[LIVE REPORT] BABYMETAL live @ Estragon Club, Italy

10873356_1252922301404391_9011283077832459163_o

Italy is one of those countries where Japanese culture can claim a huge amount of lovers: from videogames, manga, anime, to food, traditional culture and many other aspects of the fascinating land of the rising sun, thousands and thousands of people are in love and very passionate about countless aspects of the Japanese culture, regularly shown through many expositions and conventions that take place in the “Bel Paese” every year. Still, there is one particular branch of this fascinating culture that always had a hard time to gain attention in Italy, and that’s music; It’s no secret indeed that only few artists from the Japanese music industry include this country in their tour schedules, mainly cause of the complete absence of coverage by media on this particular scene, and while there is people that love several Japanese artists (especially from the visual kei/j-rock scene) it is undeniable that the local number of aficionados is way smaller if compared to other european countries such as France and U.K. But after the successful show ONE OK ROCK held in front of a crazy crowd in Milan last December, there was a sensation floating around that, despite not being visible on the surface, the presence of a contained but very strong fanbase growing underground was starting to take shape. This is maybe what convinced the well known Amuse management agency to bring another group from their rich roster of artists in the boot-shaped country, the one that conquered the entire world in just one year and a half and shaked the entire metal scene: BABYMETAL.

When the italian date at the Estragon Club in Bologna was announced for the BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2015, all the local fans couldn’t believe it: We really felt like it was a miracle to see such a huge Japanese band in our country. But we were also scared… What if people will ignore this unmissable event? What if Suzuka, Moa, Yui and the Kami band will be disappointed? We felt like Italy, a country sometimes too stubborn in terms of new music, wasn’t ready for such a particular yet amazing group. Many thoughts were forming in our minds, in a midst made of happiness and concern, worrying that this show couldn’t have been successful. We couldn’t realize how wrong we were.

The Waiting

So here I am, three months later, walking in this endless road in the middle of nowhere with a fellow BABYMETAL fan and a VIP ticket in the backpack, with the sun burning our necks and the humidity taking our breath away. After fifteen minutes of walking, we can finally see the Estragon Club, basically a warehouse in a not-so-good state: Not really a nice sight, but we try to stay positive. We reach the entrance and there’s already about forty people queueing up for the show, coming from all parts of the world: Japan, Sweden, France, Italy (of course) and many other countries. The weather is impossibly hot, so I spend half the time drinking water and chatting with other nice fans waiting outside, when all of a sudden we can hear the band playing their instruments for the sound check: Mikio and Takayoshi’s guitars cutting the air, BOH’s killer bass and Hideki’s solid drums immediately rise the already stellar hype around the venue, later followed by Suzuka’s powerful and angelic voice that ultimately melted everyone outside: She’s just incredible, and I can already feel the goosebumps on my skin. After an hour or so of sound check where various parts of songs have been played (followed by the fans’ cheerful reactions) I exchange my printed email with the VIP ticket and package, including only a BABYMETAL VIP badge and a small pamphlet, nice gadgets to collect even though the real reason in buying such a pricey ticket is obviously the early access and the first row position, fundamental from my point of view to enjoy this kind of show in the best way.

11391536_10205316623932721_8041567100795104379_n

Around 6PM the venue’s staff comes out to reform the lines (yeah, it was all useless) and I gather with other fifty people at the secondary entrance of the venue where the owners of VIP tickets will get early access: The clock strikes 6:35, the staff opens the door, and I run immediately at the front row barrier where I get a very nice spot at the front, left side, where I can see everything clearly. Everyone notices immediately the absence of the curtain in front of the stage, as there is way too much light coming from the many windows inside the venue for the opening projection to be seen; Plus, despite looking nicer inside than outside, the venue is crazy hot, even more than the temperature outside. I ask to the kind japanese fan beside me to hold the spot for me, I grab a T-shirt at the merchandise booth and head to the toilet to freshen up a bit… but even the water coming out from the tap was hot. Craziness! I get back to my position with two bottles of waters bought at the bar, and wait for the show to start. The place begins to fill up with fans, and I’m surprised to see the most various crowd I’ve ever seen in a concert: From hardcore metal fans sporting brutal black metal t-shirts, to casual people, Idol fans from various parts of the world, people in their 60s, lots of young girls, and even kids with their parents, the immense variety of people BABYMETAL gathered here today is unbelievable: they transcend every concept, and with mastery and catchiness they unite all kinds of people.  The venue is almost full now, only five minutes are left before the beginning of the show, and the temperature gets way too hot… but even that won’t stop BABYMETAL to deliver the most explosive and funniest show everyone in here have ever seen.

The Show

The well  known choir introducing the opening song starts playing while the narrating voice tells the story of the second world tour of the band, covered by the screams of the excited crowd that waited for the entire day for this magical moment. The Kami Band appears on stage, and people start to lose it as Mikio, Takayoshi, BOH and Hideki walk around the stage with their kitsune signs up and take their instruments ready to raise hell on stage, and in no time the intro BABYMETAL DEATH sets the venue on fire. Here’s when SU-METAL, MOA-METAL and YUI-METAL finally appear on stage, and the feeling of finally seeing them right in front of me is indescribable: I have the biggest of smiles on my face, and I feel happier than ever as they look and perform flawlessly with a professionalism that reaches unbelievable levels considering their young age, also enhanced by their powerful charisma, a fundamental part of BABYMETAL; Each one of the girls has indeed a clear personality that reaches the peak in live shows, with SU looking extremely focused on her singing and fitting the role of “big sister” perfectly, YUI constantly cheering the crowd with her lovely smile, and MOA, the most interactive of the three, looking in the eyes of each fan in the first row with a smile for everyone: This is how you make everyone genuinely love you, and these three girls captured the heart of all the fans that completely invaded the Estragon club, screaming, jumping and going insane in front of such a powerful opening and presence on stage. The first song ends in the midst of screams of joy, and in no time that masterpiece of song that is Megitsune kicks in, and it’s complete madness as everyone jumps and screams to the catchy “Sore! Sore! Sore! Sore!”, and it’s here that I notice the thing that makes BABYMETAL really unique: Their charismatic and perfectly synchronized dancing, the powerful voice of SU coupled by the cute timbre of MOA and YUI, and the killer performance by the monstrously talented members of the Kami Band makes their shows some kind of theatrical experience backed by an impressive wall of sound, a mix of melodies, raw sounds, catchiness and visual excellence:  It’s a unique kind of show, and it’s magical.

