After an exciting first night of performances from VIXX, IU, B1A4, Teen Top, and G-Dragon KCON goers were geared up for what the second night had in store.
Between leaping over one another and pulling some of the most hilarious faces at the fans, BTS (Bangtan Boys, 방탄소년단) truly did not disappoint as the opener for night two! The crowd erupted as the rookie group exploded onto the stage with “상남자 (Boy In Luv).” Although BTS were the rookies of the lineup, having only debuted a little over one year ago, they still captivated the stage with their high intensity choreography and powerful raps! Without skipping a beat, BTS broke into “No More Dreams,” the boys’ debut song, sticking with the same intense and hip hop vibe that BTS is known and loved for. Following a brief introduction to the group and their members, led by Rap Monster and his impressive display of self-taught English, BTS had the audience waving lightsticks and shouting, “CLICK CLICK, BANG BANG” during “We Are Bulletproof pt. 2”! They then slowed things down for the more R&B sounding “I Like It”, another track from their debut single 2 Cool 4 Skool. Rounding out their set with the incredibly in-your-face, heart pumping inducing and all around fun song “Attack on Bangtan”, the boys finished with a ecstatic thank you to the Los Angeles crowd and Rap Monster making sure (after the tenth or so time) that everyone knew their name- BTS!
As a full band of instruments was getting set up for the next act, Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany stepped out onto the stage to great the fans. As fans cheered and fawned over her, she took a moment to express her amazement at the turnout for both days. She said she was very proud to share Korean culture with everyone there and mused about how there was no KCON when she lived in Los Angeles. She also mentioned that she would’ve been in attendance with all of the fans had it existed back then, much to the excitement of everyone in the audience!
The lights then dimmed, centering in on Jung Joon Young as stepped up to the mic for “이별 10분전The Sense of an Ending.” The crowd turned into a sea of waving lightsticks as he crooned the title track from his first mini album. “이별 10분전The Sense of an Ending” was followed immediately with “Hold On”, another soft rock track off of Jung Joon Young’s most recent mini album TEENAGER. With an edgier beat and more musical intensity, Jung Joon Young continued with “내가나에게(To Me)” transforming the KCON stage into a rock n roll show! The next song, and probably the most anticipated from him that night, sent the crowd roaring with excitement as he performed his most recent title track “Teenager”. Finally, Jung Joon Young wowed the audience with an energetic and captivating cover of Michael Jackson’s “Black and White”, fully accompanied with hip thrusting and moon walking. Fans were extra excited when BTS’s Rap Monster was lifted onto the stage to accompany Jung Joon Young for the stellar performance!
The girls of SPICA were definitely a highly anticipated performance of the night, especially with the debut of their new all-English track. The girls set their stage with the retro-sassy, booty shaking “You Don’t Love Me”, wowing fans with their amazing high notes and smooth dance moves. They then showed off their English abilities with a mashup cover of “No Diggity” by Blackstreet and “Thank You” by Boys II Men. Following was the most anticipated song of the night, their new English track “I Did It”! Fans sang along with ease to the funk-inspired pop track and danced to each, “I did it, yes I did it, I did it for me!” The girls slowed it down after with their 2012 hit “Painkiller”, demonstrating impressive vocal prowess and treating the audience to stellar solos from each members as they took to a different part of the circle stage. SPICA’s set ended with the anthem track “Tonight”, having fans jumping in their seats and chanting “Hey, hey, hey, hey!” with the five girls on stage.
With another full band set up, the boys of CNBlue took their place on the KCON stage. Lead singer Yonghwa poised himself at his keyboard for a beautifully powerful performance of CNBlue’s most recent title track “Can’t Stop”. After serenading the audience with the melodic rock tune he grabbed his guitar and took to the north side of the stage for an old fan favorite, “직감(Intuition).” With each member facing a different side of the audience, fans were ecstatic to get a good glimpse of the members as they performed- especially if their favorite member was the one closest to them! Their iconic “외톨이야 (I’m a Loner)” came next, engaging fans in its catchy chorus and having old and new fans singing “sad, sad, sad tonight” together. “Are you having fun?!” Yonghwa asked the crowd with a laugh before introducing the group and thanking LA for welcoming them to the stage. Hopping back to the south side of the stage, Yonghwa asked the audience to repeat with him: “Love, love, love!” and challenged the crowd to imitate his always impressive beat boxing skills. CNBlue’s set rounded out with “Love” and “I’m Sorry” setting the energy high for the last and most anticipated act of the night- Girls’ Generation.
As with G-Dragon the night before, the circular screens lowered to the stage as the crowd roared with excitement for the girls. Poised perfectly on the wedding cake style platform, they started off with their most recent release “Mr. Mr.” much to the crowd’s enjoyment! Tiffany, being native to California, took charge of speaking on the group’s behalf as she thanked fans for coming out to support them and Korean culture as a whole. Then each girl introduced herself with Sunny taking a page from G-Dragon’s book as she cutely asked the audience “What’s my name?” At the audience’s request (prompted by Tiffany) “Hoot” was the next performance. “소원을말해봐 (Genie)” and “Mr. Taxi” were the next two performances, treating fans on all side of the stage to impressive dancing and the girls’ irresistible charms! As an extra special treat, and in honor of their 7th anniversary that just passed this July, the girls serenaded the audience with a beautiful, a Capella rendition of their debut song “Into The New World” sending many S♡NEs into a fit of happy tears! The last, but certainly not least, song was Girls’ Generation’s all-time, forever classic “Gee” that had the audience member on their feet, singing and dancing along with the iconic tune!
With such an eclectic group of artists, KCON 2014 and MNet’s 2 Nights in L.A. was truly a treat for all attendees. The wide array of artists ranging from hip-hop, to rock, to peppy and in-your-face pop music all provided something to anyone and everyone’s taste. Moreover, it allowed the audience a chance to experience Korean music beyond their particular tastes/preferences, and to learn of K-pop artists that they might not have checked out otherwise. With such a diverse and star-studded lineup this year, there’s no doubt that fans all over are already curious about who will be in attendance for KCON 2015. We’ll just have to wait and see!