entertainment

SMAP kicks off international tour

60 Comments

Japanese pop group SMAP kicked off an international tour, their first in two years, on Wednesday night at Tokyo Dome. Including those in attendance that night, the performance marked a milestone for the group – 10 million total concert attendees since the group’s founding. This is also the highest number ever recorded for any Japanese artist.

A jumbo screen behind the performers showed past live shows and messages of gratitude to fans. The Tokyo Dome performance drew a crowd of 50,000.

The band also debuted a new song at the show, “Can’t Stop!! –Loving- “. The 3 1/2-hour performance featured about 50 songs, both new and old.

On Oct 9-10, SMAP will continue the tour with their first-ever visit to Shanghai.

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60 Comments
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Shouldn't it be called the Asia tour instead. I dont expect them in the US and if they some how where here, the crowd would be tiny. Maybe if they go to europe they can call it the Asia Europe tour.

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3.5 hour show should have their fans satisfied until the next show in another 2 years...congratulations if they were THAT bad they wouldnt have had the longevity they've had here.

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Just because they don't go to the US doesn't mean it can't be called 'international' tour. It's all about marketing.

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I'll be impressed when they draw a crowd of 50,000 in L.A.

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I heard the will have a SMAP version of the " Final Countdown "

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SMAP who?

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Smap is all washed up. Making an international debut will not do much in improving their situation or popularity. They should just throw in the towel and retire already.

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Are you paying attention alladin ? 50,000 = washed up ? Does L.A really matter Sarge?

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50,000

Shows you how much sense the Japanese population has about music and the word "tarento".

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Compared to who or what Gurukun?

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It's amazing how many (50,000) Japanese will go to see a group that can't sing or dance. It doesn't matter who or what your comparing.

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Gurukun, you missed out three important words there: in my opinion.

As in - it's amazing how many (50,000) Japanese will go to see a group that, in my opinion, can't sing or dance.

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Maybe if they go to europe they can call it the Asia Europe tour

And why would they do that? Nobody has any idea who they are in Europe.

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50,000 in a city of 12 million?

2 shows?

If they were truly popular, even in their own country, they could have sold out much larger venues for several days. Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Madonna, and dare I say, Billy Joel, can sell out massive venues for multiple shows in smaller cities.

3.5 hour show??? Hah! And you'll get about 45 minutes of actual music, the rest of the time will be spent on inane banter, costume changes, and videos of past concerts. BFD!

Over-rated, talentless poofs, whose longevity is due to the marketing whores that sell them to every advertiser they can.

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3.5 hours. Man! That is a lot of off key music. Most Japanese people`s taste in music totally sucks.

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SMAP as musicians are very very much below average.They know that and their fans know that..Smap is more about the banter,they're all over the TV mostly as individuals in talk shows with usually just 1 song on their own show.

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I wish the headline just said "SMAP Kicks Off".

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except for kimu taku, the rest of the group can't sing to save their lives. the worst are nagaii and kusunagi. i'd rather hear someone scrape their nails on a chalkboard!

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What has the rest of the world done to deserve this?

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it's amazing how many (50,000) Japanese will go to see a group that, in my opinion, can't sing or dance.

Rockbuster I use that phrase often. However, reading the other posts, it seems that I am not the only one that "knows" this...in my opinion.

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Wow, I don't understand the influx of vitriol whenever there are articles about SMAP or a group similar. They still bring a little happiness to some people, so give them a break, geez. And way to criticize Japanese people for liking something and saying they have "bad taste" just because YOU don't like it. Get off your high horses.

I'm not even a huge fan of their music, but good on them.

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SMAP as musicians are very very much below average.They know that and their fans know that..

Exactly my point.

