M.I.B & 4TEN Shine At The NYC Chuseok Festival

The 32nd New York Korean Chuseok Festival took place on October 11th and 12th in Queens, New York at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Even though it was a traditional festival, there were aspects of pop culture, including performances by Korean idol groups M.I.B and 4TEN, and other Korean celebrities. Local acts also performed, combining the foreign and the local, the traditional and the modern, into one festive event.

KPOPme attended the second day of the festival, arriving early on the bright, sunny day. The Chuseok Festival was a whole day event, with families arriving early in the day to enjoy booths set up by Korean companies, ranging from makeup brands to airlines, and some light entertainment, including a rock climbing wall that proved pretty popular, as well as a raffle to win a round trip to Korea. Since winter is coming to New York, many people arrived wearing coats, but the day became sunny and soon everyone was walking around and enjoying the weather and culture. The majority of the crowd was made up of Korean families, but there were numerous foreigners interspersed.

Even though there were people enjoying the festival all day, there was a state of anticipation for the main attraction of the day: the concert. Around 2 p.m., a formal award ceremony began, honoring those who helped run the festival, and at 3 o’clock, the show began.

A local dance team, SJ Team, danced to sultry songs including HyunA’s Red, and were followed up by a local duo that won the previous day’s dance contest. MC Kim Hak Rae took to the stage, entertaining everyone with his comedy, before introducing the first idol group of the day, 4TEN.

4TEN debuted only a few months ago, so not even K-Pop fans in the audience knew the songs that the four member performed. However, their stunning rendition of Tornado immediately drew the attention of the crowd. The song begins slowly before becoming a bass-filled dance track that let members Hyeji and Hyejin exhibit their powerful vocals, getting the catchy hook “oh oh oh” stuck in everyone’s head. Eujin and, especially, Tem’s rapping simply wowed the crowd. Even though they’re rookies, 4TEN’s members are no joke and everyone in the audience recognized that pretty quickly.

 Also on KPOPme: Review: BTS Show & Prove In Los Angeles

The girls’ had a pretty short set, but performed two of their own songs as well as a flawless cover of Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass. They introduced themselves, speaking in both Korean and English to the crowd. Tem, who is American, expressed how excited 4TEN was to be performing in New York. By the end of their set, the audience definitely wished that it was a bit longer to see more of what the four had to offer.

Following 4TEN was Lee Eun Ha, who was one of Korea’s most popular singers in the 70’s and 80’s. She was a perfect pick for the audience, which was mostly families. One hilarious elderly man even walked to the front of the audience and started dancing to Lee Eun Ha’s songs, amusing both the crowd and the singer.

Finally at around 4 p.m., M.I.B came to the stage, and there was palpable excitement. There were about 100 fans there who been waiting all day for the hip-hop group to get on stage, and the minute M.I.B was visible walking onto stage, those fans went absolutely crazy. Many of the elder audience members also seemed to recognize singer Kangnam from his recent variety show appearances, which are getting a lot of popularity.

5zic, $IMS, Young Cream, and Kangnam started performing Chisa Bounce as the crowd greeted them with loud cheers. The funky hip-hop track set the tone for the rest of their set- even though many people in the family-friendly audience didn’t know the group’s songs, M.I.B was just set on having fun. The members didn’t stick to a tight choreography, but instead moved freely around the stage and had fun. At one point, to the delight of fans in the audience, Kangnam jokingly even started grinding with Young Cream.

 Also on KPOPme: 6 Best K-Pop School Uniform Concept Music Videos

M.I.B then introduced themselves in Korean before heading into G.D.M (Girls. Dreams. Money), Let’s Talk About You, and Money In The Building. Some audience members were wondering if one of the 4TEN members would sing the part of A-Pink’s Bomi since 4TEN and M.I.B are both from Jungle Entertainment, but sadly, none of the members joined in. M.I.B stopped to speak again, and decided to only speak English (but failed at that). Kangnam’s variety show personality appeared again and had the crowd laughing when he brought up the fact that even though he went to high school in Hawaii, he got kicked out so his English isn’t very good.

The group ended the day with Dash (Men In Black,) which seemed very appropriate considering that the Chuseok Festival took place at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the location of the 1964 World’s Fair- which was featured in the movie Men In Black. Dash (Men In Black) was definitely M.I.B’s best performance of the night, combining the member’s witty humor with their talented rap and vocal skills.

Even though M.I.B was supposed to be the last performance, up-and-coming K-Pop cover artist, Arnelle “Elly” Nonon ended the night with her flawless covers, including a fierce rendition of Winner’s Mino’s I’m Him, which she turned into I’m Her). And with that, the festivities ended.

With idols for the younger audience members, comedy and a starlet in her own right for the older audience, everyone was able to enjoy the 2014 NYC Chuseok Festival.

Check out KPOPme’s photos of the 2014 NYC Chuseok Festival.

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Did you attended 2014 NYC Chuseok Festival? Which one was your favorite performance? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear you thoughts and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Review: B1A4’s Road Trip Tour in San Francisco

by Lynh Nguyen

Read more

KCON 2014 Day 2: Convention Highlights

After a pretty good experience on Saturday, the first day of KCON 2014 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, expectations were high for the following day on August 10th. Needless to say, fans definitely enjoyed themselves throughout this two-part convention and concert event. Here’s our review on the highlights during the day!


Overview


The line wasn’t as bad in terms of aesthetic appeal on Sunday (it didn’t stretch across a block or so around the venue), but it was still a force to be reckoned with. Luckily, it was an easier process as most of the con-goers bought tickets for both days.

As mentioned before, the Marketplace was quite the popular spot for fans waiting for the convention gates to open at 10 a.m., as everyone checked out the booths, food trucks, and outdoor stage. In contrast to Saturday, which had many G-Dragon fans, Sunday brought forth a large population of the Girls’ Generation and BTS fandom, which made up a majority of the attendees.

In the beginning, day two appeared to be more organized with less crowds than day one, but, upon the time of the concert, three ambulances showed up by the entrance to the venue. It was certainly a shocking sight, but it seemed like everything was under control by the time the concert began.

Much like the previous day, the second day of the convention offered more workshops, panels, performances on the outdoor stage, Danny from L.A tapings, a red carpet event, fan meetings with artists, and much more.


Danny from L.A. taping


Due to our busy schedule, KPOPme unfortunately missed BTS’ Danny From L.A. taping. But thankfully we were right on time to see Korean rocker Jung Joon Young‘s appearance. Different from idol groups, Jung Joon Young’s presence was very laid back. He kept his really cool I don’t care appearance. His English was very  fluent and natural that he even forgot that it was being taped and constantly used curse words, which kept everyone in the audience laughing.

He played a game with Danny and Parker in which they had to drink lime juice and soy sauce and see who would last longer without making a bitter face.  Ultimately, Jung Joon Young won and the audience cheered for him.

