G-Dragon thanks himself on stage

Many have tried to psycho-analyse the enigma that is G-Dragon. Just what is the allure of K-pop boy band Big Bang's leader, who was born Kwon Ji Yong and has touted himself as being "one of a kind"?

Walls.

Thick, invisible, impenetrable walls.

That seemed to be the answer that resonated louder than the high-pitched screams of 7,000 fans at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last Saturday night.

Those who witnessed the G-Dragon 2013 World Tour: One Of A Kind concert would agree that breaking down the barriers that the Korean superstar had built around himself was just impossible.

Not that his passionate supporters didn't try.

G-Dragon's first solo gig here proved to be the first in K-pop history that featured an artist that was all about his craft.

Performing songs like Heartbreaker, One Of A Kind and Missing You, he did away with the usual K-pop "fan service".

The 24-year-old, who performed his second show on Sunday's night, didn't go into the crowd to shake hands or high-five his fans.

He didn't pick up the presents that fans threw onto the stage, even when the items landed accurately at his feet.

He didn't even throw his sweat-soaked towel into the audience, even as his fans' maniacal screams rose to alarming decibels when he wiped his forehead and mouth.

It wasn't that G-Dragon was stringing them along - the perfectionist looked simply too absorbed in getting everything right.

He also had the audacity to thank himself, which delighted the audience.

What he said on stage went something like this: "I would like to thank my crew, my Big Bang brothers, the Singapore VIPs (what Big Bang fans are called).

"And last but not least, I would like to thank G-D, one of a kind, yeah."

It wasn't surprising that G-Dragon seemed more comfortable performing with his sunglasses on.

Perhaps that was his safety net, a "shield" that allowed him to come alive on stage.

He was spectacular in his shades as he rapped and sung his way with finesse through R&B masterpieces like Crayon and Breathe.

But without his sunnies, he appeared vulnerable and delivered ballads like Butterfly, avoiding eye contact with the audience.

To some fans, he is so irresistible precisely because he is "hard to get".

Said 24-year-old retail sales executive Mindy Teh: "I really can't stand other K-pop singers who try to woo and flirt with their fans by using all these 'tactics' like throwing roses into the crowd.

"G-D is all about his music and it's so sexy to see him so passionate about it. This burning fire inside him makes his charm truly magnetic.

"He shows his love for us by putting in his all to deliver a spectacular show."

She added with a laugh: "It's funny, but I love it that he is reserved. I feel safe knowing that he won't be flirting with other fans elsewhere."

'Mysterious'

Fifteen-year-old student Woo Ching likened G-Dragon to "the mysterious guy in school who every girl wants to change into the romantic sort only for her".

She said: "Raw talent is why many people support G-D. He is also hard to understand - girls just go crazy for this kind of stuff."

Highlights of the concert included special guests, K-pop girl group 2NE1, who belted out hits like Fire and I'm The Best.

CL, Dara, Park Bom and Minzy brought the house down with their infectious energy and sassy dance moves.

G-Dragon had said on Saturday about the quartet: "The people that I wanted to work with on my tour had to be people who shared my vision.

"I also had to be confident that they were capable of delivering a great performance," he said, speaking through a translator at a press conference at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront hotel.

When asked who else he had wanted to work with, he cracked the roomful of journalists up by replying with a rare smile and a rarer moment of candour: "If I answer this, would you bring them here for me?"


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