1491452_1252922481404373_3715171744467199410_o

Of course, all of this wouldn’t be possible without the amazing Kami Band, engine of BABYMETAL and outstanding musicians that immediately show the crowd what are they made of as they play a brief but intense instrumental section with each member performing a solo that leads to the brutal and funny Catch me if you can, where the crowd loses control for the millionth time. But it’s not even the beginning, as the interlude dedicated to these amazing musicians, the Mischief of Metal Gods, brings brutal riffs, hammering double bass pedals and melodies where every member shows his top-notch skills, with Mikio and Takayoshi performing solos showcasing various techniques, Hideki bringing down the roof with his drums, and BOH performing his amazing bass solo that leaves me simply speechless. As if their mastery and powerful execution isn’t enough, their presence on stage is amazing too: They constantly joke between themselves and the crowd, and I literally spent half the time “conversing” with them by sticking out the tongue and pointing at them, with them “replying” in the same way, pointing their fingers and thumb ups at me: I was so out of my mind from joy that Takayoshi, that was from the opposite side, somehow noticed me being totally out of my mind and started pointing at me, sticking out his tongue as he always does. They were genuinely having fun on stage, and their reactions made everyone extremely happy, forming the funniest and most joyful atmosphere I’ve ever seen in a concert: Not only outstanding musicians, but amazing guys and entertainers who genuinely have fun in doing what they do. The concert goes on, and the crowd gets crazier the more we get into the show, with memorable moments including a mass “fainting” imitating the girls in the well known DokiDoki Morning bridge, one of the most beloved songs in the BABYMETAL setlist that took place between the two sections described above.

The show reaches the central part, the excitement and the smile on my face keeps me alive from the insane temperature that doesn’t stop me from constantly jumping and singing. The lights are slowly fading now, and it is time for the individual performances by SU and the lovely YUI and MOA (Black Babymetal!) with tracks that split the various moods and vibes of this group between thoughtful compositions and funny jams; That’s when SU comes back on stage alone, between a round of applause and cheers from the excited crowd, to perform the beautifully haunting Akumu no Rondo, a song that exposes her amazing vocal skills and impressive presence on stage greatly, with solid and brutal riffs and hammering drums characterizing the song. Still, despite being an excellent track, it doesn’t reach the level of emotionality and excellence of her second solo performance of the beautiful Akatsuki: With her versatile skills spacing from powerful high notes and delicate singing, backed by an outstanding interpretation, this masterpiece of track is the best showcase of Suzuka’s abilities and a song that literally brings to tears the fans, something reachable only by songs written by amazing musicians and performed by singers who put all their heart in it to convey all the feelings to the heart of the listeners: Absolutely brilliant.

Of course, MOA and YUI aren’t any less amazing: the funny, almost comical 4 no Uta totally conquers the crowd, with every fan waving their hands, singing “Yon Yon!” and hitting  the first row barrier with their fists following the rhythm of the track: It’s pure fun, and the adorable and professionally performed choreography gives the perfect touch to the general craziness that hit the crowd like a wave as the two girls walked on stage. Same can be said for the always cool Onedari Daisakusen, where in the middle of the song I noticed on my right two kids (ten years old maybe?) dancing and screaming of joy: It was amazing to see such young kids enjoying this show exactly as fans way older than them, and convinced me once and for all that BABYMETAL are really a unique group with a various yet equally passionated fanbase. How could it be different when you see two fifteen years old girls performing with such a great professionalism, and a seventeen years old singer being one of the best female voices of the metal scene?

After this great individual showcase of the girls’ skills, the lights fade once again, and a video starts playing on a screen on the right side of the venue: Everyone immediately understands it’s that time and start calling for the Wall of Death, because Road of Resistance is about to bring the down the roof of the Estragon club: The girls come back on stage with their flags and get ready to unleash hell, SU makes a gesture with her hands, but the crowd in the back is already divided: Everything is ready, the song kicks in, and it’s pure madness, as I take a look behind me and see lots of people moshing and running in circle like crazy. The track sounds powerful and even better live, and the interaction with the crowd during the bridge chorus is simply amazing, with everyone participating in a huge wall of sound composed by the voices of the entire venue, while the girls scream “Come on Italy!”: It’s a memorable moment and one of best memories all the fans will bring back home from this amazing night, which is sadly coming closer to the end, but with an atmosphere that just won’t stop getting better and better, reaching stellar levels with the following Gimme Choko!!, the viral hit that made BABYMETAL the huge global act it is today that makes the Estragon go completely nuts as most of the fans in the venue can consider this the track that made them discover the group. The song ends, the crowd can’t stop screaming, and everyone is cheering the girls as they look at them heading to the backstage after the lovely and already classic “See you!”.

10273254_1252922004737754_2518879879691150752_o

There’s a brief and well deserved break now, but i don’t even get the time to take my breathe back that everyone starts chanting “BABYMETAL!” and clapping their hands, asking for the encore: After a few minutes, the Kami Band followed by the girls finally comes back on stage to perform the last two songs of the show: First, the iconic track Headbanger!, an amazing piece that’s a real punch in the face when seen it performed right in front of you (in a good way of course) followed by a classic, probably the most acclaimed track and anthem of the group, that masterpiece of song that is Ijime, Dame, Zettai, a composition that’s already incredible when listened in its studio version that ultimately reaches stellar levels when performed live: The execution of the Kami Band is perfect and enhanced by the touch of musicians who can perform a song flawlessly and give it a refreshing feeling at the same time, SU’s vocal performance is powerful and on point as usual, while MOA and YUI deliver one of most amazing choreographies of their setlist with lots of energy, dancing with impressive synchronization: Every moment in this last track is gold, from the melodies, to Suzuka’s vocal extension, the iconic fight between YUI and MOA and the amazing guitar solo that’s pure joy for the ears. No one wants this concert to end, yet the song reaches its last note and in the midst of the Kami Band taking the best out of their instruments, we scream to the final “We are, BABYMETAL!” several times: we try to express all our love and thankfulness with these last words, because we still can’t completely realize what we have just experienced as we are overwhelmed by joy. The girls give their last adorable salute in italian to the crowd and leave the stage with a smile on their face and the expression of someone who gave 100% of its energies, the same expression on the faces of the Kami Band members that get closer to the stage to give their picks and drum sticks to the fans before going to the backstage: The show is over, but the excitement for what happened this night just won’t disappear.

A unique experience for a unique band

The full packed Estragon Club slowly starts to get empty, I take a couple of pictures with some fans that were near me in the first row, and take a look at the merchandise booth as I walk outside the venue: There was nothing left, the fans bought all the T-shirts and left the table completely empty, as everyone wanted a souvenir from this unforgettable night. And who wasn’t a fan, but just curious to see what BABYMETAL were all about, well, now it’s definitely a lover of these three girls and their amazing band.

