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31 March 2012 @ 12:10 am
Today, I found out that I was rejected from Sheridan College's Post Grad Computer Animation.

It sucks.

It really does. It sucks a lot. The worst part is that I should have worked harder on my portfolio. I should have practiced every day on drawing. I should have drawn every time I had a pencil in my hand, every time a piece of paper was in front of me. I should have practiced and researched on theory, life drawings, everything.

Ugh. This sucks. That's it. I don't even have anything else to say.
22 February 2010 @ 03:14 am
I learned something in Digital video.

What lacks visually can be made up for with audio.

What lacks in audio, can be made up for with the visual.

I shall experiment with this.
12 February 2010 @ 10:36 pm
This recount is probably only for myself, when I am 25, 30, 50 years old to look back to what happened when I was 19. What happened? Well, I went to a Utada Hikaru concert on February 8th, 2010. Correct! I saw the biggest Japanese female pop star (I would like to think) in New York City. I traveled down there from Toronto, stood outside for 6 hours, and saw the best concert I will probably ever see in my life, lest I go to another Utada concert and she tops that. Which she will.

Anyway, we arrived at the Fillmore @ Irving Plaza at around 2:30, since we freaked out when we came back at 2-ish and saw the line go around the corner already. The line didn't progress that much in the first hour. There were probably about 100 people in front of us, and during the 2:30 ~ 3:30 period, probably a grand total of ~10 people lined up behind us. The first hour wasn't bad. As soon as it started to get dark, it began to drag on. That was the longest 6pm~7:30pm in my life. We were just around the corner, so we couldn't see the entrance of the venue yet. At around 6pm (I'm guessing) we heard a few "Woo!"'s and realized, this is it, Utada Hikaru enters! (With her dad and mom and her crew.) Well, by this time I've stood in line for a good 4 hours, and I'm about to freeze up from the inside. It hurt to walk because my feet were almost completely frozen. Then comes two men, one holding a camera, the other holding a boom microphone; they cruise down the line around the corner filming anxious and very cold fans. We managed to wave to the camera just as it passed by. Another guy comes down later and asks, "Anyone from overseas?" I was really tempted to say, "YEAH I'M FROM HONG KONG!!". But I didn't. haha.

At around 7:00pm, the line starts moving, and now the my adrenaline is starting to kick in along with my realization - I am going to see Utada Hikaru. I am going to see Utada Hikaru. I am going to see Utada Hikaru. 6 hours of standing in the cold, my bad painfully hurting (because of various reasons), and my feet barely with any feeling starts to drown out. The security ruffled through every bag and every jacket (not mine. hah!), checking for recording devices (camera). The coat check was WAY too slow and it took an eternity to get inside the hall. We ran up the stairs, and a line forms at the gates - a security person opens a set of doors right beside us and taps us to go in. He says, "Yeah, it's the same place", so I run in, almost smashing into the people in front of me. I get a spot around 10 rows from the stage. Not bad.

DJ Mike Rizzo spins for a good hour while people came in. It was either 7:20 or 8:20 (probably the latter) when DJ Mike Rizzo says, "Utada in 20 minutes!" Everyone who is in the venue gives a lively cheer. Mike continues to spin some tunes, including Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feelin'", Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi", and Britney Spears, "3" in which all three songs livened the crowd slightly. As "I Gotta Feelin'" finishes, DJ Mike says, "New York, I have a feeling, that tonight will be a good night!" Another cheer.

The stage is small - everything looks pretty cramped. There's a big banner in the middle with the tour logo, "Utada In the Flesh" and 2 smaller 'posters' that would change into the album covers of the song she is performing.

8:40. DJ says, "Utada in 5 minutes!" The crowd gives a louder cheer. A somewhat very long 5 minutes later, DJ Mike Rizzo holds his microphone, and says, "I had a great time tonight New York, here's Utada, good night!" He plays one last song - DJ Mike Rizzo's remix of Utada's "Dirty Desire". We cheer and sing along like she's on the stage. The song ends, some other songs come on to fill the silence. Some technical staff comes out and packs up DJ Rizzo's stuff, sets the stage for Utada. A couple of more minutes later, her band appears. One by one, the guitarist, the bassist, the percussionist, the keyboardist takes their station. The only one left is Utada. The crowd cheers.

