The only thing better than a whole PASSPO show, is a whole day of PASSPO shows.
One Last Idol Marathon.
On November 11th I passed the halfway mark on my trip, but there was still some idol fun ahead. I was about to use the last two tickets I had bought pre-trip, and they were big ones. Today was PASSPO day. They were doing two shows at Hachioji Match Vox, and I had a ticket for each of them. Those of you who read my 2014 write-ups on Tumblr will know that I saw PASSPO in Nagoya and it was a fantastic time. Well, aside from the damage to my hearing but that was mostly my fault. PASSPO has been one of my favorite groups for several years, so I was excited to see them perform once again.
I didn’t tweet about getting ready, nor do I remember anything about it so I guess we can just assume it all went fine. In hindsight though, I’m very thankful that I was not fully sick yet and able to enjoy the day. Hachioji was about 45 minutes from Akihabara via a transfer to the Chuo rapid service trains. The ride there was pleasant and scenic. Luckily the train was not too crowded, so I was able to have a seat for the duration of the ride. It was nice to take in the view of more residential areas once again, and I was also able to get a glimpse of Fuji-san in the distance. I arrived at Hachioji around 12:15PM. The first show was to start entry at 1:00PM so there wasn’t much time to spare.
Garry arrived shortly after and we waited for his friend Tobias. He showed up just as seating was scheduled to begin. Tobias was accompanied by another foreign fan from France. I guess this show was gaijin invasion 2.0. We waited outside just trying to get a feel for what was going on, but nothing was happening and entry should have already started. I went ahead and took the plunge to go inside, and I’m really glad I did. Match Vox is well hidden in a corner of a building. Up some stairs was a waiting room and they were already selling stuff up there. More importantly, this was the area where ticket numbers were being called out. I texted Garry through LINE to get up here. We regrouped in plenty of time as our tickets were all in the low 100’s.
As we were going in, there was a birthday arrangement for Morishi out front. It was a bit small but still fairly nice and, well, yellow. As we got into the venue, it was packed solid. Match Vox is a pretty small space with an advertised capacity of 250, and the entire room was shoulder to shoulder. There was just enough space to swing around some penlights in a moderately unsafe but not deadly way. I managed to avoid getting hit too much, but Garry reported a different story. We were close to each other, but not within talking range. They called in tickets one number at a time so we went in order. I think I was the closest to the stage out of the four of us. Between the slight elevation of the stage and my distinct height advantage, I had a really nice view of the show.
The first performance of the day was the relatively new “Band PASSPO”, which has the girls actually playing instruments. I was worried this might be a little on the average side. The last clips I saw from them playing instruments were older and they weren’t too great at it, but I was pleasantly surprised. They won’t be playing any DragonForce songs anytime soon, but everyone handled their instrument pretty well. The singing was also pretty decent. Band PASSPO has definitely come a long way. Even if they hadn’t, I probably still would have loved it. It was a bit of a moment for me to see PASSPO again. I was super lucky to see them last time, and to see them again was so great. The girls looked like they hadn’t aged a day since I saw them in Nagoya three years ago. I’ve always said PASSPO is a group of nothing but knockouts, and whatever fountain of youth they’re drinking from is still working. But yeah, the first show was a lot of fun to see and lasted somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 minutes.