Yellow Gold Tour 3010 started off with a few talents from Jin’s own dancers, displaying singing and dancing abilities in an attempt to get the crowd warmed up and excited.
The crowd, spanning across most of the floor and balcony levels, was lukewarm but appreciative. After a couple videos that shared Jin’s experience with his last tour and a few heartfelt words for the fans, the show sped up with fast-paced music, bright lights and glittering gold-outfitted dancers. With the MCs urging the crowd along, the excitement level climbed higher in volume, reaching a roar when Jin Akanishi himself stepped out onto the stage.
Dressed casually in torn and light-washed jeans with a white jacket, Jin was in fine shape as fans screamed louder at the prompt of a smile. They gave another yell as the tinkling beginnings of Christmas Morning rose above the noise before quieting to watch and listen.
Robotic mannequins controlled by a dancer rolled across the stage, as a strange, drum contraption dominated the center. Jin, elevated on the topmost level of the tiered platform at the rear of the stage, played the role of a dancer in a music box, bending, rewinding and then spinning again. He followed with a small drum solo, welcoming everyone in a robotic voice and with a bit of alcoholic humor that got a few laughs. The new beat started as the crowd clapped along, a sort of climbing buildup of sound dominated by Jin’s drumming before incorporating his voice.
“Christmas Morning” was a lovely song but a little hard to understand what he was singing about. What could be made out from the melody was sweet, and for the Japanese fans in the audience, Japanese text was displayed on the screens, in the balcony part at least, presumably the lyrics’ translation.
The song ended, moving on to prompts to C-L-A-P, signaling the next song, “Go Boom.” Jin’s voice wasn’t as heavily synthesized in this one, the rhythm was sexy and the beat catchy. Definitely a song to move to, with a dance club feel to it.
Next up was “Wonder,” a song with violin parameters and some Latin spice mixed with hip hop boldness, that had Jin displaying some moves that gave fans something to scream about. This song featured Crystal Kay, and purer vocals from Jin, a feat that was only mediocre at best as his vocals were at a minimum and didn’t particularly showcase how well he could sing.
Following Wonder was “I.N.P.” with some light rapping and oozing coolness as the song urged shots to be taken, and Jin held a rap battle on-stage with some of his dancers.
“A Page” followed quickly before a short break had Jin going backstage. There was cute text on the screen to entertain the crowd while they waited, as Jin “texted” the crowd, leading into his next song, “Oowah.” He appeared in jeans, a letterman jacket with lots of glittery patches, and his signature black fedora.
With a slower melody and a fun beat, Jin crooned admiringly towards an unnamed figure in the song, “Oowah”-ing in appreciation. After “Oowah” finished, Jin took the microphone to speak to the fans himself, making sure everyone was having fun — to which fans loudly agreed — and humbly thanked fans for coming out to see him. He then introduced his three new songs, and prepared to sing “Body Talk,” followed by “Fifth Season.”
“Body Talk” and “Fifth Season” were both ballads, very slow and heartfelt. Both songs had moments where Jin yelled his heart out, and while his voice was still masked by a synthesizer, it was nonetheless impressive. In “Fifth Season,” Jin sounded especially earnest, showing good control of his voice, as emotion bled out in his words and his enunciation, how hard he sang some words and how he softened his voice for others, practically gasping at the end of one stanza and yelling at the next.
“Lovejuice” lightened the mood again, bringing back in the upbeat dance mood and his vocally and visually provocative performance.
“Paparats” was a playful middle finger at the plague of any celebrity’s life. He starts with his voice muffled to turn down the harshness of his lyrics, and with the pop- rock sound, his voice grew equally in turns rough and smooth with assertiveness.
“Hey Girl” and “My MP3” started the crowd dancing, as everyone was having fun singing and clapping along, and just having a general good time.
There was an interlude of dancing, called “World Dance,” where Jin and his dancers danced out different genres of dance. One lucky fan caught his thrown fedora (to the screams of despair from the others), and after this display of dance skills, a dramatic Japanese theater performance occurs. A demon and samurai fought it out with swords to the background of epic music, with Jin appearing with several mask changes, frenetic sounds and a building up of tempo only to slow down again. The music changed once more, traditional mixed with techno music, as Jin showed off his poppin’ and lockin’ moves. More of the fight plays out before cutting into his Tour title song.
The night ended with “Tipsy Love,” and — perhaps those urges to take shots were dutifully obeyed — by this point the crowd was fully participating, singing and cheering to the slow beat and soft rap.
Overall Yellow Gold Tour 3010 was enjoyable. Jin proves himself to be an experienced entertainer, and his previous experience of being in a group showed in how he gave generous stage time to his dancers, often stepping back to let them be in the spotlight.
Jin’s voice can go from skin-caressing to something of an urgent plea, a sweet melody in and of itself to sensuality with a little playfulness to keep it interesting. A lot of his songs featured a sense of closeness between him and his fans, a playful and fun, teasing relationship that had more than a few fans screaming.
Upon a deeper look at some of his lyrics, the words are surprisingly eloquent, hinting at deeper meanings and perhaps personal experiences. Whether Jin Akanishi can make it big in the American market remains to be seen, but he is definitely someone to watch.
Live Review by: Vivian W.
Edited by: Deb