Here is the round up of our (me and Ida’s) trip from April 19th, 2008 to April 21st, 2008 to see L’Arc~en~Ciel live in concert for their TOUR 2008 L’7 ~TRANS ASIA via PARIS~ at Yuan Shen Stadium in Shanghai. It’s a bit long so if you wanna skip some parts, please do so ^^. Please pay attention to reports of 20080419 (live report and how I met the reporter of MUSICA Magazine) and 20080420 (how I met James Blunt and ken-!!!- at the airport). Enjoy!
PS. pictures are all property of Ida.
20080417 The night before the departure.
I met up with Ida (Niceey – same person ^^) in Plaza Semanggi, Jakarta before I crashed at her house so we could go together to the airport in the morning. After we meet up we decided to buy to buy last minute supplies to make a HUGE HUGE BANNER for the concert. So we went on buying a big duplex paper and some florescent paper (pink and orange) to cut up letters. I also bought 2 miniDV tapes. After we eat, my mom+bro took us to Ida’s house.
At the house we start to make preparations. We were planning to show up at Yuanshen Stadium with an Indonesian national costume called the kebaya because we wanted to really POP OUT amongst the crowd. And then inside the venue we planned to change in to shirts that have been spray painted with BRIGHT NEON GREEN AND YELLOW PAINT. On the front we drew x_x and on the back we wrote “L’7”. It was utterly eye-catching. It was for the love of L’Arc~en~Ciel.
We continued to make the banner. Like everything else we really wanted it to REALLY POP OUT! SO we spray paint the duplex paper with the same NEON GREEN COLOR and cut out the words “INDONESIA” and a big “ラルク” with a PINK HEART, three green “x_x” and added “gold reflective round thingies” Then to keep it real safe we sorta laminated it with clear tape.
We were so very proud of this banner! We made this while listening to Gackt songs. I haven’t listened to Mars album in a long time ^^. We try to STAY AWAY from L’Arc songs because we know we would be nervous ^^.
20080418 The day of departure.
We have to wake up very early in the morning. 4AM!!! The night before, we stayed up until 12 preparing for everything. Before we left we checked every bags and had some breakfast. It was still dark when we got out the house and the road was pretty much empty. Ida’s mom accompanied us to the airport. When we arrive at Terminal (1/2), after taking the wrong turn and were laughed at (we imagined) by statues of Soekarno & Hatta, we say goodbye to Ida’s mom and continue to check-in. We have no bags to check in; we carry all of our stuff in the cabin. My suitcase was only half full anyways ^^. The check-in lady at the Cathay Pacific counter was kinda rude to us, is it because we could only afford economy tickets? 😄 I have to tell you that the system in Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Jakarta is pretty confusing. There are no clear information about where to pay the fiscal fee and stuff. There were 2 bank outlets there (BCA and Mandiri), on their billboard they said “We accept fiscal payments”, but we thought they only accepted payments if we have an account there, how should we know that they accept cash as well.
So we proceed to go to the Gate. Even though, we have brought novels with us, we stopped at a bookstore to buy National Geographic that highlights about China (Ida) and BLACK BELT (me XD). In normal conditions I would never buy an imported SUDOKU book. But hey, we’re on a trip to see L’Arc~en~Ciel in Shanghai, so I was feeling kinda impulsive 😄 We wait around at the waiting lounge. I texted my family and some of my friends that we are about to leave. They replied back with words of encouragement. I felt very HAPPY! Thanx, you guys!
My seat was 38K and Ida’s were 38H. We thought we have been given separate seats by the rude check-in lady, but it turns out we get to seat side by side. I GOT WINDOW SEATS!!! I love window seats 😄 My boss was kinda surprised when I told him that I like window seats. He said being seated nowhere near the aisle is a hassle because we have to bug 2 people when we want to go to the toilet. But I don’t pee that much so that’s okay 😄 The take off was smooth and I saw from the window that WE ARE LEAVING JAKARTA *squeals*. I could hardly believe. WE! ARE LEAVING JAKARTA! TO SEE L’Arc~en~Ciel!!! I had butterflies in my stomach more than the days before. I was like, THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!! OH MY GOD!!!
The in-flight service was superb, they even have an in-flight bi nán (it’s a term me and my friends use) named Brian 😄 They have choice of meals Beef Rice and Prawn Noodles. Ida went for the Beef I went for the Prawn. I was good ^^. The in-flight entertainment was hilarious! We were laughing hard when we see Japanese dubbed version of PS. I Love You and Korean dubbed version of I Am Legend. I didn’t really watch anything, I just flipped between the channels until I found Always: Zoku San-chome no Yuuhi (the sequel of Always: San-chome no Yuuhi!!!). But when I got to the channel it was already in the middle part so, I just changed to the Japanese radio station and do my sudoku puzzle. We also looked at the DISCOVER the shop catalog for duty free items they sell on board the plane. Some really catch our interest like this Dior make up kit, this Pierre Cardin jewelry set (of course for my mom not for me), this Swarovski padlock USB memory chain, and THIS MICKEY MOUSE MP3 PLAYER!!! But we didn’t buy anything because basically… we don’t have money to burn 😄
20080418 Arrival in Hong Kong.
We arrive in Hong Kong at (time) to catch a connecting flight to Shanghai. Just when we got out of the plane Ida met her from college. What are the odds 😄 The Hong Kong airport was very nice but we don’t really have time to go sightseeing because we have to catch the Dragon Air flight. We really like the logo of the airline because it’s so yankii 😄 The plane was smaller than the first. Well, it’s a connecting flight; it’s less than two hours I can’t complain. This is a holy mission to see our boys 😄 BUTTERFLIES!!! 😄 We are that much closer to Shanghai 😄 In the flight they serve us with more food 😄 This time the choice is Chicken Rice (Ida) and Beef Lasagna (me) with chocolate Haagen Dazs 😄 Nice! But despite the good food my nerves won’t settle down because I thought this day would never came 😄
20080418 Arrival in Shanghai.
We arrive in Pudong Airport at (time), the wind was pretty cold, but our hearts went DOKKYUU~N because WE ARE IN THE SAME LAND AS L’Arc~en~Ciel. Then we realized that we didn’t bring clothes that were suitable for such weather. Of course we have our jackets, but we _ARE_ wearing a pink see-through kebaya to the concert. But, we didn’t really fuss about it because we would endure the cold to see L’Arc 😄 So anyway, we found our way through the crowd, pass immigration and went on to look for the Maglev Train, the world’s fastest. From the start we plan not to take the taxi unless we really need too, because we really want to experience Shanghai. before we reached the train we pass 3 people (a guy and two girls) I gasp and tug Ida’s arm because this boy looked like hyde, especially his eyebrows 😄 So I taped him with my camera for our friend back home (Shakina) to see *freaks*. The Maglev ticket cost RMB 50 but because we have boarding passes for that day we could buy the tickets for only RMB 40 😄 Lucky~~ 😄 Have I mentioned that all the way we see stuff that is related to L’Arc? Like before I saw Evergreen Airlines and when we were waiting around for the Maglev we saw a box that said Tierra. Like I said we are freaks 😄
So finally the Maglev arrived and we sat down on the first available seats we saw. The inside was really comfortable they have a speedometer next to the digital clock that tells us how fast we are going. They say we can go up to 500 km/h or more on the test run and 431 km/h on normal speed, but at the time the train only reached 300 km/h. Not that there was anything to complain about. It was fast and cheap 😄
From the Maglev we proceeded to walk to Longyang Road Station. Inside on the automatic ticketing machine was CHAOS! Most of the machines weren’t working and I can see people screaming (but now come to think of it they do speak that way if they want to make something clear). We were really confused. But we finally worked our way out to buy the tickets on the automatic ticket. As you can see on the Metro Map here, we took the train from Longyang Road line 2 (green line) to Century Avenue then transfer there to line 6 (pink line) to Lin Yi Xin Cun just 3 minutes away from our hotel, Ying Feng Hotel. The metro is really clean and fast and CHEAP it cost us only RMB 3 to 4 for one trip since we only took short trips. It’s very convenient to get around Shanghai with the metro. The only problem is that it closes very early, like 9 pm.
