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Fender Japan - BEST★Xmas 2021 Report
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2022 11:00 am



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SCANDAL - 『BEST★Xmas 2021』 Report
Fender Japan - BEST★Xmas 2021 Report Fx6VuJO

All-girl band SCANDAL held their Christmas concert "BEST★Xmas 2021 at Toyosu PIT.

An enthuastic 2-hour+ performance that reminded everyone of SCANDAL's unstoppable progress even amidst the pandemic

SCANDAL's Christmas concert 〈BEST★Xmas〉, shortened as "BesuKuri" in Japanese, was held on Dec. 24, 2021 at Toyosu PIT. This was their first time holding this event in two years, as they were unable to hold it in 2020 due to the pandemic. The quartet showcased a total of 15 songs, centering on their signature pieces with a repertoire of old and new songs, while mixing things in that made it feel like a Christmas concert. On this day they also played a new song for the first time from their new album MIRROR, out on Jan. 26th. The 2-hour+ concert reminded everyone of SCANDAL's unstoppable progress even amidst the pandemic.

During the customary talk segment that happens in the middle of BesuKuri, an announcement over the loudspeakers from "Santa Claus" talked about Rinne and Kubo Takai, new and reliable artists that are part of SCANDAL's management company, and what they said about their "impressions of SCANDAL, their seniors," which got the band members very excited. As I [the article's writer] listened to their discussion, I did think that what was said rang true. Rinne's comment said, "Whenever I see them, they're always being 'SCANDAL-'like. The four of them each have their own unique atmosphere." When I watched SCANDAL's concert on this day, I felt that each of their playing, including their playing on recorded music, shows the differences in each members' personalities.

In that sense, I think SCANDAL is a genuine live band, but that's precisely why it must have been a tough time for them during these two years of the pandemic where they couldn't play concerts like they wanted to. However, SCANDAL seems to have gotten even stronger during this time, as HARUNA said during an MC: "Things came to a pause, but we didn't."

The uptempo rock numbers "Flashback No.5," "A.M.D.K.J.", and "STANDARD" suddenly rained down on the audience from the start, and perhaps the reactions of the audience were more than the band was expecting—sounding a bit surprised, HARUNA said, "Aren't your finishes impressive!?" while also saying, "During this past year, it's really sunk in that it's thanks to the happiness that comes from playing concerts, of course, as well as having you guys and supporting us that we're able to continue playing music," though of course a concert that had such high motivation towards it would naturally be exciting.

During the three above-mentioned songs, in contrast to MAMI's light cutting, HARUNA played powerful chord strokes with her HARUNA TELECASTER signature model that that does not hamper sounds even when they're distorted.

As the band said to the audience, "BesuKuri is back for the first time in two years, thanks to everyone coming [to the venue], following the rules, and creating something to enjoy with us. How about we get insanely loud today!?", they began performing the melancholic mid-tempo number "Yoake no Ryuuseigun." You could see their confidence in being a live band in their bold way of slowing down from the dance-rock number "STANDARD" where the band members sang loudly. The harmonies of TOMOMI and MAMI are also a highlight of "Yoake no Ryuuseigun," but I'd like to focus on TOMOMI's bass playing, switching from her navy blue metallic Precision Bass (Deluxe Active P Bass Special) to her natural-colored TOMOMI PRECISION BASS.

While asserting its presence with an orthodox way of playing, the tone is not too heavy and the treble is beautifully extended, making it pleasant to the ears. Conversely, how aggressive the playing was with distortion mixed in with the tones of the first three songs that she had performed with the navy P Bass. Going from "Yoake no Ryuuseigun" to "Electric Girl," TOMOMI switched back to her navy P Bass and performed a bass solo on a stage riser while mixing in slaps, eliciting much excitement from the audience.

As this was the 10th BesuKuri, instead of the usual cover of a Johnny's group, the four members danced with microphones in hand (or rather, jumped on stage) while rapping the full-length EDM dance number "SCANDAL IN THE HOUSE" and further exciting the crowd. Then, after the above-mentioned talk segment and inserting a lottery for presents, the band did an exquisite performance unique to BesuKuri of two songs acoustically: "eternal" with RINA playing the cajon, and "Ivory" with MAMI on lead vocals. The difference in the tones of the ballad-like "eternal" and the folk-ish "Ivory" also showed the difference in personalities of HARUNA and MAMI, who handle lead vocals for each respective song.

