10 SHINee B-sides to know before ‘SHINee World V in USA’

shinee world v usa concert show los angeles la dallas texas

You guys, our prayers have been finally heard. After years of SM Town tours, a couple of fan meetings last year, and a headlining performance at KCON, it’s finally happening. We. Are. Getting. A. SHINee. Concert series. Yes, it only took them eight years or so, but the SM Entertainment boy band is finally coming to the States with their SHINee World V in USA and we’re freaking out.

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

The quintet’s highly anticipated first US solo concerts will be held in Dallas on Mar. 24 at the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie and in Los Angeles on Mar. 26 at the Shrine Auditorium. Tickets went on sale on Feb. 25 and range between $65 to $215.

We all know the hits: the adolescent love manifesto “Replay;” the ever energetic “Lucifer;” the dazzling “Dream Girl.” But SHINee’s awesomeness only increases once you get to know their b-sides. SHINee is one of the rare K-pop groups whose album cuts actually rival, if not surpass, the singles. And now that we’re getting a full concert, it’s important to know their non-single songs. Here are 10 that you absolutely must know in order to maximize your experience at SHINee World V in USA.

“Prism”

SHINee’s 1 of 1 album was filled with outstanding songs that overshadowed the single by the same name. “Prism” with its tempo shifts and interestingly layered vocals was one of the best album cuts on said album. On this track, the guys showed all the different vocal ranges and styles they were capable of doing. Sounds like a disaster, and it kind of is, but that’s what makes “Prism” a great, perfectly crafted piece of pop havoc.


Also on KultScene: What to expect at KCON Mexico’s concerts

“Symptoms”

Hands down, “Symptoms” is one of SHINee’s best songs. Single or otherwise; it’s simply perfection. How they perfectly blend Onew and Jonghyun’s soulful vocals with Key and Minho’s almost spoken interludes and then add Taemin’s powerful interpretation is mind blowing. “Symptoms” is an explosion of emotion; it’s a song you feel, not hear.

“Love Still Goes On” + “Love Should Go On”

Adding a bit of old school SHINee into the mix, what’s more OG than horribly amazing extensive raps verses from rap-god Minho and Key and a loud, dancey chorus dominated by Onew and Jonghyun? While it can’t be said for most of their concepts, SHINee’s songs tend to age gracefully in a fast-evolving genre like K-pop, partly because they’re always ahead of the curve. “Love Should Go On,” and the made-for-concert “Love Still Goes On,” is a perfect example, given it was released in 2010 and doesn’t sound dated at all.

“Feel Good”

SHINee has that thing where their angelic voices and melodies yank your emotions suddenly and violently. And with “Feel Good,” they do just that; hit you right in the feels. Although not a sentimental track, this love song makes your body tingle with butterflies while dancing your butt off. Leave it to SHINee to make you groove to a slightly sexual song.

“Beautiful”

“Beautiful” is mainly on here because this is where we got to hear Minho’s areumdaun (beautiful) vocals instead of his rapping — although he slays that part too, naturally. Not to mention the choreography for the chorus is hella lit and easy to imitate. Bonus points for Jonghyun’s belts. Catch me at the show dancing to this with my hands in the air!

“Odd Eye”

If you needed a specific example of how SHINee are no longer the dweebs professing their love to a noona like in “Replay”, it’s got to be “Odd Eye.” Penned by Mr. Sex on a Stick Jonghyun, this track is a testament that SHINee is a group of grown, sexy men. “Odd Eye” is their ultimate thirst trap, with it’s R&B inspired vocals and croons.

“Hitchhiking”

In terms of SHINee’s upbeat, lose your ish songs, “Hitchhiking” is at the top of the list. It’s such a fun, high-energy track and the boys put their all into the choreography. And, of course, SHINee wouldn’t be the kings of performances without their outstanding vocals, with which they never miss a beat of. Overall, “Hitchhiking” is a damn good time.


Also on KultScene: Is K.A.R.D the future of K-pop?

“Shift”

Yet another incredible b-side from 1 of 1, “Shift” is a bop. It’s a fast-paced track that makes you feel as if you’re running through a video game, or maybe a cartoon-ish club. Either way, it’s fun to jam to.

“Alarm Clock”

But not everything is pump up jams and hard-hitting performances. SHINee slows it way down in “Alarm Clock,” focusing exclusively on the vocals and melodies. Hearing the rap line hold their own with the vocal line is outstanding. And of course Taemin takes the cake for evolving into an all around performer, with the dancing and power vocals on deck.

“Love Sick”

Two words: “Replay” sequel. That’s it. That’s all you need to know. With “Love Sick,” SHINee brings it all full circle by continuing the tale about being in love with an older girl, now declaring she’s their woman and she still makes their hearts flutter. Plus, now they’re men and not the dorky little dongsaengs.

What’s your favorite SHINee B-side? What song would you love to hear live? Share your picks and thoughts in the comment section below! Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

What to expect at KCON Mexico’s concerts

bts kcon la 16 los angeles 2016 bangtan

by Yasamine Entesari

With KCON’s rapid expansion all across the world, it’s no surprise that it would eventually reach one of Latin America’s largest countries and one with some of the most ardent K-pop fans, Mexico. Over the years, Mexico has been getting some more and more well-deserved K-pop attention, having hosted concerts that not even the U.S. have gotten (mainly Super Junior’s Super Show and SHINee’s SHINee World, although we’ll get the latter in March).

One of the biggest K-pop events of the year is finally heading down south, with top tier acts, no less. The official lineup includes KCON LA and NY past performers like Monsta X, BTS, and Red Velvet, and it also includes acts that even the U.S. KCONs haven’t gotten (yet!), NCT 127 and EXID. Other performers include Eric Nam, Astro, and INFINITE H. The event will be held at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on Mar. 17 and 18. Tickets went on sale on Feb. 7 and they range from 4,500 pesos (around $225) to 1,000 pesos (around $50).

And if KCON Mexico is your first K-pop show or you have never seen these specific acts, allow me to be of service. Having been blessed with trips to many K-pop events, including KCON LA and NY, over the years, I’ve seen mostly* every group and soloist on the lineup. This means I have a pretty good idea of what to expect and what will probably go down at both concerts. So let me break it down for you a bit…

[* With the exception of NCT 127 because they’ve never performed in the U.S.]

BTS

Let’s be real now: BTS is not only a popular group, it’s a freaking phenomenon. Until now, I’ve seen them perform four times (at their multiple KCON appearances and their Show & Prove mini-concert from American Hustle Life), so believe me when I say that you can expect two things: it’ll be lit and it’ll be absolute madness. ARMY do not play around; the amount of energy BTS leaves on stage is directly proportional (if not more!) to the fans’ excitement.

by Yasamine Entesari

We can always count on them to drop their hard-hitting bars and hit every move in their intricate choreographies. Last year, BTS went to both LA and NY, and while the song list differed a bit, they performed “Cypher Pt. 3: Killer” in each show, and both times it felt like it was their own concert; they absolutely dominated and set that place on fire. Moreover, the group recently dropped two singles, so we’ll witness those fresh out of the oven. One can only hope the same will happen in Mexico.