We arrive at the hotel around 8 o’clock. We were in room 512, a twin room. After that we changed and went straight downstairs, ask the front desk about a good taxi to take us to The Bund. He recommended the green and yellow taxi and he warned us about the red one. So we took the green taxi to The Bund. Most of the Chinese people we meet cannot speak English. For shop owner it’s fine because we could always bargain with typing the price we want on their calculators. For taxi drivers this is… hell. We wasted 5 minutes trying to figure out how to pronounce “The Bund” like a Chinese person. Alas, we showed him the map. So, here’s a tip, when you want to go somewhere ask the hotel’s front desk employee to write out the name of the place you want to visit in Chinese on a piece of paper. This will make it very easy for you and the driver. You can just show him the paper and he will take you there. From our experience the cabbies are really fast and well, not so safe driver. They take sharp turns and sometimes stop abrasively, so wear your seatbelts. The driver’s seat is surrounded with fiberglass, maybe in the pass there have been incidents where the taxi driver got mugged or something -___-” *I hate violence*. Some of the taxis have one of those touch screen LCDs when we saw L’Arc’s picture pop out on the screen we couldn’t help squealing and reaching our camera’s 😄 At some point I think we scared the driver ^^.
On The Bund, we went to the first boat ride ticket counter we could see and bought 2 tickets for RMB 140. The guy told us to get on the bus. We totally hear “pus” so we thought “pass” as in pass the pier, but what he went was bus, a mini bus. At first it was kinda scary when you having to arrive in another country you’ve never been in, and buying a ticket for a boat ride and they told you to get in a mini bus with a driver who is smoking all the time. But I convinced myself that it was fine, and it was. He was just taking us to the other pier. Seeing that we can’t speak a word of Chinese except for “Ni hao, wo she HAIDO, wo ai TAIWAN, next song SHALLOW SLEEP~~” (Hello, I’m HYDE, I love TAIWAN) 😄 well, that and maybe “Xie Xie ni” (thank you), we have a hard time adjusting ourselves to our surrounding where people talk really loud 😄 It was confusing at first but after a while I got a hang of it.
At the pier, the line was very long. When we took pictures of ourselves an old Korean guy offered to take a picture of us. After a while we chatted and his friends said that he is a famous comedian in KBS. So, if any of you is familiar with Korean entertainment please tell me if this guy really is famous or not 😄
After the long queue we were able to go on the ferry. It was tall and has 2 floors, with Chinese carvings. We went around The Bund to see the man made electrical marvel ^^. It was really nice the lights are really beautiful and the architecture was awesome 😄 But if you are looking for something more Chinese, I would recommend something else. The thing is I really don’t know what to recommend other than the recommendation of a French girl named Chloe, who was on her second trip to Shanghai. Seeing that there’s a gaijin there, I came up to her and ask her to recommend good places in Shanghai for first time travelers with very limited amount of time in their hands. She recommended the Old Town because it is very Chinese then Nanjing Road for shopping and then the French Concession to look at the architecture (she doesn’t recommend the last one so much, I think that’s because she was French and can see that sort of architecture all the time ^^.
After Chloe’s recommendation we figured out a route and time table to see all of those places in very limited time the next day. So referring to the metro map, we would start our journey from our hotel (Lin Yi Xin Cun station, pink line 6) to Yuanshen Stadium (Yuanshen Stadium station, pink line 6) to have a look at the venue, just for a while in case the members are there. Then we planned to continue our journey from Yuanshen Stadium to Jing An Temple (Jing An Temple station, green line 2 ) and then proceed to walk to the temple and see the part of Nanjing before going to the Old Town by taxi (in the map I think it’s around Da Shi Jie station, blue line 8, if my calculations are right) then to the French Concession also by taxi (around Shang Shu Road or South Xan Shi Road stations on the map, red line 1, I’m not really sure). Sure, we could plan but we could never know what will happen tomorrow 😄
After we got off the boat, we went to some shops near the pier to buy some souvenirs for people back home. I bought pearl and jade necklaces for my mom and grandmother and some clover accessories (2 phone straps and a bracelet – similar to these). I spend RMB 225 in total. That was pretty cheap compared to the price in Indonesia. The clover accessories alone could cost around RMB 50 to 90… EACH! I find that communicating with the shop owners/sellers is very pleasant even if they don’t speak English very well. They could always use the calculator ^^. After the trip to The Bund, we wanted to get back to the hotel but we couldn’t find any taxi >_< it was kinda late around 11.00 PM. But somehow we feel pretty safe. The city was still alive at that time 😄 In Jakarta walking with a friend at 11.00 PM is not something I wouldn’t do unless I’m really really sure if the area is safe ^^. After a while we decided to walk a few blocks to find a taxi. Because we have a hard time stopping a taxi we asked a police officer to help. At first he was confused like his face was saying, “This is not really my job,” but then he smiled and said “okay” and help us hail a taxi.
Before we got back to the hotel, we went across the street to a 24-hour chain store called Q to buy instant noodles, snacks and drinks. When I was browsing the magazine counter I saw Sakai Ayana on one of the cover. I gasped and took the magazine right away. It was a Chinese version of Ray. With no second thought, I went ahead and buy it along with U.F.O prawn flavor instant noodles, Melty Kiss matcha flavor (of course), Pocky Mousse matcha flavor and KIRIN FIRE 😄 It was only RMB 20 for this thick magazine so in total I spent like RMB 35. It was not bad, not bad at all 😄
When I sat down and do nothing in the hotel room I almost had an anxiety attack. Every time I think about the concert the next day I was a wreck. Throughout the journey, I try to think about something else, because if my mind is blank, I will get very nervous about the concert 😄 So that was that, after that we went to sleep. Looking forward to see L’Arc the next day ^^.
20080419 THE DAY OF THE CONCERT
The night before we already decided that we would go to the Yuanshen Stadium first to see the preparations of the concert and maybe if we are lucky we could see THE BOYS 😄 We had breakfast on the hotel’s restaurant and ate sushi, apples and salad. From the window we could see 2 groups of people were having their morning exercises. One group was middle aged lady and one was a group of old folks. After we finished eating we went to upstairs and get ready for today.We walked at Dong Fang Road to take the metro at the next station Shanghai Children’s Medical Center station (pink line 6 – see map here) to Yuan Shen Stadium Station. We walked a bit because we wanted to see more of Shanghai. In the metro a very friendly Chinese man started to talk to us and asked where did we come from and such. He gave us his name card. His name is William Hu and he was just finished visiting his nephew in the Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. It’s very nice to talk to local people. After this I thought that actually people in Shanghai is very friendly and pleasant, maybe it’s just because the are shy about their ability in English so they sorta hesitate to initiate a conversation.
After we say goodbye to William who got of at Century Ave. station we continue our journey to Yuanshen Stadium. When we went out from the subway we saw THIS HUGE WHITE STADIUM. I really felt weak in the knees >_< butterflies in my stomach and I could feel cold sweats on my forehead. Ida and I were squealing like crazy 😄 The stadium itself is surrounded by a sport center/complex. There’s like a skate park, tennis park, and other sport courts surrounding the stadium. After we went it we rushed to the doors, on the way, I noticed that 3 girls are looking and pointing at us. So I said hi to them and asked whether they are going to watch the show tonight or not. They said yes and asked where we from. When we said Indonesia, they were really surprised and said “REALLY!? REALLY!? You come here just for the concert?” We nodded and I showed them my yellow nails with x_x 😄 They were like “WOW! We came from Beijing,” like us they were visiting Shanghai just to see L’Arc 😄 LONG LIVE L’Arc 😄
So we say goodbye to them because we wanted to see the venue. We went berserk when we see posters of them on the wall (of course we took pictures XD) and went around the stadium looking for an opening to see the inside. After finding many closed and guarded gates we manage to find a gate that is opened and unguarded. We turn on our video camera (me) and digital camera (Ida) to film what was happening inside 😄 We could see the seats are being lined up and the crews are paving the grass field with some sort of rubber pads. Because we felt that we haven’t seen enough we went upstairs to the podiums but the doors were all closed >_< so we rushed down again and found a HOTEL(!!!) right above and surrounding the stadium!!! When we saw this our hearts went KYUNDOOOO~~~~ (the opposite of DOKKYUN. Whereas dokkyuun expresses a more excited and DOKI DOKI feeling, kyundoo expresses a more disappointed feel). Because when I first arrange the trip, I asked the travel agent to give us the nearest hotel to the venue. This hotel is _ON TOP_OF THE VENUE. We went inside and find the way to the elevator. We went straight to the highest floor which was the 5th. And TO OUR SURPRISE!!! THERE ARE WINDOWS!!! HUGE GLASS WINDOWS LOOKING OUT TO INSIDE OF THE STADIUM!!! I felt DOKKYUN AND KYUNDOO at the same time. Dokkyun: because we can see the preparation of the stage, and Kyundoo because we weren’t able to stay at that hotel and watch the boys rehearse and play soccer like the staff diary at L’Arc~en~Ciel’s official myspace said.
