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[Live Report] LiSA “LiVE is Smile Always~364+JOKER~” in Yokohama Arena Day 1


It’s been two years since LiSA last held a two-day solo concert in Yokohama Arena, and fans gathered here on the 29th and 30th of April for her two-day concert titled “LiVE is Smile Always~364+JOKER~.” Japan Anime Music Lab. attended Day 1.

LiSA is known for performing songs for popular anime titles such as Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online, The Irregular at Magic High School to name a few. Her fame goes beyond national borders; she is an international singing sensation. She has performed in the United States, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines among others.

The arena and stands buzzed with excitement as they waited for the concert to start. The opening narration to a story started and everyone fell silent. The story was about the four countries of hearts, diamonds, spade, and clubs. However, “something” seemed amiss in the world, and was threatening the lives of the people. To search for that “something,” five adventurers started their journey….

The stage lit up and LiSA, wearing a hooded blue robe with yellow and blue checkered pattern, started singing Thrill, Risk, Heartless, the main theme song of the game Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, to the delight of the audience. LiSA took off her hood and continued with Rising Hope, the first opening theme song of The Irregular at Magic High School and the audience turned from a sea of pink lights to blue, matching the galactic visualizations on screen.

LiSA welcomed everyone to “LiVE is Smile Always~364+JOKER~” and introduced herself.

She opened her robe here to reveal a blue denim top and a yellow layered skirt. Tattoos of heart, club, spade and diamond could be seen on her left arm. She worked the whole of Yokohama Arena starting with the audience at the center, the arena and lastly the stands, who welcomed her back to Yokohama Arena with their loud cheers. LiSA performed her third song, JUMP!! from her album LiTTLE DEViL PARADE, while interacting with her fans, running from one side of the stage to another and waving at them.

She took off her robe and the cheers from her fans became louder as she started singing her next song rapid life syndrome (rapid life シンドローム) from her Launcher album. Her fans sang along as they waved their pink penlights.

The upbeat tempo didn’t stop there as male and female dancers, who each represented a suit symbol, appeared and LiSA did a call and response with the audience. LiSA and the dancers performed Ashiato Compass (アシアトコンパス) from her album Rising Hope. Colorful visualization can be seen on the screen, complementing the bubbly theme of the song. They moved to the makeshift stage at the center of the arena, waving their arms together with the crowd.

The lights dimmed and the spotlight was on LiSA, standing at the center of the arena surrounded by her fans. She thanked everyone again for coming to her concert. The background music started, and LiSA narrated, “The story has just begun, and I hope you like it as it progresses, including the title “~364+JOKER~”. When an adventure starts, there is excitement, as well as anxiety,” she continued. “But it’s alright. As long as I am with you, the person I cherish most, I am sure a bright future is waiting for us. That is the only future I can think of,” she finished and introduced the next song, 1/f, which was released as part of the limited period edition of her 14th single, Akai wana (who loves it?)/ADAMAS. LiSA did a heartfelt performance the trump dancers moved expressively to the music.

The story of the five adventurers continued on the screen. The world had gone awry, with snow falling during summer ruining the crops. The adventurers were gathered and ordered by the higher ranking cards to fix the problem: the commoner who represented the club symbol and possessed wisdom, the merchant who represented the diamond symbol and emphasized economic strength, the benevolent who represented the heart symbol and deemed love and prayer necessary, the warrior who represented the spade symbol and stressed on the need for physical strength, and a girl without any symbol and any purpose. They thought of ways to save the world from doom, and reached a conclusion to visit the descendant of a fortune teller who, as the legend went, guided the twins who once brought peace to the world. Meanwhile, the girl without a symbol pondered who she was, why was she even chosen, why did she not have any symbol, is there even a reason for her existence….

The stage lights turned red, and LiSA appeared in a red kimono with her guitar and started performing LOSER ~Kibou to Mirai ni Muen no Catharsis~ (LOSER ~希望と未来に無縁のカタルシス~), another song from her album LiTTLE DEViL PARADE followed by a performance of the end of my world, another song from the same album. The audience clapped and cheered while waving their penlights in red as LiSA showed off her powerful vocals.

The opening music of DOCTOR started playing, and the crowd screamed. LiSA opened her red kimono to reveal a white dress as she sang the song from her 2nd album LANDSPACE. A skeleton sitting on a chair was placed on the aisle towards the stage at the center of the arena; the skeleton had a built-in camera, from which the audience could see LiSA from a first-person point of view. The cheers grew louder as LiSA charmed her fans with her seductive performance in front of the skeleton. It gave the impression that LiSA was dancing while looking directly at her fans, giving the audience a first-person experience.

A slow guitar solo played while LiSA walked towards the stage at the center of the arena, and kneeled. The platform where LiSA was kneeling rose and she started singing BLUE MOON. The audience turned into a sea of blue, with an image of the moon behind her projected on the screen. Her fans watched LiSA intently as she gave a soulful performance.

She began singing her next song, ONLY≠LONELY in acapella. This song was released with her 12th single ASH (the opening theme for the second season of Fate/Apocrypha). “To you who thinks you are alone,” said LiSA, and resumed to sing the rest of the song as she was projected in black and white on the screen on stage. She chipped in lines like “I’m back, Yokohama Arena!” before the verse “okaeri nasai…” (“welcome back” in Japanese). Her fans sang along the lines of “only lonely~” and her image on screen went from black and white to full color as she reached the end of the song.

