Mana's Birthday Concert 2018 Day 2
Continuing from yesterday, day 2 of the succession of Mana birthday concerts has also come to an end now!

Fortunately today’s concert really redeemed itself from yesterday!!

In yesterday’s entry I talked about how there were many technical issues that plagued the concert, and honestly speaking, it also felt like the members suffered a bit from that standpoint. There were still a few obvious issues this time around as well, but it was nothing compared to yesterday. Basically a couple wrong tracks played for a few seconds and all sound except the drums went out again, but it was fixed quickly!

Everyone was dressed totally different on stage this time as well. No new costumes or anything, but Seth, Hayato, Sugiya, and Ryux all wore black and red and Mana was in white and blue.

The concert started out with a very different set list from yesterday, but sadly I don’t remember it. Once I have information of today and yesterday’s set lists I will post them here!

By the way, theres something I wanted to clarify that I will be editing on yesterday’s entry. It turns out the song I thought was called “Onto the hill” is actually called “In That hill”. Theres a picture of the set list posted behind Mana in a picture he shared on twitter, so you can see what the first few songs were from the 17th.

Aside from the set list being different, I also noticed there was a bit of variation in yet another rare song that was played tonight. This time it was Priere. It sounded like the middle of the song was changed up with a new twin guitar arrangement. I’m not quite sure if this is really the first time this song has had that part included or not because I don’t remember the last time I actually heard it played live. Maybe its because its been a while, but I thought it was worth noting because it really stood out to me.

Everyone seemed really energetic and happy today, so I felt like aside from all the MC bits and playing around that happens a lot at Moi dix Mois concerts, this one topped the cake in terms of musical performance (no pun intended...or was it?)

Another thing I felt was a little bit different from usual was that it seemed to me like the MC started sooner than I’m used to. It felt like the first portion of the concert was relatively short while the second portion before the encore seemed longer than normal. Am I dreaming that up, or did anybody else feel that way too?

That being said, the MC started with Mana leaving the stage and Seth telling the audience to scream “Je t’aime Mana-Sama” over and over again until Mana showed up on stage. With a loud enough scream, Mana finally appeared with his stuffed bear bag filled with candy and started throwing it out to the audience. As he jumped off the stage and into the center isle of the venue (we were at the same place as yesterday, which has theater style seating), just like yesterday he threw tons of candy into the audience. This time I caught a piece!!

Curiously, after the concert was over, I came to realize the candy I caught looked different from everyone else’s. Also, there was another person with a piece of candy that had Mana’s signature on it too, but the signature on theirs had the kanji 魔 (ma, meaning evil— a somewhat rare form of how Mana sometimes writes his name). It seems in the midst of it all, there must be more common and rarer pieces of candies distributed during this time. Is that really an important detail? I doubt it, but its interesting all the same.

Exiting from the entrance of the venue, Mana then made his way up to the second floor and threw candy at everyone there too. He had to squeeze past all the people in the front row of the second floor, but as he did, he started throwing candy down the balcony to people on the first floor too.

After leaving the second floor, there was a long period of time where Mana became completely missing in action. At this point, Hayato started playing a beat and Seth made everyone start yelling “hey!” along to the beat because it seemed like he had no idea what else to do. Once Mana disappeared, it seemed to take an extremely long time for him to return back to the stage and Seth kept looking around in a panic like he wasn’t sure what to do at that point. I noticed Hayato also started looking a bit worried and kept peering back at the stage entrance. Of course Mana eventually returned, but looking at all the the band members’ concerned faces up until that point I wondered if something might have happened. Did Mana fall down the stairs at some point? or was he just slow this time? The world may never know...

However, with Mana’s return, the celebration continued. He took a few last moments to throw more candy into the audience, and then all the other members started playing the happy birthday song while the audience sang along and swayed as Mana danced and flung his bear bag around. At the end of the song, he threw the bear bag at Seth and made Seth hold it while reading a note from Mana to the audience. Some how, the inside material of the bear backpack went completely inside out, so when Seth caught the bear he said “What happened to his insides!?” Everyone started laughing.

Before I go in to the MC information, I should also mention that during the time when Mana was making his way up to the second floor of the venue, Ryux and Sugiya started playing a small guitar and bass session together. Everyone was totally impressed!! Ryux guitar playing came as a total surprise to everyone, and while the session wasn’t something you may typically hear at a Moi dix Mois concert, it really showed off his abilities as a guitarist. Of course Sugiya was wonderful as always, but this session seemed more or less like a chance for Ryux to show off a bit. Once they finished, everyone started cheering for the two of them. It was certainly well deserved!

Anyway, continuing on to the MC, the letter from Mana asked if everyone was having fun. This initiated Seth and Mana trying to get everyone to scream as loud as they could again, and Mana kept acting like the cheers weren’t good enough until he was finally satisfied with them.

The June 23rd lunch/dinner concert was announced again just as it was yesterday. For those who missed it, heres the concert details we know so far:

La 包丁貴族 (La kitchen knife aristocrat)
June 23, 2018 (Saturday)

*The concert will have 2 parts to it. Part 1 will include lunch and part 2 will include dinner. More information on tickets will come later.

Seth then talked a bit about Deep Sanctuary in September. There were no real details that were talked about, but at this point, Mana took out a blue whip he had stashed away behind the stage, and started flicking it around on stage. Seth had to keep teasing a certain line by Mana that stated, “Will I play guitar, or won’t I!?”
Its a strange thing to keep repeating, but this phrase is based on a post Mana made on twitter some weeks ago regarding Deep Sanctuary. I don’t quite understand what exactly is meant behind “will I play guitar, or won’t I?” but Seth kept having to repeat it while Mana continued to flick the whip he had in his hands.

