With the overwhelming success of the recent theatrical release of MacrossΔ (Delta) Zettai LIVE!!!!!! (with attached theatrical short, MacrossF – Labyrinth of Time), the Macross franchise shows no signs of slowing as it enters its 40th Anniversary.
As part of the ongoing anniversary, “MACROSS 7 BASARA EXPLOSION 2022 from FIRE BOMBER Supported by SANKYO” opened with its first concert at Zepp Yokohama on Jan. 9, 2022. Read all about it in the official concert report below!
MACROSS 7 BASARA EXPLOSION 2022 Official Concert Report
【MACROSS 7 BASARA EXPLOSION 2022 from FIRE BOMBER Supported by SANKYO Concert Report from the Zepp Yokohama Show】
MACROSS 7 BASARA EXPLOSION 2022 from FIRE BOMBER Supported by SANKYO. Four concerts across three venues, held as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Macross franchise, culminating at Zepp DiverCity (Tokyo) on Friday, January 28. To whet your appetite for the upcoming finale, which will be livestreamed around the globe, let us give you a glimpse of the Zepp Yokohama opening act.
As the opening video came to a close, the roar of Basara’s guitar reverberated throughout the venue. “Fire!” Basara Nekki’s voice rang out, setting off this year’s EXPLOSION with his famous “Listen to my song!” Behind Yoshiki Fukuyama, Basara’s singing voice and guitarist, stood F-BAND, comprised of Shoichiro Aso on drums, Tetsuro on bass and PONCHAN on keyboard. And in answer to that passionate voice and the vibrant rock sounds behind it rose the thunderous applause and raised fists of the audience.
Introducing himself as Basara’s singing voice, Fukuyama declared that he would take everyone’s feelings on board and carry them across the galaxy with his song, launching into FIRE BOMBER’s rock numbers one after another. It was far from easy to stay silent in the face of the fervor on display. But Fukuyama threw himself into shouting and singing on behalf of the audience as well.
The most amazing thing of all was that he did this while also playing the guitar riffs, solos and backing tracks all on his own. And since there are numerous ad-libs in the guitar solos, each and every song Fukuyama performed became a unique piece that can only be heard on this tour. From songs where the guitar ran wild to ones where it cried—the breadth of expression he achieved was nigh-unbelievable. The importance of the drums and bass, as well as the keyboard layered on top, cannot be understated either, but above all, this concert really drove home the power of Basara, of Yoshiki Fukuyama.
Also memorable were elements of the performance that drew the audience into the world of Macross 7, including lines spoken by Basara himself (voiced by Nobutoshi Canna), and the playing of songs to background footage from the series.
One highlight of the night was SPIRAL ANSWER, a rare song that was seldom used in the anime series. As the sensual music and Fukuyama’s soulful voice resounded through the venue, I was hit with the sheer intensity of experiencing it live. I was also reminded of what a hidden gem of a song it was.
It was also quite special to experience the pairing of Fukuyama’s live performance of the Macross 7 opening theme, SEVENTH MOON, with a video of Basara performing that same song, compiled from Uta Macross (a mobile game only available in Japan). Normally, you’d expect the live performer to play in sync with the accompanying video. In this case, however, Fukuyama noted that “Since we aren’t exactly performing to a metronome here, we’re having the video match our playing instead.” This tongue-in-cheek comment showed just how much value he places on the spontaneity of live gigs. Naturally, the performances weren’t an exact match. But still, seeing the passion of the animated Basara—clad in a whole range of costumes—while listening to SEVENTH MOON performed live was quite a thing to behold.
Next was time for an “Acoustic Corner,” a more laid-back, chill period in the middle of the set. After treating us to a solo, acoustic rendition of a popular Walküre song from MacrossΔ—the laid-back feeling he captured was reminiscent of Showa-era pop—Fukuyama invited special guest, Nobutoshi Canna, to join him on stage. The duo shared a fun memory from the production of Macross 7, of a scene where Canna had been asked to ad-lib a song to Fukuyama’s guitar, leading to a cheery new rendition of that same song, remixed for this very occasion. They capped it off with a proper duet, before we plunged headlong into the second half of the concert.
During the second half of the concert, Fukuyama continued to direct his burning passion towards the entire universe. Next up was “the very first song I wrote for Macross 7”—MY SOUL FOR YOU. This is a song that builds from a quiet start, with note after note slowly being added, and Fukuyama’s vocals matched that growing fire. I will never forget the sight of him in that moment, singing his soul out, on stage, right before our very eyes.
Another special moment came with a song accompanied by just the keyboard: although the audience was unable to join in, it felt like we could hear the chorus singing along. With the audience pumping their fists to many a song, it was clear that the stage and the floor were as one both in heart and soul.
As the concert drew to a close, Fukuyama reflected on what he had learned anew, that “Thinking about each and every lyric as I sang has reminded me once again just how positive and optimistic Basara is. And I understand why you all continue to support him.” Then the final song reverberated through the venue, bringing the curtain down on this unforgettable Yokohama performance. One at which Basara had, once again, brought great courage and energy to each and every person in the audience.
Text: Junichi Tsukagoshi
Translation: Creative Sphere, Inc.