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A-kon 19 and Versailles Report *pardon the length...
This is responding to Ichi's reply one of the other topic but I decided to start a new one, just in case.

But so anyway...FRIDAY! Alright so with the changing of school schedules, school ended AFTER a-kon this year *my last day is tomorrow* so I didn't show up on friday until about four in the evening. I might not have mentioned this before but I do volunteer work for the stage crew *helping them truss, hang lights, set up drum sets, set up for concerts, band rehearsals etc.* And yes, because of pointless school I had to miss Budo Grape's and Versailles' rehearsal Why But after I checked in the crew filled me in that Versailles' rehearsal had a few problems. First off, they showed up about twenty minutes late, which I think we found out later was because of management. So basically the stage manager was a little upset to start off because Budo Grape was scheduled to rehearse right after so already we were thrown off schedule. Btw, for those who blame the convention for scheduling issues, it's not ALWAYS our fault Heh And for those of you who have any experience with music or technical theatre or anything of the sort, know that getting sound right is a pain in the ass. They were having problems with feedback or that high pitch EEEEEEEEE that occurs whenever an instrument or vocalist plays. So Versailles couldn't get a song in without feedback so Versailles refused to leave when their rehearsal was supposed to end. Kamijo was trying to communicate with the translators but the translators didn't know technical terms so that cost them more time. As a result Versailles stayed until they got a decent sound check, which I debated with some of my crew members as a good and bad thing. Good: because they ACTUALLY give enough of a damn about sound to stay and work with it, also it was their North American debut and by watching them later prepare I realized that they wanted to be as perfect as possible. Bad: they were late and made Budo late and they wouldn't listen when they were told to leave.

So I was asked to work the concerts as either a back stage hand or spot light. Since I missed the rehearsal I chose backstage. We prepared the stage, the seats for the opening ceremonies, cleared the path for easy slide on for the drums and then waited. And waited. So to entertain myself I helped security prepare cold drinks and hot water for tea for the green room. I went back and forth between the green room and the stage. When I came back Budo Grape was sitting and waiting. I said ganbarre to them and they all said thank you and nodded. The lead singer was soooo adorable! She smiled at me and said she would do her best.

I stood to the side back stage and watched them perform. They were so precious, anyone who said that all Japanese people aren't cute was lying. Their sound was bubblegum pop-y and colorful (though I might just think that from the lights lol)

So Budo Grape finished and the stage crew clapped for them as they exited the stage. The stage crew and I set up the stage for Versailles and I realized that the drum set I set up the day before was going to used by Yuki. So Budo Grape ran toward the cold water but only stayed for a few moments because Versailles was making their way into the green room. Keep in mind, I don't fan girl often and I usually try to stay professional but seeing Versailles in their BEAUTIFUL costumes made me a little too excited haha. They individually took photos then sat and fixed their make up, played their guitars and bass, and Kamijo vocalized to warm up his voice. Omg, his voice, so close, is so heavy and beautiful. I keep saying beautiful because they were so impeccable, like glass dolls. Kamijo looked like a prince. Jasmine You and Hizaki were so gorgeous, I wanted to steal their costumes. Teru had the narrow face of a video game character and bright eyes that were mesmerizing. I simply adored Yuki's blue outfit, color and all, and his hair style tempted me to cut off most of my hair and go blonde. They all just had such a presence that I slowly lost my professionalism. Granted I didn't go full out fangirl but I was getting close lol. I asked the translator if they wanted water on stage and Kamijo's response was that they were used to being hot on stage. I chatted a bit with the translators and the press people, just asking what they did for the band and convention. Kamijo came up to us and tried to practice his English phrases. "Let's enjoy this...violently" <3 Again, they were very focused, incessantly checking their make up, and their instruments, Kamijo was warming up his voice and practicing his English, trying to make it perfect. You could really tell that wanted to do their best. I said ganbarre to them and "kirei desu" to Jasmine You as he checked his make-up. They each nodded and said thank you. Btw, if any of you have had the experience of using Japanese with any of your favorite Japanese musicians, you know that no matter how perfectly, grammatically correct or clear you said it you feel like you messed up terribly. And for some reason you feel especially retarded when they respond in English, yes they want to practice their English but you still feel like that instead of saying "good luck" you said "I ate your goat". Btw, to calm my nerves I just checked ganbarre and I am reassured that I said it correctly...*pathetically sighs*

