4/19 - Tohoshinki 3rd Live Tour 2008 ~T~ @ Miyagi Hot House Super Arena

On the weekend of April 19, 2008, I had the chance to attend Tohoshinki's 3rd Live Tour concert in Sendai.

Tohoshinki, also known as TVXQ or Dong Bang Shin Ki in other Asian countries, was having an Arena Tour in Japan for the first time, which attracted many Japanese and foreign fans alike. However, my friendand I were the only non-Asian fans, which was both very exciting and intimidating.

I arrived to the concert extremely early on Saturday since it was taking place in Rifu, a small town near Sendai city that I was unfamiliar with. There was only one subway line going in that direction, after which my friend and I had to take a bus with other fans in order to get to the Arena. We ended up arriving to the venue about 6 hours before the start of the concert.

It was raining very hard that day, but it didn't stop us from walking around the surrounding botanical park, then taking pictures with the huge trucks that were advertising the concert and Tohoshinki's new upcoming single at that time, "Beautiful You". We even got to see some of the backup dancers who were hanging out near the back of the Arena, and meet some new fans. Many scalpers were approaching us, trying to sell us tickets for the concert, but we already had great seats thanks to Celga's help.

The line-up for the goods started just a few hours before the concert, so we made sure to get all the goods and try to keep them safe from the rain. Each receipt included a message from one of the members Esince I bought goods twice, I got Jaejoong and Junsu's thank you messages on my receipts ^^

As usual in Japanese concerts, the line and seating was very well organized, and there was a high level of security in order to avoid fancams or picture taking. They were playing a Pink Floyd song in the Arena while waiting for the concert to start, which was a pleasant surprise. The stage was set up such as there was an extension stage that came out of the main stage to about the middle of the Arena. We were just a few rows in front of it, in the middle section. Many fans, including us, were carrying uchiwas with name or picture of their favorite number in addition to red glow sticks. You could feel the crowd become more and more restless until the lights turned off and all the fans screamed in excitement.

The opening song was TRICK, and all 5 members of Tohoshinki were full of energy and their performance was top notch! The huge screens and my binoculars allowed us to follow every detail, and it was truly an impressive opening song.

The first time Tohoshinki came to the front of the extended stage was on SONG FOR YOU, which was the second or third song that night. The boys saw our uchiwas and interacted with us a few times, so we felt very lucky and touched to be able to stand so close to them. It was the most magical performance that night for us. Tohoshinki members are very kind, waving, smiling and pointing at fans all through the concert.

One very impressive song was DARKNESS EYES Ethe performance and dance was very well choreographed. At one point, the members were lifted form the stage as a sort of cage circled around them, before they started performing their dance. It is very difficult to explain but was definitely stunning visually.

There was a very strong vocal performance on ASU WA KURU KARA, a song from Tohoshinki's first album. Everyone knew the lyrics by heart, and when Junsu's solo part came you could see that everyone was touched.

The main MC was definitely one of the best parts of the concert. The boys came up front on the extended stage and did all sorts of funny actions to entertain the fans, including Junsu's "scary" face, Yunho Bruce Lee performance, Yoochun and Changmin's "sexy duo", and the most impressive of all EJaejoong's "ikemen" face. The audience could not stop cheering!

At one point, they performed the song RAINBOW and made all the fans sing along. It was a very uplifting song and although I forgot some of the lyrics I did my best to follow up~ the audience started out shyly but as Tohoshinki got closer to the crowd and away from the main stage, everyone was singing along.

LOVE IN THE ICE, a fan favorite, was performed towards the end of the concert. It was full of emotion and the vocals were beautiful. The background music was also great as there was a live band performing with Tohoshinki all throughout the concert. However, we were all a bit sad because we knew that the show was nearing its end.

At the end, all the members went all over the stage, main and extended, and greeted the fans goodbye. Later on that night fans who are members of their Mobile website received thank you messages from the boys.

The trip back to Tokyo was a bit sad after two nights spent in Tohoshinki land, but it was a memorable concert.

- Miya from the US