But we put our Kyundoos aside and start filming the preparation. I zoom up on every crews’ face to see if I recognize any of them (I think I should know 😄 seeing that I watched too many DVDs). After we were quite content with what we got on tape and on film, we remembered that we have to see more of Shanghai. In my heart I know this was not very ME, because I would have stick there till I see hyde, tetsu, ken or yukihiro. But I have to get my family especially my mom seeing that she helped me a lot preparing for THIS TRIP, and besides the 21st is her birthday so I gotta get here something real nice ^^.
On our way out of the stadium we saw some youngster with a bicycle cart (like this but bigger) selling unofficial goods like fans, poster and mouse pads of L’Arc~en~Ciel and other Chinese artists. One of the girls talked to us and asked where we come from and if we will watch the show tonight and also which member do we like best (to this question of course we answer all of them XD). She was apparently there to sell goods with her friends and she will not watch the concert. I took 2 mouse pads, one with the MEN’S 109 KISS promo and one with this (link) picture. Ida also took the same ones ^^. We spent a total of RMB 80 for 4 mouse pads ^^. Not long after that a security officer came and shoo them off. They argued a bit with the officer but then they went out of the stadium complex. We also went out of the stadium and said goodbye to then and then went to the metro to go to Jing An Temple ^^.
20080419 Jing An Temple & Nanjing Road
We transfer at Century Ave station (pink line 6) to get to Jing An station (green line 2). When we reach the station we stopped to buy a SIM Card that can be used for international SMS, mineral water and one cup of custard pudding that looks really good (RMB 6). When we went out of the station we can see crowded streets! People everywhere 😄 Not far from exit 2 we can see the Jing An Temple. The entry ticket cost RMB 10. I guess they sell it cheap because most people come there to pray. After we pass the gate there’s this BIG grey pagoda in the middle of the courtyard with bells chiming because of the wind people were throwing coins to the pagoda trying to get it into on of the windows of it. I don’t quite understand what is it for but I think it has something to do with getting your wish 😄 We see people young and old praying and burning incense around the temple. There are 3 big rooms, on at the front under the huge flight of stairs and 2 to the right and left, the rooms one the left and right have one statue of the Buddha in each and in the big room under the stairs there were many statues of many different deities. On these rooms, they have knee stools for people to kneel down and pray. It’s a very spiritual experience; I was surprised to see that even young people with fashionable outfits came to pray. WOW! After we looked around we wanted to have a shot on throwing the coins. Ida got hers in first and I took me about 10-15 minutes to get a coin in. Of course I wish for the best at the concert and I wish that I could meet L’Arc~en~Ciel 😄
Next we strolled down Nanjing Road, which is kinda similar to Orchard Road in Singapore. There are many malls but we see a lot of branded fashion malls. I really wanted to find a CD store, so we went in the first mall we see. We were distracted to take pictures in front of the very cool architecture before we went in. When we went inside the first thing we saw was… a Vivienne Westwood outlet! I want the rings so bad. But they’re all expensive! >_< a pair of socks was around RMB 130 >_<. We only spent little time on the store because things was so unbelievably EXPENSIVE there so we walk to the back road and take pictures in an alley. There’s this small La mien shop in the alley. It was made by the people that leave in the house. It looked really tasty. After taking photos we found a market 😄 SO we decided that this is where we should shop 😄 We found a LOT of stuff here. The prices are very VERY reasonable and the best part is you can haggle for it 😄
Total damage: RMB 1500 *SMACKS SELF IN THE HEAD* Well, it’s not all my money DUH!! A couple of friends had gave me some money to buy stuff for them so some of these stuff is not mine anyways 😄
After that shopping madness we felt really hungry and it started to rain >_< but we passed a La mien vendor on the street that was still full with queues, I wonder how delicious the food must have been 😄 So we found a bakery on a street corner, not very far away from the market. The view from the bakery was really nice; we can see lots of different people, mostly with better fashion sense than the last. The street style is mainly influenced by Japanese style like the ones you see in KERA or egg or pichi lemon magazines. We ordered 2 tuna sandwiched with French toast bread 😄 It was good, but it lacks chili sauce. I’M INDONESIAN, I NEED MY CHILI SAUCE! All the food on the plane doesn’t have chili sauce either ^^; We also ate the custard pudding we bought earlier. IT WAS REALLY GOOD!!! SO CREAMY and it had canned fruit in it. In the shop we organize all of our things that we just bought. I put all the stuff in the red duffel bag. We decided to wear the rubber boots we just bought because our bags are getting HEAVY HEAVY HEAVY!
Next we decided to go back to the hotel because we need to rest before the concert, my feet and the weigh of my bag is killing me! But before we hailed a taxi we finally found a CD store. On the front of the store I saw a L’Arc X-banner (of course we took pictures XD) and I went on a buy 4 CDS+DVDS of Ayumi Hamasaki: A BEST 2 BLACK and WHITE (each with 2 bonus DVD), SECRET (with bonus DVD) and MY STORY LIVE DVD (3 DVD) (so a total of 11 pieces of CDs) for a total of RMB 273!!! That’s like less than $4 for 1CD/DVD. THAT’S A BARGAIN! It’s a Chinese version CD but they are original, not bootlegs. When I was trying to find Japanese CDs in the store I realized that Chinese IS REALLY DIFFICULT 😄 One of the few Chinese words I know is the word for Japan which is “Rupén”. When I said this to the clerk, she didn’t understand, until a younger clerk pretty much said the same thing and she understands it. It’s hard hard hard 😄
20080419 Pre-Concert Nerves
We went back to the hotel to get some rest after we stopped by at Q (24 hour store) to buy some chocolates and instant noodles, I need to re-wash my hair to get it back to its bouncy-self for L’Arc to see *GETS BRICKED* 😄 But we couldn’t rest! We were so anxious and nervous and happy and excited. It was too much to handle. So before we go we made a little prayer circle and prayed that everything will go smoothly 😄 We dressed in Kebayas with a tank top under it and we wore jeans and tie Bali Sarongs on our waist ^^. We looked very Indonesian and traditional and different and WEIRD 😄 But of course we put on jackets before we went there because it was drizzling a bit and it was cold. We walked to the nearest metro station Lin Yi Xin Cun station (pink line 6) to catch a subway to Yuanshen Stadium (same line). On the subway I was a wreck 😄 We tried to get rid of our nerves by singing one of Mulan Jameela’s famous song. To tell you the truth I don’t like her and her songs but at times like these a silly annoying tacky song can actually do you good 😄
Before entering the stadium we bought binoculars for RMB 10 each (a bargain?), magically all of my nerves are gone 😄 then when we went inside the stadium we took our jackets of and people started looking at us 😄 We find our way through the crowds to find buy the official tour goods. We asked some fans there but they misunderstood us. They think we are asking about the gate. But the information was useful since we don’t know either ^^. When they looked at our tickets one of them said “WOW! WOW!” and continue to explain that our gate was gate 1 and what way we should take. And like everybody else they asked us where we are from ^^. Every time we answer Indonesia they looked very surprised and touched at the same time. This got more intense after we answer “yes” if they asked us “You come to Shanghai just to see L’Arc~en~Ciel?” ^^.
