Stepping into The Warfield, the venue had a very different feel than usual. There was a palpable sense of grandeur as the stage featured an additional platform and six staircases. Behind the stage was a large screen that continually flickered between the words “Perfume 6th Tour 2016: Cosmic Explorer” and instructions restricting unauthorized photos, filming and use of wifi devices, coupled with a pre-show announcement. It felt like one of those special presentation shows at Disneyland rather than a typical concert and it indeed was anything but ordinary.
This show marks Perfume’s first concert in San Francisco and the group pulled out all the stops, possibly bringing the highest quality production musical experience from Asia to the US. Oftentimes when Asian artists bring their productions to the US, they scale down for budget and convenience, but Perfume did not skimp. The show kicks off with the girls appearing on stage in futuristic metallic-colored dresses with LED lights that flash in different colors, marching to “Cosmic Explorer.” Pyrotechnics and confetti are a thing of the past for Perfume; instead, they bring out lasers beaming into the audience and drones flying in sync to the their choreography, all in their opening song.
Another brilliant demonstration of technology and music integration is Perfume’s performance of “Story,” which they also showcased at SXSW last year. The girls performed with numerous screens that displayed projections of intricate designs that flashed and morphed to the beat, sliding them around stage to create various formations. The high energy music coupled with the mesmerizing visuals and choreography made this spectacular performance a highlight among many others of the night.
Before diving back into their set, Perfume played around with fans by incorporating the currently hot and trending app Pokemon Go into the show, asking fans to collectively swipe their fingers to catch the “Perfume” pokemon lurking around the venue. The girls continued with “Flash,” showing off their martial arts-inspired choreography and moved into some more nostalgia-invoking tracks from earlier in their career such as “Dream Fighter,” “Polyrhythm” and “Chocolate Disco,” delighting long-time fans. Perfume closed out the show with an encore, singing “Star Train” with mic stands and surrounded by layered levels of lights representing stars. Slowly ascending the stairs to the highest platform, the members came together and with a deep bow, bid attendees farewell.
Check out more of our photos from Perfume’s 2016 Cosmic Explorer Tour below!