Red Velvet

SM Entertainment’s newest girl group performed at KCON LA in 2015 fresh off of “Ice Cream Cake.” Back then, they didn’t have enough “red” singles to fill out their set so they performed a cover. Now, however, with “Dumb, Dumb,” “Russian Roulette” and “Rookie,” they have the roster to put on the most uplifting and fun stage out of all of the artists. Expect lots of aegyo and a pit full of dancing fans.

by Alejandro Abarca


Also on KultScene: 9 Things I Learned While On Tour With GOT7

Monsta X

When Monsta X performed at KCON LA 2015 just a couple of months (maybe weeks?!) after their debut, they blew everyone in attendance away with their potent performance which consisted of a couple of album cuts and one single. One! That’s all it took to convert more than a few fans into Monbebes (their fandom name). Then the next year, they followed it up again in Los Angeles with another outstanding performance full of even more confidence and swag, since their fans were visibly repping for them in the audience. Similar to BTS, with Monsta X, KCON goers are in for a treat with their set. Get ready to turn up to all their fierce singles and flaming choreographies.

by Alejandro Abarca

INFINITE H

If you can go to one K-pop concert, while the decision is massively difficult, a contender is without a doubt INFINITE. And while we’re not getting the whole group, the subunit INFINITE H comprised of members Hoya and Dongwoo is the next best thing. During their INFINITE Effect US tour last year, the duo performed a handful of their singles and album cuts and commanded the stage like it was their own show. Both performers are triple threats, being great dancers, rappers, and even singers. We’re all in for a treat with this duo who will surely makes us forget for awhile we are actually at KCON and not their solo concert.

EXID

Female representation on the KCON stage is always scarce, and this time it’s not different. However, a sexy girl group is just what we need to bring a bit of diversity in the acts. Having survived near disbandment prior to taking off with “Up and Down,” EXID have propelled themselves as the sexy, cool girl group K-pop largely lacks. Power vocals, a charismatic rapper, and easy to mimic dance moves to pretty much all their singles ensure a fun set. Having seen them two years ago at the Korea Times Music Festival, EXID commands the stage in a way that will have you glued to their every move. Not to mention Hani’s goofy side is sure to make an appearance.


Also on KultScene: 5 reasons to go to Hyuna’s North American tour

Eric Nam

Eric Nam has been a KCON regular for years as an MC or special guest. However, last year he finally got to perform at the convention, first in New York and then Los Angeles. Following his success in Korea with his recent releases, Eric put on a very contradicting performance, with his songs being super heartfelt and then shifting to his usual dorky self we grew to love on After School Club. And while he’s not the best dancer, he puts on a great show and always engages with the audience. Not to mention he actually speaks Spanish, which is rare if not unheard of in K-pop. Plus, this may be a stretch, but with Hoya also performing at KCON, who knows? Maybe we will finally get that performance of “Ooh Ooh” he promised fans in KCON NY.

by Yasamine Entesari

Astro

Astro is the one group KCON and DramaFever have pushed since their debut but have not gained as much traction as expected. Last year at KCON LA, my general concept of them was simple, Astro who? And yet, when they hit the stage, it was impossible not getting wrapped up in the incredibly cheesy and cutesy vibe they were transmitting. I may have not known their songs at the moment and I might not be stanning them now, but I can tell you that, in that moment, I was dancing and enjoying myself and now have a couple of their songs on my playlist. Astro is truly a happy virus that is bound to infect you. Accept and embrace it.

by Yasamine Entesari

NCT 127

Every year, there is one rookie boy group on the artist lineup that makes the fans girls go insane over, showcasing just how big the fandom abroad is. For this edition, that group will be NCT 127. And while I have not seen them live yet, one can still speculate. This specific unit of NCT has two albums under their belt, so it’s safe to say we can expect fiery performances of “Limitless” and “Fire Truck,” which will make the entire venue blow up. In addition, KCON always puts on special stages, and who better but NCT 127 and their slew of amazing dancers? Without a doubt, the first edition of KCON Mexico will host some of the most promising K-pop acts of the moments and we can’t wait to witness it!

Which KCON Mexico performer would you love seeing live? Share your picks and thoughts in the comment section below! Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

8 songs to hype you up for Paloalto’s ‘Unite’ North American tour

paloalto korean rap k rap k hip hop concert show

As 2016 was drawing to a close, Korean music fans were already aware that the first half of 2017 would be hectic in terms of concerts. And as 2017 dawned, it showed no signs of slowing down. US fans will probably get more than their fair dose of K-pop shows — but what about K-hip-hop? Worry not, for Paloalto’s got your back. Hi-Lite’s founder is bringing his Unite tour to North America

While it may be called a “North American Tour,” it only has four stops. And while more would be appreciated, we’ll take what we can get. The first is on Feb. 3 at San Francisco’s Origin, then it’s LA’s Club Bound on Feb. 4. A week later, the shows continue on Feb. 10 in New York at Space Ibiza, and finally in Vancouver, Canada on Feb. 11 at Privé Nightclub. Tickets range from $20 for GA to $60 for VVIP with a meet and greet to +$300 for bottle service. Each date varies in prices, so keep in mind the change. All shows are 21+, however, the meet-and-greet is 18+ — so keep that in mind if you’re planning to go! For more information, check out the event page on Facebook.

paloalto korean rapper la new york vancouver san francisco concert show unite tour

And just in case you needed a warm up for what will undoubtedly be a lit night, here are eight Paloalto songs to hype you up for the shows:

1. “Moneyflow” by Paloalto, Zico, and Song Mino

The rap competition program Show Me the Money is always a great avenue for rappers, known and unknown, to collaborate and release fire tracks. So when Paloalto and Zico teamed up on Season Four, it was pretty obvious that their songs would be awesome. “Moneyflow” features both rappers plus contestant Song Mino. Paloalto always finds interesting ways of switching it up when it comes to beats, and going the rock route with “Moneyflow” fit Zico and Mino like a glove since their flows can go mosh pit hard without seeming fake.


Also on KultScene: A teenage fangirl’s farewell to 2NE1

2. “Turtleship” by Paloalto, G2, B-Free, Okasian, and Zico

For “Turtleship,” Paloalto released a version with his Show Me the Money team, but for the remix, the Hi-Lite CEO called on his label makes G2, B-Free and Okasian, plus Zico, for an even more lit rendition. Let’s get one thing out of the way: the original didn’t need to be upgraded, but with such a sick beat, why not expand the roster to see what even more rappers can spit on it? Even if it’s only under two years old, “Turtleship” is an instant classic.

