This photo might make you think that times are tough for the “heavy metal idols” in Alice Juban, oft referred to as the “sisters of rock.” Actually, it was an unprecedented promotion for the innovative idol group.
This September, major auction site Yahoo Auction opened a new category, Knowledge and Skills. Tucked away in there was a very special item up for bid: the girls of Alice Juban.
That didn’t sound right. I didn’t mean the girls were selling themselves. They were selling the rights to an exclusive live performance for the winning bid in Shibaura, Tokyo on 10 October.
It turned out to be a really surreal event, and I don’t mean because of the usual hockey masks, chainsaws, and stage diving. It was a surprisingly touching performance that moved everyone in the room to tears.
The auction winner was Atsushi Matsumoto from Osaka. He originally heard of the girls through Twitter, and after seeing them during a show in Kansai, he became a hardcore fan. So when he discovered the auction, he decided to throw his hat in the ring.
The starting bid was 200,000 yen (US$2,550). When Matsumoto placed his bid of 222,222 yen (US$2,830) he expected someone else to quickly beat him out. However, on the closing day he was surprised to find that he had won.
The venue was strange before the start of the show. Matsumoto arrived and was waiting patiently by himself surrounded by members of the press. He looked lonely sitting there, but that all changed when the girls arrived.
The sole audience member, the girls of Alice Juban were singing directly to Matsumoto. The intense intimacy of this idol show was so strong the Matsumoto found himself quickly moved to tears.
The girls who couldn’t help but see this were also visibly touched. As the performance went on Matsumoto and the girls became more in synch until the line between audience and performer was melted away. By the end Matsumoto was even dancing and singing on stage along with the girls.
At one point it occurred to me, I have covered Alice Juban many times but seeing them with Matsumoto so personally even made me well up a little. All musicians, be they idols, rock bands, or symphonies touch their fans when they hit that stage, but that connection is rarely seen due to the sheer numbers of fans around.
The usual chaos of a live show was clearly focused on a single person. It was very surreal. Then the panties started flying.
As I was reflecting on the beauty of the artist audience connection one of the girls flung a pair of panties at Matsumoto who began to dance with them finally wearing them on his head. My reverie shattered by the errant ladies’ underwear and I went back to just enjoying this one of a kind performance.
Afterwards, when asked about future auctions, a spokesperson for Alice Juban answered, “There won’t be another item up for bid same as this one.” From an idol group who’s full of surprises, we can only expect that to mean something bigger is in the works.
Original Story by: Mr. Sato
▼ Before the show, auction winner Matsumoto is probably more tense than the girls.
▼ Inside the doors it’s just him and the press. Weird.
▼ Looks like a David Lynch movie.
▼ Matsumoto was moved to tears in the first song.
▼ His eyes were focused on the stage.
▼ As his tension faded he stood up.
▼ Thrusting his hockey mask in the air with pride!
▼ Matsumoto’s really getting into it now.
▼ Being the only audience member, he had to enlist help to make a Yagura
▼ Rieka Tsukimura offers a gift of a letter and colored paper.
▼ Overwhelmed by Matsumoto, Tsukimura also started crying.
▼ Panties somehow made it into the mix. Matsumoto swings them wildly.
▼ High Voltage! The Panties are Buzzing!!
▼ Matsumoto was the lucky audience member who could go on stage… because he was the only audience member.
▼ And he didn’t have to worry about stage fright.
▼ He could also be first in line for merchandise.
▼ He could meet and get souvenirs from all the members.
▼ Matsumoto could get his gift panties signed while on his head too!
▼ Guess who’s first in line for photographs?
▼ While the girls looked like they were taking a break, Matsumoto was ready for more.
▼ He looks satisfied with his once in a lifetime experience.
▼ The group also looked like they had fun.
[ Read in Japanese ]