Filed under: Utada Hikaru
I attended Utada’s Sephora Listening Party at Hollywood, so here’s my short report on the event.
Roughly 400 people who had rsvp-ed were given orange wristbands and allowed into a line that was guaranteed entrance; the rsvp apparently came from the vip@sephora email. Those who did not get wristbands had the option of waiting in a line to see if they could be allowed in eventually.
At around 6pm, the wristbanded line started filing into Sephora. At 6:30, Utada entered and the room went into pandemonium! She was flanked by quite a few people, and looked great in a simple dark tee and pants. (Honestly – she is absolutely gorgeous in person.) The KIIS representative asked her a few questions, including if there’s a possibility of a tour (Utada remarked there was no way she could say no in the room full of people who cheered at the word tour, then said she was possibly working out kinks to have some small shows!).
Utada then gave a short introduction to her songs, before part of the song was played and Utada stood up there and rocked out with the rest of the audience, mouthing the words and sometimes talking to the KIIS host and others who were working. She didn’t sing, although she did burst out in a few phrases during “Me Muero.” The songs played were “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – FYI”, “Apple and Cinnamon,” “Poppin'”, “Me Muero,” and “Come Back to Me.” To summarize what was said,
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – FYI: Utada was surprised most American people have never heard of the original song sampled, except for people into more retro music, but a lot of people still enjoyed the tune.
Apple and Cinnamon: They used the original demos for this song. Also, random hip-hop musicians who walked in on this song in the studio really liked it too.
Poppin’: This was a song for the ladies! (She also commented that she was surprised at the amount of male attendees considering that Sephora was a makeup store.)
Me Muero: She had actually searched for days on the internet for a Spanish word that would fit the song in her head before she found “muero” – then after youtubing songs called “Me Muero,” decided to use that for her song too. This is also her favorite song.
Come Back To Me: Her single, of course! Don’t forget to request it on radio!
Sadly, my favorite song on the album, “Dirty Desire,” wasn’t played. (Although a very vocal and enthusiastic fan yelled out “Dirty Desire!!” at any chance he got.)
After that, Utada took three questions. One asked what Green Day thought of her cover of “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” – a question that Utada spun to talking about Youtube. The next asked about Kuma-chan. Finally, an asker insisted on using Japanese and Utada shared a story about a recent event from when she got drunk and played with a dog. (This is all in the video above.)
After that, the event got a little crazy. The KIIS rep told everyone that that they would all get a photo with Utada and a signed promo picture, so the entire room of 400 people crowded into a line. Then, additional people who did not get wristbands were allowed into the room up to a certain point to take photos of Utada. However, about twenty minutes in, Utada had to leave to catch her flight to New York. When she left, there were roughly 500 people crowded, confused, in Sephora. The MC announced that everyone should head to the exit to receive a signed promo picture and a gift from Sephora – which resulted in a flood of people, both with and without wristbands, crowding towards the exit. The staff ended up just closing and locking the doors, having about half the people left out and half the people left inside, and handing out what remained of the photos and gifts to people inside. They had far underestimated the audience, and were only able to pass out gifts to about a fifth of the people still inside the store before letting everyone exit.
Despite the terrible organization and planning, the event was pretty fun. Everyone in the room was excited and high-tension, and except from a few obnoxious fans who yelled randomly, everyone was fairly respectful and orderly. I’m sure no one expected so many people to show up to the first event – so hopefully, for you New York and Florida attendees, it works out better.
Thanks to Utada for finally coming out to see her fans! We had a great time rocking out to the tracks on the album, and hope to be able to see her again sometime! And of course, for everyone, the US stateside digital release of “This is The One” is out – remember to support!
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