Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:53 am



Caless Student
Caless Student
if I took your photo at the Santa Ana meet and greet send me your email so I can send you the high res photo.

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:46 am



Caless Student
Caless Student
I wish I found this thread earlier. Been busy with life in general that I haven't visited the site. I was able to set aside time to see Stereopony at Santa Ana. The girls were awesome! Anyway, sorry I missed a chance to meet up with other SH USA members. Maybe I'll get another chance in the future.

Following SCANDAL isn't just fandom, it's a way of life. CANTA Common
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:39 am


Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
@bigz I was going to say Hi but wasn't sure about who anyone was, so I was hesitant next time though. it was funny how when the girls came out and started everyone in back of SH was just kind of standing there until they saw SH member rocking out! Then everyone let loose. So much fun. I was kind of bummed about the turn out then again it was a weekday and rain. I hope this doesn't deter them from coming back down here. Hope the turnout was better at yost? I'm curious were you over by aimi?

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:59 am



Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
Oh man just reading this thread got me goosebumps. How lucky I was to see Stereopony for 5 days straight. So very lucky. I even got the chance to get Aimi's pick for the last live I saw them at Slims. All in all Stereopony is such an awesome band. I hope that they come back one day. And for SCANDAL.....please do a US tour!!!!!!!!!!

@ AM2 (2011) - Autograph Panel

Tomomi - "You smell good!"

Me - "...."
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:32 am



Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
@ Anema & Ino: Heh, I was the man-made-megaphone that was supporting from the back... HA HA! Usually at any given concert, the front row will be rowdy regardless, so I like to even things out by keeping myself either in the middle or somewhere in the back where more loud mouths are needed...

"Better known as "Pedro" at the Key Club show and the "xxx SAMA!!!" screamer at Yost... HA HA!!! So if you guys didn't see me, I'm sure you heard me at one point throughout the night..."

But yeah Ino, you should have came up an said "hey!"... I usually talk to everyone (like seriously, EVERYONE) but I was mellowed out on medication this time around, so I took it as easy as I could at the shows... The guy(s) you saw by Aimi was probably one of the other members, so it could have easily been either a SH guy or VGD guy that mobbed that side first... "I think it was Glenn, I sorta remember him being there?"

As far as meets & stuff, you guys should totally make it to one! We're super chill, so there's no need to be intimidated or anything... Heh, but I'm not too sure when that'll be... Thinking

@ ZX: Is that you Mr. Toshi?

"Quitters fall down and stay down... Winners fall down and keep rolling"

"Drummers have stamina!!!" - Pedro Jimenez

"Oh! Ah you! Metal Boy!" - Rina
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:24 pm



Shiroten Performer
Shiroten Performer
@ big - nah that's not me

@ AM2 (2011) - Autograph Panel

Tomomi - "You smell good!"

Me - "...."
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:55 pm



Caless Student
Caless Student
Anyone else writing a post show review? Mines getting sorta long. But got to write it out while it's still fresh in my head

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:10 am



International Performer
International Performer
I'll be looking forward to reading your post show review.
haha and how did bigOeyez become 'Pedro'?

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:42 am



Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Aosaru wrote:@NuClearSounds
I'll be looking forward to reading your post show review.
haha and how did bigOeyez become 'Pedro'?

Since Peter stands out from the crowd fairly easy he yelled something to the band that was opening for stereopony at Keyclub and when the lead singer asked for his name he just said "Pedro" and it was freaking hilarious.

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:50 pm



Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
@ ZX: Oh yeah? Hmm, you sounded familiar... A guy Toshi drove up towards the Bay Area right after the last show... Heh, I thought he was you because he mentioned something about the Slim's also... Actually, I don't think he's registered here or at VGD...

@ Nuclear: Dude... Mine is long too... I'm talking about LONG... I had to break my stuff into groups because I added details all over the place, but I'll have it ready by tonight... wanna race?

@ Aosaru: You will hear it!


"Quitters fall down and stay down... Winners fall down and keep rolling"

"Drummers have stamina!!!" - Pedro Jimenez

"Oh! Ah you! Metal Boy!" - Rina
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:04 pm



Caless Student
Caless Student
@bigoeyes .. You have what 2 days of reviews? I just got Santa Ana and the loitering at Denny's. I should have mine up tonight. Currently writing it while I'm at work

here's a nice video in the mean time

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:54 pm



Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
@ Nuclear: You should have yours up by the end of the night? HA HA! It's already been two weeks!!! Anyways, I finally finished mine and the post effect might totally be gone, but hell, it took this long to finish so I'll post it up after I look it over and do some editing...

Super duper lengthy, with lots of detail also...

"Quitters fall down and stay down... Winners fall down and keep rolling"

"Drummers have stamina!!!" - Pedro Jimenez

"Oh! Ah you! Metal Boy!" - Rina
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:17 pm



Caless Student
Caless Student
hahah. Was writing it then I got photoshoots to post production to do. But will write more during work

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Wed May 02, 2012 11:51 am



Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
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DONE! FINALLY!!! It took so long to finish this up, but I am not letting it go unpublished because it took forever... HA HA HA!


So the basics: Phenomenal bands, awesome shows, good friends, great vibe, plenty of fans, 2 fan clubs, 2 nights of Epic! I'll make it super detailed and down to the nitty gritty as much as I can (remember). Even the little things!

Before the Key Club show:

I spent the night prior to the the Key Club show (Wednesday, 4/11) dedicated to calling everyone up and seeing what was going on since Freddy and Matt were flying in for the shows and Neil wanted to pre-party beforehand. Lale volunteered to pick up Matt and Freddy from LAX, but Neil had to cancel the pre-party and everyone else decided to meet up at the venue.


Matt was to arrive a few hours before Freddy, so I gave Lale the heads up that I would meet up with them at the airport around Freddy's arrival time, then head out to wherever from there with the given free time we had.

In my mind, it was supposed to go like this: Go to sleep around 2AM, wake up at 9PM, get ready & leave by 10.30PM, arrive around 12PM.

In reality, this happened: I went to sleep at 6AM, woke up at 9AM, hit the snooze button, woke up at 9.10AM, hit the snooze button, woke up at 9.20AM, hit the off button. Later woke up at 11AM, looked at my face in the mirror, gave myself a haircut, shaved, showered, got ready, cooked breakfast, left by 2PM. Realized I didn't have gas in my car so I filled her up and stopped by Carl's Jr to pick up some snacks for the ride. My departure time became 2.30PM.

Obviously by that time, Lale had already left LAX and was chilling in Little Tokyo until showtime. I gave him a ring and told him, "I'm on my way / I'm pretty close by.", yet I was 20+ miles away, hauling ass on the I-5 freeway, "trying" to catch up with them. We ended up just meeting at Key Club since time was cutting real close. Luckily for some oddball reason, the freeways were clear enough for me to do so. (91 / 5 / 101, for those who know how it is on a LA weekday around 4-5PM, I was booking it around 60-85mph on average.)

"The real pain was the trek from the Sunset Blvd exit to the Key Club. That was not a fun time."
Arrival & Outside Key Club:

Passing by Key Club on the streets, I could see about 10+ heads already lined up at the door. None whom I recognized. The Meet & Greet was set to start around 5.30PM and I had gotten there around 5.15PM, so I took my time and looked for good parking since I arrived a lil early. There were plenty of parking lots around the venue, so I had the luxury of choosing a nice spot and I ended up directly across the street behind Mark Mahoney's Shamrock Club for about $10. The parking attendant wasn't in my lot at the time and I ended up walking a few feet over to the next one to grab my parking permit, that's when I noticed another car pulling in and what looked like Freddy to be in the passenger seat.

~That guy looks like Freddy... Nah it can't be, Lale drives a Corolla. Then again he did get into an accident... Nah, no way would he buy a dropped Honda Fit.~

I pay for my permit, shoot the 'ish with the attendant guy for a lil bit and he inquired about the event. I gave him the info about Stereopony and we ended up talking about all things Japan, the bosozoku because he rides bikes, and Yakuza & Japanese full sleeve tats because he was planning on finishing up his entire back, to which he recommended Mahoney's to me because they were a tat shop. Which made me a little sad. My prior assumption was that I could get a drink or two before the show at the "Shamrock Club" (Translated in my mind to "Irish Bar") but it turned out to be otherwise.

As I walked towards Key Club from the other side of the street, I gave Matt a call to ask about their whereabouts but I also see this guy standing on the sidewalk who was staring across to the venue. With pure concentration.

~What's this guy doing? Hmm, he looks like ArcLuna from VGD. No way it could be this guy, that guy is about Aimi's height from what I've seen.~

All the while I was on the phone with Matt, I tried to make eye contact with the guy to shout out a "Yo!", but he reached into his pocket and called someone on his cell when we crossed paths. A few seconds later, Lale drove pass me while I was waiting on the street corner for the walk signal to turn.

