Thursday, January 9, 2014

KEITA SIDE BY SIDE TOUR 2013 DVD/Blu-ray review

I went to Osaka for Christmas getaway and got the DVD from Tower Records there (because I had a 300 yen off coupon, and after my purchase they gave me another 500 yen one! XD;)

hello there~

I would love to have the Blu-ray with extra bonus, but unfortunately my always-broke student budget hasn't allowed me to get a Blu-ray reader yet. The Blu-ray comes with Making of Magic PV which is never public anywhere (exclusively available for streaming on mobile-only VISIONCAST, that if you paid monthly fee - however I think the extra in Blu-ray is a different edition), so consider getting it it you have updated your system to BR :D



Format: DVD PCBP-52267/Blu-ray PCXP-50182

Content: The DVD/Blu-ray contains final concert in KEITA's 2013 nationwide tour SIDE BY SIDE, recorded on August 3 at MAIHAMA Amphitheater. This tour is the first one of him as a soloist under the name "KEITA". Comes with a Behind The Scene. Blu-ray edition also has MVs for "Slide'n'Step," "Slide'n'Step - Extended Mix- feat. SKY-HI (AAA)", "Magic feat. AKLO" in HD quality, and making-of "Magic feat. AKLO".

My review:

The concert starts pretty similar to other w-inds. tours, with red and green laser making tour title, following by a flying image of his head floating above the smoke (which is actually not as creepy as how it sounds), then KEITA appears from behind the smoke, starts singing Turn It Up. The opening songs are all upbeat tracks which are supposed to liven up the atmosphere. Slide'n'Step might not be loved by lots of his fans, but I really like the song and its choreography is totally spot-on. Magic is so sexy, dang. AKLO's rap was replaced by a dance bridge which I had to replay at least 3 times, it's so powerful and arousing, yes, the beat makes your body wanna move! How did the fans in first row stay still, beat me, I want to know too. He has all the dancers on stage (2 males and 3 females), and they are all awesome.

After Magic there is a short MC, following by broken hearted passenger. I am super biased about this one, and even if the rap lyrics cracks me up every time, I still love it the most from all KEITA's songs. In this performance he is alone, playing with the mic stand, moving elegantly around the stage. At one part two female dancers appear on stage dancing responding to the light and KEITA before disappear again. It would have been a perfect performance if he didn't mispelled quite a lot of English lyrics - turning the vowels into "l" - like "broken heart-Led passenger". Was he nervous? XD

After that is One Night and Searchin'. KEITA nailed all the high notes in Searchin' as if it's a piece of cake, even though sometimes the back-up voice is loud it's hard to hear him. Get U Back was kinda.... Our gentleman seems to be too shy; he hardly looks at AISHA throughout the first part of the song and even turns his back at her (screaming IMMA GET YOU BAAAACK at the same time), leaves her standing there awkwardly without anything to do lol. But afterall their voices sound really lovely together, and I'm more than happy to see both artists I love performing alongside each other.

Be aware at the beginning of Thinking of you, or you will be scared by the female dancer in white dress creeping her way in, face hidden in the dark XD. After this song, a piano is brought into the stage, KEITA sits down and starts playing w-inds.' Close to you, which is obviously a tease - the fans cry out at realization. Then he mimics a fangirl's voice (which cracks me up, YOU NEED TO SEE IT lmao), and plays a short piece of Winter story for the audience to sing along. Side by Side on piano is very ballad-y and sweet, even though I will admit that I prefer listening toWinter story, so soooorryyyyyyyyy.

After Beautiful Lie, a couch is brought in and Keita explains how dancer Shoji going to choose a lucky fan to get on the stage. The chosen girl keeps it really cool, staring at him the whole time while he twirls around her, Nice & Slow blasting, occasionally sits down and holds her shoulder and touches her hair etc XD her blank look when KEITA kneels down before her is priceless. It really makes me wonder if she's naturally calm or she must be a Ryohei or Ryuichi fan, haha. Even watching the DVD at home it took me a while before I can shift my attention to what he is singing. I expected a sobbing and/or shaking girl, but it would be very awkward for both of them right? Together they make a really great performance.

After the MC, they change the stage setting into some sort of a bar for Hey Love where KEITA and his "friends" flirt with a group of girls. I love this song and totally dig the choreography, so it was a pity that the performance is quite short D: me wants looooonger please. Shame on me follows in, it's rare to see the fans put their hands up and jumping or moving along. That's the appropriate kind of atmosphere, Japanese fans!

Encore part includes Slide'n'Step -Extended Mix- (no dancing, KEITA just moves around looking badass, really reminds me of JT), Pretty Girl (not recommended to watch before sleeping, it's too sweet for words T__T), and One More Time closes up the party with a towel choreo, totally adorable <3

So, what do I think about the live? KEITA sounds great. He performs 16 songs in total (actually 17 but "Sometimes I Cry" was removed for copyright reason) which is less than an usual w-inds. concert so it must not be hard for him. I really like his choice of songs for his solo, they suit KEITA's voice perfectly without sounding strained or shrill. The stage was specially designed for this final concert, and it has added major effect into the performance. Singing, undoubtly top-notch. Choreo and staging, spot-on (kudo to Masao-san!). Camera angle: sometimes slightly off, not bad overall. My only complain (always!) is the box design. Sans-serif fonts look very plain on the back. And I'm tired of live-shot cover.

Overview: 4.5/5.
It makes me feel so bad for not coming to the tour. His hard work paid off and this tour is the fruit of a very long time planning and preparing resources for his solo. KEITA, you make us so proud to be your fans. This DVD worths every single cent I paid for it, and I can imagine the HD image in blu-ray must be even more awesome.

Where to buy?

Amazon JP: DVD | Blu-ray (with discount, plus Ash and Melissa got their copy extremely fast so I think it's a good deal! Just be careful of customs)
CDjapan: DVD | Bluray
YesAsia: DVD | Bluray
HMV: DVD | Bluray


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