Leola @ Aomori Quarter 8/15

Now, I had actually wavered between attending this concert or not. Despite Leola being an LDH artist, I am not well versed in her music too well. I’ve been aware of her since her 2017 first album “MY NAME IS LEOLA” but did not follow her too closely. It doesn’t help that LDH does not promote their non-EXILE TRIBE, non-EG.Family solo artists… in a sub-par manner. I had no idea she was even on such an ambitious tour until I went to see a different band. A shame, because I had always assumed she was bigger then what I was exposed to.

I pondered a bit, waiting for ticket sales to start and decided to just go for it. The worst thing that would happen is I would make a graceful exit. However, knowing LDH’s ability to pick talent it would be a good time.

And a good time it was! The audience was small, and intimate. It was the first time I’ve seen chairs set up within the venue. There were two ivy garlands strung from the stage to the ceiling, which matched the ivy wrapped around her microphone stand. Overall, Aomori Quarter seemed even more intimate then usual.

After the band walked out, a full band by the way, and got us standing Leola strode out. Donning a more fashionable military jacket over a white dress, and her acoustic guitar. She smiled and began to sing. I immediately knew the night wouldn’t be long enough.

Leola is a striking woman. While she has cut her hair coupling with her newest release “THINGS CHANGE BUT NOT ALL”, signaling her own transition. She opened with her original first single “Rainbow” and took off from there. The whole show you could tell how excited she was to be performing for our crowd.

Her guitar skills were no joke, but she didn’t hide behind it the entire time. Leola made a point to let the band take control, while she worked the audience. She glided from one side of the audience to another, taking the time to make eye contact with her front row, and the audience beyond. A few times, I thought she was making eye contact with me; I stuck out quite a bit in that audience. I don’t want to assume though.

She took the time to explain that her tour ARE YOU HANGERY?!; mostly about her own ambitions. It was really structured well, and allowed her to do a few covers of some inspirational artists and labelmates. I was surprised that she performed a cover of Yamamoto Sayaka’s “Nanademo”. It was certainly appropriate based off her explanation of the tour title. She also would later do a cover of EXILE’s “KIMI NI CHU”, closer to her encore which was adorable.

Leola, is an artist I would personally love to see get bigger, and I am genuinely surprised isn’t. All the elements are there. She is a genuine joy to see perform live, since you can see on her face how happy she is for the audience interacting and singing along with her. Given how happy she was on stage singing to us, I sincerely found myself disappointed the show wasn’t even longer (she played nearly two hours and barely scratched her full discography).

She’s incredibly down to earth not clogging up her set with useless MCing, set changes, or costume changes. While her songs tend to be similarly composed and produced, you can tell she takes a lot of pride in her direction and creation. It seems that she is poised to make some serious changes in the future. I can say, I went into the show not fully knowing what to expect and came out a fan afterwards. I’m linking her Spotify below which hopefully isn’t region locked so I hope more people can listen to her. She deserves it.


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