3. “Good Times feat. Babylon”

As Korean rap becomes more popular, many rappers have begun to sound alike. However, Paloalto has his very own, difficult to replicate — or follow — flow, and this is perfectly exemplified in “Good Times.” It’s uplifting yet chill vibe makes the track a must for just about any day playlist.

4. “Fancy feat. Dean and Sway D”

What happens when you mix one a great rapper with one of the smoothest R&B vocalists? Gold, that’s what. Pure. Gold. Paloalto teamed up with Dean (oh yeah, and Sway D) for “Fancy,” aka, one of the chillest bops of 2016. Although it’s unlikely that Paloalto can pull off this song live in its perfect entirety without Dean, you need it in your life. You’re welcome.

5. “Would You Be My feat. Beenzino”

Throwing it a bit back, “Would You Be My” is an interesting indie rock and boom bap hybrid that we don’t get to hear in hip-hop a lot. But considering that Beenzino is the featuring rapper, of course it had to get experimental. It’s a stripped performance that allows their verses to take center stage, and it works perfectly.

6. “Au Revoir feat. CokeJazz”

Another laid-back, striped track playlist-worth is “Au Revoir” with CokeJazz. Before becoming a rapper, Palo aimed to be a songwriter, and fans constantly see glimmers of this when he focuses on the lyrics rather than the fanfare of the beat — like some other rappers, *cough* *cough*. “Au Revoir” is breezy and overall a feel-good jam.


Also on KultScene: 5 reasons to go to Hyuna’s North American tour

7. “Dark Panda” by Paloalto, Hyorin, and Zico

2015 gave us plenty of Zico and Paloalto collaborations. And while they’re all great in their own right, “Dark Panda” takes the cake for being one of the most interesting. They signed up Sistar’s Hyorin to put some R&B soul on the track and she took it right into bliss. Musically, it’s complex and, well, dark; and the contrast between Hyorin’s moans, Zico’s fast verses, and Paloalto’s wavy flow make “Dark Panda” and experience in its own right.

8. “Victories”

Paloalto’s most recent track mixes perfectly his signature sound of contrasting chill yet bumpy beats and flow shift. It starts out mid-tempo and then it slows down the pace a bit before going up again at the hook, and this just goes on and on for a four minute musical rollercoaster. Like everything he does, “Victories” is a chill experience sprinkled with mild turn up moments to go crazy in when performed live.

However, if you must know the actual set list for the tour, Paloalto recently announced it on Instagram:

 

song list of Unite US Tour

A photo posted by Paloalto 팔로알토 (@paloaltongue) on

What’s your favorite Paloalto song? Share your picks in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

5 reasons to go to Hyuna’s North American tour


When first asked to write something to get people excited about Hyuna’s upcoming North American tour, I thought “what’s the point in that? Who wouldn’t already be excited to see Hyuna?” It took me while to accept that some people may not be as excited as me. After that realised that it’s really just a good excuse to write about Hyuna, a woman whom I think to be a singular K-pop artist. Few idols had carved out such a successful solo career outside of their groups quite like her. Best of all, she did it with a confidence that few others can attest to. That’s only a tiny part of the reason you should go see her, though. Let’s take a look at some more and remember as well her great career.

“It’s all because I’m the best”

Has K-pop ever topped “Bubble Pop?” Probably not. Hyuna certainly hasn’t. That’s not to say her output since her debut has been weak, of course. “Bubble Pop” is just the greatest.

Her career after it has been sharpened with every release. She has seemingly found her sound in the bass heavy electro rap of “Roll Deep” and “How’s This?” Those songs are at best, growers. I came to enjoy them for purely dance reasons after a number of listens. Performed live they’ll bring the energy but her qualities lie elsewhere.

The song that started that sound for her, “Red,” is her best after “Bubble Pop.” The brash fun of Hyuna repeatedly saying her name and the obtuse lyrics make it the best Hyuna experience. The not-even-trying-to-be-cute “Ice Cream” is a more hypnotic song; its synths whipping around the beat with a refreshing elasticity. It also contains a vocal range that Hyuna is capable of, but uses less often these days. Although, she did on recent b-side “Morning Glory,” a breezy slow jam with wonderful details. There’s a diversity to Hyuna’s discography that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Songs like this and “Unripe Apple” and “Get Out of My House” show a more vulnerable side to the seemingly all powerful queen that Hyuna is. Her image does her a disservice, and there’s nowhere better than on stage to make this right.


Also on KultScene: Weekly K-pop Faves: Jan. 9-15

“Red is Hyuna, Hyuna is Yeah”

Hyuna didn’t get to where she is now in her solo career purely thanks to her looks and music. She has something that few idols can match up to without help of choreography or strong vocals. When Hyuna is on stage, no matter who else is there, she owns it. Her stage presence runs through her whole performance, be it dancing or not. It’s thanks to a confidence she brings in being sexy. Sometimes we see sexy as just another concept in K-pop, something a group can try out to see if it sells. With Hyuna, it’s almost a lifestyle. Her performances and music are all based around it, and this shines through when it comes to being on stage. She really came into her own with the promotions of “Red.” It is, after all, a song about how great and sexy she is. Hyuna picks her moments, glaring down cameras or interacting lovingly with the audience. She holds off singing, or lip synching at times, to give herself a break, knowing that everyone watching understands that it’s not easy to continually sing while dancing. Breaking through the facade, we see someone who was born to be on a stage.

 

“There’s no meaning, They’re just dancing”

Listen to any Hyuna song and it’s obvious dance is going to be important. She is supreme, to say the least. There are few idols who carry such an ease of movement with moves like hers. Her every moment on stage is filled with clear enjoyment. A regular criticism has been that she has turned to sexy choreography too often now. Which is true, but it fails to look at her choreography as a whole. She has gotten sexier, but has simultaneously been getting more intense as well. Watch her perform the endless body rolls of “Roll Deep” and the incessant shaking of “How’s This?” and tell me that’s merely sexy.


Also on KultScene: WJSN, April, & MIXX: K-Pop girls trying to take 2017

“When I stand next to you, I’m a trouble maker”

This is really wishful thinking, but something we probably all thought about. The recent shake up at Cube Entertainment left her and Hyunseung without their flagship groups (4minute and Beast). But as many noticed, both Hyuna and Hyunseung are the only members remaining in the company. So a Trouble Maker comeback has to happen, right? That does seem likely given their success, yet we really are dreaming if we think they could appear on this tour. I want to dream for a moment, though, just to remember how great they were. Co-eds may be getting a revival now with K.A.R.D seemingly gathering buzz, but Trouble Maker are co-ed at its peak. Watching Hyuna and Hyunseung feels like you’re being told a story. They move together so closely and sensually that I can’t help but think it’s all real. Nothing would be more exciting than to see them once again burn up the stage. Also, it’s way more possible than my real dream for this tour, a Dazzling Red reunion.

