happyfunsmile – name says it all.

Sam and I were lucky to catch the last show of happyfunsmile’s U.S. tour and boy are we glad we did. Brian, one of the main singers in this dancing and singing troupe was spectacular to watch. He is my husband’s brother’s girlfriend’s sister’s husband. They invited to see his show sometime this weekend and though we didn’t catch it at the Obon festival, we saw it this afternoon at the Senshin Buddhist temple near USC. What is happyfunsmile? happyfunsmile (is a singing and dancing group that) performs an irresistible blend of okinawan pop, electric folk songs (ultraminyo), supersweet ballads (enka), festival rhythms and obon beats. utilizing the sounds of the chindon, sanshin, accordion, saxophone, bass, percussion, and keys, happyfunsmile extols the virtues of o-pop and chindon to an ever-growing congregation! What made it so great? First, Brian and the group were just having a great time. You could see it in the way they sang their hearts out or the way they danced like no one was looking. It was admirable to see Brian sing Japanese songs and brighten up these elder Japanese grandmas faces. It was like they were going back and time and reminiscing about the good old days. Here is the crowd:

This is with my friend and ex-roomie Dan, who just got the new 3G iPhone (punk!):

Oh the sadness…I will upgrade mine one day (when the lines die down)…

This is Danny (Sam’s brother) and Arlene (Danny’s girlfriend) watching the show..

Now here is Brian letting loose, singing and dancing…

and the people dancing along with him….

Seeing young and old laughing and singing along was really priceless…

One of the main singers had the most angelic voice…

This is me, Brian, Ardith (Brian’s husband and Arlene’s older sister) and the sax player.

These are members of the band – the guy in the purple is the leader.

It was so nice that they let us borrow fans to block the bright sunshine or just fan ourselves.

Overall, thoroughly enjoyed the show. Brian’s energy was infectious, the way he elicited an emotional response from the crowd was really amazing. I wish the show went on so that others could enjoy it. Thanks everyone for a wonderful performance! Loved every minute of it. More on their MySpace page





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