Earlier this summer, we covered the first stretch of the Anime World Matsuri at Los Angeles’ Anime Expo. For those of you that don’t know, the Anisong World Matsuri is a concert series produced by some of Japan’s leading entertainment companies with the goal of bringing high quality Japanese Anisong concerts to a worldwide audience.
On 11 August 2017, the Anisong World Matsuri made its east coast debut in Washington D.C. at Otakon 2017! During day one of the festivities, Otakon veterans, JAM Project, and T.M. Revolution performed at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for a crowd of 3000 eager fans! Both acts brought down the house in this jam-packed three-hour musical extravaganza!
Let’s get this show on the road!!
I was so excited that I made my way to the concert hall a full hour early to find a healthy number of eager fans already excitedly chatting about the upcoming performances, while various anime themes played in the background. After what felt like a lifetime, an announcer excitedly proclaimed that the AWM concert was about to begin, much to the elation of the packed concert hall. This was my first concert experience, so I was woefully unprepared for the high energy concert that was about to unfold.
First up was JAM Project. The five-member group (Hironobu Kageyama, Masaaki Endoh, Hiroshi Kitadani, Masami Okui, and Yoshiki Fukuyama) took the stage with much fanfare from the audience. Everyone was on their feet, glow sticks raised high as the band’s leader Hironobu Kageyama addressed the crowd. This was an emotional performance for the group, as their U.S. debut was nine years earlier at Otakon, back in 2008. With their light-hearted banter and easy-going stage presence, the veteran group was at home on the stage and the crowd was loving every minute of it!
JAM Project opened up the AWM concert with a high energy set full of popular anime and video game themes. Their set included songs from Garo, Super Robot Wars, and even a rare gem from Tomica Hero, but the real show stopper was their performance of ‘THE HERO!! ~Ikareru Kobushini Hiwo Tsukero~’ from the anime series One-Punch Man. The concert hall was already pretty hyped from the beginning, but when the band started playing the opening chords of ‘THE HERO,’ the crowd was in a frenzy, singing and shouting along with the band! It was electric and I will never forget the moment Endoh graced us with his legendary scream (HEROOOOO!!).