Established and up-and-coming J-pop acts shared the stage Sunday (Dec. 8) at Tokyo Dome City Hall for the fourth installment of the NOW PLAYING JAPAN LIVE music event, a part of the project by Billboard Japan, Space Shower TV, uP!!! LIVE PASS, and 12 of Japan’s major streaming services that aims to create new music trends with listeners taking the lead.
The latest installment featured Cider Girl, SILENT SIREN and Ryota Fujimaki under the “NOW PLAYING ARTIST” banner showcasing the hottest acts currently being streamed today. GANG PARADE represented future trends as the winner of the user-voted “STARTERS MATCH” competition. The host for the evening was Licaxxx, a DJ active in a variety of fields including music production, editing, and radio.
“Bubbly” pop-rock band Cider Girl opened the show with their upbeat guitar rock numbers “Palette” and “Clover.” The three-member rockers, who only show their faces during live shows and nowhere else, were one of the nominees in the inaugural “STARTERS MATCH” competition back in January 2018.
Now in a position to represent some of the most-streamed acts of today, the group took the stage with gusto and performed a compact set of crowd-pleasers including “Dramatic,” which highlights frontman Yurin’s high-pitched voice and their bass-driven major debut single, “Evergreen,” and they kept the audience dancing until the end with their closing number “Melancholy.”
Up next was veteran singer-songwriter Ryota Fujimaki, who appeared with his own backing band in tow. The former Remioromen frontman and guitarist explained to the crowd before his performance that he thought long and hard about which song to open his set with, and after noting, “Since it’s getting colder lately,” shocked the entire venue by kicking off his show with Remioromen’s now-classic 2005 winter hit called “Konayuki” (“Powder Snow”).
In between songs, he commented that these days, streaming has made discovering new music a luxurious experience, and shared that he intended to create songs that lingered in people’s hearts from now on as well.
The 10-member female group GANG PARADE followed, hyping up the crowd with their festive tune called “LOVE COMMUNICATION.” As the winner of the “STARTERS MATCH” competition, in which nine breaking artists competed to become the most-streamed artist on participating streaming services, the edgy girl group continued to wow the crowd with a powerful performance of their eponymous song, followed by the intense dance track “Plastic 2 Mercy.” By the time they finished their set with the “STARTERS MATCH”-nominated song “LovU,” they had the audience calling out for more of their uniquely exciting girl-group performance.
The last act on the roster was SILENT SIREN, a four-woman band celebrating its 10th anniversary next year. The band launched its set with the EDM-flavored pop-rock track “Fujiyama Disco,” and showcased its signature charming yet solid rock ‘n’ roll sound with “Tenka Ippin no Theme,” “ALC.Monster” and “Koi no ESPer.”
After the event, playlists featuring the songs performed onstage were made available on the participating streaming services. The concert will be broadcast Jan. 17 at 10 p.m. JST on Space Shower TV.