Yet again, here’s a recap (with photos) of the Kool July, featuring Sundown Festival and 2AM’s showcase!
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After the ferocious series of K-Pop events in June, we see July as the Kool down period, before a new series start. Most notably, July has welcomed 2AM, Sundown Festival (After School, F.cuz and Japanese bands) and Lee Minho (no report though) to our local shores. Click more for photos and event coverage.
The 4 boys that make up 2AM landed in Singapore on the 10th of July at night, and in their excitement seeing the amount of fans, Jo Kwon even took a photo of Seulong with the fans outside. The hardworking group then proceeded straight to their showcase location for a rehearsal before finally checking in in their hotel for the night.
It was a pretty decent showcase as expected from ballad group 2AM. Belting out their title tracks “This Song”, “Confessions of A Friend”, “Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die” and “I’m Wrong”, the quartet pleased the crowd with their smooth vocals.
The fans were treated to an acappella version of “This Song”, as lucky Singaporean I AMs got to celebrate 2AM’s second anniversary with them. Upon receiving a cake and singing a birthday song with the fans, 2AM was really touched and Jo Kwon even did his signature “butt-sway” and “butt-shake” specially for the fans, showing off his “Kkab Kwon” side.
Later that night 2AM were given a small tour by the company and local talent Derrick Hoh, who made good relationships with the boys, bringing them to sightsee and also a trip to Singapore’s pride, the Flyer. Was it by chance, because on the very same night there was an NDP preview show and everyone was treated to a magnificent fireworks display.
The boys also appeared on the Sheng Siong Show on Channel U the day after, performing “Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die”, and during the short interview they talked about loving local food like Chilli Crab, and their surprise to find out there were so many fans supporting them in Singapore. As Jo Kwon said, their stay in Singapore was really short so they hope to stay longer the next time they come.
Sundown Festival 2010
When was the last time you rocked to a live J-Rock band performance? How about be blown away by charisma from the powerful song and dance of a K-Pop group? Moreover all these in the fantasy setting of Universal Studios?
Once again, one of the most anticipated music festivals of the year, Sundown Festival was back again this July. Presented by Red Spade Entertainment and 7-UP , it boasted of popular J-Rock and K-Pop acts namely lively SuG, powerful LM.C, energetic F.Cuz and charismatic After School, all of which who did not disappoint the 2000 over fans who turned up to queue as early as 5AM.
On the 29th, J-Rock bands SuG and LM.C touched down in the afternoon, while K-Pop sensation After School and F.Cuz arrived at night. Hundreds of fans turned up at the arrival hall to welcome them:
The After School girls were all smiles and waved to fans; some lucky fans even got to shake their hands. Bekah was doing self-commentary to her personal camera, I wonder if it would be broadcasted?
Following which, the F.Cuz boys came out, receiving a minor shock seeing the sheer amount of fangirls cheering for them (specifically girls, as many boys noticeably left after After School left).
It was a good start.
The next morning, even though it was a wet and dark morning, the artistes appeared bright and fresh at the press conference. All F.Cuz and After School members were really friendly, posing for the media as requested.
“We’re still a new group in Korea, so when we go overseas and meet fans who welcomes us and give us support, we’re very happy about it,” said Leader Jinon, about what makes them happy when travelling overseas for performances. When asked what would each member do if they were not in F.Cuz, it was a 2:2 draw – while the acting duo Jinon dreams to be a movie star and Kan attended drama school previously, LeeU and Yejun stayed loyal to music, one wanting to be a solo ballad singer and another to continue training and growing his singing passion.
So who does F.Cuz look up to? It’s… not surprisingly, multitalented Jay Chou! Jinon commented, “We really like Jay Chou. Kan and I are learning acting, so we wish to work with him in his movies, and if possible we wish to collaborate with him in terms of music, for our album.”
About the craziest thing a fan has ever done for F.Cuz – Jinon described how when they are overseas, many fans take cars to drive alongside their coach on the road, and they could really feel a lot of love from the fans. On a side note, this actually sounds common these days in Singapore, however.
The million-dollar question that day would be about F.Cuz’s collaboration with Taiwan teen sensation Yao Yao, in the Mandarin version of their song “Jiggy”. The question was: How was working with her like, and are the boys attracted to girls like her in real life? (At this point the boys were like, “Real life?” “Life? My life?” creating lots of laughter) LeeU pounced on the question with his pretty fluent English, “She’s really cute, but like, we’re an idol group, so… She’s really perfect for us.” Girls, time to play dress up like Yao Yao!
Following up with have the 8 attractive girls from After School, which stunned the crowd with their number, beauty and politeness. Bekah started the ball rolling by thanking the organisers for inviting them to our shores, and every member introduced themselves in English (seems like Nana was the only one who used Korean).
How do the girls keep fit in their busy schedules? The girls shared that since their dances require lots of practice, they spend a lot of time practicing which keeps them fit. Bekah also let out that the girls try to work out as much as possible and jokingly, she added that following their dance to their songs would hopefully help fans lose some weight.
