K-POP acts don’t often travel to Melbourne to perform. Recently Korean boy band B.A.P did make the trip down under and they brought the house down with their spectacular performance. Carene Chong has the lowdown.
If I had to sum up Korean boyband B.A.P‘s performance in three words it would be: best, absolute, perfect.
The thousands of fans who turned up for the boys’ inaugural performance in Australia seemed to echo my sentiment too, as one devoted BABY (B.A.P‘s term for their fans) Jo puts it: “It’s the best concert in the history of concerts. Period.”
After touring South Korea and the USA earlier this year, the six-member boyband touched down in Melbourne on May 7 to kick off the Australian leg of their ‘B.A.P Live On Earth 2014 Continent Tour‘.
B.A.P’s Melbourne show was held on May 8 at the Festival Hall in West Melbourne, which has played host to a string of both local and international mega stars in the past such as The Beatles, Olivia Newton John, Paramore, Justin Timberlake and fellow K-pop band CNBLUE, just to name a few.
Walking to the venue, the path I took was so quiet I could hear myself breathe. I started questioning the popularity of the boys here in Melbourne, until I was approximately 100 meters away.
Lines of squealing fans, mostly young girls, could be seen snaking around the block as the clock showed less than two hours to show time.
Those at the front of the line told me they had queued since the wee hours of the morning in an attempt to secure a good stargazing spot. By this point any trace of doubt I had of B.A.P‘s popularity in Australia instantly vanished into thin air.
With just half an hour to go, the venue was filled to the brim with fans holding placards, whistles and light sticks in the shape of B.A.P‘s mascot, a grungy rabbit called Matoki. Energy levels were through the roof with fans constantly on their toes, unable to wait another minute to see their favourite boys in action.
Right on the dot at 6.30pm, a massive screen crackled into life, triggering waves of deafening screams from the crowd eager to catch a glimpse of their idols. A special news bulletin reported the landing of extraterrestrial beings on earth in the form of six young boys who were ready to launch an attack on the city of Melbourne.
Cue impressive lighting and sound effects, and six figures stormed on stage in sparkling gold and black costumes to B.A.P‘s 2013 hit song, ‘One Shot‘.
With dance moves so powerful and perfectly synced and lines perfectly executed, there couldn’t have been a better start to the night.
Yong Guk, Him Chan, Jong Up, Dae Hyun, Young Jae and Zelo, together forming B.A.P, evidently put every inch of their energy into their first ever public appearance in Australia.
While more well known for their edgy style, their music ranges from dance to pop to rock to ballad, proving they are a true chameleon act capable of pulling off just about any genre imaginable.
Kick starting the night with their hit songs ‘One Shot‘, ‘Badman‘ and ‘Power‘, the boys oozed charisma and showed off their powerful, rebellious side before setting hearts aflutter with their sentimental, sexy love tunes ‘Love Sick‘, ‘Coffee Shop‘ and ‘Body and Soul‘.
The boys were certainly not slacking in the wardrobe department either, changing costumes every three songs or so to reflect the songs and genre they were performing.
From school uniforms for their songs of young love to white glittery outfits for the performance of their award winning hit ‘1004 (Angel)‘, the boys made sure their audience was treated to an impressive array of fashionable costumes.
In regards to the night’s set list, B.A.P was nothing short of generous with their offering as they performed a total of 20 songs comprising of hit singles from their earlier EPs as well as tunes from their debut studio album, First Sensibility, released earlier this year.
These include the melancholic ‘Rain Sound‘, cute puppy love tune ‘Stop It‘, head bopping rock number ‘Punch‘, highly energetic ‘No Mercy‘ and much more.
However, the night was not just about the boys. The six lovable “aliens” were determined to rope in the fans and make them the stars of the show too.
A particular segment of the show required the crowd to take dance lessons from the boys alongside horse heads from the planet Mato where B.A.P apparently hails from. Fans were asked to tap their shoulders, nod their heads and clap their hands to ‘Check On‘, a tune from the boys’ first studio album.
Although their first time in the country, the boys knew exactly which buttons to push with their Aussie fans.
While none of the members spoke fluent English they tried their best to converse with their fans in the local language, demonstrating their dedicated effort to connect with fans regardless of race and nationality.
They further tapped into the fans’ hearts by chanting the classic “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi.” Talk about exceptional fan service!
It would be impossible for anyone not to feel drained following hours of high energy song and dance, but the boys certainly didn’t show any signs of fatigue during the night.
Power vocalists Dae Hyun and Young Jae belted out song after song without a single faulty note; rappers Zelo and Yong Guk stormed through their lines with bite and strength in every word, while dance machine Jong Up seduced the crowd again and again with his sexy, sharp, and powerful moves.
It is hard to believe the boys have only been in showbiz for two years.
As the show neared it’s end, I found myself feeling a little anxious for both myself and the fans. The boys were yet to perform their debut song, ‘Warrior‘ which catapulted the boys to K-Pop stardom.
However, my fear was short lived as following a stunning performance of ‘1004 (Angel)‘ and one final costume change, the boys took to the stage one last time to perform their high-octane debut single. It was worth the wait and finally I felt my night was complete.
Fans were buzzing after the concert, with some commenting:
“Oh my God, Zelo was so perfect!” “Did you see Jong Up’s six pack?” “I didn’t want it to end!”
And as such statements were commonly followed by sharp squeals, it’s safe to assume the boys not only lived up to expectation but completely smashed them out of the ball park.
But if anything can be assumed after B.A.P’s Melbourne show one thing is for certain. And that is Australia will be ready and eagerly waiting for attack by the boys from planet Mato again soon.
Were you at B.A.P’s Melbourne or Sydney concerts? Tell us what you think of the boys’ performances below.