On April 21 2018, UPUPGIRLS (2) took to the stage at Shinjuku BLAZE in a much-awaited one-man live debut. The young idol group has been on a roll ever since their formation as a sister group to UPUPGIRLS (KARI) in February 2017. In 2017 they appeared in Shinjuku BLAZE for the first time as back dancers for their older sisters—and one year later the stage was theirs entirely.
Fans packed into the venue, excitedly chattering in anticipation right until the lights dimmed and the screen erupted in rainbow colors with the members’ names leaping out. The members themselves then burst onto to stage to the roar of the fans, immediately getting the party started with “Sun!x3”. Together with the girls on stage, the audience clapped and jumped to the infectious rhythm of their first ever single. The second song seamlessly picked up the beat; center Mayu Yoshikawa opened the song with her solo lines, a prelude to UPUPGIRLS (2)’s impressive vocals. Aya Kajishima also slipped in a performance of her unique talent, playing the recorder with her nose during the bridge.
The members greeted the fans in their first MC, introducing themselves and promising to make it a fun night for everyone. In return they got the audience to promise to enjoy themselves, to which they earned cheers of affirmation.
They jumped right back into the set list with “Happeace LOVE”, giving their brightest smiles and peace signs as they sang. It was followed by “Fuyu Te to Te” and “Hatsukoi Ding Dong”, where the girls melted the fans’ hearts with their adorable expressions. Each perfectly played the part of a girl in love in the sweet and youthful numbers.
In the second MC they talked about surprises, which was the theme of their first live. One by one they shared their exciting news with the audience, including the nine new original songs they were given to perform at their own live. For UPUPGIRLS (2), it was an amazing surprise to be able to have a set list full of their own songs. Most of all though, the biggest surprise and joy was seeing so many people in the audience.
Ripping straight into the next part of the concert, “Wacchau!!” had them head-banging to a powerful rock beat and showing their cool side with vigorous and sharp choreography. Having gotten the fans hyped up, they carried on the momentum with “Ryou Omoi no Shirushi” and “Nigakki Summer!!”. The summery atmosphere warmed the venue as the girls’ sweet-sounding vocals rang out harmoniously. Riding high on the fans’ cheers, UPUGIRLS (2) sang their emotions out in “Now&Forever” in which the lyrics befittingly spoke of dreams and ambitions.
After the MC the girls changed out of their white dresses into new costumes much to the audience’s, and perhaps most of all their delight. This new surprise saw them donning cheerleader-like costumes, which sparkled brightly on stage. They kicked back into gear with renewed vigor, giving the audience everything they had with their new song “Rattanpuiko”. They blasted through with incredible force and even more head-banging. Full of energy, they leaped into the next songs “Go For Girls!” and “Ninoashi Dancing”, dancing in perfect synchronization while shaking their sparkly pom-poms.
Winding down the feverish mood that had been heating up the venue, UPUPGIRLS (2) announced the last song of the segment “School Poker Life”. It was a soulful melody, sung with the sheer sincerity of five aspiring young girls’ who shared the same hopes and dreams. With that they left the stage, but the fans had not seen enough of their idols. Together with the encore call, out came the special penlights that looked like peace signs and had been prepared as a surprise for the members.
Soon enough UPUPGIRLS (2) burst back onto stage in an explosive return with “Tte iu Hatsukoi no Oyakusoku”. It was their last spurt of the night, and they danced and sang with such force that you wouldn’t have known the end of their live was coming. It certainly wasn’t the end though. During the last MC, the girls received one last surprise and it was the biggest yet. Their senior, Saki Mori from UPUPGIRLS (KARI), suddenly appeared on stage with a secret in hand. Without warning, she revealed an exciting announcement—two new members for UPUPGIRLS (2). Stunned at the news, the members and the audience met Chihiro Nakagawa, 13, and Honoka Sasaki, 12, for the first time. The two newcomers introduced themselves on stage, clearly nervous but excited to join UPUPGIRLS (2) on their journey. The five current members were overcome with emotion, but declared their renewed determination to work even harder as a seven-member group.
Ending on that resolute note, they closed the live with a sentimental ballad. They wore their hearts on their sleeves as they sang “Maboroshi ni Naritai”, singing in unison for the last time as five members. It was emotional and rich with sentiment, and delivered their passion to everyone in the audience.
UPUPGIRLS (2) thus concluded their first ever one-man live, but this was only the start. After overcoming a year of challenges and new beginnings, they had only become stronger and had much more to show. Stay tuned to even more surprises to come from this fresh and powerful group!
“UPUPGIRLS (2) 1st LIVE #Apuga2 Surprise”
01 Sun! x3
02 Doshaburi no Terasu Seki
03 Happeace LOVE♡
04 Fuyu to Te to Te
05 Hatsukoi Ding Dong
07 Ryou Omoi no ♡ Shirushi
08 Nigakki Summer!!
09 Now & Forever
11 Go For Girls!
12 Ninoashi Dancing
13 School Poker Life
E01 Tte iu Hatsukoi no Oyakusoku
E02 Maboroshi ni Naritai
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