Perfume and the good ass performance that got lost at Coachella

Perfume: The performance that got lost at Coachella | Random J Pop

So. Perfume are now done with Coachella, to wrap up what has looked to have been an amazing North American tour for the girls. A tour which would have been made better had they came to the UK and did dates in Europe. But I won't get into that. I'm at peace with it. Well, I'm not. I'm still pressed. But this ain't about Perfume's disrespect to their European fans. It's about their North American snatchery.

Perfume's first weekend performance at Coachella came and went without much in the way of fanfare or coverage due to it not being livestreamed and Perfume's team not really doing much socially to spread the word that it was happening, aside from pictures of them making Sacai look bad with their signature foul choice of footwear.

Perfume: The performance that got lost at Coachella | Random J Pop

Bitch. DIS-GOS-TIN'.

Perfume weren't featured anywhere on the Coachella website, every other act had themselves a livestream, but Perfume. It was a mess.

Many (me included) tweeted up a storm and blamed Perfume's management, Amuse Inc., for the lack of a livestream, because we know how Japan hates YouTube and streaming. But it turns out the lack of a livestream was a restriction on Coachella's part. Ya see, Perfume only got to perform in some crusty little tent and not on any of the main stages. Therefore, no livestream. But within 24 hours, word was out that Perfume's second performance would indeed be livestreamed. Whether it was the will of the fans, shall remain unknown. But at least we'd get to see Perfume perform and low key put headliners to a type of shame.

I've been in this love / hate relationship with Perfume since 2014. There just seemed to be no real direction in terms of where the group was going and their music took a discernible nosedive. I then became overly pressed at them not bringing neither of their Cosmic explorer or Future pop tours to the UK, when World tour 2nd and 3rd both stopped here; possible penance for me not liking either of those albums.

I felt as though I disliked Perfume more than I actually liked them. And for a while, I probably did. But their performance at Coachella was a reminder of what made me fall for Perfume in the first place and that maybe I shouldn't give up on these girls and the team behind them. Because if nothing else, they know how to put on a show and give 100% every time. The music may be...where I'd like it to be. And the super sentai outfits may get worse. But Perfume's live performance game stays tighter than Beyoncé's wig caps.

Speaking of Beyoncé, she currently has the whole world talking about her iconic Coachella set as a result of its recent release on Netflix. Not just for the sheer spectacle and scale of the show, but the hard work it took for Beyoncé to get to a point where she could even do it. Something that is often overlooked with Perfume is the amount of work that must go into them being able to do what they do. We seldom get behind the scenes footage of what goes into their tours, as not to demystify the magic behind them. But the same way that not just anybody could do what Beyoncé pulled out of her lacefront for that Coachella performance, not just anybody could do what Perfume do. Bitch. To dance through a song in 3 layers of dresses and then dance through another four songs wearing 2? WHO COULD EVEN!? The dedication these girls have and the level of discipline it takes to put on the shows they do, learn the routines that they do and deliver each time is astounding. As whilst their Coachella set was one of their smallest, they didn't skimp on a single thing and they seemed to be enjoying the experience on a different level than usual. You could see that it was not lost on them how big a deal this was for them to perform at an event like Coachella. It didn't matter that they were relegated to some windy ass tent They were just happy to have the chance to say that they performed at Coachella.



Perfume opened their set with "Story" and chile, the screens were not having it. As soon as the projections started, one of the screens fell. And then another fell. Then another one. And like dominoes those bitches just kept falling. Stage hands rushed to get them back up and secure them, and even when Perfume took to the stage, they were still there trying to get the screens to stay up. a-chan's try'na help. Kashiyuka's started moving her screen, because 'Bitch. I ain't missing these marks'. Nocchi is standing there 'Like, what in the fuck?!'. But despite all of this, everything was in place in time for the routine to start and the girls didn't miss a single beat. The girls are holding onto the screens for most of the performance anyway, so there was no danger of them falling. But as soon as the girls stopped moving the screens and stepped away from them for the bridge section, a-chan's screen fell again. But at least it fell on beat.


The screens deciding to take naps and try to fuck up Perfume's Coachella debut was a reminder that as smooth and seamless as Perfume's sets are, something can always go wrong and at some point it will. There are so many moving parts to Perfume's performances that's its no wonder more thing don't go wrong. Could you imagine if the lifts fucked up during their LEVEL3 performance of "Party maker"? But it also showed that these girls are professionals. They seemed wholly unfazed by the issues on stage and that's because they've been performing for 15 years together. There have probably been numerous instances where things have just gone wrong, we've just not seen any of that shit because Japan don't livestream for shit and Perfume's team patrol the aisles of each of their gigs and knock cellphones out of peoples hands when they see them filming anything. It's not the 'going wrong' that fucks shit up its how you handle it and the girls kept it moving. And I have to say. Even after 4 years, I never tire of watching Perfume perform "Story".

