‘Hiro Shimono Birthday Live Event 2017～Running High～’ took place at NHK Hall in Tokyo on 30 April 2017. The event was in celebration of Shimono’s birthday on 21 April and the release of his new single ‘Running High’, which went on sale on 19 April. Just like at the last special stage which was held at Pacifico Yokohama National Hall, the event began with a dramatic original video and just when you thought that the helium cannon had been released, Shimono appeared from within the smoke singing ‘Running High’!
After singing the chorus, Shimono said, ‘Let’s call the usual brute!’ and called out the host, Tadanori Date, and the always funny senior-junior combo began their talk show. The first corner was ‘Hiro Shimono Birthday Quiz! Heaven and Hell.’ Questions pulled from Shimono’s past appearances in magazines etc. were asked and if answered correctly, there was a reward but for an incorrect answer, there was punishment game. The questions were difficult and the punishment game was ‘Cool Voice.’ In response to the command, ‘You are a singer on a kids’ musical show and you have to introduce yourself while sounding bright and kind to the kids but also a little tempting to the mothers.’, the guests put on ‘cool voices’ that amused the audience. There was also a video message from the cast of the anime Kabukibu! The Sanrio character, Cinnamoroll, is currently doing a collaboration and so came to play at the event as a surprise!
After the video showing his actual birthday celebrations in Osaka and some rehearsals, Shimono performed ‘Dramatic Reading Running High.’ Shimono drew the audience in with his unique reading of the original story created especially for the event. Even though the stage was set up for a concert, Shimono used the space well and the audience was moved. And after the reading, the live concert began!
The audience was surprised at the sudden performance but rose to their feet and responded with their glow sticks.
After singing the first song, ‘Running High’, Shimono exclaimed laughing, ‘I was so nervous!’ Then, he changed from ‘voice actor mode’ to ‘artist mode’ and continued the concert. After performing ‘ONE CHANCE’, ‘colors’, and ‘Yakusoku’, he challenged something for the first time. He sang his first single ‘REAL’ and ‘beyond…’, which he wrote himself, with just guitar and cajón accompanying him. With Shimono’s calm vocals, the atmosphere changed from the intense rock style to an adult acoustic style. The audience was enraptured by the changing atmosphere and before you knew it, everyone was spellbound.
Then, at the concert’s climax, Shimono suddenly began practicing how to spin a towel. It seems that ‘Running High’s B-side ‘Pleasure’ is a ‘towel song.’ The audience knew the information beforehand, and with perfect timing whipped out their towels, and when the chorus began, everyone spun their towels while singing along. When Shimono was in unison with the audience, it was almost like towel flowers had blossomed in the hall. The live concert ended with the performance of ‘REAL’. Shimono once again took to the stage in response the audience’s excited calls for an encore and they sang happy birthday to him as a present. As Shimono was being overwhelmed by the audience’s singing, Shintarou Asanuma appeared from the wings with a fried chicken tower cake! Shimono was speechless but after receiving words of encouragement from Asanuma, he began to sing once more. He sang ‘ONE CHANCE’ and the representative song ‘Running High’ once again. There was also a double encore of ‘Pleasure’!
One year from his singer debut in March 2016, Hiro Shimono has released three singles. At the time of ‘REAL’, his first single, there was an event for his birthday. One year from then, Shimono’s bright comment, ‘I am both a voice actor and a singer. I will try hard with all my might.’ and high-level performance was showcased in this special stage that reflected his remarkable growth.
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