Report: GAME Tour Final Day (2008/05/31) @ Yokohama BLITZ

The following article is a transcription
by Philosoranter from JPOPMUSIC forums

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The new single title:

Love The World

I should know, A-chan told me an hour and a half ago.

Perfume’s concert was absolutely fantastic. It was energetic, intoxicating, entrancing, action-packed, and altogether impressive. I was on the first floor, stage left, and a little closer than halfway to the stage. From where I was, I could see their upper bodies, but unless they stood on the risers, other audience members’ heads got in the way of seeing them in full. There were three outfits: leather/vinyl like the Game cover (they called Nocchi’s outfit “Three pieces of fabric” backstage, there was so little to it); a kind of blouse-like flower print configuration (A-chan wore a dress, Nocchi wore short/hot pants, Kashiyuka wore capri’s); and then for the encore red tour T-shirts and denim shorts.

They opened up with Game, and as part of the dance they held and used blue lightsaber-like devices, ending with a pose like the (other) Game cover. They went from that into Electro World, then Computer City, and then I lost track. The entire show was a mix of songs from Game and from Complete Best. About four songs in they had a talk segment that lasted a delightfully long time. A-chan is funny in an unpredictable way; she occasionally sounds and wears an expression like the group’s Mother. She spoke about trying to get together what she was going to say this morning, but her younger sister misplaced some of her clothing she needed for today, and she got so mad she “impressively” hit her knee on a table, raising a bruise and never recalling what she wanted to say.

Nocchi seemed to have the most fans shouting her name, and she responded to that in a kind of tsundere way, like, “All you A-chan fans are just saying ‘Nocchi’ for the fun of it.” She didn’t talk as much as A-chan (that would be impossible), but she and Kashiyuka did a good job of reining A-chan in and keeping her from going on too many tangents.

Kashiyuka spoke more in the second talk segment, but she worked well with Nocchi keeping A-chan on track. All three members did a lot of interaction with the audience; A-chan pointed out that they were only four songs in and already a fan’s glasses were fogged up; Nocchi started asking if anyone in the audience had really good eyesight (Nocchi has terrible vision); and Kashiyuka was all about enquiring into couples’ love life.

Visually speaking, Kashiyuka is adorable, Nocchi is intriguing and cute, and A-chan is cute but in a world of her own. Kashiyuka’s long hair looked and moved very nicely during the dances, swishing with her movements. Nocchi’s eyes were mesmerizing no matter how far back you were standing. A-chan was wearing a tiara, and either had an effervescent smile or a mystified pout at almost all times. None of the members were thinner than your average Japanese girl; even Kashiyuka showed a little muscle when lifting the mic.

After about 20+ minutes of talking they went back to performing. The downside to having the members completely vocordered is that there isn’t much gained or lost in singing those songs live, but the dances for all the songs were spot-on and extremely well performed. There were a lot of little interesting points to the choreography; for example holding up two, one, and four fingers to signify Valentine’s Day in Chocolate Disco, or squeezing their upper arms whenever the word “Yawarakai” (soft) came up in Macaroni. There were songs where they used microphone stands and songs where they just held the mics; Game at the beginning was the only one with neither, and that’s because they had lightsabers.

After the song set coming back from the first MC, the members left the stage and Butterfly played in synch to a CG sequence shown on three large LCD screens. These screens showed stuff to go along with all the songs being performed, but only for Macaroni did they show any real footage (the one-member version music videos, one on each screen). After Butterfly the members came in wearing the flower print outfits and did a sexy dance number to Take Me Take Me using chairs that had been placed by the staff. They sang songs like Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow, Jenny wa Gokigen Naname, Foundation, and the crowd went nuts when they sang Secret Secret.

The talk segment for the second half started out with more Nocchi-calling, then moved into talk about the tour goods. They made Game tumblers, but the words “Game Tour” were hard to decipher and “Perfume” only appeared in one place that could be covered by a thumb. Also among the tour goods was something “Perfume” related: gold and silver atomizers. Kashiyuka had the idea of using them when asking to go out with someone – giving them an atomizer filled with your favorite scent. However, not many audience members were catching on, so from the first performance of the tour they’d been doing a series of ad lib episodes, with classmate Ooki Nochio and young teacher Kashio Yutaka-sensei, fighting over A-chan’s heart. They’d done it in the previous ten concerts, gradually building a story where Nochio asks for A-chan’s digits and gets refused, Kashio takes A-chan out on a planetarium date, et cetera et cetera. If we’re lucky, during the next tour they’ll distribute somehow a complete set of those improvs. Being the last venue, we got to see the most action of any venue because they reviewed/synopsized the previous performances. I won’t say the ending, but I will say that (almost) everyone lives happily ever after.

There was another song segment after the improv, ending in (I think) Perfume, with everybody doing hand-choreography according to the members’ instruction. After the members left the stage to prepare for the Encore, we the audience were in a muddle as to whose lead to take in chanting “Encore!’

The encore opened up with a short talk segment, where the members talked about how unsure they had been about the tour they were on before it started, and whether people would really to come to a Perfume-only tour. This is when they announced the name of the single, Love the World, with as English-sounding a pronunciation as possible. They sang Ceramic Girl after teaching us how to dance along with them. After that, they did a little “Game”: Each of the three big screens behind the members popped up with a different song title, the members were to tell something interesting about the song they stood in front of. The three songs were Sweet Doughnuts, Kareshi Boshuuchuu, and Oishii Recipe (Nocchi called it “Nothing but Bouncing Recipe” after the simplistic dance.) After telling interesting info about each song, they played Rock-Paper-Scissors and decided to perform Kareshi Boshuuchuu (no vocorders!).

Before entering the venue, all the audience members were handed white glowsticks. We were to break them and wave them as the very last song started. It was done as a surprise to the members, and when Wonder2 started playing and the signal showed on the monitors behind the members, the entire audience started swaying with white glowsticks. They looked like little versions of the fluorescent lights on the Game cover. Seeing the surprise the staff had set up for them, A-chan and Kashiyuka cried instantly, and Nocchi broke down halfway through the song.

At the end, they gave their thoughts on the tour experience. Kashiyuka said that it was a real great turn of events after existing on tiny events for so long, and now that she’s tasted a real tour she’s not sure she can go back. Nocchi said that she’s extremely thankful for the the support the fans give and that it’s up to us to fill up Nippon Budoukan in November. A-chan said that seeing the fans getting so excited and doing things like the glowsticks makes Perfume emotional, and when Perfume gets emotional it makes them want to deliver emotions to the fans, which makes the fans energize Perfume, which starts a Poly-loop moving in Polyrhythm.

The event lasted a little over two and a half hours, with a decent mix of talk and music. At the end, they did something special that they didn’t do for any other venue – memorial photograph to go on their homepage or blogs. I’m on the left, holding up my green glasses. I hope there is a DVD; there was at least one camera rolling the whole time, even if they didn’t show the members on the monitors.

I spent 6500 yen on a towel, t-shirt and tour pamphlet to read on the plane back to the USA. I might translate the interview if I have the energy later this week.

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