Flashback Friday: Crystal Kay - The Call Me Miss... Tour | Experience it in Nintendo 64 video quality

A GIF of Crystal Kay forming a heart with her hands as she performs “Koi no Ochitara” on her Call Me Miss... Tour.

You would think that Crystal Kay had never toured earlier in her career, with the way it’s so damn difficult trying to find a crumb of proof that she did. But she really did. And one of her most coveted tours is the Call Me Miss... Tour, given its rarity; between Sony Music Japan being raggedy when it comes to digital distribution and Crystal’s team not seeming to care about any of her tour footage.

Sony Music Japan were extremely pig headed about having their own digital content platform back in the early 2000s, and only now are they realising that just putting shit on existing platforms which are available globally and which people actually use is beneficial for them and their roster of acts. It’d be great if they put full shows up. Even backwards ass Avex have been doing this for some of Ayumi Hamasaki and Koda Kumi’s live shows.

It’s a real shame that the Call Me Miss... Tour is so hard to get a hold of, because it really is such a good tour. And it was one of Crystal’s most crucial tours, because it was in support of an album which changed the course of Crystal’s career. “Koi ni Ochitara” was a huge hit. “Kirakuni” reached global audiences and became a fan favourite for fans outside of Japan. And Crystal was making a declaration that she was growing up. Although Crystal was always strangely marketed in a way which made her appear to be older than what she actually was. Call Me Miss... felt like an arrival for Crystal and a new foundation on which to build, which established Crystal’s brand, her look and her sound which would be carried through for her next couple of albums. Just for it to all fall to shit with Spin the Music. So the Call Me Miss... era is a very significant one in the grand scheme of Crystal’s career. It’s unfortunate that the tour at the bookend of it is so hard to find now. But thankfully a fan has uploaded it to YouTube. The quality is fucking horrendous. But it’s better than nothing. Let’s see how long this stays up though. Because the YouTube upload of the Color Change! tour came down faster than Olivia Pope’s drawers in The White House server room with Fitz behind her.

Through all of the squinting at the potato quality, this was a good tour. Crystal’s two backup dancers were shaking ass and stanky legging during “I Know” like their lives depended on it. And it was great to hear Crystal perform her older material like “Tears” and “Kiss” with more seasoned vocals than she had when she first recorded them. But it wasn’t just better singing from a technical standpoint which make the songs sound better, but Crystal being older and developing a different sense of what the songs mean. And with the likes of “We’re Gonna Boogie” it was cool to see Crystal perform them being a bit more grown and really settling into ‘Me and my homegirls being bad bitches in the club’ of it all, in her lil’ gold mini dress.

As good as Crystal’s voice already was by the time she recorded Call Me Miss... she actually sounds better live on quite a few of the songs. Especially on “Kitto” and “Namida ga Afurete mo”. “Kirakuni” kicked her ass though, because of her choosing to dance the entire song whilst singing it live. But shout-outs to commitment. This was the last time she ever did this though.

The Call Me Miss... tour really makes you appreciate not just how good Call Me Miss... was (it’s easily one of my favourite Crystal Kay albums), but just how good her discography was by this point. It really is unfortunate that her team isn’t doing more to really let everybody know just how much of an illustrious career Crystal has had and just how remarkable her run from 2000 to 2008 was.

Girl. Fire the whole management and marketing team.