So I splurged on my well deserved and necessary VIP ticket to see Kyary in January and have been counting down the days to this weekend ever since. I took the bus to NYC on Saturday morning after an exhausting day on Friday. When I got there in the early evening, I had to replace my iPhone charger which finally gave out on the bus ride over and remembered that Kinokuniya, the Japanese book store, was right near where I was.
I stopped in there, feeling absolutely gross from the long bus ride, to pick up the new 6% Dokidoki book. I don't really know what these things are called but they have a lot of them in Japan and in this book store. Fashion brands publish magazines with seasonal catalogue images and include brand items like small purse or wallet with the magazine. I stumbled into the store with my luggage, which was rather awkward and embarrassing, might I add, especially when I was told they relocated the magazines to the basement level. Once I made it over to the magazines, I was approached by a camera crew and interviewers who asked me questions about Kyary. Not much was explained to me prior to the interview so when the interviewer asked me questions in Japanese, naturally I responded in Japanese without realizing that there was a translator next to her. Needless to say, everyone was confused. They also told me they heard there are 3 kinds of Kyary fans- cosplay, lolita, and Harajuku and asked which one I was. I didn't know what to say because I feel influenced by all of them but then they insisted that I am the Harajuku type and they are probably right. So that awkward interview may or may not be on Fuji TV Thursday morning in Japan.
The magazine contains photos that Tokyo Fashion also has posted here
. It also comes with this really cute little purse made of fabric with the toy pattern they also print on tights. For those of you who don't know what 6% Dokidoki is, it's a brand by designer Sebastian Masuda. They have a store in Harajuku. Their two main models, Yuka and Vani, who are featured in the majority of their photos, work in the store. I was lucky enough to meet them when I visited the store over the summer. It is a definite must-see for anyone in the Harajuku area. Sebastian Masuda also designs a lot of Kyary's costumes and she has modeled in campaigns for his brand. He also designed the set for the "PONPONPON
And more important that Saturday is Sunday, the actual day of the show. I stayed up late on Friday night worrying about what I was going to wear. This is what I ended up with plus the nail polish that I did myself! (Maybe I can do a tutorial in the future?) I added the hair accessories and earrings spontaneously on the morning of.
- purple denim jacket with pins- Hello Kitty badge from Walmart, Sailor Moon pin I got from a booth at NYCC, 6% Dokidoki star clip
- Hello Kitty necklace from Claire's
- Floral white leotard from Forever 2
- Polka dot shorts from Delia*s with eyeball clips bought in Harajuku and a Tamagotchi
- Purple and gold glitter tights from Icing
- White lace trim socks from Trash & Vaudeville
- Silver glitter vans
- Hello Kitty bag from Hot Topic
- Plus- a couple cute hair clips, pink glitter star earring from Spank!, Arigatou earring from 6% Dokidoki, Dolly Wink eyelashes (completely necessary)
I kept hoping I would run into Kyary and Sebastian somewhere even though the city is big because the places they visit are pretty predictable. I was at Kinokuniya again Sunday afternoon and Sebastian stopped by but I think it was during the time I was sitting in Bryant Park. I learned my lesson and shouldn't have ever left that store. Someone on Tumblr posted about meeting Kyary at Trash & Vaudeville around that time as well. That is a pretty standard stop for musicians. The store posted what she bought on their Facebook page so you can easily steal her style. The shoes are actually discounted at Hot Topic now and I definitely fell for it and am having minimal regrets.
I bought some cute strawberry stickers from Kinokuniya and my friend Lindsay and I put them on our faces.
|Here is a photo of us pre-stickers.|
|Lindsay in Bryant Park probably while Sebastian was inside the store </3|
We then went to check out the "Tsukema Tsukeru" flashmob in front of The Marriot and ended up joining in towards the end. There were a lot of cameras and interviewers there so we were interviewed multiple times. Pics or it didn't happen?
