KYARY Pamyu Pamyu’s first ever visit to Melbourne as part of her 5iVE YEARS MONSTER World Tour brought colours, dancing and non-stop happiness to faithful fans at Festival Hall. Yuzuha Oka attended Kyary’s concert to find out what else goes on at a KPP show.
Festival Hall’s lights dimmed. The crowd held their breath, waiting for something to happen; for someone to appear. And then over the speakers, a voice emerged.
“We are… monster…”
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu had arrived.
Celebrating five years as a performer and mainstay on the Japanese music scene, Kyary’s 5iVE YEARS MONSTER World Tour made a stop in Melbourne on June 25, inviting fans of the kawaii ambassador and Harajuku fashion idol to party along with her. The Japanese pop princess has amassed a worldwide fanbase in her five years as a performer which includes a Twitter following of more than 4 million as well as 310,000 subscribers on her official YouTube channel.
Fans turned up to Festival Hall in droves, many of whom could be seen sporting colourful costumes inspired by or taken directly from her music videos. With Festival Hall’s status as a legendary Melbourne venue, hosting the likes of Justin Timberlake, The Beatles, Kanye West and the Red Hot Chili Peppers over the years, it was a sight that was more likely associated at a pop culture convention than anywhere on Dudley St.
Fervent fans eager to get in early waited in the cold that Saturday night and were soon let into the venue, earlier than the scheduled the 8.00pm.
As people began filing in, it quickly became apparent that there was a mix of Japanese nationals and Australians coming through.
“I see more male fans here, and the crowd is older. In Japan, her gig is packed with teenage girls,” said Kaori and Sakie, two Japanese girls helping to sell Kyary’s merch as they awaited their first live concert experience in Melbourne.
Kyary’s concert kicked off with the theme song of her world tour followed by some of her hit singles like ‘PONPONPON’, ‘Candy Candy’ and ‘Tsukema Tsukeru’, and tracks off her latest chart-topping album Pika Pika Fantajin.
Fans danced and sung along with Kyary during the show who also entertained the crowd with her various costume changes and fun presence. It was hard not to get swept up in all of Kyary’s positivity, as one enthusastic fan pointed out.
“She just makes people happy. She has such a positive vibe,” he said after the show.
Despite her merry and cheery music, however, Kyary’s lyrics are quite evocative and deep too.
In the opening verse of ‘Mondai Girl’ (translated as ‘Problem Girl’) Kyary sings: “When people blame somebody, they say ‘she’s different from everyone’, but is there anyone who always matches the description of ‘everyone’?” which sounds like an honest scream from a pop star who has had to grow up in a culture where standing out is a bad thing.
And it is perhaps Kyary’s willingness to stand out that has helped her gain fans worldwide.
“I just love that she is unabashedly different,” said one of her fans, Annalisa, at the concert, “so much so that her style and her aesthetic is recognisable of just being hers. Kyary sets herself apart not just because she is Japanese or a J-Pop star. She is famous for just being her.”
After a quick on-stage photo with fans in attendance and two hours of jam-packed Kyary hits (which included an encore) the audience left the venue still buzzing with energy and happiness long after the J-Pop princess left the stage.
The unstoppable Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is now heading to London, then San Francisco, New York, Taipei then through to the Tokyo finale in August, spreading her positive energy around the world.