Hyukoh brings a piece of Hongdae to New York City

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by Dasom Han

Irving Plaza in New York City is no stranger to international acts gracing their stage. Just within the past two month, two different Korean acts were able to sell out the 1,000 capacity venue; not an easy feat even for accomplished domestic artists. This month, South Korean indie band Hyukoh played a sold out show at the New York venue on Sep. 11. Irving Plaza was packed, so much that people were spilling out of the doors and into the hallway due to the lack of space on the venue floor.

After a short wait, the band entered onto the stage and began to warm up their instruments to start the show. Drum beats were played and the familiar guitar chords from “Tokyo Inn” started to play. People instantly began bobbing along to the catchy woos of the song. “Comes and Goes” was up next, continuing on with the jazzy laid back feel of the previous song followed by the upbeat swing song “Leather Jacket.” Despite the venue being packed, people made due with what little room they had to dance along.


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For the first MC of the night, vocalist Oh Hyuk introduced the band and thanked everyone for coming to their first show in New York. The shy personality of the band’s front-man then came front and center as the rest of the talk consisted of short mumbles and awkward silence until the next song started up. The set continued with a few more upbeat songs one of them being “Wonderful Barn,” a song first heard on popular Korean variety show Infinity Challenge’s summer music festival special back in 2015. The country inspired song was full of dramatic pauses and tempo changes built up suspense and kept the audience engaged.

The show continued on as red lights flooded the stage and the band played the mysterious sounding “Wanli.” The intensity picked up with “MASITNONSOUL,” and then immediately died down with “Jesus Lives in a Motel Room” and “Die Alone.” The somber mood continued with “Mer” and “Gondry.” The quiet and simple notes of the songs emphasized Oh Hyuk’s unique vocals, showing off the softness, strength, and sincerity in his voice.

The next song was “TOMBOY,” the title track off of their latest album 23. The crowd got really into the sweet and sentimental rock ballad, singing along to the lyrics about overcoming young adulthood and belting out the ohs along with Oh Hyuk. After a few more songs, the band announced that the next track would be their last song and began to play “Paul.” As the song played, the audience raised their cellphone lights and slowly waved them back and forth, creating a sea of shimmering lights. The song ended on a quiet note and the audience erupted into cheers as the band left the stage.


Also on KultScene: KCON 2017 LA’s ‘M! Countdown’ Day 1 Concert Recap

Cheers for an encore immediately began, and soon after, the band came back onto the stage and played “Hooka.” Next up was arguably the most popular song of the night was “Wi Ing Wi Ing.” No matter if you were a casual or dedicated fan, everyone knew this song and sang along passionately as Oh Hyuk turned his mic towards the audience so they could sing a verse. The last song of the night was the funky “Surf Boy,” which ended the concert on a light and happy note.

Hyukoh definitely brought a taste of Hongdae to New York with their unique sound and quirky charms. The band has an indie vibe but exudes more confidence and certainty in their sound and identity than most other bands. With this show, Hyukoh showed their versatility in the amount of different music genres their songs encompass all while still maintaining a sound that is uniquely their own. Hyukoh is definitely a band you should keep a close eye on to see what new and excite music they will come up with next.

Did you go to the show? What’s your favorite Hyukoh show? Let us know 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.

KCON 2017 LA’s ‘M! Countdown’ Day 1 Concert Recap

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

Like every year since it started, KCON 2017 LA presented by Toyota outdid themselves with their biggest show yet. In previous years, the event has tried to diversify and stretch the concept of “K-pop,” bringing R&B singers, rappers, and even bands, but this time around it was strictly idols on the first concert night. Headlined by top and up-and-coming Hallyu acts SEVENTEEN, VIXX, Super Junior D&E, Girl’s Day, Cosmic Girls, and SF9, fans filled the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Aug. 19 almost to capacity, ecstatic to see their favorite idols perform.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

KCON 2017 LA kicked off with an announcement on the Jumbotron telling the audience to light up their phones. Once the Staples turned into sea of bright lights, VIXX’s Leo came up from the platform along with a grand piano. Moments later, Girl’s Day’s Minah joined him for a very appropriate special stage of “City of Stars,” a song from the film La La Land. As the audience learned later, this year’s concept was “KCON Land.”

Chaos soon erupted when SEVENTEEN members Vernon, Joshua, and S. Coups appeared as the night’s MCs, with the first two leading the way in English, followed by the latter in Korean. They introduced the night’s first official performance, the rookie group SF9 who left a lasting impression at KCON 2017 NY just two months ago.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M


Also on KultScene: The ‘Wild K.A.R.D. Tour’ in São Paulo was as wild & hot as expected

High-fiving the crowd, SF9 came out from one of the entrances into the arena, which lead into their first performance, “Fanfare.” Decked in green suits, the members danced their hearts out to their songs “Jungle Game” and “Easy Love,” which drew the most cheers out of their set.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

KCON is infamous for its underrepresentation of female acts, but this year, one can argue there was an effort to make up for this by bringing the largest K-pop girl group, the 13-member Cosmic Girls. With a full marching band, the group made a super extra entrance into the arena, waving their pom poms as if they were in a pep rally. This, of course, was the perfect introduction for them, as their first song was the cheerleader-esque “Happy.”

For their introductions, they threw their pom poms aside and were all smiles as they introduced themselves one by one. All of the members, led by Exy, talked to the crowd in English and said it was their first time in LA. But being one of the younger groups, Cosmic Girls’ set was brief, and said their goodbyes with “I Wish” and their twinkly gem “Secret.”

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Courtesu of CJ E&M

When SEVENTEEN first announced their U.S. tour, many west coast fans felt cheated by the fact that their LA stop was KCON, and hence we would miss out the full show. And while this was inevitable, KCON made up for it a a bit by giving SEVENTEEN their own special stage segment, where their three official units were each able to perform a song. First up was the performance unit with “Swimming Fool,” then the vocalists with the ballad “Habit,” and finally the hip-hop unit with “Check-In.” Though brief, LA carats (SEVENTEEN’s fandom) got a taste of what the band’s solo show would be like, though on a lesser scale.

Next up was the girl group of the night, Girl’s Day. Being a group that doesn’t get to come as often to the States as their fans would want them to, the crowd erupted with their newer songs “I’ll Be Yours” and “Ring My Bell.” However, it was with “Something” what got the entire arena attempting to follow their iconic choreography, evoking the most emotion from the members.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

KCON isn’t KCON without special stages, often giving the rookie groups a platform to highlight their skills through them. This year, SF9 and Cosmic Girls paid tribute to K-pop giants and faves Super Junior and BTS by dancing to their songs “Sorry, Sorry” and “Blood Sweat and Tears,” respectively. Since Donghae and Eunhyuk were there to perform as a unit, it would’ve been iconic if they had joined SF9, especially on the dance break of “Sorry Sorry,” but, alas, it did not happen. Those of us KultScene staffers who were in attendance humbly think it was a missed opportunity, but SF9 still killed their performance, and Cosmic Girls joined them towards the end to fill the stage with almost two dozen idols performing the iconic dance moves.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

It did, however, make for a good segue (—we guess). Right after this homage, Donghae and Eunhyuk came up from the platform in the middle of the stage and delved right into “Growing Pains.” While not as popular as Super Junior’s songs, D&E performed their unit’s hits like “I Wanna Dance,” “Saturday Night,” and of course, “Oppa Oppa.” They definitely got everyone dancing to the iconic choreography and finished off their set like the kings they are.