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Hello everyone. SMAP has been around EVERYWHERE for the last 12 years or more?! If you look at the most recent poster, they look like the most unattractive zombies ever could be assembled, IN MY OPINION. Of course, everyone knows that Taku Kimura is Korean. The four others, Kusanagi the stripper, Nagai, the TV talento announcer, the sometimes blond, sometimes not blond guy, and the other I fail to know at all. I've never heard them sing so I can't make a judgment. But the name of the group put me off right away. And that was 12 or more years ago. Its quite amazing they kick off an IT without any International hits. Are they really musicians or just a band like the Monkees back in the 60's-70's who had great song writers working for them?

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Isthistheend--

They are like the Monkees. Or any band that was less about music and more about the culture surrounding said music. But why is that a bad thing?

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Is SMAP an acronym? If so what for? If not, let's make some up.

So Much Awesome Phony Slow Moving Aging Phonies

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IN MY OPINION, they lack something, and their lifespan has been too long. But some youngsters like it. And that's not a bad thing.

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Isthistheend-- Haha, yes, your opinion is valued. It's funny, most young people I know think SMAP are lame, but ask any of the office ladies that I work with, and they're ALL about KimTaku.

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The acronym is, I believe, Sports Music Active People or something like that but they are not a music group like the Rolling Stones or Aerosmith. They are, by their own admission, an entertainment group who sometimes sing. Mostly they act, host talk/cooking shows, do inane things on TV (Shingo Mama), and appear in advertisements because manufacturers find their appeal to the demographic they want appealing. And once in a while they put out a song. And yes, they're popular in Shanghai - remember when they cancelled a show because of security reasons? About 100,000 people were expected to show up.

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smap & Jpop in general is exacty like politics in Jpn, you have a lot of crap but need to pick something, the general J-population dont really have much say in their choices, that said that seems to be how most want it, so they all get what they deserve/want

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SMAP is like Hello Kitty and Picachu, kids are brained washed into believing they are great, but once they grow out of it, then it's left for the next generation of adolescence. The only people attending these concerts are kids and SMAP generation babas. OBTH, SMAP has been around over 20 years, but no way compare to the Stones, Aerosmith, Elvis or Ray Charles.

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Tokyo Dome then Shanghai. 'International' Tour ??

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The Tokyo Dome has a capacity seating for 55,000. That 5000 short of a sold-out concert. I'm sure 50,000 was rounded up or the article would have stated over 50,000.

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I don't want to be seen as SMAP defender here, I have no particular feelings for or against them, but the amount of vitriol is, in my opinion, surprising.

The Tokyo Dome has a capacity seating for 55,000. That 5000 short of a sold-out concert. I'm sure 50,000 was rounded up or the article would have stated over 50,000.

I assume you are using the capacity with regards to a baseball game (if not, I apologise, and feel free to correct me) but surely a lot of the seating has to be taken up by the stage, rigging, lighting equipment, backstage area etc. I'm sure that is why it was 50,000.

Also, while I agree it is a limited one, it is an international tour in the strict sense of the word.

Surely, there has to be a modicum of respect simply due to the fact that they have stayed at the top (or near enough to the top) of their game for a considerable period of time. Much like Madonna, the Stones etc...

All of the above is only my opinion.

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I am a believer of SMAP's popularity. Ask around females ages 25-40 (approx.). I was talking to a Japanese salesperson, and SMAP came up - her face lit up like a supernova - definitely a fan.

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The SMAPers are not top grade singers by any stretch, but to say KimuTaku can't dance? Did you see him do MJ at Kohaku? He most certainly can dance. As far as singing, Arashi is probably best but none of the Johnny boys are anything to write home about. This is one area where the Koreans kick the crap out of the Japanese. The Okinawa based groups, like Da Pump are better as well. Personally, I prefer Zeppelin, but to each his/ her own.

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the sometimes blond, sometimes not blond guy

-- Shingo Katori (blond for now; pretty good singer, dancer, comedian, IMO). -- "Sports Music Assemble People"

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The Johnny boys work their damn tails off. Gotta give them credit for that. Try to imagine telling G&R that they have to spend 10 seasons doing agricultural labor like Tokio did...

