Premium Countdown Live 2008-2009
The 3 and a half hour grand finale of the 10th year anniversary celebration, with more than 30 rare songs that had never made it to previous concerts’ setlists, was what made the Premium Countdown Live so unique.
Fans from all around Japan bearing thoughts of “what will Ayu be making this year” flocked towards the venue, and made long queue lines in front of souvenir stores a well few hours before the show.
Apart from the main stage there was a 80-meter long walkway connecting it to the end-stage situated at the back of rock zone, and even a surprise-stage for the audiences at the 1st floor, which made them not knowing when and where Ayu will be appearing during the show.
All of these arrangements was made due to Ayu’s wish of “hoping to have more close-ups with the fans for 10 years.”
Past memorable moments of Ayu’s 10-year-career were aired to the concert’s audiences during the prelude of “Mirrorcle World”, and finally the concert kickstarted!
The lion and dragon dances at the very beginning symbolized the tremendous success of Ayu’s Asia Concert Tour.
The performances immediately captured people’s hearts and sent the audiences at Yoyogi into another dimension.
The reason of why Ayu chose “GREEN” as the first song of the setlist was because she said, “This is the song that I wanted to sing the most, after I hit 30.”
She wore a red kimono dress and appeared at the stage situated in the middle of the walkway, and began what seemed like a love story as if in the music video.
Then in the upcoming song “Will” she immediately turned into a red-Qi pao-clad damsel, and the time-crossing, oriental-flavored performance mesmerized the crowd.
Crowd cheers as a pink-dress clad Ayu suddenly appears on the stage in front of VIP seating zone.
It has becoming a norm since “A museum”, that the set list will follow the pattern of Will – vogue and then finally HONEY right after a brief interaction with the dancers.
Looks like Ayu really has great potential of becoming a comedy actress seeing how she acts along with the dancers.
Ayu then returns to the main stage with her next number “Angel Song”, in line with he song was the wing behind her back (note: looks more like butterfly’s wing to me though), and sent the crowd’s on an emotion high tide.
Since Ayu was well known for her no-holding back attitude towards her shows, she continues her pledge of “If I want to do it, then I shall do my best until the very end” and it has certainly shown it all in this concert.
Maybe at this time a lot of fans already knew what’s the answer of her hidden message just by the look of the set list already?
Minutes after her being cute, Ayu immediately transforms into rocker form and performs “End of the world” and “Heart place” with guitarist yocchan’s riffs.
The strong visuals coupled with powerful voice of Ayu, made the performance of several songs which Ayu dubbed, “songs that I have fought along for 10 years.”
The main song, “Real Me” together with the mass dancers made emotions boil among the spectators, followed by memorable songs “And Then” and “Naturally” rhymes in the air.
“It’s a special concert after all,” someone said.
The first ever live performance of “In the corner”, paid homage to musical movies such as “Chicago” and “Hotel” won cheers from the fans even in it opening sequence.
Notice Ayu’s toned abs, skillful dances and her cross dressing.
Ayu dressed in a white dress resembling a mermaid, while performing the “Powder Snow” and “Hope or Pain” in the stage situated at the end of the walkway.
Coming up next was “Over” and “Scar”, the mermaid Ayu coordinated a mini love story sequence with dancer Shuya as usual, and made a lot of fans in tears.
Whether it is a returning to the beginning or a new set list arrangement, the countdown live does give one a sense of breakthrough by having songs such as “Signal”, “Hana” and “Too late”.
No only it reflects Ayu’s living style, but also the singing of these nearly 10 year old songs didn’t even conflict with her image. The combination of “Unite!”, “Surreal + Evolution + Surreal” in one go heated the atmosphere to an unprecedented level.
It is quite surprising for the fans when they hear “Who…” on the much anticipated Ayu countdown live concert.
The set list and finally the touching video review of Ayu’s 10 year old career did touch many fans.
This is surely the best ending and opening of a singer’s career.
Ayu said “I still have more songs to sing!” before performing “Trauma”, “independent”, “everywhere nowhere” and the last one is of course “mirrorcle world” in one go.
The last song was of course dedicated to all fans in the world, which served as a full stop of tonight’s concert, as well as Ayu’s 10 year journey as a singer, while also marked the beginning of a brand new phase of her future career.
The encore segment saw another six songs, such as “Days” and “For my Dear…”, and heated up the concert once more.
Not only everybody in the concert welcomed 2009 in unison, but also they shall feel “what is Ayu going to be in this year?”
Although it is intriguing for the fans wanting to know Ayu’s latest moves, but nonetheless they will always follow her until the very end.
Translated by Isaac Hiew @ AHS Forum
Translated from ViVi International Chinese Edition, March 2009, pg 14~17
Date: 15/ June/ 2009
Shared by Ayu's Story
Take out with full credits!