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KCON sets are normally determined by seniority, but this year it seemed they rearranged the order to have the groups with the most hype perform last. And KCON regulars VIXX finally, finally, got a slot towards the end of the show instead of being the opening act. Though a brief set, the sextet brought the house down with highly theatrical performances of their songs “Shangri-La,” “Blackout,” and “Fantasy” — which in itself was an overall KCON highlight. VIXX single handedly brought sexy back and put on an amazing show. And like in KCON New York and Mexico, the con brought back the segment “piñata time,” where the VIXX members ended up posing cutely for pictures.

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But KCON reached its peak with the highlight of the night: SEVENTEEN. The audience’s expectation was literally palpable, as the Jumbotron displayed a life line and every time it beated, the fans chanted the group’s name. By groups, they started appearing on different parts of the stage, making fans squeal. Just like BTS on last year’s KCON, SEVENTEEN was met by an overwhelming euphoric response. The entire Staples roared at the sight of the 12 members of SEVENTEEN as the started performing their newest single (Hoshi was hospitalized a day prior and didn’t attend KCON).


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON 2017 NY [photos]

Known for their intricate yet fun choreographies and always being in sync with one another, SEVENTEEN immediately delved into performing their latest song, the electropop “Don’t Want to Cry.” It’s one thing to see this choreo on your computer screen and another one entirely to witness it live; how they all moved in perfect unison, even when doing the floorwork.

Similarly to their opening special stage, instead of sticking to normal KCON programming and performing only singles, SEVENTEEN followed up with yet another b-side; the high energy dance track “Rock.” As mentioned before, KCON was their LA stop in their U.S. tour, so this set was more about catering to fans than to regular con-goers. And because of this, they too participated in “piñata time.” They went with “random play dance,” briefly dancing to “Uptown Funk” and their debut single “Mansae.” Then, the members shot out T-shirts from cannon guns into the audience, even shooting off some autographed ones. With that, they said goodbye to the fans and went right into their, and the night’s, closing performance, “Very Nice.”

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

This year, KCON 2017 LA was all about pleasing K-pop fans new and old by offering a diverse pool of idol acts. There was something for the older fans; something for the fanboys; and a lot for the younger fan girls. And it worked. There was not a dull moment throughout the night and it was impossible not to smile ear to ear as all the groups came out during the closing to say goodbye to fans. Most of them holding cameras, they waved at fans and filmed them just as fans were filming the idols.

The first concert night ended on a high, but only left us craving much, much more for the second and final KCON day.

Did you attend KCON 2017 LA? What was your favorite performance of the first concert? Let us know your thoughts on the comment section 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.

Sungha Jung mixes music with ‘MIXTAPE’ in Singapore

Official Picture from Sprout Entertainment

Held on July 22, popular guitarist and Youtuber Sungha Jung made his return to Singapore for the seventh year running, this time with his newest album, Mixtape. Unlike his usual previous ones, this was his first full album filled with his all-time favourite covers. Ranging from romantic tunes to classic pop, Sungha gave this diverse mix a unique spin, trying styles “which he had never tried before”.

Sungha opened the night at Kallang Theatre with “On Cloud Nine,” an upbeat and cheery song from his previous album, L’Atelier. The guitarist, clad in his trademark striped gray shirt and black pants, started strong right off the bat, displaying his outstanding guitar and percussion skills. He followed this by introducing himself and his latest album in fluent English, before proceeding to perform two of his favourite tracks from the album, “Close To You” by The Carpenters and “Sunny” by German vocal group Boney M. He maintained a chill and relaxed beat throughout “Close To You,” and as would be the trend for the rest of the night, he finished the song quietly and sweetly, allowing the sound of his guitar reverberate through the entire theatre.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH-buoH6dZA&w=500&h=281]

“Sunny” was a track that Sungha said he had a lot of fun arranging, especially because the song was released about 20 years before Sungha was born. That fun was evident in his performance, with the fancy runs his fingers continuously made up and down the guitar fretboard. His effective use of short, anticipatory pauses throughout the song made it much more enjoyable to listen to and watch.

Slowing things down, Sungha performed Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven,” also from his latest album. He did so in a gentle and comforting way, not unlike the original, but his jazzy modifications were scattered throughout the song, varying the repetitive verses and choruses with his creative adlibs in both the high and low registers. He next performed an obvious fan favourite, judging by the explosive response he received from the Singaporean audience once he announced it. A Goblin medley consisting of the hit K-drama’s two most popular OSTs, “Stay With Me” (by Chanyeol & Punch) started off in a more cheeky fashion, but Sungha gradually toned it down as he made the smooth transition into “Beautiful” (by Crush). In particular, the complex chords and emotions of the ballad seemed even more fleshed out through his playing, especially as it intensified towards the end of the piece.


Also on Kultscene: Sungha Jung brought Singaporean Fans to ‘Cloud Nine’ with ‘L’Atelier’

While there was a bit of a tonal whiplash, Sungha returned quickly to his upbeat pieces with “Catching The Beat,” a rhythmic track from L’Atelier. While he had created the song using an acoustic guitar, he played it at the concert using a classical one, but this did not hinder his performance in any way as he once again showcased his fast fingerwork and remarkable sense of rhythm. As he ended off the first half of the concert, Sungha performed his arrangement of a, what he called, beautiful Singapore song that he had ran into. “Encounter,” by local singer Stefanie Sun, was a familiar song that the crowd responded heartily too, and his tender version of the piece, along with the way he skillfully managed his volume variation, truly melted the hearts of the audience.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2r2JvvguGIc&w=500&h=281]

Returning to the stage in a blue striped shirt, Sungha started the second half of the concert with “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, another track off his latest album. The lively performance was groovy and ended off with a bang, which was a great way to get back into the concert. He continued with Jesse Harris’ “Don’t Know Why,” which was another of his favourites from the album. It was one of the more serene pieces of the night, filled with unusual chords that somehow sounded natural when played by him. The outro of the song in particular, while it was repeated three times at the end, managed to sound different each time, thanks to the subtle changes made to the chord progressions he used.

Taking a short break from his string of covers, Sungha performed “L’Atelier,” the soothing title track from his previous album. As he explained the meaning of the word (French for studio) and his own workshop’s significance to him, he started playing the song, which had a wonderful waltz rhythm that is not usually seen in his other compositions. The performance was dreamy and mellow, and by its end, it felt like there was so much left unsaid, which was bittersweet yet slightly wistful. The liveliness returned with “Englishman In New York” by Sting. This piece felt like a direct contrast from the previous two songs, with its heavier nature and extremely catchy beat. The anticipatory and dramatic pause also made its comeback in this piece, and was used wisely right before the outro.


Also on Kultscene: 5 Tracks To Get You Ready for Sungha Jung’s L’Atelier Concert

The only piece of the night which was not a recent composition or arrangement of his, “The Milky Way” from his 2014 album Monologue, was a memorable performance because of the journey Sungha took the audience on. With his eyes closed as he played, he was truly absorbed in the piece, and his effortless technique allowed the audience to go an exploration with him. The piece conveyed a certain wide-eyed wonder and optimism that was both refreshing and moving, particularly when he started to move up to the higher registers. Sungha followed this with yet another fan favourite, especially for the “Singaporean crowd that loves K-dramas,” as he described them. He performed “Everytime” (by Chen and Punch) from Descendents of the Sun, which started out very gently. With a four-beat transition, the piece evolved into something which was much more rhythmic but still melodious, which created an infectious energy that made the piece so much more charming.

