This year’s Korean Music Festival was held on April 28th with the MC’s being Son Ho Young and Brown Eyed Girls’ Narsha. They did a great job hosting the festival, especially Son Ho Young as he even did a little impersonation of Lena Park’s performance later in the concert.
The opening act was by the Crenshaw Elite Choir and what an astounding and lively performance they had put on. If my ears heard correctly, they also sang in Korean, which sounded amazing. The UCLA Korean classical music and dance group also put on a little performance with 31 youth and IKPA. It was very traditional and beautiful.
The Young Angels Children’s Choir accompanied the stage with the US national anthem, while Kim Tae Woo sang the Korean anthem heartwarmingly.
The first artist to perform was trio Arirang, who sang mostly their Chinese songs, as they have been recently active there. Not being familiar with their music, it was quite refreshing to see them sing and rap. They have that R&B/soul feel to them along with a touch of humor in their performances. Arirang just makes you light up and smile. Following Arirang was veteran singer Lee Yong who gave a very fun show.
Next to seize the stage was beautiful vocalist Park Jung Hyun (Lena Park), who gave one of the most heavenly performances of the night. She sang “PS I Love You” off her first album as well as one of her great song “이젠 그랬으면.” Lena Park has that sweet and touching aura that makes you feel all bubbly inside.
Bobby Kim embraced the stage with first two songs that were upbeat and then a slow ballad-y one then joined the rest of Buga Kingz members Juvie Train and GanD with “Tic Tac Toe” and “Rolling.” Their stage presence was absolutely cheerful and downright very entertaining.
Love and Peace gave out a jazzy yet soothing feel that gets you just in the right mood. The members gave a cute and hilarious performance, as well as showcasing how great they are as instrumentalists. I have to say, the guitar solo was breathtaking.
“I Am a Singer” rocker Kim Kyung Ho got the crowd pumped up with his rock and roll and amazing voice. He sounded very genuine and it was absolutely great watching him rock the stage. The hair flips he did and the passion filled air he gave was in fact pretty remarkable.
Brown Eyed Girls presented their songs “Sixth Sense”, “Hot Shot”, “The Ugly Truth” and “Abracadabra.” They looked really sexy with their cool outfits. Furthermore, their live performances were well executed. Of course, main vocalist JeA hit her high notes and made the crowd roar.
Veteran singer Nam Jin still got the moves. His performances were quite energetic and very amusing.
MBLAQ exhibited great performances as well with “Oh Yeah”, “Mona Lisa”, “Y” and “This Is War.” It seemed like most of the crowd were excited and anxious for their performances and they sure did have a large
Kim Tae Woo went on stage performing two songs, one being “Love Rain.” Son Ho Young too gave out two performances. The highlight I believe would have to be when four members of G.O.D came together to give one of the greatest performances all night. It was surprising and pretty incredible. For some of those who left after MBLAQ performed, I guess they missed out.
Lastly, everyone came on stage together while the fireworks blasted up in the sky. It was a great ending to a great first concert for me. Unfortunately, crossover tenor singer Im Tae Kyung couldn’t make it to the festival. It was disappointing as he was one of the acts I was really eager to see and hear. The nights before the concert date, I was on Youtube searching for his music and he is unbelievably a great singer and really melts you. Maybe next time?
Overall it was a very exciting concert for a first timer like me. I just recently moved back to California from Alaska after living there for six years and it was great to have an opportunity like this, filled with so many lesser known artists. However, next year, I think it would be much better to get closer seats, as sitting too far, I was unable to take any pictures and actually enjoy the concert to the fullest extent. No matter who is in the line-up, for sure the concert is worthwhile to attend. After all, this is the largest Kpop concert in the United States. The only disappointing thing about the concert was at the beginning of the concert when someone had said there were going to be artists like Nam Jin or Lee Yong for the “older generations” or “old timers.” It may be a little bit true that the veteran singers usually bring in the older crowd, but even youngsters with open minds will enjoy the performances.
Was it just me or were the performances pretty great? They all sounded exactly like the original tracks. I was waiting for a crack with a high note or something but I didn’t hear any and that made me have so much more anticipation for live performances.
For more pictures, videos and news about this year’s festival, visit the forum thread here.
Special thanks to Verizon for sponsoring my tickets to the Korean Music Festival. Just barely making it in time to meet up with Ben Hyun, he spoke about HopeLine, which brings awareness about domestic violence, helping support the victims and survivors of domestic violence while making sure that phones are reused or recycled in an environmentally friendly and responsible way. They even have an interesting Trade-In Program that you can learn about at this link.