On March 7, 2014, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (Kyary), the world-renowned icon of HARAJUKU culture who is a fashion leader as well as a musician, performed in Toronto.
Her performance, held in Sound Academy, was part of her second world tour, “NANDA COLLECTION WORLD TOUR 2014”. This was Kyary’s first time in Canada.
The venue was full of Kyary’s fans prior to the start of the performance. Many were dressed in fairy, gothic, and Lolita fashion, creating an atmosphere quite unlike any other live music performances around town. Of course, tickets were sold out, and the audience, while generally young, were of all ages and came from all around the province. Some were from Toronto, while others were from the suburbs, over 10 hours away, while still others brought their sleeping bags and stayed by the venue from 6 AM. Sound Academy, a venue with a capacity of over 3000 people, was packed—the hype could not be any more evident.
As the time for the performance to start approached, over 3000 fans began their “Kyary” chant. A little while after, four dancers came on stage accompanied by the “NANDA COLLECTION” background music. Then, finally, the long-awaited idol appeared on stage with her powerful voice shouting, “Yeah—! Everybody—!” At that moment, the chant transformed into a scream that was close to a shriek. The voltage in the room instantly turned up by a few degrees. The first song of the show, “Invader Invader”, followed immediately after, giving no time for the heat to die down.
In her introduction, Kyary spoke a mix of English and Japanese, saying “Hello! Everybody! こんにちは！きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅです、よろしく！ (Hello! I’m Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Good to see you all!)” She also told her fans in English, “This is my first time in Canada! I went to Niagara Falls yesterday. It was so amazing!” Then, she invited the guests into her world, shouting, “Thank you for coming everybody! Have fun! Yoroshiku!” She also instructed the audience on how to dance “Ninja Re Bang Bang,” allowing them to be part of the performance once the song began.
The stage was decorated simply with six curtains and a screen in the middle. Even so, the stage transformed into the world of Kyary danced and roamed around the stage accompanied by dancers dressed in clown costumes. Rabbits and bears appeared on stage during the songs, inviting the audience to be part of the performance. Videos showing rakugo and tsuppari, both of which are symbolic of Japanese comedy culture, brought laughter to the audience. “NANDA COLLECTION” (a play-on-words with nandakore, meaning “what is this?”) is a perfect name for the whirlwind of fun, excitement and tension.
After that, Kyary performed her new song, “Yume No Hajima-Ring Ring”, and other songs that are already popular around the world, including “PON PON PON”, “Fashion Monster” and “CANDY CANDY”. Of course, the audience called for an encore in which she performed “Chan Chaka Chan Chan”, promising the audience that she will return to Toronto once again. The audience, on the other hand, left the venue with a slight reluctance, though also with hope that they can meet their idol sometime in the near future.
With only 21 years of age, Kyary has already established herself as an idol with her unique sense of fashion that continues to entice fans worldwide. We will bid her goodbye for now, but we strongly hope to see her in the 6ix sometime soon.
Rakugo: A form of comical storytelling that is part of Japanese traditional culture.
Tsuppari: A slang that means “gang”, or “punk”.
Nandakore: An exclamation that means “What is this?”