During "eternal," MAMI switched to her MAMI STRATOCASTER and played a clean-tone single-note phrase that fits well with sad songs, though the nice graininess of the Strat could be tasted more clearly with the warm sound of TOMOMI's TOMOMI PRECISION BASS when playing the arpeggio of the ballad "Ai ni Naranakatta no sa."

"Ai ni Naranakatta no sa" is one of the songs off of the band's new album MIRROR out on Jan. 26th. This was their first time playing the song, and before they performed it, HARUNA said this about MIRROR:

"During the pandemic, we reflected on ourselves and really thought about what kind of band we are, and what kind of person each member is. We were able to properly affirm ourselves and make this record while thinking that coming to a pause isn't a bad thing for us. It may be a little different from our previous albums, but we'd be happy if you could accept SCANDAL as we are right now. Although things came to a pause, we didn't stop—this album is filled with everything we've experienced in this past year and a half."

It then felt like things were about to change. It felt even more prominent with the first song of the encore: "one more time" from MIRROR. But before that, at the end of the main setlist they played the uptempo rock numbers "Tonight," "Saishuuheiki, Kimi," "Take Me Out," and "Image," which highlighted the differences between each of their personalities.

For example, during "Tonight," which is a SCANDAL-style rock song that's a mixture of genres, on her navy P Bass TOMOMI played thick sounds comparable to HARUNA and MAMI's distorted guitar sounds. During that same song, MAMI showed off a lead part that makes use of the relaxed treble of the MAMI STRATOCASTER. Then, during "Take Me Out" where HARUNA shouts, "Dance!", RINA, whose powerful drumming had supported the performance from beginning to end, played a funk and Latin-like rhythm that made the audience dance. That passion led to the last song "Image" that unites all of the band members.

Then, it was time for the encore.

"This turned out to be such a fresh, personalistic album. There might be some people who wish there were more heavier songs on it, but we made this with confidence, wanting this to be for any kind of listener." (HARUNA)

"It's new and interesting. SCANDAL is such a fun thing to be a part of. Truly." (RINA)

The song "one more time," which is the song they performed after raising expectations for the new album, is a charming, urban, funky pop number. MAMI's American Professional Telecaster Deluxe in the color Sonic Gray, which is her first time having a guitar in this color, was perfect for this tune, with glossy cutting and a soft tone with a thin chorus. During the last song "SCANDAL BABY," a song that creates a good-sized sense of unity with the audience who responds by jumping and waving, MAMI created sounds with natural distortion and strong presence with her American Professional Telecaster Deluxe, and HARUNA played powerful chord strokes with fully distorted tones with her HARUNA TELECASTER—the differences in the guitarists' quirks were impressive.

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1. Flashback No.5
2. A.M.D.K.J.
4. Yoake no Ryuuseigun
5. Electric Girl
7. eternal (Acoustic Ver.)
8. Ivory (Acoustic Ver.)
9. Ai ni Naranakatta no sa
10. Tonight
11. Saishuuheiki, Kimi
12. Take Me Out
13. Image

14. one more time

Fender Japan - BEST★Xmas 2021 Report 39iLxaW

2011.7.3 AM2 2012.3.28 SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN 11.3+4 QAT Tour @名古屋 11.10 Happy MUSIC Live 2012 2013.3.3 SCANDAL OSAKA-JO HALL 2013 2014.6.1 HNL Ekiden & Music 2014 6.2 Fan Meeting 2015 HELLO WORLD @ Paris - London - Essen - Chicago - MEX - LA - Anaheim 2016.1.12+13 PERFECT WORLD 5.21 Welcome Fan Meeting 5.22 HNL Ekiden & Music 2016 5.23 Farewell Fan Meeting 8.21 SCAFes 2017.7.14 47 Prefecture Tour @茨城 7.15 水戸 7.17 東京 2018 Special Thanks @NY - SF - Anaheim - MTY - MEX - Dallas 2022 MIRROR @Toronto - NY - Boston - Atlanta
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