Japan's Dreams Come True Conquering North America

Japan's Dreams Come True is finishing up their debut mini-tour of North America attracting attention that's catching many people by suprise. The pop band were mobbed in downtown Vancouver yesterday by over 3,000 autograph seekers who blocked traffic and generally, albeit innocently, wrecked havoc by their unexpected presence. The group was appearing at a local record store to promote tonight's final concert on these shores and in particular to promote their debut U.S. CD release, "Sing or Die." It worked. By the end of the day, the shelves were bare - there wasn't a record to be had.

"In our terms," says Virgin rep Sherry Sinclair, "it's like Madonna coming here."

Indeed, the Madonna analogy is a good one - the pop/dance act features a strong performance from female vocalist Miwa Yoshida who co-founded the group with bandmate Masato "Masa" Nakamura.

"Sing or Die" may be the North American debut for the band, and their first English album, but according to Virgin

Records spokespeople Dreams Come True have already sold a total of 25 million copies of their nine previous Japanese albums, as well as 16 million copies of their singles.

In Vancouver, tickets for their live appearance, being staged in a woefully undersized venue holding with just 1000 seats, sold out in just a couple of hours, long before the snowballing hype began tipping off any new fans. Similar scenarios took place at the band's handful of other stops including the Paradise in Boston, New York's Irving Plaza, Washington D.C.'s 9:30 Club, Los Angeles' El Rey Theatre and San Francisco's Fillmore.