My First Online Concert: Hey! Say! JUMP

Style J for jUwa, my name :p

Soooooo, this might not be my first time seeing my favorite people, Hey! Say! JUMP, performing online. Like, I’ve watched them several times performing in some TV musical events, or Johnny’s New Year’s countdown, or Johnny’s Happy Live with You when Covid first hit last year (in 2020), but that’s JUMP performing with other artists so I won’t call them my first concert.

As I wrote in my old post before, I started loving Hey! Say! JUMP nearing the end of 2019 and I have been following them since. They’ve released some singles and an album last year but due to the pandemic, they kept postponing their concerts as they were hoping to have an offline/in-person concert. But, they finally decided to have online concerts in April 2021 and before Ramadan or the fasting month, which is a relief. A relief because if it’s offline, it would be more expensive as I would have to fly to Japan. And I don’t think I could do it considering the situation with the Covid, travel bans, and such, and of course money-wise: I don’t have that much money. LoL So yeah, I’m happy that the concerts were held online. All I needed was just an email address and a card to pay for the tickets.

Debating: Should I buy the ticket?
Well, it wasn’t easy at the beginning. Like, I kept debating whether to watch it or not. It’s not cheap. Around $50 is expensive for me. Even my fav shoes didn’t cost me that much. So yeah, I was debating with myself. Sure I had the money, I could watch all of the concerts (the concerts were for three days, but the ticket was sold separately for each day), because I’ve been saving. But you know my situation, I kept questioning if it would be wise to spend my money that way, because, you see, I know what that amount of money could mean for those in need, the less unfortunate, the less privileged, and so forth. And I couldn’t bear the guilt for spending my money too lavishly… Don’t mean to guilt-trip people, though. For some people, it might be just a concert, something they do from time to time, but for me, it’s such a luxury, so I kept asking myself: Is it wise? Do I deserve this?

But well, I decided to buy one at the end. For the last day. The concerts themselves were held on Friday, April 9, 8pm JST (they name this Style H), Saturday, April 10, 5pm JST (they name this Style S), and Sunday, April 11, 3pm JST (they name this Style J). The times were messed up for me. LoL I mean, Style H is Friday, April 9, 4am in Tucson, AZ. Style S is Saturday, April 10, 1am MST. And Style J is Saturday, April 10, 11pm in Tucson, AZ. So, you see, even though it’s originally a 3-day concert in Japan, it’s actually only two days in my place. So, I decided to buy one for the last day because considering how I’ve been up and asleep lately, that time for Style J worked the best for me. And then I was confused about whether to buy it using my personal email or my fangirling email because if I were to share it with someone, I would have to share my password with them and I felt a bit anxious about that. (But anyway, about Style H, S, J. Isn’t it fate that I have all of the letters in my name, albeit not in that order? ^^ これは運命だ!)

Oh, by the way, in case you found it confusing. One ticket could be used with two devices, so basically I could pay only half of the price and let someone else pay the rest. But it would be too much of a hassle for me if I should involve someone else for financial matters. Like, if they’re the one buying the ticket, I would have to pay them using my personal bank/financial account. And if I was the one buying the ticket, then I would have to share my personal bank/financial account info so they could send the money to me. That would be troublesome because I wanted to stay “hidden” in the shadow. I don’t want to reveal too much about my real/personal identity (real name and stuff, etc). So yeah, I knew I was making things difficult for myself. But for now, I feel safer that way. And so, what I did was telling people that I’d buy the last day’s ticket and would be willing to share with someone who bought either the first or the second day’s ticket. That way we didn’t need to transfer any money to each other. And that way we could watch two concerts while paying for one. I was smart, wasn’t I? :p And, someone quickly contacted me saying they were interested. And I was really happy. I guess they were from Philippines, and as we have been following each other for quite a while, I felt like I could trust them. Well, at first I was anxious. What if they canceled at the last minute? Because someone else also showed similar interest. I even convinced myself that, if I ended up watching alone, that’s okay too. But thankfully, they didn’t back out, so I felt relieved. First, I let them when I had bought the ticket. And later they told me they’d bought theirs. I keep thinking that it was such an awesome experience.