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"To say KimuTaku can't dance?"...Again, he's Korean. I think that's what gets me/others. The most talented one in the group ain't Japanese. That's fine with me if you come right out and SAY IT LIKE IT IS. But that never happens here, and it adds to ambivolent feelings....In MY Opinion.

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I think the comparison to the Monkees is a good one, no serious focus on the music but on the whole media package. I believe they know exactly how much 'talent' they have musically. It's just weird, IMO, how much they saturate the media for so many years, and it's OK with so many people in Japan. But somehow they have enough charisma to be so incredibly popular; I don't get it at all, but I'm not from Japan.

The most popular musical artists in other countries I'm aware of put SMAP's musical prowess to complete shame (and yes, that's my opinion but c'mon!), so the disparity makes it hard to understand.

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But that never happens here

Not 100% the case. Akiko Wada is open about her Korean background. Don't know of other examples though.

Moderator: Stay on topic please.

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The most talented one in the group ain't Japanese.

What does that have to do anything? The article and discussion is about the group, not their nationality or race. No one cares about that, not even part of the discussion.

In anycase whatever the rumours about their bloodlines, that's their own business, who are we to judge and demand. Not everything you read on the internet is true. If you don't like it, just don't watch or listen... simple as that.

Moderator: Exactly. The subject is SMAP's concert tour.

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Don't talk SMAP about SMAP!

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an international tour???..so they will be taking in the States and Europe as well??

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All you people who are panning SMAP...methinks a little jealousy going on there? As you say, guys who can't dance, can't sing, and don't have much in the way of 'real' talent - still able to be successful!

It's clearly obvious they are popular here in Japan (perhaps other parts of Asia). Best of luck to them.

I wish I was as untalented as them!

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still able to be successful!

and why is this?? ... not because of their innate talent but because the agency they work for has pulling power and influence within the japanese 'entertainment' industry...

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They obviously have something the market wants. That's the reason for their continued success.

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Don't you usually kick off an international tour in another country?

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To suggest that an agency can keep an artist on top for 20 years regardless of their pulling power is ludicrous nylex.

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stormqueen - I completely agree with that.

I like how people say 'in my opinion' as if their opinion is almost infallible.

Personally I don't like most of SMAP's stuff, however they occasionally release a nice catchy song... 'in my opinion'. They're obviously doing something right to please their market and long may their market continue to be entertained by them.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMAP

Now, that's an impressive record, even if it's only in Japan.

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I like SMAP.

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Interesting ... an article about an international tour with only one international city mentioned. Hardly seems newsworthy if its lacks the storys details.

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“Can’t Stop!! –Loving-"

Why. The, Unusual! Punctuation... ?*!

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Glad to learn, once again, that SMAP still exists and remain compact as a group. They would have worked well through good and difficult times during their long journey. SMAP, keep flying high, keep entertaining us:) Ganbatte!

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I totally agree with Coolcali's opinion concerning this SMAP I.T. related subject (and others). Thanks for the sentiment. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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Just 2 days ago, I watched an 80 year old lady fan of Kimu Taku. She has her whole apato full of souvenirs and memorabilias from concerts etc. A week and a half ago, the Posters of SMAP and Arashi were put on the walls at Shinjuku station. Loads of females, especially over 50s were taking photos very seriously.

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I agree that SMAP can't sing. But what "Johnny's" group can? I'd venture to say 80% of the money they make comes from variety shows, dramas, movies, and commercials.

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SMAP could disband today and hardly anyone would care outside the entertainment industry, it would be business as usual in the streets. However, they can form a reunion tour within a year and it would be mass hysteria generated by their agents and the media. Pink Lady and others have pulled this off several times successfully. That’s just the way it is here.

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noirgaijin - I think you don't know SMAP fans. Of course, the same could be said for numerous 'bands/boy bands' back in the US/UK/Europe/Asia/Middle East, etc..

What point are you trying to make with that statement?

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My wife is a back dancer for this group and they pay next-to-nothing to their support people. Johnny's and SMAP are ultra ketchi.

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