I walk outside the club, gather up with some fellow italian fans and frantically start to recount all the most amazing moments of the concert (it seems like the venue had the best sound of the European leg) we get interviewed by one of the BABYMETAL staff members where we show all of our excitement and laugh at our uncontainable excitement. It’s a feeling of joy that will live inside us for a long time, because in all honestly, this was one of the best, and definitely the most entertaining concert I’ve ever attended. When you see three girls and their band giving 100% of their energy to deliver a killer performance despite the impossible temperature and the rush due to their next show that will start in barely 16 hours in Austria, the great interaction with their fans, all the fun they had, and the genuine smile on their faces from the beginning to the end of the show, you can only feel good, because their joy of performing became our joy to see them: It’s a stream of emotions delivered from the band to the fans, and only the best and most genuine artists in the world of music can achieve this.

I hug all the wonderful friends I had the pleasure to meet during the day and promise to ourselves to meet again. As I walk away from the venue, I feel like BABYMETAL left a special and precious feeling inside me that I will never forget… something that only a special band can give you. Simply unique.

1546060_10205318518140075_7610716644640917455_n (1)


A big, huge thank you to all the amazing BABYMETAL fans I had the pleasure to know at this show: You guys rock!

BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2015 live @ Estragon Club, Bologna (Italy)

Setlist:

01. BABYMETAL DEATH
02. Megitsune
03. Catch Me If You Can (w/ Kami Band instrumental intro)
04. Doki DokiMorning
05. Mischief of Metal Gods (Kami Band Performance)
06. Akumu no Rondo
07. 4 no Uta
08. Akatsuki
10. Onedari Daisakusen
11. Road of Resistance
12. Gimme Choco!!
– ENCORE
13. Headbanger!!
14. Ijime, Dame, Zettai

– Alex

Advertisements

[LIVE REPORT] Negicco First Tour Never Give Up Girls!!! & Rice&Snow @ Okayama Crazymama Kingdom

maxresdefault

Negicco: how would you you describe them? (rhetorical question).

How do you describe these three girls that stayed in their native city of Niigata for something like 10 years, performing always the same songs written by the same lyricist/composer, performed at the same venues in front of the same audience, and still full of energy and dreaming for a bigger future? dreamers? How do you describe this trio made up to publicize some leek and so proud of this to take it as a symbol to print on fashion t-shirts and trendy designer tote bag? naïve? And then, how do you describe somebody who took more time than everyone else in Japan to rise to a national tour and probably gained more popularity overseas than in motherland? stubborn? Well, the fact is, these three dreamers, naïve, stubborn girls, are Negicco, and they are a take or leave, a unique case in the lavish idol scenery, and this is one of the biggest reasons to love them.

After a test national tour that you even can’t properly call “tour” (they performed in some minuscule live houses, and if you wanted to buy a ticket you had to send a mail to the manager asking him the possibility to join the concert and explaining the reason why you want to go…) Negicco leaved Niigata for the proudly called Negicco First Tour Never Give Up Girls!!! & Rice & Snow, merging together in this long title their humbleness, their motto and their second album title. Seventeen dates that started at Chiba and will finish at, guess where? Niigata, the navel of the world. During their national stroll, Negicco came to the lovely city of Okayama in Southern Japan for the second time (the first was during the infamous zero tour) and thank goodness this time you could buy the ticket at a normal store: so I bought it with reasonable advance and happily went to the concert.

Okayama Crazymama Kingdom is not so nationally famous, but a necessary step for all the little-medium artists coming to this area: it hosts every kind of artist from the most innocent teenpop singer to the dirtier metal band and it’s the most famous live house in the prefecture, rivaling only with Okayama Image which is the home of Visual Kei. Both venues are small like car boxes and the stages are not bigger than a bathtub, but this is quite good because the distance between you and the performing artist is incredibly short and you can enjoy in a unique and intimate way. Negicco are not so scrooge, and you could get the ticket for less than 4’000 yen, definitely cheap for the japanese standards, and the show was at afternoon: so it’s obvious that a well known place, cheap tickets and a early show attracted a large audience. I expected to find a lot of wota, and I found them, but different from what I thought: out of about 300 persons, 95% were men, but more than half of them was older than 35 or 40 years old and at least 20 people were over 65 and could be Negicco’s grandpas. The strong fans were in the first row, but the real deep hard-core wotas were at the end of the room, grouping together and leaving some space around them: when the concert started it was easy to understand the dimensions because of the dance and choreography going on with the songs, of course. The wotas are a kind of élite, a closed club: when I entered the club everybody saw me like an alien, because I’m a foreign man, or probably because for the first time a foreigner fan joined an idol concert in Okayama, or maybe because everyone knows everyone both on Internet and in real life, so I was definitely a three-times alien.

The concert started at 17:01 with what is probably the best song out from Negicco’s second album Rice&Snow: BLUE, GREEN, RED AND GONE, composed by a member of the electro-rap unit Kuchiroro, talking about a car trip on Yokohama’s free way, brilliant in its circular rhythm and flamboyant drums arrangement directly reminding that extraordinary remix for Pizzicato Five’s It’s a Beautiful Day, composed of a stunning and hypnotic song-long drums virtuoso performance. Enlightened only by headlights of the colours of the title of the songs, the performance was watched in complete silence by an enchanted audience, who woke up only from the second song, the funny Party ni tsuite, warmed up on the instant classic Sayonara music, and got completely on fire with Festival de aimashou. All the songs were literally fierce jumping routines and after 20 minutes the back of Nao☆ was completely sweat-soaked, but she continued to smile. From that moment on, the concert was simply no more a concert: it was a gathering whose participants were just part of the same united family. The wota élite broke up and everybody felt the same feeling: happiness. Negicco restlessly sang, jumped and sweated on the stage for a grand total of two hours and more, and so did the audience.

After the first four songs, the girls took a short break to greet the audience, introduced themselves and talked about silly things like the cheap coffee at vending machines, the taxis of Okayama or how much Megu wanted to eat curry that very night. All of these things are just exactly what idols are: close yet untouchable dream girls. They speak the same simple language of the audience, interact with people asking lots of questions (during the second break there was a conversation about where to buy some stuff they need, asking the public the addresses of the shops and other minute details, and I was shocked) and act like little sisters or so. They are next-door stars which hearts are open to the ones who want to join them. It’s a beautiful sensation, it’s not like a concert, it’s just like seeing long-time friends.