 

“What’s wrong with going out late at night?”

Literally nothing, Hyuna, and there never will be. The best possible reason to see Hyuna is because it will be a party. Those who think she’s too trashy for their taste are missing out on a K-pop concert that won’t be like the rest. Catch her in these cities:

February 22: Vancouver @ Hard Rock Casino
February 24: Toronto @ Danforth Music Hall
February 26: Montreal @ L’Olympia de Montreal
March 1: Chicago @ VIC Theatre
March 3: New York @ The Town Hall
March 6: Dallas @ Granada Theatre
March 9: San Francisco @ Regency Ballroom
March 10: Los Angeles @ The NOVO

Are you excited to see Hyuna in the US? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Why experiencing GOT7’s Turbulence in USA fanmeet may be better than a show

got7 turbulence in usa tour fanmeet fan meeting

I never knew a fanmeet was an actual thing prior to K-pop because American musicians don’t hold such events. The closest thing to a fan meet in their eyes are those quick interactions they have with the fan(s) (you’d generally have to have bought the VIP perk/upgrade in order to even get that close to them) either prior to or after their show. Also depending on how popular the artist is, it’ll either be whilst at their merchandise table, as you’re buying their cd’s and T-shirts or an “exclusive” one-on-one, “hey how are you? I’m your biggest fan” meet and greet. Of course the actual concerts themselves are always fun; music is the best when it’s live, but there’s something about fan meetings that makes the experience a bit more memorable.

Korean artists — or in this case GOT7 — are all about those fan meets; they’re about getting that “me and my fans” type of time, doing unscripted Q&A’s, and just letting looser. At most concerts, I’m generally found standing (alike all the other attendees), even if there’s seats, but having personally gone to a few fan meetings here in the States (ahem, three GOT7 ones, in fact), the time spent sitting back in your seat and watching your idols also get a chance to sit back is rather satisfying.

Having said that, you could say I know a thing or two about fan meets and how they compare to their shows — especially for GOT7. Luckily, early next year you could have the extraordinary experience of attending one of their fan meets, since the Turbulence in USA Tour is coming to multiple cities in the country. The first stop is in Miami on Jan. 21 at the Fillmore, then it’s DC on the 22nd at Echostage. Next up is Chicago on the 25th at the Rosemont Theatre, then Houston on the 27th at Revention Music Center, and finally Los Angeles on the 29th at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Tickets for all shows go on sale on Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. local time, so watch out for those time zones! Prices range from $65 for the cheapest all the way to $205 for VVIP. For more information, follow the organizer’s, SubKulture, website, Facebook, and Twitter.

These upcoming fan meetings on the Turbulence in USA Tour mark the group’s third time holding them in North America since their debut in 2014. And if anything, that goes to show that other than their concerts, these work for them well. And as mentioned earlier, I’ve gone to more than a few of these in the past so I’m here to tell you the scoop of what goes down at these events and why they may be better than a show. Keyword “may,” ok?


Also on KultScene: 5 reasons to watch ‘My Annoying Brother’

Actual fan interactions

These fan meetings aren’t meant for just songs; these shows allow real time artist and fan interactions because it involves both parties’ full and undivided participation. Generally, after every two songs, there’s usually a break for questions from fans for the members, which are usually submitted the weeks leading up to the fanmeet. The Q&A sessions not only give the members a minute to catch their breath, but it’s also for them to give the fans their most genuine answers. Depending on who’s answering what question, there’ll be some sort of a reaction from the crowd and then based off of that, sometimes the members will either elaborate more (possibly telling you more than they should have), or due to embarrassment, might start poking fun at another member and then suddenly it all turns into a big laughing session.

Fan meetings also mean there’ll be time for games. Some of the games are played between the members, where they split themselves up into two teams, usually the hyung-line (older members, Mark, JB, Jackson, and Jinyoung) and maknae-line (youngest members, Youngjae, Bambam and Yugyeom). And then the others are played with some very lucky audience members. When will you ever get to stand next to your bias, within breathing distance, arm in arm, sometimes even hand in hand, other than at a fanmeeting? Although it’s all lottery and pretty much pure luck on whether or not your seat/ticket number is called, once it actually happens, you’ll never be the same. If you are indeed one of the lucky fans to be called up on stage with GOT7, keep in mind that not only are you potentially standing next to your bias in the group, not only is this your very own personal one on one time (you’ll practically be in each other’s personal bubble and you’ll probably forget that there’s hundreds of people in the audience staring on in jealousy because everything will become a blur), but try to remember that those members whom you’ve probably dreamt about having as a imaginary boyfriend, is suddenly right next to you. Yes, right next to you.

Their personalities come across more naturally

As most IGOT7/ahgases (GOT7’s fanclub) already know, Jackson and Bambam are the kings of being extra. But it wasn’t always this way! These two probably always had it in them, but it was only within the last year that they’ve gone above and beyond… unusually over the top. Actually, come to think of it, each member is relatively extra in their own (quiet) individual way. Mark, JB, Jinyoung, and Youngjae are extra but in a rather discreet and sly way, and Yugyeom, well, he’s just a rebel. However, that’s totally fine; it’s what makes them them. It took them a couple of years to break out of their shell but it’s no big deal. Every member of GOT7 has found their groove, stepped into their own element and have figured out what suits them.

These fanmeets have been a great opportunity and I believe a great learning curve for the guys to show to kind of figure themselves out, even if it’s not totally 100 percent right now. These meets are a great platform for them to show off their quirky, goofy and boisterous sides; it’s a great way for the fans to see first hand and understand the members better, which will result in a better connection. With Jackson and Bambam’s love for MCing, you can bet that if even there’s nothing left for the actual MC to say, those two will fill in the silence.

Games seem lame, but they’re not

Do you ever find yourself binge watching every video known to man that your favorite group has ever gone on or been featured on, from music to variety shows and especially the groups’ own web series? On most of these shows, the variety ones especially, there’s always a segment, whether brief or extended, of them playing a game. It can usually range anywhere from a simple game to an extensive game of kai-bai-bo (rock-paper-scissors), girl/boy group dance covers, speed dance challenges, the showcasing of a special (sometimes weird) talent, which would then result in the winner flicking the losers in the forehead or hitting them with a rather hard plastic toy hammer.

Although none of the members have been hit or flicked at any of GOT7’s fanmeets here yet, these guys make sure to bring laughter to the crowd with their mischievous gaming tactics.

