Tokio Hotel – Tokyo Showcase

December 15, 2010.
Oh god.

It might seem like I start a lot of band encounter reviews with “oh god,” but that’s because these things are the closest to religious catharsis that I ever manage to come. I am so messed up right now. The showcase, well, I will struggle to describe it in the coming graphs, but let me start by saying that losing yourself in the fullness of the experience has its price, the comedown is brutal. This is craving and withdrawal and sweat and brokenness and healing love and painful, tearing freedom all in one. Seeing them perform always shatters me, and then the pieces build themselves into something stronger, more clearly visioned, more dedicated to living life to the fullest, in the (generally lengthy) interims between seeing them. It is an addiction that refines the spiritual. Destroyed and exalted.

My reeling brain is trying to decide how far back to go, and in how much detail. Fast forward from the embassy (13th) to the next day (14th). I went to the venue to lurk, because lurking venues is what I do. However, it was completely unnecessary. As it so transpires, Japanese concerts customarily do not involve the kind of waiting we are used to, because – get this – tickets for standing area “general admission” are not general admission at all. They are numbered. And fans are let inside, in the order of the numbers. Like an actually functional numbering system, except based on whatever kind of luck you had when you got your ticket, rather than hardcore endurance. Thus the fans only bother showing up an hour or so beforehand.

This did not end up applying to me, because I didn’t actually have a ticket, I was on a guest list, so I went in through a different entrance as the normal line was starting to go in. Nevertheless, I spent a completely useless and cold night dodging corporate security, before I learned this new cultural tidbit.

Various other non-Japanese fans showed up semi-early – three French girls, two Italians, a Swede, a Greek, a Russian, a Brazilian, two Belgians, and another American (with half-Japanese ancestry, spoke fluent Japanese. Very helpful). It was like the United Nations of Tokio Hotel. We were still very much in the minority, but I thought it was nice to have so many countries from Tokio Hotel’s journey thus far represented in this triumphant concert in a new land. Other nationalities showed up later, including the crowd of young German journalism students that had been at the embassy.

So they did M&G and signing, and brought the participants outside again rather than allowing them to remain in the venue, since people won access to the various events separately from the showcase. We entered, there were already some people in the venue, presumably with media or label contacts – there was an adult couple right in front of us – but we made second row, and with the closeness of the stage, we were still much closer than I’d been at the Humanoid City shows in the first row. And happily, the Japanese audience was, as a rule, shorter. xD

Pre-show involved a loop of various of their music videos, and then a dramatized video summary of their career triumphs for the benefit of the media present. Finally the announcer introduced them, lights cut, and the normal intro of Noise began, which was our cue to completely lose our minds.

Seriously, seeing Tom storm onstage and pour all his power into that guitar, so close – it was more than worth the schemings and contests of the last two months, the money, the hours of flying, the hours of waiting… that one shock of pure energy when they’re THERE and you are truly joined in this experience with them, feeling and living the music so close. It is as if the rest of your life, you stumble around blearily, half-woken up, filmed eyes and dulled mind. They are the faceful of cold water, they are the breath of oxygen so pure and intense it leaves you gasping.

It took me a good thirty seconds before I remembered that Bill was onstage.

That has nothing to do with Bill, if I’d been directly in front of him his incandescence would have blinded me to Tom. But being in front of Tom, for once, he completely eclipsed his brother for me, at least in those first moments. He had a similar effect during the incredible intro in the Humanoid City concerts, but as the stage had been further away and higher up, it wasn’t quite as intense. That much power, right in front of you, is absolutely electrifying.

And the superficial? Tom looked AMAZING. His body is so lean, and when he’s just melded to that guitar, it’s like the most beautiful union of human being and instrument imaginable. He was smiling and giving little looks here and there and generally orchestrating his side of the crowd into transports of screaming desire like the subtle, masterful seducer he is.

Bill was completely radiant, just emanating waves of elated energy, and the entire band were just giving off such happy vibes, totally great atmosphere.

If we look at the highly dangerous drug that is Tokio Hotel live, I can definitely isolate the element that has addicted me from the start, and keeps me forever hooked, forever needing more, forever willing to pay almost anything to experience it: Bill’s eyes. Not just his eyes in general, although they’re lovely regardless of what they’re doing – but eye contact with his eyes. It sounds like a silly and trivial thing. “Ooh Bill looked at me!” “Oh I’m totally sure he was singing to me, tralala!” It’s not. It is completely irrelevant, whether there’s any consciousness behind the actual experience. In fact I would assume he is so in the zone, that even when he’s looking into someone’s eyes, he’s not really seeing – and even if he is seeing, he’s definitely forgetting about two seconds later. Immaterial. While his eyes are truly locked on yours – the pure, physical sensations are the most powerful rush I’ve ever experienced. So dark, so intense, they suck in light and throw it back at you, they hold you completely captive.

A glance in your general direction is awesome. The most amazing thing – when it lasts long enough to recognize that yes, in this particular second, he IS seeing me. You can tell if he begins to mirror you or react to you. It’s happened to me only a couple of times in all the concerts I’ve seen them in. Once in Atlanta, when he bent down, sang “look into my eyes” straight to me with a point-to-eyes point-to-me gesture, which I somehow had the presence of mind to mirror back, and then he smiled. And last night, during “Darkside of the Sun.” He was in Tom’s customary place, rocking out particularly hard, I was rocking out particularly hard, he met my eyes during “in radio, it’s a riot, it’s a riot,” and completely mirrored whatever sidewise headbanging nodding moving thing I was doing, like some kind of biofeedback loop.

When you have that little proof that you exist, for a moment, in his eyes, the feeling of ALIVENESS is incomparable to anything else I’ve ever experienced. He is such a vital force, so full of life and power and beauty. It has nothing to do with fangirl delusions of mattering or having an emotional connection or any nonsense. It’s only – when that force allows you in for a second, intensity is heightened, life is more beautiful, you feel braver, impossibly high, your heart beats so fiercely and strongly, enough to run and laugh and fly and conquer the world and set your every vein on fire. It’s like touching the divine. It’s the only form of touching the divine I know.

What else? Georg and Gustav were in top, amazing form. Again to the shallow – Georg’s hair looked as beautiful as ever, just rippling and cascading in perfect smoothness, which is impressive because the humidity in Tokyo is considerable and the humidity in that concert hall even more so.

A bunch of us had brought flags from our countries, and waved them around at a few points during the show. I’d never had so much stuff I was trying to keep track of during a concert – normally I never bring bags in, but I had one of those drawstring canvas tiny little backpack things you take to soccer games, track, etc, you know what I’m talking about? – slung over my left elbow, the huge American flag draped over my arm, my camera case around my torso, and I was still wearing my leather jacket since I didn’t have a barrier to dump it on. So much stuff, so much sweat. xD The flag thing was nice, I’d never brought a flag to a show before, but at this concert, it felt like the entire world of TH fans had come together in this one hall to celebrate with Japan.

Thank you guys for also being here to share the experience and be united in this amazing moment. I’m so glad to be a part of this fandom, so glad to love this band, so proud of what they have accomplished, and so looking forward to everything they will accomplish next.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Tokio Hotel – Tokyo Showcase”
  1. L0ve Tokio Hotel says:

    OMG…You're doing fine =)We are proud of you =)

  2. That's Not My Name! says:

    If you didn't know n_n' I just wanted to let u know your last blogs of Tokio Hotel were posted and translated in many fan pages such as here n_n'! U might want to see this comments n_n'
    http://tokiohotelofficial.ning.com/profiles/blogs/tokio-hotel-tokyo-showcase?xg_source=activity – B_K_L_o_V_e_M

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