March 09, 2008

Morning Musume to Hold Concert in Taiwan

Things are looking up for Taiwan in the area of Japanese concerts. Last year, Hamasaki Ayumi, Kuraki Mai, and Koda Kumi came to Taiwan. This year Amuro Namie and L'arc en Ciel are returning for concerts, and Morning Musume will hold their first overseas concert open to the general public.

Last year was the year that Hello! Project's management company finally got serious about marketing to Asia. For some reason that I am still curious to know, Morning Musume's seventh album was never released in Taiwan. But since that time, almost all Hello! Project albums have been released. Even singles, which have never been very popular here, have been released for groups like C-ute and Viyuden. Last year saw the creation of the official Hello! Project web page and fan club in Taiwan. Viyuden came to Taiwan and met some fan club members.

Now, after ten years, Morning Musume is finally coming to Taiwan to perform a concert on May 27. The best seats are reserved for fan club members. The $3000 fan club seats have already been sold out and there is a good chance that the $2500 fan club seats will be sold out by the deadline, March 13. These seats are given randomly, in contrast to the regular seats. Sometime after the 13th, tickets will go on sale to the general public through the normal ticket vending systems, where you can pick your seat.

I've already ordered tickets for myself and the missus. Fan club registration requires an ID number, which the official site assumes is a Taiwanese identification number. You cannot submit the web registration form without this number. However, ID verification is only done through Javascript. So, if you turn off Javascript in your web browser, you can successfully enter a non-Taiwanese ID number, which is fortunately not verified server-side.

Morning Musume's fan base has a much higher percentage of females in Taiwan compared to Japan. It will be interesting to see the proportion of females at the concert. I was surprised by the high female turnout for Amuro Namie's concert two years ago and the low female turnout for Kuraki Mai's first concert in Taiwan last year.

Most Japanese singers who come to Taiwan attempt to sing one of their songs in Chinese, or at least sing the chorus of a song in Chinese. They also expect the Taiwanese fans to be able to sing their songs in Japanese. In my experience, the fans typically make a decent showing at this. Although they are no match for the native fans of the musicians, there are a surprisingly large number of fans who can sing their favorite songs in Japanese (or English). Previously, Goto Maki of Hello! Project did some singing in Chinese, but Morning Musume should have a good chance of singing decent Chinese at the upcoming concert because the two newest members are from China. I expect Taiwanese fans to have friendly feelings towards the Chinese members, Li Chun (李純) and Qian Lin (銭琳). It will be interesting to see how the Chinese members reciprocate this feeling.

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  • How good are fan club member seats? I am considering buying fan club member tickets from an auction but because they are fan club member seats the exact location of the seats have not been picked yet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2008 8:17 AM  

  • The fan club seats are the best seats. How good they are depends on the concert hall seating arrangements and how good a pick you get. If you've got the money, I'd say go for the fan club seats.

    By Blogger Taiwanonymous, at November 16, 2008 8:08 PM  

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