We finally found the goods stand. Like I said before, there are only 6 goods being sold in this tour. You can find the price list here. I went on and buy one of each and so did Ida. They cost RMB 970. WOW! I didn’t think the price would be this expensive. I thought the price would be adjusted to the countries. So the prices are about the same of Japanese Tour goods prices. Here’s something stupid… I DIDN’T BRING ENOUGH MONEY!!! I was lacking about RMB 200 *because of the shopping and all >_<* So, I had to borrow RMB 200 from Ida. THANK YOU 😄 After that we wait around for Liyan (she is the one that sell her tickets to us… with the original price. WE ARE SO THANKFUL!!!) because I still owe her about RMB 100 for the ticket shipping charge ^^. While waiting for Liyan we opened our banner and people looked kinda surprised and they asked us if they can take pictures of the banner (of course we said yes). Finally Liyan (in the Lolita dress) came with her friend, Lena, who looks like MIKA NAKASHIMA. We take pictures with them chatted for a while and went to our entrance gate 1. Before we went inside I put my camcorder in by bag because there are officers on the entrance. I wouldn’t want then to stop me from getting inside. After we went in we can see a SEA OF PEOPLE trying to get to they seats. The stadium is HUGE!!! At the tribune I can see a lot of people being seated. The arena was almost full. WHY THE GATE HAS JUST OPENED 😄 I think people are as ENTHUSIASTIC as us 😄 We make way to our seats Row 9 seats 14 (Ida) and 16 (me). We have to excuse ourselves because there were a lot of people to get through before we reach out seats. They were located at almost the very corner of the block.
After settling our stuff so it wouldn’t get wet because of the rain (yes, it was still raining). We were worried about our posters because it stuck out and it didn’t have any plastic covering on it. Thank god the lady at the goods stand gave me 2 plastic bags ^^ so we could wrap our posters with it. Then we took off our Kebayas and wore our hand made NEON GREEN FLUORESCENT T-SHIRTS!!! YEAH! But we had to wear raincoats that we bought before (RMB 3).
After really settling in I looked around. THE STAGE WAS HUGE AND VERY CLOSE TO WHERE WE WERE SEATING!!! They have a thin fabric to block our view from the lower stage (where the staff is preparing the instruments and stuff) I squealed when I saw tetsu’s BASS BEING CARRIED AROUND BY ONE OF THE STAFF!!! THE WHOLE ATMOSPHERE WAS VERY OVERWHELMING AND I WAS OVERTLY EXCITED!!! It’s like we’re here! WE’RE ACTUALLY HERE!!! I almost couldn’t believe it.
Then people from our left and right chatted with us. They were thrilled to know that we came from Indonesia. We are also thrilled to know that most of them are not from Shanghai but from other regions of China as well 😄 A girl next to me was standing on the chair taking pictures of the stage. She gave us “tetsuism” flags 😄 They were SO SO SO FRIENDLY. Some of the people in front of us took pictures of our banner when we rolled it out ^^. We also took pictures of the stage 😄 When we saw some crew on the stage we decided we should yell “HATANO-SAN!!!” Thinking that one of them would be Takeyuki Hatano the keyboardist ^^. At some point before the show a white guy showed up on stage and climb the intricate railings of the stage to fix the L’7 flag that had been rolled up on its flag pole due to the strong wind. At some point before the show started we also yelled “AKU PADAMU!!!” which means “I’M WITH YOU” or “I FOR YOU” in Indonesian. We are deluded, mind you ^^.
Then some of the people at Ida’s right jumped to empty seats 2 rows in front of us. We were like “Where are they going? Is that allowed?” They called us and told us to move 1 row to the front too because there was nobody on those seats. They said, “If they come here we move back.” So I thought, upgrading one row to the front is a great chance, even if we already had good seats ^^. So we jumped to the seats in front of us. Not long from then, there were these bunch of socialite-club goers type of people that came along they don’t excited or interested on the concert what-so-ever. They asked one of the police officers to move open one of the fences on the corner so they could come in. Is this not preferential treatment? We have to say excuse me to tens of people to get to our seats >_<. It was still raining so of course people still had their umbrellas open because the show has not started but these socialites have started a frenzy and chanted the Chinese word for an umbrella so that the people in the front would close their umbrella. This is a kyundoo moment. But no kyundoo moment last long in this situation 😄 The voice on the announcement tape played repeatedly saying in Japanese and Chinese that “The concert will start in 90 minutes. We are sorry for the delay. Taking pictures with flash is forbidden.” and so on and so forth. The music they played before the concert started was somewhere in the lines of top 40 emo-punk music from bands like Blink 182, Simple Plan and the like. WHAT? WHAT? The person in charge of this was certainly not a member of the L’Arc’s JP entourage. We were hoping that they would play yukihiro’s mixes or something related.
In the middle of it all we were imagining how bummed the boys be because it was raining. It wasn’t because that they were worried about their clothes getting wet but because they were concerned about the fans waiting in the rain. Now the thing was that we became very worried if they think this way because a little rain won’t bring our spirits down! LOOK AT USE HERE BEING ALL MORIAGARE!!! Warning: this is only a scenario in our head. Yes, we are two delusional girls from Indonesia ^^. But who knows if it was true ^^.
20080419 THE CONCERT!!!
The girl’s voice on the announcement tape in Chinese and Japanese said that the concert is starting please turn off your cell phone and any other recording devices. Of course I already put my camcorder aside but I see that people in front of us had theirs recording the show! I was like, “IS THIS EVEN ALLOWED? I WANT TO GET MY CAMCORDER OUT BUT THERE’S AN OFFICER BEHIND US! I DON’T WANT TO BE DRAGGED OUT OF THE CONCERT! THE FIRST L’Arc CONCERT IN MY 10 YEARS OF FANDOM!” But as I was thinking about this, more people lift up their cameras. And I thought, “HEY! IT IS ALLOWED! None of them are being dragged out!” So I took my camcorder out of my bag and reattached the lanyard connector and let it hang securely around my neck just before the song starts! The lights were turned of and there was a very familiar sound it was…
1. get out from the shell -asian version-
When the lights were out apparently they raised the thin fabric so we couldn’t see the whole stage. When hyde start singing there were 3 HUGE silhouettes reflected on the fabric. From left to right it was tetsu, hyde and ken. THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY GOD-LIKE!!! AND THE GESTURE HYDE MADE DOESN’T HELP TO LESSEN THAT FACT EITHER!!! THEY WERE DELIVERING A MESSAGE FROM GOD!!! After they reached the part of “Yume ha yume no mama de…” The veil is opened and we could see them LIVE IN FRONT OF US!!! From my seat I have a very clear view of tetsu. Just look straight on and there he stood out oh so shiny in his BRIGHT PINK COAT, A BLACK PLEATED SKIRT and GLITTERY GREEN BASS STRAP. His hair was styled like the that of L’Anniversary live. hyde was on the center of the stage. I had to tilt my head about 25-30 degrees to the right see him in his gloriousness. His hair is being made up like that of DAYBREAK’S BELL PV! and he was wearing a thin black coat with a long white thin shirt inside, black pants (couldn’t see if they were leather pants or not) and pirate boots (similar to these). To see ken, I had to tilt my head around 45-50 degrees to the right, even at that I couldn’t see him clearly because my view is being blocked by a sea of hands waving around in the air. For yukihiro, I can see him easily because he was behind hyde and his drum set was put up pretty high. He was wearing a red body-fitting tracksuit (is that what they are called?).