Official Picture from Sprout Entertainment

For his (not-so) last song of the night, Sungha performed “Seventh #9,” named after the chord type this piece heavily featured. Full of technicalities and almost discordant sounding chords, the performance was flashy and reminded the audience once again, that Sungha was a guitar genius. After a few album giveaways and playful final comments, Sungha performed a local song that was dear to the hearts of many Singaporeans as a timely encore. Once he started “Home,” written by Dick Lee, fans started to sing along to his playing, creating a heartwarming and comforting scene in the theater. Unlike the other pieces he had showcased throughout the concert, this final piece was simpler but the sincere way he played it made it all the more exuberant and beautiful. It was the perfect way to end the concert.

Once again, Sungha Jung delivered remarkably through MIXTAPE, and while there were minor tonal inconsistencies throughout, his repertoire was amazing and showcased his talents as a guitarist.

Did you attend Sungha Jung’s “MIXTAPE” concert? What did you think of it? 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.

The ‘Wild K.A.R.D. Tour’ in São Paulo was as wild & hot as expected

k.a.r.d. kard wild kard brazil sao paulo tour

by Ana Clara Ribeiro

After going to the United States, Canada, and Mexico, K.A.R.D. headed to Brazil for the final leg of the Wild K.A.R.D. Tour, their first tour in America and also out of Korea. The group had successful fansigns in the Brazilian cities of Fortaleza, Salvador, Recife, and Rio de Janeiro before two concerts in the city of São Paulo. We went to the second and last concert on July 2 at Tropical Butantã, and it was everything you would expect from K.A.R.D., especially in Brazil.

The group has a big appeal to the country, to the point that it was necessary to schedule an extra concert, since the first one literally sold out in less than five minutes. For this reason, you would think the concert would be absolute madness. And you’re right. We’ve already said that K.A.R.D. distinguishes itself from other K-pop groups not only for their sound and for being a co-ed group, but also due to their mature and relaxed posture, which makes them very appealing to western audiences. And being in Brazil, a country whose musical styles the group draws a lot from, of course it would be taken to the highest level.

Brazilian fans go hard and they get even more excited when their love is returned. K.A.R.D. took notice of that and delivered an extremely entertaining concert, showing love through their appreciation of Brazilian music and culture, impersonating Brazilian memes, and even singing a full song in Portuguese.

They opened the concert with “Rumour,” their latest single, followed by the English version of “Don’t Recall.” And even though they performed two thirds of their songs within the first few minutes, the rest of the concert was never boring.

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by Ana Clara Ribeiro


Also on KultScene: KCON 2017 NY’s ‘M! Countdown’ Day 1 Concert Recap

The MC of the night was singer and YouTuber Iago Aleixo, who hilariously introduced K.A.R.D. to famous Brazilian dances such as “Ragatanga” (a 2002 hit from Brazilian girl group Rouge) and “Passinho do Romano” previously in a video, this last one containing the funny move called “Sarrada,” which B.M. would do spontaneously in the concert and later would be requested by the crowd to be repeated.

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by Ana Clara Ribeiro

This wasn’t the only moment in which K.A.R.D. demonstrated their knowledge about Brazil and their special preparation for that concert. There were random moments, like when Aleixo called a fan named Viviane to join the stage for a game, and J.Seph played with her name saying the name of Viviane Araújo, a Brazilian actress. There were also moments of respect, like when the members were asked how they felt about being in São Paulo, and super adorable Jiwoo mentioned the 40th anniversary of the bilateral treatments between the city and Seoul. And of course, there was a musical cover moment, and that was one of the highest points of the night.

Cute as always, the members said that in order to make Brazil feel loved, they had to study and understand their culture. For this reason, they prepared a surprise: a special performance of “Sim Ou Não,” a song by Brazilian superstar Anitta featuring Colombian reggaeton star Maluma. As the song choice would obviously drive everyone crazy, the usual scream and wildness of Brazilian crowds were stronger due to Jiwoo and Somin’s perfect Portuguese pronunciation and the extra sexy choreography performed by the group — which was probably their boldest ever, with its highlight being Somin going down, twerking, and doing a split during an interaction with B.M. that shocked pretty much the entire audience. But that’s what’s special about K.A.R.D.: they do sex appeal so naturally that it never seems that they are trying too hard or being vulgar.

k.a.r.d. wild kard tour brazil sao paulo b.m. matthew bm

by Ana Clara Ribeiro

Other highlights of the night were the games played by the members with fans, the cover of Eminem feat. Rihanna’s “The Monster” (revealing Jiwoo as an awesome rapper too), and the special units. In a softer moment, Somin and Jiwoo performed Bruno Mars’ “Versace On The Floor,” showcasing their great vocal range, which was followed by J.Seph and B.M. showcasing their rap skills, performing “Right Now.”

k.a.r.d. wild kard tour brazil sao paulo somin

by Ana Clara Ribeiro


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON 2017 NY [photos]

The last song was “Oh NaNa,” but they came back to perform “Don’t Recall” in Korean for the encore, leaving the stage under cries for more. B.M. and Somin, very kind (and very hot), presented some lucky fans with their shirts, taking them off and throwing at the crowd, leaving everyone crazy. Overall, the name of the tour was perfect and was even more appropriate when held in Brazil, for it was wild from start to finish.

k.a.r.d. wild kard tour brazil sao paulo j.seph fans

by Ana Clara Ribeiro

But it wasn’t all about the party. The greatest thing about all of this is that K.A.R.D. and DSP Media showed that they take their foreign fan base very seriously (if the very fact that they’ve toured in America and will tour in Europe after their debut doesn’t say enough). We could tell it by seeing the group’s effort to sing in Portuguese (which is not an easy language at all, and is even harder when compared to Korean), to immerse in Brazilian culture and to interact with fans (specially B.M., who teased the crowd all the time, smiling, waving, and doing funny moves).

This was the last K.A.R.D. concert before their debut, marked for July 19, and overall, it was everything you would expect from an act like K.A.R.D. in a place like Brazil: warm, fun, cheeky, and full of love and energy.

Are you excited for K.A.R.D.’s debut? Let us know 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.

KCON 2017 NY’s ‘M! Countdown’ Day 2 Concert Recap

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Curtesy of CJ E&M

The annual pilgrimage to the Prudential Center in New York’s metropolitan area continued for East Coast K-pop fans last weekend when KCON 2017 NY presented by Toyota came back for another two nights of unforgettable M! Countdown concerts. For those who missed out on the polished choreographies, dazzling visuals, and the A1 fan service from the night prior, Day 2 (June 24th) definitely was slated to make up for it. The turnout to catch a few glimpses of UP10TION, NCT 127, Twice, and CNBLUE visibly exceeded the numbers from the first evening, despite being short an act. Before the show even hit the road, it seemed like concertgoers were due for something exceptional.

The pre-show officially launched with the entrance of the man who needed no introduction, violinist and YouTuber Jun Curry Ahn. Ahn, who has been a mainstay to the east coast leg of KCON USA since its inauguration back in 2015, delivered a heartrending stringed performance of Crush’s “Beautiful” of Korean tvN drama Goblin fame, before moving onto the equally poignant “Spring Day” by BTS. The balladry did not last for long, however, as Seoul-based dance crew 1Million Dance took to center stage immediately after, popping, locking, and getting intimate to Jay Park, BoA, and many more of Korea’s chart-toppers. The chemistry and coordination between the team members – who were also tastefully dressed in matching reds, whites, and blacks – had already commenced the night on such a high note.


