April 13th, 2014, marked B.A.P’s second invasion of New York City’s Best Buy Theater as Yongguk, Himchan, Daehyun, Youngjae, Jongup, and Zelo took to the stage for their Live on Earth 2014 world tour! It has yet to be a full year since B.A.P’s last New York performance, held in May of 2013, but B.A.P fans (affectionately called BABYz) were more than eager to welcome their boys back to the east coast. With a completely sold out show and lines forming outside for more than twelve hours before the doors opened, BABYz had their Matoki light sticks at the ready and were all set to see their boys again.
“B.A.P Live on Earth 2014”, like many K-pop concerts, had a very distinctive theme to it. While carrying the alien invasion style from their 2013 concert tour, LOE 2014 also has six very specific keywords attached to it. Each member has a keyword he is associated with:
Yongguk represents Justice.
Himchan represents Emotion.
Jongup represents Passion.
Daehyun represents Love.
Zelo represents Happiness.
And for the final piece, Youngjae represents You.
These keywords represent traits that, if learned and shared with one another, will result in a better world for everyone. With their world tour, B.A.P is declaring that the “Earth needs You.”
The lights dimmed low and a pseudo-American news program popped up with a discussion of strange sightings in the sky. Signal interference affected the program and broke the newscast into a digital splatter of letters as the bass started rumbling. “B.A.P”, the self-titled intro track from their first album First Sensibility, started off this explosive show with its driving bass line as confident shouts of “B.A.P IS BACK” were both projected on the screen and sung by the audience. This high energy set the theme for the rest of the night as B.A.P finally came out on stage for “One Shot”, from B.A.P’s second mini-album of the same name. The fan chanting and whistle blowing (a staple sound of many of B.A.P’s songs, making whistles an important accessory for any BABY to have) continued for the title track of their third mini-album Badman, “Badman”.
Yongguk prefaced the next song, “Power”, by saying to the crowd: “The world has changed. There’s no love, no respect, no justice. Many greed and pride always comes first, and now it’s time to make things right and now is the time we stand up because we’ve got the power.” “Power’s” strong, aggressive beat had fans moving along and enthusiastically shouting “Everybody say: hate you!” along with Yongguk. The screaming only increased as the song broke down into B.A.P’s signature “Spraycan” dance!
The stage went dark and a radio popped up on screen, tuning between classic love songs such as Frankie Valli and the 4 Season’s “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” and The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love”. Each member of B.A.P has a matching Matoki (masked bunny) character. Jokomato, who is paired with Youngjae, and Totomato, who is paired with Zelo, appeared on screen after the radio. Totomato was musing about “Love” and Jokomato attempted to explain the idea of love to the younger Matoki. Unfortunately, Totomato seemed unable to understand as he misinterpreted each and every one of Jokomato’s explanations! So instead the two turned to Yongguk and asked him “What is ‘love’?” Yongguk replied, “Love is…sick,” as the boys returned to the stage to perform “Lovesick” a lovely light pop track from First Sensibility.
Welcome to the Starbaby coffee shop! B.A.P took a break from performing, as a barista trolley was rolled on stage filled with drinks. “Who’s thirsty?” B.A.P asked the sea of fans in front of them and a few lucky BABYz got their own personal Starbaby drinks! B.A.P then performed “Coffee Shop”, another single from Badman, pairing the relaxing sound of the song perfectly with the calm atmosphere and café style backdrop. Another First Sensibility track, “Body & Soul”, followed treating BABYz to an array of fan service choreography, loaded with body rolls and hip thrusts!
B.A.P is known for their versatility as a music group, which was highlighted immensely by their next two rounds of songs. First, they kicked the concert back up into high gear with “PUNCH”, “No Mercy”, and “Bang X2”, three very energizing, heart-pumping songs! The boys bounced around the stage in a pseudo boxing match and had the whole theater screaming “BOOM CLAP BOOM BOOM CLAP” along with them! Then, after a quick video break, they sang “Rain Sound” and “Save Me” – two more vocally focused and softer songs when compared to most of B.A.P’s other title tracks. B.A.P demonstrated their diversity not only as a vocal group but in other performance styles as well, where to order levitra online with a solo dance performance by Jongup serving as the lead up into “Save Me”.
