Morning Musume Concert Tour 2009 Haru / Platinum 9 Disco : 4 of 5

Morning Musume's latest concert CD is completely fantastic, yet leaves me with a few conflicting observations. It's obvious that the current members have grown together into one of the most cohesive line-ups ever (they are so much more at ease with each other, and their singing and dancing is much more precise than a year or so ago), but it's also apparent (at least to this fan) that the transition to a more "serious, mature" Morning Musume hasn't totally gelled for the concert stage. Even though I love emotional, moving songs much more than goofy ones, they seem a little heavy when performed live, but they probably just need to be split-up with a few more happy classics. But that's enough analysis for now, because I had an incredible time watching this awesome two-hour show! I loved the introduction video (using the same cute photos from the Anime Expo concert), and the stage was especially cool with the light-up staircase (which could even flash letters like S-E-X-Y during Sexy Boy!). Technically, the lighting was unique and the camera work was nice (some of the sharpest close-ups ever), and I even enjoyed all of the costumes with a couple exceptions. The Guruguru Jump outfits were horrendous, and there was far too much "giant headgear" for my taste, but on the other hand, the Take Off Is Now costumes were stylish and beautiful! Ai-chan never ceases to amaze me with her solos, but Lin Lin completely blew me away with the "spiritual" arrangement of Aozora ga Itsumademo Tsuzuku You na Mirai de (that girl can really sing!). I was waiting with anticipation for Sayumi's performance of her solo It's You, and it certainly wasn't a disappointment - she definitely cranked up the sexiness, and the silhouette lighting was genius! Risa's Yowamushi (one of my favorite B-sides) was nice, although she didn't seem too comfortable on stage by herself, and Reina totally pulled off Ayaya's song with ease. Watching a concert like this is such a fun experience for me, since I love seeing Morning Musume grow and evolve!