Belasco Theatre, April 4, 2017
Live Report by Greg Hignight and David Cirone
Puffy AmiYumi’s return to L.A. on April 4 felt like a celebration of the group’s history in the U.S. and a long-overdue party for their SoCal fans, many of whom cite Puffy (and their successful American cartoon “Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi”) as their introduction to Japanese pop culture nearly 15 years ago. This was my third time seeing Ami and Yumi perform in the states, and it was easily my favorite experience so far.
Puffy entered the stage at the Belasco Theater in matching Chinese-style black pajamas (and trademark sneakers), backed by a spare 3-piece band, and launched straight into their non-stop 90-minute set with little fanfare. The stripped-down band, the spare stage, and the duo’s emphasis on engaging the audience seemed to concentrate their power. This wasn’t a group resting on the laurels of past success — they were truly out to get the house jumping.
The momentum of the show — packed with favorites like “Love So Pure”, “True Asia”, “Radio Tokyo”, “Jet Police” and their new single “PAFFIPIPOYAMA” — never seemed to lag, a testament to Ami and Yumi’s years of international touring. They still know how to hold the stage and keep the energy alive, adding in playful banter in Japanese and English about local L.A. shopping and teasing each other (and us) about the long wait since their last U.S. appearance. The biggest crowd reaction (surprising to maybe no one) was reserved for the theme songs “Teen Titans” and “Hi Hi Puffy Amiyumi”, choruses deeply embedded in the inner child of every 20-something and 30-something in the packed house.
The mid-sized venue made the concert feel like an intimate, friendly get-together. Puffy just sounded awesome, and the performance took on a sort of garage-rock feel that didn’t try to re-create studio recordings, giving the older songs a fresh edge.
Call Me What You Like
Love So Pure
TEEN TITANS THEME
JOINING A FUN CLUB
Asia No Junshin/True Asia
Your Love is A Drug
Ai no Shirushi
All Because Of You
Umi Eto/Into the Beach
Jet Keisatsu/Jet Police
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi Show Theme
Akai Buranko/Red Swing
Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera/Electric Beach Fever
Kore ga Watashi no Ikiru Michi
Puffy Amiyumi’s “Not Lazy” Tour continues in San Francisco and Dallas.
Thu April 06: The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco
Sun April 09: Trees – Dallas
Paffipipoyama – EP
Apple Music/iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/paffipipoyama-ep/id1105260435