Here are some pictures from the taping:


Red Carpet


Similar to the fan engagements, access to this event required attendees winning a pass on their scratch off cards given in their goodie bags. And the despite the events with artists being closed off to press, the red carpet was not. Photographers lined the first row of barriers separating the public from the artists, while the fans were situated behind press and another barrier.

Eric Nam hosted the event, introducing each act, adding his funny commentary, and just being his adorkable self. The red carpet featured the acts that would perform at M! Countdown that night, including BTS, CNBLUE, SPICA, and Girls’ Generation, as well as actors Lee Seung Gi and Lee Seo Jin.

As each artist came out, Eric would interview them for a little bit, and then the first would pose for pictures. Some of the acts, when coming out, would pause to greet fans who stood closer to the door. Stay tuned for we will later post a video from this event so you can see for yourself all that happened!

By the end of the event, Eric stayed behind and took many, many pictures with fans, despite this not being part of the show and him having a fan meeting at the Viki tent earlier on the day and the previous day.

Check out some of our pictures from the red carpet event:

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Panels


Discussion: The Best and Brightest Rookies

One of the first panels of the day took place at 11 a.m., called the Best & Brightest Rookie Groups, with Johnny Au (The Au Review), White Boy KPOP, Nadia Leong (TGM Events), Lyra Jazmine (Hallyu LA), Colleen Lee (Japako Music), and June Saladino (Hallyu Magazine) taking charge of discussing rookies in the industry.

Statistically speaking, Johnny brought up the issue of how, generally, only five percent of rookies make it in the industry; he took the time to ask the panelists to each give their opinion on the low number. White Boy KPOP talked about how rookies often took on concepts that didn’t work, while Lyra and Nadia both decided that it was dependent on the companies. June referred to White Boy KPOP when saying that appealing to the global music style was important in order to succeed, and Nadia added, “Korean agencies don’t listen” to our recommendations and advice, looking back on 100%’s unfortunately named 2nd mini album, BANG the BUSH. Colleen also emphasized on a working concept and built upon that idea by saying how music stages also need to work with the group as well.

When moving onto what made rookies succeed, Nadia took no time in simply saying that they have to be “really pretty or talented,” with the other panelists agreeing and adding that having both attributes ups the ante for success. She referred to EXO as an example; although they had some recent issues, she said that they had “no visual flaws” and thus gained a lot of popularity. In regards to newer, highly popular rookies, White Boy KPOP couldn’t help mentioning BTS due to their overwhelming “charisma, confidence, and stage presence,” to which the panel and the crowd unanimously agreed.

Of course, failed trainees and their outcomes were the next topic at hand; the panelists lightheartedly talked about how these specific trainees end up as stylists, back-up dancers, or just move on to other groups. This led to different tangents of conversation, as questions were raised about companies targeting specific areas or countries and reaching out to publications about upcoming rookies. SM Entertainment was brought up in terms of dominating the Chinese market, as Nadia talked about how they actually created Chinese headquarters to ensure that EXO would have no problems with performing in the country. She pointed out that, due to SM’s control of China, YG focused on Japan while JYP looked towards Thailand for popularity.

The panel then went over shock tactics for rookies and the increase of shocking debuts as time passes, bringing up WASSUP’s “twerking” and A.KOR member Kemy’s diss rap towards Park Bom. To close off the panel, everyone talked about their favorite rookies, with GOT7, WINNER, Kiss & Cry, Red Velvet, Megan Lee, Bob Girls, Mamamoo, and Royal Pirates being some of the honorable mentions.

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Cooking with Crazy Korean Cooking

Grace and Stephanie

Right after this was Crazy Korean Cooking’s interactive cooking panel at 11:30 a.m., in which they made kimchi fried rice and hotteok (sweet Korean pancake) for the crowd to sample. Volunteers were asked to come and help Grace Park and Stephanie Maing as they put their multitasking skills to the test, talking about ingredients, Korea’s food culture and history, and cooking the very delicious food, all at the same time. Much like in their videos, the ladies were a comedy duo that retained all their seriousness in food while making everyone laugh with timely jokes.

CKC 4

In addition to showing the panel attendees how to cook the featured dishes, Grace and Stephanie went over the health benefits of foods like kim (seaweed), giving out some sheets to hesitant newcomers to try out the ingredient that would be going into their kimchi fried rice. KPOPme had a hands on experience with the panel and helped out with making hotteok as Grace cooked the kimchi fried rice while Stephanie fed hungry fans. By the end of the panel, the food on the plates was wiped clean, and the crowd happily applauded the ladies for their hard work.

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Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Crazy Korean Cooking, as KPOPme asked these ladies about their KCON experience, current missions, and future goals.

Asian American Artists

As the Danny from L.A. taping featuring Jung Joon Young took place over at the Mnet Square at 1 p.m., panel tent one garnished a sizable amount of attendees looking to hear and see rappers Shin-B and DANakaDAN, singer Jhameel, producer Jeff Bernat, and moderator Christian Oh. More than focusing on K-Pop, the panelists addressed being of Asian descent and making it in the U.S., including the support of their families, the fans, and the industry as a whole.

ASIAN AMERICANS PANEL

In regards to promoting yourself, the panelists talked about how Soundcloud was the platform for emerging artists since corporate America hasn’t figured it out, as opposed to Youtube (even though there’s money there, but competition is high). Jeff proclaimed that “Asian Americans are going to be the new face of the music industry… you’ll be seeing a lot of us in the future.” As for already established Asian American acts they look up to, the consensus among the panelists were Dumbfounded and Far East Movement, and Jeff brought up Blue Scholars.

When it comes to art and Asian Americans, the issue of family support often comes up. Shin-B shared her experiences being a female rapper in a world where parents think rap is all about sex, drugs, and misogyny, and that only, and how she has had to work hard to make them change their minds. But Jeff broke it down perfectly by saying, “at the end of the day… don’t listen to your parents about your career… your life, your choices.”

During the audience questions portion of the panel, the topic of the downsides of being associated with K-Pop came up. And while none of the panelists said anything negative about the genre and industry, Jhameel shared some insight by saying, “K-Pop has really good production, like, crazy good… that’s just hard to compete with, but it pushes you [as an artist] as well.” He also talked about K-Pop excelling at branding their idols, and how its hard when fans want to see you under the same standards –especially when you’re pushing for a different image yourself. Shin-B brought into the discussion the matter of because South Korea has the fastest internet connection in the world, trends come and go just as fast, with fans following you one day and gone the next:

It’s very hard to compete in that market because its production value is super up there. [And] for someone that’s not already working with those people that are behind that, it’s very, very hard [to compete], because [the audience] are going to compare you [with them]… It’s very hard to keep [the fans’] interest going.

