On November 9, 2014 Perfume made their long awaited American concert debut as part of their 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 a number of 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 feets.
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 immediately 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. I can say I got something from this concert unlike Morning Musume where I got nothing merch wise. The buzzards did not feed until after the concert apparently.
After organizing my merch into my freshly bought tote bag it was off to the concert hall itself. If you are walking to it I advise you to look down & watch for steps since the lighting in the place ain’t the greatest & you may trip over one like I did.
I initially took a spot in the pit and had a pretty decent view of the stage. I was a bit off to the right maybe 4 or 5 rows back. Enough to see things before the madness started. An announcement that the concert was going to start in four minutes was made around 8:30 PM. Shortly after the show itself.
Setlist (courtesy of the Perfume City forum)
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 if you are one who has sensitive hearing or a strong aversion to crazy low end.
When the concert started well the pit was not exactly the best place for a short person such as myself. I had a good view of Perfume for the first track and it all went downhill from there. Being one of not tall stature I could not really see a lot. So I moved a little further back in 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!” To which I replied that I was standing beside her and I could not get in front of 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 either take pictures/video of the concert or to take selfies of themselves at the concert for almost every song.
Really people? Can you put your fucking phones down for at least one song so the people behind you can see? I quickly resigned myself 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 intricacy of Perfume’s choreography for myself. Those ladies certainly have some difficult routines. And I also got some good views of my favorite 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 seeing the actual performers on stage.
The silver lining in all this is that at least the effects of the show were up to 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 quite cool to see some of the effects in person. This may sound weird, but their lighting effects are fairly similar to those used for introductions in New Japan Pro Wrestling. I think very few people reading this will actually understand that comparison.
But if you know what I’m talking about then good for you. If not, study your New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Obviously 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 MC’s. 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 MC’s you could tell they worked hard at making sure they could be understood.
A-Chan took the cake as MC queen though. She took a very familiar Perfume fan participation routine where sections would cheer on command and related it to cheese burgers. I will now have to loudly scream when someone says “cheese” or ” cheeseburger”.
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.
Now it may seem that I am probably complaining too much more than gushing like 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 all the people getting hype. And of course, all the ladies of Perfume are hella FINE.
It’s just that perhaps the few negatives I mentioned soured the experience for me a wee bit for a few brief moments. It’s just me dropping some first world problems and you can ignore them since they didn’t really affect what was on stage at all.
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.
For those of you going to the remaining 2014 world tour dates, you are going to be in for a hell of an audio/visual experience and A LOT of bass. Prepare your bodies.