Hatsune Miku / Anamanaguchi @ Hammerstein Ballroom

Hatsune Miku / Anamanaguchi

Hammerstein Ballroom

NEW YORK—Major shifts in technology have always changed music, whether in its sound or its performance, and often in both. The introduction of the steel-framed piano had an outsized impact on classical and popular music from its invention. Magnetic pickups gave us the electric guitar and its dominant influence on popular culture.

Hatsune Miku, and the tech behind it, may represent another large technical touchstone. When you see the show, you might be convinced of it.

This is a cybernetic approach to live performance. A full band (guitar, bass, keyboard and drums) performs live, but the frontman is a hologram. Sometimes, many holograms. The vocal tracks are all synthesized by software of the same name. The combined effect is infectious J-pop with a visual component as rich and engaging as its songs. The atmosphere is akin to a rave, with glow sticks handed out at the door—more Hatsune Miku-approved lights that match the colors of songs are available for purchase—in a darkened concert hall.

New York’s own Anamanaguchi were as close to a perfect opener for the show as one might imagine, with their upbeat chiptune pop songs and local support. A roughly 45-minute set was well-received and the crowd …

by   |  07/20/2016  |  Comments (0)

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