After saying it several times, Mana then went behind Seth and flicked the whip on his back twice, making Seth run away from him. After flinging a stuffed bear at Seth and then whiping him on stage, Seth yelled out “You are so violent!!” to Mana.

Eventually it was time to bring out a birthday cake for Mana. As it was announced, Sugiya ran to the back and rolled out a cart carrying a white cake with blue icing and roses among other things topping it. At this point in time, we were all asked to take blue glow sticks we were given by the staff at the beginning of the concert and once the candles were lit and the lights turned off for Mana to blow out the candles, we were to ignite our glow sticks and wave them around.

As the candles were being lit, one of them seemed to be a sparkler (like a firework), so as Mana blew out the candles that seemed to be the one that gave him the most trouble. However, once he did it, he put his finger in the icing and made Sugiya eat it before it was carted off again. Ryux kept running around taking pictures of the whole event too, and fortunately for us a picture was shared on twitter!

I wish there could have been a picture of Mana with the cake and all the glow sticks in the background, because this was something totally different from anything we’ve done before. It was actually pretty refreshing too, because even though we all expect to use the glow sticks for the last song (usually Pageant, and with the addition of second day concerts, Je l’aime) it becomes something predictable over time. This was a nice way to include the glow sticks for something new and unique!

As the concert continued on, IMMORTAL MADNESS was played. Last year at Mana’s birthday, everyone was asked to shout out “Sexy pretty angel Mana-Sama” during IMMORTAL MADNESS, and that seems to be becoming a tradition now. This year, once again we were asked to do the same thing, but going a bit further on that, Seth explained that there are certain movements that go along with each word. Last year it was something Mana made up on his own, but this time they wanted everyone to learn those same movements. Its pretty hard to explain, but basically if everyone is to shout out such a long phrase in the time period given within the song that is usually reserved for words like “dix Love,” or in the original lyrics, “dix sight,” you can only imagine what kind of disaster this ends up as. It all has to be said and done so quickly, that the movements end up becoming somewhat obsolete. It more or less ends up looking like the chicken dance people used to do at weddings years ago! (Does anyone know what I mean? 😂)

Afterwards, a lot of the newer songs were played in the second half of the concert, including Twilight Flower, On That hill, Beast Side, etc. Ange was the last song before the encore.

As the members left the stage, there were a few minutes of intermission before everyone quickly ran back on stage. Yesterday Seth, Ryux, Sugiya, and Hayato were all wearing new red and black shirts that were sold at these two concerts for the first time. However, this time Seth wore the blue version of the same shirt, while the others wore the same red and black as yesterday. Mana came out wearing a blue and white marble Moi-meme-Moitie blouse and black Moitie pants that have a lace up corset up the waist. Of course, as is customary for Mana, he also kept the top part of the blouse unbuttoned at the top 2-3 buttons.

Since this was the last song of the night, everyone was asked to raise their hands out for Je l’aime. As it ended, each member exited the stage by walking down the center isle of the venue and out the back exit. Seth, Sugiya, and Ryux high-fived a lot of people as they walked out. Hayato and Ryux also threw out glow sticks into the audience. Hayata threw his up to the second floor and a friend of mine caught one! We were surprised to see he actually signed and dated it!

Finally, Mana walked down the center isle last, without high-fixing anyone or throwing any glow sticks. As he exited, the concert came to an end.
This time everyone clapped after all the members had left. It seems the night ended on a really high note! (AGAIN no pun intended!!...or was it!?)

After this concert, the next events coming up are Sakura-con in Seattle from March 30 - April 1st where Mana will be visiting with Moi-meme-Moitie/Wunderwelt/Tanaqro. There is going to be a fashion show and tea party there among other things. Since this is all the way in the US, I wont be going to that event to report on here. However, the Rendezvous will be in May and I was given a ticket by a friend to attend that, so that will definitely be included in his blog!

It seems recently more and more people from overseas are attending Moi dix Mois concerts and Mana events in Japan. At these two concerts I was able to meet several new people who came for the first time, and a few friends I met from Hong Kong! It made me so happy to meet so many of you and see others for the first time in a long time! It seems our small foreign community is growing once again, so it truly makes me think about how to approach content on here for everyone. Whether you've been a fan for over a decade or you're new to the world of Mana, I'm always so glad to meet all of you! Putting a face to a name and speaking with all of you in person truly inspires me to want to post more on here! Thank you!💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙💙

By the way, heres a bonus picture I wanted to include from today.

A friend of mine from Germany who went to the concert with me today has a friend who recently published a book on VK in Germany! Its titled "Sushi & Stromgitarre"
Actually, I was pretty surprised to learn that the three of us are all acquainted with one another (me, my friend, and the publisher of this book)!
It includes information about Mana in it, so I was asked to pose with the book in front of the Moi dix Mois sign at the venue today. I really love the look of it, and we actually opened the page up to the part where Mana is talked about. Unfortunately since I can't read German, I don't know what it says, but I really love seeing books in any language like this! Even if Visual Kei is a worldwide phenomenon by now, I think its pretty easy for most people to agree that Visual Kei isn't exactly the most mainstream thing on earth. Therefore, any time I can get to see books and other things on VK produced outside of Japan, it genuinely makes me excited. Best of luck to Sushi & Stromgitarre!!

As I post this entry, it is officially March 19 now! Happy Birthday to Mana!!!!!!!!!!
Heres a screen shot from my twitter to celebrate!