For example, instead of playing the typical games that they’re probably all so bored of and used to already, at the group’s recent fanmeets in Vancouver and Toronto this past November, they had the crowd roaring in screams from enjoyment at their onstage gaming shenanigans. The panicked faces they’d make as they’re running away from an inflating balloon, to their quivering hands as they played the “what’s in the box” game is priceless. It’s one thing seeing these games being played and laughing at monitor but it’s on an entire different level when you’re able to laugh at the outcomes, in front of you, as it’s happening in real time.


Also on KultScene: B1A4’s ‘Good Timing’ Album Review

More relaxed performances

Although it’s still a day of work for these guys, the “free” moments that they get to sit on stage and converse with the crowd during a fanmeet, are probably the only moments where they’re able to somewhat catch a breather. There’s fewer songs to sing, less choreography to remember, more time to “chill,” even if they’re not actually kicking back on the couch somewhere, it still gives them a little time to rest. Of course, just like any other job, there’s still an urgency to do things a certain way. There are guidelines and rules that they must stick to when performing, but like the name states, fan meetings are meant for the fans. In order for the fans to enjoy, GOT7 needs to also be enjoying it.

Not to say that the members are less strict on themselves at fanmeets, but it does however allow them more freedom. Freedom as in, if they’re doing or saying something that’s apart of the script and suddenly there’s an outburst or some sort of feedback from the crowd, perhaps a fan screaming out “Bambam, dab!” and he does reacts to it by doing so, and the other members follow, they don’t feel the pressure of needing to jump right back into the script. Fan meetings leave room for them to joke around, more than usual, prancing around the stage, acting all sorts of willy nilly, acting like how they probably would back at the dorm.

Just because there’s fewer songs and less choreography doesn’t mean that they don’t try just as hard as they would with a 15 song set, fan meetings help relieve any extra pressure that they might have. And like Bambam and Yugyeom like to say, it allows them to take it “eaaasy”.

The closest we’ll ever be to an Asia-like fan meet

I’m sure you’ve all seen photos and fan cams of GOT7’s fan meetings in Asia, especially the most recent promotional ones in Thailand this past summer. Sure, we might not be getting those long eye to eye stare offs as we link fingers type of fanmeets, or the ones where the members are hugging you from the side, back, and all sorts of angles. And as much as overseas fans would love to get that same fan service that some of the Asian countries get, we’re just as grateful for the enjoyable fan meetings and effort that GOT7 always puts in. No, but really. When will that ever happen here and when will my bias and I lock fingers?

Subkulture delivered a successful GOT7 US tour this past summer so we can only expect that the fan meeting in January will be just as entertaining! You’ll probably think I’m being repetitive when I say this, but truly, the memories that you leave a fanmeeting with will linger on and stick with you for a lifetime. Whether this will be your first time attending a fanmeet or maybe you’ve already gone to one, or two… or five, you can expect to leave the venue that night yearning for more of GOT7.

Are you planning on hitting up one of the stops in GOT7’s fan meet tour? Share with us what you’re looking forward to see in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

5 rising female acts at Zandari Festa ’16

Zandari Festa 2016 Female Musicians Spotlight

While South Korea is musically known for “Gangnam Style” and K-pop, the country has a burgeoning indie scene based in Seoul’s Hongdae neighborhood. Each year, Zandari Festa brings a bevy of Korean and overseas musicians to the area to perform around town at the Korean Peninsula’s closest thing to SXSW. This year, Zandari Festa will take place from Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and feature a lot of acts that we know and love, like Love X Stereo, Patients, The Barberettes and more.

Since the festival began in 2012, it has been integral in showcasing some of Korea’s best lesser-known talent so we always love to take a look at the roster to see what musicians we should be listening to. Like many music festivals, and music industries, throughout the world, Zandari Festa is geared heavily towards male and co-ed music acts, so we decided to highlight some of our favorite female Korean indie acts who will absolutely slay the audiences at this year’s Festa.

Sweet Revenge

What happens when you combine the spunk and beauty of Girls’ Generation with the rock flair of CNBLUE and Day6, then actually let them create their own music? Sweet Revenge. The most idol-like of all-female acts at this year’s Zandari Festa, Sweet Revenge is pop-rock quartet. Even though they look like any other K-pop girl group out there, Sweet Revenge writes all of their songs and plays live. In heels! Their more recent songs, like last year’s “Fly High,” feel like a hybrid of J-pop, primarily thanks to the lead vocalists high-pitched vocals, and American alternative rock.

Sweet Revenge will perform at Evans Lounge at 5PM on Oct. 3.


Also on KultScene: Retro-Inspired Girl Group The Barberettes Makes Music in a K-Pop World [Interview]

Shin Seol Hee

The folk-pop singer-songwriter Shin Seol Hee released her first album in 2013 and since then has released an album and several singles. Her sound primarily revolves around strumming guitars intertwined with other sounds, such as the lilting chimes and electronic elements like what was heard on last year’s “Circle.” She has a breathy voice with a surprisingly strong tone so hearing her sing is a sheer pleasure. Her latest single, “Another Season,” was released just this week (Sept. 19) so take a listen ahead of Zandari Festa.

Shin Seol Hee is performing at Veloso on Oct. 2 at 5PM.

Kirara

After changing her name from STQ Project, Kirara’s become a fan favorite and is rising as a Korean electronica darling. The electro-pop tunes that the producer has put together are sprinkled heavily with 8-bit blips and modern rock and dance sounds to create a style that’s very much of the moment while still sounding like it came out of an ‘80s arcade. Anybody who is a fan of Clazziquai Project will certainly fall in love with her sound. Definitely go listen to her.

Kirara is performing at Steel Face on Oct. 3 at 5PM.

Earip

If you’ve ever watched a Korean drama, there’s nearly always one song on the soundtrack (OST) that is a dreamy tune with comforting words sung softly over the melody. Earip’s moving ballads sound exactly like that and have ever since she released her first album in 2005. The folk singer released her fifth album, Exile, earlier this year with the music video for the single. Our personal favorite is the sweet-sounding “뒷일을 부탁해” from 2013.

Earip is performing at Steel Face Rooftop on Oct. 3 at 6PM.


Also on KultScene: Puer Kim discusses her return with ‘Gem,’ inspiration & loving her body

Aseul

Like Kirara, Aseul is a rising star in the Korean electropop scene but Aseul’s music is more ethereal than Kirara’s playful sound. Her latest single, June’s “Fisher,” is a trance-filled earworm that takes nearly two minutes before Aseul’s vocals join the fray. Previously known as Yukari, Aseul has produced a variety of music since 2014 and this will be her first time at Zandari Festa with the new moniker. If you’re in the area, definitely check her out. (And tag us in the videos so we can pretend we’re experiencing her sound too!)

