Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Billboard KPop Masters: My Experience

Hello once again! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I spent my weekend in my home away from home, Las Vegas to attend the 2011 Billboard KPop Masters in the MGM Grand Garden Arena! The concert was originally scheduled for 1 night, but got stretched for 2 nights by popular demand. This is a recap for the 2nd concert, which featured SHINee for one night only!

Preshow: An estimated 8,000 fans were in attendance for this event.

Merchandise stands offered 2 types of event posters: signed and not signed. The pre-autographed posters available for purchase were either from G.NA or Brown Eyed Girls. T-shirts of this concert were also sold. Inside the arena, there was another table that gave away or sold rings that light up, but there were no glow sticks. However, two Shawols (SHINee fans) handed away pearl colored balloons to other fans.

Around 8PM, anticipation among the crowd escalated even higher. Just the slightest flicker of the stage lights was enough to stir people into a frenzy. Hundreds of fans ran from the bleachers and rushed near the center stage, eager to see their favorite idols up close!

Finally, all big screens up in the ceiling showed a 10 minute countdown to the show.

 Around the last five minutes, all of the lights shut off as everyone focused on a winding clock while screaming their heads off. After the 10 second warning, there was a highlight of all famous KPop groups and dates of their debut.

This timeline ended with a message that welcomed everyone to the first annual Billboard KPop Masters concert!

Concert: Who was the first act in the show? The first performers are one of the most popular bands out there: BEAST!

Unfortunately, Kikwang wasn't there for some reason. BEAST opened up the show with 4 songs: "Soom 'Breath'," "Shock," "Fiction," and "Beautiful."

The group took their time to introduce themselves and chit chat with their fans in between songs. Dongwoon communicated to his fans in English. Provided below is a video of their song, "Beautiful." (Author's note: I'm very sorry about the shaky picture)

The second act was a girl group that are increasing in potential and popularity: SISTAR!

SISTAR also sang 4 songs for this concert: "How Dare You," "Ma Boy," "So Cool," and "The Real Party."

In between songs, not only did the group introduce themselves; Dasom spoke to the audience in English (Author's comment: "Dasom's English is really cute!"). I also recorded a short video of SISTAR singing "So Cool" before my camera gave up:

G.NA was next on stage. She shared a special announcement that 11/26 marked her 500th Anniversary in the KPop industry!

Her speeches for the night in between performances were very sweet and sincere. G.NA sang some of her hit songs including: "Black & White," "Banana," "I'll Back Off So You Could Live Better" rewritten into "Baby You Can Say Goodbye (eng. version)" feat. Junhyung, and "Top Girl."

Following G.NA is another band that has a lot of talent: MBLAQ!

Their first song of the night was a summer smash hit, "Mona Lisa." The group then proceeded to introduce themselves in English. The member who received the most ovation that night was Lee Joon. MBLAQ also performed 3 other songs that night in the following order: "Y," "Stay," and "Oh Yeah."

The fan girls loved Lee Joon even more when he did the "ab dance," while singing "Oh Yeah."

Keeping up the momentum was 4Minute.

"Mirror Mirror" was the first song they performed.

Then they introduced themselves as a group and individually. Hyuna was the most popular member that night based on cheers she received.

The 3 other songs 4Minute sang live were: "I My Me Mine," "Muzik," and "Hot Issue."

The next performers were another girl group: Brown Eyed Girls.

The ladies wasted no time to sing perhaps their most popular song today, "Abracadabra!"

Miryo was in charge of speaking to their fans in perfect English. B.E.G. also performed "Hot Shot," "The Ugly Truth," and "Sixth Sense."

SHINee was up next as they were welcomed with the loudest ovation from the crowd.

SHINee also sang 4 songs that night: "Replay," "Ring Ding Dong," "Hello," and "Lucifer."

SHINee spoke to their fans in Korean, which didn't matter because the crowd still cheered them on even if most of them cannot understand/speak Korean.

Wrapping up the concert was TVXQ! The duo performed the following songs: "MAXIMUM," "Before You Go," "Keep Your Head Down," and "Rising Sun."

U-Know Yunho earned the biggest reaction out of the two in between songs when he said, "Hello Las Vegas!" in English. Unlike SHINee, TVXQ did have a translator to interpret their other verbal expressions.

After the last performance, everyone gathered together on stage to wave good bye to Vegas and ceremoniously thank everyone who attended.

Author's Comments: This was my first authentic KPop concert experience and I did not go home disappointed! My reservations against the least favored groups were quickly changed as soon as I saw their charisma on stage. There wasn't one dull moment that night and everyone brought their 'A' game with them. I have to give a huge thanks to SHINee for showing up in Las Vegas the night after their concert in Japan. Their jet lag did not show one bit, which is very professional. Jonghyun blew me away with his powerful vocals when he sang "Lucifer." He held that note for a long time, which gave me chills. I also have to give credit other great vocalists like Yoseob, G.O., Hyorin, G.NA, and Jea. All of them hit their high notes perfectly without a slight crack in their voice. I encourage anyone to sit in any point of a building to hear these fantastic singers reach those great notes in front of you. They left me speechless. I also felt honored to celebrate G.NA's 500th day anniversary by attending this concert and cheering her on. This fantastic night inspired me to save my money in case another big KPop concert happens near home. Well, that's all I can remember. Thank you for dropping by, and I'll try to deliver more KPop related posts!

Feel free to suggest a topic you'd like The Rave Corner to address in the future posts. All anonymous comments are allowed, you do not need to be a registered google member to leave messages.

I want to apologize that there weren't any photos of TVXQ and videos of the other artists. My stubborn camera couldn't record any more than what I've provided. In addition to that inconvenience, the rechargeable battery died in the middle of SHINee's performance and there wasn't a spare with me. I was really disappointed. This lesson taught me the importance of having another battery as a backup. I'd also like to thank my cousin, who was also there, for provided more pictures and videos to use.

I should also apologize to all the viewers who think the videos and pictures provided are terrible. Unless you're with any associated press, a common fan wasn't allowed to carry "professional" cameras with him/her. In other words only usual digital camera's (valued $100) were allowed, not the ones with decked out lenses and other HQ features (anything valued above $200). There is ZERO tolerance for commercialism, so the best quality pictures fans can take look similar to mine.

Author's Favorite Song(s) Performed Live By Each Group/Soloist For That Night:
  • BEAST - Fiction/Shock (tie)
  • SISTAR - So Cool
  • G.NA - Baby You Can Say Goodbye (eng. ver.) feat. Junhyung
  • MBLAQ - Mona Lisa
  • 4Minute - Mirror Mirror
  • Brown Eyed Girls - Sixth Sense
  • SHINee - Lucifer
  • TVXQ - Rising Sun
Bonus: As an added bonus, I'm providing some really short clips of the first two acts: BEAST and SISTAR. I guess you could call them blooper shots because I was still trying to operate my camera properly.



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