Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in Hawaii

*Small break from my Japan trip entries!
from the Blaisdell center website
Back in April, Berri told me that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was coming to Hawaii for a concert! Even though I'm not an avid KPP fan, I've definitely seen her (photos) around especially on Tumblr and know who she is, so I was excited to hear that she was coming here even though I don't know her music that well. Tbh, I'm not much of a music person in general, so it's not personal to Kyary. I basically just kind of listen to whatever is already playing.
I looked it up online
and saw that the concert was set for July 20th! That meant she would be here after I came back from my trip. At that time, there wasn't much else that was announced such as ticket sales start date or what the pricing would be like. As a result, I didn't mark my calender or make a note-to-self to remember to check back on "this-or-that-date" for more updates. I come back from my trip on the 13th of July and later that week, what do I see on the wall in a coffee shop but this
And I was like, OH YEAH, Kyary is performing this weekend, lol! I texted my bf the above picture without any real intentions, and he responded, "Our seats are on the lawn". Apparently he got free tickets from his brother's friend wtf? Thought he was just pulling my leg at first. What actually happened is that his brother's friend was part of the Ukulele Festival which was happening the same day right next to the concert so JTB was giving out ticket vouchers to the participants who wanted them and somehow he got 4 for us! Since I just spent a bundle on the trip, I wasn't planning on going to the concert because I didn't really feel like paying for the tickets, but since we had the opportunity to go for free, we said why not?
Then my only issue was "what should I wear?"
Unless you live here, you're probably unfamiliar with the venue - the Waikiki Shell. I hadn't personally been to a concert there before, but I knew where it was located, and I knew it would be outdoors and therefore in the sun (concert was set for around 5pm) and not air conditioned. Besides that, we anticipated having lawn "seats" and therefore having to bring our own blanket and sitting on the ground. It's not really "seating" because it's basically sit wherever you want on the lawn. If that wasn't enough, the Thursday before the concert on Sunday, we were getting flash flood alerts for the entire weekend. They anticipated heavy rain from Saturday night until possibly Monday morning. Not only would we be outdoors in the humidity, sitting on the grass but probably also in the rain as well! I really didn't know what would be best to wear at that point. Tbh, Hawaii can be a little... weird is not the right word (maybe just different?), but local people are not the same as mainland people and things just tend to be on the casual side here in general for a lot of things - but not in a bad way ofc. Idk it's a little hard to explain, but basically I was thinking that there would either be a lot of hardcore fans who dressed up for the event and the people in everyday clothing would be oddballs, or like 4 people who went hardcore and they would be the oddballs among everyone else in street clothes. I wasn't sure how I wanted to dress, but I knew I didn't want to stand too far out.
This is what I ended up wearing. Liz Lisa suspender skirt with a white cropped top from Goodwill (it's actually a Gap children's size S top that I squeezed into so it's not really meant to be cropped), Nine West wedge sneakers, Hello Kitty bag (plastic because I was anticipating rain), and floral headband with 2 buns. I posted the picture on the left on Tumblr and that was the outfit that I had planned with the socks, but it was just unbearably hot when I left my house, and I decided to just ditch them at the last minute. And, let me tell you, I was glad I did.

First of all, when we got to the parking lot, I realized that we were more on the spectrum of 4 hardcore OTT dressed and everyone else in regular clothes. I went a little conservatively on the Jfashion side, what with the purse and the headband and the tulle - not to mention the buns and just the general color scheme, but definitely nothing like average street clothes here. I think I maybe saw 4 or 5 people in what I hesitantly call lolita, most with wigs, 1 haole girl in a kimono, 1 person in shironuri, and 1 person in a full rainbow rave outfit. There were a handful more people who were dressed slightly on the "wacky side" with accessories, but definitely not as much OTT as I would have anticipated. It literally seemed like 90% of people were in average street clothes (some were wearing what the average tourist would wear as street clothes but they were probably tourists so I think that still counts), 7% were in purposefully fashionable streetwear outfits, and 3% were OTT. I'm not really sure were I would place myself, but I definitely felt a little uncomfortable wearing something so pastel, so I'm glad I just decided to ditch the socks.

Okay and second of all, it was hot as balls. Even though the weather forecast still said rain, the skies were super clear, and it didn't seem like it was going to rain at all. I brought my umbrella out of the car anyway, but I definitely didn't need it. I'm really glad I decided to go with light colors (versus black) and forgo the socks. I can't even imagine what it would have been like if I decided to go with a darker color scheme or threw on something that needed a sweater. That being said, if I had just worn a tank and shorts with slippers, I probably would have been a lot happier lol.

Back to the parking lot, we had a hard time finding parking. We planned to get there around 3:50pm. They were supposed to start letting people in at 4:00pm, and we weren't in a rush to get super great seats or anything, so we weren't going to line up at the beginning of the day, but we figured that would be enough time. I think we anticipated the parking to be a lot easier than it was. Since the Ukulele Festival was happening right next door, many of the stalls were taken by those participants and their families as well. We went around and around in the parking lot specifically for the Shell about 3 times and 2 or 3 people in front of us got parking, but we just gave up after that. We ended up parking in another location that's common for Kapiolani Park and not too bad of a walk. However, my bf's brother had the vouchers and he was still driving around looking for parking. He managed to drop off the vouchers with us, and we went to go exchange them.
As it turns out, were were able to get seats on the 2nd terrace! That's one section better than the lawn with actual chairs and assigned seating. We didn't get to choose exactly where we would sit, but again, who's complaining when the tickets are free?? 2nd terrace tickets were sold for $60 each! Since my bf and I had all 4 vouchers, and therefore all 4 tickets, we had to wait for his brother and his gf to park, and then meet up with us before we could go in. By the time he parked and got to the entrance of the Shell, it was 4:50pm!

