Category Archives: Concerts

Anime Expo 2019

In its 28th year, Anime Expo once again welcomed 115,000* attendees from across the world.

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Japanese pop culture fans, both locally and internationally, traveled to the Los Angeles Convention Center for annual Anime Expo (Commonly known as, AX) held from July 4th thru 7th, including a pre-night show on the July 3rd. 

 

Reports that Anime Expo’s contract with the Los Angeles Convention Center had expired, created rumors of Anime Expo moving to another venue by 2020. We can officially confirm that Anime Expo will definitely return to the Los Angeles Convention Center for 29th Anime Expo in 2020, as stated in their website and the back of the Anime Expo 2019 program books.

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The Great Anime Expo Earthquake

In an unforeseen turn of events, two earthquakes occurred during Anime Expo 2019, one during Day 2, July 4th at 10:02AM PTD (4.0 magnitude) and the second during Day 3, July 5th at 8:19PM PTD (7.1 magnitude)During the first earthquake on the morning of July 4th, ABC 7 Action News had mistakenly stated that the Los Angeles Convention Center was being evacuated as a precaution. In reality, it was Anime Expo attendees waiting to get inside the convention, not out. Their statement was later retracted. The earthquake’s epicenter location was Ridgecrest, California.

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The following day, July 5th at 8:19PM a second earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.1, struck Ridgecrest, California once more. The earthquake was felt by AX attendees, which some taking to social media to post videos of their terrifying experience while inside the convention center.


Guests of Honor, Faye Mata

This year, Anime Expo featured 22 Guests of Honor, among them, voice actress Faye Mata.

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Photo Credit: Ax2D Photography

Mata has voiced numerous characters including, Aqua; Konosuba, Fukaziroh; SAO: Gun Gale Online, Katie Killjoy; Hazbin Hotel, Astolfo; Fate/Apocrypha and most recently Petra in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. We had the pleasure of having an exclusive interview with Faye Mata, Join us we speak about her career, character roles, and other upcoming projects.

This year Anime Expo featured over 400+ vendors among them animator, Vivienne Medrano better known by her pseudonym, Vivziepop.

_DSC0070-(2)Vivziepop is famously known for creating the hit series, HAZBIN HOTEL. Following her huge viral success with her YouTube video, which features JayJay, a character from another of Vivzie’s creations titled, Zoophobia, lipsyncing to Ke$ha’s Die Young. This video helped her gain a large audience early in her career as an animator.

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Hazbin Hotel official poster

She began her working on Hazbin Hotel during her High school years, designing characters such Alastor, one of many main characters of the series. It wasn’t until 2016, that she initially announced Hazbin Hotel, which was originally titled, People Like Us. We caught up with Vivziepop during the last day of Anime Expo and she gave us an insight into the series’ production and its future.

The series is set to be released sometime during October 2019, although the exact date is yet to be announced. Follow Vivziepop’s Twitter account for more updates and details.


RGP Games, anyone?

We decided to cover a few things from this year’s Entertainment Hall booth, beginning with Fate/Grand Order 2019 Tour. As you may remember, the Fate/Grand Order 2019 Tour began back in February of this year…

…and continued throughout Anime Expo 2019. Their booth featured an interactive photo-op station and the opportunity to play the tabletop game, Fate/Grand Order duel. Type-Moon representatives also handed out Fate/Grand Order 2019 player guides.

The Fate/Grand Order tour continues with its next stop being at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2019 in October, for more information visit their official here.


Staying inside the Entertainment Hall, we stopped by Auragon Games’ booth as they promoted their newest game, Hiraethia!

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Hiraethia is a new RPG puzzle game developed by Auragon Games, a new independent game developing company based off Texas. Auragon Games founder, Sunny Chai and Hiraethia character designer, Tin Liu spoke to us gave us an overview on Hiraethia.

“A story of adventure, mystery, and tragedy. Follow a brave group of heroes as they try to save the world.” as the game’s Kickstarter states.

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We got to play the game during its promotion demo at Anime Expo and although we did not explore much of the storyline, we can see it becoming quite popular among mobile RPG fans. As Chai stated in our interview, what sets the game apart is the fully animated character scenes. It’s one of the few games out there, that features hand-drawn, fully animated attack sequences. As you may know, most games go with the traditional visual novel animation. In addition, the game also features a puzzle mini-game within the main game itself, in which, the player must strategically match ‘tiles‘ accordingly to create stronger and more powerful attack combos. It is when these attacks are performed that the fully animated sequences appear.

