“Open the entrance, please open the entrance! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Please open!”the eager Indonesian VIPs chanted outside, just a few minutes after 6PM passed, from the agreed timing for doors to open for the stadium entrance. It was for the ever first night for BIGBANG to arrive and perform in Indonesia, out of two days that was petitioned and requested by Indonesian VIPs to add another night, and indeed was another historical night in the Indonesian entertainment industry to set new records for K-pop concert, which is now dubbed as the “best K-pop concert ever held in Indonesia” by Rolling Stones Indonesia.
Exactly a week later from the event, I am here sitting reminiscing what can be a takeaway from the concert. It is hard to believe that things comes and leaves as fast as they come and go; but with an exception of G-Dragon, Taeyang, TOP, Daesung and Seungri, their case is different.
The World Tour from BIGBANG entitled ‘ALIVE GALAXY TOUR’ has made yellow waves all over from many cities in China, Thailand to Singapore and now Indonesia, for the first time where the boys finally stepped into “New place that i’ve never been, new people that i’ve never met.. Nice to meet ya’ll indonesia!!” as Taeyang excitedly said through his Twitter. It was a simple remark to blaze through the rest of the social media groups of fans named VIPs.
When The Party Started
The gates open soon thereafter and fans went to rush in for the 8PM concert. While the music video played along, fans continued to sing along as a chance of practice to even sing louder, clearer and better when the live action starts. It wasn’t for long when 8PM finally arrived and the screen flickers into the opening ment story where BIGBANG is deployed to Earth. No one can ever forget that thrilling moment where the curtains are pulled down to reveal the 5 iconic tubes with the members inside. Pulling off their oxygen mask and stepping out to the stage, Taeyang greeted in English, “What’s up Indonesia!” followed by the leader, G-dragon, to add “Make some noise!”
Dressed in military jackets customised just for the boys, where it is their standardised costumes for their ALIVE tour, they stepped out and beat to the track of ‘Tonight’ as the first opening song.
Much to the acts, they performed live renditions of “How Gee”, “Hands Up”, “Fantastic Baby”, “Stupid Liar” and once you have heard it live, you cannot compare it anywhere else. Sound quality by their live band musicians didn’t disappoint along with 9 mega containers of props to create the stage as par as elsewhere. When you say ‘party’, and only for them, they make the party right by enjoying themselves not on stage, but on a designated dance floor with the rest of their ‘friends’.
As Musicians In Their Own Style
In their own right, all 5 members had a taste of what it is like to be a soloist. Apart from their activities as a group, their releases either as a single or album has been perfectly concocted with Producer Teddy and their own characters in music. Thus, the ALIVE Stage continued on to introduce the different side of members.
The transitioning clue was that TOP and G-Dragon went missing, leaving the 3 members up on stage to interact with their fans. It was then showed, arriving grandly with moving props and a travellator act later, to welcome the duo GD&TOP with “Knock Out” and “High High”.
The maknae, Seungri, performed his debut single “Strong Baby” and later “What Can I Do”. Clearly over with rumos and negative comments on his recent scandal, he wowed the crowd with his energy.
Taeyang, in a later stage opened with “Only Look At Me” and “Wedding Dress” which made girls wild for the sexiest man in the group tore his top off.
The solo line-up ended with the beautiful song “Wings” of Daesung, which he flew and donned a wings prop to greet the fans 10 meters up from the stage.
Even though it wasn’t in Korean, the song was familiar to all ears of the audience. The Japanese track “Gara Gara Go” was performed, after their change of outfits into a colorful, street style feel that also represented the Japanese street scene. “Number One”, slick song “Cafe”, was sung next.
“My favourite song, next! Who am I bad boy!” teased Taeyang in introducing the next song, “Bad Boy”, from their original semi-album ‘Alive’.
Clearly how to play with the audience’s emotions and how the project from fans were a success to where they sang “Blue“, yellow lightsticks were turned off to change to blue lightsticks or bangle.
All 5 members were clearly enjoying the stage within their own skin with maximum edge; interacting with fans were more like serenading to fans, as a few members casually sat on the edge of the stage to sing to a group of VIPs they were facing. Not a “Monster” but humans with “Feeling”, they are not your average tightly choreographed boyband like you would stereotype with the rest of the K-pop wave.
For the VIPs who had been with the boys since – at least – 2007, “Lies”, “Day by Day” and “My Heaven” will be familiar, let alone the new ones for it was their hit title track that had received much attention back in the music chart, and it was brought in for the last moments of the concert, dripping of nostalgic tunes before the music scene heavily adopted electronic and dubstep sounds. Fans will not forget as well for the song to end, “Last Greeting”, and their hand pushing dance to end the show.
“Saranghae! Saranghae!” The audience erupted as soon as they had realised the show was over. “We want more! We want more!” It made Taeyang, who was actively interacting with the fans on this international stage for his fluency in English to halt his speech and stared at a few fans around him to read their lips for assurance, for all the members were looking at each other to have a question mark on their face of what the fans were saying. At the end after a change with their official merchandise tour, which was also available outside of the concert venue. G-Dragon seemed to have been immersed into happiness where his fanservice was precious for the ones on the right side of the pit: throwing away two layers of his clothing of the “ALIVE” hoodie and a Tee, he was left with a sleeveless top and two VIPs up to the moon by the sudden
Should you have missed why your music player will not play the same like it will be on the stage, is because of their live musicians top of the stage (read my special tribute here) and internationally recognised music director and choreographer Laurieann Gibson to take on the world tour project. YG Entertainment set their records high by putting local distinction be in par with a global level.
A week after the event, I sat down to again write and remember what happened. A poster given from the Samsung booth of the tour stuck blue and bright on my wall, with the boys getting oxygen. Maybe the only reason why they have oxygen is because they know that, they are a group that fits to be placed over the moon and is ‘too cool’ for Earth when they have to stay ALIVE for 2,5 hours each time they are released from their capsule pot.
Only the ones who have watched them can only comment with authenticity, let alone the fans who has experienced ‘ALIVE’ for the umpteenth time, and still will chase them to the next city of arrival for their world tour concert until January 2013.
BIGBANG clearly has set K-pop in a new light. “Gangnam Style” may have taken over the world as a solo to break all stereotypes in K-pop, and this one too, where the audience who were not VIPs has been converted to a rookie ‘Very Important Person’ in the movement of BIGBANG has seen a new light in the hallyu movement. And a true, and real one at that.
Special thanks to BIGDADDY for the invitation.