Last Sept 20th and 21st, Arashi marked their 5th year in Kasumigaoka Stadium with a music festival called “AraFes“. The 5-member group opened the music extravaganza with “Happiness” as they entered the stadium on top of cranes as 5-color balloons flew. The crowd’s excitement heighten as the cranes start moving to take Arashi closer to their fans as they sang their 3rd tune,”Love Rainbow“.There were no flying stunts, but the group took advantage of moving cranes, stage, runways, and towers. As promise before, Arashi didn’t get the help of Johnny’s Juniors as dancers, it was just the five of them doing almost everything.
After Masaki Aiba‘s solo song, “Friendship“, Matsumoto Jun performed “Shake it!” with the rest of Arashi as back-up dancers. This is their way of challenging themselves and thanking 270,ooo fans who voted songs for this concert. When a reporter commented on their closeness to achieve all of those, “this is something we owe to the fans, we achieve this kind of chemistry because of them and were truly grateful,” Sakurai Sho commented.
With no rest in between each songs, the group were all tired and almost out-of-breath during the MC part. Kazunari Ninomiya commented, “I will always be grateful to Juniors”. Ninomiya also added that he did enjoy dancing like Juniors again.
Out of all Arashi’s songs, 37 of those were performed during Arafes with “Face Down” voted as the no.1 single. Most of the voted singles/couplings are songs that the group haven’t performed for a long time. Matsumoto complained that Aiba have forgotten most of the songs’ lyrics, while Sakurai added that Aiba sometimes sings others lines. Aiba countered that it not just him, some of them have also forgotten some lyrics and since it was hard to sing from memory alone, they have to memorized from scratch, which is harder.
During their 26th song, a full orchestra was revealed behind the stage screen who they provided musical accompaniment for “One Love” while their last song, “Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi” was full-on performance level.
As 1,500 fireworks display illuminated the sky, Arashi sang “Love so Sweet“, the 3rd song for the encore, and thanked everyone who joined them for AraFes.
This large-scale performance reportedly have used 300 tons of water, 1,500 fireworks, and 30,000 balloons together with 70,000 fans who joined Arashi for 3 1/2 hours of performance. With another AraFes planned next year, Arashi as “national legend” is most likely to continue.
All images are taken from Tumblr, proper credits on pic.