by Devon Sponheimer
For those of us who are J-Pop fans, I don’t think that you have truly ever experienced ‘real’ J-Popdom until you’ve been to a concert. With the announcement that J-Pop Princess Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was doing a world wide tour and hitting up both North America and Australia, we jumped on the chance for tickets!
The venue was the Chicago House of Blues, a multi-storied club that holds at max 1,300 people. Doors were slated to open at 7pm and as we arrived around 6:30, the line was already nearly a 1/2 mile down the road. On a chilly Chicago evening in March, I can’t say we were thrilled about the long wait to get in, but checking out all the costumes in the crowd was enough to keep us entertained.
As said in a previous post, Kyary is like listening to cotton candy and watching rainbows explode. Nothing could be more true for the live show of Japan’s Katy Perry. The stage set was exactly what you’d expect from Kyary, with a whimsical toy theme - featuring a giant jack-in-the-box, wooden blocks spelling out her name, a large fluorescent bear, fairy tale story books and a giant t.v. screen. It was certainly a feast for the eyes.
She was joined on stage by 4 very energetic dancers dressed in bright pajamas with brightly colored wigs and bows on their heads. But their outrageous outfits were nothing compared to Kyary’s — and she certainly did not disappoint with changing into several unique outfits throughout the show. She started in a dress covered in bits of pink and purple fur with a furry bow. The second set saw a more subdued Kyary (and what would be my favorite of her costume selection) a multi-patterned dress with pig tails. (Kyary if you’re thinking of selling that dress, I’ll be first in line for purchase!) Next we saw a more typical KPP - a pink fluffy dress with a large bow. For the last half of the show, Kyary sported an adorable skirt with an official Nanda collection world tour t-shirt in green and a fuzzy rabbit hat.
In true Japanese fashion, Kyary even had two mascots for the show — a large bear who joined her on stage for some songs to dance along, and a large blue rabbit who came out during set breaks to entertain the crowd with a little hide and seek.
Kyary (who speaks very limited English) made sure to comment on how cold Chicago was, getting laughs from the audience. Her high energy show featured all her hits, such as Ninja Re Bang Bang, Pon Pon Pon, Fashion Monster, Furisodeshon and finishing with an encore of Candy Candy, drumming up images of running with toast in your mouth. (Don’t try that at home, unless you are a listened J-Pop Professional).
The crowd was a testament to Kyary’s popularity and for its’ part was diverse and varied — ranging from small children dressed up in Harajuku style, to twenty-somethings in onesies to middle aged men dressed casually — all singing and dancing along enjoying the show as much as we were. To get the crowd involved, the show was interactive - those who didn’t know the dances beforehand, Kyary would teach a bit before she started the song. Kyary sang and danced along (as much as one can when singing), but left the majority of the hard hitting dancing up to her pajama-ed cohorts who often stole the show with their enthusiastic and wild dance moves (which may have inspired me to have a new dream starting a fitness school based on J-Pop moves)
With the intimate venue, entertaining antics and colorful set, this KPP show is not to be missed!
KPP’s Chicago House of Blues Set List (though it’s rumored this was the setlist for all North American venues)
- Nanda Collection
- Invader Invader
- Ninja Re Bang Bang
- Kyary ANAN
- Pamyu Pamyu Revolution
- Mottai Night Land
- Sungoi Aura
- Kura Kura
- Super Scooter Happy
- Yume no Hajima Ring Ring
- Saigo no Ice Cream
- Kyary no March
- Cherry Bonbon
- Fashion Monster
- Candy Candy
- Chan Chaka Chan Chan