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

bts kcon new york 2016

Courtesy of CJ E&M

If KCON 2016 NY presented by Toyota’s day one concert was a blast, the follow up M! Countdown show closed the event off with a bang. Held at Newark’s Prudential Center on June 25, the night prior was visibly not sold out, with whole sections of the nose-bleeds empty. That changed the second night, though, and it was all thanks to a certain K-pop boy group with a massive American fandom…

Mamamoo Shows K-Pop Girl Group’s Aren’t Just Sexy Or Cute

But KCON is not just about the boys, and Mamamoo proved it. It’s a rare sight when a girl group draws screams from men and women alike, and this K-pop quartet is one of those that appeal to everyone. Singing their hits “You’re the Best,” “Mr. Ambiguous,” “Taller than You,” “Piano Man,” and “Um Oh Ah Yeh,” the girls sang mostly (with exception to the last one) without a back up track, slaying the stellar vocals they are known for.

mamamoo kcon new york 2016

Courtesy of CJ E&M


Also on KultScene: Inside KCON 16 NY [PHOTOS]

Eric Nam Tries to be a Stud. Fails

A KCON LA regular for fan engagements and MCing, Eric Nam was finally part of the concert lineup. And how could he not, given that he’s a fan favorite in the States and he’s dominating the charts in Korea with his latest releases? Eric kicked off his set by cheesily giving out roses to fans before jumping right into “Good For You.” Unlike the playful and dorky personality he showed in “After School Club” and everything else he appears in or talks on, Eric turned the male soloist grease on. It might have worked for him if fans had not known his true colors, but he did take the opportunity to show off his improved vocal range with “I’m Okay” and “Heaven’s Door.” Plus, once the music was off, it was regular Eric who made fun of fans for screaming when he drank water. Moreover, even if he gets teased a lot for it, fans in the US love “Ohh Ohh,” which Eric said he was unaware of. And after apologizing for not including it in the set and promising to perform it in the future, he closed his set with his newest release that has been gaining non-K-pop American attention, “Into You.”

eric nam kcon 2016 new york

Courtesy of CJ E&M

Day6: Korean Alt-Rock Band. Period

Another highly anticipated act of the two-day concert was Day6, which was reflected by the screams and squeals from fans once the screen lifted and five shadows behind their instruments appeared. When the arena was booming with the melancholic sound of “Letting Go,” it was all coming out of the guys’ instruments; no backing track necessary. Day6 made it a point to show that they’re a legit band, jamming through “Congratulations” and “Freely,” off of their first album.

But one of the night’s highlights was the special stage prepared by Day6. After a very awkward introduction by the returning MC’s Rap Monster and Ailee that included the former briefly imitating BIGBANG T.O.P’s rap, the JYP Entertainment band performed what they called “Day6-style” covers of CNBLUE’s “I’m a Loner,” Big Bang’s “Lies,” and Wonder Girls’ “Nobody.” For the last one, Mamamoo ascended to the stage to help the guys out with the chorus, making it a truly memorable performance for the books.

day6 kcon new york 2016

Courtesy of CJ E&M


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

Kids Watch Their Parents Kiss Thanks to Ailee & Eric Nam

Also delivering a special collaboration stage were BFF’s Ailee and Eric Nam. Who knows who made the executive decision to have these two friends perform Soyou and Junggigo’s “Some,” but they did. And it was awkward. So awkward that, after Eric opened a car door for Ailee, holding hands, and telling each other “you’re mine,” they burst out laughing as soon as the song ended and declared it was “weird.” Their friendship is well-known, but still, it was a funny experience, and fans got to see their playful and natural interactions as they introduced the night’s headliners.

