THE AU: MUSIC

Hello Asia! Live Review: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - UNSW Roundhouse (23.03.14)

Over the weekend, Australia was lucky enough to be graced with the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu World Tour 2014. It’s not often we get our share of the J-pop trend that’s been sweeping the world since the bubble era of the 1990’s. In fact, this was the first concert of this genre to ever be played in Australia on a large scale, and Kyary set a pretty good standard for future artists.

Fans had been lining up to see the kawaii princess since 12pm, settling in early for a long and very hot wait, decked out in their finest Sunday kawaii dresses. A full sold out house of fans politely lined up throughout UNSW and the crowd was almost as entertaining pre-concert as the actual concert was, with exceptional costumes, crazy antics and PINK everything! TV crews, reporters, magazines and radio stations both from Japan and Australia were going crazy snapping up photos of everyone in the temporary kawaii district of Sydney.

Once everyone filed into the Roundhouse, Kyary started her show only 10 minutes late and the crowd went into a high pitched squeal. Where the male voices were, I had no idea. The first song Kyary sang was ‘Invader Invader’, and the sound system at the Roundhouse did an excellent job at catering for her high pitched tone throughout the entire night. We had the honour of hearing one of her songs performed live for the very first time, too, "Family Party".

The stage design was the standard set taken on all her tours throughout the world. It was great to see they brought the whole set all the way to Australia, they didn’t scrimp on the design at all and even had an official photo wall setup with free Polaroids taken of you with a big pink bunny that you could get done before the show.

Kyary flew through her songs seamlessly, she didn’t over exert herself dancing and preferred to have a hand held microphone instead of a head piece, which sadly limited her synchronised Japanese style moves, however her four dancers definitely had her back on that one. I have never seen such over exaggerated expressions on back up dancers before... they not only dedicated 110% of their dancing power to the stage but also their faces, very intense. I was also very curious how their wigs stayed on throughout the crazy dances.

If you thought Kyary couldn’t get any cuter, you have to listen to her speak English, it will melt your heart. She had a yellow plastic paper sleeve with some English notes on it, which she pulled out a few songs into the concert. She had obviously been practicing previously and tried her very best to say the sentences to the crowd, but ended up playing some form of charades instead.

All of the songs that made her famous were sung to the massive crowd who tried their best to chant and jump along. In total Kyary sang 21 songs and had 3 costume changes. The costume changes were only possible thanks to a big blue dancing bear mid concert, which had no real talent or point besides waddling around the stage, but entertaining none the less.

Once the super sweet concert started to come to an end after just over an hour and a half of performances, Kyary almost left her fans high and dry with an 8 minute delay on her returning to the stage for the encore. It had many fans in a bit of a panic, however she bounced back on stage with koala ears for a few more songs before thanking us all very much and disappearing in a puff of glittery awesomeness.