AKB Song of the Week – Viva! Hurricane

Time for this week’s highlight AKB stage song!

Song: Viva! Hurricane
Discography: Himawari Gumi 1st Stage
Original Performers: All members of the Himawari Gumi 1st stage

Performance Notes:
Location: 2010 Yoyogi ‘Suprise wa Arimasen’ Concert
Original Unit: Yes

This song is a show-stopper.  The dramatic and larger-than-life intro has to be one of my favorites of all time; the choreography is appropriately fun, fast, and powerful with every pose they strike.  The song is cohesive while not being predictable—a quality I’ve liked about a lot of AKB songs.  The songwriter’s ability to seamlessly intertwine two or more very different melodies in AKB theater songs have always impressed me.

I don’t think I’ve said it before so I’ll say it here: I generally enjoy group/team songs a lot more than smaller unit songs.  ‘Viva! Hurricane’ incorporates every performer of the stage, much like a team song.  It just has a celebratory, uniting quality that is pretty unique to AKB theater songs.  Large ensemble pieces like this invoke the special excitement I feel from Broadway musicals and theater productions that I’ve always loved.

What also distinguishes this song from many others is the use of live instruments.  Idol song composers widely use an extensive amount of synthetic sounds for their instrumental track, so the addition of a few real wind instruments and even some light guitar adds a whole lot of dimension giving a full and substantial weight to the song.

I was genuinely surprised when I saw that they dusted off this old song and showcased it at their latest large-venue concert in Yoyogi.  It’s an excellent song and I hope it’ll continue to pop up every once in a while because it’s a great accent piece, and it’d be a shame for it to disappear completely.


About Dae Lee

-Dae, aka Mizu -Writer, broadcaster, and podcaster on New School Kaidan

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