[adrotate banner=”1″]As part of the continuing adventures of TarsTarkas.NET, I attended a free concert in Union
Square in San Francisco that was part of the J-POP Summit Festival 2013. The Festival is also sponsoring the first ever Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, which I am also attending screenings to (and reviews for Dreams for Sale and Library Wars will be appearing on TarsTarkas.NET!) I have press access, which I say as a disclaimer now, though I don’t accept free screening passes in press form, so I’ve paid my way for those films. I did, however, take advantage of the press access to get front row seats at this concert, which I would be attending anyway. But enough about the moral implications of getting a front row seat, let’s get on with the concert!
The free concert had four acts, so let’s go over them in order of appearance:
First up was Kylee (aka Kylee Saunders), an American singer with a Japanese mother who has become really big in Japan. As she’s currently going to school at Stanford, her focus now is more exposure and performances in the US. Kylee sung a mix of Japanese and English songs, including a cover of Pink’s Just Give Me A Reason. Kylee hung around a big to answer questions from concert host Mike Inouye of the local NBC station.
Up second was LoVendoЯ, the group formed around former Morning Musume singer Reina Tanaka. Over 4000 women auditioned to be part of the band, with Yuki Uozumi, Marina Okada, and Marin Miyazawa ending up with the coveted slots. LoVendoЯ was named earlier this year, and only has a few songs of their own, though I will say they were pretty entertaining. Among their songs played was Joukyou Monogatari. The act came out in outfits that were red and black colored leather, with billions and billions of metal studs in them. While talking with Mike Inouye, Reina Tanaka seemed almost apologetic the group didn’t have more songs to play.
Up third was human beatbox machine Daichi. Who performed by himself and made all of the noises for his songs. He was pretty crazy, creating inhuman musical sounds, mixing American and Japanese songs together into recognizable beats that were still unique. At one point he used a device to record samples of himself that he put on loop o he could perform as an entire band. Daichi has a song voice that sounds like a robot Popeye that he uses as his main song voice, but threw in several other completely different sounds. He also did a neat trick where he held the microphone up to his neck and still produced some awesome music. I believe he was the most impressive of the acts just for how cool it was that he did everything with just his mouth. And if they need a new Jones for a Police Academy reboot…
And, finally, what everyone came for – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu! The screaming was loud, but Kyary Pamyu Pamyu burst on stage with her four American flag attired masked alien cat girl dancers and rocked the house. Or rocked the open public area, I should say. Kyary opened with PonPonPon and went through her hits, Invader Invader, Fashion Monster, you know the drill. The audience was going nuts, and the energy from Kyary and her dancers was electric.
But all good things must come to an end, and thus the concert did as well. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was kind enough to do a brief interview, and then that was all she wrote. Overall it was a fun experience, and some acts from Japan now have a larger audience thanks to the magic of exposure.
Here is a big bunch of photos I took
After the concert, the Press Pass lost it’s value, so I gave to to our good friend Mongo, who subsequently used the Press Pass to interview the brand new Royal Baby Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. Also, Mongo has been arrested, something to do with trespassing and harassment of the Royal Family and annoying an infant. Who expected that to be a crime? Freaking infants, they are such babies…