Not even a forecast of showers could have deterred Perfume‘s dedicated fans on the Tuesday night of March 17, as they showed up in hoards to see the J-pop sensation live at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
The electro-pop trio — Nocchi, Kashiyuka, A-chan — made their SXSW debut at Highland Lounge to a sold out venue. If there was a sign of unrest among concert goers (Perfume were late to start), Perfume quickly put things at ease as the pop group kicked off their 45 minute set with a mesmerizing intro.
The cinematic opening, which you can watch below, was something else. Where most bands at SXSW haul out equipment and at most cue basic lighting effects, Perfume’s setup was quite the opposite. Half an hour before their appearance, the trio’s team shuffled in huge screens, projectors, and upwards of 15 motion-capture cams, all mounted across the room. If the effects didn’t translate clearly live, they certainly came together for those watching at home.
Perfume’s first performance of the night was part of a special livestream aimed to further connect Perfume to their growing international fanbase. It was an effort some might say left online viewers raging given that the stream cut off after the end of Perfume’s “STORY“, an unreleased song teased on their global website. That was a far felt sentiment from SXSW enthusiasts, whose show continued in all its bubblegum-pop glory on site.
With classics like “Polyrhythm” and the fanservice ready “Chocolate Disco“, Perfume’s setlist was a back catalogue of earworm delights that left very little room to rest. And who would want to? Perfume’s choreographed precision and beaming smiles were enough to shake the audience into an uproar. Paired with a full scale production, the show was a spirited, bouncy gathering of colorful characters, both onstage and off; the scene was sprinkled with fans decked in inspired ensembles. One brave soul even made it through the night in a light-up spandex suit and a pastel wig. Anything for Perfume, amirite?
Though Perfume is done in the states for now, expect to see more of them as they continue to challenge the global market with their new single “Relax In The City/Pick Me Up“, which is set to drop April 29.
Some other highlights of the night:
1) A-chan playing hypeman, and being amazing at it. Some of her outbursts included calling out the boys (“yyeahh!”), the girls (“yyaass!!”) … and those wearing glasses, contact lenses, and bare faces. Cutest moment of the night.
2) Wardrobe change. Gotta have one of those.
3) Nocchi staring into my soul while singing “Spending All My Time“. I’ve never felt so warm and fuzzy in my life.
4) Did I mention the intro? It was some real next level shit.
1. STORY (SXSW-MIX)
2. Spending All My Time
5. Magic of Love
6. FAKE IT
7. Electro World
8. Chocolate Disco
9. Spring of Life