Intro: Crossing the Line from Reality to Wonderfulness
fhána’s sold-out Saturday night show at ZEPP DiverCity in Tokyo, was the final concert of the What a Wonderful World Line Tour 2016. This May fhána went on tour to Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo promoting their second full-length album called What a Wonderful World Line. Their last show in Tokyo was the greatest performance many fans might have anticipated; fhána created a wonderful world and took us all into their sonic wonderland for a three-hour show!
Honey-chan and Bee-kun discovered this band when they noticed that several outstanding tunes they listened while watching anime were created by the same band: Uchouten Kazoku ending theme, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz! and Comet Lucifer opening themes, fhána’s most recent anisong is "Niji wo Ametara" (If We Could Weave Rainbows) which is featured as the opening theme of Haruchika: Haruta and Chika Enjoy Their Youth.
Uchouten Kazoku ED Theme
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei Herz! OP Theme
Comet Lucifer OP Theme
Haruchika OP Theme
When Honey-chan and Bee-kun arrived at ZEPP DiverCity, the place was packed! 1800 fans gathered at the entrance waiting impatiently for the doors to open and let them in into a magical night. While Honey-chan was at the merch table buying fhánas new t-shirts, Bee-kun made his way flying over the thick crowd and reached the stage, just right in front where towana’s mic was set.
A few minutes later, Honey-chan reached Bee-kun in front of the stage and both put on their new fhánas t-shirts. The whole venue was lighted harmoniously with white and blue lights which created an atmosphere of fantasy. Lights suddenly went off, the voices of the audience went mute, and the excitement transformed into electricity. This is happening! They’re coming on stage! The session musicians entered first; the drummer, Tatsuya Suzuki, and bassist, Toshino Tanabe placing themselves in the rhythm section. Then entered guitar player, yuxuki waga, multi-instrumentalist, kevin mitsunaga, and synths and rhythm guitarist, Junichi Sato, taking the front places on the stage.
towana comes on stage last, wearing a cute pink A-line skirt with a gray top, she accessorized her outfit with a shiny pink and gray hairpiece which glittered every time the spotlights hit over her. kevin mitsunaga was wearing his usual bow tie, all we could see of yuxuki waga was his wavy long hair and a maxi-sized t-shirt, Junichi Sato wore a conservative but hip gray blazer.
towana looked so beautiful, my heart skipped a beat when she entered the stage!
Mine too! But then it started beating again at the rhythm of the drums!
Performance: The Multi-Sonic Tour
They opened the show with "The Color to Gray World" which is the first track of their recently released second album, What a Wonderful World Line. This is a very energetic tune, perfect to let the audience release their contained excitement and energy. This song was followed by the opening theme of Haruchika: Haruta and Chika Enjoy Their Youth, "Niji wo Ametara" (If We Could Weave Rainbows), and Comet Lucifer’s COMET LUCIFER -The Seed and the Sower- both, also from their second album. Soon after, the fast-paced intro of "tiny lamp" sent shivers through every spine in the audience, and fans stepped forward waving their hands in the air to the rhythm of the keyboard riffs.
The show’s setlist covered fhána’s wide range of musical genres. Slower songs like "Que Sera Sera", "Hoshi no Kakera" (Fragment of Stars), and "Machi wa Kanaderu" (The Town plays a Melody) which showed fhána’s immaculate production of melancholic melodies from which Junichi Sato’s keyboards chords were leading towana’s heartened vocals.
Then it came two exhilarating standouts, "c.a.t." which showed off kevin mitsunaga multitasking between instruments like the xylophone and samplers, and "Antivirus" that included theremin sounds coming from where kevin mitsunaga was working his digital magic. "Cipher" and "divine intervention" cut with a mosh-worthy guitar solo, and the pleasant "What a Wonderful World Line", which includes Junichi Sato singing some of the verses.
fhána also performed their first ever full English, "Relief", which shows how much they want to reach out to their fans overseas. Because the audience of this show was 99% Japanese fans, "Relief" was introduced by Junichi Sato with a profound description of its lyrics:
Everyone in the world is looking for salvation. We may feel we’re not able to relate with each other, there may not be any reasons or meaning for us to be in this world. So if this world has no meaning, let’s give it a meaning ourselves. When I’m performing on stage, I feel in perfect connection with the audience. This makes me believe that humans can relate to each other.
