February 17, 2013 by londonsenpai
On the night of February 13th 2013 in London, we went to see the unique Japanese female artist Kyary Pamyu Pamyu who is best known for her psychedelic and creative viral music video “PONPONPON”. In the Japanese music community, she is very well-known for her fashion sense, addictive music and rather crazy and imaginative music videos.
When it was announced that Kyary was coming to London for a concert, being big Japanese music fans ourselves we just had to go with no exceptions! So we ordered our tickets immediately!
So back to the night of the concert, we arrived around 5:30pm at the O2 Academy venue in Islington with some difficulty. There was quite a big queue to see Kyary (as we expected), but it was no ‘average’ looking queue of people. Many dressed up for the event. Some either cosplayed in Harajuku style:
or in recreations of Kyary’s iconic costumes. For example we came across a man dressed in a homemade costume inspired by Kyary’s PONPONPON outfit worn in her music video:
Another example is this very well-made outfit from Kyary’s music video “tsukematsukeru” worn by this female fan:
It was really fun to see the different outfits that were either inspired directly by Kyary or just general Japanese street style aka Harajuku style. Seeing people dressed up made the long wait out in the cold a little bit more interesting! Also, during our time in the queue, we got some fans to sign on the back of this rather hilarious banner we made to hold up for Kyary during the concert:
Although on the tickets it stated that the doors would open at 7pm, they opened around 20-30 minutes later than we expected which was disappointing, however we didn’t mind much as we knew we were going to see Kyary soon.
Once the queue finally begun to move and the security guards checked us to make sure we weren’t carrying potentially dangerous items, we went through the entrance of the venue and put our things in the cloakroom which robbed us of £2 per item; stuffing everything into one backpack seemed like the best option, so we attempted it being the cheapskates we are. We still ended up lugging our jackets around in the venue sadly as our poor bags couldn’t take the strain.
It was surprising that they didn’t check us for cameras and camcorders despite the fact that we’re generally not allowed to film in the concert. Obviously being the undeniably rebellious bad men we are, we snuck (rather ‘walked in’) with our cameras to film some performances as a lot of other fans did.
As we walked into the venue, the first thing we saw was the crowd of people buying Kyary merchandise which was a smart move as the merchandise counter was surrounded by a never ending sea of people at the end of the concert.
Making our way to the stage, there was already a crowd in the standing area so we ended up in the middle of the crowd but more towards the right. Luckily the venue was quite small with a capacity of 800 people max, therefore we had quite a good view of Kyary and the performance.
In the standing area there was more waiting to be done, we waited way over the expected starting time of 8:15pm. Having the Oyasumi instrumental looping over and over again made us go slightly crazy, also the fans were chanting ‘kyary! kyary!’ and cheering as we all became impatient – we couldn’t wait any longer, we just wanted the concert to start already!
Finally, the stage lights turned off and fans started to cheer. The big screen above the stage lit up showing us an introduction VTR as a lot of Japanese acts generally do. Luckily for those who couldn’t go to the concert, we filmed a lot of clips of the concert including the intro VTR.
It was so exciting after that long wait! That feeling when everyone is singing along to the songs you like was really refreshing, especially when it comes to Japanese songs as they’re not as popular here in the UK.
After the VTR finished, Pamyu Pamyu Revolution started to play and Kyary’s stage dancers came on with their sharp movements and strong facial expressions, the crowd screamed and then.. the one we were waiting for, Kyary appeared! The crowd screamed even louder at the top of their lungs, it was exhilarating!
We also filmed this part of the concert:
When she came on, it was crazy, if you were there you would agree. She was amazingly cute on stage, she came out wearing her outfit from PONPONPON and as we expected after the introduction, she performed her most iconic song, PONPONPON. Everyone was singing along, jumping and dancing, it was a great opening for a Kyary concert.
Since we filmed parts of nearly every song in order, we were able to compile the set list for this concert:
1. Pamyu Pamyu Revolution
3. Onedari 44°C
4. Minna no Uta
5. 100% no jibun ni
6. Suki Sugite Kiresou
7. Cherry Bonbon
9. Kyary no March
10. Kimi no 100 Percent
11. Girigiri Safe
12. Ninjari Bang Bang
15. Fashion Monster
16. CANDY CANDY
17. Demo Demo Mada Mada
18. Kyary Anan
20. ENCORE: Tsukema Tsukeru
She performed her upcoming song Ninjari Bang Bang, unfortunately we didn’t film any footage of this but it was the first time hearing it and it was very catchy like a lot of her songs.
If you haven’t heard it, here’s a live audio recording from a concert uploaded by a fan:
Time to be critical…
Like many Japanese music acts, especially idols, Kyary sang along with the playback of every song she performed at the concert. We kind of expected it as Kyary is not supposed to be musically talented. She is more about image featuring her creative fashion sense as one of the main subjects of her career, not just the music. She is also produced by Nakata Yasutaka (producer of the technopop groups capsule and Perfume), therefore as we’ve been exposed to Perfume’s music and having watched their performances online way before Kyary’s birth into the Japanese music industry, we were not surprised that she didn’t sing live entirely.
If you watch this performance by Perfume, you will understand by what we mean:
Although in comparison, Kyary’s vocals sound a lot more raw to Perfume’s robotic vocals live and in recorded songs.
Regardless of Kyary’s lack of live singing abilities, she worked hard to perform with her dancing (she does very complicated but weirdly cute hand gestures while she dances – similar to Perfume) and her facial expressions for every song were just perfect. People say she lacks presence on stage but in defence of Kyary, she made us feel very joyful and happy during and after the concert so, if an artist has made you feel that way then surely their presence must have done something.
After her encore of Tsukema Tsukeru at the end of the concert, she wanted a photo with all of the fans..
It was so sweet of her and we’re glad that our banner got in the photo!
Overall, the concert was totally worth going to. The set and the lighting was done nicely to follow the rhythm of the songs, the stage dancers also really helped set the mood of the concert. Kyary was unbelievably quirky and adorable on stage – she performed well and the concert went by quickly so we were really sad when it ended. But we have now become bigger fans of Kyary after attending this concert, we appreciate her a lot more and hopefully she will come to the UK again!
To close this review, we have made a fancam compilation video uploaded on our YouTube channel:
We have uploaded every performance we could film individually on our channel as well so please feel free to check them out and share them with your friends!