J-pop Girl Group Nogizaka46 Celebrates Anniversary With Four Osaka Dome Shows

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Courtesy of Billboard Japan
Nanase Nishino of Nogizaka46

Japan's Nogizaka46 celebrated its "birthday" with fans in an unprecedented way this year with a series of concerts commemorating the day of its debut.

Each year the J-pop girl group plays shows around Feb. 22, the day of its 2012 major-label debut. Last year, the girls performed two concerts simultaneously at Jingu Stadium and the Tokyo Rugby Stadium.

This year, for the 7th YEAR BIRTHDAY LIVE, they performed all 177 songs they've released during their seven-year career over the course of four days from Thursday to Sunday (Feb. 21 to 24) at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka.

The first day opened with footage from the final audition for the first-generation members, and each girl appeared onstage as her name was called. These members kicked off the four-day extravaganza with their debut single, "Guruguru Curtain."

From there, the members performed each single in chronological order. Rina Ikoma's solo song included in the group's second single, "Oide Shampoo," was performed by the 11 new fourth-generation members who joined in 2018, giving fans a taste of what's to come in the group's future.

At the mid-point of the main set, Nanase Nishino appeared without prior notice to perform her solo song "Kogosei Kibo," included in the group's second album, Sorezore no Isu. Everyone in the audience only expected her to participate during the final concert, which will be her last as a member of the group, so the packed crowd reached peak excitement when she joined the other members onstage.

The first installment of the four-day dome concerts focused on Nogizaka46's early days, with a whopping 42-song main set starting with its first single and ending with "Koko ni Iru Riyu," plus three encores, including one of the group's biggest hit songs, "Synchronicity."