[Image source: Ratoka]
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I changed it up a bit this night and decided to stay back about 5 rows from the front – just to get a feel for a different view. Admittedly, I did not like it as much – closer is better when it comes to Rain! ^.^
[Image credit: as tagged]
My ticket number for the third show was 111. Not bad. Well, not bad unless you have a disgruntled Cloud with a grudge and a higher number! Yes, it was bound to happen. First, she kept nudging me to the side to get a better footing in front of me and then she just plowed me out of the way once we started to move toward the entrance, regardless of whether her number was called before or after mine!! This was the only time in 4 shows I experienced that issue. And frankly, I don’t think Rain would have approved of that behavior….heehehehee! Oh and let me be very clear, this was not a Japanese Cloud – the Japanese Clouds – every last one of them that I either met or had the pleasure of enjoying each show with, were polite, gracious, welcoming and were wonderful to be with while I experienced my first Rain concerts. To ALL of my Japanese Cloud sisters, you are each invited to stay at my home whenever you find yourselves in Chicago whether it is for Rain or just because!! Cloud Thailand, too! In fact, world Clouds, just come to Chicago – you are all invited – including the naughty Cloud (I forgive you…well, sort of)!! 🙂
Now, where was I? Oh yes…..the third show. Wooooooheee! The third show. First, I will say that Rain favored the right side of the stage during this show. So I saw less of him as I opted to stay a little left of center again. It didn’t matter, because wherever you were in the venue, you got a lot of Rain, no matter what!
By the third show Rain proved that no matter how many times he opened each one of these Zepp shows, Rainism would set the tone for the entire evening. Rainism live is something I cannot even begin to describe adequately. It is raw, intense and Rain dances hard to this song….really hard. He attacks this song and its choreography with all his might. Rain is tall. And he is slender, but by no means scrawny. He is lean and muscular. Still, it amazes me how he moves with such ease, such fluidity and with such speed. And he does this in addition to singing, live with no studio enhancements, no auto-tune or any other manufactured sound. And the man never sounded like he was out of breath! I have to give him further props as he usually performs using a mic headset which allows him complete freedom with his arms. But at Zepp Tokyo, he used a handheld microphone. It did not hinder him or his movements in the least bit.
In fact, there were moments during the ballads where the visual of him holding the microphone and singing into it with such intensity and emotion was all that much more powerful for me. And my goodness, when he put that mic on the stand and gently stroked the stand as he sang……….sigh.
알면서 for the third night was every bit as emotional as it was the previous two nights. How I wish I could have video-ed it. Here it is from the Best Show performance in Jeju back in 2011 just prior to him entering the military. It is such a gentle beautiful song that he sings (and sang for us in Tokyo) in such a gentle, beautiful manner. In Tokyo, when he did any runs or held notes, he did so with such conviction and deep emotion. I do not believe Rain knows how to hold back when it comes to expressing himself in song. You can feel it when you watch videos or listen to the recorded version – but I am going to tell you right now that there is nothing quite like seeing it live….feeling it live. It is beyond description.
[Video credit: lovearj rainlove]
By show #3 in Tokyo, it was his 9th performance on the tour and his voice showed no sign of wear – it was as powerful as if he was stepping out on the stage for the very first show of the entire tour. I don’t know how he does it.
Hip Song once again came at us like a ton of bricks and was once again changed up. And, it was this version I liked the best. OMG! So you will recall that in show #1, we had the glorious back view during the hip grind. In show #2, he gave us the traditional grind. Well, in show #3 he gave us quite the grind. I am actually kind of glad I was not in the first or second row for this particular grind!! Oh, and Rain was ALWAYS front and center during that part of the song so no one particular side of the audience was privy to the grind. We ALL had to drink it in together and it was crazy hot in show #3.
Picture this, if you will. He stood up completely, grinded his hips, paused, and then popped his hips forward at us. He held his arms out and did not cover his face. OH.DEAR.LORD. I think I heard simultaneous ovary explosions with each hip pop. I will always remember this version of Hip Song and hope that I can witness that particular version again in the future!!! ^.~
I also recall in show #3 that he had a difficult time keeping his tongue in his mouth!!! His tongue really came out to play in this show. When he was talking during one of the breaks between songs, he was commenting about having a cold and also a sore throat and he proceeded to flick his tongue in and out, wagged it around, flapped it a few times. Frankly, I do not know how all the noonas and ahjummas in the audience did not pass out or remain clothed, for that matter!!! LOL! Rain is one sexy man, y’all. And he knows how to fully capitalize on that sex appeal. He takes it to another level and shows no mercy!
[Image source: unknown]
Those pictures are from one or both of the Osaka shows. I can assure you, we in Tokyo got way more tongue!! LOL!!! (Seriously, how bad did that sound??!)
Rain is very playful on stage and very, very engaging. He likes to see audience reaction, frequently asked us to make some noise, would want us to wave our arms during songs and he would always encourage us to sing – especially on songs like I Do and Instead of Saying Goodbye.
The Encore – 3rd Show
Oh did Mr. Rain and his crew have some fun during this encore. First, it started the same. Rain and the crew all behind that center stage door. It opens as the song starts and everyone is huddled together, heads down, bopping to the beat. Rain was the always the first one out (natch!). This time he ambles out and I don’t know who the culprit was who pushed the button, but no one followed and the door closed. Rain moved forward expecting his crew to follow – but they weren’t there!!!! When he realizes it, he looks back and gets the biggest grin on his face as he shakes his head in disbelief that the crew punked him!!! It was within seconds that the joke was up and when they re-opened the door they all stepped out cracking up giving Rain a good laugh as well!!
I cannot remember in which order this all happened now – because I know he gave us a little Mariah this night as well – BUT, the highlight was Rain completely getting his hip hop on to Lil Kim & 50 Cents’ Magic Stick. It was completely OFF THE CHAIN!!! I knew my fellow Cloud USA-er Tammy Harriel was probably out of her mind during this part of the show because she absolutely LOVES when Rain gets his pop n’ lock going!!! This is a performance way back from 2004 – but in 2013, Rain still had ALL of these moves and a whole lot more! The following is an entire performance in three parts. Rain is in parts 1 and 3 – and it’s all kinds of hot! (Plus, MC Mong is an awesome rapper!)
[Video credit: nickii98]
At the end of the third show I had to wonder…what else could he possibly have up his sleeve for the final show. I can assure you this, he came at us with yet another version of his hip grind in Hip Song. ^.^
Round Four (the final round)…..coming next!