July 7, 2013 by londonsenpai
Hello! We are back with probably our biggest review yet!
Yes, we know that it really has been a long time since our last blog post due to our busy lives of school and exams; it was much like a hiatus but now that we’re on summer break, LondonSenpai has finally revived. *yaaaaaaaaaaayyy*
So back to the subject, during our hectic time with school around April, we heard that the popular Japanese techno-pop girl-group Perfume would be doing a World Tour in Europe including Germany, UK and France.
For those who don’t know who Perfume are, they are a female trio produced by Nakata Yasutaka whom we have previously mentioned in our KPP Concert Review. Perfume debuted back in 2001, however it took them a few years of hard work to make a hit in Japan. The release of their second album GAME back in 2008 hit number 1 on the Oricon Charts, their popularity grew rapidly and they have now become an iconic group in Japan.
The group displays a futuristic concept to match up with their electronic pop sound and interesting, puppet/robot-like dance moves, where being in-sync is the top priority. Fans say that the members are all ‘equal’ to each other in terms of image and popularity, they are pretty much ‘all in one’ as much as a group can ever be, it would be strange to not see them all together on stage.
Recently, Perfume has begun to go international with their World Tour 1st covering parts of Asia which is currently out on DVD. Now that Perfume takes on touring in Europe, it’s safe to say that they’re soon to be a massive global success – as we have been avid fans of Perfume for years and always thought they would have a global appeal, maybe they will reach the same level of fame as Daft Punk someday.
Once we saw Perfume’s second world tour announcement on their official website, attending the concert in London was an absolute must for us! After going to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s concert in London it would have been unfortunate to miss the opportunity to see Kyary’s older “sister group” Perfume.
Luckily with the advantage of O2 priority, we bought our tickets early!
But compared to the organisation of the KPP concert, things didn’t go as smoothly as it should have. At first, the concert tickets for the original venue O2 Academy Islington (same as KPP concert) actually sold out in a very short amount of time, thus leaving many disappointed fans who wanted to go. Due to the high demand, the management were able to move the concert to the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire venue which has a capacity of approximately 2,000 people with standing area and seating on the upper floors. We are very happy to see that Perfume is a lot more popular here in London than we had originally thought. After the venue change, tickets were still able to sell out; we knew it was going to be a full house!
When the day of the concert arrived on the 5th July 2013, with our strong determination we woke up at around 6am and got to the venue at 9am (doors officially open at 7pm). If you think that’s too early, there were still about 20 people in front of us, most of which were Japanese.
So you must be wondering, what were we doing for 10 hours in the queue?
Well it was not the most comfortable experience since we were sitting on the ground for most of the time in the scorching weather, being quite envious of that one lady who had brought a portable stool with her – she was smart. We had also brought along some snacks to share with our fellow queue dwellers such as one girl who came from Hong Kong wearing a HK Perfume t-shirt from their first world tour. We found that the fans were generally very friendly, we were also surprised by how many people from around the world came all the way to London to see Perfume, but then again, it was probably down to the fact that the Concert was during summer break.
We also filmed a small montage of what it was like queuing for Perfume that day:
As you can see, it was a bright, sunny day. Where we were queuing lead to what we thought to be the backstage because we could hear the loud thumping bass of Perfume’s music from where we were sitting, maybe the girls were practicing?
Unfortunately, there were some certain individuals who thought it was okay to cut the line, for example one young Japanese guy just randomly appeared out of no where in front of us. Of course, a lot of fans were angered by these people who do not know the meaning of QUEUING:
1. A file or line, especially of people waiting their turn.
intr.v. queued, queu·ing, queues
To get in line: queue up at the box office.
On a brighter note, the one awesome thing that happened before the concert is that our friend Daniel was very fortunate enough to be selected for the Perfume Meet & Greet organised by Japan Underground; the winners were selected randomly from people’s likes and comments on their Facebook status.
The people who were selected could also bring one other person with them, so Daniel was kindly chosen by one of the winners. We helped Daniel learn phrases to say to Perfume in Japanese; phrases such as “Welcome! (youkoso!)” and “Please come back soon! (mamonaku koko ni kaette kudasai!)”. But the one phrase that he insisted on learning, just for laughs was “Please marry me.” (kekkon shite kudasai) to say to his favorite member Kashiyuka. At first we weren’t too sure if he was just bluffing, we didn’t expect him to actually say it. From his account, he remembered the phrase word for word and it was the first thing that he said to Kashiyuka. Apparently, she laughed and said, “kawaii!!!” (meaning ‘cute’) to him. He even got to hug her as well! Needless to say we were very happy for him – also slightly envious.
During the last few hours of queuing, we went around the line and took photos of some cosplaying fans:
Like the KPP concert, it was great to see the enthusiasm and effort from fans to dress up in their homemade costumes.
