AnimeNEXT 2015 – FLOW concert

The energy was high as FLOW stepped on stage to the cheers of the fans. The two vocalists, Keigo took to the left center of the stage while Kohshi stood at the center right. The lead guitarist, Asakawa Takeshi stood at the right while bassist Iwasaki Hiroshi took to the left with drummer Goto Yasutaro in the middle. Much of the speaking was left with Keigo as per usual with a mix of English and Japanese to tease the crowd. Truly, even with no interpreter, little was left misunderstood: the band was here to party and so were we!

They opened with ‘Sign’ from Naruto Shippuden OP, kicking off with a strong number to the cheers of the fans followed by ‘Hero ~kibou no uta~’. Mixing in a bit of the old with the new, the setlist introduced the wide range of styles which is FLOW to new listeners and gave something for everyone who is a long time fan.

The draw of the band wasn’t just the music though, the energy of each member was driven into a fevered pitch with the dancing and the jumping. And much of the jumping was by the live vocalists. The waves, the clapping, the hand motions, the audience followed the movements of the singers onstage. They really got us going and didn’t stop until the end!

Both Keigo and Kohshi really connected with the fans by sight…or as much sight as they could muster from onstage with the bright lights. Their interactions with the crowd kept the energy high throughout the concert.

You could hear the audience sing along to their fav anime themes, ‘Colors’ from Code Geass and ‘Re:member’ also from Naruto. ‘Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye’ didn’t get as much singing, but definitely, people appeared to recognize it as the catchy opening to Samurai Flamenco.

    1. Sign (Naruto Shippuden OP)
    2. Hero ~kibou no uta~
    3. samuraimuaflow 2014
    4. Brave Blue (Eureka Seven OP)
    5. Colors (Code Geass OP)
    6. Re:member (Naruto OP)
    7. Red Hot Riot
    8. Black&White
    9. Days (Eureka Seven OP)
    10. Awake
    11. Ryuusei
    12. Hey!!! (Beelzebub OP)
    13. World End (Code Geass OP)
    14. Cha-la Head-cha-la (Dragon Ball Z OP)
    15. Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye (Samurai Flamenco OP)
    16. Go!!! (Naruto OP)

    17. Guren no Yumiya (Shingeki no Kyoujin OP)
    18. Garden

Halfway through the concert, Takeshi, Hiroshi and Yasutaru got to show their skills as the Keigo and Kohshi took a break. The variations in this short jam session really highlighted their individual style in the music. I also love these solos.

There were several surprises the band gave us during the concerning including Takeshi coming onstage with a pair of goofy sunglasses and hoodie which lit up. Plus, they pulled out an American flag in order to take a pic with the audience.

But the biggest surprise had to be the encore of Guren no Yumiya, the opening to Shingeki no Kyoujin. FLOW sang this at other concerts before, during their world tour in 2013 and in Japan, Animix music festival. But to hear their rendition live was definitely a special treat. Though I didn’t see it, I’m sure the fans were all saluting at the very end. Dedicate your heart!

Definitely a powerful concert to close out friday…but it wasn’t the end. The autograph session is next!