On November 26, BAND-MAID took the stage at Yokohama Arena for the final stop on its 10TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR. The arena hosted an audience of 8,000 and the show was also broadcast across the globe via a livestream channel. With a 33 song setlist, including two new songs as well as an extensive acoustic set, it was BAND-MAID’s longest and most ambitious show to date.

JROCK NEWS had the privilege to cover this show virtually via the livestream. Are you ready to hear more? Let’s dive into the details.

The band appeared on stage in outfits of glittering black and launched into the set at 100%, starting with DOMINATION. BAND-MAID kept the energy high, blasting full speed through the first five songs, with vocalist SAIKI belting out lyrics in top form. It was only after the fifth song Unleash!!! that the five members took a moment to pause and address the audience.

Vocalist SAIKI energizes the crowd with her powerful voiceViola KAM (V’z Twinkle)

Rhythm guitarist and vocalist MIKU greeted the crowd with a smile. “Welcome back Masters and Princesses!” Then, she shouted out a rock n’ roll greeting for Yokohama Arena. She thanked the fans for being there and also made sure to greet everyone who were watching through the livestream. She asked for everyone watching to make some noise and then quipped that they must have startled their neighbors just then.

The band played another set of songs, taking no shortcuts despite the long lineup. This next section included newer hits, such as Shambles and Sense. The song influencer began with a spotlight shining down on MIKU alone, filling the stage with her presence as she took on the intro in a new guitar solo. It was hard to believe that MIKU only started learning to play guitar after BAND-MAID had already debuted; her growth was truly a feat to be applauded. Then all of the musicians got to have fun with the instrumental from now on, showing off their skills and proving they have what it takes to rock Yokohama Arena.

Rhythm guitarist and vocalist MIKU has come a long way with her guitar skillsViola KAM (V’z Twinkle)

There was another pause, and SAIKI and MIKU got the crowd fired up and thanked them for coming. For those who might not have been aware, they summarized some of the shows they did earlier that year, and noted the fact that they went to America, and not once but twice for the tour (actually three times, if you count their opening act for THE LAST ROCKSTARS!), a feat that they could not have imagined once upon a time.

Acknowledging their international followers, they said hello to their overseas fans in the audience, greeting them with, “Welcome home Masters and Princesses!” in English and extending the same courtesy to people watching the broadcast all over the world. “We’re like a worldwide band! Amazing!” SAIKI joked.

SAIKI and MIKU acted as MCs throughout the set, their conversational rapport feeling very natural after so many years performing together. They recalled how far they’ve come these past 10 years… and also how cute they’ve become. This oh-so-casual segue brought us to a very important topic: The band’s new maid uniforms! The outfits were made of a glittering black material that exuded elegance, while the cut and style of the outfits were unique to each member, highlighting her individual charm.

SAIKI noted of her own outfit “I don’t know if my style is really a maid or what.” MIKU called it a “BAND-MAID maid” style.

A lot has changed over the years, but they have kept a few of the core features, including their head accessories and the black and white color theme that one immediately visualizes when thinking of a maid costume. To highlight a few of the new key details, MIKU noted that her shoulder “wings” are smaller now, and pointed out how SAIKI’s skirt is longer in the back and more elegant. Lead guitarist KANAMI’s outfit was described as oneechan or “older sister” style.

Since it can be difficult to catch a glance of the drummer’s outfit from behind the kit, the members had AKANE come down to show off her-half and half outfit with a zippered vest. She did a fabulous walk up and down the center stage. She even made an elegant “model face” as she went, which had MIKU and SAIKI both heckling her to stop, joshing that it looked so annoying.

Finally, they showed off the effortlessly cool bassist MISA. The focal point of her outfit was the slits in her sleeves. MIKU offered her the microphone, but she remained silent. MIKU commented that she thought MISA might finally be in the mood to chat, since it’s Yokohama Arena after all, but apparently she likes to remain quiet.

The next set of songs were slower and more sentimental, conveying the emotions of the band for this special moment in its music career. As the first notes of Daydreaming began to play, SAIKI said “We want to make today a day you won’t forget. Will you keep going with us?” The crowd’s answer was a resounding yes.

Drummer AKANE can’t hide her smileViola KAM (V’z Twinkle)

MIKU switched to an acoustic guitar for Memorable. Then, as a special touch during about Us, a slideshow of past photos of BAND-MAID played on screen behind the band. The sentimental photo reel had everyone wondering whether the glitter beneath each band member’s eyes was just eye shadow or tears of joy.

MIKU also flaunted her talent as a singer along with her charming charisma in Rock in me. Microphone in hand, she ran down the stage to a walkway that circled the arena, singing and waving to fans as she went.

Ready for another tearjerker moment? KANAMI and SAIKI shared a quick hug on stage and told the audience a little story. Five years ago, the two of them decided they wanted to make a gig at Yokohama Arena their goal. When they shared this dream with the rest of the band members, everyone agreed so enthusiastically that it made them emotional back then. But in that moment, they were emotional for a different reason: Their dream had come true.

KANAMI walked arm in arm with SAIKI down to a smaller, more intimate stage in the center that was set up with chairs and an acoustic guitar. “Now, Sai-chan and I are going to be very lovey dovey, since it’s just the two of us. Shall we start?”

