Kyary Pamyu Pamyu at The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco

live report - 08.30.2018 03:45

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu transforms The Regency Ballroom into a Japanese haunted house.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu returned to San Francisco for a show on June 20th as part of her THE SPOOKY OBAKEYASHIKI -PUMPKINS STRIKE BACK- world tour. Held at the historic Regency Ballroom in downtown San Francisco, the concert hall was packed with dedicated fans, despite being a Wednesday show.

When touring in America, most other Japanese artists brought only themselves, with spare decorations. Kyary’s production brought a full theater set — traditional Japanese wall panelling against the back of the stage with colored and layered lights gave the illusion of depth and ambience. The use of colored lighting and ambience was particularly well executed. Spooky traditional japanese music set the mood as concertgoers with lightsticks impatiently waited for the show to start.

The show opened with a “found footage” video of Kyary falling asleep backstage before her performance and waking up to a handful of Japanese ghosts (extras in mascot costumes). The ghosts held her hostage and demanded that she represent Japanese ghosts because people aren’t scared of them anymore and that they were becoming less popular. The ghosts said they chose her because she had already featured western monsters in her other tours and that she needed to represent Japanese ghosts too. After a comedic exchange, Kyary agreed and the screen went black.

Dressed in a red lantern Chinese-lolita inspired dress with elaborate looping hair, Kyary opened with her 2012 hit Fashion Monster. She was accompanied by her signature backup dancers, who were dressed as blue haired, head banging, crossdressing zombie girls. The long instrumental interludes were filled with perfectly coordinated intense dancing, and she ended the song with a signature pose. Kyary went straight into Invader Invader, doing her signature waving dance moves, which the audience did with her. During the extended electronic beat drop, Kyary and her backup dancers did a surprisingly physically intense dance number. CANDY CANDY followed, with its bizarre dance moves.

Kyary took time to address her audience, using a red book and her cell phone to read her lines and translate what she was trying to say. She said, “San Francisco very cold ... New York hot!”

She performed another long set of songs, each with her signature energy and quirky dance moves. Koi Koi Koi started off as a solo, then one of the Japanese monsters, a nine tailed fox in a wedding kimono joined Kyary as a dancer. Kyary exited the stage and the fox remained for a solo dance to traditional japanese music. The zombie backup dancers finished the long intermission with a thriller-esque dance.

Kyary came back out from her outfit change, dressed in black leather and with feathery arms. She addressed the audience again, asking them if they liked her new “crow” outfit, and telling them that she ate crab the previous day. Someone yelled “I love you” in Japanese, and she responded with an incredulous “I love you?” back. She asked if the audience liked her dance moves, to which she got an enthusiastic roar. She told the crowd that she went shopping and saw the Golden Gate Bridge, and that she was going to Los Angeles the next day but wanted to stay in San Francisco longer.

The second half of the concert was slightly more toned down than the first half, with dancers switching out every few songs and only two at a time instead of five. A crowd favorite was NINJA RE BANG BANG. Many songs had easy-to-follow hand dance moves, and the entire floor was dancing with Kyary.

Kyary ended the main set with CRAZY PARTY NIGHT, pretending to cry until all the monsters from the video came out and joined her for the thriller-esque dance number. Kyary left the stage and everyone waited impatiently for her encore. Her encore took longer than most other artists, to accommodate her elaborate costume changes, but the audience was relentless in chanting "encore" until she came back out. Kyary returned in a pink shrine maiden lolita dress with long strawberry pink hair. She sang EASTA, her new song Kimino Mikata, and finally finished with her signature song Pon Pon Pon.

Set list

01. Fashion Monster
02. Invader Invader
04. Kura Kura
05. Kimi ni 100 Percent
06. Serious Hitomi
07. Harajuku Iyahoi
08. Koi Koi Koi
09. Slow-Mo
10. No No No
11. Furisodeshon
12. Mondai Girl
13. Ninja Re Bang Bang
14. Mottai Night Land
15. Cherry Bonbon
16. Kira Kira Killer
17. Tsukematsukeru
18. Sai & Kou
19. Crazy Party Night

01. Easta
02. Kimino Mikata
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