Utada Hikaru’s swansong concert before her hiatus is somewhat of a moving occasion and the DVD is a delight to watch and enjoy. Utada’s vocals have never been 100% perfect but its that emotional indie effect that draws you in further and with some complete rearrangements of songs, it really feels a different experience to United and Bokudan.
Opening with “Goodbye Happiness” after a cute Kuma video intro, the circular stage takes full effect as Utada stays central and everythings revealed around her. “Traveling” has a different ending and “Take 5” is great to finally hear live although its a little understated before we get a great “Prisoner of Love” rendition.
Then two of the best surprises follow with a string version of “Colors” which is simply devine. Each iteration of this song is fantastic which shows just how strong the song is. Followed in a string version of “Letters” with some minimal keyboard samples thrown in under the very end when drums kick in. It’s really interesting to hear it in this light. A piano/vocal version of “Hymne a L’amour” follows which continues the arranged theme of the concert before Utada herself plays piano for a gorgeous rendition of “Sakura Drops”.
“Eclipse” is extended for a costume and set change and then the second half features more of a plugged set. “Passion” complete with the battlefield insert sounds fantastic in a full band effort as does “Blue” which really seems to come alive with real drums. “Show Me Loive (Not a Dream)” is my favourite of the new songs and Utada’s vocals really shine on this rock out number. In contrast we get the fun “Boku Wa Kuma” with a piano where the words appear on the tv screens overheard for the crowd to sing along and “Stay Gold” which is achingly beautiful. A quick hark back to older songs “Automatic” and “First Love” are sure fire crowd pleasers, especially with Utada showing her piano chops on the later before we round off with a emotional trio of “Beautiful World”, “Hikari” and “Niji-Iro Basu” by which Utada is visably emotional, wandering round the stage as if she’s waving goodbye.
A surprise in the encore with a minimalistic cover on the guitar of “Across the Universe” follows with “Can’t Wait til Christmas” and “Time Will Tell”. With that Utada says her thank you’s, places her mic on the stage and walks down a long path into a black curtain. Clearly made as a statement, we simply can’t wait for the day she reveals herself again. Emotional, great new arrangements and fun allround, Utada may not be pitch perfect, but she can wing your emotions dry in an instant.