Tuesday, August 16, 2011

YFC & The Saga of the Acknowledged Red Berlin Bras

Day Sechs

I was afraid I might disturb Vivi in the morning but finally, still unable to get a wink of rest in, I got up shortly past four-thirty and set about getting dressed and then headed out to the venue….

It was just around five-thirty when I arrived, the front of the venue rather crowded with sleeping bags and sleepy faces, but everyone exchanged tired smiles.

First order of business!


I don't even remember how most of the day went by.
Card playing. Chatting. Fan Letter writing. Hitting around the Magnum beach balloons. Bonding.


My then wife-to-be and I.

The man dubbed SexyBoi

Nice ass ^_~

The SYH group ^___^v

Look what I found when we went to pick up Iris' dad, along with the bra markers and the notebook (which we passed around the line and had people sign/write letters/draw in)

Speaking of the bras....

It really started off as a simple idea. Just something to amuse the crowd, make the live a little more fun, put smiles on the faces of our two beautiful vocalists, amuse the rest of the band... But....

In the process of being decorated...

Iris hard at work on hers

The finished results

[photo borrowed from anei_no_tsuki's LJ]

There were also the panties Vivi bought for YOU

Once they were made, we strapped them to our hips and flaunted them proudly. We got a lot of looks from people passing by...

[photo borrowed from anei_no_tsuki's LJ]

And all together now!

We went down the lines, telling people about the Brothers/Sisters chants and trying to get them into it... We wanted to do it right for the recording... But alas, didn't work as well as we hoped. At least Amsterdam seemed to get it right.

It really was, over all, a pretty fantastic day. Despite the bees (I got bit T___T), the heat, the disorganization that grew and grew as more and more people arrived and the little bit of frustration that comes when doors open late.

But once again, I ended up the very front, a little to the left of the stage this time around instead of directly in front. And this time, Iris was by my side.

The band was a bit late this time around (but due to the filming, I had predicted this). Yet, we had the press secretary announcements again- which I really fucking love- and after lots of cheering to try to get the band out onto the stage, the lights went dim.

There was more distance between the audience and the band this time around because the cameramen needed room to be able to move and get shots of both the members and the audience. And yet, while the distance and the constant buzz of the cameramen made it less personal, it was still incredible in every single second of it.

The band did spent more time getting the crowd to shout and to react, acting up for the cameras but also quite clearly enjoying themselves as well.

A report of all of the song details would be rather pointless due to the broadcast and the countless other descriptions that have surfaced however I shall address the most talked about subject:

The underwear.

The red lacey underwear.

Originally Iris and I planned to wait until the point at which Gackt shouts “How much do you want to fuck me?!” to toss the bras (as an obvious response to the question) yet the break after Vanilla provided an opportunity that could not be more perfect.

We both hastily unstrapped the bras from where they had been safely tied to our belts and I sent mine over first, thrilled as it landed onto the YFC platform. Jon noticed it immediately and picked it up, and handed Gackt the bra that Iris had tossed almost immediately after me
(Come on, you've all seen the video already, haven't you?)

A little bit of playfulness would have been nice. Just to have them twirl the undergarments around a little or hang them off their belts like Gackt had done with a black bra in Munich.

However, I did not expect Jon to put my bra on. Iris did not expect Gackt to put the straps of hers into his mouth and tug on it with his teeth. We did not expect Jon to strut over to Gackt wearing the red bra or to have Gackt grope his fellow vocalist’s new lingerie or to start tugging it down his chest.

I think Iris and I had exchanged looks of terror, shock and just pure thrill. I do remember Iris whispering “Oh my god oh my god oh my god” as we watched the ridiculous but sexy scene unfold in front of us.

Now, the second part of this. I am sure that the cameras were too busy focused on Gackt and Jon during this whole ordeal but at the same time, Vivi had also tossed the red panties to You. And I know I missed seeing it for the most part, but according to her he rubbed them over his guitar and then kissed them before tossing them back into the audience.