Strutting down the sidewalk towards Key Club, I said "Yo!" to a man who appeared to be a host at the Thai Restaurant right before the club, to which he nodded back. Eventually I made it to the crowd of people waiting in line for the Meet & Greet to start and yet I recognized not a single soul in the crowd, so to the back of the line I went.

A man turns to me.

"Hey Glenn!" ~Oh snaps! Glenn was already here mingling with some of the fans!~ (Bro hug)

Shortly after, Freddy showed up with a guy I haven't seen before and Glenn introduces me to him. Turned out to be the man they call "Jerry", who stood tall, flashing a black "Fender" shirt. Jerry had met up with Lale earlier and Freddy hopped into the car with Jerry instead. (I assume)

~So it WAS him earlier. That explains the dropped Honda Fit!~
"Hey nice to meet you finally! They tell me you can DRINK!". He laughs.

Not long after, there's a guy running toward us. It's Matt!

~Damn! That took forever! And what's this? This guy cut his hair! How's he gunna headbang with me?~

The line starts picking up and a few more guys fill up the back end. Lale and Bryan enter the fray and the VGD guys formed at the now end of the line, so there was bustling commotion all around at this point. Mingling ensues. I look around the crowd and the guy I ran across earlier started talking to Glenn, to which I eavesdrop on.

~So this guy is ArcLuna! Man! He's super short!... Come to think about it, Aimi is typical Japanese female height... I SEE!!!~

SH and VGD were pretty much mixed in together at this point along with the other fans and conversing o'plenty, so I decided not to break up any conversations to introduce myself to the VGD guys. Not yet at least.

Earlier the club bouncer had straightened out the line to keep it orderly for the Meet & Greet and the full process had us to line up, present your ticket to the ticket booth to get your backstage pass, line back up again, get checked by the bouncer, then proceed indoors for the Meet & Greet. If you were under 21 years of age, you had to buy a $8 "Milk Ticket" (HA HA! The legal drinking age here in the states is 21) in advance, which was for cost purposes, but that was alright because the Backstage Passes itself weren't cheap at all. Basically it was a laminated 3x4in "More!More!!More!!!" cover art card w/ their tour info printed on the front & back. Totally legit!

During the first few minutes, stage hands, friend's of the band, club workers and such were running back and forth through the line, all the while one of Stereopony's promo guy were video taping the action.

"Step aside ThunderCat!"
Referring to my buckle buckle, one of the stage hands said to me as he inched his way pass.

Jade and Erich arrived around that time and a mysterious dude approached me.

"Hey I don't mean to bother, but would you happen to be Peter?"
I puff out my chest and a hero pose strikes inside my mind.
"Yeah that's me. What's up?"
"Oh, well Neil told me to hand you his tickets. I'm his brother AJ."

I let out a sigh and cold air seeps through my ears. With closer observation, the resemblance was almost night & day, but I swear you wouldn't be able to tell them apart if you closed your eyes and listened to them speak. That's a fact!

"Yeah, he asked me to ask you to hold onto his tickets because he's running a little late. He said, "Do you see a tall guy?", and I was like, "Is it the tall guy with big hair?", and he said, "Yup! That's him! Give him the tickets!""
"Wait... he trusts me over his brother to hold onto the tickets... WAIT! That means I'll be the one waiting outside for him!... HA! and what'a yah know, speak of the devil..."

Neil comes running down the same path from whence Matt did earlier, with his girlfriend in tow and the buddy Alan.
Inside Key Club: Meet & Greet

As soon as we entered the double doors into the club, a gentleman pointed us to the right which lead us downstairs to where the Meet & Greet was happening. As opposed to the natural rumbling sounds that echoed in the main room, it became more mellow and quieter as you descended down the steps. Darker and darker the walkway became as you kept walking, but the closer you got to the room itself, you could hear Stereopony's music quietly jamming in the background. There was a bouncer at the door keeping the line in order (hence, same guy that put the law down outside) and the band's merchandise man, Harry (I believe), was handing out pre-autographed US Tour posters to each individual as they came through the door. The poster itself was the same MMM!!! pic they used for the album and the B.Stage pass, but who cares about that right now, STEREOPONY WAS A FEW FEET AWAY!!!

I asked the bouncer if they were signing anything at the moment and he didn't know for sure, but he was super cool and had my back.

"I don't really know, but did you bring a sharpie?"
"Nope, I brought a ballpoint point! HA HA!"
He reaches into his pocket.
"Here you go. I gotcha dawg. Just be sure to bring it back when you're done."
"Nice! Good looking out!"

For a minute or two, I talked to him about how I had worked for Key Club a few years back and we shot the 'ish for the time then. At the door I asked Harry about the signing since I brought 2 sets of sticks for autographing. 1 for me w/ Shiho's siggy and 1 for Shiho personally. He mentioned that there could be some time after the show, so holding onto the sticks would be a good idea.

Inside the room, we were all still chit chatting amongst ourselves in line, but kept it to a very minimal in respects to everyone else ahead that wanted to talk with the band a bit. We didn't have the luxury of sitting down for deep conversations or anything like that, but for some reason, that didn't stop Glenn. If you're only given a second, Glenn stretches the second into a minute and that's always fun to watch! Photos with Stereopony were a go also! There was a designated guy handling all camera work, who I'll just name "Sony Man", that used Jerry's(?) camera for all the SH members' photos.

I personally wanted to scream "Ganbarrre!" or something in the same manner to pump them up when my turn came up, but I figured I should introduce myself properly the first time around, then scream something out at the next show. Proper it is for now. To each of the members, I bowed and greeted with a humble "Hajimemashite.". Being that I'm over 6' tall and that they were sitting down, I had to fold my back past the 90degree mark to be at least leveled to their heads and my back popped when I first bowed to Shiho.

She was caught off guard a bit because I palmed out my hand for a handshake and it took a second for her to react. She could have put chewed gum on it for all I cared (epic!), but she shook my hand instead. Aimi and Nohana the same, but Aimi cleared her throat and had a delayed coarse sounding "Hajimemashite!" reply. I caught it when I greeted Nohana.

"Oh, wow. Your voice, are you OK?"
Aimi gives me a "?" look.
"Your voice... Voice-su. Daijoubu?"
I hold the area around my own throat.
"Hai~i, daijoubu."
She nods.

"Alright ThunderCat! You're up!"
"Sony Man" happened to be the same guy that passed by me earlier in line and because he called me by "ThunderCat", of course I used that to my persona. I hopped right behind the girls for the photo and let out a loud "THUNDERCATS! HoOoOoOoO!!!".

How did the picture come out? Not too sure since I haven't seen it yet (Jerry...), but probably not too good since "Sony Man" insisted he do another for a re-take... aww... but it's alright! 2 photos and the memory stays with me! After all was good & gravy, I hop back in front of the girls and depart.

"ARIGATO GOZAIMASU!". < 90degree bow.
"Arigato Gozaimasu!". They reply back.
Concert Time: Opening Band

The first thing I did after coming out of the M&G room was hopping right into the back of the M&G line. No worries, I had to give back the bouncer's sharpie. Neil happened to be in the back of the the line and I stopped for a sec to give him a heads up on the process. He suggested I go for round 2 and surprise the girls with another charade. HA HA! I dropped off the sharpie, ran back up, marched to the bar, ordered a Jameson on the rocks, took a sip, asked the bartender(ess) where the restroom was and she pointed me downstairs. I didn't realize it until I reached the door, but it was the exit from the M&G room, and the M&G was still going on.

~Wait, these doors look familiar... Ah man! It's Stereopony! They're gunna see me with a drink in my hand, sticks in the other, heading for the bathroom. Alright, I'll sneak in when they're looking the other way... an... nd... NOW!!!~

Really? You wonder where a shadowy figure could disappear to when there are 2 directions to go to besides the one he came from. 1 being right in front of "Sony Man" and the other is the restroom. Ironically, the public restrooms were open during the M&G... Or near the end of it at least.

The show wasn't supposed to start for a while, so a lot of people were getting set in their places, nabbing drinks from the bar, or grabbing merchandise from the booth. I ran outside with Jerry to drop our cams off back into our cars and as soon as we stepped back into the club, he darted downstairs back towards the M&G room. I shrugged my shoulders and thought he went for another handshake, but it hit me, "Oh that's right, the merchandise.". The merch booth happened to be located in the very same room, stocked with cds, dvds, wristbands, tour shirts, etc.. I bought a "M" sized tour shirt. Black of course.

I walked back into the pit area and took a minute to see if anything was starting, then the guy standing a little to the front of me turns around and asks a question.