When it was time to perform they stood near the stairs and waited. The lights dimmed and the crowed roared. Btw, the concert hall was PACKED, while setting up and telling people to step back I couldn't see any faces in the sea of people. Yuki led the way and Versailles made their way on stage and I made it to my trusty spot where I could watch. Though back stage sounds like a nice place to watch because of the distance (or rather lack of distance from the band) but there were a few blind spots obviously but I was PERFECTLY HAPPY to just stare at Yuki. Watching Yuki drum really hit home because I always wanted to learn how to drum but never had the available means such as space and money. The concert was nothing short of amazing. The sound was pounding and symphonic. It wasn't just a concert but a performance. The excitement that filled me during that concert was the same when I first saw Back-on at Anime Matsuri. During the week before A-kon was I doing a lot of thinking, about college, graduation, and friends. I was saying to myself and my friends that A-kon 19 would probably be one of my last conventions but seeing Versailles made me remember how I felt years ago when I first started attending. Six years and eleven conventions later I've still got plenty of con-goer left in me!

1. The Love from Dead Orchestra
2. Shout and Bites
3. Beast of Desire
4. Zombie
5. SF
6. Aristocrat's Symphony
7. Suzerain
8. Forbidden Gate
9. Red Carpet
10. Sympathia
Encore Revenant Choir

During the show, one of the press people stood by my corner with the stage manager so that whenever Kamijo wanted his voice to be louder he could signal the press person who would tell the stage manager. Half way, Kamijo ran over to my corner where everyone except me and the make-up artist could get away. So...I stood there right next to Kamijo as he got make-up fixed, trying to make myself as small as possible. lol.

After Sympathia, Versailles left the stage and prepared for another song while the crowd screamed with passion for an encore. Hell, I could have I would have been yelling for an encore too! The controversy at the time was whether or not they were going to do the Revenant Choir as no one on crew was sure if they were still planning on going through with it. Thankfully they did. And Kamijo did some fan service by going to Teru and yanking his hair back and exposing his neck. The crowd loved it. lol.

The concert ended and I started to clear off the stage. Now someone is surely going to kill me for this...I don't decide to kill myself for it ^^; I found a spare pair of drum sticks by the set that Yuki used. I noticed them and made a dash before the other crew member who was reaching for them got them. I couldn't decide whether or not to keep them or return them. I eventually decided that the polite thing to do was to return them. My main reason being that they really weren't Yuki's because he didn't even touch them. Also I had decided that getting one last thank you and acknowledgment was worth giving up the drum sticks. I and the person who wanted to take the sticks headed over to the green room but Versailles was gone and the press person rudely told me that if I didn't need to be there, I had to leave. She, again, rudely took the drum sticks from my hand and looked at us with annoyance. I will say, that many of Akon's security and many of the volunteers are bitches. High and mighty from their power that they forget to be human. Yes, you must understand that they are usually sleep and food deprived but you can usually tell who is merely going on a power trip. Stage crew are allowed in the green room, and all I wanted was to give Yuki back the sticks in person so that he could at least touch the sticks. Anyway, stage crew aren't bitches and I actually don't mind giving up the nameless drum sticks. They weren't, after all, Yuki's. If I could honestly, I wish I could have gotten the pair he broke while playing. That would have been worth it.

