The post-lowdown on Perfume's World tour 3rd gig in London

Perfume - World tour 3rd | Random J Pop

Perfume's stage performances are no joke. I've seen many a performance on YouTube and attended World tour 2nd to attest to this. But still, nothing quite prepared me for what Perfume would bring to the table and do to my life with World tour 3rd. Perfume get called out for miming, not being artists and having no input of their music. Whilst its difficult to argue against these points outright (I wouldn't even go there), the one thing which is undeniable is that the showmanship that A-chan, Kashiyuka and Nocchi display each time they perform is A+. These girls have nothing to prove. But they hit the stage for World tour 3rd as though they had to anyway.

World tour 2nd was new territory for everybody. It was Perfume's first time performing in London and for the majority of those in attendance, it was their first time seeing Perfume live. The entire experience felt like it wasn't quite happening. World tour 3rd felt much more tangible. It had only been little over a year since they were last in London and everything Perfume had done from that point on was done in an effort to include their international fans. The launch of their YouTube channel. The international release of their albums. References to their performances outside of Japan in their tour intermissions. Perfume no longer seemed so distant and World tour 3rd embraced that completely.

World your 2nd was stellar, but with the exception of "Spending all my time" which incorporated the projection mapping from their original performance at Cannes, it was a very basic affair. World tour 3rd upped the ante considerably and was much more in line with the bigger productions we've been seeing the girls deliver in Japan. The lighting was better. They had an actual set. They had a hi-def screen. They had UV lights. They had a stage which could break apart. Perfume's team were not fucking around.

The set list was solid and spanned Perfume's discography from Game right up to Cling Cling, with a couple of B-sides thrown in for good measure. I might have missed a song or two in the setlist below or gotten some of the orders muddled.

  • Enter the sphere
  • Spring of life
  • Cling Cling
  • One room disco
  • MC segment
  • Hold your hand
  • ~Intermission~ Spending all my time (DV&LM remix)
  • Game
  • Seventh heaven
  • PTA
  • Party maker
  • Glitter
  • Chocolate disco
  • Polyrhythm
  • Handy man
  • Encore: My colour


The biggest surprise in the setlist was the intermission which featured the DV&LM remix of "Spending all my time". But the surprise didn't end there. The intermission seemed like it would be a normal affair of the song being played in full before the girls re-enter the stage to perform another. Except 2 minutes in the lights hit the stage to reveal the girls who start performing it. The mix of the song switched back and forth between the original and the remix. It was brilliantly done. It's great to see "Spending all my time" continue to evolve and go such a long distance, especially given how lukewarm the reception to the song was when it first touched down. It would be great if some of Perfume's other songs got given similar revisions and treatments.

Whilst the reception to Perfume's Cling Cling release has been mixed to say the absolute least, they have been performing the crap out of it and as expected, they performed 2 songs from it: "Cling Cling" and "Hold your hand". Neither of these songs are high in my list of favourite Perfume songs, but they both have solid routines and I find myself having a higher tolerance for them when I watch Perfume perform them live. Unfortunately the girls did not perform "Display", the one song on the Cling Cling maxi which was generally well received. Given how hyped the crowd were throughout the duration of the gig and the wholly euphoric club affair that the entire concert became, "Display" would have gone down nicely.

 When Perfume debuted their epic and iconic performance of "Party maker" on their LEVEL3 tour, it ruled out any chance of them ever performing it again unless they were in a dome or an arena due to the stage setup which would be difficult to replicate in smaller venues. But their simplified performance of the song on their Gurun Gurun tour opened up the possibility of them performing it for World tour 3rd and they did. At no point did I think 'Oh, I wish they were performing it on the lifts' because the performance was so electric. The girls exuded a great deal more energy here than they did on their LEVEL3 tour performance, which is probably due to them not having to be so conscious of being on moving platforms which went 50 feet up into the air. Perfume lit up when they performed this song, and the crowd repaid them in full by going absolutely ape shit for the entire performance.

Perfume's outfits have been really questionable this era, with some of their wardrobe choices being plain horrendous. Their outfits for World tour 3rd were all re-hashes of outfits they had worn before and were nothing special. But one of their outfit throwbacks in particular deserves an honourable mention, as it was a resurrection of their "Laser beam" dresses. This look was the stand out, as it made the girls look like superhero boss bitches. Perfume have become masters of wearing two layers of outfits to initiate quick changes between songs. But World tour 3rd featured one of the slickest dress changes I've witnessed in my life. The girls finished a performance of "Spring of life", the lights went down. 3 seconds later "Cling Cling" starts, the lights come on and the girls are in new dresses. You could not see the dress change or where the girls put the dresses for shit. I looked my friend in the face like "WHAT FUCKING WITCHCRAFT DID THESE GIRLS PULL!?" Their second dress change in comparison was the complete opposite, with them tearing off their dresses in plain view and getting buck wild during the intro of "Party maker", before they proceeded to snatch every wig, weave, clump of hair they could get within reach.