Also on Kultscene: KCON 2017 NY’s ‘M! Countdown’ Day 1 Concert Recap

Ahead of their appearance as CNBLUE, lead vocalist Jung Yonghwa and bassist Lee Jungshin came out to introduce the main event, the first set of which was a sudden special homage from Twice to their company figurehead/producer Park Jinyoung (better known as JYP). Twice is just the latest out of a chain of popular girl groups created by Park, and the lone ladies of the night paid tribute to senior group miss A’s “Bad Girl, Good Girl” and clapped along to the point choreography of the legendary “Nobody” from Wonder Girls to a standing audience. It is inevitable that someday they too will be indicted in JYP’s femme fatale hall of fame. Rounding out the medley, they even threw it all the way back to JY Park’s 1988 funk hit “Honey” for the millennial crowd. I would like to think that somewhere out there Papa Park was breaking out into the signature eye-vanishing grin of his at the sight of his girls doing his song justice.

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Curtesy of CJ E&M

Up next were the nine boys of UP10TION (member Wooshin is currently on hiatus due to mental health concerns), who seized the moment and delighted the public with the yet-to-be-released trop house “Runner” for the first time. As much as it was an honor to be privy to such an exclusive opportunity, it must have been an even greater one for the group to perform for the first time in America. After the usual rounds of introductions, they defaulted on their debut single “So Dangerous” and took advantage of the extended stage during “Attention” in order to finally meet their American fans. And although it would not be the last that concertgoers would be seeing them, the members seemed disappointed that their selective set list was coming to a close with their most recent single “White Night.” All the while, they were unable to hide their enthusiasm at being able to perform at the A-list event in front of thousands, waving to the audience whenever available.

Turning the typical, seniority-based KCON structure on its head were the guys of NCT 127, who followed UP10TION’s set in spite of the additional year of experience that the latter had on the former. A crazed Taeyong set the stage in a dramatic dance routine to a chant-like soundtrack while the other members filed in from the sides of the stage shortly before joining their leader. Their lofty entrance transitioned smoothly into the sounds of sirens accompanied by the three words that every individual love to hear, a “Get It Lifted” in baritone. “Firetruck” was about as atonal live as it is in its studio version, and the fans absolutely loved it. Amidst all the whoops and distortions, it is the kind of sonorous mishmash that can grow on a listener after much desensitization, which is certainly the case in today’s experimental soundscape.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

Members Johnny and Doyoung, who had scurried off backstage at the start of the trap influenced hip-hop number, reunited once more to greet fans for the first time since taking the spotlight and to help out with the rest of the setlist, which included the B-sides “Good Thing” and “0 Mile,” which are typically are rare at KCON. They also managed to work in “Limitless,” a single that is august on its own but is shadowed by their more music-forward tracks, before a love song mission and before Johnny took the mic to initiate a warm call-and-response, “When I say cherry, you say bomb,” as segue into said music-forward track.

Yes, fresh off the press was “Cherry Bomb,” a rather drawn out title that tries to be multiple songs at once in the most harmless way possible. Albeit “Cherry Bomb” has less of an obvious format than its close cousin, “Firetruck,” it edges the latter out by successfully doing the unconventional with its addictive, staccato hook, backed with bold claims (“I’m the biggest hit on this stage”). The leg-splitting choreography would be the highlight, but the members’ smoldering gazes which never once broke character simply cannot be overlooked, either, especially Yuta’s intense glower. Where are the boys next door who were just serenading a fan with B.o.B’s “Nothin’ on You” five minutes ago now?

In accords with the musical themed special stages from Day 1, the second day had its share of witty K-pop meets Broadway encounters as well. UP10TION returned to perform their rendition of the Mamma Mia version of ABBA’s “Honey Honey ” which has to be a pun on their fandom name, Honey10. Their routine was something out of a theater show, completed with feet clicking, straw hats, and line dances, while their vocals were pristine as always. Unlike their usual no-nonsense choreographies, this was certainly a more refreshing departure, and the bounce in their step seemed to agree.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

But back to the regularly scheduled program. With only the headliners and Twice left, fans already started to abandon their seats for standing in anticipation of the nation’s little daughters. A screen displaying images of star clusters and other heavenly bodies gave way to the nine women adorned in white, and foreshadowed the forthcoming song, their latest single featuring an alien-inspired concept, “Signal.” They then did ”Cheer Up” and “TT” back to back. Twice’s legacy lies in their iconic, simple-to-follow point choreographies, and whether it is their adorable “Sha Sha Sha” of the former song or the pouty “I’m like TT” from the latter, pretty much everyone that evening were following along. The only gripe with their set was that it would have been more memorable had they saved their most lauded songs for the finale. Instead, the girl group opted for “Knock Knock,” a blithe masterpiece that deserves better than falling flat next to the record-breaking “TT” and “Cheer Up.” Overall, the performances from the adored girl group adhered closely to the books, notwithstanding the tremendous outpour of love they were receiving from supporters in the stands and pit.

If I’m honest, when KCON first unveiled CNBLUE as headliner, it felt like they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel. The band is not as popular as they once were, so the worry that they would not have a strong presence was always there. With something to prove, however, these seasoned artists absolutely blew these misconceptions out the window; the guys did not come to play.


Also on Kultscene: Inside KCON 2017 NY [photos]

Usually when groups perform their schtick to the T without sounding breathy, there’s a likely chance that they are not singing live, and admittedly this applies to some of the acts from both KCON nights. Not for CNBLUE, though. Frontman Yonghwa practiced proper vocal techniques as his voice reverberated and resonated throughout the whole of the arena during “Between Us.” Years of experience not only taught him how to have fun with a performance, but also imparted onto him a charismatic, sexy confidence (and body) that had audiences wrapped around his finger. Most of this could also do with the fact that the band does not observe traditional choreographies, allowing for the main vocalist much freedom to do the most on stage. Indeed, though they were only into their second song – “Cinderella” – on their setlist, Yonghwa decided to ditch the band on the main stage in order to host his solo concert on the extended stage, replete with mic tricks, piping notes in line with their rock band image, and fan service out for blood. Even when introducing subsequent songs, he failed to do it without assuming full playboy mode, for example, pointing out individuals and calling them “fine” as a pivot into “You’re So Fine.”

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Curtesy of CJ E&M

As the conclusion drew near, the ever multi-talented Yonghwa then retreated to the main stage to boast his sharp piano skills during “Can’t Stop,” where he continued to deliver impressive notes, neck veins and all. I must really commend him for being able to carry most of the vocals for the team, an undertaking customarily divvied up among the members of a K-pop group, and still be able to beam as wide as he did. Before bringing it down some notches with the mellow “Love Light” and signing out, he promised to come back soon. And if the merry atmosphere that still lingered in the air post-CNBLUE or the ovations given to the occasional shots of the drummer-by-day-pretty-boy-by-always Minhyuk were any indications of their high demand, hopefully he is right.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

Before convention attendees and concertgoers knew it, it was time to bid farewell to yet another installment of KCON NY. This year’s M!Countdown stages provided numerous underrated acts with a chance to shine, while always exceeding expectations and managing to outdo the ones from previous years. The mothership of all things Hallyu will continue in August when KCON returns to LA on the West Coast for their homecoming, and we already cannot wait.