Because of an audience question, the panel came back to the topic of promoting yourself as an artist. While Dan encouraged people to put yourself and your work out there, Shin-B said, “It’s all about the collaborations. The more we all come together and collaborate on each others’ tracks –there’s power in numbers… it will get more attention.” Jeff agreed with Shin-B and added, “in the art scene, it’s who you know.” He also recommended to meet other artists –even if they’re not big– and make “good music.”

K-Pop’s LGBT Fandom: WE LOVE IT!

This panel gathered a lot of support from the crowd. Special guests AJ O’Day, Andy La, Desmond Kwok, Miles Jai, and Nicola Foti where moderated by Derek Graves. The panel touched bases on how K-Pop idols influence the gay community, and how it has even elevated the way that heterosexual men dress and enables them to wear makeup without being judged.

Continuing on the topic of fashion, Nicola Foti applauded everyone by saying, “[KCON] is the most stylish convention I’ve ever been to!” This got the crowd giving him cheers and screams of support.

After wrapping up the fashion conversation, they went on to a more serious topic. Derek asked the panelist how they felt about Korea not being very accepting of the gay community.  Everyone in the panel stated how it was time for a gay idol. Even though the gay community already aspires on K-Pop artists, they really needed an openly gay idol to connect to.  They also said they loved how K-Pop brings not only the gay community together, but everyone as a whole.

LGBTQ PANEL


Workshop


Fan Art Workshop & Battle!

everyone picture

Shannon Rudder, a fabulous 17-year-old who caught attention at last year’s KCON with a beautiful rendition of the EXO members, headed this workshop at 4 p.m., teaching the crowd about her experience in art and having a draw-along session that featured Girls’ Generation member, Taeyeon.

Due to the time restraints, Shannon explained to the attendees that she would focus only on establishing a good outline for her portrait, which was blown up on a large easel to help those in the back. She gave everyone paper and pencils, along with other options for drawing: B1A4’s Jinyoung and VIXX’s N.

From beginning to end, Shannon went over basics of drawing, like how to establish proportions and having an eased hand to maintain control. She also brought up her own experiences in art: “I’ve always liked drawing.” It was only when she “was a freshman in highschool that [she] learned how to draw,” and it was very obvious to see that Shannon truly has a knack for art.

In regards to the K-Pop fandom, Shannon expressed happiness that “fan art” was “alive in the community,” adding how she really enjoyed looking at other pieces of fanwork and having this connection with so many other people.

For the battle portion of this workshop, the participants were reminded that Shannon would be picking three top pieces to win signed albums (complimentary of KCON). Many fans were new to artwork while others were very experienced, but Shannon’s teaching helped everyone create great works of art in the end. With difficulty in choosing the winners, Shannon finally picked three wonderful artists: Elizabeth Medina, Carina Li, and Ronni Seth. Here’s their happy faces when they found out they had won:

Here’s some of the entries:

Artwork

Did you attend KCON 2014? What was your favorite part of the convention? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

KCON 2014 Day 2: M! Countdown 2 Nights in L.A.

The second filming of M! Countdown 2 Nights in LA at KCON on August 10th began similarly to the first night, with a pre-show hosted by Parker (formerly Dumbfoundead). The rapper introduced two performers: contestants from Dancing 9, who performed two solos and a duet, and Asian American artist Jhameel. Jhameel performed an indie-pop mashup of Fiesty, T-Pain, and Frank Ocean.

After the pre-show, the M! Countdown show began in earnest, and it was clear from the very first seconds of the concert that BTS was the big winner of the night. While the audience was excited about later acts in the evening, like Girls’ Generation and CNBLUE, BTS was greeted with such fervor and applause that the reaction seemed almost disproportionate for a group that debuted barely a year ago.

With deafening cheers, the audience fully appreciated BTS’ performances of Boy In Luv, No More Dream, We Are Bulletproof pt. 2, I Like It (Pretty Woman ),and Rise of Bangtan. The members of the group had a great stage presence, controlling the attention in the room and setting the tone for the entire night.

The energy that they showed as they danced and interacted with the fans was infectious, and it didn’t feel at all like this was a rookie group. BTS may be a normal rookie group in Korea, but the concert in L.A. that night made it seem like BTS was a leader of Hallyu.

Then, Girls’ Generation member Tiffany took to the stage and proclaimed her awe about the fact KCON was being held in her hometown, L.A. and to introduce the upcoming act. With her appearance, the noise level in the venue dramatically increased; she definitely pushed up the enthusiasm and excitement from the fans.

But following BTS and Tiffany would be hard for any other idol group, so it was perhaps wise planning that the rock singer Jung Joon Young was next in the lineup. If he felt anxious about following such a crowd-inciting act, the rocker didn’t show it. In fact, the general feeling through Jung Joon Young’s performance was that he didn’t care about anything other than his music. Even though he speaks perfect English, the singer slurred his words every time he paused to introduce a new song and seemed eager to get back to performing.

It was clear throughout the set that Jung Joon Young was a musician, first and foremost, and a performer second; it was a completely different feeling than the idol groups that took the stage before and after him. He performed The Sense of An Ending, Hold On, From Me To Me, Teenager, and a Michael Jackson tribute of Black and White with BTS’ leader, Rap Monster.

The girl group SPICA followed Jung Joon Young, made up of five powerhouse vocalists. They may not be the most popular of idol groups, but you wouldn’t have known that based on their performance. SPICA released their first English song, I Did It, last week, and their M! Countdown stage was their debut music show performance in America.

And while SPICA’s dance performances didn’t have as much energy as BTS’ or Jung Joon Young’s, the members’ powerful vocals and sexy bodies had the crowd rioting.

SPICA also sang You Don’t Love Me, Tonight, a melody mash-up of No Diggity, and an absolutely perfect performance of Painkiller. The members were able to alternate between serious and playful moods, while playing up to the crowd’s emotions with each song, earning a lot of applause. Between SPICA and BTS, these two relatively new groups showed KCON that they could keep up with larger and more widely known acts.

During a brief break from the concert, MCs Parker and Jung Joon Young brought out famous Korean actor Lee Seo Jin. Lee Seo Jin expressed his happiness about Korean acts becoming accepted all over the world thanks to Hallyu, to which the MCs agreed and thanked the fans for their support.

Four member idol band CNBLUE then rose to the stage to riotous cheers, as adoring fans clung to the barriers and sung along to the group’s most popular songs. While lead vocalist Yonghwa moved around the stage throughout the performances, switching between two sides of the stadium, the other members remained relatively sedentary. And even though the songs were well known and people were singing along, CNBLUE’s performance was less visually exciting than the other acts.

Even if the members weren’t as active as the idol groups that danced along the stage’s length, CNBLUE’s performance was excellent. Throughout the set, people singing along to Can’t Stop, Intuition, I’m A Loner, Love, and I’m Sorry filled the arena… All eyes were on the four handsome, talented idols.

