HYDE concert, Anime Expo 2006 (and why it doesn't matter to you)...
Long post. Haven't posted a real good solid post in a while though, so this should make up for my lack of activity.
So first, the HYDE concert (sadly, I did not bring a camera with me to this, so instead I present you with pictures from the DVD that comes with the FAITH album).
So yeah. Just imagine that guy, on a stage, in a relatively small venue (with a couple hundred people packed inside), speaking the most amazing broken english ever (if you're a squealing fanboy/girl, which I am not).
Overall, it was a good concert. HYDE definitely displays all the attributes of a veteran performer, able to whip the crowd into a frenzy, and pausing and giving his little pep talks at just the right moments, when the audience is losing its energy. All the songs were from his FAITH album (unless I'm hard of hearing, or just didn't catch a song in there), and he performed them all very well, with plenty of guitar strumming, dramatic jumps, and head shaking to fuel the crowd's fervor (I haven't heard that much high pitched squealing since I went to a Hansen concert...which has never happened, but I've heard stories).
My one complaint rests with his performance of the song, "Season's Call," the opening theme to the anime Blood+, and my personal favorite HYDE song. I got psyched when he started playing it (it was the first song that he sang that had any Japanese lyrics in it), but as the song started, I realized that he just didn't have the full ensemble of instruments necessary to capture the feel of the recorded version. And he was offbeat slightly. And he missed some of the high notes. Damn. Well, you win some, you lose some.
And now for the Anime Expo 2006, with an aside on "why it doesn't matter to you" (which is a play off of the post done on ANN blogs - you'll understand the correlation in a second). But first, pictures of cosplayers.
So Anime Expo was yet another great experience if you're into cosplay. There were also a great deal of exhibitors this year (an amazing amount, actually, compared to the last time I went - 2002). The artist's gallery displayed some decent stuff, but there were only a few artists with exceptional talent present. Highlights on the workshop side include a "how to make sushi" session, as well as "how to make a model" sessions.
Well, that's cool and all, but the main thing that I care about is anime itself. When it comes down to it, the shows themselves are why I come to a convention...and sadly there's nothing new to hear about. Everything can either be found out by checking out ANN, or even better by checking out fansubs or raws. This is something that's been addressed before - by the very nature of the anime blogging community at large, we are at the "cutting edge" of anime news. So in the end, anime conventions turn into nothing more than glorified gathering places where likeminded people can get together and discuss their favorite pasttimes. Which isn't a bad thing...it's just that it used to be so much more.