In 2008, the first Anime Festival Asia (AFA) started with only two artistes performing on separate days of the festival in a cordoned off area of the event hall in Suntec City Convention center. The first I Love Anisong concert back then marked a segment of the region’s largest anime festival that fans would always look forward to, year after year.
This year, a star studded line up was announced featuring the likes of May’n, Kalafina, LiSA, FLOW and even local act Sea☆A just to name a few. The hype and anticipation had been soaring for months before the concert.
In the first part of our exclusive look at the I Love Anisong concert series at AFA11, Co-Founder Kenneth Wong fills us in on Rock Your Soul Day 2 from the heart of the action – The Photopit.
Sea☆A – HOMEGROWN ANISONG IDOLS
The opening act for I Love Anisong – Rock Your Soul day 2 was non other than our homegrown anisong group, Sea☆A. Decked out in the same outfits used in the music video of their 2nd single “DELI-DELIDELICIOUS”, the 4 energetic girls got the crowd off to a roaring start with their performance which included “Dream Shooter”, the theme song for this year’s Anime Festival Asia 2011.
Being the first to perform in such a massive concert that can easily represent a congressional meeting of anisong musicians can be quite a load. You’re basically the most important act because you set the mood for the rest of the night and Sea☆A definitely did a good job. By the time they performed Dream Shooter, I could already feel the energy from the crowd behind me.
Ichiro Mizuki – THE ANISONG LEGEND
As the saying goes, “Without Aniki, there would be no Anisong in the world today” and it was fitting that the legend himself, Ichiro Mizuki was next to take the stage. Aniki has been trilling fans for about 40 years now with his songs and that night, he continued to show why he was the undisputed legend when it comes to anisongs.
From theme songs of popular series’ such as Mazinger Z & Shin Getter Robo to his latest single, “The Hero”, the 63 year old gave his all during his performance and even got the fans singing along to some of his popular hits.
Aniki has returned to Singapore to perform for every AFA since the first one back in 2008 and I guess you could say, if there is no Aniki, there is no I Love Anisong.
LiSA – ANISONG RISING STAR
Though she may still be a rising Anisong star, LiSA has already done it all! From her breakthrough as the singing voice of Yui from the anime Angel Beats to a sell out concert tour, a mini album to date and her latest single, Oath Sign which is the opening for one of the highly anticipated anime of the year, Fate/Zero, LiSA was certainly set to make waves at this year’s I Love Anisong.
In front of thousands of fans, this young lady from the Gifu prefecture rocked out with her band! Through her singing and showmanship, she trilled fans with songs like “Oath Sign”, “Day Game” and my personal favorite “Little Braver”. It was also a nice touch from LiSA to get the audience involved in a sing along for one of her songs. Even though it was not a full concert, it was enough to give you goosebumps all over.
FLOW – ANISONG ROCK MASTERS
The finale act for Day 2 needed no introduction that night, with fans on their feet roaring for FLOW to get on stage. FLOW has been rocking the Anisong world with their single “Go” being picked for the massively popular Naruto series. Since then, FLOW has released a long line of hits that have made it into various popular animes, commercials and event TV shows.
Having performed in Singapore earlier this year during JPLEX, the anisong Rock Masters were back on stage in their trademark orange top outfits with a performance that nearly brought down the roof of the concert hall. The first thing that struck me was the high energy that came through, not just from their songs but also the individual members.
It was as if each member was somehow emitting bolts of energy that would recharge you immediately even after the long day. The audience members were playing their part as well as they formed a sea of light sticks, cheers and shouts of support during performances of “Sign”, “World End”, “Go”, “Colors” and the cover of one of my favorite songs, “1/3 no junjou na kanjou”. It was my first time listening to them live and given the chance, I won’t let it be my last.
A Night of Anisong Goodness
The I Love Anisong concert series has always been something to look forward to with the rising popularity of Anime and the rarity of Japanese Artistes performing overseas. After all, you can’t compare listening to a CD or watching a concert on DVD with the high energy and atmosphere of being at the concert itself.
It’s the experience of just being there among fellow anisong lovers that cannot be reproduced. For the many fans who stayed throughout the entire concert, singing along, cheering to the point of almost losing their voice, it was a night of Anisong Goodness!
For those of you who couldn’t be there or for those who were but want a walk down memory lane, do check out our photo gallery of the night’s performances. Enjoy viewing them and do share them with your friends via Facebook. All we ask in return is that you kindly respect the Event Organizers, The Artistes and the POPCulture Online team by not stealing these photos for use elsewhere.
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