Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - NANDA COLLECTION WORLD TOUR 2014 at The Showbox, Seattle

live report - 28.02.2014 10:00

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s first Seattle sold-out concert at Seattle’s Showbox gathered over a thousand people as she spread a message of “kawaii” around the globe and marks the beginning of her second world tour, NANDA COLLECTION WORLD TOUR 2014.

A few fans said they had arrived at The Showbox in downtown Seattle earlier that morning to be at the front of the line, but most fans trickled in around 7 p.m. up until 8 p.m. The line stretched all the way around an entire city block. With much tension and anticipation in the air, a number of fans darted off into nearby stores to withdraw money to buy tour goods.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s concerts certainly bring out the fashionable side in everyone. Most attendees wore stylish street fashion while others took the time to put together full Lolita coordinates—all in the name of “kawaii” (cute).

Slowly but surely, the line grew thin as over a thousand bodies eagerly filled the Showbox just before 8 p.m. For Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's first time in Seattle, and the start of her second world tour, there was an incredible amount of excitement even before the show started. Background music played from the stage, featuring a music box melody and mysterious ticking sound. On the left side of the stage sat a cute, oversized, neon-yellow pink bear with hot pink and electric blue ears and next to it were two giant, equally cute storybooks that said “DIARY” and “BOOK”. Both items exhibited a quaint ‘80s taste.

The pounding of taiko drums at the beginning of Nanda Collection signaled the start of this eventful night. Loud cheering from the audience followed as the Kyary Kids excitedly ran out onto stage and started to dance on their own. Soon, invader Invader began: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu ran out on stage, and the crowd erupted in cheers with excessive, excited screaming. She wore a cute dress with a fluffy hot pink bow on her head. The floor shook as the audience jumped in time to the music and sung along. The crowd swayed during the instrumental dubstep portion and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu looked visibly happy.

Although the trance-like bass was a little loud for Mi, the crowd was ecstatic. Much of the crowd held up three fingers (to represent the number “three”) and waved their hands in the air. At the end of the track, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu introduced herself and thanked everyone for attending, and she also asked the audience to prepare for the next track. Unexpectedly and quite possibly one of the highlights of the evening, she sang a cappella the opening lines of Ninjari Bang Bang while welcoming the audience to clap along when she sang “ban ban”. Her standalone voice without any studio backing tracks sounded pretty and confirmed that she can sing.

The sheer amount of bodies crammed in such a small venue provided some intimacy between the audience and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Even if one were at the back of the Showbox, he or she was still closer to the stage, compared to her concerts that are held in larger venues (e.g. Yokohama Arena or Tokyo Dome). Additionally, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu scaled down her Japanese performance to fit the pint-sized stage at the Showbox.

Not long after, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu invited the audience to make fox signs with their right hands and wave them in the air back and forth as she sang “anananan” and to make the fox talk while singing “Pamyu”. Much of the crowd grinned from a cute overload: some said “Aw!!!” loudly. The hand movements were easy to learn on the spot. With all the negativity in the world, even just in the U.S., it was refreshing to be showered in happiness. No over sexualised outfits, risqué choreography or depressing songs; just sugar sweet melodies and smiles. That pure happiness—even if it’s just an artist image—is something that can’t easily be found in a Western concert, and is likely the main reason Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is wildly popular in not only Japan but worldwide.

Furisodeshon received a tremendous good response from fans who danced and moved about. After the track finished, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and her Kyary Kids quickly ran off stage to take a short break. Meanwhile, a giant blue rabbit mascot with a crazed, wacky face pranced on stage and danced to keep the audience amused. It played hide and seek with the audience, running across stage whenever the lights flashed on and off and acted surprised when spotted on the opposite side of the stage. Although slightly childish, it was the kind of quirky, cute that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu always manages to deliver.

The short intro Pamyu Pamyu Revolution acted as a perfect segue for the next song as the Kyary Kids darted back out on stage. At the start of Mottai Night Land, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu reappeared back on stage in perfect time. She arrived in new outfit featuring a dress in purple, silver and green colors with a giant hot pink tulle bow and mismatched pastel platform creepers.

The bass and fast beat of her recent single that followed, Mottai Night Land, almost set the audience in a trance. She then performed the B-side, Sungoi Aura. Two of her dancers threw around a giant star pillow on stage to add to the whimsical tone to the track. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and her Kyary Kids made reference to the heavy Seattle rain during the instrumental part of Kura Kura, by twirling around umbrellas like they were batons.

Next up was a special treat! Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed her newest track that will be released later this month, Yume no Hajima Ring Ring. The audience fell quiet, taking in the new track in its rawest form—something that is very unusual for a Western crowd but commonplace for a Japanese audience. The mood picked up slightly with Saigo no Ice Cream as fans clapped along to the beat, but it was only when Kyary Pamyu Pamyu introduced the next song, Tsukema Tsukeru, that fans went truly ecstatic. Among foreign fans, Tsukema Tsukeru has been a viral hit—similar to PONPONPON’s success. Loud cheering filled the venue; the floor shook as the crowd jumped up and down in time to the music and sang along to the entire song.

While Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took another short break offstage to change her outfit again, the short digest teaser from her mini TV series, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu TV JOHN!, played on a projector screen and entertained fans. When she returned to the stage, she wore a purple and pink dress with fake fur sewn to the bottom half and a matching bow. While the oversized bear on stage behind her lit up, the crowd gently danced along to Cherry Bon Bon in time to the music and continued to move slowly even during Pin Pon ga Nai.

But the night was soon coming to an end. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu announced that the upcoming song was her second last song for the evening: PONPONPON. The crowd was the loudest it had ever been as cheering, and shouting filled the venue. This was the song that had started everything: her career and a loyal global fan base. The crowd clapped and sang the lyrics loudly with smiling faces.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu ended her first ever Seattle concert with the last song, Fashion Monster. Excitement was still high from PONPONPON, and it seemed Kyary Pamyu Pamyu wanted to end the night with a bang. The moment the lights dimmed at the end of Fashion Monster, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu thanked everyone for coming, said some parting salutations and stepped off of stage. Within seconds, fans felt the shock of this memorable evening coming to a close. Not long afterwards, there were shouts of “encore!” that grew into a steady chant of “Kyary! Kyary! Kyary!”

Dressed in a green tour T-shirt, skirt and a hot pink rabbit ear hat, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu reappeared on stage. She asked to take a photo with everyone and then performed CANDY CANDY because it was the most popular song with overseas fans. The crowd erupted in enthusiastic cheering, as many sang and danced along with her. The final song was the upbeat, cute Chan Chaka Chan Chan. Later in the song, when singing “See you, see you, see you again!” she waved goodbye and received almost every member of the audience waving back at her.

For any Japanese artist performing in the United States, attracting a crowd of over a thousand people for the first time in Seattle is surely a feat. For fans in the audience, this would be an experience that could never be forgotten.


Set list

1. Nanda Collection
2. Invader Invader
3. Mi
4. Ninjari Bang Bang
5. Kyary ANAN
6. Furisodeshon
7. Pamyu Pamyu Revolution
8. Mottai Night Land
9. Sungoi Aura
10. Kura Kura
11. Yume no Hajima Ring Ring
12. Saigo no Ice Cream
13. Tsukema Tsukeru
-Movie- Kyary Pamyu Pamyu TV JOHN! Short Digest Movie
14. Kyary March
15. Cherry Bon Bon
16. Pin Pon ga Nai
17. PONPONPON
18. Fashion Monster

Encore

1. CANDY CANDY
2. Chan Chaka Chan Chan
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