(Photo : Sinyii | Special Thanks to IME Productions Singapore and Three Angles Production)
Fresh from their recent Japan “Shake Shake” concert tour, the 4 boys of CNBLUE were whisked to our shores for the first overseas gig of “Between Us” concert tour in Asia held at [email protected] Box on July 1st, 2017. Viewed by an audience of 16,000 at the Osaka Jo-hall on June 22nd, it was also coincidentally frontman Jung Yong Hwa’s 29th (Korean age) birthday, making it a big night of celebrations.
Despite their tiring schedule, a much smaller audience size and a somewhat “less than ideal” sound system, the boys still went all out to make the show an enjoyable experience for the crowd. The best song of the night had to be “Manito” (composed by bass guitarist Lee Jung Shin, with help from Jung for lyrics) when the 4 boys sat right in front of the audience, performing in acoustic style. Even drummer Kang Min Hyuk had a go at one of the verses. It is not common for all members of a rock band to hold a tune of their own, but the 4 lads have proven their ability over the years, with solo outfits for both Jung and Lee (Jong Hyun) and OSTs from Kang and Lee (Jung Shin). It is a rare treat for the fans to be serenaded in such close proximity to the handsome guys. In response, Boices (CNBLUE’s fans) swayed and sang along to the melodious tune of “Manito”, which is fast becoming the next “representative love ballad” from CNBLUE; hopefully as a long overdue replacement for the overly jaded “Love Light”.
Since their first concert in Singapore in 2013, CNBLUE is one of the scarce K-pop groups (with all Korean members) which do not seek the help of a translator on stage. Instead, the 4 boys make an effort to communicate in English with the crowd. It is apparent that Jung’s English diction has improved tremendously throughout the years. The boys have also picked up some Singlish words along the way, with the latest “shiok” (exclamation expressing admiration or approval) and “walao”(meaning similar to OMG) that was learned presumably during this trip.
The ever energetic Jung was running across the 3 extended stages and at one point, jumped down to cover a portion of the middle stage, to the delight of the standing crowd, with some lucky fans shaking his hand and taking clear close-up shots. Although the free-for-all photo and video taking (using a mobile phone only) were allowed for the whole concert, it did create some unnecessary hassle for fans in the standing zone whose views are blocked by the forever-raised phone screens recording almost the entire concert.
(Photo : Ong Melin | Special Thanks to IME Productions Singapore and Three Angles Production)
Nevertheless, the 3 guitarists still manage to make the crowd go crazy with their guitar riffs, earning appreciative claps and cheers. Enthusiastic band leader Jung did his best to hype up the concert, with his constant screaming, winking, onstageand cute and lovable expressions which had the audience eating out of his hands. Predominantly a female crowd at most of their concerts, Jung is especially happy whenever male fans attend, which can be seen from his reaction when a male fan shouted his name halfway through the concert. The frontman also showcased his experience when he did a cute expression, ran towards his band mate’s microphone when the one he had malfunctioned after he flipped and dropon stagewhile singing “You’re so fine”. Instead of creating a scene, Jung smoothly settled the crisis and had everyone laughing at his antics, a seasoned performer indeed!
With 3 encores for “Wake Up” which includes his usual guitar play while lying on the stage, Jung clearly owns the stage whenever he performs! Lee Jong Hyun, who is usually lost in his own music world, made an effort this round with frequent walks to the extended stages for the fans to scream and oogle at his good visuals. Chemistry between the boys are great, their interactions exhibit a close relationship among them, which was probably built up over the 7 years since their debut. With his flying kisses, peculiar dance moves and funny antics, such as pretending to hurt his fingers while playing “Wake Up” encore, Jung is undeniably the charismatic one whom audiences can’t keep their eyes off.
In his opening speech, Kang “it’s only one show, so you have to shout louder today” and shout we did, throughout the 2 and hour show, especially during the short screen time when Kang was shown hitting his drums in all enthusiasm from the back of the stage.
The setlist, which comprised a mixture of songs from their latest Korean album 7oCN to their seldom heard songs from previous albums such as “Sweet Holiday” and “Lie”, plus a re-arrangement of their frequently performed songs such as “Feeling”, was indeed refreshing for the fans. Despite the number of times one has attended a CNBLUE concert, it is never lacklustre as each concert brings an amazing new experience which is a feast to the eyes and ears, blissful enjoyment indeed!
With Jung’s “it feels so shiok to be back Singapore”, we are indeed looking forward to CN BLUEs return to Singapore next month for yet another wonderful performance that will make the audience “shiok” to the max!
Watch CNBLUE’s performances below:
Special thanks to IME Productions Singapore and Three Angles Production for inviting KpopStarz to cover 2017 CNBLUE Live [Between Us] In Singapore.
Writer: Wang | Photo Credits: Ong Melin and Sinyii | Video Credits: Ong Melin