RADWIMPS played their final show of the North American tour on April 30, 2023 at New York City’s Palladium Times Square and despite the torrential rain all weekend, fans showed up and waited patiently in line for this sold out show. By the start of the show, the floor and mezzanine were both packed!
As the members walked out on stage they were greeted with cheers – many of the audience seeing RADWIMPS live in person for the very first time! Each member walking to their spots, singer Yojiro heading to a keyboard set further back in the center of the stage.
They started off the night with Grand Escape – a dark background emanating the night sky which slowly became brighter with stars as the song progressed. The gentle beginning crescendoed and the crowd raised their arms and clapped along to the beat.
“How are you guys feeling, New York?!” Yojiro shouted, “Let’s have a great day!” and then they went right into Never Ever Ender. Yojiro jumped around the stage, also encouraging the audience to jump with him – bringing the energy to this already energetic song!
A few people in the crowd brought their own lightsticks, which fans in Japan often wave around to go along with the music. Sadly the merchandise tables weren’t selling lightsticks, but fans came prepared with their own.
Visuals and lighting are an important part of RADWIMPS’ show. They utilized a video screen behind them to show images and motifs. The lighting paired well with each song, using both bright lights and darkness for the mood they wanted to depict.
After Twilight, Yojio gave his first full MC of the night – “This is the very final concert for this North American tour, thank you so much for coming out! The New York concert was supposed to be a one day show, but it sold out so quickly, so this is the second one. Are you guys ready to rock? Seriously, I can’t hear you!” – the fans replied by cheering as loudly as they could.
Zenzenzense was an obvious crowd favorite from the way the energy picked up and phones immediately came out to record. This song was one of four theme songs for the 2016 movie, ‘Your Name’.
As Yojiro returned to the keyboard and started Theme of Mitsuha, he hit the wrong keys and went, “oops sorry” before correcting himself. The imagery on the screen during this song was that of nature, fitting for this gorgeous song.
Following this was Sparkle, another song from the ‘Your Name’ movie. Yojiro asked the audience to light up their phones for this popular song, adding an extra special unique sparkle to the venue. The lighting on stage was dark for this song, so the main lighting was people’s phone flashlights.
Then it was time for MCs, bassist Yusuke went first. “Hi guys! I’m Yusuke on bass. Thank you so much for coming today. This has been way more incredible then we could have ever imagined! Let’s make today it a great day!”
Next up was guitarist Kuwa – “Thank you for coming today. I’m Kuwa on guitar. Nice to meet you. It’s like a dream to be live in New York. My dream came true today – thank you! Let’s make it the best live – thank you very much!”
Singer Yojiro was the last – “How are you guys feeling? We’re having so much fun and I hope you guys are too. How was their English?” he asked the crowd, who applauded in approval. “No, you don’t have to hide that,” as Kuwa was putting his paper with English on it out of sight. “See, they’ve been working so hard. Let’s make some noise for them! And you might be surprised, but this is very average of how educated Japanese people speak English – this is perfectly average for the person who speaks English in Japan, so please get used to it. Next time, whoever comes from Japan to perform, please be nice to them.”
“This is the final. The first time we played on this tour was a year and a half ago and we never expected these kinds of huge audiences. Even if there’s only 50 or 100 people in the venue, we trusted each other we would do our best performance, that’s how it started. You guys made it happen – unbelievable! It’s a totally sold out North American tour for the very first time and its all because of you – arigatou.”
DADA was next up and well received – this song featured a lot of flashing bright lights intensifying this heavier song. The screen featured some psychedelic imagery for this song.
During the middle of Oshakashama, the band had a jam session. Each member was able to highlight their talents specifically and it was incredibly fun to listen to and watch it happen! You could tell they were all having fun on stage too. After they each had their moment to shine, Yojiro acted as a “conductor” and lowered his hands to have the band lower their volume until it was silent. The fans decided to clap along with the beat – until he raised his hands and the sound once again got loud! Only for it to lower and raise again and again in unison with Yojiro’s “conducting”. He then raised his hands and directed the audience to cheer and clap along. It was very fun to experience! They then finished out the song. As soon as the song finished, Yojiro said, “More AC please” – he was sweating from that intense performance.
