Chaki Live at HMV Shibuya…With a Very Special Guest! (2017/05/25)

It was time for me to catch up with a few idols I have been neglecting over the past few months.  Granted, Chaki doesn’t perform nearly as often as some of these idol groups, but she does appear at least a couple of times every month.

These days I have become a bit more selective when it comes to these ‘Live House’ shows, since they are not cheap.  Not only that, the artist will certainly want to sell you CDs and other goods when you go.  You can pretty much count on dropping at least $60-$100 a show.  On the other hand, once in a while these groups will do ‘free’ lives, so you don’t have to pay the $25-$40 admission just to come through the door.  The other factor I consider is whether it is a ‘one-man live’, or a bunch of groups playing.  With a solo live you are going to see the group you like for at least 30 minutes, probably more.  When there is a bunch of groups on the bill, each one normally plays for only 10-15 minutes.  So I try to find shows with at least two different groups I like, to give me more bang for the buck.

Anyway, Chaki has been out promoting not only her latest single, which came out in January, but also a compilation CD which features her, along with a few other groups.  One of them happens to be Minyo Girls, which I have mentioned on this blog a few different times.  In fact, about a month ago Chaki AND Minyo Girls appeared together in Western Tokyo, but I was sick and chose not to go.  This particular show would be Chaki, and another singer named YUSA, who I had never heard of.  But no matter, I would go, buy a couple of CDs, and cheer for Chaki for a little while.

from Chaki’s Instagram)

I got to Shibuya a little early, and grabbed a couple drinks at The Hub before heading over to Modi, and HMV.  The last time I saw Chaki here she had a really small crowd.  I hoped that this night would be different.  As I got up to the 6th floor I heard Chaki rehearsing behind a curtain.  I looked around, and didn’t notice anyone that seemed to be waiting for the show.  That’s odd, it was only like 20 minutes before showtime.  I looked around for the table selling the products for the show, but there was only a small table with a few CDs on it, and some papers strewn about.  This was odd.  It almost felt like the show was an afterthought…

Eventually the curtains came up, and we were allowed to go into the live viewing area.  By ‘we’, I mean me and one other guy, since we were the only two there for the show.  As I stood there, I noticed this pretty girl over by the coffee bar looking at me.  Then I noticed she was standing next to Chaki.  The girl smiled, sorta pointed to me and said something to Chaki, which caused her to turn.  All of a sudden Chaki is waving, and trying to get my attention.  As a joke, I pretended not to recognize her, but she kept waving.  She then asked me if I came to see her?  Hahaha, why does she think I’m there, LOL.  The pretty girl she was with turned out to be YUSA.

(from Chaki’s Instagram)

It was curtain time, and the crowd had “ballooned” to about 5-6 people.  YUSA would be the first to perform.  YUSA is from Kochi Prefecture, and fashions her self as an R&B singer.  I loved her songs, despite the fact that I am not much of an R&B fan.  These were lest R&B style, and more like soft pop.  But they were very pretty, and she sang them very well.  The few people who were there weren’t too enthusiastic, so I decided to make up for it and I clapped, and responded to her audience interaction.  While this was going on Chaki actually came over and stood next to me.  I was watching the show together with Chaki!  It was like a date!  BTW, here is YUSA’s official PV…


YUSA set ended, and it was immediately Chaki’s turn.  Chaki did about a 20-30 minute set consisting mainly of songs from her album, ‘Chakiism’ , which I absolutely love and highly recommend.  She also performed her latest single, which is growing on me.  (TBH, I didn’t love it the first time I heard it,)  BTW, the crowd had grown to around 15-20 people when Chaki took the stage.  Also, she sounded GREAT!  I’m used to seeing idol shows, where the ‘singing’ can be less than stellar at times.  So it is always refreshing to see good singers once in a while.  Of course Wasamin always sounds amazing.  Anyway, after Chaki’s show ended, it was time for fan benefits, but there was one problem…

Remember the lonely table I mentioned above?  It was still in the same condition.  In fact people were milling around wondering how to buy the goods.  I decided to take a look at YUSA’s CD, which happened to be on the table.  When I picked it up, YUSA immediately came running over to me saying that if I buy it, I will get all sorts of benefits.  Well, I really liked the songs she sang, and they were ALL on this CD.  Okay, I’ll go for it.  I also figured out that you had to buy Chaki’s CD at the main register, and they were “preorder” items, since the store was out of stock on Chaki CDs.  So I made my purchases, and got my tickets, I was good to go…

(Oh, I went through a huge ordeal picking up my CDs the following week.  First they told me I had to go to a different store, then they said the event didn’t happen there, then they couldn’t find the CDs.  Twenty minutes and two managers later they finally found my order, LOL)

Chaki wasn’t ready to receive fans yet, so I decided to go see YUSA first.  She was sooooo gracious!  I hadn’t opened the CD yet, so she took the time to unwrap it and sign it, all the while asking me where I was from, how long I had lived in Tokyo.  She also asked me if I used SNS.  She was telling me that she had moved to Tokyo from a small town a couple years ago.  It was all very sweet.  I told her that I thought she sounded great, and I really liked her songs.  After she signed my CD, she signed a picture, and then we took a Shamekai.

Meanwhile, Chaki started talking to both of us, and she thanked me for supporting YUSA.  I told Chaki not to worry, and that I had tickets for her too since I bought the Sakura Girls compilation CD.  So she asked me if I wanted a signed Sakura Girls poster, and gestured me to come over to her.  However, she didn’t notice that a queue had already formed to see her.  I was ready to go back a queue up, but the fans were cool, and told me to go ahead.  I thanked her for singing so many songs from her album, and then told YUSA that Chaki’s album is one of my favorites.  I also apologized to her that I hadn’t seen her since December.  Anyway, I got my autographed poster, and I was done.  It was time to head home…

It is strange, Chaki seems to draw bigger crowds at clubs, than when she plays free ‘in-store’ lives.  I’m not sure why that is.  I do know that she has that ‘stamp card’ that gets you invited to a special party with Chaki, and they only stamp the card at paid venues.  That might be the motivating factor.  But I would love to see Chaki drawing more people.  She is so talented.  At the end of the day, I think I am better off biting the bullet and seeing her in some of these clubs, even if it means I have to pay admission to get in.

On the other hand YUSA was a really pleasant surprise.  She hasn’t been doing this for nearly as long, but she is a great singer.  I love her look too.  And she is a really nice girl.  She is someone I will keep my eye on in the future.  When I got home I immediately followed her twitter, and friended her on Facebook.  She accepted my request within a few minutes.  Yatta!

CK in Tokyo