The rest of the concert was a mix of a good half of Rice&Snow, some songs from Melody Palette and only one of their early songs,Attouteki na style, that featured a detailed and complex wota dance performed by the entire crowd in a collective hug, and yes, it’s been beautiful and touching. The songs from the Melody Palette era got some choreography with arms movements and most of all the typical wota screams calling the nicknames of the idols during their singing turn. The live experience of these tracks is definitely the best way to enjoy Negicco: while this could be said for live shows in general, here this is particularly emphasized because all of their songs are just thought to be performed rather than listened. So even the most boring songs from Rice&Snow, performed live, finally get a sense: Pajama Party Night is definitely going to be a strong suit, Futari no yuugi has that 80s vibe perfect to revitalize the setlist,Hadashi no Rainbow is perfect as connection song (and showcases a cute dance) and most of all, that unintelligible mess that is Jiyuu ni, that becomes an asbolute must of all their concerts from now on with all its styles and singing and rapping and speaking and hand clapping and lalala and so on, involving the audience in the choreography, representing what is definitely the best performance of the entire concert. It’s surprising to see how a not-so-well identified idol unit like Negicco get a perfect identity in the live performance, giving a shameless sense of fulfilling happiness to the audience with all of their choruses and letter spelling, and if in the albums you can’t stand them, well, at the concerts you want more more and more.

During the encore, the girls played with the audience (the oldest guy was the happiest) and performed the last two songs, the anthems Negative Girls! and that perfect song that is Tokimeki no headliner. Unfortunately they didn’t perform the masterpiece Idol bakari kikanaide, but you can’t say you’re unsatisfied after such a long setlist and the demonstration that Negicco are the best heir Shibuya kei successors survived until today with their unique and oblique mix of styles, genres, instruments and moods mixed together and glued by their smiles. Maybe this is their long-searched identity: the smiles. Kaepo’s naïve smile, Nao-chan’s dreamer smile and Poncha’s stubborn smile are the best common denominator of their long career, that I hope will last for a long time, full of amazing concerts like this one.


Negicco First Tour Never Give Up Girls!!! & Rice&Snow live @ Okayama Crazymama Kingdom

Setlist:

01 BLUE, GREEN, RED AND GONE
02 Party ni tsuite.
03 Sayonara music
04 Festival de aimashou
– MC
05 Anata to Pop With You!
06 Hadashi no Rainbow
07 Cream Soda Love
08 Jiyuu ni
09 Attouteki na style
– MC
10 Life Is Candy Travel
11 Futari no yuugi
12 Pajama Party Night
13 Triple! WONDERLAND
14 Hikari no spur
– Encore –
15 Negative Girls!
16 Tokimeki no headliner

– panapp

[LIVE REPORT] Perfume 4th Tour in Dome LEVEL3 @ Tokyo Dome

Even though only three months passed since the release of the successful LEVEL3, this short period of time seemed long enough due to the huge hype floating around this long anticipated 4th Tour in Dome LEVEL3, completely based on the girls new album not only for simple promotional matter, but also (and mainly) for anartistic purpose in its creation process. The strong Techno influences of the new Perfume album fused with last year’s showcases of cutting edge technologies created by Perfume Team and Rhizomatiks’s member Daito Manabe and long time artistic director Kazuaki Seki made the expectations for these concerts go high.

During last December, I’ve been one of the lucky international fans who could go to Japan and attend both the Christmas Eve and Christmas shows in a beautifully illuminated Tokyo Dome City. There have been many unforgettable moments, between fans literally coming from all over the world, and friendly Japanese fans who welcomed everyone in the best possible way. An unmissable event that I, as many other fans, decided to attend because it was clear that these shows would have been a once in a lifetime experience… And we were right.

IMG_0820

The Waiting 

As usual the waiting for the concert itself is still an event on its own, and me and my group composed by international fans decide to make an early appearance in front of the Tokyo Dome at 9am, in order to buy stocks (literally) of merchandise before they go sold out. At our arrival there are at least 50 fans already lining up for the goods, and after a short wait the stands open, with the staff handling the situation without problems and in complete order. After getting some of the beautiful merchandise (the black T-shirt and the pamphlet are definitely the highlights of the catalogue), we start walking around the huge area of Tokyo Dome City, which I already visited two years ago, now enriched by the beautiful Christmas illuminations that alone are worth the visit to this great centre.

It’s 11am and it’s time for another queue, this time for Daito Manabe’s 3D Perfume Scan System. Thanks to the efficiency of the staff and the overall organization the queue takes only about 20 minutes, and we’re ready inside the stand to take a “picture” of ourselves, that can be later viewed on a screen outside. It’s obviously something way more sophisticated than a picture, but I’ll explain everything about it at the right time. After that, all the queues needed are over for me, and with the ticket in my pocket there’s nothing else left to do but wait. And as usual, the waiting for a Perfume concert is anything but boring!

Around lunch time most of the fans arrive, and in this moment we start to see the first cosplayers and groups of fans posing and taking pictures, and the atmosphere starts to get pretty hot.

I take pictures with many cosplayers, some of them seriously impressive, and talk to them in a pretty limited English, but it’s not a real problem when it’s the good atmosphere and passion that fill the air that is talking. The hours pass by, and as the sky gets darker and ready for the sunset, the gates of the most famous venue in Japan open, two hours before the beginning of the show.

I salute all my friends and take a couple of more group pictures to not forget these magic moments, and with the ticket in my hand, I grab my new LEVEL3 bag and walk inside the Tokyo Dome.

Inside the Dome

I’m immediately welcomed by a well prepared staff that kindly indicates the way to my block; For the first day of the concert, I’ve been lucky enough to get an Arena seat, next to the right platform known between the fans as the “Nocchi side”. I walk through corridors and finally I get inside the venue, and here’s where I truly realize how incredible this concert will be. Right in front of me there are fifty thousand Perfume fans, all waiting for the girls to begin their show, clapping and screaming for them: I’m literally stunned by this view.

But It’s still pretty early, so I just sit down and take a bottle of green tea and start to look at the stage: Three disconnected platforms are ahead of a huge stage completely occupied by a white, giant sphere, obviously referring to the concept of their global expansion and to the opening track of their LEVEL3 album, Enter the Sphere. It’s a fascinating yet mysterious object, that I honestly can’t imagine how it’s gonna work. Between fans taking their seats close to me and people searching for theirs, all the rows start to be complete, and between a Chocola BB CM and another, finally, the lights turn off and everything is ready for the most magic Christmas of our lives.

The Show

The silence fills the venue, and as all the 50.000 fans inside the Tokyo Dome frantically wait, the introduction of the concert finally begins, and the role of the Sphere is soon revealed; The projection mapping that we’ve seen on the girls dresses so far, is now proposed in huge dimensions on the surface of the Sphere. It’s a visual and audio exhibition, and the Sphere literally takes life as the projection touches the surface of this white, huge piece of stage; It’s Team Perfume’s art direction at its best, and the result is absolutely stunning, exceeding the expectations as usual and taking the real Near Futuristic Techno-pop concept back to life.