"Hey, aren't you the guy that was at AM2 that asked SCANDAL about Metal music?"
"Oh yeah, that was me."
"Yeah man, I was sitting in the same room!"
"Oh dude! For real?! That's friggin awesome man!"
"Yeah I..."

Kazu, a cool dude that I never really got to talk to. Right the second he said that, Neil emerges from the sea of people and yells out, "Yo! I need a drink!", and off to the bar we went, await the opening band we did. Most of the guys stood right at the edge of the stage, but I opted to be in the back for wide range support. Plus I don't think it's smart for me to stand directly in front of the lead singer and scream my lungs into their face the whole entire night. Matt takes heed of my position and proposes a toast!

"Yo! You're gunna be there the whole night?"
"What's up? Yeah, I'll be here."
"The whole entire show? You sure you don't want to come and rage upfront?"
"Nah I'm good for now, right here is cool."
"For sure? Cool! Then I "appoint" thee!"

Cool. I got dubbed as Matt's retainer. (HA HA!)

For the opening act, Monique Benabou and her band (is it her band?) went up before Stereopony at Key Club. Not only was the venue full of Stereopony fans, but I completely forgot the opening act would have supporters in addition as well. More fire to the fuel is always a good thing! They played strong, Monique's voice was powerful as 'ish and a lot of soul was put into that Jazz & R/B flavor. I support Monique! I believe it was at the end of the first song but she introduced herself and I just had to open my big mouth.

"Hi! How's everyone doing? My name is Monique!"
"HI MONIQUE!" (Keep in mind, this all looks and sounds subtle because it's typed out, but you just had to be there)
"*chuckles* Who said that?". Looks into the crowd.
"RIGHT HERE!" (Devil horn / Drink in the other)
"HA HA! What's your name?"
"Pedro?!" *crowd/band/etc. laughs*

It was either the last or 2nd to the last song, but Monique introduced the track as being very personal, what it meant to her, how it sucked to be heartbroken, etc., and of course I responded with something to ease up the tension before she went at it.

"MONIQUE!!! I'M SINGL~~~~LE!!!" *Laughter from the crowd and a smile from her*

Heh, the more engaged and positive you are towards a performer, the better their performance will be is what I say... Well, in most cases at least. At the end of her act, she thanked everyone and took a few minutes to mingle with the people in the front row. I forgot who was standing next to me, but he said "Hey, you should go say "Hi!" to Monique." (Jerry? Neil? It was someone with a drink in their hand.), and off I went. Like a dummy, the other SH guys were around me and the VGD guys had big cameras, but I didn't ask anyone to take a photo of Monique and I... I KNOW RIGHT?! But hey, I'll do so next time. So I congratulated her on the show, praised her voice, and told her that my name is for real, "Pedro", just in Spanish form.
Concert Time: Stereopony

"I admit, day 1 was trial & error on my behalf and the night gets a wee bit hazy from here. The combination of personal medication, sleep deprivation, and a drink here & there almost turned this night upside down, but those details I will keep disclosed... As if I remember anyways! So the following events could have occurred at anytime, but if it's about Stereopony, then it's definitely about Stereopony. And this is how I remember it."

It was around this time during the intermission when everyone got the chance to stretch and walk around again before Stereopony took stage, so I took the opportunity and ran to the bar for a drink and ran into a very interesting man on the way back, RS of VGD. I chatted with the VGD guys plenty of times before on the fansite, but the fact of the matter is that we still didn't know who looked like what exactly (or so I'm thinking). I had the upper hand a bit since the VGD guys broadcasted themselves with their shirts and I on the other hand didn't don VGD or SH gear. During one of the online chat sessions, I found out that RS lived in Palm Springs and we talked shortly about how he used to live in my current city and all that jazz. That's what I used to introduce myself.

I pat him on the shoulder.
"Yo! Palm Springs!!!"
"PALM SPRINGS!!!". I point at him.
"Pal... Dude, nevermind. TEMECULA!!!". I point at myself.
"Yeah! It's near there!"
"No! Temecula!"
*questioned look/shakes head*
"Te... I'm bigOeyez! BIG O!!!"
"... o~oh... ... ... yeah?"
~ahh...~ "I'll tell you later!" I bid him adieu, turned around, and ran into another man.

Nice! It's ArcLuna, being trailed by two Japanese guys. I didn't know their names at the time, but I found out the next day at the Santa Ana show. Yoshikki and Nisshi. They had flown in from Japan to catch Stereopony on their US Tour and managed to bump into the VGD guys, whom they've been hanging out with since.

"OH HEY! Arc!"
He pauses.
"Dude man, you're pretty short! I thought you'd be taller!"
"Tall? What do you mean?"
"Yeah! You look tall from the photos! Anyways, I'm big O... eyez!"
"oh hey."

Elsuke or somebody else grabs his attention and I give Yoshikki and Nisshi a thumbs up. Neil squeezes out from the crowd towards me, "What do you recommend I drink this time?". To the bar we go. Somehow as we were walking towards the bar, Stereopony had managed to come on stage to do quick sound checks before starting and the both of us start screaming from the bar. (Or was it?)

"Dude, show Aimi some love too!"
"Oh right. AIMI SAMA!!!"

We grab our drinks and head back to our places. The crowd is antsy and Matt looks back at me. Appointed!, his eyes honed in. So what's left? ROCK OUT!!!

Rock out? Oh I wish I could remember it all. The crowd was roaring and Stereopony fired on all cylinders. I held my ground and clamored at every perfect chance I got. I forgot which song had ended, but Shiho took a short water break and I screamed out "SHIHO SAMA!!!". 2 more "Shiho Sama!" shouts came out from the crowd (1 was Neil for sure... or was it his brother AJ? I couldn't tell.) and in between the 2nd and 3rd, Shiho broke her cool character and a smiling grin shone bright. PRICELESS!!! PRICELESS!!!

"Sadly here is where I'll end my Day 1 write up for the Stereopony Show portion. The events that followed from this point after are way too off and absurd to have happened in the order I remember them... HA HA! I know, I'm jipping you guys out of a flashy ending to Day 1."

So Matt remembers me screaming his ears out at the beginning of the show and into a few of Stereopony's songs...

I appointed Alan as Matt's right hand man shortly after...

Lale says I raged out with Matt during Stereopony's last song...

Considering just those 3 facts, I had a good night!


"Did someone spike my drink?! Anybody?!"
Post Key Club Show

Out of chance, I arrived at Neil's place at the same time they did, so luckily I didn't intrude in on anything. I mixed a few drinks here and there for everyone and the look on their faces just said it all.


Woah indeed! So how do you end a night like that? Well it just happened to be a good night (eruh, morning) and FLiP was to perform a new Live on Nico Nico, along with Oreskaband (CHYEAH!!!). Now to stay up another good... 3-4hrs... HA HA! Needless to say we made it through the morning and FLiP's show was the icing on the cake. Neil powered through it all because he had class the next morning, so he hopped between the books and the show aimlessly. ~Hmm, what's that he has in his hand?~

"Dude, check out this collection!"
He brings out a pure white pick from a hard case.
"What's that? A PICK! Their pick?!"
I turn it over.
Stereopony "IT'S AUTOGRAPHED! They were signing stuff?!"
"What?! This guy! Yes! They signed stuff after the show! Man! Were we even at the same show?!"
~No F'n way!~

Neil also made a comment about Mao that certified him as a chivalrous man.

"Did you see the 4th girl? Man she was kinda in the corner and I'm like "No! I'm not having that! We are cheers'ing for her! She will have a good time". So we will show her love and blow her mind away!"

"MAO SAMA!!!" indeed.

To a good night and we'll see you the next morning!

The Morning of the Santa Ana Show

I awoke the next morning (a few hours after actually) with my hands glued to my face. Everyone had already woken up before me and were getting ready to head out for grub. The previous night I had lost my set of sticks that I held throughout the night and the tour shirt I bought had gone missing as well. It was a bright new day and those things were easily replaceable (granted they went unautographed), so I shook it off and proceeded to get ready for the day. I ran to my car to get a change of clothes, but what is this I see in the backseat? Rolled in the corner... MY TOUR SHIRT!!! Sticks too? Nope, no sticks. Those really went missing at Key Club.

"FOUND IT! Found my shirt, it was in my car..."

