Future Pop - Perfume 4th World Tour

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Res Ipsa
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Future Pop - Perfume 4th World Tour

Post by Res Ipsa »

[MODERATOR NOTE: This post was originally, uh, posted to the old board on Thursday Apr 11, 2019 at 4:45 p.m. Mountain Time]

I've never been a member of an online forum that had an official band before. So, when Dr. Shades announced that the latest Perfume Tour would include the U.S., I looked for a nearby stop. And, as luck would have it, it was right in Seattle.

As the theme was the future, I decided to drive to Husky Stadium and ride the light rail downtown. The light rail will extend to my neighborhood in about four years, and I can't wait. No more circling the block downtown looking for a $20 parking spot. I arrived at the venerable Paramount Theater in an exceptional mood.

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Doors opened at 7:00, and I arrived a couple minutes before that. I was very surprised to see a line that stretched for several blocks. Perfume had a pretty impressive fan base.

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I'd opted for floor tickets rather than balcony because I wanted to be closer to the show. After prepping my back for a long stint of standing with a medicinal beer, I wandered in to the theater and staked out a piece of floor. Warning, Shades. From here on there be spoilers.

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The crowd was enthusiastic as the show began. I was about 20 feet back from the stage. The first portion of the show was songs from their latest album, Future Pop. I'm not a J-Pop expert, but it seemed to me this set differed in the use of huge drops and very heavy, throbbing bass -- the kind that reverbs in your chest. My only complaint about the whole performance was that the bass in the first set often overpowered the singers. The singers were also stony faced during this part of the program. In fact, at one point, it struck me that the singers weren't enjoying themselves at all.

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But the unchanging expressions were, I think, simply a part of the future. (The future is, I guess, serious business). And they worked well with the stage setting, visuals, and dancing. The sets were quite simple -- several vertical panels of cheesecloth or similar material. And the lighting and visual techs made good use of them. The visual effects were cleverly mapped onto these panels and on to the singer's costumes to create a futuristic images that worked very well. The dance moves were often robotized, letting us know that robots are the future, too.

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The intermission was unique. The singers came out and talked to us through the entire intermission. They each talked a little in English. Then A-Chan said something in Japanese. Several hands went up. She had asked for people who could translate for her. She handed a mic to guy in the first row, and he proceeded to translate. She talked what they had done in Seattle the last two days, including a story about finding sculptures they liked that turned out to have been done by a Japanese artist. It came across to me as the singers caring about their audience in a way I'd never seen at a concert before. And, after the first set, it showed each of them as more of an individual person.

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The second half was older music that consisted of crowd favorites. (At least judging by the crowd reaction.) And I enjoyed it much more than I had the first set. The singers got to be much more of themselves: the excited exuberance of A-Chan, the wry smile of Kashiyuka, and the studied elegance of Nocchi. They were having a blast, and their mood was infectious. The music was fun. The effects were spectacular. And the dancing was well done.

On the dancing, I was impressed by how the singers were always in motion. There was no standing in place and singing. They were always moving and the movements were very precise. They must practice the choreography as much as they practice the singing.

TL/DR I really enjoyed it. Thanks, Shades, for the opportunity to get out of my normal music zone and enjoy something that I never would have thought to try.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” -- Voltaire
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