CMF in Review: 2K12 Korea Night: K-Pop Wave at Kool Haus (03/21/12)
Last night, I immersed myself amongst many fangirls and fanboys while riding the K-Pop Wave at Kool Haus. I was pretty sure I was going to be deaf by the end of the night, but I knew this was an event not to be missed. 2K12 Korea Night is the biggest Korean concert ever held in Canada and is the first time for these artists performing in Canada. I definitely feel a sense of pride knowing that Toronto was where they made their Canadian stage debut.
The sets roughly ran for 20-25 mins each. Transitions between sets were really quick because no band instruments were being used by any of the performers. A giant screen was set as the backdrop to the stage. Prior to the show starting, the artists’ music videos were on display to hype up the crowd. As showtime neared, the music videos stopped and Korean tourism commercials began broadcasting, which made perfect sense since KOFICE and the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism produced 2K12 Korea Night.
To my surprise, the crowd was not entirely made up of Korean teens; There were fans of all different ethnicities. I stood in line with two twenty-something year olds – a Vietnamese male and a Cantonese female (who’s a friend from high school) – and behind two teenage girls – a Caucasian and a South Asian teen – who knew tons more about Korean music and culture than I probably ever will. The crowd was predominately East Asians, but I’m surprised by the attendance of other ethnicities too…especially since Korean seems like a very hard language to understand.
**Disclaimer: I am not Korean and I only recently started reading/learning about K-Pop because of my newly developed (and extremely embarrassing) obsession with Korean-American K-Pop Singer, Jay Park. Many Korean entertainers endure several years of training before making their debut in the Korean music industry. Some of the trainees are as young as 12 years old and spend up to 7 years training. I know I may be generalizing the whole Korean music industry, but I found the trainee to debut process very interesting.
Teen girl group, A Pink, opened the show. They were named the 2011 MNET Asian Music Awards: Best New Female Act along with a couple of other newcomer awards in 2012. A Pink is a seven-member South Korean pop girl group who have released two EPs since their debut last spring. Their set ended with “Wishlist.”
A Pink – My My
Teen Top, a teen sextet boy-band took the stage immediately after A Pink. They were awarded at the 2011 Korean Entertainment & Arts Awards for Best New Male Act. When the band’s name popped up on the giant screen, girls in the crowd started to rush me from behind screaming at the top of their lungs. Fan-made signs and glow sticks were waving about and several audience members had their cameras at the ready. In my 23 (soon to be 24) years of existence, I have never seen SO MANY cameras and phones being held up to capture a show.
Teen Top – Crazy
G.NA is a Korean-Canadian entertainer who was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and went to South Korea to pursue her career as a singer after she graduated from high school. She is the winner of the 2012 Golden Disc Awards: Bonsang Digital Album of the Year and has got a #1 album for her first full-length album, Black & White (2011). She’s one talented Asian babe – there’s no denying that. She started off her set with “Top Girl” and ended it with “Black & White.”
G.NA – I Miss You Already
Brian Joo, is a Korean-American R&B/K-Pop Singer and is somewhat of a veteran in the Korean music industry. The showcase was ahead of schedule so Brian Joo ended up talking to the crowd quite a bit. In the middle of his set, he said, “you know in Korea, I am what they call an ‘ajusshi’ (old man).” He has been performing since the age of 17. He first started off as a member of the South Korean R&B duo, Fly to the Sky, which led to a nomination for 2004 MTV Asia Awards: Favorite Korean Artist and a string of #1 hits. In 2006, Brian started exploring his solo career, releasing his debut solo album, The Brian. In 2009, he and his Fly to the Sky partner decided to work on their own solo careers. Since then, Brian Joo has release three more albums – his latest being, Reborn Part 1, which was released on January 26, 2012. His set began with his cover of Jason Derulo’s “In My Head” and ended with a medley of some of his singles.
Brian Joo – Domino (English Version)