Wash, change, rinse, spit. I jumped into a pair of new pants and swapped into my Hawaiian shirt. The left side of my hair had fallen flat because I slept on it, so I sprayed it over real quick in the living room where the rest of the dudes were. We decided to eat at Orochon Ramen over in Little Tokyo and everyone was pretty anxious to get there because Freddy agreed to do the "Special 2" Challenge. Basically they give you 30mins to finish a big bowl of ramen+broth that's supposedly drenched in their hottest soup. If you finish it within the allotted time, you win yourself a spot on the Wall of Fame & get a T-shirt or something like that. I don't know what the scale of spiciness is for the "Special 2" broth, but it shouldn't be too hard if it's not made from Thai Chilies, Habaneros, or worst, Ghost Peppers. Today was not the day to be brave, so that was Freddy's battle alone.

Neil rode shotgun with me and Freddy in the back seat. Reflecting back on the previous night, we started looking at ways to make the last day more memorable for Stereopony. One of the things Neil came up with was for the "Encore!" chant.

"Instead of "Encore!", we should say "MORE!MORE!!MORE!!!", in reference to the album!"

SWEET! One other thing was just a personal reference to the chill style of Okinawa. Shouting "OSU!".

A little risky to use since it's only been 1 day for Stereopony to get to know the fans of SoCal, but with the amount of energy they received the night prior and their given nature, for sure they'll see it as the "OSU!" that we really meant it to be. As a "Yo!" between friends... grunting included. So for that, we opted to yell out "OSU!!!" during song gaps and Shiho breaks, mainly because she's the tough cookie.

It wasn't long after that we arrived at Orochon Ramen and of course there was a little wait time since we needed 7 seats. I ended up ordering the Soy Sauce broth #3 w/ a cube of butter and a big pitcher of Kirin to cheers with whomever. It was either the amount of customers or lack of staff, but it took quite a while for the ramen to reach each of us and worst part of all, they forgot about the beer! The ramen I can do without, but the beer is what feeds the soul (mine at least). So finally the ramen started coming out and Freddy is one of the the first to receive his noodles. A whopping big bowl! Bigger than his head and wide enough to drown a man if he so succumbed to the broth and passed out on the spot! Plus it was piping red & steaming hot. He dug in first and it seemed OK for the time being, but then again for me, one of the waitresses came to our table to deliver a kick to the gut. The Kirin keg wasn't pumping correctly and I ended up settling for Asahi, to which Glenn replied:

"Well go down to Marukai and get me some Kirin then!"

PWAH HA HA! For some odd reason the vision of Glenn pimp slapping a woman just ran across my mind and it struck my funny bone for a while. Not that he would be the type to do so, but my humor just made it that way. So the beer reached the table, we all had our ramen finally, and Freddy was still going at it with his "Special 2" Challenge. He managed to get all the noodles down, but the challenge requires you to slurp down all the broth as well. Attempt it he did, but he just couldn't finish it and had to take a quick run to the restroom. What he did in there is his own business. With full bellies, we paid for the check and made way out of the Ramen Shop. Matt snagged a Orochon shirt before heading out and the other guys took interest towards a special ad that was outside a "coming soon" restaurant, one floor below Orochon. The sign read, "Happy Hour", and I recall the owner saying something about Happy Hour all day on opening night? CHYEAH! I am there!

Beers & cheers! Off to Santa Ana we go!
Arrival & Outside of Yost Theater

It was a little past 4PM by the time we left for Yost Theater, so traffic stretched for miles and miles without out end. We split into teams of 2 and Freddy became my navigator. Somehow down the freeway, we managed to get twisted up a few times because his navi system had us jump back and forth from the 5, to the 605, to the 91, then back to the 5, etc., but we arrived at Yost unscathed.

We ended up taking the back streets from Santa Ana Blvd and it took us through some neighborhoods and what not, but it was cool, we ran pass "Aimi" as we arrived at the theater.

"Dude, is that Aimi?"
"Looks like her. Nah it can't be, she's all by herself."

Yost Theater is located within a big shopping district, so there were plenty of people walking around as well as the fans waiting for the show. I pulled into the lot and quickly recognized some people.

"Yo! What's up dude!"
It's Kazu.
"Yo! What's up!"
"It's Vince! Hey Vince!"
"Hey can we park here for the show? How much is parking?"
Kazu shrugs.
"I don't know, I just got here myself."

I pulled in and parked a few spots away from the payment machine. The moment I stepped out of the car, I was greeted right away.


I shuddered for a split second, knowing that meant I had a lil TOO much fun the night prior. It was Erich and Jade! They were one of the first SH peeps that made it to Yost already. Ironically I made it here before everyone else that left Orochon at the same time, despite all the back tracking on the freeway. The main parking lot directly in front of the theater had a 2hr max limit only, meaning you'd have to renew your parking pass every time it expired. Not something I wanted to do, so Erich told me that there was local parking for free around the corner, if I could find a spot. It was either him or one of the other guys that said Stereopony was seen loading up from that side of the building, so maybe it was Aimi that we saw earlier and it peaked my interest to head that direction even more so. I turned to where Erich was pointing and I noticed a familiar face. KELLY!!!

"Hey guys. Man, I feel so short."
Kelly jumps, swings, misses, and high fives my wrist.
"Aww man... Have you guys seen Glenn?"

Being the nice guy, Glenn bought an extra ticket for Kelly (I told you he wasn't a womanizer). After catching up for a few minutes, I jumped back into my car for that parking spot.

It took about 20-30mins for me to ACTUALLY find parking since I ventured around a bit looking for the bank, but I gave up shortly when I was faced with One-Way streets and absolutely no open parking anywhere on the main streets. I quickly headed back and found parking close to the backdoor where we spotted Aimi earlier, so I was hoping I'd be lucky to see them going back and forth as I walked by. "Hoping" I said. I locked up my car, popped the trunk, and took out my 12" Tom (drum). By the time I got back, the theater had already put up stanchions to organize the line for the Meet & Greet. Neil and the rest of the guys had arrived by then as well, and there were quite a few people lined up also. A few people asked what the drum was for and if I was going to get it signed. I could only confirm with a "Hell yeah!" w/ a fist of affirmation on the side.

"Hey Peter, do you have any gum?"
"Yeah, but it's back in my car.
"Can I snag one?"
"Yeah. Better hurry!"

Neil runs off and a minute after, the line started moving. It wasn't until I reached the front of the security check line that Neil made it back, so luckily I was able to hold his spot til then. With courtesy, I asked the guys behind us if it was cool and they gave the thumbs up. "Security Man" let us pass and we were in back of a short line for our entrance wristbands. Glenn was in front of me by one to two people, so he nabbed his first and spoke with the representative handing those out.

"Hi Betty! My name is Glenn, it's good to finally meet you!"
"Glenn! It's good to finally meet you as well!"

Betty Starr is the rep that we all contacted earlier in the few months prior to inquire about photo passes. It was a brief short conversation I overheard, but you could totally tell that she was a cool cat. Neil was in front of me and was in the process of getting his wristband.

"Hey Peter, did you happen to bring me a set of sticks?"
"Oh snap, it's in the back of my passenger seat. Wanna get them?"
"You think I should?"
"Yeah. Better hurry!"

No sweat though, Betty gave Neil the OK to jump back to the front of the line since he had already been wristbanded, so he didn't have to worry about losing his spot.

Off he went once again.

I walked up to Betty and for some reason I paused and completely forgot what I wanted to say. Earlier I had also contacted Betty about obtaining a Photo Pass as well, which she permitted. Thing is, I followed up on that first email and wanted to send another right before the concert to send my "thanks" again, but I never got around to doing so. I blanked out when I realized I didn't have anything else to say other than "Hey!" and she probably wouldn't have recognized my name if I told her who was. And so she gave me an awkward look.

Betty hooked it up with the bracelet and I noticed Erich and Jade standing next to the door before I went in.

"Yo! You guys waiting on someone?"
"Nah, we need to upgrade."
"Yeah, we didn't think we would make it in time for the Meet & Greet."
"OH cool. Then uh, I guess I'll be going in then!"

Or that's how I remember it.
Inside Yost Theater: Meet & Greet

Everyone inside was lined up in the same order as we went in, so we weren't far at all from the front. "Sony Man" happened to be there once again working the line. I would say he was a US/English corespondent, seeing that he was at both events (possibly the entire tour), so he was giving the break down of how the M&G would go, what to expect, etc., then he started handing out the Backstage Passes at the end of his speech. Interrupting himself, he asked if anyone in the crowd could translate everything he just said into Japanese.

"Yeah he should be able to."
Everyone points outside.
"That guy outside, with the hat."
Sony Man looks outside.
"Is that... fuckin..."
"His name is Kazu."
"Oh, I was about to say "Is that ThunderCat?!""
"Right here! ThunderCat is right here!"

He looks over, laughs, and gets right back to work. The Backstage Passes he issued were the same ones from the previous concerts, so some fans would have amassed a total of 4 if they attended all the US shows. These however, didn't come with the lanyard, so "Sony Man" told everyone that it would be available later at the merch booth if anyone wanted one. A very good way to get everyone there to look at the goods if you ask me. A few seconds later, Neil walks in.

