hostgator coupon EPICA SEIF AL DIN: RELIVE IT: Idols rock the Korean Music Festival 2011!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

RELIVE IT: Idols rock the Korean Music Festival 2011!

In the nine years that have passed since its inception, the Korean Music Festival has proven to be the premier event for K-pop lovers of all generations and backgrounds. With its star-studded history of k-pop idol headliners including TVXQ, Big Bang, SNSD (make that twice), Super Junior (also twice) and the Wonder Girls, there’s little room left to wonder why KMF has been perceived as some sort of rite of passage for artists to validate their successful statuses in the music industry.
For their ninth annual concert, Korea Times featured an all-star cast including Jay Park, 4minute, U-KISS, SECRET, SISTARG.NA, Baek Ji Young, K. Will, DJ D.O.C and many more.Yet before the doors of the famous Hollywood Bowl even opened, the premises of the venue were bustling with visitors throughout the daytime pre-concert festivities.
As any allkpop reader or KMF attendee is bound to know, KMF 2011 saw the start-up of allkpop’s very first event booth.  From the moment that staff set up shop that morning until the attendees began filtering into the bowl for the concert at dusk, the allkpop booth was packed with activity. We were so excited to see so many fans and readers turn out for the event — before we had even finished setting up our booth, over a hundred people had already lined up. With Arden Cho, One Way’s Chance, Clara C, Decipher, dumbfoundead, IAMMEDIC, IZ and Jennifer Chung at our booth, REXROWDEE at the turn tables and so many excited kpop fans, we can say without a doubt that the event was a success. While we were prepared to draw up something that was huge and admittedly a little scary for us, we couldn’t believe the massive response we got from the Korean music lover community.
After six hours of pre-concert festivities outside the venue, 17,000 people from across the continent (and for some hardcore fans, across the ocean!)  streamed into Hollywood Bowl. After the American and Korean national anthems were performed, G.NA and DJ D.O.C’s Kim Chang Ryul opened the festival with welcome arms, greeting the cheering audience with English and Korean introductions.
I see people from all over,” G.NA exclaimed as she looked into the crowd, listening as fans screamed the places they were traveling from. Canada, Alaska, Seattle… Korea?!” she laughed incredulously, marveling at the irony of the last call-out.
An orchestra soon set up and Jay Park, U-KISSSoohyun, Jung Sora and SISTAR’s Hyorin stepped onto the stage for a special collaboration performance, surprising fans with their early appearance. Their collab was then followed by solo performances. Jung Sora impressed with a dazzling silver dress and power pipes, and G.NA’s poured her heart into “I’ll Back Off So You Can Live Better” & “Black and White.” When U-KISS brought forth a triple threat delivery with “0330,” “Bingeul Bingeul” and “Man Man Ha Ni,” inspiring a mass exodus of KISS-ME’s to stream down the aisles to the front, as close as they could to the stage — quite reminiscent of the B2UTIES during B2ST’s performance in 2010.
When G.NA reemerged back on the stage later to resume her MC position, she reflected on her performance with her fellow host. “I was really nervous but they showed so much love,” she exclaimed when Kim Chang Ryul asked how she felt about performing in front of such an enormous international audience. She then turned to the audience, asking shyly, “How was G.NA?” only to be met with resounding cheers.
Next up was SISTAR, who performed “Push Push” and “How Dare You,” dressed in the racy black outfits right out of their latest music video. ”[It's our] first time in LA — really exciting and a little nervous… thank you guys,” maknae Da Som gushed after each member introduced herself. Baek Ji Young soon followed and was able to show off her versatility, bringing out the emotions with a “Secret Garden” OST ballad then pumping up the heavy bass for a special performance of “My Ear’s Candy” featuring K Will, whose raspy sexiness gave Taecyeon’s original feature a run for its money.
As dusk melted into evening, flashing lightsticks began flickering on one by one until the audience became a never ending sea of floating glittering red, green and blue lights — first gently bobbing side to side for a few ballad performances. But when DJ D.O.C stepped on stage to wrap up the first part of the festival, the calm sea of colors turned into a near-psychedelic LED light spasm as the trio kicked the energy up a notch (or three) with “Run to You” and “Bounce with Me.” The stage faded back to red with a glowing bokeh of sunset hues for the more laidback, Caribbean-esque “I Believe.”
Following a slew of Korean ads that signified the start of intermission, the legendary 1st Generation Jazz Band, which was literally the first generation of true jazz performers that introduced the genre to Korea fifty years ago, delighted the audience with spectacular clarinet, trumpet and piano performances. “What we just saw now,” G.NA exclaimed after the performance, “was the first generation of Korean jazz.
The second half of the concert then launched as SECRET graced the stage in white peasant tops and high-waisted jean shorts, launching right into “Madonna.” Then, to match the sugary peppiness of their second track “Shy Boy,” bright pastel-color lines began streaking down the background as the lights arching over the stage turned into an enormous rainbow. Yes, a rainbow — the aegyo levels were shooting off the charts.
When it was time for headliner Jay Park to perform, he more than proved his stage charisma. Dressed in a simple white tee and jeans, he shook things up first with “Nothin on You” with a backdrop of moving stars. Jay Park brings so much happiness to the stage with his personable charm. Taking a swig of water after the first track, he cheekily introduced his album that dropped three days ago, “Take a Deeper Look,” then belted out the hook of lead track “Abandoned” on the spot. He then launched into the first-ever live performance of the song to fans’ delight. He didn’t stop there and performed “6′7″ and “Yeah x3,” raising the audience onto its feet with the infectious dance track. Jay Park exuded a presence from beginning to end, and it was obvious that he commanded the stage and knew it. In one word: his performance was a triumph.
The ladies of 4minute strode across the stage in gorgeous white outfits, and they immediately amplified the energy from Jay Park’s stage by diving into their performance of “Mirror Mirror.” They gave K-pop fans a run-through of their best songs – a medley featuring “Muzik” and “I Mine Me Mine”, and then an explosive performance of “Hot Issue.” We’re definitely not exaggerating when the entire stadium was screaming and dancing along with the girls to “Hot Issue”!
The last and final performance of KMF this year was with legendary rock-ballad singer, Kim Jang Hoon. This guy had the most vocal fan ever, as he screamed and stretched his arms out to the singer during the entirety of his performance. Kim Jang Hoon was the king of audience interaction, as he actually stepped off the stage and into the crowd, singing with perfect pitch as he allowed fans to rush up and hug him during the performance.
The highlight of his entire stage was when he invited a girl from the audience to join him as his ‘mic stand’. To explain, Kim Jang Hoon needed to play his harmonica for the song, “My Love By My Side”, which required that he needed something (or someone) to hold onto his mic. The singer eventually completed his entire run of songs with a series of taekwondo kicks and witticisms that were accompanied by a big show of fireworks.
Our media team has been working around the clock to develop 360 degree coverage for the Korean Music Festival. Now that the event has wrapped up, we’ll be releasing our photo and video coverage as well as exclusive content bit by bit throughout this week. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed your first taste of our RELIVE KMF 2011 series; stay tuned!