When the team heard that there would be a specially conceptualized concert, featuring the most popular and well-loved Korean drama OST theme songs, we were genuinely surprised. Would Singaporeans, who are used to seeing idols perform with flashy theatrics lighting and elaborate stage setups, appreciate a no-frills simple stage and just enjoy the soothing voices of the artistes? The answer, if the reactions of the audience were anything to go by, is a definite yes.
True enough, the concert crowd was slightly different from the usual concert-goers we’re used to seeing – a slightly more matured audience, more polite applause with fewer catcalls (with the exception when K.Will appeared. Then again, he is the ‘oppa‘ in the arena), no hyperventilating fangirls, no mob running towards the stage in attempt to get up-close and personal. What we had was instead, an attentive audience as the artistes belt out classic drama hits, one after another.
Male vocal duo GB9 (길구봉구) opened the night with ‘I Miss You’ from Stairway to Heaven, followed closely by ‘Snow Flower’ (I’m Sorry I Love You) and ‘I Believe’ (My Sassy Girl). GB9 is a relatively new duo that made their official debut two years ago with ‘Going Crazy’, a soulful song that got a beautiful live rendition with strong rainfall-sound effects at the concert.
Since then, the duo has done a couple of collaborations and sung a series of OST including ‘I Hope It’s Breeze’ (The Woman Who Married Three Times) and ‘Remember Me’ (Trot Lovers). While they didn’t perform their own tracks, their husky covers of the drama classics were no doubt a great way to ease into the night.
Introducing themselves in (actually, really, really) adorable English, the duo expressed their happiness at the opportunity to perform in Singapore for their first time, how they enjoyed Singapore’s scenery and Chili crab, and their wish to return for another performance.
After singing ‘The Beginning To Now’, from one of the biggest K-drama hit to hit Asia, Winter Sonata, GB9 passed the baton over to female vocalist U Sung Eun. One would probably recognize her from the survival program ‘The Voice of Korea’ or when she made her small screen debut earlier this year, through Mnet’s Web Musical Drama, ‘Persevere, Goo Hae-Ra’, portraying the role of Lee Woori.
Like GB9, this was the singer’s first time performing in Singapore, and during her short ment section, U Sung Eun commented on how glad she was to know that Korean dramas and OSTs are popular in Singapore. The artiste also mentioned that she would love to visit the little red isle again, perhaps for a solo concert – we would be waiting!
Continuing the ‘Classic OST Theme Songs’ segment, U Sung Eun performed to ‘I Think I’ (Full House), ‘Touch Love’ (The Master’s Sun), ‘My Destiny‘ (You Who Came From The Stars) and ‘Perhaps Love’ (Goong), the last classic hit performed with GB9. Of course, we couldn’t miss her own debut track, ‘Be OK‘, where she broke into little endearing dance steps on the stage, getting the crowd to clap along with her.
The King of OST, K.Will took the stage next amid loud cheers and catcalls – the first we’ve heard since the start of the concert. The singer’s popularity is evident judging from the cheers and cries of ‘oppa‘ at every small gesture (including taking a sip of water), surprising even K.Will himself. The singer commented with a smile how he was touched to hear the cheers because he thought it’s a reaction only idols would get, and added, “thank you for giving me a good memory.”
The vocalist sang a total of six songs, and in the list were four memorable OSTs: ‘Like A Star’ (You Who Came From The Stars), ‘The Only Person‘ (Pinocchio), ‘Love Is Punishment’ (Shining Inheritance) and upbeat track ‘Real Love Song’ (The Greatest Love). Fans were singing along, and we caught fans waving their arms slowly to the beat.
Besides OSTs, K.Will treated fans to a live performance of his latest release, ‘Growing‘. The song, having just released last month, seemed to be a popular choice among the floor from the loud cheers that erupted at the end of the performance. To end off his segment for the night, the male singer sang the cute love song, ‘My Heart Is Beating’ – even sneaking in small heart gestures to the audience.
The final act of the night is none other than the Queen of OST, Baek Jiyoung. With over 15 OSTs under her belt, the female vocalist has sung hit OSTs for popular dramas like Secret Garden, Rooftop Prince, and Good Doctor.
This is Baek Jiyoung’s second time to our sunny island, the first for MAMA back in 2011. Despite the much smaller (and cozier) stage, the vocalist comments that it was a nice change that allowed her to get more personal with her fans, making it an enjoyable stage on its own. While introducing the songs she performed, Baek Jiyoung mused on the interesting relationship with actor Hyun Bin, having sung on several of the movies and drama OSTs that he acted in.
Singing to five well-known OSTs, the singer easily got the crowd humming and singing to her songs ‘That Woman’ (Secret Garden), ‘After A Long Time’ (Rooftop Prince), ‘Because of You’ (Hyde Jekyll, Me), ‘Spring Rain’ (Gu Family Book), and ‘Fervor’ (Fatal Encounter). The vocalist also shared that ‘That Woman’ was her favourite OST to date, and the song ‘After A Long Time‘ is special to her because her husband Jung Sukwon acted in the drama Rooftop Prince. She admitted with, “of course, Park Yoochun-ssi and Han Jimin-ssi are great in the drama, but I can’t help but look at my husband, Jung Sukwon.”
Being the eldest among the performers, she showed her resolve to hype up the audience with two techno-infused dance hits, ‘Bad Girl’, and ‘My Ear’s Candy’; the latter even featured a special appearance from her manager, who actually perfected the choreography! Last but not least, she sang to ‘Being Hit By A Bullet’, ending the night on a bittersweet note.
There was no fanciful stage set-up, only a bit of lighting variation accompanying a digital backdrop, a microphone and a good voice. But if anything, the near full-house Korean Drama OST Night only showed that Singaporeans are still appreciative of simple and most important thing – vocal talents. And that in its own, is a refreshing twist. We can’t wait to see more of these artistes here, perhaps for another OST night, or solo concert?
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Many thanks to MODE Entertainment for the invitation.