Written by Erin Grace
BoA has undeniably been one of the biggest acts in Japanese music history. Sure, she’s not a legend like GLAY or Ayumi Hamasaki, but as the only non-Japanese Asian performer to have two albums sell over a million copies in Japan, and as one of only two performers ever to have six consecutive number one Oricon-ranked studio albums, she certainly commands some respect. The 2010 “IDENTITY” tour marked her first live tour in two years, and as a live concert DVD, it’s flawless. However, despite excellent quality everywhere else in the DVD, BoA’s own lackluster performance makes you wonder if her identity is shifting from J-pop princess to burned out diva.
The concert opens up with “This Is Who I Am,” a gorgeous song featuring piano and strings, and BoA appears at the top of the set, a massive group of interlocking staircases. The song does a great job welcoming you into the concert, and BoA amps up the energy by quickly moving from it into “EASY,” then into “Energetic,” which lives up to its name. She takes a quick break to give the audience a little MC time, then she picks it back up with “make a secret,” starting a set of slower songs. So far she’s doing great: the dancing is everything you would expect and the vocal performances are flawless, if very likely lip-synced. Still, if they are lip-synced, they’re not obviously so, and it helps to maintain the high quality in the other elements of the concert. BoA’s job is to entertain, and if that means lip-syncing sometimes so the music doesn’t suffer for the dance moves, I don’t see any shame in that.