I was pretty sure I couldn’t get a clear shot of the live because I was holding my camera and covered the top it with the front side of my raincoat while JUMPING IN ECSTASY and cheered them on and yell on the growling part of the song (you know which part I meant right XD). Then they went straight to the next song. We could hear roaring sounds of an engine 😄 It was…
2. Driver’s High
It started with literally a BANG!!! FIRE EFFECTS!!! On this song hyde and ken were running from one part of the stage to another 😄 At one point hyde went to ken’s side and way way to the edge so I couldn’t see him because his outfit blends perfectly to the background 😄 But when ken ran to tetsu’s side and beyond, I could see him sometimes 😄 They don’t have roofing for the sides of the stage so it was almost certain that they were rained upon if they went there. I felt really touched that they would do that after (maybe) a long time of hair styling backstage T-T. It was like they were trying to say, “If you are wet because of the rain, I want to feel that rain also.” T_T After Driver’s High they went straight to…
3. Killing Me
I remembered hyde was shouting “JUMP! JUMP!” in Chinese. Of course without knowing what that means I was already jumping from the beginning 😄 I think it was in this song where he went up to ken and put his arms around ken’s shoulder on ken’s side of the stage 😄 There were a lot of running around in this song. tetsu twirled a few times and his pleated skirt really gave good effect if you see it in person. HE STICKS OUT MORE THAN THE OTHER MEMBERS! He’s SHINY 😄 The lights were so bright in this song, so because my glasses had raindrops on them I couldn’t see very clearly every time the lights bright up or was pointed toward the arena >_< so I had to take them off >_< after this song it was time for…
Seriously I really don’t understand a word of Chinese and all of his MC was in Chinese but I think I can understand just a little bit of what he is saying. He was so cute when he forgot his Chinese words 😄 Me and Ida screamed out “LUCUUU!!! LUCUUU BANGET!!! IMUUUUT” (cute! so cute! KYOOOT!!!). When he got it right he introduced the next song, their new single…
4. DRINK IT DOWN
The lights were dimmed and the dark and mysterious intro played. When they play this song my heart went GAKKYUUN GAKKYUUN GAKKYUUN!!! All the members didn’t move far away from their initial position. I remembered hyde swayed a lot in this song, though ^^. yukihiro is the god of drummers! 😄 The lights were red and blue, pretty much deep colors. After this they went straight to…
05. Daybreak’s Bell
I remembered that after all the running in the rain hyde’s clothes were wet and his all too glorious hair was drenched. In the middle of the song he pulled his hair back I SCREAMED INSTANTLY!!! The wind was blowing hard and I can see his clothes sorta flowing *revisits the moment*. tetsu sorta hid in the darkness all the time but I can still see him even without his glitter bass strap (he already changed his bass at this time)
06. winter fall
Beautiful surprise number one!!!! The timing COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ANY BETTER!!! It was still in the middle of a light drizzle. The rain drops still looked like snow drops and the intro of winter fall came along 😄 talk about good timing 😄 The light shined very soft and bright. The atmosphere was just very ethereal T-T I wanna cry every time I remember about this song being played. hyde’s voice was very soft similar to the CD and in my head I could picture the PV very clearly. It was like 10 years ago when I first heard this song T-T KANDOUSHIMASHITA 😄
The stage was pitch black and of course in moments of silence we screamed out HYDE!!!! TETSU!!! KENCHAN!!! YUKKIE!!! and then a piano intro like the one in Shibuya Seven Days. So we were in hysterics because I thought, “forbidden lover is coming up! forbidden lover is coming up!!!” We were screaming a lot *hysteria* and then the screen showed red petals and the song was Kasou!!! AHHHH!!!!! Surprise number 2!!! I didn’t think this would make the set list T-T hyde was swaying around in a trance *nosebleed* and ken was in trance especially at the guitar solo.
08. My Dear
The intro alone made me tingle. I felt like peeing in my pants when I heard the intro 😄 This was surprise number 3!!! The atmosphere was mystical 😄 no one hardly moved. ken was switching between the keyboard and the guitar in the first half. hyde was in front of his mic stand all the time and he looked oh-so-gorgeous in the green light. tetsu didn’t move that much, but I was VERY HAPPY to hear his voice in the chorus and ken’s voice also joined the chorus ARGH SO MAGICAL!!! After the song was over I said to Ida, “If they played Eien after this I WILL DIE!!! I will bite my tongue.” Because the mood was on the right track for THESE TYPES OF SONGS. And then there was a drum roll anyone would know, and even though it wasn’t Eien I still felt like dying T-T. It was…
09. forbidden lover
*breaks into Shakespearean theatrics* OH, L’Arc~en~Ciel, thou foul souls, how could thee tortureth my heart with thy set list. *bricked* MY HEART FELT LIKE IT HAS SIMMERED IN ACID. In the beginning of the song I said to Ida that the bass didn’t sound right because the sound was very rough and distorted. But after a while it went back to normal. DRAMATIC! That’s all that I have to say about this performance, the light poured on the stage. hyde made an improv at the end. At the end of the song I was tearing up T-T. The next song, to me, was more of a “it will be okay, deary” song. The song is…
10. MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM
and somehow magically (!) the rain stops. IT WAS SO FITTING 😄 I sunk into the lyrics, I really feel the song was very appropriate for our condition. The line “mada akirametari ha shinai” really meant something to me that night. I never gave up on being a fan although there were tough times, I never gave up on always trying to see L’Arc~en~Ciel live, even it was raining I didn’t complain or feel down because of it. For me it was really like a moment of enlightenment. Maybe not just for me but for the 15.000 people in the stadium that night! The atmosphere was so serene and peaceful. Everyone was swaying their hands in the air. IT WAS MAGICALLY GLORIOUS!!!
11. Caress of Venus
I swayed around… LIKE CRAZY in this performance 😄 Everyone was very high in this performance; they were jumping here and there. The members did lots of running around on the stage 😄 hyde was swaying a lot and yelled “JUMP! JUMP!” and of course with that adrenaline flew even more throughout my body and I jumped even higher than before regardless of how out of shape I was 😄
I think starting around this time I had a… catch this… finger cramp. I think because I was holding my cam at all times right before MY HEART DRAWS A DREAM started and because the weather was very cold. 天罰 だ~~~ >_< My finger was stuck like the Buddha picture there. Same right hand, but it was my index finger that cramped. It was quite a distraction from the live T-T but I put my hand under my shirt against my belly where it was warn and dry and it healed in the middle of the next song…
This song has never sounded EVEN MORE of a “let’s-go-underground-let’s-make-a-revolution” song until that night! IT REALLY BROUGHT TH WHOLE STADIUM TO CULT FOLLOWER MODE 😄 Everybody was singing in sync from the top of their lungs! And everybody held up their hand in sync! This song was MADE for a live performance 😄
As I told you before… I don’t understand Chinese but here’s the trick… make loud noises when anybody on stage finish speaking 😄 He was very cheerful 😄 Lots of smile and then he referred us to look on the screen. There we can see him with a huge plate of food of food, him in front of the stage in Yuanshen, him in Nanjing Road and in the subway. OH MAYBE WE TOOK THE SAME ONE *BRICKED*. On to the next song…
13. SEVENTH HEAVEN
I can see hyde flamboyantly swaying his hips around 😄 tetsu also jumped around and I can see his skirt flowing 😄 I swayed my hand like hyde did on the PV 😄 AT THIS TIME! There was confetti being fired from the stage AND SOME OF IT REACHED US!!! Of course we had to hog it and snatch it from the person next to us and tucked it in my bra (yes you heard me, tucked it in my bra) *did I just revealed that to the world?* 😄 I had like 30 cm of it but when there was a short recess in between songs I peeked underneath the seats and found 2 WHOLE STRINGS OF CONFETTI 😄 YAYYY!!!! VICTORY IS MINE 😄 We thank thee Lord, that in thy mercy… *gets kick since this is no time for a Monty Python quoting session*. Next song was…
14. Pretty girl
Naughty, naughty, naughty 😄 after lots of running around on stage singing and swaying PROVOCATIVELY, hyde came up from behind tetsu and KISSED HIM ON THE CHEEKS! I FELT LIKE DYING AT THAT VERY MOMENT 😄 The improv of sigh and moan-like singing is like adding fuel to an already HUGE FIRE!!! OH MY GOD!!! I shook Ida’s shoulder oblivious to the fact that she was trying to capture still picture 😄 A rare fan service in front of my very eyes. hyde, thou foul soul… *bricked*. Well, anyway, ken was running around everywhere 😄 I know this is evil but I sorta hoped he would fall like in heavenly 😄 but he didn’t *good for him* 😄 adult male have better upper body stability 😄
15. STAY AWAY
tetsu had a solo bass section which was OH-SO-COOL!!! He stepped up to one of the speakers and played like crazy 😄 ALL HAIL BASSIST BANANA-SAN 😄 They took up the mic and sang one by one 😄 First was of course tetsu and then ken and then… yukihiro!!!! GYAAAAAAAA!!!! FINALLY 😄 I can see yukihiro in the middle of the stage 😄 Oh my heart melts when I see his figure 😄 Then of course the mic went back to hyde 😄 The solo bass kicked ASS!!!