Did you attend KCON 17 NY? What’s your favorite KCON artist? Let us know 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 2017 NY [photos]

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by Katherine Villalon

With every passing year KCON 2017 NY presented by Toyota outdoes itself, and this time around was no different. This year was the first where the convention was paid, and while lots of fans expressed their annoyance before the event, once June 23 and 24 rolled out, it all made sense. Held once again outside of Newark, NJ’s Prudential Center, the con of this year’s KCON NY was larger in size, expositors, and talent than previous years.

In previous installments, a common complaint was that there wasn’t much to do at the convention if you didn’t have fan engagements with the artists to go to. That changed this year. Panels were more varied topically, a gaming competition was held, sponsors and exhibitors conducted lots of fun giveaway contests, more artists performed on the outdoor stage, and lots of popular YouTubers roamed the grounds taking pictures with subscribers and fans.

And in anticipation of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games, KCON brought lifesize versions of Soohorang, the white tiger mascot of the main Games, and Bandabi, the Asiatic Black Bear representative of the PyeongChang Paraolympics, for conventions goers to interact with throughout the two-day event.

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by Katherine Villalon

2017 was, indeed, the year of “more” at KCON NY. Always trailing behind the Los Angeles installment, KCON 2017 NY this year proved that it means business and that it’s only growing.


Also on KultScene: KCON 2017 NY’s ‘M! Countdown’ Day 1 Concert Recap

Convention

Bigger and better than ever, the convention portion of KCON 2017 NY was spread out. Which was nice on the second, breezier day, but Friday’s humidity was kind of a killer. That’s why the E-Sports Amazon tent made a lot of people happy with its air conditioning, giving people walking from one section of the con to another a break for a few minutes. There were a lot of vendors and fan-run booths, including our friends from ECKO with a mini K-pop art exhibit, but there were, sadly, less beauty booths than the previous year. There were still plenty of goodies, especially from Innisfree, which gave out free masks to people walking around with a unique voucher system.

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by Katherine Villalon

If convention goers began to feel famished, there was plenty of food to go around. The Let’s Enjoy K-Foo Event Zone gave out free samples of snacks and drinks as well as held games and dances to win even more yummy treats. And if you were looking for something a bit more instantaneous and fulfilling, there were also many food vendors selling both the usual festival food alongside Korean food and refreshing drinks.

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by Katherine Villalon

The convention stage set outside of the Prudential Center allowed convention goers and even attendees without convention passes to watch various acts throughout the day. Popular musical performers like JunCurryAhn and David Kim took the stage and made the audience swoon over their incredible cover songs, while dance troops 1MILLION and Canada based East2West pumped up the audience with their high-intensity dance routines. Recently disbanded Cocoa Avenue also held their last performance, and while it was rocky, the fans responded by singing along to their cover of Beenzino’s “Boogie On and On” and other original tracks.

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by Katherine Villalon

Panels & Workshops

Like last year, there was a variety of different panels that spanned from topics including fashion, dramas, and, of course, music. Fans were able to hear from figures that are prominent in their respective industries as well as other fans who are just as passionate about the topic they were speaking about. Talented writing and producing duo LDN Noise (who are responsible for hits like Shinwha’s “Sniper,” Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb,” and NCT 127’s “Fire Truck”) gave fan the inside look on how to produce a hit K-pop song and even broke down EXO’s song “Monster” into all of its underlying sounds and beats to see what the song was composed of.

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by Katherine Villalon

Kultscene’s very own Tamar Herman also participated in the “What Type of K-Pop Fan are You” to talk about the different types of fans there are along with popular YouTubers. And speaking of YouTubers, this year, KCON brought out more vloggers than ever before, including those residing in Korea like Edward Avila, Joan Kim, and Whitney Bae. There were also KCON regulars like JRE and Courtney and Jasmine from 2minjinkjongkey.

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by Katherine Villalon

The workshops this year hosted the usual beauty gurus and how-to cooking lessons but to change things up a bit they added a Paint Nite: KCON Style where people can bring out their inner Da Vinci was added. One of the more popular workshops was the Dance Workshop Stage. There, different choreographers gave step by step lessons to a variety of dance styles and choreographies. Also, popular dance studio 1MILLION held an intense dance battle against main choreographer Lia Kim, where the winner got a chance to dance with her.


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON 2017 Mexico [photos]

Red Carpet

To close out the convention portion of the event, the red carpet is the transition into the show for a few lucky fans who won the scratch off vouchers. This year, every act walked the carpet to greet fans, hold a quick Q&A, and talk about their outfit choices. Or at least that of their stylists.

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by Katherine Villalon

On the first day, the first to walk the red carpet was rookie group KNK, decked in white suits that accentuated their chic features and height. To poke fun at the situation, the guys struck some exaggerated poses for photographers and fans. They said they really wanted to come to KCON 2017 NY and that this was their first time in the city. (Despite being in Newark).

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by Katherine Villalon

Next up was R&B crooner Zion.T, whose red carpet stint was swift but memorable, and the fans went nuts cheering for him, making him break his composed demeanor and crack some smiles.

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by Katherine Villalon

The only girl group of the night, GFriend, walked next, wearing all black ensembles. Despite missing member Yerin, the rest of the girls were all smiles while at the red carpet.

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by Katherine Villalon

While it was SF9’s first time at KCON, the members expressed their nervousness yet excitement to be there. Donning school uniforms à la Produce 101 Season 2 with lime green lining, one of the members said: “It’s been five years since I graduated from high school, but it still feels good,” inciting giggles from the audience.

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by Katherine Villalon

The clear highlight of the red carpet was, of course, Highlight, who bickered on the red carpet over who was the most fashionable. At the end, however, they unanimously picked Junhyung, who was wearing a striped blazer and choker. All five members, however, sported shiny, dapper outfits that showcased their personalities.

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by Katherine Villalon

The next day, the MC for the red carpet was none other than U-KISS’ former member Kevin Woo. He did a fantastic job filling in the downtime before the event and in between artists, something that’s always awkward for the MCs, but Kevin knew how to work the crowd well. He also shared that he’s working on a comeback and hopes to come back to the States as a soloist. Being an idol himself, the audience shouted for him to twerk and even pressured him into singing and dancing “Signal,” after he declared himself a Twice fan boy and a Momo stan. “They’re all cute and adorable,” he clarified.

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by Katherine Villalon

This, and starting a fan chant, was the perfect transition to the first group, Twice. Known for their typical athleisure outfits, the girls wore ladylike outfits accessorized with shiny earrings. Asked the same fashion questions as the day before, Jihyo said all the members were fashionistas because everyone had different styles.

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by Katherine Villalon

After Twice, the mood changed a bit in the audience since most fanboys dipped once the group left. Now, it was up to the fan girls, who screamed their lungs out once UP10TION emerged. The nine members came out wearing colorful yet casual outfits, all different from one another but cohesive. The guys were excited to see their fans and even asked the crowd to watch their music videos a lot before going backstage.

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by Katherine Villalon

But no screams were louder than when rookie group NCT 127 came out. It was so loud that you couldn’t hear what the members or Kevin said. Other than their bright red outfits, the guys sported poker faces throughout the entire event and weren’t as lively as other groups.

