International

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Hosts Concert With CHAI & Ken Hirai, Announces New Album

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
 Aki Ishii

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

After wrapping up the European leg of her world tour in May, J-pop singer <a href="/music/Kyary-Pamyu-Pamyu">Kyary Pamyu Pamyu</a> returned to Japan and hosted her first joint concert at the historic Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall in Tokyo with guests CHAI and <a href="/music/Ken-Hirai">Ken Hirai</a> on Sunday (June 3).

The concert commemorating the 95th anniversary of the Open-Air Concert Hall and the 115th anniversary of Hibiya Park where the hall is located kicked off with the four-member all-female band CHAI. The "neo-kawaii (cute)" pop band appeared onstage wearing matching shocking pink outfits and warmed up the crowd with their catchy numbers including "Sound & Stomach," "I'm Me" and "Sayonara Complex."

Then, Ken Hirai appeared wearing a polka-dot shirt and opened his set with the mid-tempo ballad "Nonfiction." The tall singer with chiseled features went on to perform some well-known hits along with the two new songs he released May 30, mesmerizing the audience with his beautifully high-pitched voice. 

Also known for his chatty sense of humor, he shared with the crowd his misgivings about being the only man in the lineup. "When I was first told that it would be CHAI and Kyary and Ken Hirai, I thought, 'Why?'," he quipped. "I texted Kyary and asked 'Why me?' and she texted back saying, 'Because you're cute.' Since CHAI is 'neo-kawaii' and Kyary is 'Harajuku-kawaii,' I guess I'll be 'gross-kawaii' for today." 

Kyary appeared as the headliner and launched into "Invader Invader" with her backup dancers. She hyped up the crowd with "Mi" and went on to perform a string of hits including "Ninjari Ban Ban," "Mondai Girl," "Fashion Monster" and her recent release "Kimi No Mikata." 

"This is so fun!" she exclaimed between songs and told the audience that she felt competitive after seeing the other acts perform. "I was watching from offstage. CHAI has such good taste and Mr. Hirai's singing is just so amazing. I'll take this pretty seriously so I don't fall behind." She also joked that her polka-dot outfit had unintentionally matched Hirai's shirt.

When she returned for the encore, Kyary announced that she would be releasing a new album soon and that she would kick off a 19-stop domestic hall tour from September running through the beginning of December. The new release will be her fourth studio album and her first album in four years.

"We've been steadily working on getting the album and tour ready. This year will be packed with concerts," she said, and wrapped up her set with "Harajuku Iyahoi."

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will resume her haunted house-themed world tour June 18 at the Playstation Theater in New York.