16. READY STEADY GO
Of course like in every live, hyde yelled, “ARE YOU FUCKING READY!?” And of course I acted all crazy and screamed “YEAAAAHHHH!!!” 😄 In this song also there are a lot of jumping around and spinning around coming from our leader 😄 After the “let’s get started READY STEADY GO!” part, the crowd SQUEALED 😄 The guitar solo from ken was so awesome!!!
Ladies and Gentlemen, the moment that we have been waiting for… HEARING YUKKIE’S VOICE 😄 😄 😄 😄 He walked from behind the drum set with a sheet of paper with big katakana character. I can see from the screen because it was written with a black thick marker that bleed through the back of the paper. Everyone (incl. moi of course) was chanting “YUKI!YUKI!YUKI!YUKI!YUKI!” He opened his mouth and try to read from his paper but he was drowned by the chant of the whole stadium he waited a while and when he was about to read again people were “YUKIYUKI”-ing even more 😄 So he waved his right hand in a gesture “umm.. guys… let me do my MC… I wanna get back at drumming…” HE IS SO PUCUUUUULLLL!!!!!! (means CUTE) and then he went on and did his MC. His Chinese was not very good because I can hear people sorta laugh >_< I screamed out “YUKI GAMBARE!!!” And then he went on finishing the MC and goes back to his beloved drum set, on the way hyde who was leaning near the drum set had this wide smile on his face when yuki (who looked exhausted) looked at him. Leave the kid alone, hyde 😄 After yukkie was settled on drums, they started the next song…
17. NEO UNIVERSE
The lighting during this song was really beautiful and bright and was reflected to a disco ball above the stage 😄 Prettiest lighting took place in this song 😄 I can hear tetsu’s perfect bass lines here 😄 hyde’s voice WAS SUPERB!!! hyde was swaying lightly. I was almost moved to tears when hyde sang “higeki da toshitemo anata ni meguriaete yokatta” T-T Great moment. The song ended nicely and a staff handed over hyde’s guitar for the next song…
The performance was really fierce 😄 I was hoping that they would play their guitars/bass one on one with the other but they didn’t do so. A lot of jumping came from our beloved LEADER 😄
hyde yelled “JUMP! JUMP!” The song was very light and energetic 😄 I can see tetsu twirling a lot 😄 every time he does this his skirt lifts up 😄 JYAAAAAAAAAA~~~~ 😄 at one time hyde was on tetsu’s left putting his hand on his shoulder and starting to jump lightly 😄 tetsu did the same also and they jumped in sync for a while 😄 I WAS HAPPY! 😄 I was hoping that Ciel-chan would appear in the middle of the performance since they went into a break where you can only hear yuki’s drum and tetsu’s bass but it turns out it was…
Like I said I know squat about the Chinese language but when a very bright bassist is holding up a banana on stage while trying really hard to read the katakana-ized phrase on his right side of the mic stand, you can figure this out in any language. “DO YOU WANT TO EAT MY BANANA!?” Then he threw his banana to the front seats 😄 I wished he had thrown in a bit further 😄 I was only 10 rows away from it 😄 and then the song starts again ^^.
Before hyde was standing behind his mic and SUDDENLY he whispered “wo ai ni” (another Chinese phrase I know 😄 means I love you *DIES*) and then whips up a very wide smile 😄 I can hear all the girls in the stadium SQUEAAAAAAAAALING!!! (that would include me and Ida XD).I did not understand his MC and I hadn’t expected that this would be the last MC T-T. hyde was very cute when he was having difficulty reading the Chinese MC he had prepared 😄 He said something about “one” because he had his index finger up. But I realized that this was going to be the last song because people started letting out sounds of disappointment like “eeeehhhhh~~~”. I was like, OMG OMG OMG!!! This can’t be the end T-T but it was and they performed the perfect song to end the show…
The light was magnificent. The performance was flawless. Every one was singing the chorus part together. It was very moving T-T It almost brought me to tears. Near the end of the song there were feather being flown out from the back. Because the wind was not very cooperative and blew to the direction of tetsu’s part of the stage the feathers went that way and only reached the front portion >_< When I see a single feather flown in our direction I pay no regards to anyone near me. I jumped up, even if that means bumping to the person next to me (sorry >_<), and snatch the feather! HAHAH!!!I CAUGHT IT!!!! And like I kept it in the same place I kept the confetti 😄 When the song ends hyde said “XIE XIE” and “DOUMO ARIGATO~~!” I was saying stuff like “IKANAI DE~~~” when I hear Enya’s Book of Days being played T-T and I can hear the whole stadium chanting “ENCORE! ENCORE!” in Japanese fashion, of course 😄 They take their last bow and went backstage.
After that Ida and I looked at each other and we hug it out. This has been our dream ever since we started liking them 10 years ago when we didn’t even know each other. My eyes were tearing up but I was smiling very wide. I looked around if there is another confetti or feather near me. Before Ida had asked the help of a police officer to pick a feather that was sitting near him. He was very kind and gave it to her, even though afterwards he smiled and shook his head when we looked so happy that Ida got another feather 😄 I also detect a feather near him and asked him to get it for me. That was so nice of him T-T Thank you T-T After that I sat on the nearest chair leaned my back and looked up the sky. The rain drops reflected the stadium lights, it looked like snow and little blessings from above (I know, I’m being melodramatic but I really felt like that then). I sometimes close my eyes and feel the rain drops on my cheeks. I felt HAPPY and RELIEVED T-T
Even with the rain they pulled out an awesome performance. Maybe it was because of the rain INDEED, because they don’t want to let us down. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE GUYS 😄
But I realized that we had to go and collect (if any) more feathers and confetti and maybe try to snuck in to the front block to collect them. When we collected our stuff and get ready to leave I saw a guy that looks Japanese holding a camera and… he had wore a lanyard attached to a PASS (!!!) around his neck. My gut told me to call him. “ANOU~~ Indonesia kara desu keredo mo~” (Ummm we are from Indonesia) with that I caught his attention and he pointed his video camera at us. (I’ll translate our conversation)
Guy: Indonesia? Really?
Me: Really. We’ve been fans for 10 years. Actually we have a banner prepared. (I told Ida to take out our crumpled up banner. We fold it like on the third song in because it was already wet and heavy and we were to busy jumping around so we decide to fold it. It already has experienced severe battle wounds XD)
We unfold the banner and showed it to him. And he pointed the camera at it.
Guy: How come you can speak Japanese so well?
Me: I learn by myself through L’Arc songs. (Ida nodded in approval)
Guy: Really? SUGOI!
Me: I also work in a Japanese company (totally unrelated but I didn’t know what else to say. Seeing that he still had his camera pointed at us…) The live was MAGNIFICENT. It was like a DREAM. (Ida was saying similar things too. And then we said…) LARUKU SAIKOU!!! ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU!!!
Then we said goodbye to him. But before we go too far I scream out, “O-NAMAE HA?” He said, “Shikano desu.” “Ah Shikano san, Rini desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. Laruku ni tsutaete kudasai nee.” “Ida desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.” He smiled and we waved goodbye.
ALERT! I turned out that Shikano-san was actually Shikano Atsushi, a reporter of MUSICA Magazine and most importantly THE CO-AUTHOR OF L’Arc~en~Ciel’s WORDS!!! I really do hope he showed our message to L’Arc. When I knew about this from a friend in Shanghai, me and Ida almost died of happiness. Apparently he also said something about us in his blog entry here.