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by Katherine Villalon

To end the red carpet portion of KCON 2017 NY, day two’s headliners CNBLUE shut the whole thing down with their charisma and style. In their case, bassist Jungshin was selected as the group’s fashionista, though said they were all fashionable. Jonghwa, being the resident English speaker, told fans they were all gorgeous with a huge smile, which melted more than a couple of hearts in the audience.

Check out the rest of the pictures from the red carpet and the convention:

Did you attend KCON 2017 NY? What was your favorite thing about it? Let us know 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.

Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum, Tamar Herman, and Katherine Villalon contributed to the writing of this article.

KCON 2017 NY’s ‘M! Countdown’ Day 1 Concert Recap

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KCON17NY

Almost exactly one year since it last hit the Prudential Center in New Yorks’s metropolitan area, KCON 2017 NY presented by Toyota returned once again this past weekend (June 23 and 24) for another two nights of star-studded M! Countdown performances. The Day 1 concert had rookie groups KNK and SF9 dancing on the same stage as the veteran “super rookie” group Highlight. Meanwhile hip-hop and R&B soloist Zion T. and girl group GFriend added diversity to the forever testosterone and pop-heavy lineup.

For some of the artists, it was their first time performing stateside altogether. But for all, their participation marked their debut onto the annual cross-cultural East Coast music festival scene that continues to bring the most devoted Hallyu fans out in droves. Not soon after concert goers filed in to occupy the arena seating and pit to catch the preshow – a fan dance battle moderated by special guest and former U-Kiss member Kevin Woo – had it been already time for the main event of the night. At promptly 7:30 PM, the show kicked off with its trademark “Let’s KCON” motto.


Also on Kultscene: KCON 2017 Mexico’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap

Ascending in front of a very fitting backdrop of nebulae and celestial bodies, the vertically superior KNK opened with their most recent single “Sun, Moon, Star,” a song which they later explained was about broken up lovers. The quintet delivered the anguish that such a song demands, and decked out in resplendent white suits, they looked and sounded like they were not only a year into their careers. This only became apparent once they moved on from their debut song “Knock” straight into their already final track “Day N Night,” reminding audiences that their discography still has room to grow. The latter is a personal favorite, and since it was never promoted as a single, was a pleasant surprise to their terse setlist. I think lead rapper Heejun was doing all of us a public good when he put up his own mic to lead vocalist Youjin when he hit that high note during the bridge.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

It really would not be a KCON without its collaborative stages, and this year seemed to have been Broadway musical-themed (a tip of the hat to good ol’ New York City) as Yuju of GFriend and Dongwoon of Highlight united in a rendition of Beauty and the Beast’s “Tale As Old As Time.” It was definitely an oicwydt moment seeing the gorgeous GFriend member work in perfect harmony with the former “Beast” member. The no-frills duet relied solely on their immaculate vocals, all the while keeping the number subdued without sounding boring.

Up next was SF9, a boy group who I admittedly made the mistake of overlooking going into the concert. From the moment they set the venue aflame with their latest song “Easy Love,” the amount of proud fans clothed in unofficial merchandise and holding up support banners for the group who have not even seen their one year anniversary yet just made sense. The first real “dance” group coming out of FNC Entertainment, an agency typically known for their favoritism towards bands in the truest sense of the word, they did not disappoint. How they are able to execute their razor-sharp choreography without sound breathy is still beyond me, and after seeing the nine-piece group perform in the flesh, I can affirm that the aphorism about how one does not learn to appreciate a song until it is done live was about SF9.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

Not only that, the SF9 boys also proved that they are kings of fanservice when three members serenaded and competed for a girl indiscriminately chosen from the general audience. Poor girl seemed torn between her suitors, so the proposal ended in a draw. Despite this, the group managed to reel back into full performance mode, completing their set with their debut single “Fanfare,” followed by “Roar.”

The girl group representatives of the night, GFriend (sans Yerin who had individual schedules overseas), made their entrance with a powerful dance break in their signature uniformed-inspired look, compensating for KCON’s serious dearth of female acts. They continued the trend of opening with the most recent single and plunged right into disco and synth blend hit “Fingertip.” An exciting song to match the equally high-spirited mood.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

Unfortunately, as the proceeding “Navillera” transitioned into “Me Gustas Tu” into “Rough,” the rest of their set felt a little like one mega ditty playing up the naiveté of youth rather than three separate and unique songs. Not hating the high school concept trilogy, it’s just that a better setlist that showcased greater variety or another song inter-spliced between the ones could have avoided this misfortune. That aside, audiences still received kindly to the more than stable vocals, synchronized dances, and charms of these girl crushes.

It’s always interesting to see how a solo artist can manage to keep the momentum of crowds going, and with no group dynamic to fall back on, the pressure is certainly on. But Zion.T, draped in what looks like could be his dad’s baggy suit and traipsing his way towards a grand piano, exuded pure professionalism and cool, calm collectedness not witnessed in other acts seen thus far. There, he introduced “Complex,” before moving onto “The Song” off of the same OO album. He already impresses with his distinct voice and frictionless croons, but when he brings out his inner rapper as well, he’s just being unfair.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

The man also displayed a subtle sense of humor when he inquired if audiences knew his penultimate song for the night, “Eat” (“you know, like yum, yum, yum eat?”). Unsurprisingly, he closed with the iconic “Yanghwa Bridge,” a sluggish track that is perfect for not only evening commutes home, but also for bringing together a group of disparate peoples in chorus. Not a single person in attendance was not singing either “haengbokhaja” (“Let’s be happy”) or “apeuji malgo” (“Don’t be sick”) of the lyrics’ sweet words to his family. Zion.T’s strength lies in the fact that his slow-tempo songs always have those couple of phrases that are easy to follow along, guaranteeing audience participation. He knows this too as he played conductor, and took advantage of the whole extended stage. Only Zion.T could ever do what Zion.T does best.

The show could have concluded right then, and everyone would have been okay with it, however it did not. SF9 reappeared onto the stage for an unexpected special performance of EXO’s “Call Me Baby” and BTS’s “Boy in Luv,” which was probably KCON’s way of saying “Hey, I know we could not give you guys the two hottest K-pop groups at the moment, but here’s a cover.” In any event, audiences welcomed the familiar tunes and dances in vociferous cheers.


Also on Kultscene: KCON 2016 NY’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap

Rounding off the first night was finally Highlight, who hit the ground running with “Plz Don’t Be Sad.” Outfitted in white long coats with personalized names on the back (Dongwoo’s appropriately had “Guapo” monogrammed), they had as much fun with the performance as audiences did dancing along to the ridiculously fun hook. It was not even their last song, but streamers already rained down as if it was. Though “Calling You,” the group’s most recent release, was another obvious pick, it felt lowkey and paled in comparison to the former song. I would rather they have traded it out for “Can You Feel It?,” the eponymous track off of their first album post-rebranding, which would have offered tighter cohesion considering the other dance songs of the headliner’s setlist. That, and I just would have really like to see “Can You Feel It?” live once, you know?

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

After exhausting their narrow discography as Highlight, the second generational group moved older fans with “Yey,” one of their more underrated bops that had the crowd on their feet even if they did not agree in the fine workmanship that went into producing the EDM track. They dug back further in their bag of tricks to also unveil the 2014 hit “Good Luck” and 2012 summer anthem “Beautiful Night,” which best describes what the evening was after their stellar performances. They had nothing but their fans in mind as they switched between their parts and tossing out plushies and taking selfies with the phones of some lucky individuals. A personal aside, but it brings me immense joy to know that a group that was once upon a time my first bias group still got it. Beast or Highlight, this is a band that simply knows what it takes to put on a show.

