July 09, 2006
By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Shinhwa, 6-member K-pop boy band, perform Saturday before thousands of Chinese fans during their sold-out concert at the Shanghai Grand Stage in Shanghai, China, the first stop in their “State of the Art 2006” Asian tour.
This summer, K-pop stars are escaping the heat by going abroad. But, instead of relaxing on a beach or traveling, they will be working hard to entertain foreign fans with spectacular concerts in Asia and the United States.
Shinhwa, one of the most popular K-pop groups among foreign fans, has taken its "State of the Art 2006’’ tour overseas. Indeed, the six-member group held a successful concert in Shanghai, China, last Saturday.
Around 10,000 Chinese fans turned up at the Shanghai Grand Stage to see the group perform their best-known dance songs and romantic ballads. With ticket prices starting at 100 yuan (11,800 won) to as much as 1,880 yuan (223,000 won) for VIP seats, organizers said the concert had been sold out since May.
Having began their Asian tour last May with two sold-out concerts in Seoul, Shinhwa’s next international stop is Thailand with a concert at the Arena Hall, Impact Arena in Nonthaburi, a Bangkok suburb, on August 18.
There are also plans for concerts in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan later this year.
Shinhwa is currently busy promoting their 8th album, "State of the Art.’’
Another popular K-pop boy band, TVXQ, is also holding their first major concert in Asia this weekend. "TVXQ’s Rising Sun 1st Asia Tour 2006: Live in Malaysia’’ will be at the Putra Indoor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. Super Junior will be the special guest during the concert.
TVXQ already has a significant fan base in Malaysia, although the Kuala Lumpur concert is also expected to attract fans from neighboring Asian countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines. Korean fans do not need to worry about missing the group’s concert, since there are special tour packages specifically for the concert and sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur.
TVXQ will have another concert in Bangkok, Thailand in September.
Last February, TVXQ exceeded expectations with a four-day concert drawing around 40,000 fans from all over Asia.
YG Entertainment is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a world tour featuring all of its artists. The YG Family’s "10th Anniversary World Tour: Past, Present & the Future’’ begins August 19 in Seoul.
The concert will feature K-pop heartthrob Se7en; hip-hop group stars like 1TYM, Jinusean and Masta Wu; sexy singer Lexy and other artists such as Gummy, Big Mama, Perry, 45 RPM, and Stonyskunk.
Se7en, now promoting his third album "24/7,’’ recently won the Favorite Korean Artist Award at the 2006 MTV Awards in Bangkok, Thailand.
"YG Family’s world tour will be held in eight to 11 countries. It is estimated to attract over 300,000 fans,’’ YG Entertainment said. The world tour is expected to help raise the profile of YG Family artists in the international scene.
After Seoul, YG Family will hold two concerts in Japan: September 8 in Osaka and September 10 in Tokyo.
Concerts are also scheduled in the United States, where there is a large Korean-American population as well as a budding interest in K-pop music among Americans. YG Family will hold a series of concerts in Washington, D.C. on October 10; New York City on October 20, and Los Angeles on October 21.