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Concerts can come in all shapes and sizes, just like any other form of medium, ranging from appeal to multimedia, ranging from music, movies, TV, and even books, including comics and manga. But recalling music and it's concert format, well those can vary depending on the performer in question. For this case, we got a pop idol group, which are fictional in story form but in reality are real live human girls. In short, Love Live! School Idol Project is a Japanese multimedia project co-developed by ASCII Media Works' Deneki G's Magazine, music label Lantis, and animation studio called Sunrise. The project revolves around a group of fictional schoolgirls who become idols in order to save their school from shutting down. But they don't save their school from shutting down by raising money, but by trying to increase their school's attendance, more that enroll in their said school, won't cause the school from closing its doors. So it is a typical trying to save our school formula, but with an all new formula to it, if you can see it that way, that is, if you do then great, if not, well it isn't that hard to follow.

In any case, this launched back in August of 2010, in an issue of Dengeki G's Magazine, which went on to produce music CDs, music videos, manga adaptations, and video games. But remember this was all centered around a group of fictional schoolgirls who become idols, so where do these idols come from actually. Well a 13-epsisode anime television series was produced by the animation studio Sunrise, it aired in Japan between January and March of 2013. So sometime after its launch, after which its first series was a success with its first idol group called U's. The second series which ran between April and June of 2014 in Japan, continued the story of U's that then lead to a film, Love Live! The School Idol Movie. Such a success came from the idol group U's that a whole another project, separated from U's works, was formed which would be titled Love Live! Sunshine!! focusing on an all new group of school idols, this group called Aqours!

U's First School Idol Group
Just like U's series, Aqours, had its own 13-episode series, as well as CDs, music videos, manga, and would continue on to create music and would then get a second series in its own television series. But that's not where Aqours story ends up. While the group has done "special" concert events here and there, the group has never had their official first live concert just yet.  Not until now..... Love Live! Sunshine!! Aqours First LoveLive! ~Step Zero to One! was held at the Yokohama Arena in Japan this past February 25, 2017. The concert itself was filmed in high definition and was broadcasted live via satellite to cinamas across numerous countries, including Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The U.S. would be included but have a delayed broadcast a week later. Thus we are here on the weekend of March 4th and 5th of 2017, where a limited run of theaters, would showcase the concert, and I was in attendance. Buying my tickets straight away, after going on sale, for Sunday's night's showing at 7:30PM, this showing did not sell out, so only a handful of people showed up, probably about 20-30 people at the maximum. While the day and night before, had the shows sell out in variation, sort of, Saturday's afternoon showing at 1:30PM was a sold out event, whereas the other showing's sold, but did not sell out as the first showcase had done.

Aqours Second School Idol Group
As such, Sunday's festivities went off without any issues, as people gathered out front about 5-6PM, waiting in line, right outside the venue, in Downtown Los Angeles, called the Downtown Independent. A historic theater, that would show limited releases over the years. As fans waited out front, the window was of a clear viewing, as the merchants set-up, hanging up posters, stand's with t-shirts, towels, and albums of both U's and Aqours, ranging in the pricey area of $10 to $200 depending on whichever item was to your choosing. After doors opened around 7PM and fans filed in, lining up to grab their merchandise, if not food from the snack bar, serving the numerous popcorn, soda, and candied treats, fans entered the small theater, taking a seat, as a majority of them, bought or brought their own, glow sticks, as these light up sticks, are a big successor for concerts held in Japan.

Around 7:20PM 10 minutes until it's 7:30PM showing, the movie's screen showcased the concert, as the fans in large arena, waved their own glow sticks, waiting for the group to perform. While waiting, the announcers walked up, giving a brief notice of their raffle giveaway, and some ground rules of what not to do during the show, as in no recording or picture taking of any kind was not allowed. After this was said and done though, the lights dimmed in the theater and on the screen, as the concert was beginning!

So for the next 215 minutes in other words 3 hours and 35 minutes, the theater of on lookers, waved their hands high in the air, with their multicolored glow sticks and wands, to the beats of the music and animation shown on the screen. When the show started, the idol group Aqours opened the show with the opening number from their anime series, Love Live! Sunshine!! called "Aozora Jumping Heart" really getting the crowd pumped for the rest of that night. Their entire setlist consisted of songs that were performed throughout the first season of the Love Live! Sunshine!! anime series, including such songs as "Mirai Ticket", "Omoi yo hitotsu ni nare", and "Yume Kataru yori Yume Utaou" ending the show sort of. Their encore was quite something else, having the group sing a song called "Pops heart de Odorun damon!", and one called "Step! ZERO to One". Hence the title of the show itself, there's the reasoning as to why.

Fans at Aqours First Love Live!
Throughout the show though, there were clips from the anime, during the group's performances, as well as in summaries, of the 13-episodes, and note, the entire broadcast was in Japanese, so NO English subtitles was present. So for the on lookers who did not understand or know of the Japanese language, you were out of luck, understanding any of what was being said on that screen. Which probably disappointed some watching at times. Otherwise, the idol group did take time throughout the performance to interact with the audience and even live stream audience as well. As the crowd interacted back, waving their glow sticks, and shouting with approval.

Aqours at First Love Live!
As said though, the idol group did interact by saying "hello" as well as "goodbye" when those times came, but also entertained the crowd, as during segments of their set-up, they got onto these moving carts that were pushed around the arena, as they sang their songs, waving and greeting the fans. But that was not all, during their performance, the group made up of 9 members, did showcase their other projects, having the various members, each made of 3, have their own solo projects, that performed an array of songs from said project, that really kept everyone on their feet, and highly energetic at that. Plus just as in the anime series itself, the idol group kept to the same attire that the fictional school girl group wore, from the typical school uniform, to the colorful dresses worn during their performance segments in the actual anime series, to various music videos! They even included doing the numerous gestures, that the anime had done, which really kept the crowd smiling from ear to ear.

Aqours Ending First Love Live!
When it come down to it, it was a highly entertaining concert and performance overall. While the 3 hour mark did drain on quite a bit, the songs and group idol's performance was very upbeat, and kept me entertained, from start to finish. Their setlist was catchy and kept to the anime series very well, adding in other songs that fit the mold of the whole show, rather well. It would definitely make for a onetime thing for some, while for other's including myself, it would make a great second coming addition.

In short, it was Aqours first ever official live concert, and while this was just one thing they have got off their chests, there is so much more to their story, that will only be untold, as the time progresses itself, ever so further, into their musical careers. This is step from ZERO to ONE! This is Aqours, let is shine bright, let us sunshine!!

SETLIST:

1. Aozora Jumping Heart
2. Koi ni Naritai AQUARIUM
3. Aqours Heroes
4. Kimeta yo Hand in Hand
5. Daisuki dattara Daijoubu!
6. Yume de Yozora o Terashitai
7. Genki Zenkai DAY! DAY! DAY!
8. Yozora wa Nandemo Shitteru no?
9. Torikoriko PLEASE!!
10. Tokimeki Bunruigaku
11. Strawberry Trapper
12. Guilty Night, Guilty Kiss!
13. Mijuku DREAMER
14. Omoi yo Hitotshu ni Nare
15. Todokanai Hoshi da to Shitemo
16. MIRAI TICKET
17. Kimi no Kokoro wa Kagayaiteru kai?
ENCORE:
18. Pops heart de Odorun damon!
19. Yume Kataru yori Tume Utaou
20. Step! ZERO to ONE

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