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Courtesy of CJ E&M

And like that, the night had finished without a hitch. Though Day One of the two-part event was now officially over, there was still a Day Two to go to. While fans were entertained by the mirthful pop songs, intricate choreography, and earnest attempts at communication of the artists, they were already looking forward to what was in store for the upcoming day. After all, what better way to fill the void left behind by post-concert depression than with another concert?

Did you attend KCON 17 NY? What’s your favorite KCON artist? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Inside KCON 2017 Mexico [photos]

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Curtesy of CJ E&M

Given the brand’s success in Los Angeles and New York, expectations were at an all time high for KCON 2017 Mexico — the first in not only the country, but also in all of Latin America. While most first installments of KCON in a new country last one single day, the convention and M! Countdown concert were held at the Mexico City Arena for two days, Mar. 16 and 17, and saw 33,000 attendees. And how could the turnout not be this big when the convention portion was free and the concert roster included BTS, Monsta X, Red Velvet, NCT 127, Eric Nam, EXID, Astro, and INFINITE H? They were aiming big and hit it big.

Being the first year, KCON 2017 Mexico did not run perfectly. But the lows most certainly did not overshadow the highs. There’s a lot of room for improvement, of course, but KCON Mexico probably started out more smoothly than its LA and NY counterparts. The convention was small and held little events, but at each one, fans enjoyed the most out of them.

Convention

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by Alejandro Abarca

Since the concerts would be held at the Mexico City Arena, the convention had to be held somewhere closeby. And like early KCON LAs, the convention took place at the top floor of the venue’s parking lot. Unfortunately, this didn’t make for the most accessible nor spacious. The line to get into the convention circled the actual arena and lead up about three flights of stairs. Moreover, most of the vendors were cramped together. It did work, however, given that there was no other space available around that could fit a convention of this size.

The vendors, though limited, carried everything a K-pop fan would want to buy. From popular K-beauty brands like Tony Moly and CJ IMC, to local stores selling K-pop merch. The food options were also scarce, but it covered the all basics like kimbap, topokki, mandu, and diverse dessert options.

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by Alejandro Abarca

Viki and DramaFever were also both there, offering freebies and fun games to the attendees. The dance workshop space was big, which was ideal, especially when popular YouTubers Jun Curry Ahn and JRE went on stage to learn the choreography for BTS’ “Not Today.”

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by Alejandro Abarca


Also on KultScene: KCON 2017 Mexico’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap

Panels & Workshops

Panels and workshops were also scarce, with only one tent dedicated to each. But as aforementioned, this was the first installment of KCON Mexico, so it’s expected.

What wasn’t expected, however, is the fans reactions to popular YouTubers and influencers. Fans coming out of the fan engagements crying and huddling with each other to share their fan cams were a common sight, and it’s something that happens a lot in KCON LA and NY too. In Mexico though, fans would cry, scream, and follow all the YouTubers on panels and workshops like if they were idols themselves.

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by Alejandro Abarca

During KenroVlogs’ panel, fans crowded the small stage and stood on the chairs to get the best look at him. Other fans waited outside the panelists’ lounge, waiting for JRE, and Jun Curry Ahn, and pretty much everyone who might be inside, chanting their names, hoping they come outside. And they did. Sometimes.

Viki hosted a couple of panels throughout both days centered on the contrast between the Mexican and Korean cultures — with a K-drama focus, of course. A few of their Mexican subbers talked about their experiences working for them and about their favorite dramas. They also talked about the disparity of them with Mexican telenovelas. Fans during the questions portion largely called them “vulgar” and non-creative, and expressed their desire for a much needed revamp. DramaFever, for their part, also hosted a workshop with one of the stars of their drama Oh My Grace, which they produced.

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by Alejandro Abarca

On another panel, Mexican YouTubers Double Trouble en Corea came all the way from Korea for the event and were also received by many passionately screaming fans who wanted to take pictures with them. For their panel, the sister duo disproved a lot of myths that fans have about living in Korea and K-pop idols. They also talked about what they most miss about Mexico and the Korean amenities and lifestyle options they can no longer live without (namely, the fast internet).

Red Carpet

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by Alejandro Abarca

A classic portion of every KCON is the red carpet, when all the artists performing that night come out to quickly greet fans and the media in their best outfits right before the show. However, in recent years, it’s become the place to see the SM Entertainment artists up close, given that they don’t have fan engagement events (or at least not since EXO and f(x) at KCON LA 2013).

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by Alejandro Abarca

Compared to other KCONs in LA and NY, the red carpet in Mexico was rushed, but at the same time, the artists were so spaced out among them that the MC, Korean Lover Joon, often ran out of things to say to the audience. Each artist answered around one question or two from the MC, posed rapidly for the cameras and fans, and then left. The concerts didn’t start until an hour and a half or two after the end of the red carpet, so maybe they needed to eat? Rest? Who knows…

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by Alejandro Abarca


Also on KultScene: KCON 2017 Mexico’s M! Countdown Day 2 Concert Recap

Viki Event

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by Alejandro Abarca

After KCON 2017 Mexico ended, Viki held an almost secret K-drama and K-pop party on Mar. 18 at Coffee KKot. Fans who were lucky enough to cop a free ticket were treated to breakfast and coffee, plus a bunch of K-pop and K-drama related games. Not to mention some of the most screamed after YouTubers at KCON like Latina Saram and KenroVlogs hosted mini fan meets, where fans got to take pictures with them and win awesome prizes.

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by Alejandro Abarca

Check out the rest of the pictures from KCON 2017 Mexico, including all the red carpet ones.

Have you ever attended any of the KCONs around the world? Share your thoughts and experience 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.

KCON 2017 Mexico’s M! Countdown Day 2 Concert Recap

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by Alejandro Abarca

When KCON arrives in a new city for the first time, they generally hold just one concert night. Not in Mexico City, though. For the inaugural installment, KCON 2017 Mexico hosted two M! Countdown shows. And while more fans showed up the day prior to support BTS, concertgoers there to see Monsta X, Red Velvet, Astro, INFINITE H, and Eric Nam (yes, again!) also witnessed an awesome show on Mar. 18.

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by Alejandro Abarca

The pre-show kicked off just like previous installments of KCON in the US have, with a performance of violinist and YouTuber Jun Curry Ahn. This time around he played Crush’s “Beautiful,” which is the OST for the drama Goblin. He also played BTS’ “Spring Day.”