BTS was KCON’s Main Attraction & They Knew It

bts kcon new york ny 2016 16 concert review pictures

Courtesy of CJ E&M

To say the Prudential Center went in uproar once BTS came on stage is an understatement. Fans and non-fans alike went insane once the first beat of “Fire” blasted through the speakers. It was lit. Bangtan killed their choreography throughout the whole set, especially with their latest release “Save Me.” Not to mention that, with no backup track, they delivered fierce raps and outstanding vocals, all while not missing a step. That night was the BTS show and they guys knew it. KCON sets are generally comprised of the latest release plus the greatest hits, but Bangtan knew their fans made up the majority of the audience so instead of going with the singles, they performed their b-sides “Boys With Fun” and “Cypher pt. 3.” Once again, the crowd went berserk. And to close the whole event on the highest note possible, their last song was “Dope,” which embodies what their whole set and the last night of KCON was.

Did you attend KCON NY? Share your experience and favorite moments with us 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 16 NY [PHOTOS]

KCON16NYFEAT

After braving uncharted waters on the east coast, KCON 16 NY presented by Toyota proved it’s only getting bigger and better. Growing from its freshmen installment, KCON New York (held in New Jersey due to proximity) hosted two days of convention and concerts, allowing fans to meet more artists, vendors, panelists, and more, than they did last year. Held in what is becoming the hub of K-pop concerts in New York’s metro area, Newark’s Prudential Center, on June 24 and 25, KCON proved that they mean to make the east coast event as grand as the LA one has grown into over the years.

Throughout the weekend, fans practically littered the streets; partaking in all of the events and festivities while waiting for the evening concerts or fan engagements that occurred throughout the day. Even if con-goers didn’t plan on attending the concerts, KCON was a great place to experience not only K-pop, but also everything that comes with the Hallyu wave; such as dramas, food, and other products. KCON 2016 in New York was definitely a step up and in the right direction from last year while still keeping to its roots in providing “All Things Hallyu.”

by Katherine Villalon

by Katherine Villalon

Expo

One very noticeable difference was the amount and the variety of booths available this year. Seeing the great turn-out from the past year, many vendors and groups set up not only to sell fan-made good and band merchandise but also expanded into Korean goods and cosmetics. Each booth offered something a little different; from fun games and karaoke sessions to free food samples, raffles, and prizes. The Toyota tent was the largest and housed a DJ that provided music for all of the convention goers to listen and dance along to. Groups of fans were able to come together and danced in-sync to all of the latest K-pop hits.

by Katherine Villalon

by Katherine Villalon

New to this year’s KCON was an outdoor convention stage which hosted performances and games throughout the weekend. Not to mention there was a makeshift food court where festival goers could indulge on Korean street snacks and other random food-truck fare.


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

Panels & Workshops

by Katherine Villalon

by Katherine Villalon

The marketplace was not the only thing in the convention to double in size, there were also larger panel and workshop tents to accommodate the growing crowd. This year’s panels offered opportunities to hear industry insiders (including Kultscene’s very own co-founders Alexis and Tamar who made their debuts as KCON panelists at “Evolution of K-Pop Music,” “Cross Cultural Clashes In Hallyu,” and “From K-Pop Fan to K-Pop Professional”), popular YouTubers (such as Nutty Nomads), and producers (like SM Entertainment’s iDR) talk about the latest K-pop and Drama trends, as well as address social issues within the community. The workshops held by Soko Glam and Glow Recipe gave fans a chance at hands on experience with Korean beauty products and routines, as well as making popular Korean snacks.

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

by Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum

Fan Engagements

If the free convention or the concert didn’t coax fans into attending KCON NY, then it’s the fan engagements. Available to the right ticket and scratch card holders, the fan engagements usually consists of a Q&A session followed by a hi-touch event, offering a wonderful opportunity for fans to interact with their faves.

But be warned! More time will be spent waiting in line than at the actual fan engagement. While one artist is holding their fan engagement session, a line is already snaking around the side of the Prudential Center’s Barnabas Health Hockey House for the next. Attendees with hi touch passes were let in first, followed by those with audience passes, who tragically were only able to participate in the Q&A session but not the hi fiving with their idols.