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Furthermore, the game also features a collaboration with YouTube gamer, LilyPichu as a playable character in the game. Auragon games have not released much about their character’s background, therefore not much is known about lily nor the role she’ll play in the game, storywise.

On June 21st, Auragon games launched a Kickstarter funding campaign with the goal of 10K, and after 45 days, the project was successfully funded.

UntitledThere is currently no date set for the game’s release, other than ‘it’ll be out on the market before the end of 2019.‘ Want to know more,? head over to their official website to learn more about the game and merchandise.


Anime Expo 2020

Anime Expo ended with an unusually finish. It’s a well-known fact that Anime Expo sale badges for the coming year, hours before the current year convention is over. Things were a bit different this year, with Anime Expo announcing that badges for Anime Expo 2020 would not be sold on-site and instead, sold online.

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A limited number of early bird 4-day badges will go on sale beginning on August 16th 2019. Early bird price is $75 (not including fees) for a 4-day badge. Once all the early bird badges sell out, 4-day badges will be available for $85 (not including fees) and continue rising monthly as Anime Expo 2020 gets closer. In another surprising move, Anime Expo has also stated they will no longer hold a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.

_DSC0788For more information regarding Anime Expo 2020 badge please go to their official website here. Now that Anime Expo 2019 has long been over, its time to prepare for Anime Expo 2020. Will you be there?

*115,000 unique, 350,000 turnstile 


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AniFest 2019

The annual anime festival kicked off at the Cultural Arts Center in Torrance, California on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

With the success of last year’s event, it’s no surprise that AniFest returned with a bang! With not only more attendees but also with more guests and performing acts!

Cosplay guests included D-Piddy, Ruiriupanda, VampyBitMe, Rinmieru, Paprika Mari and yours truly, to name a few.

Anifest had over 10+ performers including the Taiko Collegiate, Stephanie Yanez x Plasmic, Voia, Manatsu Project & Candy Bomber.

One of many performances were the Röli Angels, an idol group from Japan. They performed during Anifest’s very own, Arcane Maid Cafe.

The Roli Angeles performing the hit-song, A Cruel Angel’s Thesis:

During the festival, we stopped by Sanyo Foods’ Sapporo Ichiban booth, where representatives gave FREE ramen samples by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to all attendees.

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Ramen Maid Astolfo

Sapporo Ichiban will be uploading all the photos they took with cosplayers during AniFest, keep your eye out for their album here.  Sapporo Ichiban has now uploaded their AniFest photos, you can view them here. For deilcous ramen, visit their online store here.

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AniFest ticket winner!

Before I leave you with our wonderful AniFest photo gallery below, I’d like to mention the winner of our AniFest ticket giveaway, Romy! Hope you enjoyed your time at AniFest! Missed out? There’s always next year, that’s right, AniFest returns for another fantastic year in 2020, See you there!


Photo Gallery

Special thank to:

Beari King, Drew and the rest of the AniFest team for making this festival extraordinary!

Let’s go to AniFest 2019!

What is AniFest?

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AniFest is a yearly anime convention and festival dedicated to celebrating the arts and culture of Japanese animation. Cosplayers, vendors, partners, sponsors, performers, and event producers all come together in one day to bring you the best that an anime convention has to offer, but without the high price!

Why Should I attend?

Aside from special guests appearances by VampyBitMe, D-Piddy, キーング X KING!, and yours truly, AniFest will also feature musical performances by Stephanie Yanez, Tune in Tokyo, Phoebe Chan & Arcane Maid Cafe Idols. There’ll be many anime and fashion vendors, entertainment and photo ops during the event! As an added bonus, AniFest will be in partnership with Avex Pictures of Japan to host the very first U.S. screening of Trinity Seven 2*!

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There’ll plenty of activities to part take during this 8-hour event such as Anisong Dance Festival Event, AniFest Cosplay Showcase, Itasha Anime Car Showcase, Pine Wind Japanese Garden Experience & more. (See their official schedule here for more information). All this and more at AniFest! Held at the Torrence Cultural Arts Center in Torrence, CA on March 23rd 2019, in just 16 days!

More information on their official website!

‘I Want to go now!’

Tickets are now on sale so grab them before they’re gone!

OR you can try your luck here! We are proud to announce that we are working alongside AniFest to bring you this special giveaway**, so enter for your chance to win a (1) ticket to AniFest 2019!

DEADLINE: MARCH 20TH at 11:59PM [PST]

*Sperate ticket required for this event
**Only one winner will be selected

ANIME EXPO 2018

Anime Expo 2018 was a complete success!