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by Alejandro Abarca

The first artist up for the second and last night of KCON Mexico was Astro, who started out their set with “Breathless.” Their stage’s graphics were a huge pop of color, which complemented their concept perfectly, as well as their songs. And other than singing “Only You” and a ballad, they performed “Should’ve Held On,” revealing that it was the first time they’d perform the song.

eric nam wendy red velvet kcon mexico kpop

by Alejandro Abarca

For KCON Mexico’s second night, Eric Nam came back to serve primarily as the official MC. But after Astro, Red Velvet’s Irene and Seulgi came out to present the next performers: fellow member Wendy and Eric. The singers performed their SM Station song “Sweet Love,” and said it was the first time they’d performed it together. This performance lead to Eric’s solo performance, which meant that, though not officially announced, he performed both KCON nights. And even if he didn’t deliver a full set, he performed “Can’t Help Myself” and “Heaven’s Door,” which he didn’t do the previous night. For the latter’s performance, however, he didn’t have a guest rapper to stand in for Loco this time and just danced through it.

eric name wendy red velvet kcon mexico 2017 kpop

by Alejandro Abarca


Also on KultScene: KCON 2017 Mexico’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap

Cutely struggling through her Spanish lines, Wendy served as the MC for this portion of the show and introduced the next performer, Monsta X. A highly anticipated performance of the night, the group’s set started out with Jooheon and IM’s fiery rendition of “That’s My Future.” This perfectly set the pace for their entire set, because that’s what a Monsta X performance is: lit. The rest of the members joined the rappers on stage and delved into “Fighter,” “Trespass,” and “Hero.”

And just like the first night, the “Piñata Time” segment made a comeback. Before the piñata spun, Monsta X were cracking jokes and stating their preference for the outcomes. Jooheon proudly declared, “I like kiss time,” in English. The winning mission, however, was love song, to which they sang “White Sugar.” But their performance had to end on a high note with just as much power as they’d started so they ended with “All In,” much to the delight of screaming fangirls at the mere sight of their exposed abs.

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by Alejandro Abarca

KCON Mexico had a sudden 180 degree switch up as the stage went from dark and manly-looking to an explosion of color and quirky graphics. Red Velvet sans Joy, who went back to Korea after their performance at SXSW in Texas for her drama shooting, immediately went into “Rookie” and “Dumb Dumb.” After this, the group gave — or at least attempted to — their greeting to the audience, but they were caught off guard an intense furor from the fans who chanted their names and screamed at the top of their lungs. The four girls looked both surprised and touched by the reception. They weren’t even the headliners but their fans had shown up in large numbers to support them.

This segued into “Piñata Time,” where their winning mission was “photo time.” Red Velvet gave the crowd many cute poses which, again, were received with loud approval. To close their set, the group’s final song was “Russian Roulette.” Even missing a member, Red Velvet did not miss a step or note, and covered Joy’s position in the choreographies.

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by Alejandro Abarca

One of the key elements of every KCON M! Countdown show are always the special stages. Eric talked about the massive popularity K-dramas have in Mexico, and mentioned a few of the most popular there. This talk lead to the aforementioned special stage. Singing “Beautiful” from the most popular drama in Mexico Goblin, Monsta X’s Kihyun gave an ethereal rendition of Crush’s heartfelt song.

hoya infinite h kpop kcon mexico 2017

by Alejandro Abarca

hoya infinite h kcon mexico 2017

by Alejandro Abarca

The last act of the night was INIFINITE’s rap line subgroup Infinite H. Their set started out with a video message from the rest of the members both introducing the duo and apologizing for not being there as a whole. As the video ended, a few purple spotlights appeared and Hoya came out with an interpretive dance rendition of Lukas Graham’s “7 Years.” Dongwoo followed up, together with their dancers, dancing to a Bruno Mars song.

dongwoo infinite h kcon mexico 2017

by Alejandro Abarca


Also on KultScene: 5 Fave Moments from Giriboy & Blacknut’s San Francisco Show

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by Alejandro Abarca

Infinite H kicked off their set with their latest release “Pretty,” which the audience waved their hands and sang along to. Even though the crowd didn’t know all of their songs, they still danced and swayed to “Without U” and “Special Girl.” Moreover, all the fangirls squealed with “Sorry I’m Busy,” one of their most rap heavy songs, to which they delivered plenty of body rolls.

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by Alejandro Abarca

And with that, the concert came to a close. Unlike the previous night, all the groups and Eric came out to wave the crowds goodbye. The INFINITE H members danced and grooved to other group’s songs, especially Monsta X. Astro, for their part, sang along to Red Velvet’s “Rookie” while pointing at themselves for being the super rookies they are. The all held hands and bowed out as millions of confetti dropped upon the audience. Most groups exited the stage after a short while, but INFINITE H stayed back to keep dancing and hug each other and deliver plenty of fan service.

astro kcon mexico 2017

by Alejandro Abarca

Considering it was the first installment, KCON Mexico surely delivered. They brought A-list groups who delivered top notch performances. Eric Nam deserves extra kudos for his Spanish skills, and Red Velvet gets an A for effort. INFINITE H and Monsta X gave their all in their choreographies, as did Red Velvet, whilst melting fanboys and girls’ hearts. And, of course, Astro made us cringe from the cuteness, proving to be a fun group to stan.

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by Alejandro Abarca

KCON Mexico ended setting the bar high. Higher than Los Angeles and New York did in their first installments, that’s for sure. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s show, as well as the upcoming LA and NY conventions. KCON Mexico set the tone for an awesome year and we can’t wait for the US KCONs this summer.

kcon mexico 2017 kpop red velvet astro infinite h eric nam monsta x

by Alejandro Abarca

What’s your favorite KCON Mexico act? Tell us what you think 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 Fave Moments from Giriboy & Blacknut’s San Francisco Show

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On Mar. 25, Korean hip-hop stars, Giriboy and Blacknut came to San Francisco and conquered the stage at one of the hottest night clubs, The Grand. Giriboy and Blacknut first gained international fame when they joined the cast of Korea’s Number one hip-hop show Show Me The Money and have been making waves ever since. Although the concert didn’t start until midnight, the dance floor was filled with fans hours before the show who were ready to party with their favorite Korean rappers! The whole show was amazing but here are some of our favorite moments.

The Club Atmosphere

The room was jammed packed with people and bright lights, with the DJ playing the latest hits as confetti fell from the ceiling. It was the perfect environment for the energetic duo that was about to hit the stage. By the time the opening talent for the K Hip Hop Fest started, the crowd was already wild!

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Also on KultScene: KCON 2017 Mexico’s M! Countdown Day 1 Concert Recap

Giriboy’s Stealthiness

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The Grand, although big, offered a very intimate stage where fans were just a couple feet away from the performers. Since there were VIP tables all around the stage, all of the opening rappers were up there hanging out and having a good time when, although there was a very clear route to the stage, Giriboy seemed to appear out of thin air. Everyone gasped and then yelled ‘Giriboy!’ once they realized he was on stage. His presence commanded the room and just like the best things in life, he appeared out of nowhere and was gone quicker than we could imagine.

Blacknut’s Antics: ‘My name is GD’

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Blacknut’s antics were everything we could dream of and more! When he came on stage, the amount of energy he brought with him was intense. The whole crowd was so hyped! However, nothing could prepare us for what he had in store. As Blacknut started his set he introduced himself by saying “Hi, my name is GD… Ladies, if you think I’m hot just throw me your bra!”

 


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That Giriboy/Blacknut Duo!

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When Giriboy said ‘last song’, the whole crowd was sad. But that quickly ended as we received a pleasant surprise: the beginning of Blacknut’s set and the night’s hottest collaboration. The pair put on an amazing performance of the Giriboy classic “Rain Showers,” which got the whole crowd going crazy!

Blacknut Shirtless: No Musele

 No that is not a typo. Blacknut continued to surprise us as the night went on. The most unforgettable moment was when he took off his shirt and revealed his bare skin with a special message on his abs, ‘No Musele.’ Even if you don’t have any muscles, Blacknut, we still love you!

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What’s your favorite Giriboy and/or Blacknut song? Tell us what you think 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.