There are certain keys to a good concert, fan interaction, good pyrotechnics, great choreography and a feeling that you are right there with the performers on stage. What I experience was all that and much more. What does more entail? I have decided to try and give everyone who was unable to attend a feel of what it was like. The night included a lot of screaming, excitement, singing, laughs and some tears
The concert started with a treat, the unreleased (at the time) MV of “Tonight,” shown on the jumbo screens.
The released “Tonight” MV (3-1-2011)
The music video, set in and around Las Vegas which included beach scenes out by Sand Diego, really got the blood pumping. For those of you that have been to Vegas, just being there is amazing, and for those that haven’t use this video as an inspiration to go. The great thing about Vegas is that just like Big Bang looking out on the Vegas strip from the top of the MGM it makes you feel like you are the King of the world. The beat, lyrics, scene of “Tonight” is perfectly matched to the MV because you get that top of the world feeling jamming out to the track.
After the MV was shown it was followed by a video introduction to the “Big Show Big Bang Concert 2011” featuring a brief intro of each Big Bang member.
The wait and excitement was over, almost everyone of the 14,000 fans had a Big Bang crown glow stick in the stadium, an amazing site when the lights turned off. The screams erupted as the curtains unveiled Big Bang standing on a platform 30 feet above the stage surrounded by a smoky mist. The beat to “Hands Up” filled the stadium, fireworks shot off in unison with the music while the stage lowered, by the time the stage reached the ground the whole crowd was singing “Hey ho, hey ho, hey ho, hey ho. . .”
As “Hands Up” hits the slow climax point of the song (3 minute mark) Tae Yang runs down the middle stage and does a summersault back flip just before the beat/song kicks back in (picture show the preparation before the flip) leading to “Hey ho, hey ho, hey ho. . .”
A key to every great concert I have been to is a good entrance. The entrance was spectacular, nobody expected them to be 30 feet above the crowd and lower themselves down to the stage. Secondly the pyrotechnics put a stamp on the excitement and beat of “Hands Up.” The song itself is the perfect upbeat welcoming song for any concert. They all owned the performance, all pumped, GD approaching the crowd on either side of the stage pumping them up. The choreography worked the whole stage, pumped up the crowd, and included individualistic features such as Tae Yang’s back flip. It was apparent that the performance was that much better as they sang with passion knowing that the song was written by one of its members (GD). As I stated in my review of the Big Bang album this song just pumps you up, we were all in it, 14,000 people and glow sticks jamming in unison.
Their opening act was followed by their hit “Shake it” from their first album “Bigbang Vol.1.” Mixing in their old songs into the lineup gave a good contrast because they are quite different than their current album. It gave me the feeling of old school rap compared to the new music styles, we can see the music evolution through Big Bang. It was awesome to see them jamming to their hip-hop style. The group made their way out to the front stage and joined by 17 dancers did their patented “Big Bang” cheer in the “Shake it” song as they swayed as a group back and forth, what an image. Here is a clip from a previous concert with the same group cheer and sway:
After the first two songs the group gave out individual introductions, welcoming all the fans for coming. Sticking to the older hits they got right back into the groove with La La La + VIP back to back. This worked into the song “Big Bang.” Well choreographed with the added feature of adding pyrotechnic fireworks every time they said “Bang.” At the end of the song Seungri disappears on the main stage and the other four descend into the front stage.
“Old School” Impression:
What stood out to me the most in this set of the older hits was how much their style had changed. I always remember that the music sounded much more different when I was younger but it seems that the music changes with the times but gets better. Now Big Bang has integrated their rapping styles (more evident in early works) from GD and TOP with the great vocals of Dae Sung and mixed singing styles seen in Seungri and Tae Yang. The group has grown to become much better, giving a mix of styles, which has given rise to totally new styles like those heard in “Café” and “What is Right.” I love it, other groups have shown us that usually the different styles lead groups to break up, almost all the Big Bang members have had their own single albums yet it has made them stronger and it seems that they want to work together more.
Well the early exit by Seungri in the previous song was a hint at what was coming up next, the solo parts. So of course, Seungri was up first with “VVIP.” The lights focused back onto the main stage after the crowd was shown a Seungri introduction video on the jumbo screen. The “Ladies and Gentlemen” broke the silence and Seungri emerged rising out of the floor of the stage sitting on a thrown. The choreography was basically the same as the MV, I’m a big fan of the pumping hand movements, only this live version had the screams of adoring fans every time Seungri swung his hips after he sang out “rolling rolling.”
