Sheena Ringo’s diversity is one of her biggest attributes. The mix of massive rock numbers, sultry jazz and weirdo electronica means that each album has a different feel. Pulling that all together into a cohesive concert should be an unwieldy challenge but Sheena makes it happen with ‘Ringo Expo 18’ -Fuwaku no Yoyuu-.
This two-hour concert is a unique release in Sheena Ringo’s discography as it takes a lot of her jazzier side and rocks it up. Not only do you have a full string and brass section playing, but there’s also a harp player, several keyboardists and then a full-on stadium rock band. This means that the sound feels so chunky and full to the brim, its a surge of noise powering towards you. It single-handedly makes the whole show sound unique and is a huge plus. All part of her 20th-anniversary tour, whilst the setlist focuses on her recent album, there are a few older songs thrown into the mix too.
Sheena herself is on top form. Powering her way through costumes and genre jumps like a pro, she can balance artistic rock personas and delicate siren with ease. She has a full array of stage visuals to provide weirdness for her dancers to then embellish. Highlights of that include her dancers running around with apples in ‘APPLE’ and Sheena herself breaking out of a glass cafe to open the show with ‘Honnou’.
Outside of that Ringo Expo 18 stands out for the number of guest appearances that pop out across the show. Ukigumo, Tortoise Matsumoto, Miyamoto Hiroji and Rekishi all join Sheena on stage for songs. Rekishi, in particular, stands out as a pure crowd-pleaser and Sheena is desperately trying not to laugh throughout.
Throughout it all though, Sheena Ringo is absolutely sublime. The sound, the singing, the art, the dancing – it all works perfectly to create a jazzy rock explosion of quirky anthems that cover her last 20 years. A perfect commemorative experience for fans across her musical spectrum. It’s also my favourite live concert release in 2019.
Recommended track: Chinchinpuipui
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