Now there has been a lot of talk about the “All for/my Love” ballad. I think that just as it was Oblivious that touched and reduced so many to tears during RR2, this is the YFC equivalent. Before Munich, I had read no concert reports and since the YFC shows last year were purely rock music, so I was shocked when they started with “You are the Reason” and carried into the second ballad. Both are beautiful and heartfelt, but I know that “All for Love” is going to be a song that will stay for me throughout the decades.

It's simple but, when you're standing right there... it washes over you. Floods you. Connects you to the people around you, to everyone around you.
Because we're all there for the same thing, for the music that brings us together, makes us into one huge, international family. And it's incredible.

Yeah, I cried. And really, it's not something to be ashamed of. I'm glad that I did, because... To be brought up to your highest, to your happiest, to your most complete self by this music and these people, and then being able to be torn down so beautifully to your very core... We really were showing our hearts and souls. Why shouldn't we show our love, our dedication? It's why we were there. It's why we keep coming back.

When the time for Uncontrol came around, I got out the sign I had prepared, having already displayed it a couple of times but rather wanting Jon to see it (it was for him after all~) and yet he seemed intent on looking in every single direction other than mine …………… -_____- Jerk

Hey, at least I got it on the film.

When the concert finally ended and the press secretary announcement was made, I made my first step and--- fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck it hurt.

I had been wearing painfully high stilettos the entire day and thoroughout the entire concert. While I had felt no pain during the rally but as soon as the spell had ended, I realized that I almost could not walk.

Getting our things from the closet check, Iris and I went off to try to find some Japanese staff to give the notebook filled with fan letters and signatures from people who had been in line earlier, yet had difficulty finding anyone and the European/venue staff were not in the least bit co-operative despite our polite requests to simply allow us to leave the book or have it taken by one of the staff members to the bus or just handed off to someone that would be able to give it to Gackt.

Finally, we spotted one of the cameramen (can you guess which one? hehehe) and called out to him, stopping him (much to his apparent surprise) telling him that it was a gift from all the fans and if it would be okay to pass it onto G (he agreed)

Vivi got an email confirmation from Gackt too, saying he had received the notebook.

And then came the hardest part...

Time to say goodbye.

I had only planned to attend the Munich and Berlin shows but regretted that deeply. However, I know that if I had gone to every single concert on the tour it would have still not been enough.

Even though it had only been a short time in comparison... Getting to meet everyone was incredible. Iris, Xia, everyone that I met, Jess, Josse, Janine, Benjamin (IF YOU READ THIS, CONTACT ME SIR, I lost your wife's Twitter T__T you were so much fun, thanks so much for your help)

But... it stuns me everytime. I think the people are what's kept me here for so long and drew me in so much, in addition to G being an amazing musician.

How people can come from all different cultures, backgrounds, lifestyles and yet connect so beautifully. After the concert, we had a British girl, an Italian girl, a Swiss girl and an American girl, all sitting in a German hostel together, having just gone to see the concert of a Japanese musician.... How does that happen? Who else can bring together people from all around the world, from Taiwan, from the Netherlands, from the US, even from Japan to Germany just to see him stand in front of us for a couple hours?

I can't count how many times I've laughed and grinned so widely it hurt because of other Dears. And on the plane back from Berlin to Munich, I cried because of these Dears, because they are genuinely some of the most incredible people that I have ever met, and I really did not want to leave my new family behind...

It's something you don't find often. When something matters to you so deeply, it's hard to explain it to people. Why do I love him so much, why do I fly around the world to spend an evening in his presence? I don't know. Because somehow, his music has touched me.

And these Dears... they understand. Without us having to talk to each other about how much this means, we understand like no one else in the world can, no matter how hard you try to explain it to someone on the outside they can't feel it. Being with these people and at the same time, being with him...

It's Heaven. For a couple hours, in there, in the too-hot, too-loud, too-crowded venue... We live. We truly, genuinely, honestly live for nothing but to feel at our very highest, our most complete.

So, 兄貴。。。
Our older brother....
Our mentor....
Our inspiration....

