the winter of 2011 tour

Arashi Fan Club Newsletter:  2011 Winter Issue: Volume 51

Ohno Satoshi’s Fine Arts Tour:
An Artistic Walk Around Town
   vol. 4  NEW YORK 

     Now even this corner has gone abroad!  In 2010 Ohno Satoshi took a 5 days, 3 nights, trip that included his own birthday, from 11/25-11/29.  In order to visit his friend Yoshitomo Nara’s art exhibition, “NOBODY’S FOOL”, he traveled all the way to the city of art, New York.  “I heard about the exhibition from Nara-san himself and I wanted to go but since it was overseas…I never thought I’d be able to.  So I’m really glad I ended up being able to go!  New York, it’s an amazing place~,” Ohno tells us excitedly.  To add to that, when he arrived on the 25th, America was celebrating a national holiday, Thanksgiving.  

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I never really went into great detail about the Say Anything show that I attended a few weeks ago, and I’m having a lot of post-concert feelings now, so let me tell you guys about it. 

This was my seventh time seeing Say Anything. They stopped in my hometown of New Orleans on their Hebrews summer tour on June 27th. I was really excited. A bunch of my friends were there, the opening bands were rad, and we got there early enough to have a prime spot near (but not on) the barricade. 

 After the opening bands finished, Max Bemis and co. took the stage. They opened with John McClane, which I never thought I’d hear live. I had no prior knowledge of the setlist, so everything was a surprise to me (with the exception of the few songs they shared on instagram). The crowd was full of energy that was fully met by Max Bemis and the band. My favorite part of the show was honestly seeing how happy Max was onstage. As I said, I’d seen them six times before that night, but this was, without a doubt, the happiest I’ve ever seen Max while performing. It was even better to hear Max say this was his favorite tour they’ve ever done, and that he was so happy to see everyone come back to see them time and time again. 

 After they played Woe, the couple in front of me on the barricade left the show (why they would do such a thing is beyond me, honestly.) I immediately found myself against the barricade, and mere feet away from my favorite front man and one of my personal heroes. It was the first time I’d ever been on barricade for a Say Anything show and I was in absolute paradise. When the band broke out “But A Fleeting Illness” (a song definitely in my top 10 favorites by them), I flipped. Max must’ve taken note of this, as he reached out to me and grabbed my hand and sang along with me into the microphone. As he let go and walked away, my friends immediately looked at me with giant smiles on their faces. I couldn’t even comprehend what just happened. 

 Later on, between songs, the band was gifted with beers, and before they continued playing, Max handed down his beer to me. And as the night was drawing to a close, Say Anything closed with “Ahh… Men.” Another personal favorite of mine. During that, Max once again looked at me, reached down to me and shook my hand as he performed. I was overcome with emotion as I had these little moments with the lead singer of my favorite band. 

 When the final notes of “Ahh… Men” faded away. Max walked to the barricade and delivered giant group hugs. As he neared me, he stopped, looked at me and said, “Dude… come here.” and pulled me into a sweaty and long one-on-one hug. I could’ve cried. I just hugged him back super tightly and thanked him over and over again, and he smiled and thanked me back as we let go of each other. 

 Upon exiting the venue, my friends kept telling me how excited they were for me and how awesome it was to see me and Max interact. As we turned the corner to leave, there he was. Max Bemis himself, hanging by the bus, talking to fans. 

 The first time I saw Max was on his solo winter tour in 2011. My friends and I waited outside that venue to meet Max, who quickly shook our hands and got into his van. Come to find out later on, Max would often feel emotionally and physically drained after shows and also suffered from anxiety at the idea of talking to groups of strangers, even though they were his fans. 

 Seeing Max hug and have conversations with his fans outside of the House of Blues that night filled me with so much happiness. Not only for the fans, but for Max, as well. To be able to stop outside and hang out with his fans, and hear all the sweet things they had to say to him. I’m sure it fills him with happiness, too. 

 After a short wait, I got to see Max one last time. He laughed when he saw me and pulled me into another hug. I was nervous to have one-on-one time with him, in front of my waiting friends, so my words came out bluntly and quickly. I thanked him for all his music has done for me, and still does for me. He smiled at me and said, “I’m so glad to hear that. I hope it continues to help you whenever you need it.” We took a picture, I shook his hand, and we parted ways. 

I’ve been a fan of Say Anything for a little over 5 years now, and I will continue being a fan for many years to come.

 Thank you again, Max.