Awesome Fandom! Tobikkos are amAZing! 😉
And let me tell you, there really are many good, nice, and kind people in Hey! Say! JUMP’s fandom. I’d love to call them angelic. Really. For example, some fans did give away some tickets and official goodies or merchandise. How kind they were, right?! I mean, I myself was debating whether to buy the ticket and merchandise even for myself, yet here they were kind enough to buy tickets for others. Some fans even gave away tickets for the three-day concerts. Each ticket was shared among two people. So technically 6 people could watch the concert for free! Isn’t it amazing? Gosh, I was so happy for them. I still am. God bless them all. I mean, I understand that watching a concert could be a luxury for some so having someone do such a kind thing is really heartwarming for me. Also, an online friend of mine also shared her ticket for free. She just thought that it would be a waste to watch the concert by herself when she knew she could actually share it with someone so they both could watch. They then asked me if I could find someone for them because they were kinda shy and anxious trying to find one themselves. Aaaaannnnddd, I did help them find someone. Gosh, it made me so happy. I mean, I am not trying to take credits and all since I wasn’t the one sharing the ticket. But to be a part of that kindness is still wonderful, isn’t it? Imagine, someone bought a ticket to watch a concert, they shared their password with you so you could watch on another device. And you really didn’t have to pay anything. You just needed to be trustworthy and not misuse the password they shared with you. Easy, right? So, yeah, even though some people could be jerky, most of the fans are really kind, so I feel really happy and lucky to be a part of this amazing fandom 🙂

And then the D-day. Someone I shared my ticket with shared their first-day ticket with me. They weren’t quite active on Twitter so I was kinda anxious. But again, I decided to trust them. And, I thought, even if they didn’t end up sharing it with me, I would still be able to watch using my own ticket on the last day anyway. But of course it was just me being overly anxious. They actually shared their email and password few hours before the concert started. They even checked if I had any problem watching the concert because there was this moment when they switched to another device. They were so kind and I was so thankful. I still am 🙂

The Concerts
The concert itself was…I don’t really know what to say because, first, it’s my first online concert with them (and with any artists for that matter). I have watched some of their previous concerts briefly but in-person concerts where you could interact with fans directly surely were different from online concerts where you couldn’t even see who’s viewing the concert. So to be honest, I didn’t really have any expectations. If I was allowed to be blunt, however, I kept my expectation quite low because when it came to music performance, what matters the most for me is the stability of good vocals. I don’t really care about costume and dance since I don’t really know much about it and all I do is enjoying any costume and dance they present. But when it comes to the stability of good vocals, I can tell if the singer is kinda off, can’t hit the tone, etc. Well, I know it’s just my preference, though. So I always try to not say anything bad because what’s bad for me might be fine and even great for others. I just really try to not make people misunderstand…So I try to not say something like “I don’t like” because I know that some people will straightly take it as “hate”, which is not always the case. Sigh.

But anyway, when it comes to Hey! Say! JUMP, I guess I wrote it before: it’s not their music that initially captured my heart or that turned me to be their fan. It really is themselves, their unique characters, and fun interaction. So that’s why I really didn’t want to say anything about their music. But, boy, I was wrong. They actually did give great performances I was so proud of them! Well, sure they loved to fool around here and there but that’s also why I loved them. So yeah, I found it charming 😉 Aaaand, some fans actually live-tweeted the concert, like tweeting about what song they sang now and next, and what they said during MC, etc. Boy, personally I thought it was amazing that they could do that. I could never… I mean, even checking and reading the tweets while watching the concert was already overwhelming for me, so to think that someone could actually watch while tweeting is, oh, wow. But, well, I actually kinda put away my phone because I wanted to focus on watching the concert. Hhe

Aaaaand, the first-day concert ended. I was so happy I could watch their concert. I had a problem viewing the concert at first. First, the wifi in my apartment had been acting up, but they said they had fixed it, so I was a bit anxious about that. But I thought if the wifi sucked, I could still use my phone data, so it should be okay. And when I tried to watch the concert, the video wouldn’t load at first, but thankfully I could solve it by changing the resolution and then it worked just fine. Well, let me repeat: I was so happy that I could watch their concert. And seeing the cameramen and people working behind the scene was actually such a relief because it made think that the money I spent to buy the concert was not only to support my favorite artists out of my selfish will and sentimental reason. The money was actually also to help those working behind the scene put food on their table, for their family, maybe for their kids’ education, etc. Seeing it that way, I got to think: Ah, so it wasn’t really a waste. And that way I don’t feel so guilty about buying the ticket to watch the concert. Being able to watch the concert made me happy. Knowing that it supported not only my precious artists but also people behind the screen made me happy. So yeah, I didn’t regret it. I am actually happy to come to this realization. So maybe I can watch another expensive concert in the future? Hahaha Gosh, I’m so good at finding an excuse for myself. Pardon me.