Since I stand a little to the left of the center of the stage, I can see the curtain on the right side of the stage. It's ruffling here and there and I tiptoe. Suddenly, a very smooth silhouette comes out of nowhere, walks right past the guitarist. According to someone, she punches her fist up into the air, lights blast out, and "On and On" begins.

At this point, I am in big big big awe. That was Utada Hikaru standing just a good few meters away from me, on the stage, and basking in her glory. The crowd goes wild, and so do I. My feet no longer hurt, I don't even feel the pain in my lower back. I'm jumping up and down with my hands up in the air, then I take a moment to relish it. I tear up a little - but who wouldn't - My eyes cannot leave Hikki. She's standing right in front of me. She's performing for goodness sakes. I trembled. You know, I couldn't really remember how "On and On" was at the beginning. My brain decided to stop listening and focus all its power and attention on my eyes. I was just staring at her performing. This was the woman who made it big at 15. This is the woman who holds the best-selling album of all time in Japan. When I came to my senses, I realized this: She was singing in front of me, and the man-shouts in the original song were gone. Now, I don't know if they were drowned out by the band, or it just wasn't there, but it sounded a lot better without it.

"On and On" ends, and the crowd cheers, and "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, FYI" begins! We cheer again. This is one of my favourites in the album. This is when I realize how amazing she sounds live. She's not missing a damn note. This person sounds better than her album. How?! "FYI" sports one of the best lyrics on "This is the One" I believe. So I'm not missing a word. She sings the chorus - "NYC NYC", the crowd shouts, "WHAT WHAT?!" , "Tokyo, Tokyo" - "WHAT WHAT?!" , then second part - "MP3 MP3" "PLAYERS!" "Work it out, work it out" "HUSTLERS!" , then she NAILS "Oh Mani Padme Hum, Hum" like a real professional. "You know why, I'm gunna be yours tonight?/We're gunna oh, ah,/FYI, we're gunna be up all night/I'll see you later/Call me, you know my number," Damn right!

Then what? "Poppin'" comes on. Now, I gotta say, I wasn't the biggest fan of this song, but this just proves how much a good live performance and turn your opinion right around. She's hitting all the high notes like they're some kind of tenor. "Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!". The song takes a little pause on the melody, and she goes, "Girls, you know we have it better than the boys," the girls scream. "Girls, you know we have it better than the boys," Louder scream. You hear no man scream here, haha. When she said that line, she was rocking that stage, and she says the line so much more awesome than the original recording. That was definitely my highlight of that song. Us girls felt very connected :)

"This One (Crying Like a Child)" is the next song. Another one of my favourites, with again, fantastic lyrics. There's nothing I can say about this performance but she blew the recording out of the water, again.

All right. Four English songs in, she pauses, takes a sip of water, chats with the crowd a little bit. I don't remember if it was here, when everyone starts telling her that we love her. "CANADA LOVES YOU" - "Wh- who loves me?" "CANADA CANADA CANADA!!" "Oh, Canada loves me!" (Canadians cheer.) "Well...does New York love me?" (A very loud cheer.) Haha. Thanks Hikki, for dismissing Canada so quickly. A lot of things happen in her MCs or while she was taking a break, I can't really remember when things happened. It's probably here where she says, "Are there any Japanese people here?" In Japanese. Half the people cheer - probably just because we're excited to hear her speak in Japanese. Hikki points to a person near her right, "You're not Japanese! I can tell". There's some laughter, and she thanks the Japanese and other people who traveled from other places to come to see her tonight. "So... You wanna hear some Japanese songs?" The crowd goes nuts. I'm pretty sure someone shouts, "PASSION!!!" and I believe this is the part where she admits she knows her "stuff" goes out on the Internet and tells us not to ruin it. She also rhetorically asks if we're going to write stuff about her. The whole venue cheers again. "Good stuff?" Well duh! You give us no reason to say bad things about you.

"Passion" starts out beautifully and powerfully. After the first bridge, the song shifts to "Sanctuary" and we cheer again. Personally, it was really great, but I would've preferred "Passion" all the way. She shifts again from "Sanctuary" to "Passion" somewhere in the middle. Great start for a Japanese song. When "Passion" ended, the staff had to move some stuff around, and Hikki says, "As you may know, I write all of my songs," GRAND SLAM CHEER!! "So I wanted to perform some songs as they were originally written on the keyboard," (or something to that effect). She sits down on her newly planted keyboard and microphone...and plays, "SAKURA DROPS".