The girls seem almost in-human when the music starts and they effortlessly breeze their way through their meticulous routines, but when the house lights come on and they feel like having a conversation, they reveal themselves to be completely normal. Kashiyuka started talking about how much she loves coffee and that she'd fallen in love with Pret-a-manger (a UK chain of coffee shops). A-chan mentioned that she really wants to go to a pub and then asked the crowd for suggestions on places to eat food in London, which resulted in a hilarious moment where a member of the crowd shouted Nando's which Nocchi then repeated, resulting in a huge laugh from the crowd. I never thought hearing Nocchi say "Nando's" could be so magical, but it was. It is now my phone message alert tone. Nocchi also did the majority of the talking, giving an overview of their tour and asking the crowd questions. She also seemed the most comfortable attempting to speak in English. Even when the girls were having conversations on stage where A-chan and Kashiyuka would be speaking in Japanese, Nocchi would interject and answer in English and she genuinely seemed to find it fun, which was plain adorable and made me want to wifey Nocchi on the spot. That girl is taking secret English lessons. I would not be surprised if by this time next year for World tour 4th, she is leading the MC's entirely in English. The PTA segment was as random as ever, with the girls teaching the crowd some of their dance routines, re-enacting scenes from Disney's Frozen, singing along to "Let it go" and also singing a song about brushing your teeth. It was  fucked up and none of it made any sense to me, but I relished in every second at the sheer craziness and how these girls can transition between laser precise performances with the highest production values, to them standing on a stage and being completely slap-dash and random.

Something which was amazing to witness was the unification of the crowd. Everybody laughed at the same jokes A-chan made, chuckled at Nocchi's adorable expressions when she tried to recall how to say something in English, chanted at all the right times in the songs and seemed to be in awe and excitement at the same things. Kashiyuka's hair flick during "Spring of life" saw the entire crowd erupt which made her chuckle. When the switch occurred at the end of "Nee" everybody clapped to the kick drums in unison. During "Dream fighter" everybody chanted 'Saki made'. It was almost like everybody was on the same mental cue. As a fan of J-Pop, you often feel as though offline you are in complete isolation when it comes to your musical tastes. But during this gig, everybody was one and the same and it was a beautiful thing to see and be a part of. What was even crazier for me personally, was that I ended up seeing 3 of my colleagues from work who I had no idea liked Perfume and that I was a row behind one of my Twitter followers. This gig truly did bring everybody together.

Perfume - World tour 3rd | Random J Pop

A-chan made a short speech about despite there being language barriers, every Perfume fan shares the same heart and the same music, which is absolutely true. The auditorium was filled full of people of different races, ages, backgrounds, from all walks of life. But in that one moment, we were all one and the same. She also asked that we keep loving Perfume, and as long as they continue to visit London once a year and keep doing what they're doing, I think I can commit to that.

31 comments:

  1. It sounds as though you had a great time. Reading this made me upset that I missed the chance to see them perform live in New York; the show was sold out so quickly. I hope they perform in the states again next year.

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  2. I'm not about this tribute album. I'm only really interested in hearing Sheena Ringo's cover and that's about it. Also, I heard Utada did have some say as to who would be featured on the album, I'm not sure how true that is because it was other fans who said this. She probably allowed Ayu to feature on the album to seal her fate for good. Ayu will have not one strand of hair left after team Utada read her to filth and drag her to hell and back.

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  3. I saw the performance in the NYC last weekend. Set list couldve been longer, NYC had chocolate disco in the setlist.

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  4. RIP Utada and Ayumi.

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  5. it was an amazing show. you are spot on about the crowd being in unison and that really added to the atmosphere. it was a great show. yuka-chan was laughing her head off at one point in front of us and i think they all really enjoyed it which added to the feeling..

    now. most importantly :)

    where do i get audio of nocchi saying nandos!?

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  6. If you want to burn some incense, boil some hot water and throw down some tea leaves, I'll kick it and pray for a World tour 4th with you.

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  7. The London gig had it too, I just added it to the post. I completely forgot that perfume performed that song, as I was on my phone the entire did that they did. I am sick to death of "Chocolate disco". They perform it all the damn time.

