Last night Puffy AmiYumi played the last of their current Go East tour dates here in Chicago at the Vic Theatre. In short, they rocked! The Vic is a relatively small and intimate theatre, so even from the balcony we had a really good view of Ami and Yumi, who along with their band were obviously having a great time and sharing it with the rest of us. They performed almost nonstop for about an hour and 15 minutes. They only took a few short breaks to talk with the audience in pretty good english, though mostly written on note pages. They played most of their popular pieces including the theme song to the current Pokemon movie in Japan. I was really impressed by the energy and passion of their performance. It was definitely worth it to see Puffy live. Even WillowBrow, who at best tolerates my interest in Japanese pop culture, had a good time and thought they were cute.
The audience was not what I had expected. I assumed that most of the audience would be teenagers and 20-somethings who are currently into anime, manga, and Asian pop culture. But in addition to this expected demographic, were lots and lots of little kids with their parents. Obviously the little kids were there because of the very popular Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi animated series on Cartoon Network. This made for a very strange mix of kids in the proximity of people drinking beer. The presence of the kids wasn’t really a problem during the main show, but the opening act strayed into PG-13 territory a few times which as a parent myself made me a bit uncomfortable with so many kids under 10 present. Once Puffy started playing, it really didn’t matter anymore. I don’t think the show was tailored to kids, but there wasn’t anything objectionable and the kids who were still awake by the time they started had a rocking good time. The fun of Puffy was truly infectious and I hope I’ll get the chance to see them again.