Japan

Hikaru Utada Laughter in the Dark Tour

I’m not even sure where to start. Last week, on Tuesday, to be exact, I had the (probably) once in a lifetime chance to see Utada Hikaru live on her Laughter in the Dark tour. So please excuse me while I take a break from my regular posts to fangirl a little.

I first started listening to Utada Hikaru while I was in junior high school. I had a pen pal who lived in Hiroshima, and she sent me Utada’s First Love album. It was because of this album that I learned to read hiragana, katakana, and basic kanji, so it holds a special place in my heart. Over the years, every time she released anything, I would use my spare money to import it without even a second thought. Back then, YESASIA and CD Japan were my best friends.

It was always my dream to see her live.

But then she went on hiatus.

When I came to Japan in 2016, I had two goals; see Utada live and pass the JLPT N2. The year I arrived, she came back from hiatus. I almost swear it was just for me. Then she released two albums, so I knew a tour was coming.

In Japan, for a lot of concerts, you have to buy the first press release of the album to get a code that will enter you into an early lottery to be able to purchase tickets to the show. Between the time you enter the draw and the day they announce the results, it can take more than two weeks. Which means about two weeks of waiting and wondering if you’ll have the chance to go or not.

I must’ve used all the remaining luck I had for the year, because not only was I able to buy tickets, the randomly generated seats were close as well! We were about 25-30 seats from the front of the stage.

Ultimate Fangirl Achievement Unlocked

Saitama Super Area is very close to the Saitama-Shintoshin Station. This is a random building near the area.

Her show was on Tuesday, December 7th in the Saitama Super Arena, which is like Madison Square Garden. As expected, it was a full house. I think I heard about 20,000 people, but don’t quote me on that. It wouldn’t be surprising though, considering it’s her first tour in 12 years.

It’s nearly Christmas, so there are a lot of illuminations around Tokyo. This area was no exception, which a Christmas market too!

Utada sang a nice mix of old and new songs. Halfway through the set, she moved to a mini-stage in the middle of the stadium which I thought was cool. By doing that, it was as though the people sitting in the back kind of became front row for a little. She slowly turned throughout the two songs to face everyone one while she was there. Then she walked through the aisle back to the front stage.

seats at utada Hikaru live on her laughter in the dark tour
View of the stage from our seats before the start.

She is absolutely adorable when she speaks. Every two songs or so she would take a break to talk to the audience. During her longer intermission, she showed a short film starring herself and Matayoshi Naoki. It was funny, but also unexpectedly deep.

Being able to hear her speak and watch the film and not really need any help was amazing. It was one of the first times I felt, from the bottom of my heart, that I was happy to learn Japanese.

I made a list of the songs she sang and will list them below. I cried through the first song, but then recovered enough to take note of what she sang.

She also allows video during her concerts, so I took a few. However, I’m keeping those just for me. Here’s a snap of her though 🙂

utada Hikaru live on her laughter in the dark tour

That’s all. I just wanted to share my experience. It felt surreal to finally be able to go to the live show of someone I’ve wanted to see for so long. It also means that I had finally completed both of the goals I initially set when I came to Japan.

Guess that means it’s time to think about what I want to do next.

Set List

  • あなた
  • Traveling
  • Colors
  • Prisoner of Love
  • Kiss & Cry
  • SAKURA ドロップス
  • 友達
  • Too Proud
  • Intermission – Short Film
  • 誓い
  • 真夏の通り雨
  • 花束を君に
  • Forevermore
  • First Love
  • 初恋
  • Play A Love Song

Encore

  • 俺の彼女
  • Automatic
  • Goodbye Happiness

Don’t forget to follow me HERE on Instagram or HERE on Twitter to stay up to date with my adventures.

2 thoughts on “Hikaru Utada Laughter in the Dark Tour

  1. I just watched the Netflix version of the Laughter in the Dark tour and it was amazing. (Although I wish I could’ve seen her live too!!) I cried too. Multiple times throughout the concert. I really love her lyrics, which are always so profound. I think her amazing lyrics are what make Utada Hikaru an artist that I like even as I go through more of life. Aside from her songs being bops too tbh. The translated subtitles on Netflix were made apparently by Utada Hikaru herself so I could appreciate what she really meant to say, as my Japanese is not good enough. She is a poet. And some lines hit me like, “wow these struggles/emotions/experiences I’ve felt to be singular all these years have been put into words and music!” And yeah, the Matayoshi Naoki was surprisingly deep too. Although the seemingly unending bottle-to-the-head intermission skit could have been shorter lol I wanted more songs hehe I just finished watching so I just wanted to look for reviews online to gush about it too. Though this is like six months late, thanks for posting about your experience!

    1. Patricia!!

      I really can’t wait to watch the Netflix version so I can relive it. I also ended up buying the DVD of the tour. Just like you said, I feel like there definitely are songs from her that I appreciate as I get older and pass through different stages of my life. It really helps that from the start to now that she has always stayed true to who she is and the things she decides to release. I really respect her as an artist. I’m so glad she decided to come out of her hiatus and if she decides to continue releasing music/performing, I will continue to support her efforts.

      Thanks for coming to gush about her on my post, because now I’m in the mood to gush over her too xD. Do you follow her social media as well?

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