Despite the fact that my comment about SCANDAL live in London had quite a cold meeting in FB group , I see nothing bad about posting it also here .
I wrote more or less detailed comment about my visit to London for SCANDAL live . Actually , I’m on my vacation now , so I finally found enough time to do it . I really apologize that my level of English language often doesn’t allow me to express my thoughts and feeling in the way I would like to . I’ve already wrote much bigger and detailed essay about it , but it’s in Russian , so there is no need to put it here .
As you remember , I became SCANDAL fan because of the most important event in my life – visit to the Beautiful Japan . Well , not in direct way , but searching for “Silent Siren” videos on YouTube . SCANDAL left really deep impression on me , so I started to like it , and after watching SCANDAL documentaries I also started to feel more like SCANDAL fan . When I like some Western songs , I usually try to do everything in order not to find any information about the musicians , because I don’t want to stop liking their song just because of their personalities . But in case of Japanese music situation is completely opposite . I’m trying to find a lot of information about bands and biography and usually my attitude is not less that admiration . But even for Japan SCANDAL is an exceptional phenomenon . There’s really some magic about this band , something you cannot put into a words . SCANDAL is not an aidoru group – and that makes them so true ! I don’t want to say that I don’t like aidoru groups . Some of them are really great . But SCANDAL are not “professional kawaii makers” , SCANDAL are SCANDAL . They are just staying themselves – and it’s so much better than any aidoru group instructed how to be kawaii and get public’s attention . At the beginning of SCANDAL there was no idea , no concept , nothing . SCANDAL , from the end to beginning , was created by extreme efforts of Haruna-san , Mami-san , Tomomi-san and Rina-san . Four girls became one band . Four became one . I feel that I can trust them and their song without any doubts . And this feeling is priceless . For me SCANDAL is an ideal of intelligent and constructive rock music . Even for Japanese people , their sincerity is amazing . They put music in front of them . I think it’s because they feel their responsibility . Everybody remember how they were doing rehearsals during nights because it was the only possibility to rent a studio . Imagine that you are Japanese schoolgirl and a part of a rock band with rapidly growing popularity . Not an easy task . But they made it ! The fame didn’t break them and they still are beautiful , shy and wise , as true daughters of the Great Japan should be .
After returning back to Europe , I had a dream to visit live of some serious Japanese band . I couldn’t even dream about SCANDAL . But the situation was exceptional : I found out that SCANDAL will be doing World Tour in 2015 . So , I decided to put my effort on it . I was lucky : at November 26th , when b7klan started to sell a tickets , I had a day off , so I was able to buy VIP . Only 1,5 months after returning from Japan , without really cooling off , I had another challenge . I registered at SH and became familiar with many serious and experienced SCANDAL fans including Kudō-sempai ! From them I’ve got a priceless information , not only about organizing a visit , but also about how to behave during live and hi-touch . I also bought SCANDAL t-shirt and prepared a gift , a book about Latvia in Japanese language , with gift card with cat attached , as a sign that Mami-san is my favourite member .
I cannot say that before the visit I was as nervous as before going to Japan , when I was almost vomiting because of fear that something will go wrong , but there was a lot of anxiety , yes . In the big day , at 3:45 of night , my brother took me to the airport by his car and wished a good luck . Without any problems I was able to pass all checks , board a plane and make a flight to England . Before that I was never more far to the west than Western coast of Latvia . At Luton airport I board a bus , then a train and came to London . At St. Pancras International I made a photo of Eurostar train without even knowing that SCANDAL came from Paris by this very same train just 15 minutes before me !