So I helped Versailles packed up their equipment for the night and I was excused to go do whatever for the rest of the night while the dance was going on. I tried to make the Versailles autograph session but the line was too long and they cut it off. I eventually met up with my friends and in the elevator we stopped at a random floor where someone I recognized asked if we had any room in the elevator. We said no and I noticed the group of people waving at me then I realized that Budo Grape was standing five feet away. I waved and my friends waved. When the doors closed I told them that they were Budo Grape and my friends freaked, saying "oh man, I thought that was just a random Japanese guy". *Shakes head*

SATURDAY: I woke up early and got in line for Versailles' second autograph session. I got there about forty minutes before 11:00 and the line was already starting to get long 0_o. The signing started about 11:30-ish, again Versailles was late but I don't blame them. The signing was supposed to end at about 1:00 so they cut off the line once about one hundred people behind me so I thought I was for sure going to make it. However around 12:45 someone came and started counting people and they came up to my section of the line and warned us in about ten minutes they were going to cut off the line again. Luckily, about five before 1:00 they cut off the line TWO people behind me so if I had been one minute later to getting in line I would been too late *phew*

I was an idiot and I forgot my signing boards from Japan but hopefully someday, like with Back-on, I'll get a signing board with their signatures. I don't usually buy much at conventions so I didn't mind spending twenty dollars on a poster and photos. They were sold out of cds at that point unfortunately. I had a blank thick sheet of paper that I had gotten from an artist but I decided to get my poster signed so I could eventually frame it. I figured that a sheet of paper was more likely to get damaged. The nerves that destroyed my professionalism the night before poked me again in the gut. Again, though tired, they looked impeccable in their costumes. When I reached Kamijo, when he looked up at me and I said "Koe ga sugoi desu" ("Your voice is amazing") He paused for a moment, then shook my hand and said thank you. I don't think I messed it up...but I already said no matter how perfectly you say your message you will still feel like an idiot x_x I hope that pause didn't mean I said that I ate his goat...

Unfortunately I couldn't make it to their QA, I had to do some work for stage crew and the line already had a wait list when I finally made it to the room. Though I found someone who is currently typing up a report so I'll give you guys the link when she finishes.

My friends and I like to do a tradition where every A-kon we like to go have Spaghetti Warehouse for Saturday dinner in the West End aka trendy eating district in downtown. Dinner was fine even though when I get into con-mode I don't eat well. On the way back to the Dart station I spotted a group of Japanese people wearing sunglasses and street clothes and I realized that Teru, Hizaki and Yuki were waiting to go inside a restaurant for dinner. I walked past them and just simply smiled and said hello. Yuki said hello and the other whispered their greetings. They still looked impeccable.

That's all for now, I've still got some translating to do...
HOMG! rynn ur so lucky.. and ur right.. that lady was a bitch.. ahh i hate people who think they're so high and mighty! anyway, im dying of envy right now because while you were having fun at a-kon i was ringing up people's tampons and green bell peppers =.= totally priceless! ahh i miss the con excitement! i can't wait for oni-con!! hopefully they'll get an awesome band too!

i know one other member here in the forum went to fanime which was a week or two ago... they had an cafe.... one of my fave bands!!
Lets go to hell, with our hands clasped, together. As we enter its fiery gates and hear the cries and shouts of the damned, we'll walk in with smiles in our faces and scorn God, for not even death can withstand our love.
First thing I have to say is: sorry, I don't know anything about Versailles or Budo Grape and will now hide away before I get beaten up by the fans.

However, before I do that, the second thing I wanted to say was: Thanks for an awesome report! Pon Yeah

I laughed so much when I read the bit about 'I ate your goat' (yes, both times!) and that gem will forever be stuck in my head whenever (if ever!!) I get to meet Back-on (should I pray that they will all have learnt English by then?) I massacre names as it is, let alone other languages!

And I absolutely agree with ichi about that 'press' person! It's quite shocking how people can behave like that (is she some press person from the US? doesn't sound as though she's a press person with Versailles?) Glad that you did get to get your poster autographed though. They were so deadly popular! Now that school is out, you can have even more fantabulous times!

Anyway, hope that one day the UK cons will be this big and cool! Smile Haven't been to one yet but they don't get any big name bands afaik.

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