FLOW has been the most anticipated band to perform at AnimeNEXT on June 12th, 2015 in Somerset, NJ for the past many years. Almost a full half hour before 8pm, the time the concert was set to begin, chants of “FLOW, FLOW, FLOW!” began, fans beyond eager to see this band. The main events room of the convention was filled to capacity. Once the concert began, latecomers were actually turned away at the door because the room was at its maximum – this has never happened before at this convention.

As the band walked out on stage, the crowd erupted into cheers and they didn’t stop cheering and screaming for the entire show. This was a performance of high intensity with non-stop movement. Those in the front could be seen singing along with all the songs. Even those who many not have known FLOW prior to this concert could easily get into their music.

“Hello everybody! We are FLOW! This is our first time in New Jersey!” Their MC’s were about half in Japanese and half English, yet the audience cheered at all the right moments. “Are you ready?! LET’S DO IT!”

Vocalists Kohshi and Keigo were constantly near the edges of the stage, standing on the riser boxes to let the entire audience see them. They, along with guitarist Take and bassist Got’s, were engaging the audience at every possible chance and it was hard not to smile and dance along. Take especially seemed to love the attention he would receive as he moved forward to show off his guitar skills, holding up his instrument while playing it.

When they began playing ‘COLORS’, it was the loudest cheer yet. This was easily recognized due to it being the first opening song of the anime Code Geass. FLOW have a wide range of anime songs to their name, which makes them both perfect for an anime convention but also easy to remember with catchy songs. You don’t have to be an anime fan to like FLOW – but chances are, you do know some of their anime songs even if you don’t realize it.

“Is everybody having fun tonight? We are excited to be here because it is our first time in New Jersey. Thank you so much! We love and appreciate you coming to our show. Please add us on Facebook or any other social media! We love you~” They went on to say how music can connect and make us all become one. Music has the power to connect. “Do you understand? Yes? Good. Are you guys ready? I want to see you all go crazy!”

Before the end of their set, it was time for member introductions! Drummer Iwasaki was first; as the lights dimmed to a dark blue purple, he brought out florescent orange glowing drumsticks! He showed off his drum skills using the glowing drumsticks, mesmerizing all. Next up was bassist Got’s! He didn’t need any flashy lights to show off, his skill on the bass was more then enough to speak for itself. After that came guitarist Take, wearing a hoodie pulled up on his head and shutter shade glasses on his face. He played his solo on guitar, then put his guitar down and stood on the edge of the stage, hands in his jacket pockets, as the audience cheered him on. Once again the lights went out and his shutter shades and outline of his jacket lit up in bright blue! He pulled out light up squishy balls from his pockets and twirled them around, as if he were raving before throwing them out into the crowd. Last but not least, Kohshi and Keigo introduced each other as the bands vocalists.

The final song of the night was one every single person in the room knew: “GO!!!” Also known as “Fighting Dreamers”, the Naurto opening theme song from 2004. Every person in the room was smiling, singing along, and jumping around. It’s hard to NOT know this song!

Towards the end of “GO!!!” the beat slowed down and Kohshi asked the audience to sit down. “Please sit down everyone and let’s do the wave!” and gestured to the ground. Every single person in the room obliged this request. When the cue was given, everyone was to jump up and do the wave! And it worked! Kohshi and Keigo asked again for every person to sit down and do the wave again – and for a second time, it succeeded! It was very cool to be apart of something that involved the whole audience, and everyone enjoyed participating.

They then asked everyone to sing the “Fighting dreamers” part of the chorus. “I can’t hear you!” The crowd was more then happy to help the band sing along, all voices loud and in unison.

The band left the stage following GO!!!, but the audience didn’t have to wait long for the bands encore performance. After chants of “FLOW! FLOW! FLOW!” and “Encore! Encore!” the band returned holding an American flag and wearing tour t-shirts, which were being sold at the convention – and which sold out before the concert! Even for the encore, they all retained the amount of energy they had in the beginning – if anything, they had more energy!

“Do you like anime? Do you like Eureka Seven? Code Geass? Dragonball? Naruto? And do you like Shingeki no Kyojin? Tonight, special cover song!”

The encore began with an anime fan favorite song, and one the audience might not have been expecting from FLOW – it was the Attack on Titan theme song! They performed it with numerous in the audience singing along, a few even appropriately in Attack on Titan cosplay.

Once again the band thanked everyone for coming to see them perform at AnimeNEXT in New Jersey. Their last song of the night was ‘Garden’ which was a beautiful way to end the evening, the song being softer and slower then their previous upbeat songs. As the song finished, Keigo once again named each band member, with Kohshi introducing Keigo. They included the audience as a member as well!

Before leaving the stage, they asked if it would be ok to take a picture with the audience. They grabbed the American flag and sat down on the stage as everyone squished together and smiled for the camera. The photo would later be posted on FLOW’s social media accounts.

“When I say AnimeNEXT, you say Kiwami, ok?” Kiwami is the name of their world tour, which they are currently still on! Go see FLOW if they come to a city near you.

02 HERO ~希望の歌~ [samuraimuaflow 2014]
04ブレイブルー [Brave Blue]
06 Re:member
07 Red Hot Riot
10 BAND Inst
12流星 [Ryuusei]
13 Hey!!!
14メンバーー紹介 [Member Introductions]
17愛愛愛に撃たれてバイバイバイ 「Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye]
18 GO!!!
EN1 紅蓮の弓矢 「Guren no Yumiya (Shingeki no Kyoujin OP)]
EN2 Garden

For a full set of images, please check out this album on Flickr.