Akanishi’s ‘Yellow Gold’ tour rolls through San Francisco


GOLDEN TOUR — Japan’s Jin Akanishi enticed the San Francisco crowd Nov. 10 at The Warfield. photo by Tomo Hirai/Nichi Bei Weekly

A packed auditorium of fans at The Warfield welcomed Jin Akanishi, whose Nov. 10 San Francisco performance was part of his “Yellow Gold 3010 Tour.” Akanishi is the Japanese talent company Johnny and Associates’ first solo act and is actively reaching out to his fans in the U.S.

This visit was Akanishi’s second time performing in America, and his first time as an official solo artist. Fans noted that this tour was a general improvement from his last concert, “You and Jin,” that took place in Los Angeles earlier this year.

“He seemed to be doing a lot better than the last concert in L.A.,” said Casey Ogata, a fan who went to both the concert in L.A. and this one, part of a five-city tour across the U.S.

The concert featured the inclusion of more songs and other improvements. Concert goods such as photo books and posters were also available for purchase.

“There weren’t any goods sold in L.A. though, and we all complained there weren’t any. I’m glad to see them being sold here,” said Ogata.

Ogata, who has been a fan of Akanishi for more than two years, has known of him since his days in KAT-TUN. Her friend Ariel Chan has similarly been a fan of Johnny’s bands and had followed Akanishi’s previous group as well.

“It’s great that Johnny’s and Associates finally realized that they could come over here for concerts too and that there are fans waiting for them,” said Chan.

While still a part of KAT-TUN, which Akanishi officially left earlier this year to begin his solo career, he performed a concert at the Nokia Club in Los Angeles. The tickets were sold out almost instantaneously.

The concert featured Akanishi’s talents not only as a solo artist, but as a composer and producer as well. Most of the songs Akanishi performed, which contained R&B vibes, show a different aspect of Akanishi’s musical style.

Akanishi combines the bass-heavy music club and R&B music style with sharp movements reminiscent of the robotic yet smooth movements of Michael Jackson, along with the ever-present reprisal of the Yellow Gold Tour Overture returned between songs and intermissions. Fans were also treated to three new songs in this tour, a selection of lighter pop songs entitled “Oowah,” “Body Talk,” and “Fifth Season.”

The concert featured a good mix of music with a steady beat that the crowd rode from start to finish.

Akanishi came out with the introduction of his emcees to do a series of robotic and sharp movements much to the cheers of the crowd. He drummed like a machine in “Christmas Morning” before he broke out of his robot persona and enticed the crowd to clap. He softened up his moves before finishing the latter half of his concert featuring a number of smooth moves by his dancers.

The concert had plenty of flow and plenty of variety. While Akanishi focuses on his fascination with American R&B, he had also included a section featuring a Japanese themed dance with oni (devil or ogre) masks and katana (swords).

The brilliant concert closed with one final reprisal of the overture as Akanishi and his crew took a bow one by one.

Akanishi’s tour started in Chicago and included stops in Houston, Los Angeles and New York. As a surprise performance, MTV’s Iggy also featured Akanishi on the Jumbo-tron at Times Square in a separate performance from the main concert he performed in New York. If the fans’ reaction to the U.S. tour is any indication, Akanishi will hopefully be back for another tour in short order.

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