Aseul is performing at Steel Face on Oct. 3 at 7PM.

What do you think of these acts playing at Zandari Festa? Whose set would you like to attend the most? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook,Twitter,Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Fave songs performed at Dok2 & The Quiett’s NO RE$T Los Angeles stop

dok2 the quiett no rest no re$t tour us 2016 los angeles la

by Jean Libert

For the second time this year, Illionaire Records CEOs and rappers Dok2 and The Quiett got Los Angeles lit with their NO RE$T tour on July 29. Set at Koreatown’s staple The Wiltern, the rappers performed almost 30 of their most popular and recent hits after being introduced by their friend, the jeweler Ben Baller.

But before the show, Dok2 and The Quiett gave a quaint press conference and gave their curt yet solid input. On the state of K-hip-hop’s globalizations, The Quiett, in English, said they felt good about it. Dok2 resonated the sentiment, “We feel good, we feel thankful, it will get better and better. I don’t know, we don’t think that deep. We’re just enjoying it,” he said with a laugh. The Quiett shared he’s working on his new LP, which will come out later this year. When asked to describe their music, “I don’t know, it’s up to [the listener],” Dok2 answered a bit dismissively. However, The Quiett jumped in and called it “positive hip-hop.” At this, Dok2 added, “we don’t do negative shit, we only do positive shit.”

Dok2 said he wasn’t working on collabs with anyone while in LA, “only food [and] shopping.” Moreover, he shared he didn’t have anyone in mind from Korea he wanted to collaborate with or plan on bringing anyone new into Illionaire. However, when asked about the possibility of releasing a collab album with AOMG Records, Dok2 said: “… Jay, we grew up together. Since 2010, we’ve been doing a lot of shit together. So AOMG and Illionaire is like a family. We’re not like business partners or nothing, we just [collab together]. But an album — when it comes to an album, it’s a business, so, we don’t know.” He said he’d be down to work with anyone in the US though, but shared he doesn’t know yet if he’d try to break the market here. “It’s hard to discuss it, when we’re talking about marketing, it’s just different,” explained The Quiett. Dok2 stated they weren’t going to rush.

dok2 the quiett no rest no re$t los angeles 2016 la

by Jean Libert

Another topic of interest was the fact that they were playing at an iconic Los Angeles venue. Dok2, true to brand, commented on their performance: “We don’t do nothing special. Just, you know, feel some LA vibes. Connect with each other.” A terse response, but a true one nonetheless. Without any gimmicks or even long talks with the audience, Dok2 and The Quiett put out a fun yet casual show, in the sense that it felt as if you were turnin’ up at a club with your favorite songs. And as previously mentioned, the rappers performed well over 25 songs, so here’s a recap of our faves.


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON 16 LA [PHOTOS]

“Beverly 1lls”

Kicking off things quite appropriately given the locale, the rappers started out their show with the newly dropped “Beverly 1lls.” Echoing from a darkened stage, Dok2’s omnipresent voice boomed from the speakers before diving into the chorus and before he came out on stage with The Quiett. Even if the audience didn’t know the verse (though doubtful since it was filled with fans), the repetitiveness made it easy to sing along to — just like everyone seemed to be doing, which prompted Dok2 to point his microphone at the audience. This tracked also marked the first dab of the night by The Quiett.

dok2 the quiett illionaire no rest tour los angeles 2016

by Jean Libert

“2 Chainz & Rollies”

This classic Illionaire song got even Dok2 dancing early on in their set. Not The Quiett though. He was more into stuntin’ and spitting his verses. As for the crowd, however, hands and glow sticks went up in the air as soon as the first beat dropped.

the quiett illionaire no rest tour 2016 los angeles

by Jean Libert

“Profile”

Even without frontman Beenzino, the Illionaire CEOs delivered a lit performance of “Profile.” And given the fervor with which the crowd sang the chorus, it’s no surprise that they keep this track in their set list.

dok2 the quiett no rest tour 2016 illionaire

by Jean Libert

“1 Life 2 Live”

“Put your motherfucking hands in the air,” commanded The Quiett before delving into “1 Life 2 Live.” After mostly delivering Dok2’s punch lines or choruses, this song marked the moment when The Quiett became fiercer than in the previous songs.

the quiett no re$t tour los angeles 2016 no rest

by Jean Libert

“Future Flame”

For the first few bars on “Future Flame,” Dok2 spit acapella before the beat kicked in and further proved why the snapback that read “Rapstar” was well suited for him. The Quiett, of course, sat this one out and uttered an “aye” and “yeah” here and there and repeated punch lines and hooks.

dok2 no rest tour 2016 los angeles illionaire

by Jean Libert

“Rocking with the Best”

Like many of the songs that feature all three Illionaire Records artists, the performance of “Rocking with the Best” was cut short given Beenzino wasn’t around for his part. And even if his presence would’ve been nice (hint, hint future production companies), Dok2 and The Quiett, with their signature blase demeanors, carried the track on their own.

dok2 the quiett illionaire no rest tour 2016 los angeles

by Jean Libert

“YGGR”

One of the –if not the most — most hyped songs of the night was another Illionaire classic and fan fave, “YGGR.” Typically, English hooks and choruses are what get the most response from the audience. Not this track though. From the pit all the way to the second story terrace, everyone was singing the famous hook and jumping around as it gained momentum. The crowd was so loud that Dok2 and The Quiett largely let them sing the hook and they just went about the stage doing their own thing.

the quiett illionaire no ret tour 2016 los angeles

by Jean Libert


Also on KultScene: KCON 2016 LA’s M! Countdown Day 2 Concert Recap

“1LLUSION”

As one of Dok2’s most recent releases, the crowd received it with hands in the hair and intense vibing. At the hook, when the rapper asks “Is it ill?” fans replied with a roaring “Yeah,” showing just how intense the connection was between them and the performers.

dok2 no rest tour los angeles 2016 illionaire

by Jean Libert

“L4L”

Another song missing its main attraction (cough, Zino, cough) that was a surprising addition to the setlist but much appreciated was “L4L.” You know, that one song that helped Bobby win Show Me the Money 3 under Dok2 and The Quiett’s wings. Just like with “Profile,” “L4L” takes on a new form performed just by these two rappers becoming more hard hitting and, well, even more swagged out.

dok2 illionaire no rest tour 2016 los angeles

by Jean Libert

“I’m 1LL”

Announcing it was the last song of the night, Dok2 gave shout outs to openers Junoflo and KillaGramz, before they came on stage to join them for “I’m Ill.” For this performance, the pit turned out to be the soak zone, since many water bottles were thrown throughout the whole song, especially during the hook. At one point, rapper Dumbfounded also made his way onto the stage to dance and vibe around with the rest. And after making the crowd sing out the lyric, motherfucker I’m illlllllllllllll, as everyone was wilding out, Dok2 and The Quiett, with Illionaire hands, bowed out the stage (after taking the mandatory selfie with the audience, of course).

the quiett killagramz junoflo dumbfounded no re$t no rest 2016 los angeles

by Jean Libert

Just as “Beverly 1lls” had been the perfect opener, “I’m 1ll” was the most appropriate closing track because a) it resumed what the rappers and the performances were like and b) it left everyone with an adrenaline rush.