This special acoustic rendition of Different performed by SAIKI and KANAMI was originally part of an online acoustic performance two years prior. The two also performed anenome together before walking back to the main stage, where SAIKI surprised everyone by sitting down at a grand piano. Her special solo performance of Choose me was a first for BAND-MAID fans. She revealed that it was her first time playing and singing at the same time in front of an audience. One would never have guessed, but she laughed and told everyone she was so nervous that her hands were trembling!

After SAIKI’s moment, the rest of the band tagged in for the instrumental song onset, and then they played the first of two new songs, Brightest Star. This song once again featured MIKU as the main vocalist, and afterwards SAIKI and MIKU engaged in a bit of banter when MIKU explained the meaning of the song’s title. She started to tell everyone that it meant she hopes to one day be the number one singer, just as she interrupted herself with a slap (SAIKI interjected: “That’s not allowed, I won’t let you!”). MIKU quickly switched up her explanation to mean that she hopes she will become the brightest shining existence for their fans.

Because it was the 10th Anniversary, MIKU also prepared a special letter to read aloud, recalling how BAND-MAID first got started 10 years ago and how they all could have never imagined holding an anniversary tour finale at Yokohama Arena. She thanked the band’s agency, staff, crew, and of course each of the other members. Finally she gave a very heartfelt thank you to the Masters and Princesses fanbase all over the world, who helped make her dreams a reality.

If you know BAND-MAID, then you might be able to guess what happened next: MIKU’s Omajinai “Magic Spell” Time! It’s a special interactive call-and-response chant with the audience, recreating the experience for customers visiting maid cafés in Japan (MIKU shouts “Moe, moe! Kyun, kyun!” and has the audience shout it back). At first she asked the audience to shout it back so loudly that they’d bring down the Yokohama Arena, but thankfully SAIKI put a stop to that, saying that they aren’t allowed to destroy the venue. Regardless, you could hear the tremendous enthusiasm from the crowd… maybe not enough to destroy the arena, but probably to ruin your voice for the next day or two.

Bassist MISA versus Guitarist KANAMIViola KAM (V’z Twinkle)

BAND-MAID left plenty more treats for fans: The band opened its next section with a new intro for FREEDOM, while BLACK HOLE featured a drum solo from AKANE, and MISA showed off her skills with a bass solo at the start of DICE. The band showed no signs of fatigue despite being well into the set, but it did let the fans know that they could sit down if they were tired. “Your health comes first!” Perhaps, the energy of Yokohama Arena kept everyone fueled still.

Another special moment for the 10th anniversary was when the screen showed footage of BAND-MAID’s early live performances from a decade ago. It seemed to be a surprise for the band members, as they were all cringing with embarrassment and begging the audience to look away. In particular, in the shots showing the origins of Omajinai Time, MIKU dramatically collapsed to the floor, in shock from the emotional damage. But with the cheers of the crowd, the band members were revitalized. In the end, even their cringe-y moments were an important part of their history together.

Their final run of songs for the evening started with NO GOD, and then the second new song Magie, an upbeat tune with the danceable grooves of influencer and the speed of Different. Note: As of writing this article, Magie is still unreleased. While it is unclear if it was actually written while the band was on tour, it was only just recently announced by SAIKI on Twitter after revealing it for the first time in October.

BAND-MAID ended the show appropriately with endless Story, the audience joining in on the simple “ohh woo” lyrics, and welcomed fans new and old to sing along. On stage, the members hugged one another and thanked the Masters and Princesses one more time. They joined hands and took their final bow together.

BAND-MAID takes a well-deserved bow after a spectacular performanceMASANORI FUJIKAWA

Though BAND-MAID has had a very full career over the past 10 years, there is still more to come! The band already teased plans for 2024, including upcoming shows in Japan and new releases. If you didn’t have the chance to catch the show live, a DVD and Blu-Ray of the performance will be released in spring of 2024. There’s even a new album slated for next summer, and we can expect some future songs to include collaborations with overseas artists.

In 2024, a new chapter begins for BAND-MAID. Will you be a part of the story?

Update 2023-12-17: A previous version of the article incorrectly reported that the concert hosted 18,000 attendees. A more accurate estimate was about 8,000.

BAND-MAID at Yokohama Arena, November 26, 2023


  2. glory
  3. alone
  4. Play
  5. Unleash!!!!!
  6. Thrill
  7. Shambles
  8. Don’t you tell ME (guitar and bass duel with KANAMI and MISA)
  9. After Life
  10. Sense
  11. influencer (intro with MIKU’s guitar solo)
  12. from now on
  13. Daydreaming
  14. Memorable
  15. about Us
  16. Mirage
  17. Bubble
  18. Rock in me
  19. Different (acoustic, with SAIKI and KANAMI)
  20. anemone (acoustic, with SAIKI and KANAMI)
  21. Choose me (SAIKI on solo piano)
  22. onset
  23. Brightest Star
  25. BLACK HOLE (intro with AKANE’s drum solo)
  26. DICE (intro with MISA’s bass solo)
  27. HATE? (guitar and bass duel with KANAMI and MISA)
  28. NO GOD
  29. Magie
  30. Manners
  31. Choose me
  33. endless Story
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Twitter MIKU Kobato
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