m-flo presents “OTAQUEST LIVE” powered by LDH USA at Anime Expo 2018: Part 2

live report - 12.10.2018 19:03

PKCZ®, Crystal Kay, Yasutaka Nakata and m-flo keep the party rolling.

Showcasing the current Japanese artists that are rocking the scene, and keeping every club bouncing, the first half of OTAQUEST featured the spin talents of Hachijoji P, Masayoshi Iimori, versatile DJ and vocal stylings of YUC’e, and the trippy fantastical world of TeddyLoid. The second half of OTAQUEST kept the party rolling with special guests and collaborations that delighted and surprised the fans.


DJ Mikey, Kool and Virgo, known by their group name PKCZ®, started their set with a track that got everyone clapping their hands in the air. Audience members who were feeling the vibes began adding their own glow show to the mix, with light pens streaking rainbows of color everywhere. Featuring hooks from various popular club bangers including Sandstorm, Anty up, Smack My B*tch up and Walk It Like I Talk It; PKCZ®’s set was a comprehensive catalogue of dance beats that fueled the party high, and well into the fourth hour of music, it looked like the crowd had no intent of coming down.

PKCZ® took time mid-set to talk about their musical collaboration Bow Down with Snoop Dog, which debuted earlier in the summer months. As they launch into the Bow Down track, DJ Virgo rapped along with some of the audience enthusiastically joining the rhyme flow. The projection screens provided a dazzling feast for the eyes as mazes of geometrical figures and shapes took the audience deeper into a musical minefield, both relentless in its bass and equally hypnotic. An eclectic mix of hip-hop tracks overlaying various electro dance beats, every track was tailored to keep the audience jumping to the point of exhaustion.

Crystal Kay

© Chad Brady

It’s been a long while since Crystal Kay graced a North American stage and she was back after three years with a new studio album For You. Sporting a high cascading ponytail and paired with a white dress shirt and corset, Crystal Kay was a vision of summery beauty and style. She sashayed across the stage, showcasing her latest single Summer Fever for the first time in front of the expo audience. Summer Fever incorporates the Island beats commonly heard in the latest summer jams, and paired with her soulful melody and vibrant tones, the audience swayed easily to the grooves.

As Crystal took a moment to chat with the excited and adoring audience, she lamented the fact that she could only interact with the fans via social media, until this day. She thanked the fans for their continual support and returned her love with a crowd favorite track featured from an anime OST. The crowd vocalized their appreciation as she launched into a power ballad with dulcet tones that the audience vibes to in a sea of pink light sticks. Crystal then slipped right into Japanese language for her home-base fans and finished off her set with her soulful dance pop track Boyfriend part II. It's hard to believe that the US has not been blessed with a Crystal Kay show until now.

Yasutaka Nakata

© Chad Brady

DJ Yasutaka Nakata came onto the stage next with electro beats that utilized samples from Japanese popular music and video games. Featuring high crescendos and floor shaking beat drops, DJ Yasutaka mixed music meant to blow holes through the wall. From a Street Fighter dubstep, to Chocobo Road, the musical references delighted the audience whose light pens twirled streaks of color into the air. The variety of EDM game and anime samples inspired a reverence from the audience, perfectly honoring the spirit of Anime Expo. Ending the set with a Perfume x ringtone mashup that shall officially replace all the coolest ringtones, DJ Yasutaka left the stage with the audience on a high.


© Chad Brady

Rounding out the five-hour plus long dance party, the duo with the funkiest hip-hop flow, m-flo, took to the turn tables and the crowd went wild. Hitting the crowd with those hard bass beats and hip-hop rhythms, the duo launched into their single She’s so (Outta control) and the whole audience sang along to every "Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah”. The duo seemed to be having as much fun, if not more so with the audience. Clapping hands with each other mid-set, m-flo reveled in the hype and party vibe, taking selfies with the fans and sustaining the energy of hyped crowd that had been partying for six hours straight.

The entire m-flo set was a flash back to a golden era of Japanese hip-hop and dance music. As they played Teriyaki BoysTokyo Drift and Heartbreaker the crowd reached new levels of energy, with fingers flying up in the air and everyone bouncing in unison with the beats. Their multi-collaborations over the years came to life on the Anime Expo stage with Crystal Kay returning to perform RREEWIND! “I think they're tired,” DJ Taku spoke through the mic to DJ Verbal, “LA can do better.” As quickly as DJ Taku finished his sentence, party energy was renewed. The audience followed every command, getting low when DJ Verbal requested and jumping in a frenzy.

DJ Verbal and DJ Taku took a much need break in between the set to talk about how OTAQUEST came together. Both m-flo members collaborated extensively with a wide variety of artists during their careers, but the m-flo line up could not be complete without Lisa taking the stage. As their first live in America, and for long time m-flo fans, Lisa taking the stage with the duo was rare and momentous treat. Performing the highlights of their work as a trio, Been So Long, Hands and No Question, Lisa’s dulcet vocals sound just as fresh as when they first debuted on the scene. The m-flo trio sprung open the latch of nostalgia and everyone tirelessly jammed out and partied until the final notes echoed through the applause.

The OTAQUEST live show brought out some of the best dance, electro, pop and hip-hop from the Japanese music scene. While providing the ultimate dance party for the Anime Expo fans, OTAQUEST also celebrated the unique and all-encompassing scope of artistry that thrives throughout the various music genres. m-flo made a promise of more OTAQUEST events and the possibilities of similar events to come. Anime Expo provided a perfect setting for a first showcase, and hopefully OTAQUEST will return, with an expanding promotional reach to the general audience of Japanese music.

Read part 1 of our OTAQUEST LIVE report: http://www.jame-world.com/us/articles-131582-m-flo-presents-sotaquest-lives-powered-by-ldh-usa-at-anime-expo-2018-part-1.html
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