It was with heavy hearts that the world watched the news unfold of the terror attacks in Paris, where 129 people died while enjoying a typical Friday night out at restaurants, bars, a concert, and a soccer game.
For many of us K-pop fans who have visited Paris, live in Paris, or simply like to enjoy a night out on the weekend, the attacks felt deeply personal. The city often plays host to K-pop concerts, serving as a central meeting point for European fans who are unlikely to be able to see concerts in their own hometowns. The Bataclan, the music venue where at least 80 people were killed during a hostage situation, hosted Block B in February and Teen Top last year. Still other groups and artists have made a point of visiting the city, performing in concerts, visiting Fashion Week, or shooting a photobook. Our staff at Soompi France have also been a constant fixture in the French K-pop landscape, diligently covering news and events since 2011. To us, Paris is proof of K-pop’s international appeal, and home to some of the most dedicated fans in the world. Seeing artists such as TVXQ in front of the Eiffel Tower, or PSY at the Louvre, for us, is almost like two icons meeting face to face.
We would also like to take this time to acknowledge the fact that a day earlier, 43 lives were also lost in Beirut at the hands of ISIS. A passerby named Adel Termos sacrificed his life to tackle a suicide bomber who was attempting to detonate. His heroic final act likely saved the lives of hundreds, and serves as a reminder that these attacks are indeed worldwide.
In no particular order, here’s a short list of our favorite K-pop moments in Paris.
1. KBS Music Bank in Paris
The February cold wasn’t enough to deter European K-pop fans from converging en masse on Paris in 2012 to attend the much-anticipated KBS Music Bank in Paris concert. 2PM, Girls’ Generation, BEAST, SISTAR, T-ara, U-Kiss, and 4minute performed their hearts out to a crowd of 10,000 fans.
2. T-ara’s Paris and Swiss Photobook
The ladies, who performed at Music Bank in Paris, also took the opportunity to prepare a sweet photobook of their time in Paris and Switzerland.
3. PSY greeting his flashmob at the Trocadéro
In 2012, a huge crowd came out to see PSY and dance to “Gangnam Style.” It’s an incredible sight to behold: 20,000 people joyously doing the horse dance in tandem!
4. SMTOWN LIVE in Paris
Before there was Music Bank, there was SMTOWN. TVXQ, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, f(x), and Super Junior performed for the Paris leg of SMTOWN’s world tour in June of 2011.
5. SMTOWN LIVE in Paris: “One More Date” Flash Mob
Top on our list of “visualizing and achieving” is the French fans’ dedication to getting to see their favorite artists live. The original SMTOWN LIVE Paris concert sold out in 15 minutes, leaving many unhappy fans without tickets. Did they pack it up, tell their friends to enjoy the concert without them, and settle for preordering the DVD? Of course not. Instead, they held a flash mob in front of the Louvre that received international coverage, causing SMTOWN to add another date to their Paris stop. Mission accomplished.
6. Block B at the Bataclan
Not a group for huge international stadium venues, Block B showed their cool when they performed an intimate, enthusiastic, and dazzling show in Paris last February.
7. G-Dragon and Taeyang at Paris Fashion Week
For our money, the most iconic image of K-pop in France was when GDYB took over Paris Fashion Week in 2014 — and giving everyone ultimate #fashiongoals and #friendshipgoals while the paparazzi photographed them all over the city.
8. TVXQ’s Bonjour Paris Photobook
This one’s for all the fans in the world who hold DB5K in their hearts. TVXQ did a super cute photobook here in 2007.
9. Super Junior Super Show 4 in Paris
Super Junior held Super Show 4 at Le Zenith de Paris in 2012… plus photobook!
10. Teen Top at the Bataclan
Teen Top performed at the concert hall in 2014.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the terror attacks.