It was overcast and cloudy in Takadanobaba on the day of heidi.’s Eighth Anniversary Live. This slightly foreboding weather, however, was not enough to stop the hundreds of fans that came to see this special event from flooding into the venue the second doors were opened. Clad in band t-shirts and stylish outfits made up of various mismatched colors, fans greeted each other on the floor, exchanging excited whispers of the show about to begin. 5 minutes before the expected start time of 7:00 pm, Takadanobaba AREA, a rather intimate venue for such a huge event, was completely packed.
Excitement continued to rise as the start time hit, and just a few short minutes afterwards, the stage went dark. Red, purple, and white lights flashed and fans began to cheer as the band took the stage. Modeling official t-shirts for the event and sporting light, natural makeup, heidi. came out smiling and waving. After a few moments of banging drums and strumming guitars to rile up the crowd, they jumped right into the set.
The show started off with a classic, catchy guitar riff. Right from the beginning, the band took fans into the past with opening number “Hakuchuumu,” an indies favorite off of their first mini-album. From the first few notes, the audience’s excitement was clear, shown in complex dance moves and general high energy as they jumped up and down to the catchy beat.
The first track would set the mood for the entire show. From the most intense tracks to the most beautiful ones, the concert was set at high energy, full of fast songs. The first three songs can be traced back to their first mini-album, but from that point on the menu varied. The set featured both the old and the new, carefully mixed to create excitement, and keep the night full of twists and turns.
As they continued through the show, heidi. on their eighth birthday commanded the attention of the audience, drawing wild screams during fast-paced songs, silent, rapt concentration during darker, more intense numbers, and fond laughter through their MCs.
The lights went off at the start of track “Yurikago,” a song full of unexpected changes, starting off quiet before diving right into the intense chorus. The song contains multiple rhythm changes, and heidi.’s performance stressed these sudden switches, taking avid fans for quite the ride. Darkness fell again with a single spotlight on Nao for the ominous guitar line after the first chorus, before the stage was relit for another rhythm change.
“Synchro” was another fast-paced fan favorite: excitement was clear in the audience from the start. Kohsuke was smiling and moving around the stage to fans’ delight as he played out a line of slap bass through the verses. Yoshihiko’s high, clear vocals gave the song another turn in the chorus before it went out with a big, dramatic finish.
“Ryuusei Dive” on the other hand, opened with a heavy drum beat from Kiri and quite a bit of screaming. In this case, dark, intense verses led to an upbeat duet between Yoshihiko and Nao in the chorus. This heavy piece naturally warranted rapidly flashing white lights as the crowd danced and headbanged their hearts out. The band was having fun as well, smiling and running around stage.
The final song before heidi. left stage for the encore was “Last Piece.” It was one of the slower, calmer pieces of the night and the crowd was still, attention entirely focused on the stage. The rhythm itself is still rather upbeat, but in this performance it was quieter, and beautiful, featuring strong, clear vocals from Yoshihiko.
As soon as heidi. left the stage after “Last Piece” the crowd began cheering for an encore. When the band came back out, they relaxed for a bit and each discussed their thoughts on having reached their eighth anniversary.
Kiri spoke first, thanking everyone at AREA and commenting that eight years felt really short, and that it had gone by in a second. However, he mentioned, playing old songs that night and seeing fans’ happy faces made him realize that they had done a lot in eight years.
Nao was next, first yelling into the microphone and playing on his guitar to elicit shouts of excitement from the audience. So heidi. is eight years old, he began. It has been a while, he commented, but right now heidi. is still a child age wise, and has a lot of maturing to do from here on as well. He finished by promising the band would work hard.
Kohsuke discussed what it meant to be a band for eight years. He said that he had never done anything for eight years before. He mentioned that he used to do Judo in school, and actually made it into a large competition, but quit after he lost. Although there are no opponents when you are doing a band, he commented, there are still times when it looks like you might lose. Eight years was not easy, he said, and he finished by thanking everyone for helping them come this far.
Finally Yoshihiko, who had made comments and thank yous in past MCs as well, finished up by talking about “Last Piece” and how difficult it was when they had first written it. Now, almost eight years later, he does not struggle with it. heidi.’s melodies, he decided, are important. Today may have been high tension, he said, but it really was that fun.
After the comments, the band went straight into the encore. A highlight was track “Omaesan,” one of the most energetic and exciting songs of the night. It began with yelling and moshing and yellow lights. Fans were having a really great time and singing along. They paused for a break towards the end, and then kicked back in for a big finish.
The band left the stage, and then came back on for a second encore finishing up with recent track “Glide.” This song was clearly loved by the band and fans alike; it was upbeat, catchy and pretty. It left the audience buzzing and on high energy, as the band got off stage for the last time. With this final song and those feelings, heidi. finished off their eighth year, and welcomed their ninth.
1. 白昼夢(Hakuchuumu) (2006)
2. 街角慕情 (Machikado Bojou) (2006)
3. 夕焼けと子供 (Yuuyake to Kodomo) (2006)
4. ブライト (Bright) (2014)
5. スターレイン (Star Rain) (2010)
6. トワイライトタウン(Twilight Town) (2011)
7. 揺籠 (Yurikago) (2008)
8. 月光ショータイム (Gekkou Showtime) (2011)
9. 幻想囃子(Gensou Bayashi) (2014)
10. シンクロ(Synchro) (2007)
11. その行方 (Sono Yukue) (2007)
12. 夏一途 (Natsu Ichizu) (2008)
13. 流星ダイヴ (Ryuusei Dive) (2013)
14. センチメンタル (Sentimental) (2007)
15. 泡沫 (Utakata) (2007)
16. ラストピース (Last Piece) (2007)
En 1-1. フリーダム (Freedom) (2014)
En 1-2. ワールドノート (World Note) (2009)
En 1-3. おまえさん (Omaesan) (2010)
En 2-1. グライド (Glide) (2013)