On Saturday, Dec. 9, I traveled from Daegu to Seoul, South Korea, to experience my first concert in the country. As a new temporary resident with an invested interest in Korea’s music scene, I was excited and, more likely than not, going to be out of place. American concertgoers are physically involved in the experience — we clap, sing along and sometimes dance in the aisle. So how would I, the obvious foreigner, contain myself?!
The “2017 Anyang Cheer Up For You Concert” was promoted as a charitable event at Anyang Sports Complex, organized by DK Entertainment. Performing acts were Halo, Pentagon, JBJ, A-Daily and Monsta X. Attendees would not only see idol performances but also enjoy a cover dance competition. It was initially scheduled for Nov. 18, but a series of unfortunate events influenced a date change. Additionally, instead of taking place outdoors, as scheduled, the hosting company moved the event into Anyang Gymnasium (KGC Pro Basketball Club). November was already cold enough, so I was extremely grateful for the move indoors.
Needless to say, there were not a lot of fans in attendance. While home in the United States, I was lucky enough to attend more sold out (or decently packed) live events than not. I understand that I am in The Land of the Hallyu Wave and that its residents have many options for music enjoyment, but the reasonably priced tickets (go, Trazy!) and the lure of seeing certain performers did not appeal to others as widely as I’d hoped. It was not a loss for me — I was cold, hungry and ready to hear some fan chants. Excite me.
I arrived at the venue during a group of girls’ cover dance montage. I would not have missed most of it, either, had it not been for a bit of seating confusion on my ticket. I was able to enjoy 1.5 cover dance performances and dance along in my seat. How likely was it that some of the girls and boys in the cover dance groups were actually trainees?
The event was emceed by a member from Halo and one from A-Daily. Halo perfored first. Although filled with energy, I mistook them for rookies. Halo has been around for several years but on a lesser-known label, Histar Entertainment. As a new fan, I was most excited to see Pentagon, and they did not disappoint!
The ladies of A-Daily were welcomed with tremendous chants from their fanboys, something that is more fun to experience in person than I imagined. The group recently celebrated their third anniversary on Dec. 3, too!
“Produce 101 Season 2” favorites Just Be Joyful (JBJ) were welcomed with screams and fan chants at the same level as Monsta X. What was most surprising was seeing the level of confidence groups perform with while at home. Charisma and charm are undeniable because of the comfort they feel from speaking their native language and interacting with native fans. I’ve seen Monsta X perform several times in the United States, but the air of performance and “Wow! Factor” was undeniable.
It was incredible to be surrounded by enthused fans (including the handful of other foreigners!) for this first time in South Korea. I look forward to a more detailed recap of my next experience to share with you soon!