South Korean pop royalty BigBang are back with, well, a bang.
The boyband repeated their feat of selling out two nights of concerts last Saturday and yesterday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, which translated into a 10,000-strong audience each night.
This is the quintet's highly anticipated comeback since their last album Alive and last world tour, Alive Galaxy Tour, in 2012. Back then, BigBang also sold out two nights' worth of concert tickets at their Singapore stop.
After tickets were all snapped up, concert organisers released extra tickets for sale last week. These seats were called "audio seats" because they came with an obstructed view of the main stage.
Eager fans still lapped up the tickets. Why? Because it's better than listening to their music on a CD or watching their concert clips online.
Nothing beats being present in the same space to experience BigBang's explosive live performance, complete with laughs at the band's off-the-wall humour. Plus, fans would be breathing in the same air as their idols.
The BigBang lads partied on stage like there was no tomorrow in a three-hour show that was replete with bursts of confetti, fire plumes and pyrotechnics, and fancy props such as a huge Greek-style angel sculpture.
The seasoned showmen busted out choreographed dance moves with ease, mixing them up with freestyle grooves. Their solid vocals powered them through emotive ballads, high-octane dance tunes and fiery rapping.
Their current world tour coincides with the upcoming release of their new album Made. In a savvy move to drum up publicity, BigBang have been releasing new singles monthly in the lead up to their studio album launch in September.
BigBang took the chance to plug new songs. They opened the concert with the catchy dance tune Bang Bang Bang and sang the song again during the encore segment. They also performed the sultry tune Bae Bae twice.
Still, it has been hard to wean myself off older earworms such as Fantastic Baby and Lies, which were performed at the concert, and I wished the setlist included more of their earlier songs. I miss songs such as playful track Don't Go Home by rappers G-Dragon and T.O.P.
The BigBang boys may be all suave when performing, but they are actually a comical bunch.
The statuesque T.O.P paraded around in a random outfit combination of a cowboy hat, a chunky metal chain and a bathrobe. Did I mention he was wielding a walking stick too?
The self-deprecating vocalist Daesung poked fun at his own hairdo - fringe so long that it covered his eyes.
"I can't see. I can only hear you," said the 26-year-old, who proceeded to flick his hair so fans could catch a glimpse of his eyes.
"Your eyes are so small," teased Seungri in Mandarin.
The Speak Mandarin Campaign can consider hiring him as its new ambassador.
The South Korean lad declared he was picking up the language last Saturday night - and in Mandarin, no less.
"Do you understand me? Is my Mandarin good?" asked Seungri, 24. Cue screams from fan girls.
He rattled off crowd-pleasing Mandarin phrases and unabashedly engaged the crowd in the language.
"I think the girls in Singapore are the prettiest! Am I right? T.O.P, am I right? Taeyang, am I right? GD (G-Dragon), am I right? Daesung, am I right?" he said as he addressed his fellow band members.
Teacher Taeyang took the time to educate fans about the Korean word chapssalddeok that is repeated in the new song Bae Bae.
Chapssalddeok is a Korean sticky rice cake similar to Japanese mochi. But it is also a Korean slang that means "we are perfect for each other", says Taeyang, 27.
My Korean friend explained that the term is a reference to the stickiness of the glutinous rice snack. You are such a fit with your soulmate that you stick together like sticky rice cake.
Of course, the rice cake lesson culminated in honeyed words. Taeyang gushed: "Singapore VIPs and BigBang are perfect for each other."
Is it any wonder that fans keep coming back for more of BigBang?
This article was first published on July 20, 2015.
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