On November 9, 2014, Perfume made its long-awaited American concert debut as part of its third world tour.
They performed at the Hollywood Palladium in front of a packed house of fans of various backgrounds. All united to see one of Japanese pop’s most successful exports live.
For me, concert day started very early as the group of us who were going to the concert (most of the SoCal AKB48 club & the few imports from other states/countries) gathered around the Hollywood Palladium to line up to get an opportunity for Perfume swag before the concert started. The line was not as long as expected at 3 PM, but it was still long enough to warrant some concern that the merchandise whores would clean out the place.
The wait in line was as expected since it was several hours before the doors opened. Getting food before the concert & hanging with the peeps helped pass the time, along with chances to sit on the street to rest the weary feet.
Once I was in the Palladium, I took a look around & found it comparable to the Hard Rock Hotel concert venue in Las Vegas or a larger capacity version of the Vogue Theater in Vancouver. If you are familiar with those places, then you have a good idea of what kind of building this was.
I went to the merch booth after getting past security & the ticket scanners. I already knew what I wanted since I looked up the goods list the day before. It was a quick $108.00 US spent. Unlike Morning Musume, I got something from this concert, where I got nothing merch-wise. The buzzards did not feed until after the concert.
It was off to the concert hall after organizing my merch into my freshly bought tote bag. If you are walking to it, I advise you to look down & watch for steps since the lighting in the place isn’t the greatest & you may trip over one like I did.
I initially took a spot in the pit and had a decent view of the stage. I was slightly off to the right, maybe 4 or 5 rows back. Enough to see things before the madness started. The concert would start in four minutes and was announced around 8:30 PM. Shortly after the show itself.
Enter The Sphere
Spring of Life
One Room Disco
Injiwaru na Hello
Hold Your Hand
Interlude/Spending All My Time
The sound at a Perfume concert is loud, and the bass is bone-shattering. If you choose to be in the pit, I suggest you bring earplugs. Even if you’re not in the pit, earplugs are advised for sensitive hearing or a strong aversion to crazy low end.
When the concert started well, the pit was not the best place for a short person like myself. I had a good view of Perfume for the first track, and everything went downhill. Being one of not tall stature, I could not see a lot. So I moved back into the concert hall to get a better view.
As I tried to jockey for position a bit further back, I was rudely told by some bitchy woman, “You’re not getting in front of me!” I replied that I was standing beside her and could not reach her even if I tried.
To make things worse, I also had a group in front of me who kept putting up their cell phones to take pictures/videos of the concert or selfies of themselves at the concert for almost every song.
People? Can you put your fucking phones down for at least one song so the people behind you can see? I quickly resigned to the fact that I would be watching the concert through other people’s phones for the most part.
When I could see something by shifting position, it was great. I at least got to see some of the intricacies of Perfume’s choreography for myself. Those ladies certainly have some difficult routines. And I also got some good views of my favourite Kashiyuka. So bonus considering where I was standing & who was around me.
For the most part, this was exactly like my NMB48 Zenkoku event in Makuhari Messe in 2013, where I heard more than saw the actual performers on stage.
The silver lining is that the show’s effects were at par with what I have seen on Blu-Ray for their larger stage shows.
Perfume has some impressive things going on for their concerts, and it was cool to see some of the effects in person. This may sound weird, but their lighting effects are similar to those used for introductions in New Japan Pro Wrestling. I think very few people reading this will understand that comparison.
But if you know what I’m talking about, then good for you. If not, study your New Japan Pro Wrestling.
I couldn’t see much at all during the show. That much is abundantly clear. At the very least, I got to (partly) see and hear the legendary Perfume MCs. The members are not the best at speaking English, as demonstrated by Nocchi’s cute stumbling during her section & Kashiyuka carefully reading from a piece of paper. But when they did their English MCs, you could tell they worked hard to ensure they could be understood.
A-Chan took the cake as MC queen, though. She took a very familiar Perfume fan participation routine where sections cheered on command and related it to cheeseburgers. I will now have to scream when someone says ” cheese ” or ” cheeseburger ” loudly.
The part where she had a fan translate her MC segment was also full of gold. If A-chan were a pro wrestler, she would be on par with Chris Jericho for MC entertainment level. And props to the fan for doing a fantastic job of translating what all the members were saying.
The other classic form of Perfume fan participation involved doing some choreography and the new addition of singing Let It Go & re-enacting a scene from the movie Frozen. Which was pretty funny and very fitting of a Perfume concert in a strange way.
It may seem that I am probably complaining too much more than gushing, as a good fan should. Don’t get me wrong; I had fun. I enjoyed the club-like atmosphere, and Perfume’s songs are incredibly awesome in a live house environment, with everyone getting hyped. And, of course, all the ladies of Perfume are hella FINE.
It’s just that perhaps the few negatives I mentioned soured the experience a wee bit for a few brief moments. I’m dropping some first-world problems; you can ignore them since they didn’t affect what was on stage.
The overall Perfume concert experience is an incredible sensory assault & missing out on one component doesn’t necessarily ruin anything unless you’re some bitter perfectionist who needs things just right all the time.
Those of you going to the remaining 2014 world tour dates will be in for a hell of an audio/visual experience and A LOT of bass. Prepare your bodies.