FUKUOKA – At a live venue in Fukuoka’s Tenjin district, passionate fans are well prepared to record every second of Rev. from DVL’s performance — cameras in one hand, notebooks on the knees and penlights in the other hand, all the while with their video cameras running on tripods.
Their eyes are pinned to the performance by the 13-member girls’ idol group, who are rising in popularity in Fukuoka. The name doesn’t roll off the tongue, but it has meaning: “Rev.” is short for “revolution” and DVL stands for dance, vocal and love.
The concert begins with an up-tempo tune as the girls, ranging in age from junior high school to university students, sang and danced in unison. Another of the group’s hits, “Ainikinshai” (“Come see me”), includes lots of Fukuoka-related terminology in its lyrics, such as references to Hakata’s famous Dontaku and Yamakasa festivals, as well as phrases in the local dialect such as “mattoruken” (“I’ll be waiting”).
In addition to the songs, the concert includes other performances such as comedic sketches and tap dancing.
Despite their young age, many of the group’s members have a lot of experience performing in the entertainment industry. Nagisa Shinomiya, for example, has been in the business for about 10 years already. She joined a production company in her first year at elementary school.
Before the girls graduated to the live-house circuit, they used to perform on the streets. One such location was at Lion Square in front of the Mitsukoshi department store, which is a popular spot to meet up with friends.
“There was no space (on the streets) so we used to hold up black curtains for each other so we could change costumes,” says Kanna Hashimoto, who is the group’s most talked about member according to fans who fell for her “angelic” looks.
Hashimoto adds that the members used to also drag small suitcases with them filled with souvenir goods to sell at the street performances.
With Fukuoka’s idol scene seemingly conquered, the group’s ambition is to seek success at the national level.
Now that their popularity is on the rise, the group is ambitious about seeking success at the national level.
“We’d like to try out many different things as a group,” says leader Hitomi Imai. “We want to perform on music programs (on television), or even host our own program.”
But even if Rev. from DVL moves on to the national level, the group agrees its base will remain in Fukuoka.
Miho Akiyama, the group’s deputy leader, describes Fukuoka as a “compact and convenient city” that is both a metropolitan place and one with lots of nature.
The group has also performed in Vietnam and Taiwan. “We can go to places like Tokyo, too, but here (in Fukuoka) we’re close to (other parts of) Asia,” Hashimoto says. “It’s a nice place to live and people are warm-hearted. I’d like to live in Fukuoka forever.”
For more information, visit www.rev.jp.net.