One of the biggest surprises for me at SXSW was getting an excitable message from one of my artists Daniel Robinson, explaining that I HAD to go see Perfume who were playing one show only at Highland during the festival. I thought to myself, a Japanese techno-pop girl band? At SXSW? That is going to be completely bonkers and quite frankly – a tad bit out of left-field. But I do like a good surprise, so I made my way down to the modern gay bar in central Austin which had completely been taken over by every pop-loving Asian within a 100 mile radius. The gayest thing about this bar was the staff, which goes to show you that during SXSW, an official venue is, well, just another new music venue and all bets are off when it comes to new music enthusiasts showing up.

All I can really say about Perfume is just WOW. From the moment they came out on-stage with their super sleek and futuristic video panels during “Story”, they had every eye in lock mode, marveling at the wondrous pop spectacle they have brought to Austin, Texas via Japan for the very first time.

Some might say that Perfume are just another example of the super fun pop nonsense that we are starting to see more and more of, infiltrating our mainstream English-speaking culture, but let me tell you – Perfume are something quite different. From the in-time and on-point choreography to their positive cheer-leading crowd engagement, to their matching space stewardess outfits, I was reminded of what girl power really is and how much I have really missed it. It was like I was seeing Bananarama and The Spice Girls being reincarnated into something totally new and polished for the millennial age unfold and explode before my eyes.

I’m not going to pretend that I knew the words to any of the songs, or even knew any of the song titles at all, but you can bet that I’ll be slowly becoming a Perfume super fan over the next few weeks. No doubt I’ll be doing some serious fan stalking of their YouTube videos and downloading their catalog of super happy pop hits.

Just take a look at some of the videos on the night too and I think you’ll agree that Perfume are ones to add to your must-know-about pop radar. Thank you SXSW for exposing me to Perfume. All it took was one live show and it was love at first sight. And that’s really what the magic of SXSW is all about: showing up, being present, open-minded and leaving with that special feeling of enlightenment you can only get by discovering a new music act that you instantly fell in love with.

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