Remember when I made a post about Loppi and how I was able to get a concert ticket to see Miyavi live? Well, the day finally came and I went to his concert at Zepp DiverCity Tokyo. I got there early in hopes of getting some merchandise and possibly bettering my chances of getting on a good spot for the concert, but unfortunately, I was mistaken on my second assumption. When comparing the pre-concert experience of Japan and the US, I found that in the US, arriving early is very beneficial to the concert attendee. The singers or performers might come out, greet, or take pictures with those waiting in line and once the doors open, you are more likely to get a spot close to the stage. However, for this concert in particular, arriving 2-3 hours before the doors opened did not reap the same benefits. It was more organized than the US venues I have been to because the way they let us in was based on our ticket numbers rather than just letting people in for having a ticket in general. At first, they called the numbers one by one, to check tickets and allow entrance into the venue, but since the show was scheduled to begin an hour after the doors opened, after the 30 minute mark they called groups of numbers. For instance, 1-300, 301-600, 601-900, etc. and with my ticket number being 1666…oh joy…it was going to be a long wait (and let’s just say I wasn’t pleased because I was by myself). But wait, there was a silver lining in this situation and it came in the form of another TUJ student (and believe me, this surprised me more than anything).
While standing in line, I had the pleasure of running into a fellow TUJ student (woah, didn’t see that one coming!). Her name was Julia and we got to know each other better since there was an hour wait before the doors opened and an additional 30-45 minutes before our section was called. I found out she’s a communications major and would be staying in Japan for 2 years in order to complete her undergraduate studies. Although she is currently doing a homestay and we probably won’t get to see each other as often as if she were living in the dorms like me, her personality was similar to mine and that was a welcome surprise. In addition to us both loving Miyavi and his music, I discovered that we’re both very sarcastic (and in Japan, I welcome all forms of sarcasm as it seems to be a rather rare commodity). I guess like-minded people are drawn to each other, right?
Because this was my first concert in Japan, I didn’t know what to expect to be honest. It did occur to me when I got my ticket that I might be the only African American at the concert but I hoped it wouldn’t interfere with the enjoyment of seeing a musician I had been listening to for the past 12 years. It wasn’t until the concert began that I had an epiphany and it made the whole experience unforgettable. I came to the realization that even if I was the only African American at the event, labels didn’t matter. Young, old, student, salaryman, citizen, foreigner, all of them disappeared when he and his band performed on stage. We became an ocean of people that came for a common purpose. We came to see a wonderful artist and were blown away. We became one in our cheers of excitement, in our applause and even in our shouts for an encore. All 2,000 of us became one through our love of music and that was a thought that touched my heart at the end of the day. I’m so happy I had the opportunity to experience it even in a country so far away from home.