The fanks were out in full force on Saturday as J-pop trio TM Network launched its “the beginning of the end” tour.
“Fanks” is a term coined to denote the band’s fans and is loosely made up of the words “fan,” “funk” and “punks.” They packed the 2,000-seat Dream Hall at Fuchu no Mori Art Theater in western Tokyo for the show, which is part of a year of celebrations for the influential group’s 30th anniversary.
The show featured new versions of old hits from the recently released best-of album “Dress2.” One new song, “Loud,” was included in the set and received massive cheers from the audience.
Group leader Tetsuya Komuro is perhaps the most well-known member thanks to his production work for many of the biggest Japanese singers and bands of the 1990s. However, the fanks in Fuchu were particularly excited to hear Takashi Utsunomiya’s vocals, as the 56-year-old overcame a serious illness just last year.
Guitarist Naoto Kine was in fine form, especially on songs such as “Be Together,” while Komuro’s best moments came from improvised keyboard solos that took place between songs.
Ultimately, the fanks are one of the best parts of a TM Network show. There was an infectious enthusiasm that reverberated through the crowd, which made the experience all the more exciting. Newcomers might want to bone up on some TM knowledge before attending future shows, that way they can join the fun.
Additional translation by Chiho Iuchi