LiSA : I Hope Love Will Be The Same in Manila

I am officially stoked, and this post will contain copious amounts of fanboy-ism.

Just this past week, it had been announced that LiSA (from here on end, I will spell her stage name as such) will be performing a mini-live in Manila on June 27. For those in the know, she is the singing voice behind Yui from the anime Angel Beats!. I am a big fan of that show, despite it being short as it was and with gaping holes in the plot. It’s one of the very few shows that had reduced me to tears. I am man enough to admit that much.

What makes LiSA so special though?

One of the crucial elements of the Angel Beats! plot is the fictional, in-show band called Girls Dead Monster. See, the characters are in the afterlife, fighting against various things like shadows, a deranged hypnotist, an insanely cute Angel and God (at least as the show posits) himself. They use various means to fight these elements, from sticks, to axes and modern firearms like Berettas and what possibly is a .50cal sniper rifle. And to create chaos, as a distraction of course, with which to undertake their usually violent operations, they have an in-school band to play popular music for the school. Apparently, the NPCs (soulless, body count worthy) that consist the vast majority of the students in the school, are totally bonkers for Girls Dead Monster, which had two vocalists – one was Masami (voiced by Marina in the songs) who subsequently passed on, and Yui (voiced by LiSA) who took over until pretty much the end of the series. Angel Beats! had some of the most awesome artwork I’d seen in an anime, and it had an awesome sound track to boot.

Girls Dead Monster’s popularity easily crossed over into the world of us living, existent humans and released a full album of songs (Keep The Beats), featuring both Marina and LiSA. So popular was the album, that it spawned a series of live concerts with LiSA (sometimes including Marina) backed by a live band which included Futami (guitar) and Akane(bass) from the indie band The Scanty, Takuya (guitar) and a live drummer and keyboardist, whose names I apologize to have forgotten.

Let it be known though that prior to this, LiSA had been singing since at least high school as part of an indie band called Chucky. How or why Chucky didn’t make it big, we can only ponder.

Our band (Shinkan) likes LiSA’s music so much so that covering her songs had become a staple of our live sets. My first introduction to her music was the single “Thousand Enemies” which Photosynthesis (the band’s name pre-Shinkan) had been playing prior, and was suggested by a good friend of ours, Kevin (who’s now the lead guitarist of Subkonsious Terror) after he saw the anime. He suggested I watch it as well, and took a liking to it. When I took over the lead guitar spot for Shinkan, it was one of the first songs I’d played with them. From then on, we’d always included LiSA’s songs in our sets, garnering good feedback from our audiences when we belt out Shine Days, Brave Song, My Soul, Your Beats and Little Braver.

[credits to arkadymac.com]

I can’t really say that I’m LiSA’s biggest fan nor can I really claim to be, but since at least 2012, I’d always wanted to see her live. She had performed in AFA (Anime Festival Asia) in 2013 (Indonesia), and more recently in 2014 (Singapore). I’d made plans to see her in last year, where she was scheduled to appear in Singapore. However, as soon as I got my cash together, I needed to use it some other way.

I’d been harbouring the thought that the only way I can see her live is to fly out to her concerts. However, over the past week or so, there had been some activity on JMF’s (Japan Music Festival) Facebook page about a mini live that LiSA is looking to do to promote her new album, “Launcher”. The poster appeared normal but there was no city scheduled for it. Fans have been commenting where they want her to be in – Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur were the more numerous names thrown. There were a handful of Manila comments too. I didn’t really pay much attention to it, having resigned to the painful fact that while there may be quite a bit of fans here, her company may not consider us due to their success in Jakarta and Singapore.

…and then one of my friends, Pebbles, tagged a post with the now completed poster which says “Manila” on the city name.

That post sent me right through the roof! It was a Friday evening when we spoke about it on FB, and I was about to sleep then, but man did it jolt me to wakefulness! I was so excited, I checked the page and found that this will be a mini-live meet and greet. It will be held on June 27, there will be posters and her autograph on them, and an acoustic set. Of course I aired my concern that a full band would be awesome lvl 9000, but the organizers (I believe connected with SOZO-SG) think that an acoustic set is more intimate and awesome. Oh well, we here in the Philippines are already beat-over and out with acoustic songs, but it may be a treat for international audiences. In any event, it slashed my hopes to see Fuu-chan and Akane-chan onstage. I even changed my profile pic to my most recent one at the Influence gig with our newly issued Girls Dead Monster shirt in an attempt to inform the organizers that even if her live band cannot be flown in, there are good musicians here who can play for her, my band and I included if I really must say so.

But as my fellow fans pointed out, as long as LiSA herself is coming, it will be all good. No, it wouldn’t be good, it will be great! I mean sure, June is like the start of the rainy season but as long as LiSA is coming over to see her fans here, and we can see her in the flesh, it will be a great day.

It was announced that ticket selling will start April 20, recognized worldwide as the day when would be hipsters and bandwagoneers greet the world with “Happy 420”. On that particular morning though, I wasn’t greeting anyone, I was hurrying out of the house before 1000 to make my way to SM Megamall (oh! SM Tickets is selling the stuff) to get my hands on the ticket. After having made my way there, lined up and paid for the ticket, I had in my hands the power to prevent Third Impact and Operation Meteor…no, not really, but I held a ticket to LiSA’s concert.

So, if you’re a LiSA fan and would like to see her, the concert is on June 27 at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura. The gates open at 1800, and it’s a free-seating thing so everyone who wants to see her better come in early to line up. An acquaintance of mine, Vinar, had set-up an FB page for fans who’re coming to watch. A lot of my friends already have tickets as well.

Surely, it will be another great day in Manila when she comes in for the show!

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