Miku Expo 2016 New York Concert
If someone had told me eight years ago, “Chris, you’re going to go to a live performance for a digital singer”, I probably would have just shook my head and sighed. Over the past few years, my taste in music has fluctuated and expanded: in high school I was strictly Metal (yes, capital M), with my college years moving more towards EDM. J-Pop and J-Rock had always had a slight place in those tumultuous years, however they were never my mainstream, and I never had the desire to see any of the artists live.
Then a few years ago, I saw that Yoko Kanno was playing at Otakon, and had a little bit of a ‘Squee’ moment. From then on, I’ve been chomping at the bit for more J Artists to come to the U.S., but Hatsune Miku was never on the radar.
Luckily, a very good friend of mine had convinced me to try it out, so I decided to just bite the bullet, and see what it was all about.
At first, I was curious about how the technicians would get a virtual character on a stage. Turns out the technology for actually having her perform on-stage is very intriguing. It felt as if the “Holo-decks” from Star Trek are a real thing, something I’ve wanted since I first watched TNG. We sat in the back, yet from our vantage, it was crystal clear to the stage. When the show started, my mind was blown by the visualizations on the screen, with the live band playing on the sides. When she appeared, the whole place exploded with cheers. Even though she’s a computer program, I’m sure there’s a chipset somewhere on her motherboard that felt it. Not only were the songs played incredibly catchy, there were more than just Miku performing. It seems that when you go to a Hatsune Miku concert, you get appearances from ALL Vocaloids. Honestly, for the value of the ticket (~$75), it was well worth it.
What really surprised me, were the sheer amount of people. The demographic was not just limited to the younger generation, but people of all ages. I’m not entirely sure if they were only there in supporting their children, but I saw many of the older generation singing along with some of the songs, along with waving around the glowsticks given at the door.
If presented a chance to see her perform again, I’ll opt for the VIP tickets, just so I can get a closer look at her on stage. And also bring a little more spending money, the $60 I set aside went quickly after the 2 CDs and shirt I picked up.
If you’re interested in seeing what it was like, there are plenty of videos of the concert on YouTube. I highly recommend checking a few of them out.