Sat 8 Nov – Kaya @ Pacific Media Expo 2008
[CTRL+F for KAYABLAH for the specific Kaya concert talk]
Let's start from the beginning.
Oh fuck. Oh fuck, what the hell did I get myself into? This isn't my scene, part of me dies for every minute I walk around.
So anyway, I was told friday's PMX was pretty dead. On saturday it seemed moderately filled. My friend and I get our registration and kaya tickets, walked around for a couple of minutes and got the hell out of there. After a pleasant dinner at chili's and a discussion on where we may have gone wrong in life, we returned to get in line for the ballroom.
Actually, it's worth noting that a bit before we left we went into the expo room that had various sellers. Marumusic was there and they had some versailles shirts. Thing is, they actually looked pretty good. At least, they looked better than the shit (I still bought it, shut up) that was sold during the LA versailles live way back when. My friend wanted to get the hoodie and I wanted to get the t-shirt.
When we arrived at the line for kaya, the first thing we wanted to do was buy the goods. Turns out that the expo room and the venue for Kaya's show were one in the same, and they closed it at 6pm. Boo, that's the first missed opportunity for someone to get my monies for japanese music related goods.
My friend and I stand in line, we die a little inside, but we stand strong. They check that our tickets (wristbands)are for pit, and we are handed a little picture for tonite's kaya live. It appears to be autographed, which I thought was pretty great. I couldn't see much good reasoning to attend Sunday's PMX, so I missed the Kaya Panel and the autograph session.
A bit before 8PM we are let in. The pit area is basically the area right next to the stage, but blocked off with chairs. We're close so it's hard to complain about positioning. As we wait they play the same 4-5 anime songs
over and over and I start losing my concert groove. At 8PM the first opening act shows up.
It's announced that the first act is named Hide, and I thought that was cool. My first thought was that it would be a hologram projection of zombie hide dancing a jig. Turns out it was a largely forgettable act that didn't do much for me musically. The vocalist/leader of the band seemed pretty angry at life, or at least expressed
a significant amount of passive aggressiveness for me and my friend to notice.
He ends at 830, and another act sets up. The only thing one should need to know is that the band consisted of two arguably proficient male musicians pussy-whipped into making a crappy band by two Asian chicks.
[setlist at end]
He starts at 930. My first concert was that maybe the hall wouldn't have good enough sound quality for Kaya, but I was presently surprised. His first song was Kaleidoscope, which was pretty badass because that's the song that got me into him. Well, the glitter version either way, he performed the single version. At the start of the second song, Walkure, his two dancers come out and join him. They go on to do about 6 songs before the first break.
It's worth noting that even though he spoke mainly in Japanese for his MC-ing, it was stil pretty entertaining. He often commanded the crowd in english to "say my name." He would also reply to nearly anyone who spoke clearly
enough for him to hear, which I thought was pretty nice. If someone were to say he was pretty or the like, he would respond in english "I know!" and also do his high-pitched laugh. I've seen a lot of japanese bands, and Kaya clearly was most comfortable with an audience who may or may not understand his words - that's a plus in my book. When he would take a quick minute break to drink some water, he would go off to the left side of the stage, sit as he drank, and gestured for the audience to continue cheering by waving his microphone
Anyway, during the extended break, his two dancers did a solo dance act. It was fairly entertaining, as the music played was genuinely good. I wish I knew what the track was so I can illegally obtain it, but oh well.
When he returned he played 5-6 more songs, with Kasha being my personal favorite among them. His performance of the song had a lot of energy, as he got the crowed (or whomever was in front of me) to jump around and join the
hype. The last song of the main set was glitter arch, which was a pretty appropriate end.
His encore consisted only of "Rose Jail," which was a pretty intense way to fully end the show. The crowd (that I could see) went crazy and join in Kaya's chant. After that song ended the lights went on and it was time to get the hell out.
Oh! but as we left they apparently set up a kaya merchandise for the end of the concert. "Great," I think, one of the main things I wanted to get out of the show as a nice Kaya shirt to subtly express my love for his work. The first thing I ask was, "any shirts?" The woman looked around quickly and ended up bringing up a small kaya towel, seemingly to suggest that's as good as it gets. Great? Really? You're going to have a live show going on but not print any shirts? That should be easy money right there. This was the second opportunity for someone to get my monies that failed. The other merch they had ad the booth was mainly his live dvd, some cds, calender, pictures and possibly other things. I wasn't too crazy about paying 18 dollars for a copy of the chocolat single, so I shuffled away with the small autographed picture being my only souvenir.
Kaya's singing was great. It was on par with the quality on his cd, so this man is pretty damn talented.
He had two costumes for the entire show. I don't pay too much attention, but the first one was that blank wedding-dress dealy, and after the dance solo he changed into something that looked like a mix of a lolita dress with big old kimono sleeves with a flower print.
The audience was actually pretty good, in terms of they knew when to stay quiet. All too often during lives, particularly deg lives, the audience never knew when to shut up. There would be a quiet moment in a ballad or one of kyo's raggle-fraggle spams and the crowd would cheer over it. Not here, during Kaya's silvery dark performance the audience stayed quiet as to not destroy the mood. I wish that would happen more often!
That's it. Having to deal with an expo environment I was not meant to thrive in, my friend and I constantly questioned whether this show would be worth it. So, was it? Yeah, definitely. Although the show as a little over an hour I feel I would be able to repress everything else and simply remember a fantastic kaya show. Having seen Electric Six the night before, I can now confirm that this weekend was pretty badass.
That's it. Next time I attend a concert at an anime-type convention I'll just come in right when the doors are set to open.
Final Note: hahaha ... "quick review"