Since we thought the show was supposed to start at 5:00pm, there was no time to wander around with all the event stuff, but most of the shirts were sold out anyway.

Our seats definitely weren't bad for free tickets! And if we really wanted to, we could probably have sat on the lawn in back of our section because there was still room there, but we decided to sit where we were because we were definitely closer.
It seemed like everyone in our section was from the Ukulele Festival. And that was probably the case because I think someone said they had 300 vouchers to give out! I was definitely the only one dressed even slightly specifically for the event since most people were just there because free tickets and came straight from next door at the park lol. Some people definitely looked like they were dragged there against their will haha.
The concert didn't end up starting until around 5:15pm, and it was still very very hot with the sun aimed straight at the lower half of the stage. Poor Kyary! Not only is it generally hot and humid, but the sun was directly on her and she had a lot of layers with her outfit, not to mention the singing and dancing.
You're apparently not allowed to take photos during the concert. People were just shooting with their DSLRs or phones until maybe like the 4th song when the Shell staff was in full force trying to get people to put away their cameras. I did manage to get a few before then (before we even knew you weren't supposed to!) but the majority of the stage is shaded, and I wasn't quite close enough to get a good photo.
 Tbh, I think it was kind of sad! I thought there would be a lot more people who were hardcore fans who would be singing or dancing along. I didn't look behind me, but there was literally only 1 person in any of the rows in front of me who stood the whole time and danced and cheered along. I think it might have been someone who came along with her from Japan because I thought I saw something about a select group of fans who got to travel with her? And the person was wearing an Aloha shirt which is not typical concert attire for a local person. To the side, at the edge of the lawn were two women who were kind of getting into it, but that's it! I mean, when she asked people to stand or clap, the audience did, but other than that, it just seemed to me like a whole bunch of people politely sitting for the most part :|. Tbh though, it was probably just the view I had (seeing mostly the back of people's heads, who knows maybe a lot of people were mouthing the words from their seats without moving?) besides where I was sitting (among a lot of people who had free tickets) or the heat/weather though. I would probably have a very different idea of the audience if I was sitting in the first few rows! Honolulu Pulse had a slightly different take (plus the advantage of being press and therefore allowed to take pictures and be up close).
She asked us to stand for the last two songs, and everyone did and that was when people started to actually seem into it for a bit (except for the people behind me who were very stoic and made me feel a little self-conscious lol). After she was done, she left the stage, and everyone continued standing and wanted an encore! Haha. I don't know if that's what you usually do at concerts (? I haven't been to one since I was like 10) but for what seemed to me like a lukewarm audience, they weren't ready for the concert to end! After a while (no doubt she needed a lot of time to rest and change), she came back out for two more songs. And then that was it!
Overall, I'm glad I had the opportunity to go for free! It was a nice experience although not necessarily what I was expecting. I wish more people had attended. Idk if you can see it in the pictures (maybe just the first one at the venue because I didn't crop it?), but more than half of the 1st terrace seats were empty! And the lawn area wasn't even as full as I expected it to be. But for someone who isn't really a music or concert person, I enjoyed myself besides being around some not-so-enthused audience members lol.

Oh, and small mention for the restaurant we ate dinner at after - Menchanko-Tei!
I used to go there all the time, but haven't gone for awhile since it hasn't been convenient, and the lady still remembered me :). My favorite is the Tenderloin katsu, but they have a lot of great things to eat there!


  1. ehh her concerts seem so hardcore at conventions and stuff! :O so awesome you got to see her for free though, even though the atmosphere wasn't very hyped ><

    1. Yeah I was expecting something totally different! I'm sure it was the section that I was in though :|

  2. I went to the one in Seattle and it was reasonably "hardcore." Like your outfit would have been maybe slightly below average of the average dresser there.

    Idk Its a little disheartening to know there aren't that many kpp fans in Honolulu where I'd kinda expect there to be fans.

    1. Lol that's what I was expecting! Maybe there are fans but they didn't want to to show it? There were a number of Japanese (from Japan) though. Hawaii is saturated with a lot of Asian culture, so I was surprised as well. Not sure what was up

  3. Oh really? Not a lot of fans went - that's a shame. I think when the atmosphere is right then you have the best time (*it doesn't really matter whose on the stage, Lol) I'm surprised more people weren't there. :/ Disheartening. I guess at least you enjoyed it!!

    1. I think with different seating or maybe even a different venue, it would have been an entirely different experience. I think the Honolulu Pulse article mentioned that if she comes back, she intends to get an indoor venue which I would have appreciated in the heat lol

  4. Wow I would've thought the audience would be hyped and I thought a lot of people would attend. At least you enjoyed and at least you were sandwiched between two random sweaty people (like me when I went to go see the Wonder Girls).

    1. I think if I had front row seats it would have been a different show! I saw a picture from someone who had VIP seats and I was like...was that from the same concert??? Not to mention the Honolulu Pulse pictures, haha! Oh well.