Now, SAKURA DROPS is a beautiful, beautiful song. To sing it and play the piano is talent that I cannot begin to imagine. Somebody has captured it in FLAC format. I was one of the person who shouted "GAMBATTE!" in the beginning. But wow. This was so, so, so beautiful. Unfortunately, I didn't know all the lyrics to this song, so I wasn't able to sing some of it with her, as with most other people in this hall haha. The band joins in and makes it a really nice ballad. I am listening to the FLAC as I write this.

The next song has to be my absolute favourite of the night. "Stay Gold", which we played the piano opening, sang accapella for a bar or so, and... the band joins in. This was golden beyond belief. The arrangement shocked my brain and I couldn't move ...well, barely. Enough to stare and listen in awe at how great this version is. I really hope we get a video of this in the (potential) DVD. I'm pretty sure many many people found this to be one of the greatest performances of the night. It was definitely one of the more memorable ones.

"Devil Inside", "Kremlin Dusk", and "You Make Me Want To Be A Man" followed. This arrangement was the same as the Utada United 2006 one. Nevertheless.... "Devil Inside" started out so very strong, and "Kremlin Dusk" was made even more powerful. "YMMWTBAM" finished, and thus the trio of songs was over. This performance made me realize how great "Devil Inside" really is.

She then threw us off track and sang "The Bitter End" by Placebo. I didn't know the song, but it was a great cover! She looked like she was having a blast with this rock song, though. For some reason, I kept hearing "See you at the pandora" instead of "See you at the bitter end". Whoops.

The next performance was "Apple and Cinnamon". But before that, this may have been the time when Hikki told this person in the front row to "stop talking". I found it amusing. Well, while she was trying to talk, he just kept shouting remarks. Now, I don't blame him, but c'mon, boy, she's talking. Shh. Listen! You won't get to hear her talk for a long, long, long time! Anyway, the performance for "Apple and Cinnamon" really really really made me like the song. I especially grew to love the chorus. Again, kudos to a great performance!

Next is "Come Back to Me". I was so excited by this time, when the piano solo for the beginning of this song came out, I just screamed without my brain clicking and knowing what song it was. I've always liked "Come Back to Me" and I felt she was putting in a lot of emotion into this song. I'm pretty sure a lot of people were singing along also. "Come Back to Me" ended with a small piano bridge-like transition to...

"First Love". Oh God. She was singing First Love. FIRST LOVE. EVERYBODY screamed. Fudge, who WOULDN'T. I can't even describe it. I think she may have messed up her lyrics a little bit, because I was singing along, and I was caught off guard when her words weren't matching mine. I could be wrong and I could've been the one singing the wrong words. But who cares. She's only human. Let her mess up. As long as she's still singing, I wouldn't give a care in the world. "Arigatou!"

What what?? "Can you keep a secret?"???? Holy shizzles! I didn't even remember reading this one the setlist. But this was so great. One of her songs on "DISTANCE"!! Not a lot of people sang this. I didn't know the lyrics quite well either, but I'm sure everyone sang, in the chorus, "Can you keep a secret?"

I believe here, she took another short pause. I'm almost completely sure this is where Hikki said that she thought (the crowd at) Las Vegas was really "loud and intense". And she "though nothing could top that....but..." (Cue eruption of cheers). Youtube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6jVBBL47Dw     Hell yeah! Of course NYC would be loud! You've got Canadians in here cheering. XD

"Here I go. Ikuze!"

Automatic starts playing and oh, my, God. I LOVE this song so much. EVERYONE was punching in the air for "It's Automatic!". I LOVED it so much and she was smiling the WHOLE way through. I'm glad she was having just as much fun as we were. I believe she also messed up the lyrics in one of the choruses here too XD. BUT IT'S AUTOMATIC. IT DOESN'T MATTER!

She stopped again, and she told us that the next song would be the last song. The whole crowd kinda cheery-booed a bit. She then said in Japanese, "Tsuki no kyoku wa saigo desu" and everyone went, in Japanese style, "EEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!".