The next interlude video was an absolute fan favorite! A Mato Planet (the home of the Matoki) “Educational Program” in order to improve life quality on Earth taught the audience an adorable head-bobbing, high fiving dance that was performed by B.A.P and BABYz alike for “Check On”! Fans erupted into loud cheers as the program’s “announcer” informed the room that this test was targeted specifically at affecting hormones, and enthusiastically joined in with the horse head mask wearing instructors to learn the dance. The funky-pop sound of “Check On” carried through “Excuse Me” and “SPY” and turned the audience into a waving sea of green Matoki lights as BABYz danced and cheered to the beat. Following after were the hip-hop dance sounds of “Hurricane”, another single track off Badman that blended into “Dancing in the Rain” from No Mercy. After treating fans to “B.A.B.Y”, another song from their most recent full-length album, B.A.P rounded out the show with “???? (Crash)”. During this performance, fans had prepared spring green balloons (B.A.P’s semi-official group color) that were blown up and tossed around the theater and back and forth between BABYz and their boys for this final song!
B.A.P wasn’t done yet, however, as a video of thank you tweets from all six members popped up on screen to indicate the start of their encore! They returned to the stage with their most recent promotional title “1004 (Angel)”, the title track from First Sensibility, and were welcomed back with loud cheering, fan chanting, whistle blowing, and above all a harmony of voices singing together! After “1004 (Angel)” Yongguk took a moment to express his thanks to BABYz for making First Sensibility such a success and reminded the audience that B.A.P had earned their first music show award with this song and album. B.A.P followed their latest song up with a very powerful performance of their debut song “Warrior”! Their trademark stomp dance shook the stage and had BABYz going absolutely wild as they sang along. The concert had a very soft and sweet ending to contrast two commanding performances as B.A.P closed with a final song from First Sensibility titled “With You”. During the performance they thanked fans, waved, and even took a few fan signs from the audience smiling and singing all the while.
Few key points to keep in mind:
To have a second B.A.P in NYC concert within the same year was an absolute treat for new fans and old fans alike! However it is important to remember that as exciting as it is to see our idols, taking care of yourself and those around you should always be top priority. Fan accounts of pushing, shoving, elbowing, and hitting in the pit not only made other fans upset but sadden our boys as well. B.A.P was incredibly excited to be back in New York City and to see their East Coast BABYz, and they would much rather everyone be safe and comfortable than up against the barrier and within touching distance. Moreover, it is important to remember that despite wanting to be up front, waiting for long periods of time in line can have its consequences. Always keep yourself fed, properly hydrated and well-rested so your body is able to handle the stresses of waiting outside all day and then being pressed against others in a much overheated concert venue.
Audience activity rarely affects what happens on stage. Although there has been speculation going around about the concert being shortened due to fan actions, it should be noted that concerts are incredibly scripted and planned out for both safety and efficiency’s sake. Sometimes, too, shows need to adapt between cities and countries because of differences in staging and venue and location rules. There have been accusations that B.A.P cut fan service due to fan behavior at the New York show; however it is important to note that “Body & Soul”, which itself was nothing but fan service was inserted into the set list starting with the concert in New York. B.A.P performed the show that they were supposed to perform, and they did an amazing job at it!
Remember, just about every K-pop fan wants the same thing; we all want to be the one that our idols make eye contact with, hold hands with, and smile at, but unfortunately concerts aren’t designed to have everyone in that position. Next time, I’m sure it would make B.A.P (or any group, really) happier to see everyone enjoying themselves safely than to have them all up against the stage. Be safe and be smart, that way the experience will be a lot more fun for everyone!