"Yo dude, grab your backstage pass."
"Oh what, no lanyards this time?"
"Not at the moment, but they'll be available at the merch booth later."

Good marketing indeed.

The line started moving and up the stairs we went, a total opposite from Key Club. Instead of getting darker for anticipation, it got brighter and louder as we ascended the stairs. Once you reached the top, you could see directly across the main floor and down onto the stage with a clear view. Definitely this was a private room if not the VIP area. Turning to the right, stood Harry passing out autographed "MORE!MORE!!MORE!!!" cards this time around. "The cards are the same size as a cd insert, so it'll work heavens when you pair them up with the album." Looking pass Harry, sat Stereopony a few feet away.

For it being a private room, there was a lot of space between Stereopony and the surrounding area. It felt a little more relaxed this time because Stereopony sat on comfy ottomans and there was enough breathing room between you and the next person in line without having to feel rushed or choked. Phil was in front of the SH crew and happened to bring his super duper camera, so he took photos of everyone as they came up. Good ploy to get more face time with Stereopony, good ploy indeed. "Seriously though, the photos came out great! Thanks dude!"

Good service indeed.

While we were on the stairs earlier, Neil and Freddy were going over what they wanted to say to Stereopony and started looking up phrases online. It seemed to come out perfectly because they all smiled and the sort after they said "Hey!", took their photos, and bid "Adieu!".

I ran up when it was my turn, bowed, and let out a big "OSU!". Luckily (hopefully) it came out as the right "Osu!", since they did a little bow and said "Hai!" (or was it "Hi!"?). I went down the line and high five'd each of the girls. "Yeah!" to Nohana, "Yo!" to Aimi, and "SHIHO SAMA!" to Shiho. Nohana was gentle as ever and shied away after the high five. Aimi on the other hand, caught me off guard. We high five'd, but right after, she did some sorta "low five" thing and I didn't know what to do. Looking at her facial expression, she did like a Fresh Prince "PsSsH!" and went into something like a ~bounce bounce~ motion with her hand. I fumbled after the high five, missed the "low five", and my brain farted but seeing Aimi do that totally voided out my "duh duh!" moment. I smiled. Shiho though, nodded with that cool cat attitude of hers and simply smirked (HA HA!).

I planned out my photo to be dynamic. I was supposed to stretch out in front of Stereopony, place the drum over my right shoulder, and strike an Atlas pose, but it didn't happen. As I was preparing to pose and I kneeled down in front of the fan's seat, looked back and Aimi was telling me to come up and take a seat.

"Here, sit. Sit Here."
She pats the seat.
"Eh? Well I... Oh... ah, alright."

I was totally allured when I looked at Aimi and just gave in, but for the actual photo though, I threw up devil horns! Nohana threw a "peace", Aimi topped me with double devils, and Shiho stayed cool... as ever! HA HA!

With an ending to the M&G, I wanted to say something meaningful before departing but my brain could only process a "thank you!".

"Arigato Gozaimasu!"
"Arigato Gozaimasu!"
Yost Theater: Opening Act

The structure and size of the theater was way bigger than I expected. The material they used to construct the sides of the stage were made up of brick, possibly the entire theater if anything, but that meant that sound would be bouncing off the walls and it was about to get LOUD! later. Other than the main floor, there were also open seats on the sides and a full bar available. Comfy movie theater seats and enough booze to keep you pumped.

Being the first few to get on the floor, the SH crew quickly took up the front row. Hands down. The majority took up the right side and I ended up on the left with Neil and Alan, so I put my drum down on the speakers (front of the stage) to claim a space and take a load off. After Phil was done taking photos of everyone else at the M&G, he made it onto the floor and started going to work. GLOWSTICKS!!! Not the itty bitty ones, but the big Mag-Lite sized sticks. He bought enough for the SH members plus some extras just in case and were selling them off for $1 each. Some went single handed and some double fisted, but in the end Phil sold out and the front of the stage was ready to get lit! At one point I looked over to the right and Matt struck my funny bone. He lifted a big empty clear poster tube over his head, started raging out and I knew exactly what he was thinking... FILL THAT SUM'B!TCH UP WITH GLOWSTICKS!!! HA HA!!!

The VGD guys made it out to the floor and the room started filling up quite a bit, meaning the M&G must be over and general admission was underway. Kazu ended up next to me and I started talking to him about the night prior and such, but once again I got whisked away. The opening band hadn't started yet, so I needed a beer to ease up and relax a bit. Jerry was ahead of me by a few steps, so we grabbed whatever was clever and headed back.

"Man, these things are so G-rated sometimes."
"All the more better that there's a bar! Drink up!"

This time though, I toned down the drinking. By a lot!

The following two things happened, but I don't know which came first. Flop them vice versa if you know otherwise, but definitely it happened.

1) Stereopony came out and did a soundcheck (tuning to be exact), one by one. Aimi came out first and it was silent for a few seconds. Maybe the crowd was being respectable or just in awe, but everyone made some noise shortly after and she smiled. I let out a buff "Aimi!" and 2 shrieks. Nohana came out second but kept her back to everyone. I couldn't help it so I egged her on, "NOHANN-NUH! NOHANN-UH! Aww, it's OK to turn around.", but she never did (HA HA!). Shiho came out last and sat on the throne but didn't strike any drums. She was looking at placement from what I could tell. "SHIHO SAMA!", "SHIHO SAMA!", "OSU!!!". Neil and I shouted.

2) ArcLuna from VGD jumps onto the left side of the stage and takes a photo. He stood on the steps that connected the floor to the seating area and got everyone's attention for a quick snap. The first photo he took fired a flash and it came out clear/super misty white because of the smoke machine spewing out on stage, so he shouted for a second one and that came out semi-blurry/great because of the lack of light. Kazu perfectly blocked my face with a devil horn in the first pic, so I favored the second. Beers for cheers!

The opening band never came out for a soundcheck, so when they hit the stage, that quickly got ready and began to rock out. Before doing so, I had to shout out something to the drummer.

He laughs.

They rocked and they rocked HARD!!! The intro to the opening song was subtle but it turned mad crazy in a matter of seconds. The lead started freakin out on stage and doing kick-shuffles all up & down, left & right, and it totally rocked because it looked like he was coming close to kicking someone in the face and falling over, but never did. BWAH HA HA! What's more trippy is when I looked over at the drummer, he was playing with a big chipped top hat, but it didn't phase him at all. Totally insane! Jade and Erich happened to be standing in front of the left most speaker and after a minute of playing, the sound guys noticed the bass wasn't happening so they kicked it on and Jade got blown back a bit by it. HA HA! With the type of rock they were playing and a beer in my hand, I seriously wanted to mosh when the lead started kicking and wildin out, but I held it in... it would have been a first, but I probably would have been kicked out for starting a mosh pit at a Stereopony concert... but never even made it to Stereopony... HA HA! After the first song, they introduced themselves.

"Hi. The name of our band is Beware of Darkness. I know we're not 4 cute Japanese girls, but hey. Oh, and our EP just released too, be sure to pick these up."

Something along the lines of that, but they were friggin legit! The lead had a super low soft voice, but was totally balls out when it came to screaming into the mic. During the second song, everyone was enjoying the show and rocking out, but ArcLuna happen to put his head down to check his cam (I think). The lead saw this. He ran over to Arc, ran his fingers through his hair, and yanked back!!! Gave him a face to face show, close enough to kiss him! HA HA!!! I took a sip of my beer at that moment and almost coughed it back up in laughter! He was totally cool about it though (the lead singer I mean) and apologized to Arc for doing so. Like I said, subtle and soft in the real and balls out rocker on stage! Arc got a free EP for being a good sport too.

I ran back to the bar for a refill during their third song and Jerry happen to be chilling in that area also. I couldn't make out a lot of what he was saying, but we were going back and forth about him catching a flight for a wedding and me coaxing him to keep drinking. I think he won that one though. I look over on stage and what do I see? The lead singer is up in Arc's face once again. HA HA! I screamed out, "YEAH!!! GO ZACK!!!" and then and there he made a dedication.

"I dedicate this song to Zack."
or according to RS,
"I dedicate this show to Zack."

I think I'll agree with RS on this one. Indeed, that show was for Zack.

After B.o.D.'s final song, they went out like rockstars. The drummer was smacking on the heads and the lead was screaming into the mic like a banshee. Eventually he took off his guitar and threw it down onto the stage, but it didn't smash into pieces... aww... I couldn't see what the bassist was doing because the lead was acting all crazy, so you guys can fill in that one for me.