Jung Joon Young and Danny Im then came out and introduced the night’s headliners: Girls’ Generation. With the entire arena cheering adoration, Girls’ Generation took the stage. Arguably the queens of K-Pop today, eight members of the girl group launched into their most recent hit, Mr.Mr.

The members then introduced themselves, several of them speaking in English. They also addressed Sooyoung’s schedule conflict due to her current drama filming leading to her inability to attend. Nostalgia was on the mind when the ladies surprisingly launched into their older hits, Hoot and Genie.

Tiffany then thanked fans for their support, noticing quite the number of supportive signs commemorating the group’s seventh anniversary, and the idols sang a shot acapella version of their debut song, Into The New World. The evening ended with the entire arena singing and dancing along to Mr. Taxi and, as the most pleasantly astounding ending to a magnificent night, Gee.

While Girls’ Generation’s performance was near flawless, there were two things that caused some concern: Jessica had to rush off stage at one point, causing a bit of confusion. Taeyeon was also visibly tense at the beginning of the performance, although she loosened up throughout the set. Even though there was this slight awkwardness, the eight members of Girls’ Generation finished up their stage to a crowd that couldn’t get enough of them.

No news on who will be performing at the next KCON, but it’s a no brainer that more big names will show up as the convention grows in presence and popularity.

What do you think of the second night of M! Countdown at KCON? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

KCON 2014 Day 1: M! Countdown 2 Nights In L.A.

Following the day-long convention, the Los Angeles Sports Arena opened its doors to let the throngs of anticipating fans through for the concert portion of KCON 2014 on August 9th. At 7 p.m., Danny Im (formerly of 1TYM), Parker (Dumbfoundead), and rocker Jung Joon Young (who performed at the second night of KCON) began the pre-show, introducing the M! Countdown 2 Nights in L.A. special.

After an introduction, the audience was greeted with original songs by songwriter-performer Jeremy Thurber and a cover of Taeyang’s Eyes, Nose Lips with a dance performance to BEAST’s Good Luck by talented violinist-dancer Jun Sung Ahn.

Lee Seung Gi then took the stage, transitioning to the concert from the pre-show. The singer-turned-actor spoke to the crowd in English, expressing his delight that Korean culture has grown to this point as well as his hopes that Korean culture will continue to spread throughout the world. After Lee Seung Gi’s introduction, the concert began in earnest.

The first act to perform was idol group VIXX, which began its stage with a powerful rendition of Voodoo Doll, props and all. Even though VIXX isn’t one of Hallyu’s top idol groups, the screams that filled the stadium revealed the group’s popularity in the U.S. VIXX, along with the rest of the evening’s acts, performed a total of five songs, and kept the crowd cheering and singing along to hits like On and On, Only U, Light Up The Darkness, and Eternity while the members exuded manly sexiness on stage through their powerful dances.

Korea’s darling IU took the stage next, opening up her performance with a rendition of her hit, Red Shoes. Fittingly, she wore a completely white outfit with bright red shoes that helped her dance across the stage. Like Lee Seung Gi, IU spoke to the audience in a relatively high level of English. As she apologized to the fans for her so-called “poor” language skills that were anything but poor, it was apparent that IU had prepared to meet her US fans for the first time.

While idol groups are the trend in Korea, IU’s performances of You and I and Good Day were extremely well-received. She also performed the rock version of one of her early songs, Hey. Teen Top’s Niel joined IU on stage to sing Friday, which IU originally recorded with History’s Jang Yi Jeong. Not every fan in the room may have known the song, but the upbeat sound of the song combined with IU’s powerful vocals and charming attitude won over the crowd.

B1A4 were the big winners of the night. Fans who already loved the group threw themselves passionately into the performance, singing and dancing along to What’s Happening, Lonely, Solo Day, One Glass of Water, and Baby Goodnight. But even the audience members who didn’t know B1A4 very well got into the enthusiastic songs; it seemed like the entire venue cheered on B1A4’s youthful members. The five members also appeared to be having a lot of fun as the performed, running around the stage and using props, including water guns which they aimed at the audience. It seemed as if not a single person in the stadium was able to remain unaffected by B1A4’s cheerful performance.

While Teen Top had a tough act to follow, the energy in the room was still high as the idol group performed Rocking, Ms. Right, and then calmed down as the members performed a sexy rendition of To You. Teen Top brought the momentum up once again with Crazy, and then surprised the audience by ending its stage with a fan favorite, Rock Star. While the performance was stellar, audience members appeared confused by the choice of a song that isn’t really well known outside of the Teen Top fandom. It was a good attempt to introduce a lesser known song to international fans, but by the end of the performance, there was apparent tension in the room as fans wanted to hear songs that they were more used to.

There was a momentary lull as Danny and Parker came out once more, and introduced the final act of the evening — BIGBANG’s leader, G-Dragon.

Based on the crowd’s excitement even before G-Dragon took the stage, it would have been very difficult for GD to disappoint his audience. Even had he stood on stage just walking around without making a peep, fans would have been cheering and screaming in adoration. G-Dragon did anything but merely stand on stage; he turned the huge arena into his personal playground. As he performed One of A Kind, Michigo, Who You?, Crooked, and Crayon, G-Dragon took control of the crowd and hardly stood still for a moment, except for a couple periods when he lay down on stage, playing up to the crowd in that corner of the stadium.

While the other acts were enjoyable, G-Dragon’s was a different type of performance entirely; he was an entertainer rather than an idol, who was able to make everyone in the room pay attention to him. His stage included the most special effects, but it was G-Dragon’s large personality and provocative songs and style that had fans jumping in their seats. He not only had the crowd screaming his name, but also responding to his prompt of “Get your…” with “Cray-on!” It was clear that, no matter who the audience was there to see, G-Dragon had captivated everyone’s attention.

The concert ended with the B1A4, VIXX, Teen Top, and IU joining G-Dragon on the stage, where the idols waved to fans and threw shirts into the audience. While the idols walked back onto stage, it was noted that G-Dragon bowed respectfully to each idol, despite the fact that he is largely their seniors.

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Courtesy of CJ E&M

What do you think of the first night of M! Countdown at KCON? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

KCON 2014 Day 1: Convention Highlights

KCON 2014 recently hit its third year mark on August 9th and 10th at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Center, proving that it has definitely grown in both presence and the number of attendees. With an estimated count of between 40,000 to 42,000 con-goers, the K-Pop and K-culture oriented, two-day convention (with an included two nights of concerts) definitely met our expectations of a great experience.

The list of activities ranged from numerous panels, giveaways, and special guests, to fun workshops, Danny from L.A. tapings, exciting performances, and surprise idol appearances throughout the day. If you weren’t able to attend this event, then you should check out our highlights from Saturday below.


