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CD Single #18: "Rakuen"
»Narrated by: Jun Harada
»Translated by: mroneder (http://www.deadjournal.com/users/mroneder)
»Revised by: Oasis Heart3 (http://www.globemoon.net/waftf)

      2004 was an extraordinary year for Do As Infinity. Our "Gates of Heaven" Live Tour marked the first time we performed at Budokan [1]. This also marked the first time we had a really long break.

      During the break, Ryo had set up his own band (called "Missile Innovation"). Van had gone overseas to relax. And Dai Nagao's second group (called "Amasia Landscape") was in the final stages of making its debut, plus more of Dai's dreams were starting to come true.

      The recording for the next album ("Need Your Love") had begun before summer. To gain some more confidence and experience, we performed live in mini-concerts in the USA. After that, we had to do a-nation, too. This sounds like an average schedule for most artists. But to Do As Infinity, this was a far cry from the hectic schedule they were used to.

      It felt like changing to a slower gear when negotiating a turn. But, perhaps we had overworked ourselves in the past. Frankly speaking, for the past five years, we have been working very very hard, and we finally got the chance to perform at Budokan after 4 and 1/2 years. Actually, we could have held a concert at Budokan way back when we released Deep Forest, but as Ryo has said: "Budokan is special, the hallowed venue for rock bands". Having been to so many concerts at Budokan, Ryo had sworn to himself that he will be on the stage of Budokan too, one day.

      January 31, 2004 was the day of our first live at Budokan. Although DAI and the Great Tour Band were performing so happily on stage, we the back stage crew and everyone behind the scene were crying our hearts out from the first song to the last. Frankly speaking, I can't remember much.

      Ryo has written two songs for the fans who'll be watching DAI at their next concert at Budokan. These songs are "Rakuen" and "Need Your Love". To this day, I still keep the picture of Ryo, Van and myself (taken from the rehearsal at Budokan) on my desk.

Song Note
[1] Budokan is a huge auditorium, and performing there is an extreme honor. It's similar to how non-Japanese artists have a worldwide tour. You can only perform at Budokan (or tour worldwide) if you're the best of the best.

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