ARTWORK CREDIT: SAMEYAMA JIRO
It’s been just over a month since Miku madness hit London, “why are you only just posting this now?” I hear you ask. Well, I wanted to let the event sink in and write a post Miku Expo blog after the dust had settled and I could gather my thoughts – after all, it was one incredible night to look back on!
As I was arriving closer to Olympia via train, more and more cosplays and long aquamarine wigs began to appear and the pre-event buzz began to kick in! I was on the fence initially about buying a ticket. I had visions of teen girls screaming the place down during every song and having not owned or used a glowstick at a concert before, I initially felt quit anxious about attending knowing what would be in store.
The price also seemed a little high at £50+bf for a standard ticket but this was Miku’s UK debut and I knew I’d be kicking myself if I missed out!
I checked Twitter throughout the day before leaving for London and I was amazed at the dedication from some of the fans. Some even queued outside of the venue the night before to guarantee their spot at the front – merch in hand!
By the time I arrived at Olympia, majority of the fans were already inside so I didn’t have to wait more than ten minutes before I was inside the venue. Tonight’s concert was sold out which in itself just shows how large the support is for Miku in the UK!
By the time I got through security and walked down the stairs to the main floor area, there was a huge crowd on the left hand side. This turned out to be the line for merchandise! Fans were snapping up everything they could get their hands on! I queued for just over forty minutes to get a glowstick (that’s pretty much all that was left by the time I got there) and even then I was convinced I’d just get to the front only to hear the dreaded “sorry, sold out!” but with a sigh of relief and £30 lighter, I had my glowstick!
As showtime was edging closer, fans cheered as they heard the event was due to start imminently, even if it was just a reminder not to use unauthorised glowsticks or devices that could cause issues with the performance.
By the time the event was about to start, (and spending forty+ minutes in the merch queue), most of the good spots had been taken. I took myself down the right hand side of the venue, under the balcony which gave me a great view of the stage whilst being with the crowd to really capture the spirit of Miku’s debut UK live!
I have to admit, I didn’t know what to expect and I was truly blown away! The stage setup, lighting, Miku’s model and incredible live performances from the musicians had much more of a Rock concert experience than I could ever have expected to witness! I was also so content to see the fans cheering along to the musicians solo’s and giving them as much love and support as they were cheering on Miku! I expected Miku would be getting all the attention but was pleasantly surprised!!
My experience with the glowstick could almost have been it’s own comedy sketch. Not having the time to read the instructions before the start, I removed the packaging and pressed the button but no light came on. “Great, trust me to get the only piece of non-working merch!” I thought. That panic soon subsided as I held the button in and boom – the neon green light appeared and we were in business!
I knew one of Miku’s tracks (‘World Is Mine’), which was played towards the end of an epic two hour set but otherwise knew very little. Somehow I was able to move my glowstick in time with the music without ever hearing it before. It was like an invisible force took over my arm and keeping an eye on the people around me as guidance, proceeded to love every minute of it! (minus the minor arm strain!)
Then the next step in the glowstick challenge, one of the other Vocaloid characters appeared on stage and all of a sudden the green neon lights that flooded Olympia quickly switched to yellow and I suddenly panicked thinking “what do I do now?? I think my glowstick is only neon green?!” Thanks again to watching a few of the fans around me, I suddenly realised this glowstick ain’t a one trick pony, there’s a whole rainbow of colours in here!! The hard part now was keeping up with all the colour changes but I got there in the end and continued to wave my glowstick with gusto (while trying not to injure the fans around me.)
“What about the fans?” I hear you ask, “Did they scream the place down like you thought they would?” Well….no! The age range at Miku Expo in London covered a huge scope from early teens to late forties and possibly older! There were loud cheers (like any other concert) when fans heard they favourite songs or their favourite Vocaloid artist appeared but nothing like I had imagined! Lesson learnt there!
I can honestly say I loved every minute, I’ll look back and think how the show itself was such an epic spectacle, including the giant spray of Miku streamers that covered the crowd during the big finale! The fun memories looking back at my beginners guide to glowsticks and seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces that Miku finally came to London and made their dreams come true. After such a huge success, I don’t think Miku will wait as long before she makes her next appearance in the UK and Europe! I’ll be there, glowstick at the ready!
After having a blast at Miku Expo, enjoying the Pop concert vibe was a welcome change and has made me more open minded when it comes to discovering new music. (you’re never too old for that!)
For starters, I’m looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone and checking out more Idol shows this year.
Since Miku Expo, I discovered (and can’t stop listening to) Korean sensation BLACKPINK. They are literally on their way to world domination this year and hearing the news that they are coming to Europe at some point during 2019, I’m all in – if I can get a ticket!