Though they may be a bit older, a tad less agile and no longer today's average K-pop idols, the five reunited stars of g.o.d. are more popular, passionate and, most importantly, happier than ever before.
"Everyone said it would be impossible. But right now, the five members of g.o.d. are once again standing together in front of you. It is like a wonderful miracle. And you guys are the ones who made this miracle happen," said Son Ho-young as g.o.d. kicked off the Seoul leg of its 15th anniversary reunion concert tour at the Auxiliary Stadium at Jamsil Sports Complex on Saturday.
The five members ― Kim Tae-woo, Son, Danny Ahn, Yoon Kye-sang and Park Joon-hyoung ― were met by 28,000 fans ranging from those in their mid-20s and 30s, who had been young children or teenagers during g.o.d.'s heyday, to mothers in their 40s and 50s. They had all gathered to see the veteran K-pop group perform as a quintet for the first time in 12 years.
g.o.d. opened its concert with a retrospective clip which looked back on its past, ushering fans back to the turn of the millennium, when the group debuted. With the words, "g.o.d. is back," fireworks and flashing lights exploded into the night sky, as the five stars took to the stage singing their recent hit "The Lone Duckling," followed by "Road," "0 per cent" and "Sky Blue Promise."
The concert's highlight was the immense enthusiasm shown by the fans. Decked out in sky blue raincoats and shaking sky blue balloons, both signature g.o.d. fan club items, the audience sang along to every song in perfect pitch and rhythm.
Fans also held up banners that read "Hello, long time no see," showing that g.o.d. had not been forgotten despite its long hiatus after the group disbanded in 2006.
Throughout the three-hour performance of more than 20 songs, a sense of undying excitement could be felt not only in the audience but also in the g.o.d members themselves. Each star looked nervous, touched, ecstatic and overjoyed to be performing together after many years of being apart.
"I am so overwhelmed that I can't feel anything. I'm simply just so happy," said Yoon, who initially left g.o.d. in 2002 to pursue a solo career, with a look of elation during the concert.
Despite the apparent passion and excitement however, it was obvious that the group members could not withstand the test of time ― the power of their dance moves and energy could not match that of their prime years. The oldest member, Park, is 44, while even the youngest member, Kim, is 33.
Nonetheless, regardless of a few stage problems and mistakes here and there, the group's unique vocal colors and signature harmonies shone more than anything else throughout the concert.
Living up to its reputation as the nation's iconic K-pop group, g.o.d. proved the undying power of its music and songs, which have become indisputable K-pop classics recognised and enjoyed by Koreans of all ages. Sincere performances of major hits including "Dear Mother," "Lie," "I Love You and Remember" and "Again" had everyone in the audience jumping and shouting the lyrics in unison.
As the concert neared its end, the group sang its iconic single "Sky Blue Balloon." Several giant sky blue balloons bounced around the audience while each member circled around the stadium on go-carts, waving and throwing kisses to fans who were sitting in the back.
With one last encore remaining, Yoon revealed a sincere, confessional letter to other g.o.d. members and fans, thanking them for allowing him to return and making g.o.d. whole again, prompting many tears among the members as well as the audience.
g.o.d. concluded the night with a heartfelt performance of "Ordinary Day" ― originally recorded in 2005 without Yoon ― with each of the five members singing his part with a shaking voice.
As for the future of g.o.d., the group expressed plans to remain together.
"As much as it took a lot of effort to get the group back together, it is simply impossible that we (will) part again. I believe continuing our activities as a united g.o.d. is the right thing to do," said Yoon during a press conference hours before the concert.
Meanwhile, g.o.d. will continue its nationwide 15th anniversary reunion concert tour in Gwangju, Daegu, Busan and Daejeon in August.