AX18Day1.jpg For the 27th time, Anime Expo came back with full force from July 4th – July 8th drawing fans from 70 different countries. This year over 110,000 people attended Anime Expo, thats 2,342 more attendees than in Anime Expo 2017, making a local economic impact of $100 million to the city of Los Angeles.

Although Anime Expo went off without a hitch, there were a few slight inconveniences.

Before Anime Expo even began, they were altered to a possible threat made against AX and its attendees. According to Anime New Network, the threat was made by a man who allegedly stated via text, “These cons are due for a high school shooting, by a high school kidd [sic]. I’m working on a case at the moment. Shit u [sic] not.” although he did not specifically stated Anime Expo as a target, Anime Expo responded by promptly by ‘alerting local law enforcement to take appropriate actions in accordance with their procedures.‘ in a statement the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) said:

“Just as in 2017, we are working with security teams and local law enforcement, including K9 teams and traffic control officers, to maintain the safety of our event. Additionally, as previously announced, we are utilizing RFID badges for AX this year and will have security checks at each entrance. We encourage attendees to check our mobile app and maps to get familiarized with the various designated entrances.”

Thankfully, AX came and went without incident. Although the seriousness of this threat wasn’t felt among con goers; With public shootings happening all over the country on a daily basis, ‘indirect’ threats such as these, should NOT be taken with grain of salt. Though it may be a slight inconvenience, security checks at AX do their job by preventing such incidents to ever happen. If you would like to read more details on this situation please read Anime News Network’s article here.

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Moving on to more lighter but heated topics:

Los Angeles suffered a huge heat wave during day 2 & day 3 of Anime Expo with temperatures reaching up to 108°. Although the convention center had functioning air conditioning, outside the heat was unbearable. Mailing AX badges eliminated “LineCon” or the long tedious, on-site registration line. Attendees were still not happy about waiting in line to get inside the convention center due to bag checks. Attendees also took to social to suggest that Anime Expo should cap their tickets due to overcrowding.

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Do agree that Anime Expo should cap their badges? leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your opinions.

Be as it may, the heatwave was no match for hard working, determined cosplayers, whom in the middle of the scorching sun, went all out in their cosplays. Check these awesome cosplays:

We interviewed some of these wonderful cosplayers and this is what they had to say, about why they attended Anime Expo 2018 and how we dealt with the heat weave:

Before I jump on to a different topic, a HUGE  shoutout to these guys at Alove yogurt, who, in the middle of the scorching sun, passed out these delicious yogurts to con goers

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Thanks guys! (Peach Flavor was the best!)

In addition to the 110K attendees,  over 150 guests and industry made appearances including, Go Nagai, Hiromi Wakabayashi, Mari Okada, Sean Danconia, Santa Inoue, and SUSHIO. Booths also held guest appearances as with, Project Sekai who had Nekopara’s creator, Sayori in attendance for fan autographs.

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Since taking photos of Sayori was prohibited, here’s her signature dedicated to me, Krystal.

The Exhibit & Entertainment Halls also featured more than 524 Exhibitors (74 Exhibitors more than AX 2017) Among them was AnimePls, a new Anime brand that is dedicated to bringing you exclusive merchandise from various anime series including: Hatsune Miku, Attack On Titan, Yugioh, My Hero Academia & Aggretsuko! Check their booth from AX 2018.

Near the end of Anime Expo; Funimation and LootCrate collaborated on an AX Afterparty held at the Globe Theater in Downtown Los Angeles during the night of Day 3.

Attendees able to receive a free goodie bag which contained Loot Crate exclusives

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There were so many things that went down at this year’s anime. From newly produced anime series to exclusive Anime Expo events and merchandise. If you missed out this year, don’t worry, Anime Expo will be back in 2019! Tickets are now on sale! For now enjoy our entire Anime Expo 2018 photoset:

Special Thanks to:

  • Anime Expo & Anime Expo Press Staff
  • The Anime Pls Team
  • Cosplayer, Mystic Taku
  • Luis Alexander &
  • My wonderful assistant, Vincent Reyes

Miku Expo 2018

MIKU EXPO RETURN TO LOS ANGELES!

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Miku’s last LA appearance was during Miku Expo 2016now she’s back again with Miku Expo 2018. This year’s theme: “Can’t Make A Song!!” by beat_shobon.

As you read this, Miku Expo is still on going with tours left in New York, NY & Mexico City alongside Miku’s first european concerts beginning on December 1st in Paris, France, followed by, Cologne, Germany & London, United Kingdom. 