*As a side note, Beware of Darkness will be playing in SD on May 3rd... Yes, I am going..."
Yost Theater: Stereopony

Stereopony took the stage shortly after and my mind went blank. I couldn't hear anything going on but I could see that something was about to happen. Stereopony starts playing, the crowd roars, and the glowsticks crack and light up the front row. I look in front of me and Vince was working 1 out of his 2 glowsticks. He shook, shook, shook, shook the life out of the uncracked stick, but no go. He had a dud (HA HA!). It didn't matter, he was having a blast.

It was either the second or third song, but Stereopony played "Sweet Blue" and the front of the stage burst bright blue. Earlier in the crowd, everyone decided to use nothing but blue glowsticks (if they could) when the song played. That way it would have a greater effect and create a memorable experience for Stereopony. Sweet blue indeed!

After the first set was done and the intro came on, I really had to run to the restroom, so I missed out on that. Upon getting back to stageroom, I walked over to the bar to nab another drink and I see Elsuke taking snapshots from the bar area.

"Hey, you're Elsuke right? I'm big O, I didn't get a chance to talk to you yesterday."
"Hey, what's up!"
"You doing good? Can I get you a drink?"
"Nah I'm alright, I had a beer or two already?"
"Can I entice you with another then?"
"HA HA! I'm actually at that good level where my pictures are coming out pretty nice. I don't think I should go any further."
"HA! Cool. You remind me of my friend Dan. We "hired" him for my bro's wedding and he couldn't take any good shots without drinking. How are the pictures coming along? Take a lot?"
"I haven't really checked, but I think I'm at 600 so far!"
"It's on burst most of the time. You figure that out of the however many you shoot, one out of the bunch will be REALLY good."
"HA HA! True."
"Alright man, I'm gunna get back to work."

And he walks towards the bar? HA HA!

I got back to the floor and stood sort of in the open behind everyone else. They were having a blast and everyone on the sidelines that had been sitting down earlier, were now up on their feet and fist pumping like crazy. I personally don't get physical for safety reasons (a mosh pit... A MOSH PIT!!! WOO!!!), but there was one little dude that was jumping all over Lale (or was it Vince). For sure he was having the time of his life!

After a song or two, I took a step outside to handle a phone call and the Beware of Darkness guys happen to be out there also. The bassist was gone at the moment and the drummer was talking to some other dudes, so I spoke with the lead singer for a bit. His name is Kyle. I should have asked him to make a video dedication to Zack, but I just ended up getting to know the guy a little better. He truly is a modest man. HA HA! He even invited me to join them at Coachella the following night, but darn, I had to work!

"So everything afterwards about Stereopony is just it, Stereopony!!! I can't explain word for word since it's all personal experience, but the night was phenomenal!"

Near the end of Hana Hiraku Oka (It was Hankbunko. Confirmed by Nuclear.), Aimi hears the crowd singing along and she completely goes silent for everyone to finish off the line.

Shiho had a drum solo at the end of one of the songs and you could hear roars of "SHIHO SAMA!" coming from somewhere.

Mao even had a few fans in the crowd, screaming "MAO SAMA!!!". Seeing her burst into a smile was totally awesome.

Nohana was just in a rocked out trance the entire night, so none of my shouts even phased her. Musta been something with Nohaneko that made her so chill. Nohaneko, a black cat mascot that Nohana brought as a charm, staring at the crowd from atop a speaker. HA HA!

The real true highlight of my night was Shiho. During one of the breaks, she addresses the crowd and gives one of those "Damn it all!" sighs. HA HA!

"You having... fun... tonight?"
She drinks some water and the crowd cheers. "SHIHO SAMA!!!"
Takes a gulp and a deep breath.

Pure epic! A little thing, but memories of Japan just came rushing back the instant I heard that. So nostalgic.

For the encore, we had planned to do the "More! More!! More!!!" chant and we indeed started off with it, but the roar of "ENCORE!" from the rest of the crowd pretty much overtook the "MMM" chant. HA HA! But it didn't matter because we got the encore in the end anyways.

The show came to an end and alas it was Stereopony's last tour spot in the US. They bid the fans an adieu and we returned it ten folds.

An end.

A tearful end.
Yost Theater: Post Show

After the very last song, we had little time to interact with Stereopony. The theater was in a rush to kick us all out so that they could open up as a night club for the rest of the evening. I still had a tab at the bar so I grabbed my drum and went over to close it out. Yoshiki and Nisshi happened to have made their ways to the bar as well.

"Hey! You guys have fun?"
(Nods) "Ano..."
Nisshi points at the bar. (The smaller guy, I forgot which one he was)
"OH! You want a beeru? Sapporo?"
"Ah... Wata!"
"Oh mizu!"
"Hai! Mizu! How mm... How much?"
"Ikura? Hmm, lemme see."
I ask the bartender and he specifies $5 for bottled.
"DAYM! WOO!" I turn to Nisshi. "Go! (I put up my hand) Five dollars!"
He nods and walks away.
"Woah, hey, chotto matte!" I turn to the bar "Alright, hook me up with a water... and a shot of whiskey... I mine as well even it out!"
I run over to Nisshi.
"Here you go dude!"
(?!) "OH! Sugoi! Thank you thank you!" (bows)
"No worries man, you're on vacation! Just have a safe flight back home tomorrow!"

Looking back on that receipt, the bartender did hook it up. I paid full price on the shot, but I guess he let me slide a bit by charging me for a cup of water, instead of a bottled water. HA! A hook up is still a hook up.

To my surprise, I didn't know that Stereopony had set up a small signing area near the exit door, so I pretty much ended up at the end of the line. Granted that there were still some people at the merch booth buying stuff for autographing, we still had the theater breathing down our necks to get out as soon as possible, so my chances to get my drum signed dwindled greatly. The line moved pretty slow and I remember shooting the 'ish with either a VGD member or a SH member in the hallway, but eventually it got to the point where the theater was getting super aggressive and the manager decided to pull the plug on the autographing. So sad, and I was so close too.

I walked outside with my head pointed to the floor, but what's that in my hand?!

Earlier in the day while we were in line for the M&G, Neil was joking around about how I should scream out "ONEGAI SHIMASU!!!", bow real low, and hold out the drum to Stereopony while they signed it. Funny thing is, I don't remember how exactly it happened either, but that's probably how it went down. It was the wildest awe-shock moment ever, but I was standing a couple of people away from Stereopony and either the manager announced "no more signing" or it was a theater worker that was rushing us (The shot kicked in and my memory hazed up a bit). All I remember is turning to Stereopony and all of a sudden I was on my knees outside with Elsuke taking a photo of me. HA HA! I know, the most epic moment ever and I can't even remember it!

Needless to say, I GOT MY DRUM SIGNED!!! (somehow?) I'm pretty sure I was alone at that time because the VGD guys were chilling with some of the other fans a few feet away from the exit and SH was on the far end of the plaza already. I walked out the door, roared in triumph and gave out one last "SHIHO SAMA!!!", Elsuke ran over and took a snap of my dumbfounded victory. My mind still couldn't process what had transpired, so I casually spoke with the VGD guys in a calm manner before making it over to the SH group. It wasn't too late in the night, so we all decided to have a post show dinner at Denny's a few blocks away.

A few minutes past by and we start walking towards our cars, and who do we see at the backdoor loading area? STEREOPONY!!! If we left a minute or two earlier, we probably would have been a lot closer to them, but we were down the street! HA HA! They ended up driving by us and we shouted, raved, clamored, etc., a final thank you & good bye to them.


Their management also took a separate van, which we sent off in the same manner.

"GO TEAM!!!"
Post Final: Denny's

Freddy rode shotgun with me again and we ended up being the third car to arrive at Denny's. Phil was one person and I forgot the second (might have been Toshi), but everyone was super late for having left earlier than us... or did they?

Go up Main St, turn on 17th, and it'll be on your right side. Check.

"Yo! Where's everyone else?"
"I don't know, we've been here for a bit too."
"Hmm, is there another parking area or something?"
"No, this is it."
"Ahh, are they inside already?"
"Can't be."
"Hmm, let's check anyways."
We walk inside.
"Hi, this IS the Denny's on 17th St right?"
"Yup, sure is."
"What? That doesn't make sense, so where is everyone?"
"Did you try the one on Bristol?"
"Wait, what do you mean?"
"There's another Denny's down on the other side, by Bristol St."

We were at the wrong Denny's. HA HA! So we hop back into our cars and made way to the other Denny's. Other than the usual gang that meets up most of the time, it's been a long LONG time since we've had a big SH dinner together (aww, how cute! I think they had to connect 3 tables yeah?). So of course we ate and recapped the night away. Freddy showed me vids of a wicked ass drummer from a different band and Lale got blown away by my Spanish.

