Spotify’s first ever livestreamed concert was held on 26 November 2020 at Tokyo, Japan. Titled Tokyo Super Hits Live, the concert showcased “some of the hottest artists from Japan to fans around the world,” based on the songs from Spotify’s original playlist, Tokyo Super Hits.
One of the performing artists was none other than popular J-pop idol group Arashi. Coincidentally, the date of the concert was also the 40th birthday of Arashi’s leader, Satoshi Ohno.
ハッシュタグ #HBDSatoshi で、大野智さんへの誕生日お祝いメッセージをリアルタイム募集中🎉
Tweet with the hashtag #HBDSatoshi to wish him a happy birthday!
We will have a surprise at the end :) pic.twitter.com/GDUN9VegvO
— Spotify Japan (@SpotifyJP) November 26, 2020
As a part of the interaction during the livestream, fans were told to send their well wishes to the birthday boy using the hashtag #HBDSatoshi on Twitter, where HBD stands for “happy birthday”. Interestingly, as soon as the request was put out, messages started pouring in from all over the world. At its peak, the hashtag #HBDSatoshi trended second worldwide after #thanksgiving (which also happened to fall on the same date) with at least 10,000 tweets, and first in Japan with more than 20,000 tweets!
Some fans worldwide, such as the ones in Australia, Korea, and Indonesia as shown below, had not only tweeted #HBDSatoshi, but also uploaded photos of their celebrations: “Happy Birthday Leader” uchiwa (Japanese fan), special birthday cakes, and illustrations of Ohno.
— ダニカ 💙HBD Satoshi!💙 (@AussieArashian) November 26, 2020
— nycken (@nyken90r) November 26, 2020
— 💜Love, Love for Jun💜 (@MatsumotoStyles) November 27, 2020
There was even a family of Arashi fans who were more interested in celebrating Ohno’s (whose assigned colour in the group is blue) birthday than Thanksgiving!
Walls of densely packed tweets were also shown in the background screen after Arashi performed three of their latest songs — Turning Up, Whenever You Call, and Party Starters. Kazunari Ninomiya even joked that Ohno should reply to each and every one of the tweets since he had received so many congratulatory messages.
To top it off, Spotify had even prepared a unique birthday cake shaped in a fish for Ohno, who is a fishing enthusiast. During the livestream, Ohno commented, “Thank you everyone. I’ve turned 40. I will work hard to take good care of my body.”
While there is no re-streaming of the Tokyo Super Hits Live show (at least not without a pre-purchased ticket), you can still listen to the setlist on Spotify. Spotify also has a Tokyo Super Hits playlist which introduces “a wide range of Japanese pop music artists to the world every week.”