We got in line for the show afterward around 3:30/4 and doors weren't until 6 so we had to wait for quite a while. Luckily we met a lot of really nice people who were also in line with us. It was funny to watch the passersby's reactions to everyone dressed up.
At around 5, they split everyone up between VIP and GA and then made us wait some more. While we were waiting, Sebastian walked around the outside of the theatre and everyone cheered every time he walked by. As VIP, we got in 10 minutes before everyone else and I got to be right in front! It was so exciting. And then we had to stand around some more... so after this whole day, I stood for about 9 hours straight. Totally worth it. I also admittedly hadn't eaten much nor had I considered hiding food in my bag so this was a painful 9 hours.
|Here is Lindsay standing around waiting for the show to start and admiring how everything glows under blacklight.|
I told the people we were standing near about how I had read that Kyary's favorite tour memory is when people chant her name before the show starts so all of us started chanting her name on multiple occasions, particularly when she was a half hour late getting on stage. Could you blame us for being restless after waiting around for so long? While we waited, the bouncers/security guards were talking to all of us and allowed for us to put our bags in the photo pit side of the barricade. They also came around periodically offered us water and told us to let them know if there was any pushing or if we felt dehydrated. I have never been to a show where the bouncers socialized with the audience members and seemed so genuinely concerned about our safety. Very VIP~
They had this endless loop of creepy music box type music playing during the entire time we were waiting. I think it's worth mentioning that they also played in the bathroom. There was no escape. But eventually, after much anticipation, the wait was over. The screen on stage began playing clips of Kyary's music videos in order of release and the audience was already singing along. When the video was over, Kyary's dancers appeared on stage with Kyary herself to soon follow.
I don't remember the set list at all but she played all of her popular songs and most of what is on Pamyu Pamyu Revolution. I think that a lot of the tracks were all around better live. But what was most exciting was her performance of her soon to be released single "Invader Invader" which she said is a song about aliens, that includes a "dubstep drop", as most people have been referring to it.
Here is a video clip I took and posted on Vine. I have another but I don't have a link to it because the app is only through phones and not their website and I didn't tweet the second one. Whoops...
Kyary had 4 different costumes. The first was the dress from the "Furisodeshon" video, the second was a lavender princess looking dress, the fourth was a hot pink dress with colorful unicorn illustrations and the final costume was one of her tour shirts and a skirt, which she wore for the encore of "Tsukema Tsukeru". During costume changes, they played videos of Kyary including clips from TV John, which is only available in Japan. During one costume change, they brought out someone in a Pamyurin costume and played information about Kyary's bunny character as it danced on stage. Though the stage setup was rather minimal with only some polka dot banners on the side, her performance, like all of her videos, was overstimulating just as expected.
Here are some photos I managed to take on my iPhone. I was pretty bummed that I couldn't bring my camera in because this would have been amazing to photograph with a DSLR.
Kyary spoke in mostly Japanese between songs. Although I am sure most of the audience did not understand what she was saying, they cheered anyway, making it difficult for the translator to get a word in. I go to see a lot of concerts, but I think this has been one of the most fun ever. Though there was a clear language barrier, it did not take away from the connection between Kyary and her audience. It felt like the whole venue knew all the words to her songs. There was also a strong bond among the fans. I know that made a couple new Tumblr/Facebook friends after the show. My one complaint was that there wasn't enough room to dance.
Then after the performance, all of us VIPs had our 5 second interaction with Kyary. A lot of fans brought her gifts, many of them shark themed as they are her favorite animal. I just gave her my card with a note on the back saying thanks and a link to where she could find the video of the "PONPONPON" TV I made for my project. I kind of regret not making hengao with her but anyway here is my photo with Kyary. I knew she'd show me up in cuteness.
And afterward my friends and I did our regular St. Mark's crawl in celebration- TKettle Bubble Tea, Japadog and Pommes Frites to take care of all our hunger pains.