"Si aki! Como esta mi amigo?"

After the late dinner, we all ended up outside the front door for a few hours. Yes, hours. It wasn't intentional, but we just got stuck talking the night away. There were some new faces I didn't recognize as well.

Phil happened to be the only SH member that I haven't met til that night. Super cool. (HA! We already met at AM2, I just forgot! Confirmed by Nuclear!)

Vince brought his girlfriend (I assume. I assume wrong and apologize if that was your sister) Angie (Anjeline?). Also super cool, thanks for letting Vince hang out with us for that long.

I think Bryan brought his friend also, his name started with a "M"? HA HA! I didn't get to talk with him much, so an intro was the most words we exchanged.

Then there was big Toshi (Real name? I totally forgot). I don't think he was either VGD or SH, but he happened to be from the Bay Area and bandwagoned Stereopony since the SF shows. He ended up with us somewhow by the end of the night. Also a cool dude that I keep in touch with to this very day.

Sadly, all things come to an end. Eisuke's "Thumbs Up!" became the "good bye!" for the night, so we did the "Eisuke" and shouted "Osu!" to everyone as they left. One by one until it dwindled down to none. It was a bit past midnight by the time we all left, but because I live roughly over an hour away, I couldn't sleep when I got home and ended up going to work a few hours after on a concert high. "It makes it a little hard to work when your mind still thinks you're in party mode". HA HA!

So in closing, it was good to kick it with old friends as well as meet some new ones.

Gotta throw some props to the SH members that made it to the shows, VGD for keeping it real and strong with the band.

And of course, much love to Stereopony for throwing on some memorable (OK, semi-memorable from my POV) shows.

Until next time yah'll!

Last edited by bigOeyez on Thu May 03, 2012 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total

"Quitters fall down and stay down... Winners fall down and keep rolling"

"Drummers have stamina!!!" - Pedro Jimenez

"Oh! Ah you! Metal Boy!" - Rina
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Wed May 02, 2012 1:26 pm



International Performer
International Performer
Wow, thanks for that super detailed account dude !
It was almost as good as being there, but only almost !

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Wed May 02, 2012 1:39 pm



International Performer
International Performer
Where's the "Like" button? Oh wait... this isn't Facebook...

In raging day, in fearful night,
with strong hearts full, our souls ignite,
when all seems lost in the war of light,
look to the stars for hope burns bright!
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Wed May 02, 2012 11:21 pm



Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
@ Master Miller: The only bad thing about any shows I attend is that I barely make it to the headliners... HA HA! I know that's bad, but I always have a lil too much fun and end up enjoying them without a clue as to what happened the night before... But if my friends say I did, then I have no choice but to say I did... HA!

@ Nate: NATE!!! You should have came!!! I might have had a lot of randomness going on during the shows, but everyone was going at it like madmen!!! Ah, but next time we'll do it in NY, sounds good?

"Quitters fall down and stay down... Winners fall down and keep rolling"

"Drummers have stamina!!!" - Pedro Jimenez

"Oh! Ah you! Metal Boy!" - Rina
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Thu May 03, 2012 3:11 am



Global Moderator
Global Moderator
@big 10/10 would read again

Fantastic review sir.

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Thu May 03, 2012 3:30 am



Caless Student
Caless Student
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I'm slowly adding more details and photos as I recall them

Thursday April 12, 2012
Yost Theater
Santa Ana, CA

Background: The excitement


I've been waiting over a month for this concert. I was tempted to fly out
to Sakura-Con when they announced it. Lo and behold they announced 3
California shows. Knowing I couldn't miss too many days of work, I
opted to go to the Santa Ana show since it was close enough to where I
worked. I remember sitting at the car dealership at 10 AM one Saturday
morning waiting for the clock to strike the new hour so I can buy my
tickets. Click and bang and my VIP ticket was on its way. One week
later when my next paycheck came in, I bought all 3 of their DVD from
CDJapan. My ultimate goals was to get my Hydrangea Blooms DVD signed
since it was that DVD that made me fall in love with them.

Pre-Concert Prep


I'm usually a part of a lot of online forums but not very active because
well quite simply I don't have that much free time. I decided to
re-vive my dying account at VeryGoodDays to see how excited the fans
were. To my surprise there were a lot more excited people on
SCANDAL-Heaven. I've done some communication with some of the guys at
VGD and so I escorted them to the concert.

To me Japanese concerts are like a religious experience. We don't get that many here in the states but
when you do and it's one of your favorite bands, you better believe that people will go balls out. Trying to emulate what we did for SCANDAL at AM2, I went to the dollar store and bought every glowstick they had in stock. From the SCANDAL interview they said that was their favorite part of the American concert since apparently in Japan glowsticks are a no no.

Before hitting the venue at Santa Ana I along with 2 other guys/Mods from VGD went to Target to print out photo albums for the girls. So far they hit every stop on this US Tour and decided to select the best photos from each show and make 4 copies of the album. Even Mao, touring guitarist got some loving.

The Day of The Concert


I came a little too over prepared for this concert. I was told by the venue that I could bring my DSLR to the meet and greet but not the show. Luckily I could give me DSLR to the guys at VGD since they had a photopass. So I walk into the venue with my 12 pound camera bag, a backpack full of glowsticks and my DVDs, and a poster tube because we were promised posters. I was running late to the venue because of lovely Orange County traffic and the miss timing of how long 400 photos would take to print. When I walked up to the VIP line, it's like 4th of July never ended. I got to see all my friends I met at AM2. It was a beautiful reunion.

As we all waited in line for the meet and greet, a Yost staff member gives us all our VIP badges. He tells us to go up stairs where we will have our picture taken and then we can go directly to the pit. Meet
and greets for me are always weird because you never know exactly what is going to happen. As I walk up the stairs, it's pitch black and I thought we were going to go through a series of rooms. When we got to the top of the stairs, there was a leather bench and Stereopony. Poised like perfect ceramic dolls, it seemed very unreal. The seats were arranged from left to right:

Shiho, Guest, Aimi, Nohana

Before getting our picture taken, we were given an autograph insert of More!More!More! It was a marketing ploy for you to buy the CD from the merch table at the end of the show. It would of worked if I didn't already own the CD haha. I didn't know what to do exactly because all I knew I had to do what sit between Shiho and Aimi. Shiho was putting on the straight, I'm too cool face, but in a non arrogant way. Nohana had that shy cutesy look of a high school girl. Aimi had that bubbly personality and was all smiles. "Sit here" she instructed me as she patted the seat. Being giddy I don't know why but both Aimi and I both through up a Victory sign. Since I was the first one in line trying to take photos for SCANDAL-Heaven people, I didn't have anyone to take my photo. So I handed off my camera to their tour manager. He mis-guessed the weight of my SLR and I actually got two shots because he misframed the first one. Aimi said "Sugoi" as she points at my beast of a camera.

After leaving the meet and greet we were allowed to walk down to the stage where we pretty much camped out for the show. I forget there would be an opening act but me as usual for shows where it's not the headlining act, I usually just stand and watch and wait for the time to pass. So before the show started I decided to crack open my backpack and dispense of the glowsticks. Everything was pretty much gone within 10 minutes. Most of us at SH tried to have 2 sets of glowsticks: The regular colors and 2 blue ones if Stereopony played "Sweet Blue" (which is my favorite song). If the dollar store had more blue sticks it would of been epic, but in the end I cleared out their inventory and I think this added a more powerful ambiance to the concert.

The Show


Beware of Darkness was the opening act. The guys were very talented instrumentally. I got a heightened sense of paranoia, homosexuality, and flamboyancy from the lead singer. It was probably all a stage act but it reminded me very much of Freddy Mercury. Each of the members came on stage to do the tuning of their instruments. I like how Aimi tried to play it cool and pretended she didn't see us.

Setlist (Thanks to Matt for getting me the correct order)

1. Effective Line
2. Sweet Blue
3. Hana Hiraki Oka
4. Chissana Mahou
5. Super Girl
6. Fuzz
7. Never Look Back
8. Namida No Mukou
9. It's A Wild World
10. Hanbunko
11. Stand By Me
12. Tsukiakari No Michishirube
13. I Do It
14. Bibara Bibara
15. Hoshikuzu Kandelaar
16. Hitohira No Hanabira (Encore)

Oh man, what a great opener. "Effective Line" being Stereopony's shortest song, it packs a lot of emotion especially being heard and seen live. From VeryGoodDays:

"A song that’s about originality and individuality; in an effort to paint a monochrome heart with colors, “effective line” makes it obvious that every day we have to work to make things that are not good into
something lively. We live and die but that does not mean that we cannot paint it in a million colors the way we want to. With nothing left to lose, we have to show that we can change. A song that says our lives have a very strong capacity and power to become something amazing."

