It may be difficult to understand what the song is trying to say, but it’s easy to get carried away by the flair of K-Pop.
This was what the Super Pop Con Music Festival was all about — getting lost in K-Pop magic. The magic was created through the multi-faceted elements of the concert held last Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
It was not just the music per se that made the experience memorable; there was also the preparation that went into every single performance — from the production design and wardrobe to the musical arrangements and dance routines — which in turn made the show entertaining even to the uninitiated spectator, although probably not in the same degree of excitement as for the true-blooded K-Pop fan.
It’s still a wonder why K-Pop is so big in the Philippines, in spite of the obvious language barrier. K-Pop mania is strong enough in the country to warrant a gathering of K-Pop’s rising stars through the Super Pop Con.
K-Pop boybands B1A4, B.A.P, BTOB, Pentagon, VIXX and B.I.G thrilled the audience with their numbers fueled by infectious melodies and energetic dance moves.
The boybands were clad in fanciful coordinated attire that made it easier to tell one group from the other. The boys tried to bridge the language barrier by speaking a few Filipino expressions like “Mabuhay” and Mahal ko kayo,” and such a gesture seemed sufficient to instantly forge a stronger connection with their fans.
It was hard to tell if they were lip-syncing or not, considering their high-octane yet seamlessly executed dance routines and formations. But whether or not they were singing live the whole time or otherwise didn’t seem to matter. The audience sang along to most of the songs, regardless of the fact that they were sung in Korean.
They also danced to every beat, paid much attention to the colorful digital presentations on the LED panels on stage, and trained their eyes and ears on every performance.
Six boybands performing four or five songs each may already seem a lot, but the Super Pop Con offered a wild card that proved to be a pleasant surprise. As if boyband and girlband fandom isn’t testament enough of the Filipinos’ love for K-Pop, one of K-Pop’s rising stars and performers for the evening turned out to be a Filipina.
Cebu-born, California-raised Kriesha Tiu’s group, KWIN, was a Kpop Star runner-up. Yes, 18-year-old Kriesha is a Filipino-American who loves K-Pop so much, she fully embraced Korean culture, learned to sing in Korean and joined a contest so she could be part of the movement that won the hearts of followers not only in Korea and the Philippines, but in Western countries as well.
Kriesha has since moved to Seoul to pursue her blossoming career. Her first single as a solo artist, “Trouble,” was released earlier this year.
During the pre-event presscon, Kriesha mentioned that she had prepared a surprise gift especially for her Filipino fans. The “gift” turned out to be a heartfelt rendition of Bituin Escalante’s ballad “Kung Ako Na Lang Sana.” Kriesha stepped out of her comfort zone and deviated from her usual song and dance routine, proving once and for all that she can satisfy an audience with her voice alone.
One boyband that stood out from the rest was BTOB, whose repertoire included not only electronic dance tunes, but ballads as well. Although the R&B-infused songs were sung in Korean, emotions escaped through how they were delivered, and one could easily assume that they were singing about matters of the heart.
Arguably the most popular among the boybands was B.I.G., which had also guested on a noontime show on the day before the concert. Main vocalist Benji speaks English fluently, and found it easy to establish rapport with the crowd.
While the other boybands were also as talented, the members of B.I.G. oozed with unmistakeable confidence as they performed. The audience was ecstatic when they performed “Hello” and sang in unison almost throughout the entire song.
Aside from the catchy musical arrangements, choreographed yet flowing movements, quirky wardrobe and make-up, spectacular visual presentations and the fact that K-Pop artists are easy on the eyes, there is one more thing that makes K-Pop magical: its ability to transcend language barrier, geographical boundaries and cultural differences for the love of the music and everything that comes with it.
This is how music should be. Regardless of genre or origin, music should be capable of stimulating not just the mind alone, but of touching the heart of the listener as well.
Watch Kriesha perform with KWIN here: