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L.A. Tour A Great Success!  [ Tour Summary ]

The first ever Heaveanese tour in LA was well received at every venue.
With the endorsement of the city of Rikuzen-Takata, the LA tour titled, "Don't Forget Japan" was performed at 7 different venues with a total attendance of around 6,000 people which went beyond the band's expectations.

With this LA tour being the first for Heavenese, it was a bit of a test run to see what kind of response they would receive and also a chance to showcase their style. This would help them plan for future events.
Being a gospel group, it was important that they be accepted in US churches, where gospel music originated.
How would the people in the US accept a Japanese gospel group performing in the spirit of Yamato, or the Japanese soul.
So with full understanding of what the tour meant for future Heavenese activities, the first show took place on November 2nd, in La Habra, an LA suburb, at Calvary Chapel La Habra.

The day before the first show, Heavenese had rehearsal at Calvary Chapel La Habra. That day Marre and Kumiko's friend, Kirk Whalum, a world renown grammy winning saxophone player, met them there. He had a show in Sun Diego but really wanted to see Marre and Kumiko and extended his stay so he could see them.

Calvary Chapel La Habra
Calvary Chapel is a church that was part of the historical Jesus movement which went on to create Contemporary Christian Music, the CCM genera.
Would people actually come?
How would the music and message be received, granted people actually showed up?
There was anxiety as well as anticipation on the first day.

That day turned out to be a holiday in Japan, and 7pm west coast time when the show started was 11am Japan time.
Those in Japan who were following Heavenese's tour came to Kick back Cafe and watched it live in the café.


A little after 6:30pm, the vast parking lot of Calvary Chapel La Habra started to fill up.
As the band members were standing by for the start of the show, the news came to them that the parking lot had filled up.
The band members' anxiety turned into delight when roughly 750 people showed up for the show.

"I have never seen these people excited like this before," This was the reaction of one of the church's staff. This was a clear confirmation that the people had greatly appreciated Heavenese.

The Heavenese tour started at this moment, and they went on to play 6 straight days. On their 7th day, they appeared on a TV show, and the 8th day was their final performance.

Tour Schedule
11/2 Calvary Chapel La Habra (La Habra)
11/3 New Vision Church (Inglewood)
11/4 New Christ Memorial Church (San Fernando)
11/5 Calvary Chapel Montebello (Montebello)
11/6 Bible Enrichment Fellowship
@ @ International Church (Inglewood)
11/7 True Vine Baptist Church (Inglewood)
11/9 Calvary Chapel Chino Valley (Chino)

An advantage that Heavenese has is that they have churches, which are part of the foundation of American society, on their side, as it was churches that provided stages for them.

With this advantage, Heavenese put on 3 shows in Inglewood, a down-to-earth LA community.

Heavenese also went to Montebello, located in east LA.
Another location for one of the shows was Chino Valley which is a good distance east of downtown LA.

The LA tour was in one sense literally a "tour" of LA in which Heavenese experienced Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic communities. It was certainly not the type of "tour" a regular tourist would be on as Heavense was able to experience how diverse LA is. As with different people groups, there were different reactions, but the response throughout was positive everywhere, and there were more than 6,000 people attending the 7 performances. The LA tour was indeed a success.

New Vision Church

New Christ Memorial Church

Calvary Chapel Montebello

Bible Enrichment Fellowship Int'l Church

True Vine Baptist Church

Calvary Chapel Chino Valley

Throughout the venues there were many people who really got into the music.
The level of fervor, especially during the ballad songs, was unparalleled to that in Japan with much of the audience standing to their feet.

One of the biggest surprises of the tour happened in Inglewood, at the smallest venue. There the legendary Quincy Jones came to see the show, as well as a couple of famous producers, who all complimented the show.
This was beyond anyone's highest expectation.
Also, the fact that meeting these people was not at a world famous venue like the Nokia theater, but at a very small venue in a church in Inglewood, was what made it really significant.

Marre's preaching was also well-received as well.


Blinky Williams, a Motown music icon, was one of the primary people who helped find Heavenese venues to perform at for this LA tour. She had visited Japan with her Hollywood choir in 2000 and became good friends with Marre and Kumiko.
Sheila E.'s music production group, Heaven Productions Music, helped coordinate and manage the tour. On a personal level, Sheila E, greatly helped with the production of the live show.
It's not an overstatement to say that Heavenese would not be where they are today without Andrae Crouch's support. This year he was nominated for a Grammy for Best Gospel Album. At Andrae's church, New Christ Memorial Church, he personally introduced and welcomed Heavenese.


In every venue, after the show was over, there were people lining up for autographs.
The CDs brought from Japan sold out quickly.
Additional CDs were shipped from Japan for the last show and sold out in 5 minutes.

In America, CDs being bought less and less, the workers at the venues were amazed at how quickly these CDs were bought.

Of course, those most surprised were the band members.


One of the bigger surprises of the tour was the fact that the kids became fans of Heavenese.
Heavenese's outfits, resembling anime characters, were popular amongst the kids. It was as if the kids were looking at their heroes.

It was neat to sea the people that who had attended several shows, bringing friends and family; there were even some who came to all 7 shows.

Chino Valley was the venue for the last performance with over 2,500 people showing up.
The main hall was filled to capacity, and an overflow room had to be opened to meet the unexpected numbers. There the concert was shown on a screen.
It was indeed a tremendous ending to what was a truly unforgettable tour.

Kick Back Cafe traveled with Heavenese.
With this being its first time in the U.S., Mobile KBC was a success.

At five venues they served their original dishes, drink and disserts which were very well received.


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