With the hard strums on that candy apple Tele, we knew it was Sweet Blue. From where I was standing which was center stage in front of Nohana, when Aimi hits those opening chords blue glow sticks were being snapped in sync. As she sings those opening lines, the whole front row was lit of up with blue. I only wonder how it looked from the stage especially from where Shiho was sitting. I know that Stereopony puts on amazing lives based on the DVDs and YouTube videos that I have seen. Yet I wonder how they would react to an American audience. They seemed to have fun based on the Nico Nico live stream at Sakura-Con and I heard that Aimi semi stage dived the night before at The Key Club.

Since Mao was acting as touring guitarist, Nohana was not doing any backup signing. Instead she stood there the entire night dead center. As a bass player myself, I could totally see that she was in the zone.
For the More!More!More! she changed up her hair style where she looks like Mami pre Love Survive/Budokan. I think originally she was trying to play that strong silent type as you can see in the new "Stand By Me" music video. I was standing between Matt and Freddy. Just like at AM2, me and Matt were baiting Nohana like we did with Tomomi. Throwing up the glowsticks trying to make her come closer to us by the edge of the stage. She saw us and actually walked forward. She looked down and smiled at us and did some of the sexiest live bass riffs and rides. I'll tell you this, you hear the bass on the CD, but seeing is literally 3 feet from your face being pumped out through those Marshall amps
reminds me of why I took up bass four years ago.

There were about 4 interludes where Aimi and Shiho did some MCing. From previous interviews Aimi always says that she practices those the most to make sure her English is loud and clear. Before they played "Namida No Mukou" Shiho was trying to say "I'm so happy to be here" but she couldn't think of the word "here". We yelled it out from the audience and she broke into laughter. Now we know she was going to havemore fun at this show, The highlights of the show was when they played their new single "Stand By Me". There was an interesting dynamic when they played "It's A Wild World" and "Hanbunko" back to back.

From an interview with Stereopony at Anime Boston 2011 via VGD

VGD: Your latest single Chiisana Mahou had the B-side “It’s a Wild World”, your first song sung completely in English. Why did you choose to write a song in English, and will we be seeing more songs in English?

Last year, when we played in Animenext in NJ, with communicating with fans and signing, there were many fans who try to speak to us in Japanese in order to communicate their feelings to them. Even though it was just to say “thank you” or “that was such a great show” or “that was amazing!”, we were just so happy that our fans spoke these little things to us in Japanese. So in return, we all thought to try and speak English for our fans. We all thought to ourselves, “we really want to do this!” and even though we are not very good at English, we still wanted to try and write a song that could still communicate across to our English speaking fans.

That truly shows the kind of relationship the band wants with their audience. Truly humble and they want to make that special connection. During "Hanbunko" during Aimi vocal solo towards the end, she backed off from the mic and let the audience sing. You could see a slight tear in her eye as she pulled back in the finish off the song. During "Bibara Bibara" or "Viva La Viva" (depends on who you ask) I remember half of us looking directly over at Mao and she did the backup vocals. We got a smile from her so that was totally worth it. As they finished off their set with "Hitohira No Hanabita" as their
encore my arms were dying too much from an hour of glowsticking. I decided to root back to my So Cal punk rock days and throw out devil horns. I was pretty much rapping/power vocaling, I don't know how would you describe the signing to that song, to Aimi's verse. Nohana got a glimpse of me and she smiled. If you look at this video, you can see my devil horns be thrown out at 39 seconds.

Post Concert


After Stereopony left the stage we were being rushed out by the venue so they could turn it into a club. I was in a rush to the merch table to buy a t shirt and the very limited edition US only bracelets. As much as I wanted to hunt the ground for Aimi's pick I'm not going to battle Niel ever again. As I bought my shirt and was looking for the meet and greet line, the girls walked right past me. Me being 5'8" the girls were literally under my chin. I yelled out "high five" and they gave me one before they were moved to the front of the venue. My last goal of the night I must get them to sign my Hydrangea Blooms DVD. I still have angry feelings about Cure not letting SCANDAL sign my BEST SCANDAL DVD.
So my only debate was do I have them sign the front cover or the panels. After like 2 minutes of discussion it was decided to get the panel signed. At the autograph signing I decided to redeem myself and tried to be polite since I high fived them about 4 minutes ago. From left to right it was Shiho, Aimi, and Nohana. I handed off the the insert to Shiho, then it skipped over to Nohana some how then back to Aimi. As it was being passed around, I tried shaking their hands with a firm grasp saying Arigatou every time. It caught Shiho off by guard and she laughed at me. Man she has a great smile. Nohana smiled at me and a part of me wants to believe that she recognized me as the guy at the stage who pretty much looked at her the entire night. And if you were wondering, yes she has incredibly soft hands ... just like Tomomi.

So here's my favorite part of the night.

Aimi was signing the insert. She handed it back to me and I was trying to do the traditional hand shake and Arigatou. We did it, and she was like "No No", grabbed my hand as if we were arm wrestling, pulled me into her, and patted my back three times. She said "Thank You!!!", smiled at me and I walked out. As I stood outside of the venue, I'm pretty sure I screamed out "Dude, Aimi just bro hugged me".
Then you see Pedro running out in glory with his signed Tom (drum). As we were waiting outside of the venue, we had Freddy keep a look out just in case he saw Stereopony loading up the truck. As Lale and Freddy were dropping stuff in the car, I think it was Matt, correct me if I'm wrong waving his glowsticks. We were right we saw the band loading up their gear on the side on the venue. I think we kept a good I don't know 100-150 feet between us and them so as to not appear to be creepy. As the girls were picked up in a Prius they waved goodbye to us. Nohana had her cat Hanz, that she took on tour with her in her seat.

After After Party


Erich said that we should all go eat at Denny's down the street from the venue. I thought I was the first
to arrive there because shortly afterwards I saw Pedro and Freddy. Apparently we were at the wrong Denny's. Heading about 5 miles in the correct direction there was everyone from SH there. We occupied about three tables. We spent about an hour eating there but spent I guess 2 hours loitering outside of the Denny's. Inside jokes about extreme fist pumping, getting guitar picks at a Perfume show, and realizing how sore we were from the concert. Eventually all good things come to and end especially when people have work the next day and have to fly out. I know this review is like 3 weeks late, but I'm still off the high of the concert. Till next time, concerts with good friends are always the best

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Thu May 03, 2012 5:31 am



Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
@ Nuclear: So it was Hanbunko where Aimi dropped the vocals! Looks like I'll have to correct myself on that... HA HA! Dude I found out the other day that you can buy stuff from the dollar store online... IN BULK!!! Now that's food for thought for the next show... And I agree, all friendship and such titles go out the window if you're going after the same pick as Neil...
KO Onion
But uh, did we hang out at AM2? I was always separated from the group when it came to the meets and stuff, but I was there camping out most of the time as well... We exchanged words at the most?

@ Lale: Gracias mi amigo, but you sir are a fantastic man! There's something coming your way pretty soon!!! WOO!!!

"Quitters fall down and stay down... Winners fall down and keep rolling"

"Drummers have stamina!!!" - Pedro Jimenez

"Oh! Ah you! Metal Boy!" - Rina
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Thu May 03, 2012 5:39 am



Caless Student
Caless Student
@BigO ... yea we kindda hung out at AM2. We all camped together according to Matt's photos on Facebook which you aren't on. Remember when you guys were shaving down the drumsticks for Rina to autograph, I was the guy who was showing people how to open drum which is the traditional way

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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Thu May 03, 2012 8:34 am



Mainstream Artist
Mainstream Artist
@ Nuclear: Wait! You did mention that at Denny's and I was like "OH YEAH!!!"... HA HA! Man, my memory went down the hole... Heh, open drumming, I've seen people cheat by using a remote hi-hat stand and mounting it to the right and flopping the ride over to the other side to clear up space...

"Quitters fall down and stay down... Winners fall down and keep rolling"

"Drummers have stamina!!!" - Pedro Jimenez

"Oh! Ah you! Metal Boy!" - Rina
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:02 am



Caless Student
Caless Student
I don't think I ever read the report on this. Thanks for the memories NuClearSounds, BigO, Geo, Lale, etc. etc. It was of course an amazing experience meeting you all through Stereopony's gigs. 

I'm looking forward to seeing you all again, this time for Scandal in LA!

Yo! I'm a administrator at Very Good Days! The International Stereopony Community
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Re: SH USA Stereopony Concert discussion thread~
Posted on Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:48 pm



Indie Artist
Indie Artist
Thanks for zombie-ing this thread, haha. It was fun to read my own and everyone else's reports again. I definitely look forward to seeing you again too.

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