The queue started to move forward at around 6pm so we immediately jumped up to rush in front of the queue-jumpers.. viciously.. kind of. Once we kindly reserved our rightful place in the moving queue, it stopped and we all waited for another hour, ready with our tickets in hand – our hearts were racing for this concert with high expectations (KOKORO WENT DOKI DOKI DESU). Just a few minutes past 7pm, the doors opened so we started moving forward towards the venue. There were two separate lines entering the venue at one time; one for standing and one for the upper seats. We were in the queue for standing which was so long, it snaked around buildings away from the venue. Once we got our tickets and bags checked, it was time to rush to get to the front of the venue floor! As a result of our fairly early queuing, we were stood front and center, one person back from the stage – lucky us.
As more and more people gathered behind us, all we could do was wait for the girls to come out. The crowd was becoming more compact and it was quite a squeeze, obviously. There was all sorts of enthusiastic cheering and clapping to warm the crowd up, it just made us feel even more excited!
After the long, hot wait, the stage lights begun to dim and the venue became pitch black. The crowd was going ballistic with screaming and clapping at this point! The silhouette of Perfume in their white dresses, walking on stage could barely be seen. It was only a few seconds longer that the darkness remained until there were glimpses of bright green lights accompanied by sound effects and music.
We loved how they were able to pull off such a digitally artistic performance. The way that the stage crew put in so much effort to create the projection mapping on Perfume’s dresses and how the choreography interacted with it was just amazing! The moving visuals on their dresses changed every few seconds. To see them live was just so surreal, everything seemed so sharp and bright.. better than HD Bluray!
When they finished their grand opening, their first song was Spending all my Time (CANNES-REMIX) – where they had breaks in between showing more projected patterns on their dresses. On the whole, their performances were just so interesting to watch. Even just their presence left us in total awe. Watching videos of them perform online to seeing them live just felt so unreal.
Their dancing was near in-sync and their sharp robotic movements compliment the heavy bass, the fans in front copied many of the gestures that the girls made whilst dancing, the atmosphere of the concert was energizing.
Of course the lighting and projection played a key part in the concert to create an atmosphere of Perfume’s world, as we expected some lasers shooting out everywhere like in their performance of Laser beam:
As some of you may have seen, we did try to upload all the footage we recorded on our YouTube channel but sadly, every video got blocked within a week so we’ve uploaded our videos on Dailymotion instead.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capture every song they did as we got told to stop filming by a forceful fan in front of us. Therefore we were only able to film quarter of the setlist.
If you want to know what songs they performed, here’s the setlist for the London concert that was actually leaked by German fans as their concert was before ours:
1. Spending all my Time (CANNES-MIX)
2. Magic of Love
3. Laser Beam
5. Spring of Life
6. SEVENTH HEAVEN
9. Electro World
10. P.T.A. CORNER
11. FAKE IT
12. Dream Fighter
13. Chocolate Disco
14. MY COLOR
It probably wasn’t the best setlist in some of our opinions as some of the songs many wanted were Baby cruising love, NIGHT FLIGHT, VOICE, One room disco, Fushizen na girl and Natural ni koishite. But we were happy that they performed Laser Beam, Polyrhythm, Electro World and Chocolate Disco.
Perfume were absolutely adorable and endearing; they really know how to get the crowd’s adrenaline running and it was just so fun to see them try their best with English, especially when Nocchi expressed how hot and sweaty she was by saying “sweat girl” which we managed to capture on camera as well. There is a second part to the MC which we weren’t able to film as you can see at the end of our recording we got told to not film by a male fan in front. But anyways, the girls requested someone from the crowd who knows both Japanese and English fluently to translate what they say. In the end a nervous man volunteered to do it and poor him, you could see he was shaking whilst holding the mic but even if he was nervous, he really did a great job at translating. Perfume couldn’t help but poke fun at his had shaking as he tried to hold the mic.
During the MC, A-chan said how they ate fish and chips here in London before the concert and described it as “sakusaku” which means crunchy/crispy. They actually interacted with the audience on the subject of fish and chips; calling the people who were sitting above “fish” and the people standing as “chips”. Before we realised, we were all just chanting “fish and chips!” with the girls – the people above us shouted out “fish!” and we were shouting out “chips!” over and over again. The girls playfully interacted with us, even with something so trivial such as fish and chips, but of course it was something unique that the London concert had.
You can see the segment we’re describing here on a Japanese morning show called ZIP!&PON! @0.50:
As the show went on, we were enjoying the performances and doing some recording until we got told to stop therefore we felt a bit embarrassed and gave up on filming just to avoid more conflict with others. At some point, there were some people from behind pushing forward, almost suffocating us.. but was it to be expected? Maybe.
So for the rest of the concert without filming, we got very into the performances; singing to nearly all of the songs and punching our fists in the air to the beat, it was all so energizing to cheer the girls on. During the performance of Chocolate Disco which is probably one of Perfume’s catchiest songs ever (in our opinion), everyone was copying the arm movements of the chorus and shouting “disco!” – the communal atmosphere of the audience was so moving!
When the show was coming to an end, it was all very emotional for the girls and some of us. Everyone could see A-chan tearing up. We felt so proud of them to have gotten this far globally and hopefully they’ll become even bigger over time, holding more world tours in the future.
We didn’t really expect such an emotional ending but we were sure that they touched everyone’s hearts at the concert.
Thank you Perfume for the wonderful concert in London! We hope you will come back soon.
So everyone, let’s keep supporting Perfume!