The lighting during Brain Washing (Sennou) made it feel like the stage was in a kaleidoscope with the darkness protruded by various colored lights.
“The next song is one of our few English songs, I hope you guys understand.” Yojiro said before they played the ballad, I I U. The audience took it upon themselves to once again hold up their phone lights for this song.
“This song is about my future baby,” Yojiro introduced ‘Tummy’ – the screen then had the translated English lyrics while he sang in Japanese. The song was funnier knowing the English translations as it was sung – the lyrics on the screen were a brilliant idea for overseas audiences!
One Spring Day (Toaru Haru no Hi) followed this same format, with the English lyrics on screen behind while Japanese lyrics were sung. This wasn’t done for every song, but it was nice for these two songs in particular.
In between songs, the venue was almost dead silent – typically during concerts you’ll hear people talking or making noise, but this show felt similar to shows in Japan in that it was silent – except for the few people taking this chance to yell out words of love for the band.
Nandemonaiya is another song from ‘Your Name’ and fans screamed in delight when they realized what song it was. This song transitioned flawlessly into KANTA HALUKA from the new movie ‘Suzume’, and the screen was showing clips from the movie.
“Unfortunately the next song is the last song,” Yojiro started, to which the audience protested. “I know, it went so fast. Is it okay if we come back?” The audience cheered in agreement. “And you promise that you will be here? I’ll remember your faces.”
The band proceeded to say how they never expected such vast crowds for their first North American tour and they’ll never forget it – and promised to be back soon. They said they’ll keep creating new music they hope the fans will enjoy.
The “final” song had the band going, “heyyyy ohhhh” and having the audience chant it back. After a few takes, Yojiro said, “It’s not bad, but it’s not the best. This is the final you know!” The band tried again, and the audience responded louder and louder! This led into Kimi to Hitsuji no Ao, the last chance to go wild for Radwimps final North American show! The audience enjoyed these last moments with the band. As the song finished, fans handed the band signs and even a bouquet of flowers before they walked off stage.
Of course, anyone who has been to a concert before knows to expect an encore. The crowd immediately started chanting ‘encore’ and the band didn’t take long to return to the stage. They asked if it was okay if they took a picture with the crowd before proceeding to play a few more songs!
“This is the smallest venue in this North American tour, which means you guys have to be the hottest audience,” Yojiro said. The audience was shouting out songs they wanted to hear to which Yojiro replied, “It’s not a request system or anything.”
The first encore song was an abridged version of Yumetourou, also from ‘Your Name’.
Yojiro led the audience in an acapella clapping singalong as he began the second encore song, Iin Desu ka?. Towards the end of the song the audience sang back the lines, Iin Desu ka to the band. “We love you so much, thank you.”
“One more song? I hope your train or car is okay for going home. You guys okay for one more song? Life is not easy, there’s always a problem, but today made me feel like it’s worth living, it’s all because of you. So let’s keep living and let’s be happy – I hope to see you again soon!” Yojiro said before introducing the final song, “It’s not summer yet, but the last song is called SUMMER DAZE.”
With a blue light over the entire stage and white lights penetrating, shining on disco balls, creating a beautiful environment – the band jammed out for their final song before saying one last goodbye to New York. “Let’s meet again.”
Thank you RADWIMPS for an unforgettable show, and everyone hopes you return to North America again soon!
For full gallery of photos, please visit Flickr here.
- Grand Escape
- Never Ever Ender
- Theme of Mitsuha
- Brain Washing (Sennou)
- I I U
- One Spring Day (Toaru Haru no Hi)
- KANATA HALUKA
- Kimi to Hitsuji no Ao
- Iin Desu ka?
- SUMMER DAZE