Honorable Mention

This one’s neither a Dok2 nor The Quiett song. The bonus song on this list goes to Junoflo, who opened the show with a few of his tracks. Despite him premiering a couple of songs at NO RE$T, his performance of “Flo” was a highlight. He commanded that stage like if he were part of the Illionaire crew — plus the crowd received him with arms open. It was a cool contrast to see Junoflo all smiles and thankful for the opportunity to play The Wiltern while Dok2 and The Quiett were their nonchalant selves. Junoflo’s positive energy was infectious and set everyone in high spirits for the main show.

junoflo no re$t los angeles no rest tour illionaire

by Jean Libert

What are your favorite songs by Dok2 and The QUiett? Share your picks and thoughts with us in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Inside KCON 16 LA [PHOTOS]

kcon 2016 la los angeles 16 convention

Courtesy of CJ E&M

With each installment, KCON outdoes itself, and this year was no different. Held for the second year in a row (fifth in total) at the Los Angeles Convention Center, KCON 16 LA Presented by Toyota received 76,000 fans throughout July 29, 30, and 31 and pre-registration for the convention doubled from 2015. This year, the event expanded from the typical K-music and K-drama related booths and activities emphasis and hosted more diverse booths and panels including beauty, food, and gaming booths, which allowed con-goers to entertain themselves with far more options than previous years.

Expo

kcon 2016 los angeles 16 la convention

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Walking into the convention hall, the first thing you saw was the Toyota stage featuring dancers (and occasionally idols like GFRIEND who showed up on the second day) and the Soompi booth where you could spin a wheel and walk away with “K-pop Trash” swag. And then you were accosted by every possible product remotely related to South Korea on display at the booths filling up the room.

flower boy cafe coffee shop kcon 2016 los angeles la 16

by Yasamine Entesari

You wanted snacks? You could pick up chocolate ab lollies at the Dramafever booth or stop by the SnackFever booth for some trendy snacks like Pepero cookie sticks or Crunky chocolate bars. And, if you were lucky enough to book a time slot, you could get some food at the Flower Boy Cafe. Yes, a cafe where handsome looking men would go out of their way to make the customers happy.

But maybe you wanted clothing? If you went to the Celeb Shop to pay a few dollars, picked a random number, and got a bag filled with some snazzy clothing. And the bag? It had Monsta X’s logo on the side so it looked like a whole lot of Monbebes (Yup, that’s what Monsta X’s fans are officially) were walking around KCON this year. And of course, we can’t forget the little sprout and flower hairpieces Bibigo was giving out as KCON jumped on the trend.


Also on KultScene: KCON 2016 LA’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap

And, of course, we can’t forget about the K-beauty. Don’t worry. There was a whole “beauty block” especially for beauty booths with a different makeup or skin care product in every direction you looked. K-beauty fave brands like The Face Shop and Etude House were readily available, while stores like Glow Recipe, Soko Glam, and Meme Box were also selling goods. And if you stopped by NYX’s booth, you could get a free application of lipstick or eyeshadow and walk away with a full-size sample or two (or even three).

kcon 2016 los angeles la 16 soko glam

by Yasamine Entesari

This year, the convention stage was a bit more active than last year, hosting live bands, aegyo battles, and live beauty tutorials. On Friday, KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency) hosted K-Pop Night Out featuring indie bands Dead Buttons, Love x Stereo, and Sultan of the Disco. Despite a few hiccups with the sound and an initial low turnout, by the end of the show, the indie bands had drawn a very specific crowd (mainly older than your average K-pop fan and corporate Koreans) and made everyone there dance and sway.

love x stereo k indie korean kpop kcon 2016 16 la

by Yasamine Entesari

Another new thing this year was the debut of KCON.TV, a video platform and online community that live streamed KCON throughout the whole weekend. In addition to stream the concerts, KCON.TV also aired interviews with celebrities conducted by popular YouTubers like BapMokja and Haeppy. Their booth at the convention also hosted mini meet and greets with YouTubers and even Justin Kim, an ex-contestant on America’s Next Top Model.

sultan of the disco k indie trot disco korean kcon 2016 16 los angeles la

by Yasamine Entesari

Panels & Workshops

The panels at KCON LA were more diverse than ever this year, with directors of dramas in one room chatting about their inspiration as K-beauty gurus gave people tips in another and YouTubers performed dance covers in another. Want to learn Korean? There’s a workshop or two for that. Want to hear what it’s like producing for idols? Yup, you guessed it. Any and every sort of topic relating to Korean pop culture (films, music, television, etc.) were covered at the second half of the con.

The only downside of this year’s panels were that they were a far walk and additional security check away from the main convention hall, meaning that people had to make quite the effort to go and access them.

Red Carpet

danny im kcon 2016 los angeles la 16

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

The second day of KCON’s convention came to conclusion with the red carpet ahead of that night’s concert, hosted by first generation idol Danny Im. And boy did the stars come out to talk to. Beginning with the handsome Lee Minho himself, the crowd was full of cheers for one of Korea’s top actors as he expressed his delight at meeting LA fans and his desire to go surfing, just like his character did in 2013’s “The Heirs.”

lee min ho kcon los angeles 2016 la 16

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

Next up was another solo male, but this time it was the relative newcomer DEAN, who had just finished his fanmeet a few moments before. The endearing singer-songwriter also had a warm welcome from the crowd as he posed like a rockstar (sticking out his tongue and all), especially as he broke into a quick rendition of his song “21.”

dean kcon 2016 los angeles la 16

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

Following the men were a gaggle of girls, namely I.O.I (11 members) and GFRIEND (6 members). The two girls groups clearly won over the hearts of the audience. I.O.I’s Somi, who is half Dutch-Canadian and half Korean, did most of the talking for the group and expressed the team’s happiness at being at KCON so shortly after their debut. GFRIEND, decked out in light pink gowns, expressed similar feelings. (They would both excite the audience later that night with their dance-pop songs).

i.o.i ioi produce 101 kcon 2016 los angeles la 16

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

gfriend kcon los angeles 2016 16 la

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

After the ladies left the stage, Danny, who was part of 1TYM, reunited with once-rivals (well, at least they both were angling for top place in the late ‘90s) Turbo. Turbo’s Kim Jong Kook (yes, Running Man Kim Jong Kook) and Mikey did most of the talking, but the older act definitely surprised with their playful personalities.

