K-pop teaser rocks catwalk
By no stretch of the imagination would I consider myself a K-pop fan. I know a sprinkling of hit songs and a couple of the more well-known groups, but that's about it. So I went to the K-Music 2012 Youth's Ambition Concert at CotaiArena in Macau with an open mind, an open ear and whatever information Wikipedia had about the six acts.
The seven-man group U-Kiss got things started with an energetic four-song set. Dressed in black, the boys danced to the accompaniment of smoke effects, lasers and flashing lights. After the second song Neverland, they greeted the crowd; fans went wild when Kevin spoke some Cantonese. They finished with 0330 and Man Man Ha Ni, which was performed from a catwalk.
Next up were B1A4. The quintet started with two songs, Beautiful Target and My Love, greeted the audience, then sang two more songs on the catwalk. I began to sense a pattern.
Miss A, the only female group on the bill, followed. They sang their hit singles Goodbye Baby and Breathe before doing a rather disappointing rendition of Lady Gaga's Poker Face.
By the time Kim Hyung-jun, the lone solo artist in the show, took the stage, the audience had settled down and cheers were less frequent.
The crowd was brought back to life when eight-member band Ze:a entered to do their thing. Their bass-heavy songs and strobe lights would've woken the dead. A definite highlight was when Kim Dong-jun ran off the stage and did a flying roundhouse kick onto the catwalk during Mazeltov.
The last act, Infinite (pictured), got the loudest cheers, and it was easy to see why. The seven men, clad in white suits, had the best vocals and dance moves of the night. They had the crowd on their feet and singing along during their entire performance.
There were so many acts that the concert felt a like a preview of lesser-known K-poppers. Just as you started to enjoy the set, the group would sing their last song.
Much like K-pop, the show had a formula: come out, sing, introduce members, tell the crowd you love them (love was a common theme throughout the night), sing two more songs on the catwalk, then thank you and good night.
That's not to say the concert wasn't entertaining. The pulsing beats can get anyone moving, but I can't say the show made me like K-pop any more - or any less.