Overview


As is commonplace with a large following, the line for checking in was intense and very formidable. By 10 a.m. (when the venue was supposed to be open), fans lined up for more than a block’s worth of distance. Some con-goers reported to having to wait for more than two hours.

However, after everyone slowly trickled in, they were greeted with quite a number of activities, from panels to KCON’s very first public Marketplace, which was even open to those who didn’t possess a ticket. The Marketplace was definitely quite the successful introduction, as hordes of fans bought food, drinks, and merchandise while meeting new friends and enjoying performances from the outdoor stage.

Inside the event, multiple tents of panels and workshops, and Danny from L.A.’s stage dominated the landscape, along with the waiting area for the fan engagement events with artists and red carpet.

Overall, the panels that KPOPme attended were very interesting and great learning experiences, and the fan interactions witnessed were fun and enjoyable. Day one was pretty wonderful!


Danny from L.A. Taping


VIXX at Danny from LA

K-Pop fans once again were lucky enough to be part of a Danny from L.A.‘s live taping at KCON 2014. These tapings are becoming a tradition at KCON and are sought out by fans, as Danny and Dumbfounded have celebrity guests! They get you closer to your favorite idol, and Saturday’s guests were none other than VIXX and B1A4.

The tapings are very fun because the hosts interview the idols and have them play games. They even invite fans from the audience to join on stage and participate. One lucky girl was able to gain a hug from VIXX’s Leo after winning an aegyo competition against a male fan. However, the fanboy was just as lucky, for he also received a hug from Ravi.  But the members weren’t exempt; Danny had them do aegyo for the audience as well. Furthermore, VIXX had an English asking game, which they completely bombed, but the fans found utterly adorable.

VIXX Leo Hugs FAn

VIXX KEN Doing Aegyo

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Moreover, B1A4’s appearance was also really fun. After they introduced themselves to the audience, they immediately did the sprout dance. They were tested in their English knowledge and pick up lines. Even Baro got everyone excited and laughing when he did his aegyo. Sandeul was definitely the funniest member, since he wasn’t even trying to be funny, and yet, his clumsiness and charisma gained everyone’s heart. At the end, a lucky girl had the chance to be drawn by B1A4, and she thanked them with a gift of her own.

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Panels


Despite wanting to, KPOPme’s staff was unable to attend every panel presented at the convention, but here’s a summary of the ones we did attend and found most interesting.

All About Hallyu Media

All About Hallyu Media Panel

Starting right from 11 a.m. was this panel, headed by representatives of different media outlets: Adrienne Stanley (KpopStarz), Jeff Benjamin (Billboard), June Saladino (Hallyu Magazine), Kim Lee (247 Asian Media), and Ranier Ramirez (Soompi), with Morgan Lynzi as the hostess for the occasion. Everyone discussed the spread of K-Pop into mainstream and traditional media, as well as its growth, and went over how putting a unique twist on K-Pop content was important for Hallyu media outlets to gain momentum. Jeff added that it was important to create a network, but also listen to fans and pay attention to the content that they share.

When asked about difficulties in Hallyu, Kim talked about how people would be surprised about her involvement with what seems to be a different culture. Adrienne commented on her difficulties as a film critic, as the Korean distribution network posed a challenge towards America, especially when she reviewed a film that “75 percent of America has no access to.” Jeff moved onto to business relations, as media infrastructure in Korea differs greatly from American media, and he brought up the issue of trying to create a “happy medium” between two different cultures.

When a question was raised about changing media content due to changing times, Adrienne expressed that she had noticed a shift amongst artist representation “moving away from written to video interviews” to reach wider audiences. Jeff mentioned an additional shift in articles, talking about quality content, and offered some meaningful advice:

Have something to say. If you don’t have something to say, don’t write about it.

All About Hallyu Media Jeff  Benjamin

To close things off, Jeff, being the most talkative of the panelists, concluded his comments with him being “inspired by the power of words” and wanting to “break people’s minds” with his writing and content. Adrienne finished up the panel with recommending that media and potential media look to and utilize social media in order to break out in the Hallyu industry, emphasizing the importance of social websites in this time period.

Cosplay 101

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SSIN (Creator Group), Candiie Wish, and Brianna Newman (KPop Aholic) were in charge of this panel, providing information and helpful tips on getting the best cosplay look with makeup, accessories, and more, as well as advice on where to purchase products and their favorite makeup and contacts brands. Cosplay 101 took place right after All About Hallyu Media ended, at 11:30 a.m.

SSIN gave a lucky fan a GD makeover, with emphasis on the eyes and a little cross on the cheek. Here’s some pictures of the process:

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Hallyu Culture Shock

When it comes to Hallyu’s growth into international proportions, there’s always going to be a culture shock. Euny Hong (The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture), Grace Park and Stephanie Maing (Crazy Korean Cooking), Amos Yi (YouTuber), and Christian Oh (KOMO Enterprises, LLC) took on this topic at 1 p.m. and extensively covered all the aspects related to the Hallyu wave and its experiences through movies, dramas, actors, and idols.

They all agreed that the reason for the popularity of Hallyu was due to its enjoyable facets; Euny talked about how the Korean cinema export was “tiny but innovative,” and Christian built upon that comment by bringing up the issue of “Hollywood directors taking ideas from Korean cinema” and oftentimes failing. Stephanie expressed her joy at how Hallyu brought “people together from all different backgrounds to celebrate cultures” and added that geography definitely helped with integration, especially with a large K-Pop fandom outside of Korea.

In addition to just K-Pop, Christian brought back the origin of Hallyu with the Chinese market opening up Korean entertainment exports leading to acceptance in the U.S. However, according to the panelists, the issue with Americans not being fully accepting of Korean entertainment or foreign entertainment in general was due to the fact that Americans don’t like subtitles and are “used to export, not import.”

When asked what they though were some negative parts in Hallyu, Amos decided to go with the plastic surgery trend, saying how it didn’t and shouldn’t represent Korea. Stephanie jumped in with her disappointment in the lack of popularity outside of K-Pop, bringing to attention underground bands that “needed exposure,” like Galaxy Express, who would attend SXSW (South by Southwest) but not KCON. In addition to underground bands, Christian expressed his wish for the rise in popularity of hip hop and talked about the import and export of popularity is due to how the fans advocate. Euny took a different turn and shared her dislike of the high usage of BB cream, of which she said was “basically concealer” and used “too much.”

When the topic of sexy comebacks and why they exist popped up, the panelists all looked at one another as if they had the same thoughts. Christian was the first to speak, simply by saying “sex sells,” to which the panel and the rest of the seated fans agreed. Euny, while not disagreeing with Christian, brought up another interesting aspect of how “lack of sex sells” more to international fans, who usually want to get away from some of the crude pop culture in America. Stephanie added that she felt as if the idols had “manufactured sexiness” that didn’t seem natural or fit them.