turbo kcon 2016 los angeles la 16

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

Ending off the first night’s red carpet were two SM Entertainment acts. f(x)’s Amber, who was performing at KCON solo for the first time, received a huge warm welcome, which may or may not have had to do with the fact that a) she’s a fan favorite b) she’s from LA. SHINee, that night’s headliners, then came on to end the red carpet with their winning smiles and every glance they took had a fangirl fainting in the audience. (Not really, but the screams were insanity).

amber f(x) kcon la 2016 los angeles 16

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

Read more

KCON 2016 LA’s M! Countdown Day 2 Concert Recap

bts kcon la los angeles 2016 16 m countdown

Courtesy of CJ E&M

If KCON’s first concert night was amazing, there was little to prepare attendees for the pandemonium that was day two. For the second and final night on July 31, fans were treated to a first-rate show filled with the hottest names in K-pop at the moment: BTS, TWICE, Girls’ Generation TTS, Monsta X, Eric Nam, Davichi, and Astro. In total, the fifth edition of KCON drew 76,000 fans and sold out both M! Countdown shows at the iconic Staples Center. KCON LA 2016 Presented by Toyota’s second concert night proved that K-pop is no longer reigned by the second generation groups. It is a new era in K-pop and fans in the U.S. are ready for it.

For the pre-show, indie act Echae en Route graced the stage with their delicate performance. But the unexpected yet incredibly entertaining performance was presented by Xplore Taekwondo Team, who flew and soared on stage with their fierce moves, kicking boards ten feet on the air. The crowd cheered and clapped so loudly for them, it was as if they were the stars of the show. And in that moment, they were. BTS, who?

monsta x kcon 2016 16 m countdown la los angeles

Courtesy of CJ E&M

With the crowd’s energy hyped up, Monsta X opened the main show with a solo performance of rapper Jooheon’s “Yessir.” Spitting fire, the rest of the members later joined him and delved into energetic and — dare I say– sexy performances of “All In,” “Hero,” and “Tresspass.” Monsta X may have opened KCON’s M! Countdown for a second year in a row, but unlike last year when they were a couple of months into their debut, their devoted fans were present and bopping to all of their tracks. Monsta X is, indeed, a group to watch out for…

astro kcon 2016 los angeles la 16 m countdown

Courtesy of CJ E&M


Also on KultScene: KCON 2016 LA’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap

Giving the show a stark 180 degree turn, Astro came out dancing cutely and all smiles and aegyo with “Breathless,” “Cat’s Eye,” and “Hide & Seek.” While the lesser known group of the entire lineup, the group managed to captivate the crowd with their infectious cheery vibe. The high spirits were carried on when girl group TWICE followed them, decked out in varsity jackets and short shorts. It was their first performance at KCON, let alone the U.S., but when the whole Staples Centered chanted out “Sha Sha Sha” during “Cheer Up,” it was clear. TWICE had made it as Hallyu stars in less than a year since debut. The positive reception of “I’m Gonna Be a Star,” “Like Ooh-Aah,” and their intros by male and female fans alike only further solidified the notion that TWICE is a top-tier group now.

twice kcon la los angeles 2016 16 m countdown

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Next up was another K-pop fave for the U.S. audience, Eric Nam. While the ex-ASC emcee had been a regular at KCON — hosting Red Carpet and holding fan engagements, — he hadn’t had the chance to actually perform. That changed this year with KCON NY and later LA when he was added to the lineup last minute. His performance, however, was on point and in no way less prepared or stellar than the rest of the acts. Fans sang along to “Good For You” and even did the point dance in “Can’t Help Myself.” Moreover, Eric had two collaboration stages, singing “Into You” with singer KOLAJ and “I Just Wanna” with BFF Amber, much to the delight of everyone in attendance. Eric also took a moment during his set to talk about being an ambassador for CJ UNESCO Girls’ Education campaign and drawing attention to its importance. Which draws the question: is Eric Nam a feminist? We hope so.

eric nam kcon 2016 los angeles la 16 m countdown

Courtesy of CJ E&M

After Eric’s lively set and overall persona, things turned heart-wrenching thanks to balladist Davichi. The got everyone in the feels with their renditions of “This Love” and “Don’t Say Goodbye.” But not all was gloom and doom for they also performed “8282,” which is a trot/disco track that had all the ahjussis and youngsters alike dancing. And to continue with the disco-ey vibe, TWICE followed up with a special stage, singing to “Uptown Funk” and Monsta X with “Moves Like Jagger.”

davichi kcon 2016 los angeles la 16 m countdown

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Sparkling onto the stage, Girls’ Generation TTS charmed everyone with “Twinkle,” “Holler,” and “Only You.” Taeyeon, Seohyun, and Tiffany received a warm welcome from the crowd, especially the latter, considering it was her birthday, they were performing in her hometown, and they were on the eve of SNSD’s ninth anniversary since debut. So after asking the crowd what time it was and announcing it was “party time,” the trio performed a surprising yet much appreciated version of “Party.”

girls generation tts taetiseo snsd kcon 2016 los angeles la 16 m countdown tiffany seohyun taeyeon

Courtesy of CJ E&M


Also on KultScene: An Ode to SHINee on the Eve of KCON LA 2016

Girls’ Generation are legends in K-pop and no one can take that away from them. But as mentioned before, times are changing, and nothing embodied this notion than the overall madness that erupted once BTS showed up on screen. They opened up with the ethereal “Forever Young” as fans were in full frenzy. But then the first beat for “Fire” dropped and the entire Staples Center, well, got lit. Their sharp moves and chants of “Fire” resonated through the whole arena, which made it feel like if it were their solo show — and the guys knew it. The demeanor with which they carried themselves through “Save Me” and “Cypher Part 3” showed they know they’re popular and that the venue was filled with their fans. Just like SHINee before them, only the headliners could pull off performing a b side track and having the crowd react to it positive. And while they were rapping to “Cypher Part 3,” hands were in the air, dancing took place, and it was overall dope… Just like their closing song. Marking it the end of the concert and KCON 2016 altogether, there couldn’t be a better suited song than “Dope,” which made everyone jam out to the fullest. And when they were done, it was set in stone. KCON was BTS’.

bts kcon 2016 los angeles la 16 m coutdown

Courtesy of CJ E&M

With that, another year of KCON came and went. It’s crazy to think that there’s still a next year to top. And while it’s hard to fathom someone topping both SHINee and BTS, we can’t wait for what 2017 will hold.

amber eric nam kcon 2016 los angeles la 16 f(x) m countdown

Courtesy of CJ E&M

What do you think of the KCON 2016 performances? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.