The lights went dark and green lasers fanned out from the main stage onto the crowd. The smoke from all the pyrotechnics left a perfect haze and then through the black lights Seungri appeared again standing 30 feet above the stage. The distinct techno beat starts to “What Can I Do” and the crowd shouts “down. . . down. . . down” as Seungri points from right to left. Throughout the song Seungri works the crowd, and the crowd in unison screamed out “Yi Seungri, Yi Seungri, Yi Seungri,” during the non-vocal part of the song towards the end.
I was a big fan of Seungri’s latest album and wasn’t disappointed at all with his two performances. Of course everything is better live, especially when the crowd interaction is as high as it was, you tend to feel the beat, life and passion behind the music. My favorite part for VVIP was when Seungri played out a Bond style fight in order to protect the girl, as was seen in the video too. I love concerts with crowd interaction and sing along styled performances as you can never reproduce that feeling of excitement.
Next soloist up was Tae Yang. He appears on the raised platform and is lowered to the stage wearing an all red suit. He breaks into the beat singing to “Where You At.” Right away he busts out his dance moves when he hits the stage, Usher like you may say, but actually it is easy to tell that Shaun Evaristo was the real source behind his moves. Evaristo has great routines which limit the dance movement but the performance is relatively done standing in the same spot. The song suddenly ends as the dancers fall to the ground and “I’ll Be There” begins shortly after.
Tae Yang Impression:
What stood out to me aside for the singing in Tae Yang’s performance was the choreography. As I mentioned the individualistic dancing style of Shaun Evaristo could be seen in Tae Yang’s moves but the overall choreography was great too. The beat of “I’ll Be There” and Tae Yang dressed in red made it seem as though he was a beating heart. The backup dancers would drag themselves towards Tae Yang as he moved around the stage and lay motionless when he would fall to the ground. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to hear “I Need a Girl,” as it is one of my favorites but the vocal and dance performance he gave was Grade A.
“I’ll Be There” ends with Tae Yang laying down on the stage, the lights came back on and he got up to introduce Dae Sung’s solo performance. It is an unreleased song by Dae Sung called “Baby Don’t Cry.”
The crowd starts to scream “Gang Dae Sung. . . Gang Dae Sung. . .” and on stage Dae Sung appears in a navy blue six button suit with microphone in hand and smoke drifting around at his feet. He has yet to release a solo album and I don’t know why because the vocals he shows in this song were amazing. His strong voice resonated “Baby don’t cry, just give me your smile,” as he gripped the microphone and was down on both knees.
(Dae Sung pictured during Big Bang’s last performance)
Please sign me up for the pre-album sales because his solo album is going to be amazing. The beat of the song reminded me of Sting & the Police, “Every Breath You Take,” but the vocals I couldn’t place as they are unique to him alone. It was a pity we only received one solo performance from Dae Sung.
Up next was GD & TOP, we first got to watch a short introduction video. Then came the distinct sound of “Knock Out” and the two appeared on in a yellow suit (GD) and TOP in a green suit, they looked awesome. To start off the great performance each of them cruised around on and around the stages on Segways (they have definitely had a lot of practice) similar to the one seen in the MV for “Knock Out.” What was even more amazing was the massive pink tank which was on the main stage. GD & TOP know how to use the props the best whether it be the flare they wear or the props they integrated into their performance.
The next song was “Oh Yeah!” which kept everyone anxious to see if Park Bom would make an appearance. They both have a knack for getting the crowd in it whether rapping or singing “Oh yeah.” As expected the crowd screamed and Park Bom entered on stage in a stunning one piece joining in to the jam with GD & TOP.
The whole crowd got to their feet jamming their lit crowns in unison. As the two rapped away the crowd joined in singing “High high I’m so high. . . say ha ha ha ha ha say la la la la la. . .” it was the most active song of all the songs for the crowd as everyone sang and danced along with the hand motions. Even the bleachers I was standing on beat with the music as everyone jumped up and down.
