The storm is coming, and we’re not talking about the weather..
Arashi is the Japanese word for storm and Arashi is also the name for the biggest boy band in Japan. They’re headed to the islands for their first shows in the U.S. Friday and Saturday to celebrate their 15th anniversary.
KHON2 News was invited to take a close-up look at the stage being constructed out at the Ko Olina Resort, all part of a multimillion dollar production.
How much of a high note could this be for Hawaii? Judging from the stage production itself, this will be huge.
Crews from Hawaii and Japan have been working for a week putting up the huge stage the size of a football field.
“They have brought their own moveable stage from Japan for this show,” said concert promoter Tom Moffatt, “so every fan will have a chance to be up close with the group.
“They’re the biggest group in Japan. It’s their anniversary show and about 15,000 people are coming from Japan to see Arashi here at Ko Olina and there’s another 15,000 local fans who have bought tickets.
“Of all the concerts I’ve done, I think this is the biggest,” Moffatt said. “To build a stage like this from scratch, the number of high definition screens, nobody has ever done that before.”
By any definition, this is a huge production — $8 million worth.
Of the 15,000 Japanese visitors are coming for Arashi, some of them are on 18 charter flights and they’re expected to pour $20 million into the local economy.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority has been working with Hawaii Tourism Japan to help Moffatt secure the concert.
“We’re so glad to have this opportunity for local employment here,” said Eric Takahata of the HTA, “and the more things we can bring into the state through tourism, in conjunction with tourism, those are things we’ll be working on. We have some surprises for everyone next year as well.”
“You know, I’ve done great acts like the Rolling Stones and Elvis,” Moffatt said, “but the excitement level on this one is, because the media involvement, is unprecedented, really.”
Hawaii was chosen by Arashi is because the islands hold a special place with the group. They held their debut press conference on a cruise ship off of Oahu back in September of 1999.
A Hawaii concert that was planned for November, 2001, was canceled due to 9/11.
Although Arashi held a fan event in Hawaii the following year, they never had a chance to do a concert until now.
Tickets are still available for the two Arashi shows through Ticketmaster. General admission is $150.
The resort released special information for the two-day event:
- Limited event parking will be available at the resort from 3:30 p.m. on both show days. Attendees are highly encouraged to carpool.
- Event parking is limited to ticket holders only. If you plan on purchasing your tickets at the gate on the days of shows (assuming any remain on those days), you will need to purchase your tickets from the event box office, located nearby, prior to parking
- Tailgating is prohibited
- Seats will be provided to ticket holders; no lawn chairs, backrests, blankets, cushions or the like should be necessary.
- This is an alcohol-free event. No bottles, cans, coolers, backpacks, or outside food and beverages of any kind will be allowed.
- Cameras, video cameras and other recording devices are strictly prohibited; mobile phones are OK.
- Laser pointers and pens are strictly prohibited.
- Signage of any kind is prohibited.