There were no difficulties about finding N2 center and O2 Islington Academy , because I watched the way via Google Street View for many times . Some fans were already here . I showed them my SCANDAL t-shirt , we waved hands and I walked further , because there were 7 endless hours before 18:00 . At the beginning I was just walking around in order to warm myself , but it was so cold , that I went to Angel underground (tube) . There was much warmer , but there were no benches ! I work on feet , so my feet usually are not in very good condition , so soon I started to feel like I’m going to fall . I went to a cafe for a couple of times , trying to eat as slow as possible , then to tube again , then just walking . There were benches at N2 , but all on the street . At the end I was feeling like I’m going to break . Even now , when I remember this moment , my feet starting to aches . So I had no better idea than to go to the toilet of N2 cinema and sitting there for almost one hour . In the end I started to fall asleep (or , maybe , already losing consciousness) right there . But it was already 15:00 , so I decided to take my position at the queue . But somehow I decided that the entrance is on the 2nd floor , but there was only a staff door . I met one of SCANDAL staff members here . I bowed to him and went to the 1st floor . At the end of the queue I’ve met Johan-san from Sweden , and almost at the same moment Kudō-sempai and two guys from Italy , Alessandro-san and Emanuele-san , have arrived ! So , we were staying in the queue in the company of five . Because of the anxiety and because we were discussing SCANDALous news , I wasn’t feeling so tired as before , but there still was extremely cold . So , special thanks to the guy who brought loudspeaker , connected it to the telephone and started to play SCANDAL songs . People started to move and dance , so it was a little bit warmer . I think that this guy saved many SCANDAL fans from catching an influenza . It was also nice moment when we noticed cosplayer of Tomomi-san and were wondering if it isn’t Tomomi-san herself . You can expect everything from Tomomi-san ! There were two girls , cosplaying Haruna-san and Tomomi-san , but unfortunately , I was too shy to ask for a picture . SCANDAL staff was filming us , so we started to discuss if we will be on DVD . But maybe they were just doing it for themselves .
So , a few minutes after 18:00 the queue finally started to move ! As Kudō-sempai is much more experienced SCANDAL fan that me , I suggested him to stay in front of me to get in sooner , but he was very kind and refused . So , after security check we’re finally in ! Some fans decided to buy merchandise after the live , but I needed to do it before , because I was going to use t-shirt as a fan towel . After buying a t-shirt I joined Italian fans at the queue . There were last minutes left . I was so nervous ! As it was my first big live , I was unsure if I will be able to hold myself and behave properly .
And they let us in . . . When I first saw THEM from the distance , I had a wish to jump and scream : “Everyone , look , it’s them !!!” But , of course , I didn’t do it . Everyone was very concentrated , feeling a huge responsibility as a representatives of Europe in front of SCANDAL .
I must say that , in comparison with hi-touch seen in the Internet , our one was just excellent . In video people just going in front of SCANDAL without making any stops and hardly have time to say “Mata ne!” or “Ja mata!” . But in London one of stuff members was holding a hand like a barrier in front of us , letting us one by one . So everyone had a possibility to spend a few seconds with every member , say a couple of phrases and present a gift to his favourite . Just couldn’t be better .
So , the moment has come . . . Staff member let his hand down in front of me . . .
It doesn’t matter what I’ll say – the words will remain powerless . The hi-touch with SCANDAL is a moment you will never be ready for . Even if you saw for a countless times in the Internet before , being so close to them is something absolutely unbelievable . I will not even try to describe them . Even best writers in the history wouldn’t do that . And best painters in the world would be unable to draw them . They were shining like a stars . And when you are so close to them , it’s surprisingly easy to control yourself . Maybe , it’s because of responsibility , or maybe it’s a small part of the force , power , that they share with us . Somehow during the live I was thinking that the whole ancient Japan is looking at us from the stage . SCANDAL girls really are stars in good meaning of this word , because they give light and warmth to all of us . I was inside of their shining ! And , staying inside of it , I greet and made a hi-five with every of them . Haruna-san . Tomomi-san . Mami-san . Rina-san . I presented Mami-san my gift and said : “ラトビアの おみやげ。 おねがいします！“ And Mami-san SMILED and said “ああ、ねこちゃん、 かわいい！”. Their hands was so warm ! Especially the hand of Mami-san ! SCANDAL really are higher form of life – humans and anime heroes at the same time !
After the hi-touch I was in the state of complete shock , so at the balcony I was running to Kudō-sempai to tell him that Mami-san noticed me , but unfortunately , I was unable to do it , because one of the security members said me to go to the end of the queue . Staying in the queue , I was crying and holding my right hand on the heart (I was doing hi-five with the right one) . The hi-touch was over and security let us in the hall . My position was amazing , really the place I was dreaming of ! In the third row , almost in front of Mami-san , about 0,5 m to Haruna-san ! Johan-san was next to me and Alessandro-san a little bit back . To my surprise , there was no any cloakroom , so I put my clothes into a back pack and put a back pack on the floor in front of me . I hope that it will not be bothersome for anyone . People around me were making pictures of the stage even without turning off flashes , so I made one too , and then turned out the flash in case if there’s a possibility to make a picture of SCANDAL . Then I put my ear-plugs on . I have quite sensitive ears , so without ear-plugs I could listen not SCANDAL but pain in the ears .