We left to find more scraps in the front row. But we can’t get in >_< DAMN! So, I took a couple strands of grass from the stadium (HAHAHA LIKE THIS WAS KOSHIEN XD). We went out and waited for the bus that will transport L’Arc back to the hotel. We waited and waited but they didn’t come out so we decided to leave for our hotel.
We went to look for a taxi but we couldn’t find any. It was near 11.00 pm, it was still raining and very cold. We decided to walk a couple of blocks to find a taxi but there were only a few passed us by, so either they had a passenger or the driver didn’t wanna take us because it was very late. So after no luck we walked back to in front of the stadium and there we found one taxi that would take us to our hotel.
When we got to the hotel, we were still very high but pooped out and COLD. So still with our costumes, we dipped in the tub filled with hot water 😄 After that we also turned on the heater and get ready to pack because tomorrow we have to go home. While packing we talk little exciting bits of the concert. I put “treasures” I picked up from the concert save in one place. But I was sad to see that both of our posters and my pamphlet were wet because of the rain >_< But I guess it was fine, because they were “battle wounds” and plus it was wet from the rain that blessed the stadium so it’s okay *freaks*. After that I went to sleep. I was really tired and I didn’t even wanna think that tomorrow we would return to Jakarta and leave Shanghai T-T.
20080420 the (supposed) day of departure.
In the morning, like the day before we had our breakfast in the hotel. We had the same menu as yesterday ^^ and we outside we can still see old people doing their Tai Chi and middle aged ladies doing some exercise. Looking out the window, I know that I would miss Shanghai VERY MUCH. After shower we checked out of the hotel and hailed a taxi to get to Pudong Airport. We decided to not take the MagLev because our bags were very heavy.
We got to the airport at 9 am. Liyan, our friend, told us that L’Arc’s flight would be at noon, just like ours. So, yes we went there early in hopes of seeing them before they depart. We went to Cathay Pacific counter to check-in but it wasn’t open yet. So we thought we should put away our bags in a deposit counter near the Cathay Pacific counter so we can chase L’Arc without any hassle. I forgot how much it cost >_<. When we get back there we met a girl that we had met before the concert. She was waiting around for L’Arc also. But we haven’t seen anyone that might look like a fan around.
When I was coming back from the toilet, I saw a group of Caucasian men. One of them really looked familiar. When I recognize him I hissed to Ida, “Enti~ Enti! JAMES BLUNT!” It really was him 😄 And of course, I dug my bag for a notepad to ask for his autograph 😄 When I asked him for his autograph he smiled and said jokingly, “You should want his autograph more. He’s more famous,” referring to his friend. And the friend said no and they were laughing and he finally signed the notepad 😄 Ida asked for his autograph too 😄 We also took a couple of pictures of him 😄 I was glad to have met him because I thought if we didn’t get to see any members of L’Arc at least we have a consolation “gift” by meeting James Blunt and asking for his autograph.
After that was over, we waited outside, it was windy and cold, I had no jacket on because mine was wet the night before. Around 10.30 we went into the JAL gate was starting to get crowded by fans. We saw Liyan’s friend too. She said that L’Arc’s flight would depart on 2 pm. We were shocked because there was a big possibility that we won’t get to see them because our flight was on 12.25 >_<. We huddled up a plan that we should check in now, go back to the JAL gate and get on our flight at the very last call even though it means running our asses off. We take our bags from the deposit center and went to the Cathay Pacific gate to check-in for our flight. The queue was already very long >_<. SO we waited and we waited before we went in the front line we could hear a man complaining on why his flight has been canceled. We were surprised, that could be our flight TOO!!! So I went to where he was, he was talking to an employee of Cathay Pacific and she said that all flight to Hong Kong had been canceled due to a typhoon that happened on the Thursday before. THAT FLIGHT WAS OUR FLIGHT!!! I was a bit panicked but she told us that we could get another flight tomorrow and Cathay would provide rooms at the airport hotel MOTEL 168 (just across the airport, but it was pretty far) for us. I was okay with that but Ida would have her last exam the next day!!! But not long after that she received a text message that said her exam would be delayed 😄 When I sent a text message to my mom to inform her that my flight was canceled and we had to stay another day in Shanghai, she replied, “Oh good for you, you can have one more day of free sightseeing. Take care,” 😄 I’m glad she wasn’t panic about the whole ordeal because then I wouldn’t be panicked because of her panicking. *GEDDIT?*
20080420 the mission.
So we left the check in counter and decided that we should continue our holy mission to chase L’Arc 😄 So we figured that we should check our bags in the same deposit place until tomorrow. Because we didn’t really need any fresh clothes for tomorrow since I already put my tour t-shirt in my backpack. So I would change in to that. At the mean time I put on my TOUR 2000 REAL t-shirt which was very warm, so I could wait outside. The cost for 24 hour deposit was RMB 50. I had very little cash but screw it, I didn’t want to go back and forth to the hotel just to put away our stuff. We might lose the chance of seeing L’Arc! After keeping our stuff secure we went back to the gate. The JAL gate was even crowded than before. We met up with Liyan and told her what happened to our flight >_<. After that we went outside to wait for them. After we got out we could also see many fans going out also. So we waited separately… in the cold 😄 We had our camera for amusement, which the videos won’t make it on the net, sorry 😄 We were stupid and high that day ^^.
We waited for a long time. We started jumping around to keep our blood flowing. While waiting we saw a bunch of butch German or Dutch stewardess getting off from a bus and running for cover from the wind to light up their bulky cigarettes before taking off. That was a scary experience 😄 And we went nuts when there was a black car with darkened window and we sorta saw silhouettes of tetsu and yuki. Yeah we got it wrong >_<. Then more fans started to come out from inside. I thought they must have known something, we follow them as they walked away from the JAL gate. But thought, “This can’t be right, L’Arc will enter through this gate. We should just wait here.:” As we said that someone somewhere far away SCREAMED, “HAIDO~!!!!”
Something in our mind went in high alert and without a care in the world we run toward the voice. We can see lots of people are running the same way too. We run and we run until we reached gate 5 and went inside the airport again. We can hear fans shouting, “Ken-chan~, Ken-chan!”. We kept on running until we see in front of our eyes KEN(!!!) being guarded by more than 3 people. We screamed louder than the others, “KEN-CHAN, KEN-CHAN!” and YELLING OUT REPEATEDLY the words we had been preparing since the day before: “INDONESIA KITA KARA!!!” and “JUUNEN MAE KARA NO FAN DESU!!!”. We almost lost our breath because we were so close to him. One time while we were chasing him and kept screaming those words, I saw KEN, who was starring down all the time, putting his index finger on his lips and started to look up(!!!) to his left and right as if trying to process what it is we were saying between our panting breaths. I think HE TOTALLY HEARD US since we were the only loud ones there!!! Then I gather up what is left of my energy and dashed forward and when I was in ONE AND A HALF METERS in front of him I yelled “KINOU SUTEKI DESU~!!!” and then I heard someone (other than us) yelled out “LARUKU SAIKOU!”. When he reached the gate he turned a little and waved to everybody. Everybody was cheering and in hysterics. Before he went in to the gate, I yelled out “INDONESIA KARA NEE~~” and he sorta stopped at what he was doing and look up (SADLY AT THE WRONG DIRECTION). When he went inside the gate, I screamed out, “KO WO TSUKETE NE~!!!” AND HE TURNED AGAIN FROM HIS LEFT (THE CORRECT DIRECTION) AND WAVED ONCE AND THEN WAVE AGAIN TO THE OTHER SIDE. After he went inside the chase was not over yet! We wanted to see the last glimpse of him and went to the one of railings where we can see people that will enter the immigration. Of course we couldn’t see him. But we kept on yelling like crazy.
After we are sure that we couldn’t get anything through to him we slumped ourselves to the floor and sit by the railings to catch our breaths. Not far away I can see a girl crying (looks like happy tears) and was hugged by her friend (like she was saying, “yokatta ne, ken-chan ni atta ne.”), the were also sitting on the floor. Me and Ida exchanged story what happened with each of us in the chase. Ida told me that she was 2 CENTIMETERS AWAY FROM TOUCHING KEN’S JACKET FROM BEHIND (OMG OMG OMG) but her hand was slapped away by this fat bodyguard guy >_<.