With Day6, as one of the group’s native English speakers, Jae naturally did the most talking. The boys spoke about how they wanted to visit the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building during their stay in the New York metropolitan area (“I know it sounds super tourist-y but we haven’t seen it so…” says Jae) and how they were looking forward to their first U.S. performance at KCON before moving onto the main event — the hi-touches. It was over as soon as it started, but they didn’t leave without huddling together with fans in the background for a few selca (self camera) shots on their selfie sticks to commemorate the event.

Right after Day6’s fan engagement was conveniently Mamamoo’s and, while it was delayed due to the girls being stuck at rehearsals, that didn’t deter audiences from welcoming the members as boisterously as they did. Ardent fans waved their official lightsticks shaped like radishes, while one innovative individual twirled theirs constructed out of a cardboard box and giant cutouts of the girl’s faces, when the group decked out in their stage outfits finally made their appearance. In order to make up for lost time, the Q&A was abruptly cut short to allow hi-touches to go underway.

Red Carpet

Last year, KCON NY didn’t host a red carpet, so fans were more than pleased to learn that, like LA, they would have a chance to watch the artists performing that night, as well as special guests like actors Im Si Wan (also known as a member of the boy band ZE:A) and Park Bo Young. Danny Im, from the “Danny from LA” Mnet show and ‘90s group 1TYM, hosted the event.

by Katrina Lobaton

by Katrina Lobaton

The first group up was SEVENTEEN, whose size forced Danny had to move around quite a bit to talk to all the 13 members. Next up, BTOB talked about… their shorts… and expressed their excitement to perform in New York for the first time. With this group, Danny struggled a bit with the translation, but not with Im Si Wan who shined for his effort and clarity speaking English.

by Katrina Lobaton

by Katrina Lobaton

Looking dapper, Crush rolled on the red carpet wearing a crisp suit and shared his nervousness over performing on stage by himself. Last year he had Zion. T to accompany him in LA, but this year he was riding solo. Same thing with Dynamic Duo, who also wore suits that made them look very classy and enhanced their charisma. They even said that they were excited about trying the chicken and rice halal truck.

by Katrina Lobaton

by Katrina Lobaton

But one of the night’s highlights was Ailee, given this was the first time the Jersey native was performing in her hometown. As per usual, the singer was all smiles when greeting everyone in attendance. She hinted at a possible collaboration with her friend and fellow performer Eric Nam, which fans got to witness the next night at the concert. Lastly, the “Oh My Ghostess” actress Park Bo Young received DramaFever’s Best Actress Award on stage and expressed her gratitude to the fans for watching the drama.

by Katrina Lobaton

by Katrina Lobaton


Also on KultScene: Let’s Discuss: Park Yoochun & The Changing Perception Of Leading Men in K-Dramas

The next night, the red carpet hosted less attendees. Despite the fact that the guys of BTS and Day6 would be attending, it seemed fans were more interested in getting a good spot in the venue. First up were the lovely ladies of Mamamoo. Decked in amazingly cute outfits, they talked about this being their first time in New York and raved about Shake Shack. Then, the KCON LA regular but first time performer Eric Nam strolled down the red carpet looking as cheerful as ever, cracking jokes, also talked about Shake Shack, and overall expressed his excitement to perform by jumping around.

by Katrina Lobaton

by Katrina Lobaton

Looking enthusiastic but slightly tired, the next act up was Day6. Being the jokesters that they are, the members challenged each other to speak English, making fans laugh. However, things got crazy once BTS came out. Emulating Crush and Dynamic Duo, Bangtan also came out in suits. While Suga showed lots of love to the US Army, V looked a little out of it, and Rap Monster obviously did most of the talking.

by Katrina Lobaton

by Katrina Lobaton

Check out the rest of the pictures from KCON 16 NY, including more from the red carpet, here:

Did you attend KCON NY? Share your experience with us 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.

Katrina Lobaton, Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum, Katherine Villalon, Shelley Foo, and Tamar Herman contributed to the reporting and writing of this article.