Tuesday, 26 May 2015

K-Pop Night Out at Music Matters Live 2015

by Carlissia Kew

A New Experience for Sonamoo: It was the K-Pop girl group’s first ever overseas music festival, and the girls wasted no opportunity to interact with their fans. PHOTO BY: Benjamin Ng Wei Jie

As the Thursday night progressed into near midnight, the crowd at the fountain stage was visibly denser than before. Anticipation and excitement were evident in the air as everyone strained their necks to look out for the last K-Pop Night Out act. Preparing just backstage, the seven-member K-Pop girl group had already claimed their presence on stage. Without doubt, when the performance to their debut track ‘Déjà Vu’ commenced, a feeling of Déjà Vu washed over the audience – despite their rookie status, SONAMOO had already owned the stage with their unconventional girl group power packed choreography and beat – seemingly following in the footsteps of their label mate B.A.P.

“We are very honoured to be here. Thank you for Music Matters and thank you for coming here. And yes, we had chili crab tonight and we loved it," gushed the girls, who took some time out between songs to converse with the crowd.

Bringing a little twist to their set, the girls covered various songs, including their own choreographed dance version of ‘Want U Back’ by Cher Lloyd as well as Destiny Child’s ‘Stand Up For Love’, ending off their set with their second released song ‘Just Go’ that brought out the girly side of them.

Since its first ever appearance at Music Matters Live 2012 K-Pop Night Out, the event acts as a platform for interactions between K-Pop and the global music network. It has been a part of the music festival for 4 consecutive years, this time round having featured acts SONAMOO, Kingston Rudieska, Glen Check and Idiotape on 21 May at the Clarke Quay Fountain Stage.

The first K-Pop act to kick off the night was nine-member ska band Kingston Rudieska. The highlight of the night was when the stage and music blacked out all of a sudden while the group belted out ‘Give Me Some Love’. Without skipping a beat, the group maintained their professionalism as they regained their momentum to the beat of the song, followed by the undefeated crowd who spontaneously sang the song as one. The band was heavily influenced by first-wave Jamaican ska, ska jazz and other Caribbean genres such as reggae and calypso music. The whole idea of bringing K-Pop to the global music network was indeed achieved – people of all ages and races were feeling the beat in their bones as they grooved to the sound of trumpets and flutes – creating an infectious and funky atmosphere.

The two next similar acts checked off the list were synth-rock and electro-pop indie duo Glen Check, who is part of the Basement Resistance crew based back in Seoul, followed by electronic shoegazing trio Idiotape. Both bands were high on eye-catching backdrops and visuals and incorporated the elements of synthesizers, drums and/or guitars into their sets. The crowd certainly knew who they were, escalating into screams before they even kicked off their sets. Even for those who didn’t, it was hard to ignore the infectious and catchy beats coursing through one’s bones, which got the crowd clapping their hands together synonymously. Some of the songs Glen Check played were ‘Paint It Gold’ and ‘Pacific’, while Idiotape jammed out to ‘Melodie’ and more. Despite Glen Check being a South Korean band, the group actually produced songs in English due to both members influence of growing up outside of Korea.

With this year’s acts providing the audience with a fresh perspective on Korean bands, we could definitely expect the next one to kick it one notch up.

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