At this moment one of SCANDAL staff appeared on the stage , checked something and suddenly took one of Tomomi’s bass guitars with him . The one coloured in blue and yellow . I always thought that it’s a little bit similar to the flag of Barbados . Then other staff members arrived and started to check the instruments . The crowd was making approbatory noises . Then equipment of stage was checked . Suddenly some guy from the organizers has arrived and said that pictures and videos are not allowed . We expressed him our disapproval .
And them . . . he suddenly said : ”So , make some noise for SCANDAL !” That was it ! That was the moment – and we exploded ! The noise in the venue wasn’t decreasing – and then suddenly Haruna-san came out followed by other members !!! The scream and roar was so extreme that even with ear-plugs I was feeling cracking in my ears . I never expected that only 800 people can create such a wild acoustic effect . But it’s understandable . Our goddesses hear us and came to us from the sky . So , here they are right in front of us . . . Girls greet us and bowed . It’s interesting that Haruna-san was the one who starts and ends every bow and other members are looking at the leader . Yes , Japanese people have discipline .
Many brave people were putting everything at risk by making photos and videos . Fortunately , security wasn’t very strict and looks like that nobody was spotted and deleted . I think that it is also a big success of the event .
Live started with “love in action” , followed by “Satisfaction” . As far as I know , Satisfaction is not an often song for SCANDAL to play live , so it was a very pleasant surprise to hear it . I saw the elbow of Mami-san ! At the beginning I was very nervous because I wasn’t sure in my ability to show myself as descent SCANDAL fan . So , when I didn’t know what to do , I was looking at the experienced SCANDAL fans and repeated what they do . Sometimes I was making slight mistakes like landing in unexpected places after jumping , but nobody was angry at me . I like SCANDAL fans so much ! They are so serious and intelligent ! Right now it’s quite difficult for me to rebuild precise sequence of the event in my memory , but I think that speech of Haruna-san with live motto “London was really longing of the city” and introducing the members was exactly after Satisfaction . And then Rina-san suddenly started to play intro ! We stopped to breath for a moment . Could that be ?!! Special thanks to Alessandro-san who notified me to prepare my t-shirt that was cosplaying fan towel . Tomomi-san didn’t invite us to twirl our towels and Haruna-san didn’t even say “DORU” , but the first sounds of the song solved everything . DOLL !!! Legendary composition and one of the most respected SCANDAL songs ! We roared and go crazy . People started to twirl everything they could : towels , t-shirts , bags , belts or just hands . And right after DOLL – Shunkan Sentimental ! Tomomi-san started her headbanging ! People went crazy and apeshit again and started to howl . Tomomi-san is so beautiful during headbanging ! Well , Tomomi-san is always beautiful , but especially during headbanging . Everybody around was screaming , jumping and singing . I suddenly remembered 3rd episode of “Kill la Kill” . It may sound strange as SCANDAL wasn’t creating any songs for Kill la Kill OST . Shunkan Sentimental is a part of FMA soundtrack . But there’s an explanation . During first fight between Matoi-kun and Satsuki-sama their power was so strong that people around were flying and falling in different directions like after the explosion . Something like this happened now . The flow of energy , spouting from the stage , was so powerful , that people literally started to be thrown in the air . Me and my neighbours were holding each other in order to stay at the air for a little bit longer and see SCANDAL better . I was able to stay at height for about 7 or 8 seconds , but closer to the left part of the stage people were flying upon securities heads very close to Tomomi-san . I was quite envious . But it wasn’t all . Right after “Shunkan Sentimental” – SCANDAL BABY ! It was already difficult for me to breathe . And I guess that I wasn’t the only one like this . But it was easier for us to die from heart attack than to stop supporting SCANDAL . DOLL + Shunkan Sentimental + SCANDAL BABY in a row was an absolute hit ! Then we finally had a small break at “Kagen no Tsuki” , which is much soft and calm composition . After the 2nd couplet I raised hands up and suddenly got an idea that I need to show heart with my fingers . And did it . So , in “Kagen no Tsuki” fan video you can see me jumping and showing heart with my fingers right in front of Rina’s drum set .
