Seven international sister groups gathered in one stage as AKB48 held its first Asia Festival 2019 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok last January 27, 2019.
AKB48 fans enjoyed the group songs and special performances by the members of JKT48 (Jakarta), BNK48 (Bangkok), MNL48 (Manila), AKB48 Team SH (Shanghai), AKB48 Team TP (Taipei), SGO48 (Ho Chi Minh) and AKB48 (Akihabara) in this first ever joint concert
The event was divided into two segments. The first segment followed the concept of “Idols you can meet” where fans had the chance to get up close and have a High-5 with all international sister groups.
The mini live concert gave the fans a glimpse of the talents of each group. MNL48 Faith, Gabb, Jem, Mari, Brei, Rans, Coleen, Sela, Abby and Sheki showed off their amazing vocals and musical talent during this first segment by performing the acoustic versions of their hits “Aitakatta – Gustong Makita”, “Palusot Ko’y Maybe”, and “Pag-ibig Fortune Cookie”.
MNL48 wowed the overseas crowd during the joint concert where they performed “Party Himajirou yo”, “First Rabbit” and “Palusot Ko’y Maybe” Center girl Sheki showed off her powerful side as she performed the multilingual version of “Blue Rose” together with other members from the sister groups. Abby was also given a chance to perform together with fellow idols selected from each sister groups as they performed “End Roll”.
Highlighting the joint concert was the special performance of the Asia Festival World Senbatsu members where MNL48 Sheki and Abby joined Music (BNK48), Shani Indiranatio (JKT48), Anna (SGO48), Mao Wei Jia (ABK48 Team SH), Yui Oguri (AKB48), Sin Tik Kei (AKB48 Team TP), Pun (BNK48), Nana Okada (AKB48), Kaycee (SGO48), Chiu Pin-Han (AKB48 Team TP) , Liu Nian (ABK48 Team SH), Cindy Yuvia (JKT48), Yui Yoko Yama (AKB48), and Cherprang (BNK48) as center girl as they perform “Heavy Rotation” on stage.
A total of 30 songs were performed by seven sister groups during the second segment, starting off with the AKB48’s hit song “Aitakatta” and capping off with the phenomenal single, “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”.
AKB48 also took this as a chance to introduce their official mobile game, “AKB48 Cherry Bay Blaze” during their performance of “Iiwake Maybe”. Fans were given a glimpse of each member’s characters were flashed on the screen. Global pre-order of the game was also announced as they hope to get the fans to support the AKB48 Group even in the world of virtual gaming.
Yui Yokoyama of AKB48 expressed her thoughts in joining their sister groups in one stage. “I was so nervous since this was the first time that all international groups will gather in one concert, but I felt happy that we were able to unite with other groups to sing AKB48 songs even in different languages.”
“We all came from different regions with different culture and activities, but I believe we are in one team, we will try hard to make these groups successful and today is a great start for it,” she added.
In line with this event’s success, AKS is planning to hold more Asia Festivals in the future, hoping to make the idol culture known in the world.