The lights turn off again, and it’s time for the music to begin, and Enter the Sphere fits this role perfectly in every possible way as thestrong electronic synth breaks the silence and the crowd explodes in screams of joy, followed by a hypnotizing showcase made oflights, lasers and projection mapping. The performance continues, and when the first verse of the song kicks in, the lights reveal our girls at the top of the sphere in front of everyone at the highest point of Tokyo Dome, and also of their career; You can’t get higher than this, in any meaning.

622352_713190605372716_614324385_o

As the verse finishes it’s time for the girls to go back inside the sphere, and the instrumental goes on in its extended version. Giant balloons emerge from each of the tree platforms ahead, becoming spheres that then reveal the girls’ presence, dancing to the loved and already classic Global Website theme. It’s a stunning showcase of cutting edge technology, talent and pure audiovisual goodness, framed by the 50,000 screaming fans filling the magic place that is Tokyo Dome. Something that has to be lived in first person to understand.

The song is over but there’s no time to relax; The lights turn off, Spring of Life (Album-mix) starts, continuing the beatstorm began byEnter the Sphere, and as the upbeat and cheerful chorus explodes the Tokyo Dome goes on fire, and the synchronization of the girls in executing the choreography despite the distance between each member (especially during the main bridge) is impressive as usual.

The three girls disappear from the stage, and now the Sphere is starting to open, revealing the girls again on the central stage as the melancholic notes of Magic of Love (album-mix) begin to resound inside the Dome, finally revealing the huge dimensions of the main stage. Once the song is over, the girls can finally take a breath and talk to the numerous fans in front of them for the first MC of the concert, cheerfully welcoming us with a huge smile on their faces.

1493417_713190555372721_1597627043_o

After a 20 minutes talk to the fans, the girls get ready for another round of songs, and this time the sexy 80’s beat of 1mm starts this new set of songs, featuring real time lyrics on the huge screens covering the central stage of the Tokyo Dome. After the promotional single for LEVEL3, it’s time for the lovely Clockwork to get its first live appearance, featuring a nice and charismatic choreography as highlight, featuring graphics on the screens that perfectly follow the concept and the mood of the song, something that all the fans are gonna love once this concert gets released. After moving our arms as clocks, surprisingly it’s the turn of Point, B-side of the Spending all my Time single that finally gets a minimal yet appropriated choreography. Now our girls are singing from elevated platforms that then connects all the parts of the stage, previously disconnected; As a performance overall, it’s been one of the most surprising and definitely one of the nicest of the entire show. After another MC on the main stage, the mesmerizing Furikaeru to Iru Yo finally takes its spot, with a lovely choreography that well fits the song as usual.

But it’s now time to forget about calm and relaxing songs, cause the upcoming and central part of the concert is gonna blow minds. Literally.

The Perfect Beatstorm

The girls leave the stage, and now the beat introducing Sleeping Beauty kicks in, for an interlude that will show on screen one of the usual animations, this time enriched by Rhizomatiks’ amazing 3D Scan System that finally reveals its role. Indeed, every person that queued and took part to the scan shooting has been listed, and two random fans out of the list are literally picked up by the girls (on screen), and while they’re viewable in their 3D scan mode at first, after they are literally framed by the cameras and show on the huge screens. How? Simple. Before taking the scans, each fan had to show its ticket that got “scanned” as well. In this way, both your image and the number of the seat signed in your ticket are linked. Simply genial.

The Sleeping Beauty interlude finishes, but it was only the beginning of the huge beastorm that will come ahead and also one of the most awaited moments by all the fans, which is Party Maker. Describing this performance by words is difficult due to its complexity: The girls are on the main stage, on different levels, rocking a new choregraphy between elevators and cutting edge technology, obviously framed by the usual synchronization not only between themselves, but also with the screens showing the always amazing animations created by Kazuaki Seki. It’s really hard to describe, but it’s a performance that definitely MUST be seen to fully understand. Surely one of the high peaks of the whole concert, that you will have the chance to enjoy in a future video release.

1512266_713190475372729_25079695_o

But it’s still not time to get our breath back, because now, in the central platform ahead our girls appear as the well known Spending all my Time (album-mix) notes hit our ears (Kashiyuka’s entrance in this performance is impressive), and as the beat after the intro begins the projection mapping hits their outfits, and it’s the Cannes Lions and World Tour 2nd stunning performance all over again, buteven better. We’ve learned to love this choreography fused with Projection Mapping, but no matter how many items you see it, it’ll always be a jaw-dropping exhibition. Not even the time for the girls to take a breath, and for the fans to stop screaming and headbanging that it’s suddenly time to go back in time and jump at the rythm of the eternal classic Computer City; While the girls dance, I take a look around and literally see 50.000 fans going completely wild as they sing and jump with a huge smile on their faces. Seeing all of these fans moving at the same time it’s incredible and part of the overall experience of the concert.

Finally, after such a hardcore fragment of concert, it’s really time for the girls to take their breath back and relax with all of us by talking and drinking some water. What they just did was an extremely intensive, but definitely amazing round of songs that made all the supporters of their most Techno side more than satisfied, showing once again how these girls can handle such an intensive routine thanks to years and years of experience: The result is impressive. Now the girls stand still at the central platform, and after the third MC, it’s time to jump again thanks to the eternal classic Electro World, and the atmosphere gets even hotter as all the fans jump screaming “Hey!” to the techno beat and the immortal electric guitar riff.

1546257_713643681994075_752716663_n

It’s time to continue with the old classics, and as Jenny Wa Gokigen Nanamae begins, our girls jump on the Perfume Wagon (that’s how I love to call it) and start their road to get a closer look at the Tokyo Dome crowd while singing and throwing signed balls to the screaming fans, all of this in lovely and extremely cute Chirstmas dresses. As usual, once reached the central part of the Tokyo Dome, the Perfume Wagon stops and the girls perform another classic from the Triangle era, which is One Room Disco; Seeing Perfume performing this song in Christmas outfits is definitely a unique experience, and I personally felt really lucky in seeing it live right in front of my eyes: Cuteness overload. But there’s no time to waste, and after a short and funny interlude, it’s now time for Mirai no Museum, that perfectly fits the Christmas mood and the overall atmosphere created by the two previous songs; Definitely the perfect timing for this song, wisely inserted in the right moment of the concert and making it more enjoyable than ever.

1546410_667743476600429_1889647664_n

Santa! Santa! Santa!

It’s P.T.A. Corner time! A-chan gives the best of her comedian skills as usual, literally trolling (to use a famous internet word) 50,000 people making them act like Santa Claus, Deers and Snowmen; I can say without a doubt that this was definitely the funniest moment in the whole concert, thanks to the girls’ charisma and the genuine smiles on their faces that could make anyone instantly happy; Not only talented performers, but also great entertainers as usual.

