

The fans erupted in cheers, screams and squeals, waving their lightsticks zealously.

“BYE-CHI!!” LiSA said her signature goodbye line and waved to everyone in the audience, from all corners. Everyone held their hands up high and waved back to her, clamoring for her attention as she made her exit towards the left of the stage.

Stay tuned for Part 4: An Encore for Singapore!

Article by XDantheManX Online & Eugene
Photos by SOZO Japan Music Festival

LiSA in Singapore 2015
Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: Airport Welcome
Part 3: An Unforgettable Concert