We stood up again and went to the gate entrance to wait for the other members. We asked the fans whether if they know if hyde, tetsu, yukihiro had come through the gate yet. When we asked about tetsu she said tetsu already went inside. She paused, then we said “hyde? hyde?”. She said “Oh hyde WITH tetsu.” and we had big smiles on our faces 😄 “yuki? how about yuki?”. She said that yuki went in alone and that they have two buses the first one was with hyde, tetsu and ken, the second bus had not arrived. So, I guess they deploy ken first and then tetsu with hyde at another gate to avoid the frenzy. So, while we were still waiting for yuki. We give out our email addresses to the fans there for trading videos or pictures. I forgot to mention that we do have upload the video on youtube 😄 see below.
download the MPEG version here (comment if you download please ^^).
After a while some fans started screaming “YUKI!”. And there was another commotion. We followed them, RUNNING! But when we got there the screaming of the girls there were already dying out, yukihiro had already went in T-T. But we run to the railings like we did when we were chasing ken and yelled the same words in hopes he would hear us. But I wouldn’t really count on it >_<. After this we also give out more email addresses out to people for trading videos or pictures. The fans at the airport were very helpful and friendly. They gladly traded email with us 😄
Round up: the whole chase was CRAZY!!! All the fans were running in groups to the same direction and as you can hear on the video someone bumped into a trashcan or something. Compared to the ken chase fiasco, the yukihiro chase was more of a chaos because with ken the fans were sorta divided into 2, one that chased ken and the other chased tetsu and hyde. Not that the fans have any targets on who to chase. Like us, we chased any member in sight. Because we would say the same things to each members 😄 I think they drop off ken first as a decoy so fans that waited in front of the further gate (10th-15th) would run to the 5th gate (like we did) and wouldn’t crowd the deploy of hyde and tetsu at the next few gates. When I view the videos I trade with the Chinese fans, even with their plan of decoy, I can see that there were so many fans chasing hyde and tetsu. When yukihiro arrived the fans are already grouped up together so it was CHAOS 😄 the railings for seeing between the gate and the immigrations were LOADED!!! There were like hundreds of people there.
I could tell that normal people at the airport were sorta scared of the fans because we were running and screaming in swarm. Thank god the security didn’t tell us off or anything 😄 I think that was partly because we consists of hundreds of people. This is what surprised and at the same time made me proud to be a L’Arc fan. The fans are SO FANATIC 😄 Earlier when I met James Blunt, there were nobody there! We were the only people that actually come up to him and asked for his autograph. Whereas L’Arc, I could see fans coordinating their positions with other fans through their cell phones 😄 And chasing them down like crazy 😄
20080420 the aftermath.
I think in total we ran like 2 kilometers that day 😄 For someone who was so out of shape as I am that is a miracle feat of the human body 😄 A cup full of adrenaline, 2 tablespoons of endorphins, 10 drops (1 for every year of obsession) of concentrated L’Arc obsession extract was a powerful elixir 😄 But after that even though my brain was still very excited and active, my body wasn’t. I was really tired my legs ached and we had to go to our hotel which seemed pretty far, considering the shape we were in. So we walked there and thank god there was one of those horizontal escalator >_<.
After we reach the Motel 168 we were surprised because this was no motel it was more like a boutique hotel. The interior design was very retro 😄 When we tried to check in we were told that we should go to Ease Hotel in front of Motel 168. I guess they ran out of rooms. Between Ease Hotel and Motel 168 there’s like this bar suspended between the top floors of the two buildings. It kinda looked like the bar in NEO UNIVERSE PV to me ^^, so we just called it NEO UNIVERSE and planned to go there later on the evening.
So we went to Ease Hotel that had pretty much identical building to Motel 168 but different interior design although a bit less retro but more classy. We met an elderly Indonesian couple there. They asked whether we had already arranged our flight for tomorrow. We said no. They said that we could already arrange it at Cathay’s front desk in the airport. So, we planned to go back to the airport after we check in to our room.
When we first stepped in the room we were stunned! The room was amazing 😄 The interior was retro and they had this round bed with a mirror above it 😄 I was like “NANI KORE??? This is better than the room we actually paid for the night before! They have flat screen TV and all!!!” 😄 It was very retro 😄 But shortly after we arrive we decided to go back to the Cathay Pacific’s front desk at the airport to confirm our flight for tomorrow. We got a flight with the same schedule 12.25. The lady offered us an earlier flight but we said no because we really needed the rest 😄
After that we went looking for something to eat. Below the hotel there was a Lawson convenience store so we bought our lunch there. We bought 1 box of 2 tobikko sushi, 2 onigiris, 2 large instant beef cup noodles, 1 strawberry cream sandwich that looked very appetizing, 2 bottles of kirin milk tea and 1 bottle of ramune and we had our lunch in our room 😄 After that was done we went to take a much needed nap and woke up just before sunset 😄
20080420 NEO UNIVERSE bar.
So as we planned earlier we headed to the NEO UNIVERSE bar. It is located in the 8th floor and like I sad before was suspended in the air between 2 hotels. There was a tunnel leading to it and it felt like we were in the set of NEO UNIVERSE 😄 The bar inside really looked like a darker version of the lounge in NEO UNIVERSE!!! And the good thing was that it wasn’t very crowded that night 😄 LUCKY~! I ordered Tequila Sunrise (which the waiter pronounced as Tequila Sunshine XD). It was RMB 48 and it was pretty good aside from the seeds of the orange that was still inside. Ida had Ginger Ale for RMB 27.
After taking pictures inside the bar we stepped outside to hunt for more photo op 😄 So we went around the hotel complex and took pictures anywhere we thought was interesting 😄 Here are the results:
When we got back to our hotel dinner has been served in the hotel restaurant 😄 It was PEKING DUCK, which we initially wanted to eat but couldn’t find the time to because we had so much to do in so little time 😄 It was very delicious 😄 After that we got back to our room and began to think about how hard it was to leave Shanghai T-T We have come to love the city so much. We had a very wonderful time there 😄 The people were very nice and friendly even though we don’t understand their language and vice versa. This became evident when a hotel staff brought a very unfamiliar looking charger (pic) and we don’t really know how to use it. She also didn’t know how to use it. Even though she didn’t understand English she tried to explain how to use it and spend quite a long time trying to make it work. Then she called another staff that knows how to operate to come up and help us install it 😄 We spend the rest of the night watching the video we took of the concert (which was very shaky and I can hear our hysterics scream there XD) and the video of the ken chase (from what you can see, we got very close XD), taking more pictures and doing silly stuff until we were very sleepy.
20080421 bye bye Shanghai~.
The next day we woke up very early and prepared our stuff. We had breakfast of the instant noodles we bought yesterday 😄 It was delicious because they had coriander in the seasoning (I love coriander XD). I turned on the TV and we saw this long commercial that really touched our hearts. I cried even know as I see it again ^^. Please have a look here:
AHHH!!! That commercial made it harder for us to leave Shanghai because we really feel that once you get rid of the language barrier the people in Shanghai behave very similar to the clip above T-T
Before we checked in we bought last minute gifts for people back home and get our bags from the deposit. When checked in the staff at the Cathay Pacific check-in counter was talking about us in Chinese, we totally heard “Laruku” and “Indonesia”, so I guess they saw and heard us screaming while chasing after ken yesterday 😄 After that was done we went in the same gate as ken 😄 so our flight was from Shanghai to Hong Kong and Hong Kong to Jakarta. In the flight to Hong Kong I watched HOUSE on plane and from Hong Kong to Jakarta I watched Sweeney Todd 😄 And then we arrived in Jakarta looking like this:
To cut long story short because I promised myself to post this today because it’s already one month since the concert itself. I hope you enjoyed this report. And I hope I didn’t bore you because it’s too long and sorry if there are any mistakes (i didn’t proofread this >_<). I hope to see L’Arc for their 20th Anniversary 😄 I will save up from now 😄