1477505_713643475327429_1010492210_n

The last segment of the show features some classics from Complete Best to LEVEL3, beginning with Daijobanai and its killer fast dance, the immortal masterpiece Polyrythm (that never fails to make me emotional), the classic Chocolate Disco in its 2012-mix version and the lovely MY COLOR, featuring thousands of hands raised to the sky following the already classic 1-2-3 movements. Moments of great unity and fun.

This well selected set of classics from all their discography prepares us for the beautiful final of this performance, and after a short break, the girls appear on stage on three different platforms, wearing wonderful angel-like white dresses. As a soft wind gently moves their dresses, the last track of the album Dreamland begins. It’s a moment of peace, and the dreamy feel of the song fills the entire Dome, vibrating in the heart of each of the fifty thousand fans. It’s pure magic, happiness for having lived such an amazing experience, but also melancholy for it to be over.

1521210_713643605327416_975751804_n

The song reaches the end, the three angels reach the central stage and the Sphere slowly begins to close: The dreaming melody is over, and the stage is now back at its original look. The Dome gets filled with the applauses and the screams of all the fans, now more than ever united as big family, and a final writing is projected on the Sphere…

See You Next Live”

With these words, our girls salute all the fans that in this night experienced not only one of the most professional, entertaining and funny shows that the Japanese music industry can offer, but also a once in a lifetime experience. I felt and still feel extremely lucky for having being part of these two unforgettable nights, made special by everyone: The girls, the Perfume Team, the Tokyo Dome, and of course all the amazing fans of the Perfume fandom.

I get outside of the Tokyo Dome in just five minutes despite the endless stream of people, reaching my friends that are already waiting outside the venue. The Christmas illuminations light up the square in front of the Dome, and with our hearts full of joy, we start to walk towards the station. While walking we can see many fans from all over the world smiling and happily talking about their personal experience inside the Tokyo Dome. Everything looks like a Dream, but it’s beautiful reality in front of our eyes, a moment that we wish it could never end.

Though, for us It’s now time to celebrate with good friends, Perfume music, and beer, remembering what has been and probably will always be the biggest concert of our lives, not only in terms of dimensions, but of personal achievement. 

Music is passion, and passion knows no borders, and these three girls united more people from all over the world than they could ever imagine.

Unforgettable.

wpid-Photo-25dic2013-1715.jpgAll the pictures inside the Tokyo Dome are taken from the Perfume Official Facebook page. All rights to the pictures go to Amuse Inc. and Perfume.


Perfume 4th Tour in Dome LEVEL3 @ Tokyo Dome – Setlist:

01. Enter the Sphere (extended mix)
02. Spring of Life (Album-mix)
03. Magic of Love (Album-mix)
– MC
04. 1mm
05. Clockwork
06. Point
– MC
07. Furikaeru to Iru yo
08. Sleeping Beauty (Interlude – Rhizomatiks 3D Scan System showcase)
09. Party Maker
10. Spending all my time (Album-mix)
11. Computer City
– MC
12. Electro World
13. Jenny Wa Gokigen Nanamae
14. One Room Disco
15. Mirai no Museum
– P.T.A. Corner
16. Daijobanai
17. Polyrhythm
18. Chocolate Disco (2012-Mix)
19. My Color

FINAL: Dreamland


A very special thanks to all the friends that I had the pleasure to meet in this incredible adventure. I’ll see you again soon. Love you!

– Alex

[LIVE REPORT] Perfume live @ Le Bataclan, Paris.

When dreams come true, there’s always a sensation of unreality, the feeling that everything you do and see islike a dream; It’s like floating in the air. But once the reality hits you right in the face, you finally understand that what you’re living is anything but a dream, and that’s when happiness takes the place and joy becomes uncontrollable.

That’s the sensation I felt while going out of the Oberkampf station, just a hundred metres away from Le Bataclan, in the middle ofthe beautiful city of Paris, where the night will be set on fire by three beautiful japanese girls, better known as the best and most succesful Japanese techno-pop group ever: Perfume.

Perfume+WORLD+TOUR+2nd+perfume_paris

The Waiting

It’s barely 11am when I arrive in front of the venue, but there are already about thirty or more fans waiting in line, who literally slept on the floor to gain the so desired first row. I start wandering around, between the still pretty short queue and the Bataclan Café, talking to some fans who confirm that the Perfume staff arrived just an hour before, carrying all the equipment needed for the show inside the venue. Dragged by curiosity, I (kinda) sneak in front of the venue and try to see something inside: Technicians are testing the lights, and I feel like a huge internal goosebump… but no sign of the girls yet.

DSC_0069

Walking back, I take my position in the queue, and in just minutes all the guys that the night before I had the pleasure to know at the restaurant (You’ll see everything in my upcoming video report) finally arrive. Being in queue for like 10 hours would usually be the most boring thing ever, but when you’re queueing for a Perfume show and hundreds of Perfume fans are around you, it’s basically impossible to get tired: You’d just want your life to be like this forever. Talking about Perfume, passions, life, and everything that’s positive and funny, listening to their songs on the phones (or T-shirts with speakers), and just having a good time. More people join and take pics together, and the circle gets bigger and bigger: More and more fans know each other and talk about their love for Perfume, how they discovered them, and what this special group means for them.

Suddenly, while talking with other fans and waiting in line, I see a japanese woman with short red hair and a cute face hiding at the entrance of a closed shop just near us: She’s at the phone, holding some papers and nervously looking at the queue, clearly looking for someone or something. Then I realize: It’s MIKIKO-sensei, Perfume’s choreographer, and one, if not THE, most important member of the Perfume family, following our beloved girls since their beginning in Hiroshima. I can’t even believe at what I’m seeing! The temptation to go there and congratulate to her is enormous, but since she looks very busy, I just decide to not move a single muscle, and she finally walks in front of me to reach the venue with a member of the Perfume staff (probably the guy she was looking for).

After this little but intense moment, I finally go back to my queue, that begins to get longer: It’s not even 1pm, but many other fans joined the line, and I can see with great pleasure how there are fans from all over Europe… and Asia! I get the pleasure to know more of them, some from Portugal, Spain, Germany, Italy, and even Hong Kong and Japan!

1040199_489240137827813_2000303945_o

Credits for the pic go to Koji Kajima.

It’s around 2:30pm, and during the afternoon the biggest part of the fans is expected to arrive, but here’s when we get the chance tosee Perfume for the very first time!

I’m eating Pizza and drinking Orangina (some kind of wonderful orange juice) while sitting on the street talking about Yasutaka Nakata, when all of a sudden many fans from the first part of the queue suddenly stand up and run at the corner of the Bataclan Cafè, looking at the road just beside the venue. I run like hell with all other fans to see what’s going on, and the first thing I see once I turn the corner is a guy of the security in the middle of the street posing like a Gargoyle, and in the background a blac little Van: The girls finally arrived at the venue!

