If you told me that there was a chance to see some of Japan’s biggest musical acts in one night in Los Angeles, I’d call you crazy. But that’s exactly what the people at LDH and OTAQUEST did with their OTAQUEST LIVE concert last week at The Novo in downtown Los Angeles.
For several hours, Japanese music fans were treated to a soundscape that included CRAZYBOY, HIROOMI TOSAKA, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, capsule, and the legendary m-flo.
CrazyBoy started the night off with a bang and performed some of his popular tracks like LOCO and and DOUBLE PLAY. As someone not familiar with CrazyBoy’s entire discography, he impressed a lot and definitely was a great hype man to get the crowd going.
Afterwards, it was HIROOMI TOSAKA that stepped in to continue the excitement. The moment he dropped BLUE SAPPHIRE excited me and the crowd. Anime fans may know as the theme song for the recent Detective Conan Movie.
With little break, the next act was none other than the infectiously kawaii Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. One thing that I really appreciate was the inclusion of the backup dancers for many of the acts. It really helped to accent the performers and liven up the experience even more. Thanks to her crazy getups and accompanying dancers, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu got the crowd jumping and bumping to many of her greatest hits. My highlights for KPP were Fashion Monster, Harajuku Iyahoi, and PONPONPON. I especially love the screen graphics that encouraged the audience to sing along with the chorus parts.
Next up was my most anticipated act of the night. Veteran Japanese producer Yasutaka Nakata and vocalist Yoshiko Toshijima make up the Japanese electronic duo CAPSULE. Perhaps one of Japan’s longest running musical acts since 1997, capsule has been at the forefront of Japanese’s electronic music scene and OTAQUEST live happened to be their first debut in North America. They performed hits from across their entire discography including MORE! MORE! MORE! and Starry Sky. Coupled with an impressive set of visuals, CAPSULE brought the hype and left us with an unforgettable first US performance.
Last, but most certainly not least, was the legendary Japanese trio, m-flo. Consisting of Taku Takahashi, VERBAL, and Lisa, the group also pulled from their long history of songs to perform classics like come again, and even their latest release EKTO. With their fluency in English, they spoke to the crowd candidly and interacted with them earnestly. I particularly enjoyed the talking breaks, to help the crowd re-energize for the next barrage of songs. Taku and VERBAL even treated the crowd to some new material in order to solicit some feedback from the fans! Through all of this, the crowd never once let up on their appreciate and excitement for the trio.
In closing, OTAQUEST LIVE was definitely a night to remember for fans of Japanese music. I hope OTAQUEST returns next years with an even bigger venue and talent list.
You can find the setlist from each performers:
01. PINK DIAMOND
02. Double Play
06. CHAIN BREAKER
07. BLUE SAPPHIRE
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
09. Ninja Re Bang Bang
10. Fashion Monster
11. CANDY CANDY
12. Kimi Ga ii ne Kuretara
13. Harajuku Iyahoi
15. MORE! MORE! MORE!
18. WORLD OF FANTASY
19. Starry Sky
20. FLASH BACK
21. come again
22. How You Like Me Now?
23. been so long
24. MARS DRIVE
27. funkdafied (Provisional)
28. Sweet But Deadly (Provisional)
30. No Question~TOKYO RAINBOW PRIDE REMIX~
Photos provided by OTAQUEST