IN THE END ...
I had this conversation with my sister when I returned to the hotel and she was perplexed when I said Masha had no guest singers, probably just 2 jacket changes, he was on stage for 3 hours and 15 minutes save for perhaps 5 minutes of disappearance due to encores and he never had a break in between. She was surprised, just him, entire time, no rest?And my answer was a simple yes and she did asked what about special effects? I answered the stage had multi coloured bulbs, some spurting fires but that was about it. His guitar was his special effect, his charisma and his singing ability was his special tools. In Masha's concert, you get Masha and no one else. He doesn't need guests and we don't want guests. She did asked, what about dancers? There were dancers in Daikanshasai 2010 and from all reports, they weren't a success and I can understand why. We were all there for him, dancers in his concert is like cheerleaders in a football/soccer game; redundant. I think I have basically summed up what to expect in a Fukuyama Masaharu concert; Fukuyama Masaharu. And there's not better deal than that, don't you think?
If you're thinking of attending his future concerts, take my advice; always buy for 2 days' worth of tickets, 3 days if you can afford it but it will be overkill, one day near him and the next day at the back, to just soak up the atmosphere from every angle, bring your binoculars, bring water, bring towel, do not feel bad if you do not follow the moves, after all variety is the spice of life (as I did felt for a moment with everyone moving in unison it felt mechanical) and I know you will have a great time. I have a friend asking me a sincere question; were the female fans there for his looks or for his music? It was a simple answer for someone who was there; looks can only get you so far, to sustain his sort of popularity takes a certain amount of talent. I have no doubt we are all attracted to his looks, even the illusion he may end up becoming our very own prince charming but the reality is, what kept us going is his talent. You may dismiss him based on looks and such, but this man is not only blessed with good looks, he can strum a guitar and sing live, not credibly, but beyond that. He sounds even better live and to me, that is what his fans look forward to in his concerts. To let loose and have a great time. From my observation, the fans were looking dreamy, inhaling and exhaling excitedly but not when he was talking where they can have a good look at him. It was when he finished a favourite song of theirs, or after an energetic guitar moment. Looks is of course the cherry on the top but the cherry can't be firmly in place without everything else at the bottom. And that is Masha; a musician who happens to be an ikemen. Never had I once heard the fans screamed Kakkoiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. None. I feel like all my energy, attention, affection and money spent on this trip and on this man is validated by the 2 shows I have seen. I am in no position to comment on others, but for me, Masha is worth all that. If you ever have that opportunity to see him live, and if you can afford it, go for it. And I feel he won't retire any time soon; you can see he loves performing very much. So start saving up, and one day, hopefully I will meet you at the concert hall and we can both gush about Masha. But please do forgive me if you think I am beyond that gushing age; Masha just makes all ladies like teenage girls all over again and he is to me my fountain of youth. Seeing so many older women, even obachans, even some men, I have no doubt he is their fountain of youth too. For the younger ones, I am sure he is their inspiration. It is a positive effect and anything positive is good influence. Frankly I am just happy I made the exhausting trip because in the end it was rewarding. I realised my dream and now I want more. And I hope, if you have never been to his concert, you too one day will make that "pilgrimage".
And if you're wondering how he looks like in person, the closest I can find is the following;
And I recorded some of the atmosphere at Yoyogi on 7th August 2011 at the beginning and at the end.