Thank you.
For bringing us together.
For bringing us to you.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Welcome to Berlin

Day Fünf

It seems that this summer, my trip was full of early mornings. With yawns, I woke up and packed the last of my things in order to move from Munich to Berlin. It wasn’t really an early flight, but the time was needed to get from the hostel to the airport, get through security and all those delightful things, wait around and so on and so forth called for small digits on my alarm clock.

However, it would be the first time in over a year that I would be seeing my dear friend Virginie, whom I traveled to Japan with last year and who had almost reluctantly agreed to meet me in Berlin for the concert.

Aren't we cute together? We had such a good time in Japan together T___T

Getting through with almost no problems (I was told off by airport security for having too many liquids according to German standards), the flight was a short one and soon I was in Berlin, wondering why the meeting point was literally in the middle of a crowded hall.

Yet soon I spotted my beloved Swiss girl and after some hugs and some squeaks, we got underway, both having little idea of how to find our hotel (hooray for printed instructions).

Now I must say I love public transport. It is so simple, and so convenient and both the tram, underground and bus systems in Germany are very easy to figure out. Transferring from bus to underground, we soon arrived above the surface at our hostel (which was admittedly a lot worse than the one in Munich) but was satisfactory nonetheless.

Not the greatest area

Checking in, I was forced to drag my heavy luggage up four flights on stairs X____x but we got settled in quickly before leaving in order to find the venue so we would not waste time the following day looking around for it.

This was a good thing because we would have probably spent at least another hour looking around the nearby square if Vivi and not spotted a girl wearing a YFC shirt (and I identified her as a fan from Munich).

Venue located, we set off to get something to snack on, having arranged to meet with Iris for dinner and to do some devious shopping for the next day.


Isn't she the cutest thing ever? I missed you so much, darling.

I can be cute too!

The amazing buildings of Potsdamer Platz

I love it when modern architecture is beautiful...

We met with Iris and her dad and went for dinner.

Yeah, I had no idea "ice" coffee meant... ice cream coffee. Iris, her dad and Vivi laughed at me.

And this wasn't meatloaf... I was so confused.

Since the Berlin concert was being filmed, for a live broadcast and for a rumored DVD, we wanted to make it special. And since Gackt had declared on his Twitter a few days before that girls should not wear underwear and that it was flattering to have it thrown onto the stage, we decided to do just that.

After some quick shopping around, we found two matching, lacey and padded red bras (one for Jon and one for Gackt) while Vivi got a pair of red panties to throw to You (one of the guitarists), whom she has an eternal crush on.

But you get a photo of a Lego Giraffe instead.

That night, suffering from a little bit of illness, sleep evaded me completely. I laid awake, worrying and fretting, dozing off on occasion only to wake up quickly again…

Which meant reflection time on my trip thus far…

Munich was beautiful. And drunk.

Seems German drinking can rival the Russians. Beer gardens, pubs, people drinking on the streets… However, at no moment did I feel unsafe because of it. It seemed as though everyone was there simply to enjoy themselves and to bond with their companions over a couple (or more than) pints.

The city was gorgeous, clean and rich. It felt warm and welcoming and I really wish I had spent more time there, looking at its beautiful churches, museums and learning more about its history. It is definitely a place I would like to return to one day and properly explore.

Yellow Fried Chicks in Munich

Day Vier

[Photo from last year's YFC lives]

My alarm clock went off at five am and I rolled out of bed, ready to take the millions of bobby pins out of my hair and make myself look as fabulous as possible for the day ahead. As fabulous as one can for being a fan that flew almost 7,000 miles in order to see a band called Yellow Fried Chickenz.

I tried my best not to disturb my sleeping roommates, heading out to catch the metro for the industrial part of Munich where the club was located, arriving about fifteen minutes to seven at the Backstage Werk to see some fans had already beat me to the chase.

The grey morning

At too early in the morning

However, I was happy with my position, ready for the almost thirteen hour wait for the concert…
(I never thought I would be one of those crazy fans).

Numbers! Actually, they worked quite well in Munich. Maybe because it was a smaller club.

I introduced myself to everyone that was there, starting conversations and dismissing statements of “Well, that’s a looong story” by reminding everyone just how long we had to wait. Thirteen hours in silence goes by a lot slower than thirteen hours socializing, sharing stories and shouting at any and all cars that happened to drive by us.