GD & TOP are natural stage performers the song lyrics feed the fire even more. Every part of all their performances had the chants and sing a-longs perfectly matched with them. Their style and stage presence really just takes over and showcases their true rap styles. With the song “High High” they got the whole stadium up on their feet jumping around in synchrony, just seeing the sea of crowns was exhilarating.
While waiting for the next song the crowd was shown the MV for “Don’t go Home” from the GD & TOP album. It gave off a 70’s or 80’s themed vibe but was very entertaining.
The next song up was Big Bang’s “A Fool with Tears.” Tae Yang enters the spotlight first, wearing an all white suit/jacket with an imprint of his face on it. Dae Sung starts off the second verse, descending in onto the stage, followed by Seungri also descending onto the stage singing the third verse. GD and TOP finally join in with their respected parts, all standing together with their face imprinted white suits.
The next song breaks in with the distinct piano melody and beat of “Tell me Goodbye.” The song is reminiscent of a Rihanna styled beat and Nsync singing style, a great mix. The song shows the true quality of each individual, the strong vocals by Dae Sung complimented with those of Tae Yang, Seungri and G-Dragon mixed with the rapping of TOP (his voice has a Ja Rule sound to it). These two songs calmed the crowd as a huge disco ball set the mood towards the end of “Tell me Goodbye.” As the piano fades out the lights dim.
Big Bang come back out to the outer stage and spoke to the crowd, stating that they will be appearing throughout the crowd and for everyone to be careful and stay calm. (Just impossible)
To everyone’s excitement Big Bang got on a movable stage that moves between the standing pit and the stadium seating. Pleasing some of the international fans in the building they sing their Japanese song “Ko Eo Kika Sete.” I don’t think anyone was listening because it turned into complete mayhem. They jumped off the moving platform and gave out hand greetings; I even saw some kisses on the cheeks of some fans. I was standing literally feet away from them, it was heart pounding, the shock and excitement on the faces of all the fans was surreal. The platform continued on to the other side of the stadium. GD held a camera in his hands which was shown on the big screen of all the adoring fans.
As if it couldn’t get any better, it did. Still on the platform “Wonderful” starts and they all jump off the platform into the bleachers and push themselves through the crowd back to where the platform initial started. Fans were in complete shock. After all the mayhem was over and we returned to our seats I found the Japanese girl next to me (who flew in from Japan just to see the concert) crying with tears of joy, unable to fathom what just happened.
Impression: What happened just can’t be described, the Japanese girl says (shows) it all.
In order to calm the crowd down after the crowd interaction a 20 minute or so parody of “Secret Garden” by Big Bang. If you haven’t seen “Secret Garden” yet and are a Big Bang fan just watch this parody instead, “Secret Big Bang,” as it sums up the whole series with a lot of surprises and humor. I don’t want to spoil anything and will just say if you want to see GD wearing a dress, Seungri and TOP in a juicy kissing scene and Dae Sung with amazing acting abilities (smellllllllll!) then this is for you.
After the parody ends the intro of the 4th mini album comes on. The whole crowd sings along, then a blackout, next they all enter on stage with the start of “Tonight.” Pumping up the crowd again fireworks are shot out in unison with the lyrics “Big Bang.” My favorite part of the song was the most exciting, the acoustic guitar part, and made this performance stick out in my mind. GD appears in the spotlight 10 feet above the rest of the group turning around slowly while playing the acoustic buildup to bring the song back to the beat, right at the end he smashes the guitar into the ground with fireworks a blazing, wow.
The “Tonight” performance from the SBS “THE BIGBANG SHOW” aired on the 28th
Next up, “Somebody to Love,” Big Bang’s favorite track. The crowd was already flying with the “Tonight” performance so the sea of crowns just kept going. I could feel the seats I was sitting in swaying back and forth as the hand motions went front to back. GD used his great stage presence again to get the crowd fired up as he would say, “somebody” and the crowd would reply “to love.” I found the choreography to be very interesting as the backup singers blended in as props as well as dancers throughout the dance routine.
“Café” gives the lime light to TOP, right from the start, with his deep voice and rapping throughout the song. The scene was set in a café with TOP and GD standing while the other three members were sitting at tables. I was most impressed actually with Dae Sung’s performance, even sitting down he is able to have such a strong voice and hold the tone perfectly. It was a crowd favorite even though it wasn’t up beat like that of “Tonight.” The performance on the SBS show was in a way a mini-version of the real performance.