Speaking of "Story", as was the case with their debut performance of the song as SXSW 2015, the livestream of Perfume's set featured moments where visuals were super imposed onto the stream. The premise was the same as it was with "Story" - fancy zooms, sweeping shots, CGI. In the case of "Electro world" and "Daijobani" these visuals took the live performance footage and made it look like a fully produced music video. "Electro world" actually looked better than the official music video. Perfume's team need to go talk to Sony and release a PlayStation VR version of it.


One thing I've started to bore of with Perfume's performances of older songs is that we never get new arrangements. This is something that Perfume have only recently started introducing, but even so it's never full blown new arrangements, but small changes to intros and versions of songs which combine their single and album mixes (i.e "Laser beam" and "Glitter"). For their Cosmic explorer tour we got a medley, which was new. But with the Future pop tour we finally got a song with a new arrangement...kinda. And that song was "Electro world", which featured a brand new intro which sounded amazing.


Perfume used the exact same transition from "Future pop" into "Electro world" that they did on the Japanese leg of their tour and it works well. Perfume aren't ones for transitions and segues, so this was new for them.

I really do wish this is something we got for more of their songs. If Perfume's team can spend the time and effort to re-shoot new visuals for "Edge" to correspond with whatever outfits they may be wearing for a respective performance, surely they can tell Yasutaka to re-arrange some of their songs. He'd probably do too much and give us album mixes that no one wanted. Let us not forget that Perfume are yet to perform the album mix of "Flash". It's weird and kinda lazy from a group and a team who are anything but lazy. I'm tired of hearing the same versions of songs that I've been hearing for the past 11 years. Some new arrangements and versions would go down a treat.

The setlist on the whole was pretty decent. It's clear there was a certain vibe they were going for with it. I was honestly expecting "Polyrhtyhm" at was shocked when they didn't perform it. I'm not complaining though. It's nice to see them not fall back on it as they often do. The same goes for "Chocolate disco". I been ready for that song to retire and die.

Story
Future pop
Electro world
If you wanna
Fusion
Edge
Daijobanai
Pick me up
Fake it
Flash

The only issue I had with the setlist was the inclusion of both "Story" and "Fusion". One of either would have been fine, we didn't need them both, because they're both such similar songs with similar visual concepts. And if I had to absolute nitpick the setlist further, I'd say that the girls definitely should have performed "Dream fighter" instead of "Daijobanai".



Perfume delivering a solid performance isn't a shock to any member of the fandom. It's how Perfume roll and a large part of why I still bother with them, despite their latest music being utter doo-doo. But their appearance at Coachella is a remarkable achievement for a group who haven't been actively marketed outside of Japan and who keep an extremely low social media profile. But the unfortunate thing is that Perfume's performance got completely swallowed up in the Hallyu wave that BLACKPINK are riding at the moment. BLACKPINK's Coachella performance on the opening weekend was livestreamed, took place on a main stage, had Twitter ablaze as it was happening, was flanked by an appearance on The late late show with James Corden and had just about every popular celebrity tweeting about them and snapping pics with the girls. BLACKPINK sucked all the air out of Perfume's existence at Coachella.

Perfume delivered a great performance with a pretty damn decent setlist, great visuals, quirky routines and uniqueness. Not to shit on BLACKPINK; but they didn't give anything that another girl group couldn't give. 2NE1 done gave us what BLACKPINK are giving us now, but better. Little Mix could give us what BLACKPINK are giving us now. Perfume are unique in the sense that there is no group out there I can think of who can deliver what they and their team can. The closest would be Elevenplay, by proxy of them sharing the same choreographer and creative tech team.

Perfume's Coachella performance was one that the Internet and everybody should have been talking about. Maybe in time everybody will catch onto it. Or maybe it's just not meant to be on the cards for Perfume. I don't think their team is really built to deal with the level of attention that groups like BTS and BLACKPINK are getting right now. But recognition is always nice and Perfume's Coachella set was more than deserving of more than what it got. It's a shame that their set got completely lost in the Coachella mix and they missed out on a lot of the attention that they would have gotten had their first weekend performance been livestreamed, because the second weekend is never as impactful as the first.

Perfume entertained and gave a more polished performance during their 20 minute sets that some of y'alls faves gave on the main stage for over an hour. And whilst it may not have been the most talked about set of Coachella, it was definitely one of the best.

📺 Watch the snatchery: Perfume's full Coachella set (courtesy of Prfm fan Taopriest)

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