[Recap] G-Dragon, EXO and More Bring Down the House at M!Countdown What’s Up LA Concert
On August 25th, over 20,000 fans witnessed a truly monumental K-Pop musical rock fest during KCON 2013’s M!Countdown What’s Up LA concert featuring a star-studded lineup, including Big Bang’s G-Dragon, Missy Elliott, Crayon Pop, EXO, 2AM, f(x), Teen Top, Super Junior M’s Henry, Yu Seung Woo, and Dynamic Duo.
Read on for our complete recap to this year’s KCON concert, taking you through the long-awaited legendary collaboration between Big Bang’s G-Dragon and five-time Grammy winner Missy Elliott, Crayon Pop’s surprise appearance with this year’s hit song “Bar Bar Bar,” Teen Top’s debut stage of their newest single “Rocking,” Henry’s unveiling of the English version of his solo debut song “Trap,” and 2AM’s angelic cover of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are.”
After vivacious opening songs from Chad Future and Jeff Bernat, girl group f(x) was the first to take center stage, as they officially opened the three-hour main event with a perfectly synchronized “Electric Shock.”
Immediately, the girls launched into their newest single “Rum Pum Pum Pum,” and fittingly finished off with “Hot Summer.” Despite being one of the only girl groups of the night, f(x) did not disappoint, with all members effortlessly coordinating with one another to put on a lively and powerful show for fans. In particular, member Amber’s performance was especially well-received; her appearances on screen never failed to attract screaming of the fans.
Next up, K-Pop veterans Dynamic Duo‘s performances truly lived up to the “dynamic” in their name, as the two fluently captivated both the attention and frenzy of the fans in one fell swoop. Their live rendition of their hits “BAAAM,” “Fireworks,” and “Friday Night” had the crowd cheering on their feet as they jumped along with the energetic rap.
With a bow to thank fans for attending the concert, Dynamic Duo exited the stage, giving way to a countdown presentation from ballad boy group 2AM. 2AM’s first song brought about a refreshing change of pace to the concert; their cover of Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are” perfectly exhibited their harmonic vocals, combining them into one to form one of the most vocally enticing stages of the night.
Without pause, their alluring voices joined together once more as they emerged center stage on rose-petal platforms, melting the hearts of fans with a passionate live performance of their newest single “One Spring Day.”
After a quick introduction, the boys ended their appearance for the night with iconic power ballad “Can’t Let You Go Even If I Die,” taking fans for a trip down memory lane. The soothing melody resonated around the arena, completely mesmerizing the audience members.
The next guest, Super Junior M’s Henry proceeded straight into his current promotional single “1, 4, 3,” featuring a surprise appearance by f(x)’s Amber, whose sudden appearance garnered continued screams from the audience. Despite newly debuting as a solo artist, Henry seemed comfortable on stage, not forgetting to stop to perform fan service for the audience.
Henry’s time on stage was all too short, but powerful nonetheless. The Canada-born K-Pop idol introduced his next and final song, promising to “bring the other guys with him next time,” before finally revealing the much-anticipated English version to his debut solo single “Trap.”
Next: Crayon Pop, Yu Seung Woo, Teen Top, Missy Elliott
The five girls of Crayon Pop, each equipped with a lime green polo shirt, a short white tennis skirt and a motorcycle helmet, were easily recognizable on the KCON stage as they proceeded into formation for “Bar Bar Bar,” the hottest song this K-Pop season. The iconic choreography and song hook was to many, a pleasant surprise, as Crayon Pop had not been an officially announced guest. After a quick introduction by each member, Crayon Pop performed their second and final stage, “Dancing Queen,” not forgetting to interject it with plenty of cute poses and aegyo.
Next up was a joint stage by American Idol‘s Heejun Han and Superstar K4’s Yu Seung Woo, whose acoustic mash-up of popular K-Pop songs, such as PSY’s “Gentleman,” 4Minute’s “What’s Your Name,” SHINee’s “Dream Girl,” and SISTAR’s “Give It to Me,” was a crowd favorite. Soon after, Yu Seung Woo formally greeted the audience with “Hello,” the title track off his first mini album “First Outing.”
Dramatic violin riffs accompanied the central spotlights’ attention on ceiling-to-floor banners branded with just one name: Teen Top. The ending note of the intro suddenly gave way to the release of the banners, and revealed six hidden silhouettes awaiting the fans in a cool pose. Wasting no moments, Teen Top jumped straight into the choreography of “Rocking,” officially debuting their new single on the KCON stage.
The boys then performed “Miss Right,” “To You,” before closing their set with “Crazy.” Their fast-paced performances juxtaposed with Yu Seung Woo’s mellow acoustics, and the members were perfectly in tune with one another in every move to every beat.
Five-time Grammy winning rapper Missy Elliott then treated KCON attendees to unforgettable performances of her hits “Get Ur Freak On” and “Lose Control.”
Next: EXO, G-Dragon x Missy Elliott collaboration!
One of the most anticipated artists of the night was about to perform, and the audience knew this all too well. A wave of “EXO” chants could be heard echoing around the stadium, with fans constantly screaming out the names of their favorite member.
The lights dimmed after a quick dance intro as one lone spotlight swung to reveal a perfectly EXO-formed “Tree of Life.” With no hesitation, EXO gave the audience a flawless performance of “Wolf,” before riling the crowd up immediately for their newest follow up single “Growl.”
Before we knew it, EXO was performing their last song of the night, “365.” With reluctance, EXO bid the audience goodbye, thanking fans for helping invite EXO back for the second year.
The opening bars of a familiar beat echoed throughout LA’s sports arena, as a “wild and young” G-Dragon rose up on a glowing pedestal, greeting thousands of screaming fans hello with: “Yessir, I’m one of a kind.” G-Dragon’s impeccable stage presence remained unfazed by the roaring of the crowd, as he gave an immaculate performance of his hit song “One of a Kind.”
Immediately, the Big Bang leader proceeded into his most recent single “MichiGO,” fully utilizing the entire stage area by energetically running back and forth to engage fans on all sides.
Taking a brief moment to greet the fans, G-Dragon introduced himself as a “G to the D, Gold and Diamonds Boy.” In a way that needs no formal introduction, his next song was creatively announced with interaction with the audience: “When I say ‘swag’, you say ‘check’. When I say ‘Get Your’, you say ‘Crayon‘.”
After “Crayon,” G-Dragon retreated briefly backstage to make way for the impending live collaboration stage with Missy Elliott; as soon as G-Dragon arrived back on stage to join Missy Elliott, a wave of screaming could be heard echoing the venue. The two legends of two entertainment industries exerted unbelievable chemistry on one of the most charismatic stages as they performed “Niliria,” an unreleased single from G-Dragon’s upcoming sophomore album “Coup d’Etat,” for the first time.
This year’s KCON concert’s final curtain call united artists from all the three big companies: SM Entertainment (EXO, Henry), JYP Entertainment (2AM), and YG Entertainment (G-Dragon). Together, as one, they paid homage to the rising influence of K-Pop in the US during this year’s convention.
If you haven’t already, be sure to also check out our coverage of the KCON 2013 Press Conference. Were you at KCON 2013?
All images courtesy of CJ E&M.