If you’re interested in attending any of these shows, click here for showtimes:
Miku Expo 2018 (USA&Mexico)/Miku Expo 2018(Europe)

Miku Expo 2018 (excluding San Jose/Austin) song list:

-I’ll Miku Miku You (For Reals) | Miku (ika)
-Thousand Cherry Blossoms | Miku (Kurousa-P)
-Ghost Rule | Miku (DECO*27)
-Ageage Again | Miku (Mitchie M)
-Meltdown | Rin (iroha(sasaki))
-Law-evading Rock | Len (Neru)
-Doctor=Funk Beat | KAITO (Nyanyannya)
-Lover’s Suicide Oblivion | MEIKO (OPA)
-Glow | Miku (keeno)
-Through The Night | Miku (Slushii)
-Romeo and Cinderella | Miku (doriko)
-Envy Catwalk | Miku (Tohma)
-Can’t Make a Song | Miku (Moi)
-Double Lariat | Luka (Agoaniki-P)
-8HIT | Rin, Len (Wonderful☆Opportunity)
-Remote Control | Rin, Len (Wonderful☆Opportunity)
-Gemini | Rin, Len (Dixie Flatline)
-Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya! | Miku (daniwellP)
-Satisfaction | Miku (kz)
-Whimsical Mercy | Miku (Hachioji-P)
-Luka Luka Night Fever | Luka (samfree)
-World is Mine | Miku (ryo)
-Rain of Cherry Blossom Petals | Miku (halyosy, absorb)
-Decade | Miku (Dixie Flatline)
-DUNE | Miku (Hachi)
-Miku | Miku (Anamanaguchi)
-Tell Your World | Miku (kz)
-Melt | Miku (ryo

F.Y.E. Let’s Paint Miku Event

Following the concert in Los Angeles, electronics store. FYE (For Your Entertainment) in collaboration with Crypton Future Media INC organized an in-store event where Hatsune Miku fans were to purchase a blank Miku figurine and participated in various artistic activities such as, figure painting, coloring and Japanese traditional Chigiri-e (Art made with coloured paper that is torn to create images, and may resemble a water colour paintings.)

 

Once the figure was painted, it was then filmed for an upcoming video alongside the colouring sheets & Chigiri-e which were kept by Crypton Future Media INC for said upcoming video.

Here’s our Miku Expo 2018 video:

Author’s Note:

Thanks for reading my post, due to time restrictions, I couldn’t take as many photos as I wanted to before the concert began in LA. I do hope you enjoyed our video. Be on the lookout for our Anime Expo 2018 post, coming soon!

PUMA X SEGA (Official Sonic The Hedehog Shoes)

Sega & shoe brand, Puma teamed up to make the best collaboration SEGA has ever been involved in:

Classic SONIC THE HEDGEHOG RS-0 inspired Shoes!

These nostalgic RS-0 shoes were released on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018*

According Puma’s official website, details of these limited edition RS-0 shoes are as follows:
DETAILS:
-RS-0 Sonic takes inspiration from Sonic the Hedgehog and the world he protects
-The upper’s textured suede represents Sonic’s fur
-Upper also features micro ventilation perforations, embroidered PUMA Formstrip, deboss of Sonic’s head and gold rings
-Metallic gold rings on lace ends – relates to the classic gold rings collected in the video game
-16Bit Grass Print on heel is a nod to the Green Hill Zone
-Checkered footbed is inspired by the roads Sonic runs on
-Outsole features translucent red rubber + Sonic logo Under Print
-Tongue label features the collaboration logo and RS-0 binary number branding

These shoes are currently SOLD OUT. A Puma representative made a statement regarding the future availability of these shoes, and stated “This was a limited release, and there will be no additional production of the shoe”, It is, however, available to purchase on these following platforms at buyer’s own risk: E-bay, Amazon & stockx.com.

Following the release of these shoes,  Nice Kicks, a  popular shoe store in Downtown Los Angeles, held a HUGE SEGA party with VERY special guests.

Special guests included, game designer/game director, S & Japanese-American rock band, Crush 40 (Jun Senoue & Johnny Gioeli)! For the first time, in a long time, Crush 40 performed LIVE in Los Angeles. Performing Sonic classics such as, Open your Heart, Live and Learn, I am…All of Me, and their new song, Green Light Ride for the new sonic game, Sonic Racing! Watch the entire concert provided by yours truly, The Kitsune Network:

check out our photos from the concert:


Personal Afterthoughts

Watching Crush 40 and meeting band members, Johnny and Jun was surreal. As a child I remember playing Sonic Adventure XD and Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, I remember not skipping title screen just to hear Crush 40’s theme. I would like to Thank you Crush 40, for making my childhood great with their catchy rockin songs and Thank you Mr.Iizuka, for making the greatest Sonic game ever; the Adventure series.

