Live Report of PMX in Los Angeles

live report - 14.01.2010 11:01

A brief report on a night filled with various musical acts such as Ai Cherie, Rusika, pop-idol duo Papillion, and visual kei band Uchusentai NOIZ.

The stage was a small, hand built stage that was in a room intended for a large party. The stage and setup didn’t seem right for a concert or for a fashion show, yet it still served its purpose. The stage was not straight across like normal but had a square coming out in the center, as if it were a runway stage cut off halfway. The audience started small in size from the first act and grew little by little until there were a hundred people for Uchusentai NOIZ.

The first act, Ai Cherie, was a solo artist who had just debuted with her single, KISS KISS. She only sang three songs accompanied by an acoustic guitar. However, she surprised and possibly even shocked everyone by starting off in a strong voice with Britney SpearsHit me Baby One More Time. She moved onto another cover song and finished with her sweeter Japanese debut song.

It was time for the next act, Rusika, which is a local Los Angeles pop-rock band with vocalist and guitarist, Natz, from Japan. They did some catchy original songs and also a cover of L'Arc~en~Ciel’s Stay Away, in which the music was spot-on and fun. The bassist was also unusually crazy with his wireless bass and ran through the audience multiple times, only to jump on stage again when the song ended. The crowd was slowly gathering energy with each act - however, with the next performance, most of the audience had no idea what to expect.

Instead of the idol duo Papillon, there was a surprise fashion show featuring h.Naoto’s Hangry and Angry line. Leading this fashion show was Papillon’s Nagi and Miri, followed by ten girls modeling the clothing. With how the stage was set-up, it was a very unconventional fashion show runway as the girls came from side stage, walked down the stage, out onto the extended area and walked down steps into the space where the audience had been standing. Some audience members looked on with interest while some looked a bit annoyed at the break and being made to clear the area in front of the stage. After the models took the stage and displayed the clothing line, the audience was able to go back to their original place with a ten minute break.

The third musical performance of the night was the new indies idol group Papillon. Their time was short, but they put on a very energetic and cute performance. In the US, an idol is a very famous singer and dancer, so when they were introduced as idols at PMX, many people didn’t know what to expect from them. Many people in the crowd ended up having a great time dancing along to the dance pop music.

The duo played four songs and gave two MCs. The MCs ended up being mostly in Japanese, and what English was said was written on a piece of notebook paper each of the girls had. The second MC ended up being a lot more fun as it looked like Nagi and Miri improvised, with the audience helping them with their English. With their last song, they got the crowd moving and dancing along. It was obvious a few of their Japanese fans had flown over as those fans were the most energetic people there, screaming Miri and Nagi’s name. They even knew all of their dance moves and danced along with the girls.

After the two girls left the stage, there was another break. However, instead of the main act, NOIZ, it was another mini fashion show. They asked the audience to move once again. Expecting it to be a different fashion show with a different designer that PMX was featuring, it was disappointingly h.Naoto again. Furthermore, it was the same exact show that had just been put on, so that instead of a lot of people being interested, it just had a lot of people getting confused and annoyed.

After this mini show was over, the lights were turned fully on. Someone came out to break down the drum set, signaling the start of Uchusentai NOIZ setting up. However, instead of roadies coming out to set up, a few members of NOIZ themselves came out to set up their own equipment - in full costume with no curtain blocking them from view. As a cosplay visual kei band, this was not a very appealing situation for them, but in the end it didn’t matter as they put on a magical performance anyway.

They started with their signature opening, which has an announcer introducing each member and his role in the band. Starting from the drummer, YAMATO and ending with the attention grabbing ANGEL-TAKA, they each came out to center stage, spotlight on them as they did a short dance to a techno rock intro. As soon as each of the members was in his place, they started with one of their signature, fast-paced, energetic songs. The audience was visibly a lot more excited and jumped around as ANGEL-TAKA ran all over the stage. MASATO seemed to be having a lot of fun; he kept teasing the fans as he ventured between his spot and the edge of the stage, making faces as he played.

After the lively songs, BRAND NEW WORLD and BAD MUSIC FREAKS, the first MC came up. ANGEL-TAKA read off a sheet of notebook paper, and then each member was individually introduced. When they got to KOTARO, he said "I love sushi!" which made the crowd laugh a lot. This was emphasized because of the hilarious story he had told at their panel. The question that was asked was which super power the members wanted. KOTARO had answered he wanted the ability to make it rain sushi, so everyone could eat yummy sushi. Everyone at the panel, including the band and their own translator, had a good time laughing at this ridiculous story.

After introducing the band members, ANGEL-TAKA got excited and riled up the crowd by taking his outer layer off, leaving his top half naked. Then he walked to the back and nun-chucks magically appeared in his hands, and he started to play around with them. After this adventure, he put his costume back on and immediately went right back to performing. The band played Ichigeki hissatsu PoPs which had a more hip-hop sound. MASATO rapped right next to ANGEL-TAKA. This got the crowd really jumping, and the next few songs were also some of their hip-hop songs.

Things were going terrific for both the crowd and band until something with their background music went wrong. While YAMATO tried to fix it with MASATO, ANGEL-TAKA brought their translator out to translate for them. They started off with the question "What is your type of girl?" and the girls in the audience cheered loudly. The answers varied, and most related to body parts - except MASATO who liked boys and girls. When they were finished answering, YAMATO signaled he was ready to begin again.

The band went back to performing as if there had been no break for them. There was a wider range of their songs after the short intermission. It was time for another MC, a planned one as ANGEL-TAKA brought out another sheet of notebook paper to read from. This time, he both read from it and watched for the audience’s reaction to ask them things on his own. He was pleasantly surprised at the amount of Japanese yelled back from the audience and laughed along with the audience when he made a mistake.

Then it was time for the end of their set. NOIZ became even crazier on stage as it was their last few songs. Each member moved around more and more, until eventually MASATO and KOTARO switched sides for the first time during the show. At one point, the guitarists moved to the center together as KOTARO held the microphone for MASATO to scream into. It was a really interesting sight to see as the height difference between the two made a striking image. With Thank you for the MUSIC, an energetic yet meaningful song, NOIZ finished off their performance and said goodbye to the fans as they walked off stage. However, none of the fans moved from their spots as the lights went out, and an encore chant started up.

When a spotlight moved toward the side of the stage, the crowd quieted their chanting, and the spotlight followed the band back on stage. After two encore songs Miracle Rocket G5 and CUBE, ANGEL-TAKA announced in English that they would be back soon, leaving the audience happy and looking forward to it already.

Set List UchuuSentai NOIZ:

3. Ichigeki hissatsu PoPs
4. Battle Capsule kara ai wo komete
7.Thank you for the MUSIC
8.Miracle RocketG5

Many thanks to Cure Media USA for the photos.
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