Another question posed for the girls was about how After School was formed. “Actually, it started with Kahi unnie first, she was here first, and then we started out as 5, and we all auditioned… everyone just slowly came in… and we all saw that everyone has great skills.” Bekah replied, and Kahi followed up, “Now we’re also having auditions to look for a new member.” Indeed, the group is still growing in strength and talent.
And of course scandalous questions were not forgotten. Someone talked about boy group MBLAQ’s leader G.O who chose Jooyeon as his ideal type, expressing his wish to go on Korean reality show “We Got Married” as a couple with her, so the question to Jooyeon was, what does she think of it? For a moment the girls were stunned, with Bekah going, “wow…”
However, Jooyeon was really calm and explained, “G.O and I are good friends. Because we’re friends since trainee days, I think it’ll be interesting to go on the show together…” Bekah tried helping her out of it: “Actually they met when they were practising, long ago at the training room. They just really good friends, they’ll just… show you that they’re friends!” Though why did this comment make things sound more scandalous instead…^^
So do the girls see Girls’ Generation as their biggest rival? Nope, in fact it seems like the girls are showering love on them, with Bekah exclaiming, “They’re such great performers and… Ohh, they just really lovely girls!”
Later that night fans were treated to a fan meeting with the stars of the Festival, including an auction where all funds raised would go to the World Vision Foundation. The following were the auctioned items, which mostly bidded off over $100, the highest bid being Uee’s shoes/autographed Playgirlz photobook at $225:
With all these goodness from pre-event activities, it’s no surprise the actual concert was a blast.
As mentioned, fans queued from 5AM onwards, some maybe even earlier, just to get a good spot to watch their favourite celebrities perform. Fanclubs like FCUZSG and After School Singapore created huge banners and fanboards; the latter went all the way with presents for the girls, that costed over $100 (presents for all members especially Lizzy, whose birthday was on the exact day of concert). Fans for the J-Rock bands were even cooler – all decked in rock-ish suits if not Japanese traditional outfits like kimono, it was clear that the crowd was out to rock the night.
Doors opened at 7PM and the show opened with an exhilarating drum performance by local Japanese Taiko Drum group Tenko. Children were spotted in the talented crew too!
The stage heated up with J-Rock band SuG’s lively colourful appearance, especially with lead singer Takeru jumping about making funny faces. Their songs Gr8 Story, Koakuma Sparkling and 39GalaxyZ boosted the crowd’s energy as fans hopped to the beat. During a short talk in between performances, the boys even showed off their Chinese skills through introducing their names.
Lead singer Takeru
Next up was Korean boy group F.Cuz. The 4 charming boys showed off their energetic dance and even flips that wow-ed the crowd. Whenever there’s a chance, they did not forget to draw hearts to send their love to the fans downstage. They sang 4 songs, namely Jiggy, Because Of You, Boy Meets Girl, No One and for encore, Jiggy (Chinese version).
Anddd.. The FLIP!
Fanboys started screaming for the next group, the only girl group of the night, After School. Donned in their Bang! promotion red drummer outfits, all 8 girls looked good and ready to blow off some minds. As expected, their live performance and dance was indeed powerful and synced – but there was a fault with Raina’s microphone, which Raina did not give up on and continued to perform to her best.
Much to fans’ surprise, After School’s sub-group Orange Caramel did not perform Magic Girl but a cover for the Chinese version of M2M’s hit “The Day You Went Away”, sung by Cyndi Wang (第一次爱的人). The trio’s pronunciation was pretty good! Other than that, After School performed Because Of You, Ah, Bang! and finally Diva.
Between the performances, Lizzy the birthday girl (31st july) was treated to a mini celebration onstage. Fans sang the birthday song in Korean while a cake was brought out by Ah Ken, the MC. After blowing the candle Lizzy thanked the fans profusely in English, showing her sincerity.
The last band really rocked the place down. Be it Japanese or Korean fans, everyone jumped along to J-Rock band LM.C! Jamming to Ghost Heart, OH MY JULIET, Punky Heart, Rock the LM.C and 88, Maya’s got control of the crowd, making it cheer and jump as he pleased. Despite not in their famous grand outfits, the charisma given off onstage was addictive, with winks, pointings and even showering fans with water. They wrapped up with an encore stage of their hit song “Boys & Girls”, bringing a new level of excitement for the audience.
Finally it was time of finale and all artistes were invited back onstage. From the drummers to models to the bands and groups – it was a pretty (interesting) sight. While the J-Rock bands prepared to shower their fans with guitar picks, drum sticks and more, the K-Pop groups waved and posed hearts to their fans. The concert did end with a bang! when the streamers were released unexpectedly in front of the artistes and everyone onstage (other than the MCs) were visually shocked!
The festival has indeed brought together and shared the Asian culture –some fans commented after the concert that they were going to try out new music from other genres, having a crossover of culture through music. Hopefully this sharing of Asian culture will continue to be pursued in festivals to come! Until Sundown Festival in 2011!
These have been July’s major events, and there’s more to come in August. Do watch out for the numerous acts coming your way, and remember to appreciate and thank all organizers who try their best to bring your favourite artistes down!
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