Happy New Year! It was a great start to the year with the KinKi Kids Concert 2022. Apparently, it was a last-minute decision to hold this one and only show in Tokyo Dome on 1st January 2022. This also marks the start of KinKi Kids 25th Anniversary Year.
It’s been 2 years since KinKi Kids performed live with an audience at Tokyo Dome. Last year, they did an online broadcast of their New Year Concert, without any audience. The last one I attended was in December 2019 at Tokyo Dome.
Because it’s a last-minute decision, there were no concert goods released for the concert this time. Fans were allowed to bring penlights and uchiwa from previous concerts. At the same time, there were instructions that we need to be seated and no cheering for this concert too, as part of the COVID-19 precaution measures.
Arena C block seats
It’s some sort of deja vu when the digital tickets were issued at the entrance that I saw that they were the seats in the arena C block. I think I got the same 2 years ago too. They also distributed KinKi Kids 25 fashion masks for each person. There was a notice on the signboard asking fans to wear this mask over the surgical mask.
After watching Johnny’s Countdown Concert the night before, I thought maybe we will get the boys coming closer to the fans on the moving stage or using the other 2 stages at the sides, but it seems like they made some changes to the stage set after the Countdown concert so the boys never really moved from the main stage.
Nevertheless, the concert lasted for approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, resembling a huge dinner show with only a grand piano and KinKi Kids for the whole time. It was definitely a very extravagant use of this huge venue. For those who can read Japanese, there is a really nice Japanese concert report here.
KinKi Kids Concert 2022 Setlist
M2. to Heart
M5. 銀色 暗号
(MC) 銀色 暗号 (New Year Version)
M7. Happy Happy Greeting
M9. Family ～ひとつになること
M11. Topaz Love
As you can see from the setlist, there were many MCs in between the songs, which is a new style and it created this very relaxed mood for KinKi Kids and the audience.
The concert started with “新しい時代” (literally “new era”) with lyrics written by Domoto Tsuyoshi, and music written by Mashiko Tatsuro. He’s the composer who gave us “Harmony of December” too. It felt really emotional listening to this song live with only the piano and KinKi Kids’ beautiful voices in Tokyo Dome.
Some MC Highlights
Koichi started by thanking everyone for coming despite being a very hastened decision. Tsuyoshi was more relaxed and asked Koichi to sit down as if it’s his home. Koichi mentioned that with this decision, the concert only has 1 grand piano this time! According to Tsuyoshi, to have only 1 piano at a concert resembles a lady having no make-up, so they feel very “naked”. But now that everyone wears a mask, so maybe the ladies all only need to do make-up for the exposed parts(?!) It’s very eco or sustainable (part of SDGs?!) to only use make-up or skincare for the non-masked area on the face…
At the same time, they only had very little time for rehearsal, so he ended up doing the harmonizing for some parts that he didn’t have to.
The pianist, Sonoda Ryo, also revealed that Koichi told him that he’s free to arrange the melody or if there’s any part he doesn’t feel that he’s played well, he can ask to start over again. (So sweet~~~)
Johnny’s Festival and Countdown
They also talked about Johnny’s Festival and Johnny’s Countdown that were held in the past 2 days in Tokyo Dome as well. It’s funny how Tsuyoshi mentioned that he realised that Johnny’s Jimusho has many handsome boys and he was looking at the boys on the big screen every time someone is introduced. I guess now he understands how the fans feel.
Because of the sheer number of Johnny’s groups attending these 2 concerts, as the most senior group, KinKi Kids had to give otoshidama (new year’s red packet) to the boys. There were 13 groups in total, and just from these debut groups, there are 71 boys, plus the juniors (i.e. Travis Japan), so KinKi Kids burnt a huge hole in their pockets. (LOL!)
Tsuyoshi also mentioned that he felt a lot of love from the fans during these concerts too, thinking about how everyone really wanted to cheer and shout their love to the idols but couldn’t because of COVID-19 precaution measures.
雪白の月 (Seppaku no Tsuki)
They actually sang my favourite KinK ballad song! It seems like they incorporated the wishes from the staff this time into the setlist too! Koichi mentioned before singing that he understands that there are many fans who like this song and that we are really a gloomy lot. (Oops…) It’s one of those songs that he prefers listening to singing himself. (Haha!!)
After singing this song, Koichi mentioned that he didn’t like Cinderella Christmas when it was first released, but now when it makes his heart flutter! (EH?!) In the man’s own words, he felt “kyun kyun“. (LOL!) And that when they performed this last year during the Christmas online broadcast, he felt that Yoshida Ken’s bass is very erotic. (WHAT?) Tsuyoshi quickly corrected him to say that “You meant to say sexy right…” and Koichi went “Yeah, that’s the word I wanted to use!” (OMG…)
He also mentioned similarly how he didn’t like “Hey! Minna genki kai?” and that’s why he wrote “Ai no Katamari” to fight back. But now he understood that this song is meant to cheer up the friend of the composer. Koichi relates how Johnny-san said that when we are sad, all the more we should sing cheerful songs, because it will make you feel sadder. He continues to recall attending V6 last concert, and it was full of happy songs, but he felt really sad and lonely at that time. (Awww…. hugs!)
