First of all, as I mentioned in this comment, the “2011 Tokyo International Marathon” was held today.
30,000 people from Japan and other countries ran the 42.195 KM (over 26 miles) course through the streets of Tokyo.
For the past five years now, the Tokyo Marathon has been an annual event held at the end of February.
Anyways, my friend has just informed me that the American rock band KISS will be coming to Japan this April to play seven shows around Japan to support their “Sonic Boom” album.
(I did an interview with the artist who designed this album cover, by the way.)
The dates of the shows that KISS are scheduled to play in Japan are:
2011 April 13 – Nagoya, Japan at the Aichi Prefecture Gymnasium
2011 April 14 – Yokohama, Japan at the Pacifico Yokohama
2011 April 17 – Saitama, Japan at the Saitama Super Arena
2011 April 18 – Kobe, Japan at the World Hall
2011 April 20 – Tokyo, Japan at the Nippon Budokan
2011 April 21 – Tokyo, Japan at the Nippon Budokan
2011 April 23 – Sapporo, Japan at the Makomanai Indoor Stadium
Tickets for the shows in the Tokyo area (which are Yokohama, Saitama and Tokyo) will go on sale on 2011 March 12th.
I have seen KISS play in Japan in both Yokohama and Tokyo before. In Yokohama, I saw them at the “Yokohama Arena” (not the “Pacifico”, where they’ll being playing this time). In Tokyo, I saw them at both the “Tokyo Dome” and the “Nippon Budokan”.
An interesting thing about this tour is that KISS will play a show in Sapporo, Japan. KISS has played many shows in Japan since their first time here in the 1970′s and they’ve never played northern Japan before. I’m sure that KISS fans in Hokkaido are happy to hear that there will finally be a KISS concert in their area!
The name of the 「日本武道館」 (Nippon Budokan) in Tokyo means “Japan Martial-arts Hall”.
Traditionalists don’t really like the idea of musicians playing pop music in this “sacred” hall. The first pop band to play there were The Beatles when they first came to Japan. The traditionalists protested their concerts. But The Beatles drew huge crowds to the Budokan…and they held the record for the most consecutive sell-out shows there. They played four sold-out shows in a row at the Budokan.
But KISS beat The Beatles‘s record when they played five sold-out shows at the Budokan on their first Japan tour in the late ’70s.
Since then it’s become quite normal for musicians to perform at the Nippon Budokan. Even with the bigger and newer “Tokyo Dome” not far from the Budokan, upcoming Japanese pop stars still consider it a sign of success to play at the Nippon Budokan…not unlike American musicians playing at the “Madison Square Garden”.
Have you ever seen a KISS concert? If not, you’re missing out on the best live show by any band. Their shows are quite exciting…fire-breathing, blood, flying guitars, flying musicians, outrageous costumes, kabuki-style face paint.
To get an idea, watch this music promotion video for the single “Modern Day Delilah” from their most recent album “Sonic Boom”:
And, in a more good news for us KISS fans…the band has announced that a new KISS studio album of brand-new songs is due out later this year (2011)!
A number of newspapers in Japan had articles about the upcoming KISS tour here.
I bought today’s copy of 「夕刊フジ」 (“Yuukan-Fuji“) evening paper: