On September 27th, EXILE wrapped up their live tour 'EXILE LIVE TOUR 2013: EXILE PRIDE' at Tokyo Dome.
This marked leader HIRO's last live tour as he will be retiring from being a performer on December 31st. About 47,000 fans gathered at the venue to watch his last performance.
During the encore, vocalist ATSUSHI said, "Today will be his last live as a performer. Thank you for your hard work." In response, HIRO expressed, "We toured the whole country, but I can say from the bottom of my heart that I'm a fortunate person. I'm filled with gratitude for everybody. Thank you."
A banner filled with messages of gratitude from the members was hung in the venue. Upon seeing it, HIRO said, "I'm happy," then declared, "This year I will do my best as a performer." Regarding his retirement, he revealed, "I decided on this timing after talking about it seriously with the members." He continued, "I will quit being a performer, but I want to inspire EXILE from a different angle. I will make EXILE a group that everyone will enjoy."
Additionally, Avex president Matsuura Matsuo, with whom HIRO has been acquainted with for nearly 30 years, made a surprise appearance during the encore. Matsuura stated, "As a 'senpai' ('senior'), I am proud to have such a good 'kouhai' ('junior')." HIRO embarrassingly responded, "He's been taking care of me since I was in high school. He gave me a chance when I wasn't selling. I really feel indebted to him."
EXILE kicked off this live tour in April and performed 25 shows in 5 locations for about 1 million people. On this day, the members gave performances filled with memories. They performed a total of 30 songs including "Choo Choo TRAIN", "Victory", and "No Limit". At the end of the live, the group announced that they will be holding a new performance audition.
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Good luck with your new life, Hiro-shachou.
You've been a wonderful performer and leader.
Is having kids included in your next agenda? Haha.