Technology has definitely affected Hallyu in a positive way, and the panelists agreed whole-heartedly. Amos described the change from watching TV to watching things online and on YouTube, with the increase in mobility of technology, and Grace talked about how K-dramas help spread Korean culture and especially food, as people gain more interest. Euny, who’s already done her research of Korea, talked about how the country puts in “Jurassic level research in entertainment” alone, because they actually understand where their profit comes from.

To wrap things up, the panel went over other elements besides K-Pop that should rise in popularity as the Hallyu wave grows. Euny couldn’t avoid talking about games, which make up a large percentage of sports in Korea and are “11 times more popular than K-Pop,” just to put it in perspective. Grace added that the fashion and cosmetics industry, which are already popular in Korea, have been spreading internationally and should see an increase in the next couple of years as well, while Stephanie talked about technology in Korea, who is already quite the powerhouse in both efficient and high quality products, like having one of the fastest internet connections in the world.

To finalize the panel, Christian expressed his confidence in the growing presence of Korean sports stars, who get drafted into other countries’ baseball, soccer, and basketball teams. All in all, this panel was perhaps the most educating for a fan new to the Hallyu wave!

Beyond “Almost Paradise”: Into the K-Drama OST

Singer Hee Young, Leah Westbrook (Zombie Mamma), Lindsay Roberts (SEOULBEATS), Rachel Rosenstock, Stephanie Kurze (Crazy for KDrama), and moderator Tanya Rodriguez (Hallyuknow) met at the 2 p.m. mark to discuss the power of OST’s and idol actors at panel tent three.

The panelists discussed the matter of idol actors and idol OST singers in depth. They mentioned how OSTss were important for singers’ careers as a means to widen their options and continue their jobs beyond their idols days. Despite indie artist Hee Young not being an idol herself, she talked about her song, Are You Still Waiting?, being picked up by the drama Lie to Me as its OST, and the doors it had opened for her in said market.

When talking about idol actors, the public consensus among the favorites were B1A4’s Baro and JYJ’s Yoochun. As for idols who they think would make great actors, Leo from VIXX came up and was well received by both the other panelists and the audience.

K-Pop Fandoms of Future Past

K-Pop Fandom Of Future Past

How could we forget about the fandoms? 4 p.m. was the time of calling, as Adrienne, Brianna, and Lindsay made a comeback to talk about the maturation of K-Pop fandoms and the decline of certain trends like fan cafes. Adrienne reasoned that this decline was the result of “gaining fans outside of Korea,” and Lindsay explained that those in cafes generally had to “go with rules to be a fan” and liked that this exclusivity has decreased. Adding to the exclusivity of fan cafes was Brianna, who said that “fan cafes lock themselves through not opening to international fans.” Due to this, “people lose interest and don’t feel the need to stay in fan cafes.” Adrienne brought up international fans who “create their own fan sites” and thus bring the fandom to the U.S.

K-Pop Fandom Of Future Past

When moving onto the subject of concerts in the U.S., Lindsay talked about how “spending money to support artists and going to events make the companies want to go back” and that it was “expensive and not profitable if not enough fans are going.” True? Definitely. The current lack of Korean artists approaching the U.S., according to Brianna, is because they are “skeptical of American fans” and don’t have the established “trust level” that they have with Korean fans. Of course, as Brianna said, it “also depends on the company.” Adrienne commented on how big of a “challenge” it was “to get things done because it takes time” in regards to concerts and meet-ups, but, “when fans come together, companies recognize the effort,” such as the Paris’ flashmobs that ultimately resulted in Super Junior concerts.

The different treatment between I-fans and K-fans was also brought up, as Lindsay expressed her sadness in how the global fandom feels isolated when the domestic fans get to go to fansigns and meet-and-greets more often and have longer periods of interaction with the idols. However, Adrienne optimistically reminded everyone that “media perspective” changes “what’s expected” of international fans and bring more awareness and better images of global fans in general.

K-Pop Fandom Of Future Past Adrienne Stanley

BTS came up in the panel’s discussion as they went over the huge international fanbase of the male group. Adrienne provided simple reasoning for this phenomenon: “K-Pop combined with hip hop appeals to international fans.” As for international fans in general, with SM’s latest development of opening EXO’s fanbase (EXO-L) globally, Lindsay agreed that it was very good marketing. Adrienne happily enthused about the meeting of different cultures through K-Pop as a result, and everyone concluded that it would be very profitable for companies to cater to international fans more in these coming years.

Did you attend KCON 2014? What was your favorite part of the convention? Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Review: SPICA’s GAMeBOi Show in Los Angeles

South Korean girl group SPICA gave an intimate performance at gay club RAGE’s Friday event, GAMeBOi, on August 8th in West Hollywood, CA. With their recent American debut, I Did It, SPICA had a pre-KCON party with fans and non-fans in a new, atypical to K-Pop setting.

Set in a regular gay club in WeHo, the audience SPICA geared up to perform for consisted of 18+ gay men and women — something different from the teenage crowd K-Pop is normally targeted to. GAMeBoi is a weekly Friday event at RAGE, popular amongst the Asian community. And since the brand is venturing into the K-Pop scene, it’s a great platform for SPICA to promote their American debut to what, I imagine, is the audience they want as fans to the likes of Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Rihanna.

Organizers recommended hopeful attendees to arrive early, as the event had a cover and would operate on a first-come, first-served basis. SPICA was scheduled to perform until 12:30 AM, so the DJ and two dance crews warmed up the audience for Boa, Juhyun, Narae, Jiwon, and Bohyung. The DJ played a mix of top 40 songs alongside a few K-Pop songs like I Am the Best, Fantastic Baby, and Sorry Sorry, which garnered an excited reaction from the crowd. The K-Pop songs played were so well intermixed with, let’s say, Beyonce and Trey Songz, that it didn’t feel like they were forced fed to non-fans; it was more of a mere suggestion.

The first dance crew to perform was NorCal twin duo Henry and Miles, who were featured guests at KCON 2014. The boys performed a medley of BTS’ Boy in Luv, Beast’s Good Luck, and a girl group song complete with its original choreographies. The next crew was UC Davis’ SoNe1 (also special guests at KCON), who performed the original choreographies of a T-ara’s Number 9, Teen Top’s Rocking, CL’s Baddest Female, and 2NE1’s I Am the Best medley.

As the main performance grew closer, the crowd in the dance floor increased, and SPICA’s label mate, Eric Nam, was even spotted hanging out in the second floor balcony with the ladies as they chilled before hitting the stage. Eric, Boa, and Juhyun all waved and danced along with the audience to f(x)’s Electric Shock, while the rest of the members sat back in their lounge table.