They Thank-You-stamped the ticket and changed the visual after each concert 🙂

Anyway, as soon as the concert ended, I shared my email and password (I changed my password for temporary use of course) with my partner even though my ticket was still for the last day. But I freaked out, you know. What if something happened to me before I got to share the email with them? (US is crazy, you see, I could get shot any time and die here!) But I mean, supposed such things happened and they haven’t got my email and password to watch, that would be too sad. They would feel betrayed, and they wouldn’t trust me anymore. And I didn’t want that. So I just shared everything right after the first-day concert ended. I trusted they would not change the password or misuse it. I mean, if a good person like me exists, then other good fans can exist too, right? So I should dismiss my trust issue, I guess. (By “a good person”, I mean I have no intention to deceive or scam people or such because I just want to fangirl in peace).

Then the second concert came. But I didn’t watch it since nobody shared it with me. But, oh, later, someone actually shared their recording with me, so it’s enough to say that I got to watch all three concerts: the first, the second, and the last day concert. Lucky, wasn’t I?^^ (PS: Actually we were not allowed to record the concert, but I really don’t blame anyone who recorded the concerts. If I could, I’d probably do the same just for my own documentation. As long as it’s not for commercial/economic purpose where they used it to gain money, I guess it shall be alright. Too bad I am not really tech-savvy myself, so I couldn’t really do such things. Hhe I’m saying this because I don’t want to act holy just because I didn’t record and share. Though I did share some snaps in my WhatsApp status, but nobody in my contact was JUMP fan, and it would disappear after 24hours anyway, so I guess no one would pay a mind to it. Yeah, I know it’s just an excuse, but I mean, I’m actually always thankful to the fans who record and share. They could help the less fortunate and the less privileged fans. And they could help fans like me, who, albeit buying the ticket and watching the concerts live, wanted to keep personal documentation but wasn’t tech-savvy enough to record it myself. I’m not saying it’s right, but I guess it’s fair enough to say that such acts are chivalrous?)

Then the last day of the concert. I made sure that my partner had no problem logging in and watching the concert. (And I was right, they were a good person and I could trust them, i.e. they didn’t change the password or misuse it). At first, I felt some kind of dejavu. I felt like it wasn’t really a live concert because it looked really similar to some performances on the first-day concert. So I was kinda doubting their live performance. I thought, maybe it was not really live. Maybe it was pre-recorded and then broadcast as if it was live. I mean, even if they performed the same songs, the performance couldn’t be too same, right? The adlib, the improvisation, and such, they can’t be the same, right? But, ugh, well, I know they won’t perform an entirely different setlist, because that would be too much work to rehearse and such. But that’s how I felt, I just felt their performances were too similar to the first-day concert, so I don’t know. But, well, there were some songs that they didn’t perform on the first and second day, though. And someone I could see the transition between the songs, so I guess it was really live. Maybe they performed it really similarly because they wanted to give the same experience to those who watched only either day? But for someone who watched more than one concert, it felt like repetition for me. I am not complaining, though. I’m just not so fond of it as I always want something different. But, again, I can be wrong as I’m not really sure. And as I said, when I saw some transitions, I could tell that they were really live. So let’s just say that it didn’t really matter to me whether it was pre-recorded or really live, because, hey, it’s JUMP. I love them and I can never get enough of them^^

Some fans said it’s actually Yabu’s handwriting 🙂

Again, their performance was amazing. I really love them. And, well, for the last day of the concert, they actually performed with Okamoto Keito, the member who was previously on hiatus because of his study in New York. Gosh, I have been fantasizing about meeting him when traveling in the states. But now that he’s back in Japan, I don’t think it will come true. But, well, maybe it’s better for him considering the rise of Asian hate in the states. But, the bad news is: it’s his last performance with JUMP because, afterward, he decided to leave the group so he could focus on going solo as an actor. Well, I want to write something about it but let’s save it for later or another post. But, well, that performance with Keito was exclusive for the Fanclub member only. So because I bought the ticket as a non-FC member, I couldn’t watch it live. (I could watch it later because, again, someone was kind enough to record and share it with us^^). But, well, some fans said it wasn’t fair because non-FC members actually paid more for the ticket. (The ticket was cheaper for FC-members!). But I guess I couldn’t really complain because even though the non-FC members paid more for the ticket, the FC members actually paid more money because they had to pay for the annual FC membership, which ain’t cheap either. So yeah, I understand if FC members get more benefits. So, let’s just say I’m thankful for FC members who know their privilege and are kind and generous enough to share with others^^.

Gosh, I can’t believe I wrote 3k words already. So I guess I should end this now? But lastly, I should say that they were really creative with their tickets, stamping it, saying thank you, and all. They even had Keito’s mascot (Keitoru) printed on the last-day ticket after the performance. Isn’t it cute? ^^ So, well, to sum it up: The concerts were awesome, and Hey! Say! JUMP and the fans are amazing! 🙂

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