YG FAMILY 2014 GALAXY TOUR: POWER
Jamsil Olympic Stadium, Seoul
When the familiar hypnotic groove of K-pop star Psy's international hit Gangnam Style comes on, it is almost a reflex reaction to bust out the song's iconic horse gallop dance moves.
That was what Psy and his 26 fellow artists, including boyband BigBang's G-Dragon, did at the curtain call of the YG Family concert in Seoul last Friday night. Enthusiastic fans among the 35,000-strong crowd at the massive Jamsil Olympic Stadium could not help but gallop along too.
Collaborative performances among the eight acts represented by Korean entertainment giant YG, from edgy girl group 2NE1 to rookie boyband Winner, were a highlight of the four-hour show that was replete with bursts of confetti, a huge disco ball and dazzling fireworks.
The concert was eagerly anticipated because it has been more than two years since YG held a multi-act concert featuring its top music acts. In between, its successful artists have held solo concerts, such as the recent 2NE1 All Or Nothing concert tour which came to Singapore.
Singapore fans can witness the chemistry between the YG stars when the YG Family concert heads over next month. The two-day extravaganza on Sept 13 and 14 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will feature the likes of Psy, BigBang, 2NE1, Winner and hip-hop trio Epik High.
Last Friday night, the YG artists had a blast covering one another's songs, some to hilarious effect.
Fans had to do a double take when a G-Dragon "imposter" emerged to the pulsating beats of G-Dragon's hit song Crayon. It was BigBang member Seungri donning an afro wig and mimicking G-Dragon's image in one of his music videos. He was later "confronted" by the real deal when G-Dragon came onstage to join in the fun.
Another "imposter" was 2NE1's pretty face Dara, who became Doom Dara. She adopted the dandified look of BigBang's T.O.P. in his latest single Doom DaDa, complete with a huge mike prop slung across her back.
All five of the BigBang dudes turned up their feminine charms with their rendition of 2NE1's I Love You. They sashayed, cooed and pouted coquettishly, much to the amusement of the audience.
The light-hearted atmosphere turned sombre yet mesmerising when powerhouse vocalist Lee Hi and 2NE1 serenaded the crowd with 2NE1's melancholic ballad If I Were You.
The line-up at YG Family's Seoul concert was also a showcase of the entertainment agency's newest acts - sibling duo Akdong Musician, pint-sized big-voiced singer Lee Hi and boy quintet Winner.
Lee Hi and Akdong Musician, made up of older brother 17-year-old Lee Chan Hyuk and 14-year-old sister Lee Soo Hyun, were discovered on the reality TV series K-Pop Star.
The five boys from Winner were signed by YG after beating rival group Team B on the Korean channel Mnet's talent contest WIN: Who is Next (2013). The quintet made their official stage debut at the YG Family concert, singing tracks hot off their first EP, 2014 S/S, released last week.
The newbie boyband already have a following, evident from the screaming fangirls wielding the official Winner lightsticks at the open-air concert.
One zealous Korean female fan, donning a jersey emblazoned with member Lee Seung Hoon's name, was spotted bawling her eyes out while screaming the singer's name at the top of her voice.
The new kids on the block could hold their own onstage at the YG Family concert. However, it will be an uphill task to stand out in the K-pop world where there is a glut of boybands.
In comparison, folk-pop Akdong Musician were a breath of fresh air with their self-penned breezy tunes such as Give Love and Crescendo.
Epik High's rapper Tablo praised Soo Hyun for her "refreshing" voice after she joined the trio for their rap ballad Umbrella at the concert.
The livewire who brought the festive atmosphere to a high was none other than K-pop's favourite oppa (big brother) Psy.
The roly-poly singer was on fire, boogieing like there was no tomorrow while belting out his dance hits Gangnam Style and Gentleman and older favourites Champion and Art.
It was a sight to behold as the crowd bopped in unison to the beats of Psy's tunes and replicated his signature dance moves, like the hip thrusts of Gentleman.
It was a fitting choice that the party ended with the universally known Gangnam Style. Everyone on and offstage, from BigBang's T.O.P to the teenager next to me, was prancing and shimmying like a horse.
Oppa, how about a Singapore Style version of it at the YG Family concert here next month?
Tickets for the YG Family 2014 Galaxy Tour: Power in Singapore are available from S$128 via Sports Hub Tix (call 6333-5000 or go to sportshubtix.sg).
This article was first published on August 18, 2014.
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