SPICA balcony 2

At 12:30 AM, organizers cleared the stage and warned the crowd not to touch the idols. When the group finally hit the stage, the five of them looked hot and fierce, with Juhyun and Boa decked out in DIMEPIECE LA (where they had hung out earlier on the day for interviews). With smiles and a friendly, “Hi, we’re SPICA,” they greeted the audience. Jiwon even tried her hardest to speak as much English as she could, and with Juhyun’s “Let’s go!” cheer, the show finally began.

SPICA performed only two songs: Tonight and I Did It. Throughout the first song, Bohyung engaged with the crowd, and they all sang into the multiple fan cameras they spotted. For their second song, the girls threw most of their choreography out the window and focused on enjoying the moment. They walked all over the stage, dancing and singing with the audience. Boa noticed a male fan jamming to I Did It, walked over, and sang with him while holding his hand.

SPICA 5

While the event originally said that SPICA would host a meet-and-greet, they were unfortunately unable to do so. Once the performance ended, everyone was rushed out of the venue with Eric Nam and the rest of their entourage. Lots of fans went after them, but their management ushered the ladies into the vans and departed quickly.

After the show, the DJ resumed playing his top 40 repertoire. Some people left once SPICA’s showcase had ended, but others stayed and enjoyed the rest of their night.

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Here’s a video of SPICA’s performances and from the overall night:

What do you think of SPICA’s show at GAMeBoi? Be sure to share your thoughts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

[Update on 8/12/14: Video from the event was added]

Review: Crayon Pop At Lady Gaga’s Artpop Ball

Viral sensation Crayon Pop finished their gig as the opening act in the sold-out Lady Gaga’s artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball on July 22nd at the famous STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA after a month of shows. Soyul, Gummi, ChoA, Ellin, and Way landed their spot on the tour after gaining Gaga’ attention with Bar, Bar, Bar.

At eight o’clock sharp, the lights in the immense venue went off. Everyone (including the small group of people who had attended Crayon Pop’s 1st USA Fan Meet prior to the event) started screaming. Then, PETGA (the interface for Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP application) appeared on the screens and announced, “Introducing, from South Korea, Crayon Pop.” A video that showcased Crayon Pop’s viral phenomenon played on screens featuring performances from the girls and fan cover videos. After the video ended, the lights came off again, and there they were; five silhouettes appeared on stage.

CRAYON POP OPENS FOR LADY GAGA 3

Bar Bar Bar played through the speakers and Crayon Pop was ready to charm everyone with their amazing talent. It was amazing to hear how their fans started chanting “Pop, Pop, Crayon Pop!” and the rest of the fan chants. After the first song ended, the girls immediately looked over the audience and spotted the small group chanting for them. They smiled, sent hearts, and kisses to them for showing their support.

The girls then introduced themselves and thanked Lady Gaga for the opportunity they were given. They continued with Bing Bing, then Dancing Queen, followed by Saturday Night. The energy that the girls gave everyone from stage was captivating. You could tell that a lot of the Little Monsters who had never heard of them before were being captured by Crayon Pop’s charm.

CRAYON POP OPENS FOR LADY GAGA  2

The next song was Lonely Christmas, and told everyone that even if it’s a Christmas song they still wanted to perform it because it’s really fun. By this point, everyone danced and even tried to mimic their choreography. They girls continued to talk to the audience in English, and introduced each song. Their next song was Uh-Ee, and they explained how to do the ahjumma dance since they wanted everyone to do it.

CRAYON POP OPENS FOR LADY GAGA 1

They finalized their set with Bar Bar Bar 2.0. Before performing it, Way taught everyone the key movements of the dance. Since this song was performed before, most people already knew some of the lyrics, and you could hear everyone trying to sing the song. As Crayon Pop said goodbye and got off stage, they left a lot of their fans with mixed feelings of joy and sadness. Because even if the girls promised to be back, no one really knew when.

CRAYON POP OPENS FOR LADY GAGA 4

After Lady Starlight (another opening act), Lady Gaga’s main stage proceeded. But to fan’s surprise, the girls were invited back during her performance of Swine. They started jumping and dancing with Mother Monster herself, and all the remaining Crayon Pop fans and Pop-jussis (male Crayon Pop fans older than Gummi) were enamoured by the surprise.

The second show at the STAPLES center marked Crayon Pop’s last performance marked their last performance on the tour, as they make way for Japanese girl band Baby Metal. And in order to commemorate one of the biggest experiences of their careers,the girls gifted Lady Gaga with her own customized Bar Bar Bar uniform.

Take a look at our video coverage of Crayon Pop’s opening act.

Did you attend the concert? Let us know your experience in the concert on the comment section below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Review: Crayon Pop ’s 1st USA Fan Meet

Crayon Pop held their 1st USA Fan Meet in Los Angeles on July 22nd. CrayonPop.me, a fan site, held the event at a small room in the enourmous Los Angeles Convention Center. The fan meet conventionally landed on the group’s second year anniversary. Geummi, Ellin, ChoA, Way, and Soyul met 100 lucky fans that were able to be part of their first fan meet.

Despite Chrome Staff almost postponing the fan event due to their opening performance at Lady Gaga’s artRAVE: The ARTPOP Ball being pushed back an hour, the event continued as planned. Some dedicated fans had arrived two hours prior even though the itinerary stated that people should arrive at noon. Shockingly, around 75 percent of the fans in attendance were men.

After checking in with the event’s staff, attendees were given a number with the row they’d sit in. As people waited for Crayon Pop to get there, they practiced for the handshake. The girls would actually be standing, instead of sitting down behind a table, which got everyone very excited because it guaranteed direct contact with Crayon Pop.

Most people were hoping to get a selfie and an autograph. But since there would be roughly five to 10 seconds of interaction which each member, you had to choose which interaction you wanted with them. After the practice ended, everyone began getting nervous and excited. Their music played in the background, and some fans sang, danced, and cheered to the songs. No one could contain their excitement; they were about to meet their favorite band!

The girls would allegedly get there at 1:30 p.m, but they were behind schedule, as one of the staff informed attendees. Fans got a little disappointed, but they knew that despite this, they would be able to meet them eventually. As everyone waited, some fans that would be attending Gaga’s concert began practicing Crayon Pop’s fan chants so the girls could have somewhere to look and feel support from their fans. By 2:40 p.m., fans still waited for Crayon Pop to arrive, but that didn’t stop anyone from practicing and mingling with other fans. Then the staff finally said that the group was on its way up to the room, but due to the venue being enormous, they would take around ten minutes to get there.

Crayon Pop is band that is known for their energy and endless charm. As soon as they finally walked into the room, you could feel how full of energy they were despite their busy schedule. Everyone cheered “Pop, Pop, Crayon Pop!” The girls introduced themselves and told everyone how happy they were to see their fans there and feel their support. Geummi expressed how excited she was to have their first fan meet in the U.S. and couldn’t stop thanking everyone.

