Resorts World Sentosa, November 2nd 2014. It was just like any other weekends in Singapore’s top tourist destination, with families and holidaymakers in every corner. But if you look closer, something special was going on that evening. Some people wearing t-shirts and bags with the word ‘Perfume’ on it, and probably more Japanese visitors than usual. They were all going to Resorts World Theatre to see the Japanese techno-pop group, Perfume. Yes, Singapore is lucky to be included in Perfume’s World Tour 3rd (the second stop after Taiwan on 31/10, followed by Los Angeles 9/11, London 12/11, and New York 15/11) , the second time after their first concert here two years ago in *SCAPE Warehouse.
There were no long queues or any banner and signage for the concert when we got to the venue an hour before show time. Just a merchandise booth and a corner for PTA (Perfume’s official fan club) members. We went straight to buy some official goods then made our way inside the theatre. The 1500-capacity venue was full, and you could see people wearing tees and towels they just bought in the merch booth.
At around 7pm, the lights dimmed and people started shouting for the girls’ names: A-chan (Nishiwaki Ayaka), Kashiyuka (Kashino Yuka), and Nocchi (Omoto Ayano). The crowd roared in anticipation when the show finally started. Perfume live shows are never just ordinary – we were in for a treat!
For the next two hours we were treated with spectacular lights and laser show, awesome coordinated dance moves (intricately performed in high heels!), and catchy, fun songs that made it impossible to just stand still while watching. But of course, at the heart of it are the three girls, interacting with the audience and engaging the crowd in many ways. In their music videos, they mostly appear almost robot-like with their perfectly choreographed dances and (sometimes) poker faces. But in their live shows, they got the chance to show who they really are – and they’re actually very funny and charming!
“I’m Kashiyuka!” “I’m A-chan!”, “I’m Nocchi!” “And together, we’re Perfume!” They introduced themselves first in Japanese and then in English. They tried to communicate more in English, saying that they’re happy this is their second time in Singapore, in a bigger venue. “Singapore we’re back! Tadaima~!” joked A-chan. “Let’s have fun tonight!”
And we did have fun, lots of it! Although the theatre was a seated venue, everyone stood up and sang, danced and jumped together. Fans who were familiar with the dance moves danced along with the girls. It was almost like one big rave party, in a theatre!
In the MC session, the girls looked for someone who could translate Japanese into English, and apparently, the fan who did this in their show two years ago (“Ume-saaan!”) was among the audience, so she was given the honor to translate their MCs again this time. They talked about how they just arrived a day before and that they visited the big Merlion in Sentosa and went up to the mouth and took pictures. A-chan comically said that she thought the teeth of Merlion should be sharp, but it was actually round. Maybe because it has been stroked by so many visitors? She looked amused, and when her words were being translated, she described it with gestures that sent the whole theatre laughing.
A-chan then continued with her story. Since they couldn’t really go anywhere, they were told to order meals from room service. But they couldn’t understand the room service menu because it was all in English. The Singapore staff then translated and rewrote the entire menu in Japanese, to their amazement. They were really touched by this.
And as usual, the girls divided the crowd into three parts, each had to correspond to A-chan’s calling. First group was “ROOM!”, second was “SER!”, and lastly, “VICE!” “ROOM SERVICE!” It seemed to be something that A-chan thought of on the spot, which made it even funnier. Throughout the show, to hype up the atmosphere she would call it up. The room service in their hotel should be proud that night, because the whole theatre was cheering for it. “SINGAPORE!! ROOM SERVICE!!!”
In the PTA corner (a staple in Perfume concerts where they interact more with the audience), the girls asked us to follow their dance moves. “Left, right, left, left, right,” “In, out, out, in,” A-chan guided from the center of the stage, Nocchi on the right and Kashiyuka on the left. They teased with asking “Tired?” and saying “Ganbare!” A-chan took the lead and it was funny how the other two girls sometimes couldn’t predict what she was doing (“Eh… nani kore?” was heard at one point). The moves got weirder and they began singing a song about brushing teeth! In the middle of the mirth suddenly A-chan said “It’s cold…” and what do you know… the next thing we heard was the intro of ‘Let It Go’ from the ever-popular Disney movie, Frozen, and the girls sang a part of the song. Right afterwards the played out the parts: “Elsa! Please don’t shut me out!” said Kashiyuka. “Anna!” replied A-chan. “Elsa!” “Anna!” …and then the two turned to Nocchi who innocently said, “Hi!” Pause. Laughter from the audience. “Who are you?” “I’m Olaf!” She put her hand in front of her nose, mimicking Olaf’s carrot nose. This unexpected Frozen stint was definitely one of the highlights of the night.
Song after song comprised of new tracks like the infectiously happy ‘Spring of Life’ and old favorites like the fun and upbeat ‘Chocolate Disco’ passed by quickly, and finally it was time to close the show. The three girls said thank you repeatedly and genuinely looked touched. In the end, representing the group, A-chan said “Thank you for understanding! We’re Japanese… but you understand everything. The music… the passion… we’ll never forget it. Thank you for your love. Please keep loving Perfume!” and they did a long bow while the whole theatre gave a rapturous final cheer.
All in all it was a marvelous spectacle, a memorable night that felt like it went by too quickly. Thank you A-chan, Nocchi, and Kashiyuka for having fun with us that night! We hope to see you again in your next world tours!
Written by our Rekan, Maria H. Shafita. Photos courtesy of Amuse Singapore.