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  8. I co-sign this entire comment. Sheena Ringo is the only cover I'm here for. I'm curious as to how AI and Miliyah's covers will turn out. They could either turn out to be really really good or pieces of shit to be cast into an asteroid belt. Their music for me is always at these two extremes, with no in-between.

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  9. I am all over this comment for two reasons: #1.) Utada has NOT retired from music and if "Salura Nagashi" is ANY indication, will sound just as good and more than likely better than ever in every aspect once her return is official, regardless of sales figures and #2.) The only time death, Utada and Ayu should EVER be mentioned in the same statement is when the former makes the latter permanently irrelevant after aforementioned comeback (should it be even possible to make her more so)...

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  10. I am all over this comment for two reasons: #1.) Utada has NOT retired from music and if "Salura Nagashi" is ANY indication, will sound just as good and more than likely better than ever in every aspect once her return is official, regardless of sales figures and #2.) The only time death, Utada and Ayu should EVER be mentioned in the same statement is when the former makes the latter permanently irrelevant after aforementioned comeback (should it be even possible to make her more so)...

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  11. I'm actually interested in hearing what these gathering of artists have to offer. I have my hopes that this album will rekindle my love for Hikaru's classics.

    The only artist on the album I'm not interested in hearing a song from is Ayu. I'm sorry but I can't picture her doing any Hikaru song justice. Sheena Ringo is my favorite singer out of the ones on the tracklist, so her song interests me the most along with AI.

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  12. It was? There were some still available on ticketmaster the week before. Granted, they were expensive, but they were still there...

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  13. During the NY performance when Yuka and A-chan were doing their Anna Elsa thing, Nocchi was in her own corner with fist to nose like "I am Olaf. Kyarrot." Most people lost their shit then.

    We had standing room tho, and that was insane; 2 people fainted. I am not a short girl but I could barely see them since like 3 guys 6ft/~180cm up were in front of me recording. So I kinda wish I had gotten balcony seats so I could see them perform.

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  14. Didn't Miliyah already cover a Utada song for her 10th anniversary album?!?!?!?!

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  15. As with everyone else, I'm only here for Sheena Ringo's cover. I am curious if they'll use the original song arrangements, or if they'll remix/rearrange the songs for the album, tho. That's the only way they're getting me to listen to Ayu's cover.

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  16. I love how y'all have absolutely no faith in Ayu. Your shade giveth me life.

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  17. I enjoyed this performance, the vocals were weak though.

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  18. lol people make me laugh, It's only been the past few years Ayu hasn't been slaying but you all forget over a decade of amazing music and live slayage just to kick a bitch while she's down.
    Ayu needs to get her shit together, yes, but she is still a great writer / singer and Utada obviously thinks so or there is no way she would be on this album. Personally I'm here to see what she covers, Although she can't replace the original I think she's do good on "Final distance".
    And on Utada she will slay everyone with the quality of her music when she does come back because "Sakura Nagashi" is some of her best work to date.

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  19. This bitch slays so hard she even made Robert Pattinson hot again.

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  20. It's surprising to read how in London, Nocchi was speaking more English than the other two girls because it was completely opposite during the LA show (A-Chan was the ENGUURISH ringleader). Also funny to read about the pub reference since at the LA show, they were talking about eating at In-N-Out and made the crowd chant "CHEESEBURGER!"

    I had an amazing time being my first JPOP concert in general, but like you mentioned, I was a little taken aback of all the B-side and old-school songs on the set list. I was expecting "Display", "Magic of Love", "Natural Ni Koishite",etc. but I was crying when they opened with "Spring of Life" (first Perfume song I ever heard, so it's sentimental) and encored with "FAKE IT."

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  21. *kicks da betch some more*

    Utada don't think$h!# of ayubish hamasucky. This is called charity and Utada will surely file it as a deduction on her taxes. Yas bish.

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  22. I agree. I'm sure Utada respects Ayu who is an accomplished singer/songwriter.

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  23. Karaoke is all that ayubish is worth. It's where she will stay and Utada will slay. At her own songs no less. lol

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  24. Innerise you are "~A~Hater" lol ✌

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  25. And ayubish's career is in a "DEEP RIVER" full of $h!# lol.

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  26. 4. Movin' on without you / Ayumi Hamasaki

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  27. holaaaa amigos como estan?= replika telefonlar bulkabilirsiniz.

    Los mejores celulares replicas mandamos todo el mundo...

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