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After the girls talked to the fans for a few minutes, the handshake was ready to start. As soon as the first row started to form in line, fans started taking selfies and getting autographs from the girls. Since doing both was taking a little bit more than expected, Chrome staff informed the organizers to let everyone know that fans couldn’t take pictures with them because it was taking longer than expected. However, despite this restriction, a few fans still got their selfies with them, Crayon Pop never refusing.

It was amazing to see how happy the girls were; they were hugging, kissing, and taking selfies with their fans. They really gave them their all. At the end of the handshake, the girls received gifts that CrayonPop.me prepared, a congratulatory book that had messages from Crayon Pop fans all over the world. The book was handed to ChoA, and she seemed very surprised and excited for it.

After a fun hour with the girls, they gave their farewell and stated that they loved their L.A. fans and promised to come back very soon. They even asked to see who was going to see their opening show for Lady Gaga so they could see us there.

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After the girls left, their energy still inhabited the room. Everyone felt stoked they had an hour with them, and showed their autographs and pictures with them to each other. Fans had to wait in the room until Crayon Pop was escorted out of the convention center.

When the fan site staff came back to the room, they had a surprise for us. They were able to get six albums signed by the girls and they did a raffle to give them away. At the end, CrayonPop.me thanked everyone for their support and everyone cheered for them. The event ended but everyone was happy they had this opportunity.

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Were you one of the lucky ones to attend Crayon Pop’s 1st USA Fan Meet? Tell us your experience in the comments! forget to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Bloglovin’ so you can keep up with all our posts.

Review: BTS Show & Prove in Los Angeles

Idol hip hop group BTS (Bangtan Boys) held a small showcase at Troubador in Los Angeles, CA on July 14th this year, titled BTS Show and Prove, where they treated fans to their newly attained skills and well-known songs.

For the past couple of weeks, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Rap Monster, V, Jimin, and Jungkook have called L.A. their home, as they’ve been busy filming a reality show and getting mentored on different hip hop skills for their upcoming new album. The sudden news of a free BTS concert came as a unexpected surprise for A.R.M.Y., who had less than two days to hustle in order to attend this (most likely) once in a lifetime, intimate performance by the boys. The catch to the event? Only the first 200 fans to arrive would get in, even if the venue had a 400 people capacity.

Despite the venue’s strict rule of prohibiting people from lining up hours or even days before a given event, fans bypassed the restriction and camped out as early as 8 p.m. the prior day. As more and more fans arrived, some people passed a notebook in order for everyone to write down their name in order. Luckily for these fans, the production respected the list and granted them little blue tickets, along with a number brand on their arms.

Across the street from the Troubador, the line of hopeful A.R.M.Y members in the park reached almost 400, and most people were told to leave, given that their chances for getting in were extremely low. The production also told ticket holders to leave and come back at 5:30, 30 minutes prior to the start of the show. But even then, some of the unlucky fans remained put in the park. Hope was at-large.

Even if having a ticket was the main reason fans remained in the park, they did get some perks! Fans rushed to the Troubador’s back alley when they spotted a white van arriving carrying three BTS members, including Jimin, who was the only one who waved at everyone. Moreover, the production went to the park and began interviewing recording fans for what we presumed was their reality show. A.R.M.Y. chanted, “BTS saranghaeyo,” and the opening lines for No More Dream.

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At 5 o’clock, ticket holders began to line up, while the rest of the fans remained hopeful at the park. When the first people were let into the venue an hour and a half later, everyone else was, once again, told to leave. But fans were relentless. They stayed at the front of the Troubador and even got to see from a window when the guys started the show with We Are Bulletproof Pt. 2, which had to be redone because of audio problems despite the boys’ going full-on acapella. The outside fans tapped the window and chanted “BTS, BTS,” however limited the view was.

It seemed like a lost cause, but then someone, some blessed someone, took pity on the 50 or so without a ticket and eventually let them in. All those uncertain waiting hours had not been in vain.

BTS Show & Prove was, as the name implies, for the group to show all the skills they learned with their mentors in the city of Angels up and to prove how good they became due to the mentorships. The venue was small enough for there to be no bad spot; you had a good view of the stage wherever you stood. Fans swarmed the pit to get as close to the idols while the balcony was reserved for film crew, mentors, and guests.  

BTS dedicated the first part of the show to display their newly developed talents. Jin and J-Hope beatboxed along with their mentor, who also performed and later said that both of them were some of his best students ever, given their hard work and talent. Also, Jungkook, Jimin, and J-Hope had a dance battle with other performers, where they displayed new urban moves. They also sang a rendition of Oh Happy Day from the film, Sister Act 2.

After this portion, BTS answered a few fan questions from a board, which fans had previously given to the production. Among the highlights, Jimin sang, to everyone’s delight, a cover of Taeyang’s Eyes, Nose, Lips while Jungkook performed Justin Beiber’s Boyfriend. Suga, for his part, had to do aegyo, while Rap Monster did krump. As for dancing, fans asked J-Hope to do a girl group dance of his choice, which were 24 Hours by Sunmi and Beyonce’s Single Ladies. Moreover, Jin did a little cute dance, much to the members’ funny discomfort.

Since the showcase was for future broadcast, the members spoke almost exclusively in Korean without the help of a translator. Rap Monster tried his best to translate, but he couldn’t keep up with everyone, and mostly focused on speaking English himself, which was much appreciated by non-Korean speaking fans. Furthermore, the production told fans prior to the show that they couldn’t take any pictures or video, and that anyone caught doing so would be kicked out. While no one appeared to have been forced to leave (one girl, however, had to be taken out given that she fainted in the first row), the few fans who were indeed caught taking their phones out were obnoxiously scolded and warned. However, KPOPme decided to do a video about the fans while everyone waited in the park:

Then the “appetizer,” as Rap Monster called it, of the show ended and it was time for “the main dish:” more of BTS’ own songs. These included I Like It, Boy in Luv, Rise of Bangtan, and a No More Dream encore. Fans happily sang along to all the songs at the top of their lungs, which sometimes made it difficult to hear BTS themselves. The show was expected to last about an hour, but ended up running for almost two. At the end of the show, the guys said their goodbyes and pinky promised to come back next year with their own show, even though they’re part of the KCON roster this year.

BTS was successful in proving that their time in L.A. had been spent well, for they put on a great show by displaying all their new skills. Their performances were high energy from start to finish; everyone — even the choreographers and other mentors — were chanting, jamming, and dancing along to their songs. The members, despite sweating because of the hot venue, seemed rested (compared to other idols who don’t put on the best shows out of tiredness from their schedules) and excited to perform. There wasn’t a moment when they didn’t have ear-to-ear grins plastered on their faces, reciprocating the audience’s grateful smiles. At the end of the day, no one could think of any ticket troubles, because the show was well-worth it.

Here are a few more pictures we took outside Troubador:

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