The “Cafe” performance from the SBS “THE BIGBANG SHOW” aired on the 28th
The pop/rock sounding song, “What is Right,” opened up with GD giving his short intro before Tae Yang took over with his vocals. As I had mentioned in my album p/review this song seemed to me to be a mix of the old and the new. You had the old rapping styles of GD and TOP mixed with the new Pop style melody when singing “What is right and what is wrong.” Again in the live version what stuck out was the range and powerful voice of Dae Sung.
The “What is Right” performance from the SBS “THE BIGBANG SHOW” aired on the 28th
The fireworks brought the excitement of the crowd right back when they started singing “Tonight.” I was feeling the vibe throughout all the performances from the new album, my two favorites still “Tonight” and “Café.” The prop setting for “Café” stood out to me, the members sitting in a café made it seem like the MV was playing out in front of us. Their attire was styled with red and black outfits; all unique in style and color combinations (although Dae Sung and Tae Yang wore all black).
After wrapping up their album performances they sat down and sang an acoustic version of “Haru Haru” followed by “Lies.” Everyone sat and listened to the rendered version of “Haru Haru” but when it came time for “Lies” we were right back in it. A song that everyone loved, knew by heart, and sang with all their strength. The bleachers started rocking again the wave in the ocean of crowns came right back, it wasn’t long before everyone was back on their feet jamming. What a performance 🙂
The “Haru Haru” MV
The “Lies” MV
I really got into Big Bang when I heard “Lies” and “Haru Haru” before that I was a fan but after I studied their individual talents much more, heard their individual albums during their hiatus, loved their songs even more. Hearing their greatest hits were a treat, it brought back memories and the disappointment that I had been unable to hear them live till that moment. It was strange because I have watched the YouTube clip so many times that I was able to play the MV in my mind while watching the real performance through my eyes. The acoustic version of “Haru Haru” was different but good; I am a sucker for the acoustic guitar, so I think everything sounds better when it is played in an acoustic version.
These weren’t the only hits they played, “Last Farewell” came next. The crowd was already on their feet as Big Bang ran out to the outer stage, the pits were just going crazy. Everyone singing “B—I—G, Bang Bang, B—I—G, Bang Bang,” I thought for a second the bleachers may collapse but then was taken away by the music again.
The MV for the “Last Farewell”
Continuing with their hits, “My Heaven,” came next. Again the crowd was in it screaming “24/7 my heaven,” I could literally feel the beat in the ground as everyone stomped their feet on the bleachers to the beat. The concert was reaching the climax point, we had gotten to relive so much through all the performances and then suddenly it was over.
The MV for “My Heaven”
But we weren’t going to allow it. The crowd started screaming “Duh won hae, duh won hae” (we want more), this went on for about five minutes. Finally something, the front stage folds up like a flower but nothing happens as we all wait in suspense still cheering. Suddenly the music starts to “Always” and the five members come out on individual stands which were raised 40 feet in the air.
The MV for “Always”
Hoping there was one more song we all knew there was one hit which was missing out of the lineup which would fit perfect into any finish, “Sunset Glow.” I am not sure what the feeling was, pumped, happy, upset, overwhelmed everything hit as you knew the concert was drawing to an end. Oh, what a night and there was one more treat in store. The group jumped back on to the moving platform and into the crowd. Seungri and GD were suspended on a wire just out of reach, floating over the crowd as they serenaded us all. It seemed as if the song went on forever or maybe that was because everyone was having a blast. Confetti filled the air as they made their way back to the main stage and then the dreadful end had finally come. They wished their farewells and thanks and exited the stage to a roaring happy crowd. The final act was a farewell video shown on the big screens, it was over.
I have seen my fare share of concerts and this one ranks towards the top. The crowd singing along, fan interaction, choreography, costumes, the set and whole performance was perfect. Each and every song they sang seemed as though they knew before hand this concert was going to happen so they produced it to fit into the concert. Starting on a high note with “Hands Up,” going down memory lane with their first hits, bringing back the joy with their new hits, and following it up with the hits we know best. Now instead of visually seeing the MV’s playing in my mind I will think of each and every performance at this concert. Thank you YG Entertainment and Big Bang for the “Big Show.”