Hatsune Miku Expo 2016

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Hatsune Miku is finishing up her North American tour and as she gets ready to head back to Japan, we’re taking a look back at the time she spent in Dallas. Her sold-out show was definitely a night to remember, and just in case you missed it, we asked Michele, one of our own Graphic Designers, to give us an inside look at Hatsune Miku Expo 2016. From the pre-show to the encore, this is her full report:

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Prologue:

I decided to attend Hatsune Miku Expo 2016, not because I knew any of her songs, but really just so I could say I went to see a hologram live in concert. I made the decision months ago when a friend ordered a ton of tickets the day they went on sale and realized – knowing myself well ­– I’d likely be spending that weekend in bed playing video games anyway, so really, I had nothing to lose.

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Chapter 1: What is a Miku?

Okay, this is Miku Hatsune we’re talking about, so surely I would see cosplayers… oh and lots of fandom, nerdy t-shirts. Which is cool, but it is a concert after all so I decided to just wear all black. The line to get inside snaked around the building 3 times (what?!), and as I tried to find the end of bubbling teenagers, I realized how super cool this actually was. It was exactly like a con! And the excitement started to kick in… Miku cosplayers, wigs in every color, and the energy was infectious. Wait…I’m totally the only one who wore all black.

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But onto bigger things, I finally made it inside—it was packed. Like, shake-up-a-coke-bottle-about-to-explode packed. Inside the main room of the venue, there was some kind of transparent screen, like a paper-thin veil spanning 3/4ths of the stage. I always wondered how it/she/this thing worked! She won’t be able to move back and forth, but damn it that girl can sway side-to-side ALL SHE WANTS.

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Chapter 2: Agony

The opening band started to play. The bass was heavy, and you could feel every chord vibrate through your chest. And people lost it. Like, completely lost it. They surrounded me in every direction – a sea of sweat and emotion. I was trapped. I couldn’t breathe. This girl’s Pikachu backpack in front of me kept bouncing up and down as she jumped and it kept hitting me in the face. This was the end as I knew it.

 

The plus side? The band was amazing. My friend told me they’re called Anamanaguchi, and they’re known for their video-game inspired sound. It’s only a little awkward that they had to play to the sides of the stage (since you know, Miku’s life-force was taking up the majority of it). The crowd kept getting rowdier after every song and I wondered how many saps didn’t realize this was only the opening band. Wait it out guys—she’ll be here soon. Okay, hold up. This was exactly like a con… except everyone’s arms are in the air so it was smellier than a con. #ICan’t.

 

Chapter 3: Glowsticks Are For Lovers

Seeking a break from the crowd I found my way to the Funimation lounge. I could breathe again…and from this view I could really see how crowded it was. Then, she appeared—like a beacon of light, like a goddess of harmony, like an angel of automatons. The glowsticks immediately started swaying to the beat of the music. But then something happened. Something switched—she was actually… good?

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I was getting into it now. And hold up, her dancing was timed to the songs? Hnnnnggg okay, she’s sorta adorable. Only Japan, amirite? Her moves were perfect and fluid, like she’s done this her whole life—oh wait. The first couple of songs ended, and then in the cutest, most robotic voice ever she said, “Hello Dallas!” FANS SCREAM OMG SHE SAID DALLAASSS!!! It was the most awkward thing I’ve ever heard in my life. She’s amazing. What a pure angel.

 

Chapter 4: I Should Really Take Dance Lessons

Miku continued to sing her set of songs, but there was a new development. Another girl with pink hair started singing a duet on stage with her! No, not a rabid fan, but another hologram. The first thing I instinctively thought was, “awww, artificial friends <3”. But this was crazy, how many of them were there? As I was questioning this – and my poor life decisions on not discovering Miku Hatsune sooner – I noticed that in between every song, she changed outfits, in what was possibly the quickest wardrobe change in the history of time. Speaking of that, there actually wasn’t talking in-between songs either, like artists typically do. She disappeared and reappeared every time – which was kind of nice in a way. No wasted time and more room for songs. I’m not really sure what she’d talk about anyway. “Hi, I’m Miku. So, being on Letterman was weird…”

 

And then it hit me. This was the closest anyone was ever going to get to a “real-life” anime character. This whole experience was sorta… magical. I began wondering what life would be like if Sebastian Michaelis were converted to hologram form? *initiate daydreaming*

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A horde of new hologram characters took the stage one by one: a sassy red-headed chick, a guy with spiky blonde hair – wait Cloud?! – a blonde girl with a sweet yellow guitar. At least she could play and sing at the same time  – that’s hard to do. I glanced over to watch the actual musicians playing to the side. HOLD UP, the human guitarist is really hot.

 

*distracted*

 

Oh right, the holograms. Seriously, all of them danced so… cutely… and I made a mental note to take dance lessons. After awhile, introductions were held for the actual musicians in the house: bass, drums, keys and guitar. The attractive guitarist’s name was Takahiro and he just did a solo. Hello, hi, notice me senpai. But back to Miku, or wait.. is that Miku? She somehow dyed her twin-tail to purple and is now dressed as a gothic Lolita. Her alter-ego? I DON’T CARE, IMMEDIATE FAVORITE. AND SHE JUST SPROUTED WINGS. I knew she was an angel.

 

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Chapter 5: Self-Realizations

I continued to dance and sway to the music as if I knew what was going on, but I could tell it was drawing to a close. Her last song played, leaving the crowd screaming and foaming at the mouth, but something told me an encore was about to transpire. She’s gotta rest people, calm down. Oh wait… wait… yep, there she is again. GLITTER CANON!!!!? Seriously though, a glitter canon just popped confetti everywhere. How cool is that?

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The last note rang, and the crowd held onto it like their dying breath. The band disappeared backstage, and the lights came back on. I couldn’t hear a thing except ringing in my ears but that was honestly the most fun I’ve had in awhile. What a crazy, cool and unique experience. I’ve been to a million concerts in my life but none quite like this one. I hope every anime fan can experience this, too, even if not specifically a vocaloid fan. There’s just something about seeing that magic come alive. Have I converted into a Miku fan? I love her. What a queen. I decided to blast her songs in my car on the way home.

 

Closing Thoughts

 I wonder where that guitarist went?

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ALL PHOTO CREDITS: Koisplay Photography

 

Photos from the event:

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