We joked amongst each other, harassing a lovely old gentleman that happened to be passing by (faking squeals of delight when his jacket said “G” on it) and insisting he keep his gloves on for the photo that we snapped. Apparantly, he asked if we were models XDDDD and was surprised that we were all just waiting for a band, refusing our insists that he join us.

He was awesome. We all fell in love.

Slowly, a few more people arrived (I got to practice my Japanese with a Japanese fan that had also come cross-continent for the concert) made fun of our beloved by imitating his full-body “head”-banging….

They did a really good job!

… and tagging the signs put up outside the venue which had obviously not realized that this concert was for Yellow Fried Chickenz , making coffee runs.

Who is this Gackt fellow? We’re here for the Yellow Fried Chickenz!

That’s much better!

Ain’t we cute?

Upon returning from our coffee run we saw… *gasp*!

The red buses!!!

Having been moved twice, we finally settled down to form a lax line, Xia writing down numbers for everyone that joined us, playing guessing games and discussing band members…

She was Magnum… hehehehe. “Am I popular?” … “YES!”

A couple of the girls decided to teach me some German (swear words) and giggled continuously about how cute I was (I need to go to more foreign concerts, all the love I get from people ^___^)

They were so sweet.

Actually, I had been a little concerned going to Germany for the shows. But just about everyone was so amazing, so friendly and so happy to be there, so welcoming and the time really did fly by…

The sign grew and grew… Got tagged more and more.

All of us are going to….


A familiar face! We all cheered for Crazy D~

My new family. We really had a fantastic time together, I think…

The line kept growing…

And growing

Someone went around filming video messages... Mine starts around the 2:00 mark...

Soon we were being let past the first round of security and then waiting for a short time outside the venue doors, cheering when the film crew came out and before we knew it….

We were inside.

Of course, being inside just meant another an hour and a half wait, alternating between sitting down and standing. I talked to a Russian fan that was near us and chatted with the security guy behind the barrier, who said he was shocked that so many people came for a band that he had never heard of~

People starting to come inside the venue...

Seven-thirty came around and the announcements from the motha-fukkin’ press secretary got us riled up, shouting “Ous!” and then cheering loudly as Shinya led the very-much-on-time band onto the stage (and making sure my hair was tied up properly before it began).

To be honest, I don’t think I could write up a report of the actual concert. But I was immersed like never before in both the new and old music, shouting when called to, singing the lyrics and screaming at all the fucking fanservice, Ughhhhh~♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Damn skippy it was a hot show.

There was a bra thrown onstage (that got caught on Gackt’s sound equipment), squeals whenever Jon and Gackt decided to put their hands (and groins) all over each other, making sure that Iris was still hanging onto my shoulders, breathlessness at the sweetness of the Show Your Heart ballad, heart-hands exchanged with You-san, starting chants of “Aniki” and “Daisuki” with Xia, being the only group of girls that knew to be silent when Gackt shouted for his brothers, holding hands with other fans high above our heads, fighting for a tie, singing the chorus of Uncontrol, laughing, crying, screaming, smirking, worrying and everything in between.

At the end of the show, once the band had left but Chacha was still getting the crowd to cheer, was our misfortune. Iris had been struggling with her health now but toughed out the concert in the second row by clinging onto me. I moved her to the front, Xia and I guarding her from the still-pushing crowd and when the security came over, he lifted her over the barrier and took her to the back of the venue.

A bit too worried about her to even notice that the concert had finished, once the crowd cleared up I ran up to talk to the security to find out what had happened, waiting until they let me through and sending one of the other girls to find her father who had left the concert halfway through.

After a lot of worry and talking to the medical staff who insisted she would be okay, waiting to make sure, we went off to gather up our things and head back to the venue, sending texts to Iris so that she could respond to them when able to. Finally leaving her to the professionals, we headed out; needing showers, food and rest, very very slowly coming off the high of being pumped to the brim with Vitamin G ^_~

And finally…

The damage that night.

But you know what. It was very much worth it.

(The Berlin report will be filled with all my Dears community insight/reflection)