The atmosphere gets super hot: We all start to scream the girls’ name, and after five minutes, the girls finally get off the car. We can’t see A-chan, barely seen Nocchi’s hair, but Kashiyuka is clearly visible and waves at us smiling as we scream her name out loud. The feeling of finally seeing them live, even though pretty far, is incredible, something comparable to a vision of heaven. Useless to say, the only thing you could hear on the street for an hour was “They’re so cute!”… No joke!

It’s 4pm, and the situation gets hotter with minutes. The queue is incredibly long, it reaches the end of the street and continues around the corner. I walk all the way to the end of the queue, and all I can see is smiles and frantic excitement. More friends join us in the queue: There aren’t many cosplayers, almost no one, but many fans are blasting Perfume songs on their phones and are dancing on the street, showing some pretty impressive skills! Someone else (including me) is eating Puré Gummies that just come out from nowhere, while posing and taking pics as we have one of the best times of our lives. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that being in queue with these awesome Perfume friends is almost funny as the show itself!

1047933_10201606691313362_2006551765_o

In the meanwhile, some members of the Perfume Staff and Japanese TV reporters are recording all the people in queue, interviewing many excited fans. “Oh my God, are we going to be seen on Japanese TV? Can you imagine that?”. To me, everyone should really see the fun and the great feeling we all had during this day, so I hope they will broadcast as more footage as possible!

It’s 6:30pm, just an hour from the opening of the venue. A couple of shops just near the venue start to play Perfume PVs and live performances on their TVs, and many fans gather to sing and dance to the most successful Perfume songs… until the moment finally arrives. The queue starts to get compressed, and fans slowly begin to enter in the venue: After fifteen minutes or so, I finally enter at Le Bataclan. I show my almost destroyed ticket at the guy at the entrance, and run inside.

DSC05218

Credits for the pic go to Yuka Sakamoto

Le Bataclan is a pretty small venue, but very nice looking, composed by the central main floor and two balconies for a panoramic view of the show, for a maximum capacity of 1.700 people.

I don’t want to miss the chance to get some merchandise, so I rush to get a couple of T-shirts and a towel and reach the guys near the front row: Even though I’ve lost some time buying the merchandise, I still made it to the third row central view, a pretty nice point of view and very close to the stage. In about half an hour, Le Bataclan is finally completely full of screaming fans waiting for their favorite group to make its entrance on the stage: The lights turn off, Le Bataclan explodes in screams of joy, and the show begins.

Credits for the pic go to Yuka Sakamoto.

Credits for the pic go to Yuka Sakamoto.

The Show

Even though the presence of Daito Manabe walking around the venue was already suspicious, I would have never imagined to see the wonderful and epic performance of Spending all my Time (Extended Mix) featuring the Holographic projection made by theRhizomatiks genious live. It’s something you’ve never seen and that you’ll never see anywhere else if not in a Perfume show, and believe me, this performance alone is worth the price of the entire travel and concert ticket. The audience explodes as the bass drops, and seeing the girls so close to us gives an incredible feeling: After years of DVDs and concerts behind a screen, finally they’re in front of us in all their beauty. This is an unexplainable sensation, and it’s necessary to live it in first person to understand.

Credits for the pic go to Christophe Baldet.

Credits for the pic go to Christophe Baldet @ Perfume Fans France.

The epic performance that made the Cannes Lions event so special ends, the girls take off their holographic dresses, and immediatelyMagic of Love begins, and that’s when all the audience go crazy and start to jump at the rythm of the latest successful Perfume single. Not even the time to breath that Laser Beam explodes in all its greatness, and it’s a festival of lights and effects in all the venue, filled with fans extremely pumped and in ecstasy, blinded by lasers that seem shot directly by the girls, dancing and smiling in front of us. Legendary masterpiece Polyrythm closes this first part of the setlist, extremely concentrated with some of the most successful pieces of Perfume’s discography: Finally, the girls relax and stop dancing to get ready to introduce themselves to the already exhausted, but extremely happy audience.

Je suis Kashiyuka, Je suis A-chan, Je suis Nocchi…

Nous sommes, Perfume!

Hearing them speaking in French is probably the cutest things ever, and they speak it so well even if just a little bit! The audience is unstoppable, screaming the members’ name out loud, and the happiness in the faces of the girls in front of such a warm and excited welcome is evident. After talking a little bit, A-chan goes in the backstage for a short moment, while Kashiyuka and Nocchi remain on the stage talking with us (In japanese). Nocchi plays with Kashiyuka’s hair a little bit, which never fails to be perfect, acting funny as usual, until A-chan comes back on the stage and joins the fun again. The atmosphere between the girls is extremely relaxed, they don’t look nervous at all, and they’re in complete harmony with the audience that just can’t stop cheering them.

After a 15 minutes (or maybe a little more) MC, perfect to gain back some air and relax our legs that never stopped jumping, the tracklist continues with one of the best hits of the LEVEL3 era, which is Spring of Life, followed immediately by the very first touching song of the show, and also one of the best Perfume B-sides ever: The beautiful SEVENTH HEAVEN. Hard to hold the tears in front of such joy for both eyes and ears: The girls dance like angels in the light, smiling at the joyful sound of this love song, and it’s totally a Seventh Heaven vision. The next song is the wonderful Spice, one of the most appreciated A-sides of the JPN era, in all its synchronicity and revolutionary/fresh sound.

DSC05220

Credits for the pic go to Yuka Sakamoto

The girls leave the stage, and suddenly the Handy Man instrumental starts blasting the speakers of the venue, and a video interludeappears in the stage screen: Everyone takes the time to drink a little bit of water and breath properly, except for me, still jumping and screaming like an idiot to the instrumental of one of my favorite Perfume songs of this era. The video clearly reminds the style of the Triangle Tour introduction, with pics of the girls looking like absolute and beautiful divas (they can totally do it) and nice effects.

This enjoyable and very well made video interlude finishes as the last note of Handy Man resonates in the venue, and immediately the girls appear on the stage as Daijobanai begins: I’ve never been a great fan of the Mirai no Museum single in general, but hey, this song live is a total BLAST! I immediately find myself singing (somehow) this super fast and catchy song, while getting completely stunned by the impressive choreography. MIKIKO-sensei can always bring up a song with her choreographies, and this one isn’t an exception at all: Funny and entertaining!

DSC05221

Credits for the pic go to Yuka Sakamoto

It’s Electro World time! As the Techno-pop anthem for excellence begins with the historical Nocchi solo, the whole place goes on fire, with a super powerful bass that could make the lovely Bataclan crumble down in any moment, but the excitement and the energy from the 1.500 and more fans jumping and screaming could hold the weight of the Tour Eiffel. Unforgettable moments!

