I was captivated. I was transfixed. I was in awe. I was witnessing the future. I was watching Perfume perform at one of its dome concerts.
It is undeniable that Perfume knows how to put on a good show. The group’s ability to push the boundaries of what’s possible, to create a unique experience unseen at any other show, to meld future tech with music and dance. Every aspect of Perfume’s live shows have made them a legendary force that commands attention across the globe.
And it’s that legendary status that has propelled Perfume to become the first Japanese girl group to perform at Coachella, one of the most popular and iconic music festivals in the world.
“We are looking forward to bringing a special performance on stage at Coachella. While it is very different from our dome tours in the past, we feel our music transcends borders and would translate well to the audience at Coachella,” Kashiyuka said.
Perfume’s journey to this breakthrough moment started with its 2016 album “Cosmic Explorer”. Following its release, Perfume went on tour across Japan. Had that been the end of it, the group’s trajectory may never have evolved to this point. Instead, it took its album and tour abroad to the US.
That was the first time Perfume continuously took one of its tours from Japan to the US. The experience was challenging but helped the group learn and grow.
“Even if it was the same content, we had to put it in a smaller venue, which was hard. Not to mention each of the venues across America were different sizes. That was tough, and sometimes we could only rehearse three songs from the set beforehand. It really required our concentration, and that developed more over the tour...It helped us prepare for having to play in difficult situations,” Kashiyuka said.
The situation would only become more difficult as the group pushed the boundaries of technology. In 2017, Perfume teamed up with NTT docomo project to put on a one-of-a-kind performance. A group of people came to watch a special Perfume performance in Tokyo. Confusion set in as only A-chan was on stage. Where was everyone else?
Kashiyuka was in London. Nocchi was in New York City. But they all performed “FUSION” in sync with each other, and appeared together through virtual display technology.
“Performing “Fusion” in three different countries at the same time was really important. Nobody knew if it would be a success or not. It was a total experiment,” Kashyuka said.
As with the group’s experiments in the past, Perfume’s performance went off without a hitch. The fearless approach the group has towards innovative performances ensured that it would not only put on a good show, but that these shows would attract attention. With all eyes on Perfume and what it will do next, it was only a matter of time before the group’s bright stars would catch the attention of the international community.
With Perfume and the future of pop becoming more and more synonymous, it is no wonder that Coachella, a festival highly regarded for presenting what’s hot in music, would want that image to be part of its brand. Perfume will have their own stage at Coachella on April 14 and 21. What will they be performing? Even they don’t know at this point; they’re still putting together their set list for the stage. But what they do know is that the live will be one to remember.
Disclaimer: JpopAsia participated in a group interview with Perfume for this piece. Responses were taken from this and a pre-interview provided by BMF Media.