The next one was “Onegai Navigation” ! The speed of Haruna’s vocal was just amazing ! And Mami-san was rocking like . . . like Mami-san . I don’t want to compare her with somebody . Then it was three songs in a row – three gifts for the personal fans : Mami-san with “Hon wo Yomu” (just a little bit sad that it wasn’t “Koe”) , Tomomi-san with “Kan Biiru” and Rina-san with “Oyasumi” . This block was followed by such an important composition as “Departure” . Then it was another unexpected and very pleasant surprise called “Taiyou to Kimi ga Egaku STORY” . I was wondering if Mami-san is going to hit the crowd by playing with guitar between her legs like in the official video , but probably she decided that it would be too much for the live . But the performance was outstanding anyway . In the fan video you can see how I twirl the t-shirt and hit neighbours with it . It wasn’t an intensions , of course , it’s just lack of experience . The size of a t-shirt is also much bigger that size of fan towel . So I relly apologize and hope that nobody was angry at me . Then – “Yoake no Ryuuseigun” ! And then – “Your song” ! Everybody was singing together ! Even those who already break their voices , wheeze to support SCANDAL !
. . . Haruna-san is a killer . Playing “Image” right after “Your song” , when people already can hardly stand . Yoake no Ryuuseigun + Your song + Image was another strike ! But “Image” was the last song in the main part . Of course , we immediately started to ask SCANDAL for encore . It’s interesting that spectators started to scream “アンコール!“even before SCANDAL left the stage . And after some time girls came back for the encore ! The first song of the encore was “Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne” and before this Haruna-san said : “Next song . . .mmm . . . maybe you like it” . Maybe ? Haruna-san is such a joker . Even in a nightmare it’s impossible to imagine that fans don’t like some of the songs . It’s the same thing as to imagine that Tomomi-san can use her bass guitar as an oar . Personally I like everything including controversial “Kill the Virgin” .
Second song of the encore was EVERYBODY SAY YEAH ! Move-forward of Mami-san was really unbelievable ! We were screaming and crying . But , unfortunately , EVERYBODY SAY YEAH ! was he last song of the live . According to a tradition Rina-san threw her drums sticks back . But before this . . . did you notice ? Rina-san hit for three times ! In the end of the live Rina-san almost never hit for one time , usually it’s two , but sometimes it’s three . And the fact that we , foreign live , got three strikes from Rina-san , makes me really proud . Ah , it’s so sad that nobody here watched an old movie “The very same Munchhausen” and will not understand the similarity : “What time is it ? – Clock striked three times , baron two , so it’s five.” “What time is it ? – Clock striked 8 , Rina-san 3 , so it’s 11”.
But now it was a time to say goodbye . . . SCANDAL said farewell words , bowed , and , to everybody’s great regret , left the stage . Tomomi-san waved us hands in goodbye . . . We waved her too , then waved to the staff member , who were filming us . After the live I found out that I’m unable to move / My legs became extremely heavy and I was unable to make a step . After staying for 2 or 3 minutes I finally was able to walk somehow . Then staff member suddenly started to throw important souvenirs to us from the stage ! One of the mediators was flying very close to me , so I take my last power and jumped , even seeing that I’m not going to catch it . I needed a 20 cm longer hand to do it . I was hoping for a good ricochet , but there was no any . But , as you understand , I wasn’t disappointed at all .
After going back from venue we made some group photos and then went to closest restaurant for rest and discussions . Some other fans also joined us . It was really interesting to meet Wiktor-san from Poland , because he is a part of “The One” , official BABYMETAL fan club .
The time as already about 23 when we started to come apart for our trains and planes . Without any problems I reached St. Pancras International station , being able not to fall asleep in the train . After 12 hours of half-asleep state in Luton airport I finally boarded a plane and asleep almost immediately after takeoff . I was deadly tired – but it was worth it ! The words of Haruna-san that London live was the most memorable in the whole World Tour , will be the pride of my life ! It was one of the best days of my life that can be compared only with my visit to the Beautiful Japan ! I visited SCANDAL live and met many serious SCANDAL fans from the whole world ! I made another notable step to become serious otaku and really descent fan of the modern art of Japan .