The night reached its peak with the dynamic songs; "Wonder Stella", and "Stardust Interlude" (Hoshikuzu no Interlude) which made the audience go ecstatic singing along the chorus and moving their bodies along with yuxuki waga who is often at his most frenetic moments when playing his guitar solos, which helped fuel a predominantly emotional 26-song performance.
"white light" was the closing song of the show. The song took a dramatic turn when towana left the stage, and each band member started to put down their instruments, one by one. Only Junichi Sato remained playing the piano as everyone disappeared from the spotlight. When the lights went off, people started screaming vigorously encore, encore, encore. fhána came back for a mini set of 5 more songs! Including "Outside of Melancholy" from their homonymous first album. The performance ended with "gift song" which outro made the audience felt satisfied with an incredible and magical night.
I closed my eyes at Itsuka no, Ikutsuka no Kimi to no Sekai (Somewhen, Some Worlds with You), Junichi Sato’s melancholic piano transported me into another world. OH! and then Junichi Sato looked extremely sexy when he was sweating playing the piano in Stardust Interlude (Hoshikuzu no Interlude)
When towana sang “Relief” I was so impressed, her English voice sounded a little more passionate in that song.
Outro: Coming Back to Reality, Enchanted
fhána expresses no shortage of creative musicianship. Throughout the night, their repertoire showed off the variety of the genres fhána is able to perform, bringing all kind of emotions; danceable, funky, pop, epic, and heavy tunes. The audience responded to every song differently, causing pretty much every song to end in a vigorous set of applauses. towana’s high pitched vocals pierced the whole venue to everyone's amazement. Singing flawlessly with no backups vocal tracks, towana managed to be perfectly in tune for a three-hour show!
All that said, Saturday night’s show was amazing in the same way the band is in full swing on stage as they play. Regardless of the size of the audience or the production behind them, fhána’s self-assured presence remained solid throughout the whole set. This is this band’s charm. Make sure you check out fhána when they are on tour, you will be left with a big smile in your face.
1. The Color to Gray World
2. "Niji wo Ametara" (If We Could Weave Rainbows)
3. COMET LUCIFER -The Seed and the Sower-
4. tiny lamp
5. divine intervention
6. little secret magic
7. Critique & Curation
10. lyrical sentence
11. "Itsuka no, Ikutsuka no Kimi to no Sekai" (Somewhen, Some Worlds with You)
12. Que Sera Sera
13. "Tsuioku no Kanata" (Beyond Recollection)
14. "Hoshi no Kakera" (Fragment of Stars)
15. "Machi wa Kanaderu" (The Town plays a Melody)
17. What a Wonderful World Line
19. Wonder Stella
20. "Stardust Interlude" (Hoshikuzu no Interlude)
21. white light
1. Sorairo Picture
2. Outside of Melancholy
3. "Hikari Mau Fuyu no Hi ni" (One Winter Day Wrapped in Light)
4. kotonoha breakdown
5. gift song
Well, I found yuxuki waga’s guitar skills impressive. He even made me take my eyes off towana’s enchanting presence for a couple of seconds.
The dynamics of this band are both heard and felt. You could tell that all of them were fervently doing their best. My gaze kept turning from Junichi Sato to kevin mitsunaga to yuxuki waga and towana’s. Superb teamwork!
Author: Angie Vásquez
Aspiring fiction writer and experimental musician, anime characters collector (rather than their action figures, I collect their psyche). My current mission is to bring Honey`s Anime to the Spanish speaking world. You can always find me in a dismal and filthy live house in some backstreet of Tokyo.