First of all this was a quite expensive trip but worth the money with the chance to visit this very interesting country. Unfortunately I caught a flu 2 days before I started to Japan, so I brought a lot of medicine with me. My trip to Japan started at 12.10.2011 at Frankfurt airport at around 12pm. After check in of baggage I went to security. There was the first surprise and I saw Michi, Kai and the rest of Unisonic at passport control before me, but noticed it a little late. They later entered the same plane (flight LH710) which started at 1:30 pm. I couldn’t quite locate where they were sitting, so probably in business class (you may imagine I booked economy class). The flight time was around 11 hours and with the damn flu very exhausting. I could not sleep in the plane and was really tired when we arrived in Japan.
We arrived around 7:30am the next day (Thursday, Japan time) in Tokyo (Narita) and the whole security formality was in front of me. I forgot to fill out this stupid immigration card and custom declaration, so there was a lot of stress doing it right now (such things always happen for me). By the way I saw Unisonic there again at Japanese passport control and they were standing in the line somewhere behind me with Michi talking the whole time to the other band mates. Our ways parted there as I had an airport transportation service to my hotel in Saitama (Urawa) organized which picked me up there. We drove around 2 hours to the hotel and unfortunately I had to wait 3 more hours until I could check in at the hotel (I was too early). By that time I was terrible tired and had headaches by that time. I immediately felt asleep for about 2 hours.
Later that day I did a little first sightseeing in Saitama and bought something to drink and eat at a shop. The people where really friendly and helpful, but most of them didn’t understand English very well. The food there was good, but for me as a European quite unfamiliar, also eating with chopsticks was another challenge. I had never tried this before and I probably did it very bad, but somehow I managed to eat. The next (Friday) I went to Tokyo by train which was easier than I thought. I bought a ticket at the service centre at the station and travelling by train was easy too due to English naming of station signs. In Tokyo I walked around the main city centre and around the emperor’s garden. The garden itself was closed on Friday. I spent around 5 hours in Tokyo and went back to Saitama by train again. The rest of the day I spent with some relaxing at the hotel.
The next day (Saturday) was the day of the festival. I had quite recovered from my flu, but was a little bit afraid of the security and their possible measures against taking pictures and filming of concerts. When I arrived at the arena they only checked my back bag and they didn’t find anything. I also only used a hidden camera, because security were all around the place. It was a really big arena and it took some time until I reached the main area where the bands play. On arrival the band Animetal USA started which was a nice performance, but nothing special. I watched more performances of Stryper, Amaranthe and Krokus with a nice guest performance of Mandy Meyer who replaced their guitarist because of illness.
At 2:55pm the concert started that I have been travelling around 10.000km for watching. Unisonic’s first performance with Kai Hansen started with a very nice intro of Richard Wagner – “Ride of the Valkyries”. I really hope they keep this intro for further concerts. Then Cross the Line followed as the known Place Vendome opener of previous Unisonic concerts last year. When Michi entered the stage together with Kai, the audience was more enthusiastic than on all performance in this festival before. Michi’s voice was great from the beginning and I had the feeling it was better than in the Avantasia “Wacken” performance. Maybe their rehearsal helped to reach a higher level. All high screams were precise, clear and without strain. The guitar work was a little bit rearranged to fit better the addition of Kai. This worked out great and added a little more power to the song.
Their second song was Souls Alive from Mandy Meyer and it was again a very nice heavy rock track. Then Michi did his first little longer speak where he announced that they would play 4 Unisonic tracks and 3 of them that nobody knows. In the end they only played 2 unknown Unisonic tracks and cancelled the song Never too late, probably due to playing time reasons. The first yet unknown new song was the title track Unisonic, which was for 100% composed by Kai. It was a very catchy tune and I still have the chorus in my mind after several days. Then A Little Time followed with again the great middle part of Victim of Changes and the very high screaming part that we know from Sweden Rock 2010.
Another new Unisonic track followed with My Sanctuary which is probably a Kiske or a Ward track. It is very melodious and mid tempo arranged. After this song Future World followed and as expected the crowd went wild and started celebrating every note. Michi’s performance on this song was more confident than during his first Gamma Ray guest appearance that I witnessed in Bochum in April. The last track of the concert was again another killer classic I want Out and again the audience was enthusiastic about Michi’s first performance of this song for so many years. This was definitely the best concert on this festival and I was happy to be part of it.
I stayed for the performance of The Darkness, but left before Arch Enemy,which is not my cup of tea. The next day (Sunday) I did another sightseeing of Tokyo with visiting the Emperor’s garden which was open this day and also visiting Tokyo Dome and the place around it. There were some strange costumed people and they broadcasted this later in Japanese TV. I still don’t know what they celebrated, but they seemed to have fun.
The next day (Monday) I started my long trip back to Germany which first resulted in the rush hour around Tokyo where my transport to the airport war stuck into a traffic jam. Luckily we arrived in time at the airport for the flight. The flight back to Germany had one stop in Munich and so I arrived at home at 8:30pm (German time). I was very tired and felt asleep very soon, but was happy about having done this trip.
1. Intro Richard Wagner (Ride of the Valkyries)
2. Cross the Line (Place Vendome Track)
3. Souls Alive (Unisonic Track)
4. Unisonic (New Unisonic Track)
5. A little Time (Helloween Track)
6. My Sanctuary (New Unisonic Track)
7. Never too Late (Cancelled Track)
8. Future World (Helloween Track)
9. I want Out (Helloween Track)
Here are videos of this performance:
Unisonic (New Track)
I want Out
Interview Loud Park
Loud Park Greeting
Another short message
Loud Park 11 in Japan
Saitama Super Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Chūō-ku, Saitama City, Saitama, Japan. Its spectator capacity is 37,000 at maximum settings. Unisonic will be playiung there among other bands like Whitesnake, Arch Enemy, The Darkness, Trivium, Krokus, Stryper, Amaranthe. These bands offer a wide variety of different styles. The festival opens at 10am and starts at 11am.
Loud Park Festival is a heavy metal festival held annually at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama City or Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, Japan. It is one of the biggest festivals in Japan.Previous band line-ups included bands such as Slayer, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne and many more.
Unisonic will play the first concert with Kai Hansen at Loud Park Festival in Japan, October 2011.
Here you can find the running order for the whole festival. read more
Her are some exclusive T-Shirts of Unisonic that will be sold at the festival . read more