“Did you know that the more you experience solitude, the stronger you get? The more you feel alone, the kinder you get?” LiSA asked her fans as she prepared them for the next song, Gurenge (紅蓮華), her 15th single and the opening theme song to the anime Demon Slayer; Kimetsu no Yaiba. Images of the moon, temples and lotus were shown on the screen, faithful to the overall theme of the anime.

We reached climax of the story of the five adventurers. They reached the town of the fortune teller. The girl without a symbol wandered off, reaching an abandoned house. She entered the house to find a sleeping panda. The panda woke up and told the girl that it had been waiting for her for hundreds of years. It turned out the girl was destined to save the world. The girl cried out that she had no symbol, that she was of no worth to anybody but she wanted to help save the world, to help everyone. The panda went to explain that the world was made from symbols and numbers, but together they only form 364, one day short to complete a year. The panda proclaimed the girl as the final piece to the puzzle, the one that will complete the world and save it. That was her purpose. She was the Joker, the trump card of the world, and the “aikotoba” (“secret word” in Japanese) to saving the world was “tarira tarira.”

The moment the JOKER said “tarira tarira”, the fans knew they were in for a treat because the next song was none other than ROCK-mode’18. LiSA, donning a black dress with white skirt, performed the song with as much energy as she could while her fans responded with “tarira tarira” every time she sang the “aikotoba” line. Fire effects were added in, signaling the climax of the concert.

With the energy of the audience still high, the crowd started singing to ADAMAS, the opening theme song to the Alicization Beginning arc of the anime Sword Art Online Alicization. The whole venue went bright and drums were brought on stage. The chimes became louder as LiSA and the trump dancers hit the drums in sync with the beat of the music. The show got even better when they performed at the center of the arena which rose and rotated with matching smoke effects that highlighted the performance. Not stopping there, LiSA continued with LiTTLE DEViL PARADE and the crowd cheered and chanted “LDP!” while waiving their pink penlights. LiSA sang and danced and joined the audience in chanting.

LiSA did another call and response with her fans before performing Heisei era’s last Psychedelic Drive. The whole of Yokohama Arena was illuminated as LiSA invited the audience to sing with her.

LiSA asked everyone if they could still keep up and the crowd cheered in response. The screen projected images of casino and the card suit symbols and LiSA sang Rally Go Round, the opening song of the anime Nisekoi:. The audience chimed and danced along the music and LiSA praised everyone screaming “sugoi” (“awesome”) repeatedly.

The story of the JOKER finally reached its end. The JOKER’s curse had turned into a dream. The JOKER likewise encouraged everyone to take a step forward and start their own stories.

The guitar opening to Hi FiVE! played and LiSA started singing her last song, the titular single of her second mini album LUCKY Hi FiVE!. The audience clapped along LiSA’s performance as the concert was coming to a close. “This may be only one day in a year, only one day in one era, but I want you to enjoy it to the fullest,” LiSA told her fans and invited them to sing with her. Streamers and confetti were released, and the fans that gathered that day became one as they sang together. LiSA thanked everyone for the best last spurt of Heisei era, and the dancers, band members, and LiSA left the stage.

Not even a minute had passed when the call for an encore started. The chanting grew louder and the dark stage lit up. LiSA, her band members and dancers appeared wearing tour shirts and carrying towels. LiSA thanked her fans for the encore, and assured them that she did her best to choose which songs to perform. LiSA told her fans “Heisei era is ending, but she did her best until the last minute, as always (“itsumo giri giri” in Japanese), hinting what the next song was going to be.

LiSA and the trump dancers first demonstrated the dance steps slowly. The tempo went up and the audience practice the dance steps. After a few attempts, making sure that everyone had learned the dance steps, the music of Spicy World(スパイシーワールド), also released with the Akai wana (who loves it?)/ADAMAS single, started playing and LiSA sang and danced with the audience. LiSA introduced the members of her band and the dancers at an interlude during the song.

For her final encore song, LiSA only sang the first four words to Catch the Moment, and the audience became one and sang the rest of the chorus. The song, which served as the main theme song of the animated film Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale and which LiSA is most known for, was sung almost completely by the audience, a sea a blue lights.

LiSA thanked the audience again for choosing to spend the last two days of the Heisei era with her. She introduced the band members and dancers again, and they took a commemorative photo with the audience. The band members and dancers left the stage, and LiSA gave her fans some exciting news: the release of her 15th single Gurenge on the 3rd of July. She also promised more amazing songs to be released during the new Reiwa era. Before exiting the stage, she said her signature line, “Today was another great day! Byecchi!” and sent everyone home with a flying kiss.

LiSA “LiVE is Smile Always~364JOKER” Yokohama Arena Day 1 Setlist

・Thrill, Risk, Heartless
・Rising Hope
・rapid life syndrome
・Ashiato Compass
・LOSER ~Kibou to Mirai ni Muen no Catharsis~
・the end of my world
・Psychedelic Drive
・Rally Go Round
・Hi FiVE!

・Spicy World
・Catch the Moment

LiSA Biography

Written by Gladys Angala
Photos by Viola Kam (V'z Twinkle)

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