Otakon - 2003 TM Revolution concert
by Bamboo Dong,
Responsible for one of the biggest J-Pop events in America, Takanori Nishikawa certainly did make revolution on August 9. TM Revolution wowed the thousands of fans packed tightly into the main ballroom of the Baltimore Convention Center at Otakon 2003. The concert marked his first US appearance, drawing even fans from Japan who flew in just to watch him sing.
Opening the concert was Asian-American pop singer Kristine Sa. She started off with a spirited performance of “A Dose of You,” but her repeated pleas for crowd excitement were met by sullen fans waiting only for TMR. After singing another song, she disappeared backstage for a costume change. Sadly, this was a bit extraneous and served only to make the restless audience squirm in their seats even more. After delivering another brief set, she cleared the stage for the afternoon's headlining act.
The moment TMR's band members appeared on the stage, torrents of excited screams tore across the ballroom. Moments later, this was accompanied by a strong ovation as fans jumped to their feet at the sight of Takanori's small, yet graceful stature. Until the last notes of the concert had faded well into the night, most of the room remained standing, dancing and singing along to the music.
TM Revolution delighted fans by performing tracks from his latest CDs, playing four songs at a time, interrupted with lively addresses to the audience in English. The loudest audience responses were received when he started playing his anime themes, like Rurouni Kenshin's “Heart of Sword,” and “Meteor” and “Invoke” from Gundam Seed. Recognizable by most of the audience members, they were greeted by energized cheers, reassuring Nishikawa that he was most definitely welcome in Baltimore. After he left the stage, the calls of the crowd ushered the band back for a lengthy encore, going through all of their most popular songs like Hot Limit.
Not only was it TM Revolution's first US concert, but it also coincided with the release of his debut US album. Released by Tofu Records, his Coordination CD was available for purchase at Otakon, along with a DVD set of concert footage and backstage clips entitled Summer Crush. Definitely an important weekend for J-Pop and J-Rock in the US, TM Revolution helped make Otakon a success.
Photos courtesy of DVD Vision Japan.
In our initial coverage of this concert, we mistakenly stated that Sony Music Entertainment sponsored the event. Although Sony Music Entertainment provided technical, material, and personal support, they did not sponsor the event.