銀色暗号 (Giniro Angou)
It was a funny moment when they were going into this performance, and Sonoda-san decided to rearrange the introduction for melody to match with the Japanese new year song, and both boys were laughing and had to stop the performance. Tsuyoshi then tried to reset the mood by explaining the concept behind this song about a girl being proposed and the song covers the few hours before dawn. KinKi Kids then proceeded to sing this song but after that, Tsuyoshi also gave the pianist another chance to do the New Year music version.
Koichi also made an announcement that most of us already know that to commemorate their 25th debut anniversary year, they were doing a campaign for companies to apply for KinKi Kids to do a commercial for 25 JPY. With this, KinKi Kids will also write a song together. While it has always been either one will do the lyrics and another one does the melody, this time they will both write the lyrics and melody together.
Mobile phone or Smartphone?
Tsuyoshi talked about how lyrics reflect the background of the period of the song, and specifically refers to seeing “mobile phone” as part of the lyrics in “to Heart“. Koichi then quickly asked Tsuyoshi if he will say mobile or smartphone because he still refers to his phone as “mobile phone”, but Tsuyoshi is already referring as “smartphone”. They did a quick poll with the audience, asking us to raise our hands if we refer to mobile phones or smartphones. FYI, the people around us mostly were “mobile phone” generation. (GASPS!)
Happy Birthday, Koichi!
For every 1/1 concert, there is always a birthday section for Koichi. Tsuyoshi also prepared this time, and it was Yoshida Ken and Dojima Kohei who helped to bring out the birthday and anniversary cake this time. It was funny how Dojima-san said that KinKi Kids talked too much and have already exceeded 30 minutes! Koichi also rushed to blow out the candles as they were burning and almost gone.
They also took some photos on the stage with a DSLR camera passed from the staff. Apparently, KinKi Kids will release a photobook this year too. Koichi wasn’t sure if he can mention this or he still needs to keep it a secret. (Haha!)
Contrary to the previous times, Koichi didn’t grab any of the strawberries on the cake this time to eat on stage, instead, it was Ken-san who did that… I guess Koichi is very careful about the COVID-19 precautions. They should have prepared some alcohol spray too.
By then, it was around 1 hour 45 minutes into the concert, and they sang “Ai no Katamari” which really matches the grand piano style. Before going to the next song “Family ~Hitotsu ni naru koto“. Koichi made a joke to Sonoda-san that he didn’t make any mistake, and Sonoda-san said that he took off his bow-tie. Koichi then said as they are doing a recording of this concert, they will redo from the beginning to make sure the scenes match. (Errr yes, please? Haha!) Tsuyoshi was quick to say it’s impossible to redo 1 hour 45 minutes.
After “Family ~Hitotsu ni naru koto“, KinKi Kids went backstage and the big screen was showing a photo slide show of KinKi Kids from 1997 with snapshots of their single/album covers and concert scenes. This is accompanied by the piano instrumental BGM of “Hakka Candy“. It was such a beautiful moment. (BIG LOVE)
KinKi Kids then returned on stage with new stage costumes and Tsuyoshi was wearing his noise-cancelling BOSE headphone. The performance of “Anniversary” was also a very emotional moment for me, and the performance climaxed when the big screen opened and revealed a full orchestra on stage. O.M.G.!!! What a surprise!
The next 2 songs “Topaz Love” and “Garasu no Shonen” were done with this full orchestra. It was a really magnificent experience and such a grand performance. I also observed many fans around me were tearing and sniffing. (CRIES!)
Last words from the boys
KinKi Kids ended the concert with their thanks to the orchestra, Sonoda-san, the staff, and the fans who made this concert possible. Koichi specifically mentioned that they have many plans for this year and hope to make them happen, and it will be something that the fans will enjoy. Tsuyoshi also thanked everyone for following and supporting them these years and aim to make this anniversary year full of love and kindness.
Accompanied by “Atarashii Jidai” instrumental BGM, the following words were shown on the big screen.
Be With You
Personally, I was expecting a lot more dance and action, but then to have only KinKi Kids singing to a grand piano and a full orchestra towards the end, I think only these 2 boys can pull this off in Tokyo Dome. It’s also a luxury to enjoy all the songs arranged only by a piano. Big applause for Sonoda-san too! I wish they will release a Blu-ray/DVD or even a CD for this concert performance. Huge applause and big thanks to all the staff who made this happen in such a short time and working over the New Year holidays too!
p/s: I forgot to mention how Koichi was asking us if our butt hurts after sitting down for so long in the middle of the concert. Frankly speaking, it’s a huge pain to sit on those folding chairs in the arena block area. All seats were packed and we had to squeeze on the small seats. At least Koichi gave us some time to stand a little and stretch before asking us to sit down again. Sending kisses to his kindness~~!!