 

Interview with: Jason Paige – Vocal artist of the famous, Pokémon Theme song!

You may not recognize his face but you’ll definitely recognize his voice! Join us in our quick interview with Pokemon Theme song singer, JASON PAIGE:

We interviewed Jason Paige at AniFest 2018 in Torrance, California. Although we were there primarily for Jason, here are some photos from Anifest & a quick video.

Check this short video of some of the booth at AniFest:

 

AniFest 2018

Join us at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center this May 5th 2018 for the first ever Anifest!

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AniFest is a brand new one-day Anime Festival where you can find all the great things of a convention but with a matsuri twist, right in Torrance California! Take a look around to see all the great things you can do, and for only $15! Get your ticket here: AniFest.org/tickets. See you there!

Miku Expo North America Timeline*

*does not include ‘in-con’ concerts

From enjoying awesome, futuristic technology to making new friends, its needless to say that Miku Expo concerts bring people together in every way possible, Let’s sit back and go through the beautiful and fun memories MIKU EXPO has brought us since its debut in the states.


MIKUNOPOLIS in LOS ANGELES (2011)

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  • This was Hatsune Miku’s debut in the states. Held during Anime Expo 2011, The concert was a huge hit among Miku fans and possibly the cheapest of them all, with only $15 per ticket! Featured singers were as follows: Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin, Kagamine Len & Megurine Luka. This was the first MikuExpo in the states to also be available on DVD, BluRay DVD & CD. At the time of this concert, Miku was partnered with Toyota and Anime Expo.

  Miku Expo 2014 – Los Angeles & New York

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Miku’s second concert in the states! The official expo theme was, “Sharing The World” a song by producer, BIGHEAD. Featured singers were as follows: Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin, Kagamine Len, Megurine Luka, KAITO & MEIKO. This MikuExpo also had 4 shows in New York with an exhibition showcased in both locations; Los Angeles and New York. The  exhibition consisted of a Halloween Party, a night theater screening, showcased various Miku figures including the Nendoroid Hatsune Miku: Halloween Ver. and Artwork from different vocaliod artist. A Blu-ray disc of NY’s performance was released.


  Miku Expo 2016

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In her most recent concert Miku comes back with brand new songs! To promote the concert, a song contest was made in which “Ten Thousand Stars” produced by CircusP, was the winner. Featured singers were as follows: Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin, Kagamine Len, Megurine Luka, KAITO & MEIKO. This Miku Expo was much like Miku Expo 2014, which an exhibition was showcased. During Miku Expo 2016, multiple Miku themed events were held in different locations around the U.S. prior to the concert date; MIKU EXPO Digital Stars, a club event; MIKU short film festival; MIKU EXPO Tour Stickers (collected throughout the tour dates) & MIKU EXPO Let’s Draw, an art event.

Enjoy our Miku Expo 2016 Video:

KINGDOM HEARTS World Tour!

Originally announced on April 28th 2016, the  KINGDOM HEARTS World Tour has been the best thing announced since KINGDOM HEARTS Unchained (North America) & Final Fantasy XV!

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According to the announcement, The concert is split into two parts. Beginning in August 11th 2016, with KINGDOM HEARTS  -First Breath (Brass concert), which is an exclusive concert in Japan ONLY. The second part, KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World Tour (Orchestra concert) will begin in Japan on, March 10, 2017.

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Fans can purchase the presale tickets to KINGDOM HEARTS Orchestra -World Tour via Wildfaery or wait until all tickets go on sale starting May 14, 2016. Please note that only 150 VIP tickets available at each World Tour concert for $189 and will include a meet and greet with Yoko Shimomura.

Check below for a list of the current pricing for each World Tour concert:

Concert Location + Date Pricing
March 10, 2017
Tokyo International Forum Hall A (Japan)
TBD
March 18-19 2017
Salle Pleyel (France)
VIP – $189
Gold – $133
Category 1 – $77
Category 2 – $49
March 24-25 2017
Central Hall Westminster (United Kingdom)
VIP – $184
Gold – $128
Category 1 – $78
Category 2 – $56
May 6-7 2017
Esplanade Concert Hall (Singapore)
VIP – $190
Gold – $139
Category 1 – $78
May 28 2017
Mercedes Benz Arena (China)
TBD
June 10/14 2017
Dolby Theatre (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
TBD
June 24, 2017
United Palace Theatre (New York City, NY, USA)
VIP – $189
Gold – $134
Category 1 – $109
Category 2 – $79
Category 3 – $59

(Source: KHInsider)

For more information visit the KHInsider.com