After a travel in the Electro World with our girls, it’s time for the P.T.A. Corner! Exactly as you can imagine, the interaction between the girls and the audience here just reach the maximum level, and A-chan is just the funniest entertainer ever, singing Queen’s most famous song “We will rock you”, following the rythm of the heavy bass beat.

And it’s exactly when the bass stops and A-chan screams “FAKE ITTO!” that one of the moments I was waiting for the most arrived: I love this song so much that I started to jump so high that I almost skipped a row flying (sorry to those who were near me). During the chorus of this song, I watched twice all around me in the venue and it was spectacular to see all these fans jumping at the same time: Never seen so many happy fans together!

194415_10200614209812331_19831648_o

Credits for the pic go to Christophe Baldet @ Perfume Fans France

After two of the most symbolic Perfume songs ever, Dream Fighter and Chocolate Disco, the sad sensation that the concert is about to finish slowly comes to my mind: The temperature inside the Bataclan is absurd, and both the girls and the entire audience are completely exhausted, even though the lovely triodoesn’t show the minimum sign of tiredness. A-chan announces the last song of the night, and kindly asks to the audience to move their hands in the air as she says so, and that’s how MY COLOR begins, with many hands following A-chan’s movements.

The song ends, the girls thank all the fans and walk towards the backstage and, obviously, as they walk out the stage, the entire audience start to scream for more, and in about five minutesthe girls come back for the encore, sadly, the last song of a wonderful night that no one wants to finish.

There’s a choice of three songs for the encore, and the girls will kindly let the audience choose which one they should perform: NEE, GLITTER, or LOVE THE WORLD?

_______________

A-chan: NEE?
Everyone: Yes!

A-chan: GLITTER?
Everyone: Yes!

A-chan: LOVE THE WORLD?
Everyone: Yes!

…..

A-chan (In japanese): Ok, put your hands in the air when I say the name of the song!

_______________

But every time she says the name of each song, everyone put their hands in the air, making everything pretty confused. The Bataclan is literally on fire: These guys really don’t want Perfume to go away! A bit confusing, but funny for sure, and as many fans scream “All three of them!!!” A-chan says smiling “Relax, keep calm!”.

At the end of this funny moment, the song is finally chosen: NEE!

1064962_10200614208852307_1250118795_o

Credits for the pic go to Christophe Baldet @ Perfume Fans France

Seeing the epic foot dance live is truly amazing, and this historical song from the JPN era truly has some power live, especially thanks to the wonderful choreography and the Techno sound that keeps the exhausted audience in front of them jumping. The final heavy bass drops, the girls take their last pose, and the song ends: The show is over.

The girls bow to the audience, I see someone in the front row crying, and seriously, it’s hard to hold the tears after a night like this. The faces of the girls express absolute happiness, and I might have seen a tear from Nocchi’s eyes. Kashiyuka is very touched as well, while A-chan’s voice broke more than once when saying multiple times “Arigatou gozaimasu!” and “Merci Beaucoup”. But she didn’t cry in the end: She’s a grown up woman, and realizes how far Perfume went, from Japan, to all Asia, and now here, in Paris, in front of thousands of fans, after traveling through Europe. Who would have ever thought that two years ago? These girls are real Dream Fighters, and they inspire thousands and thousands of fans all over the world.

The girls give their last salute to the audience, and leave the stage. Everyone immediately take their flyers with the VOICE lyrics, excellently organized by the guys of Perfume Fans France: Everyone starts to sing, and after the first verse ends, A-chan joins the audience singing from the backstage, with a touched and cute voice, thanking everyone one last time.

People start to walk and go out the venue, but no one really feels like leaving that magic place. While queueing to go out, I reach the technicians board, and near the console, sitting while looking at the people, I see her again: MIKIKO-sensei! I try to call her name this time, but she can’t hear me. So I just wait for her to look my way, and finally I wave at her. She smiles and waves back at me, and that’s when I screamed “MIKIKO-SENSEI, ARIGATOU GOZAIMASU!”. I scream so loud that all the people inside the Bataclan hear me, see MIKIKO, and start to applaude and chant her name. She smiles and bow to the audience, and I can notice how shy and beautiful this woman is. A wonderful moment I will never forget!

Pic taken from Instagram - Credits to @dungbrains

Pic taken from Instagram – Credits to @dungbrains

I finally get out of the Bataclan, and I can breathe again. My entire body aches, but I’m so happy that I find the force to reach a near bar and drink a can of beer in an estimated time between 0,5 and 2,0 seconds. While walking, a woman from the Japanese TV wants to interview me, and the only thing I can remember is me saying “BEST. SHOW. EVER!” with a destroyed face. The camera man smiles at me, and I think that if this footage will ever go on air on Japanese TV, the security guys at the Narita airport won’t allow me to enter in Japan next time I go there.

After this short and funny moment, I reach all the other guys at Le Bataclan café to drink and have fun together after a wonderful night. Happiness reigns, and even though we are all extremely tired, we still have the force to sing many songs from the concert.

It’s late, and people start to go back home as we sing WONDER2 every time a group of fans leave, creating a sort of melancholic yet happy atmosphere. Around midnight, I decide to go back to the hotel, saluting the fans that were still drinking in the bar and taking some pics all together, the last ones of a long series.

DSC_0084

“Will I ever live so many great moments again?” This is what I ask to myself while walking back to the Oberkampf metro station.

Probably yes. Because if a single group composed by three wonderful girls can unite, make feel love, and gather so many fans from all over the globe, it’s more than sure that we will all meet again one day. Perfume is a magic group, composed by three simple girls, but special at the same time. They’re our force, and one of the best thing that ever happened to all of us, making us feel the true meaning of love, passion and unity.

Love knows no limits. Music knowns no limits.

Perfume is all of this: The proof that dreams and love are the only thing that really matter in the end.

Thank you so much, girls!

sign


Perfume live @ Le Bataclan – Setlist

01. Spending all my time (Extended Mix)
02. Magic of Love
03. Laser Beam
04. Polyrythm
-MC-
05. Spring of Life
06. SEVENTH HEAVEN
07. Spice
– Handy Man Instrumental (Interlude Video)
08. Daijobanai
09. Electro World
– P.T.A. Corner
10. FAKE IT
11. Dream Fighter
12. Chocolate Disco
-MC-
13. MY COLOR
– ENCORE: NEE

____________________________________________________

Special thanks to all the guys at Perfume Fans France and to all the beautiful people I met in Paris. You guys are the best!

Thanks also to Mario, Lorenzo and Yuka for joining me in this adventure. :)

Love you all!

– Alex