"Dirty Desire" starts blasting out. Holy mama, Hikki completely rocked this song up to heaven then down to earth then up to heaven again. I had a BLAST with this song. I love it so much now. Her lyrics are awesomely kinky ("During my 9 to 5/I'm thinking 6 to 9"). The chorus is awesome R&B trance-ish, and I grew to adore it so much. I LOVED when she sang the second verse, "I know you can't wait to see me/To see me in the flesh". She did a kind of a body hug when she sang "in the flesh", and she threw in a small smirk along it, which was SO COOL because, hell, the crowd knew that they've been waiting forever to actually see her in the flesh. SHE KNEW that we wanted to see her in the flesh. I think it may have been this song when she danced a little with the guitarist. Pshh.. this was hands down, a legendary finale.

She left! And so did her band.

I think around 5 minutes of crowd working for an encore, her band came back out. She came back out (CHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEER) and said, "Thanks for calling us back out. So...this means you want to hear more songs?" CHEEEEEEEER! Music blasts, and it is "Simple and Clean". I almost cried. I LOVE the lyrics to this song, English and Japanese. EVERYBODY was singing. We all know that this song is one of Hikki's personal favourites, so it was a complete honour to have her sing it to us. She did the little "lalala" near the end, and the hand-wave which would be seen in UU06. I remember she said in an interview (or somewhere), she wrote the slow-tempo of the song first, but when she wrote it in Japanese, it wouldn't fit. So she used the slow-tempo version for "Simple and Clean" instead. I love this song to bits. The instrumental gives me chills. It really is truly one of her best works.

She introduces the band at this point.

She stops after this song, and tells us... and this very last song... is perhaps her favourite off "This is the One". Some people shout, "ME MUERO!!" and we laugh and chuckle, Utada Hikaru goes, which was one of my favourite moments of the night, and one of the reasons why I love her, "Oh, shut up, you guys!" Everyone laughs. Who else in the history of singers can do this?

"Me Muero" starts. And she's having a blast. I'm having a blast. This is such a fun song to listen to. It makes me want to move. This song flows so well, and the chorus' "Me Muero, Muero!" is so freaking powerful. The bridge plays, and what... SHE'S THROWING OUT HER BASEBALLS. She threw 2 to the left of me and my friend. A couple on the other side. WAIT. SHE'S LOOKING THIS WAY. OH MY GOD. SHE'S THROWING IT OVER HERE. I CAN REACH IT.

Too bad. I didn't get it. I grazed it, and it bounced off somewhere and some other dude got it. I was upset, sure, but I just felt blessed to be there. The song finishes, and the show is over.

What can I say? I now live to say I've been to one of Utada Hikaru's concerts. I'm a lucky bitch.

My friend and I get to coat-check. We've prepared our DS's and a marker pen if she ever does autographs. After we got our coats, we went to the nearest convenient store to get a drink (and lol, there were like 15 people buying drinks and the store clerks had to open up some counters). I was kinda bummed out at this point that it's over. We went back to the venue, and noticed a black Mercedes, a very small crowd of maybe 15-20 people squished onto some railings. We look over to see... some people are waiting for Utada Hikaru to sneak out the back. Holy CRAP WE MIGHT GET OUR DS's SIGNED. We wait. I tried to sneak some pictures of her coming out, but the security guards shooed me away. In the end, we were very, very close to getting our DS's signed. The guy beside us got his Distance Vinyl signed. Right before she got to us, she went over to the other railing. It sucked, but whatever. I was technically like 2 feet away from this god of the music world. I'm as happy as I can get.

Now, four days later, I'm sitting at home, and have spent over an hour writing this. Why? I never ever want to forget I was at this concert. For this past week, I have been thinking about that night over and over and over again. I miss the experience so much, that I think about it on my way to class, how awesome this song was, or just before I sleep, how great that part was. I go on youtube, and I go on websites to recall how unbelievably legendary the night of February 8th, 2010 was. Thanks. Thank you Utada, for blessing me with your presence. Thank you so much!

The NYC show was videotaped. And apparently, the second London show, and the last of the tour was videotaped. Could this be...?

...A DVD release?

My fingers are crossed so much that they're gunna hurt.
21 April 2008 @ 10:46 pm
New account, new post.

That's it.