Sunday, May 2, 2010

Korean Music Festival 8

Went to the Korean Music Festival last night with Leon. Lots of pictures and video uploads later.


First let me say that I enjoyed the concert. I got to see/hear quite a few K-pop groups that I normally listen to. I brought Leon along for his birthday so we got some food at Mitsuwa and had a mini-picnic in our seats. However, like last year, the sound quality sucked again. I realize it's difficult to live mix that many singers/groups in one concert but there's no real excuse for not un-muting mics. There was also a lot of feedback; probably the floor monitors are turned up way too loud. Sigh... after running sound at church for a few years, it's hard to ignore stuff like this.

This year I spent $140 for 2 tickets in section F2; last year I spent $150 for 2 tickets but they were better seats (terrace boxes). Since I never plan ahead, I always end up buying tickets from other fans on the Khype forum. The person selling the tickets to me must have really wanted to go in early since she sent me many text messages while I was driving up. "Where are you now? Are you close?" She wrote in an email that she was going early to attend a fan meeting for 2PM so maybe she just wanted to go in and sit since there's nothing to do once you're inside the Hollywood Bowl.

We got there ~4:30pm (concert started at 6:30pm) and the place was already packed. There were lots of Korean businesses handing out free stuff. Some guy gave Leon and I a Japanese energy drink, maybe because we looked old and out of place. :)

They were handing out Korean flags and glow sticks at the entrance. Inside the blue backpack was our dinner; the other backpack had two cameras, one for photos and one for video. That was probably an overkill. Next time I'll probably just get better seats and bring one small camera.

On the way to our seats, I saw this old white guy wearing a Wonder Girls t-shirt; on the back of the shirt it says "I'm a Wonder Girl". Don't know if he's a hardcore K-pop fan or a recent convert since the Wonder Girls have been promoting in the US for the past 18 months. I showed Leon the photo and he said he want a K-pop t-shirt as well... hmm, I know what to get him for his next birthday.

View of the stage from our seats. If you look closely, there is a white car parked on stage (stage left). It was there the entire night. It was probably a Hyundai since they were a sponsor but I couldn't tell which model. They were also showing lots of commercials on the large LCD screen. Occasionally they would show a promo listing the performers and definitely 2PM got the loudest cheers.

The concert started with a drum performance. We saw the drums on stage before the performance and Leon asked if they were Taiko drums. I told him not to mention Japanese things at a Korean concert.

The drummers looked young so maybe it was a local cultural group.

I brought two cameras with me. I borrowed my dad's Panasonic FZ28 since it has an 18x optical zoom and shoots HD video. I even went and bought a 16GB SD card and ended up recording about 10GB of video. I also brought my Sony SLR and a 70-300mm zoom lens. Instead, I should have done what the girls in front of us were doing... use a pair of binoculars as a zoom lens.

Not sure who sang the national anthem but she sang better than KARA or the Wonder Girls. :)

MCs: Nicole from KARA and Haha

The first group to perform was Beast. They're a new idol boy-band. I haven't heard any of their songs before.

Next up was a lady singing old Korean songs. Both Leon and I agree that they sound exactly like old Chinese songs.

Since it was an Asian concert, and the Hollywood Bowl is hard to get to, there were a lot of late arrivals. The concert did sell out which means 18k+ seats.

Not sure if it was the same lady or a different one but she sang a song (that everyone else seems to know) with pictures from what appears to be post-Korean War photos in the background. Neither Leon or I understand Korean but it seems to be about how hard life was after the war. It was kind of depressing.

That was followed by some guy singing old Korean songs.

I think the younger generation was getting bored with the old singers. The girl in front of us started reading comics (Japanese manga of course).

LeeSsang. Leon asked why they kept the girl at the back. I think it was because she was a guest singer and not part of the group.

We were sitting in the 3rd row of section F2. For some unknown reason, the people in row 1 kept standing up. There is a huge gap in front of our section so even if the people in the terrace boxes stand, you can still see clearly. I was going to yell at then to sit down but no one else seemed to mind.

One of the MCs, Haha, performing. He just got out of the Korean army recently.

Another lady singing old Korean songs.

Same lady singing a song with Wonder Girls (Sunye and Ye-Eun) and KARA (Gyuri and Seungyeon). It was good that she chose the main vocalists from both girl groups so the singing wasn't too bad.

Some guy and his band. I thought he looked like Bono; Leon said the guy reminds him of Neil Diamond. They didn't give us programs in the cheap seats so I didn't know the names of non-idol singers/groups.

After the intermission, a lot of the idol groups came out and did a song supporting the Korean soccer team. The World Cup is going to be held in South Africa this year and it looks like South Korea qualified. Actually, almost every group that performed mentioned something about the soccer team and randomly yelled out "Go Korea!" It was a bit irritating for a Team USA supporter, even though they gave me a South Korean flag. It was probably worse for any North Koreans (spies?) in the crowd.

Another old guy singing old Korean songs... sorry, no program guide.

Third old lady. I think she was more of a musical theater performer and was the best singer of the entire concert. She was also pretty funny... yes, she translated herself. She ended her set with a great rendition of Amazing Grace.

2PM... easily the most popular group of the concert. It was funny that after 8 months, people are still cheering for Jaebeom. They sang the three songs I predicted and one additional song I've never heard of.

Lee Eun-mi. I heard she is a pretty good jazz singer but it was hard to hear her sing since the music track was way too loud. Grrr...

KARA! Out of all the groups, I think I wanted to see them the most.

Kim Jong-Kook. He just got out of the Korean army recently and recently released his 5th album. I actually bought his 4th album a few years ago. Mighty Mouth and Haha came onstage to perform with him as well.

Wonder Girls. They performed the three songs I thought they were going to sing: So Hot, Tell Me, and Nobody (in English). They talked a bit between the songs too, in English. They've been promoting in the US for the past 18 months and held a few concerts with JYP (Park Jin Young). Their English is better but probably need to practice speaking more. I used to like them but they replaced Sunmi with some new girl. :(


The concert went from 6:30pm to almost 11pm. It took us only 5 minutes to get back to the car but another 40 minutes before I could get on the 101 freeway. I dropped Leon off at his house around 12:30am and didn't get back home until almost 1:30am. Yawn...

1 comment:

ocgal22 said...

These are some great photos -love the quality, clarity, etc!