After completing a series of successful shows in Taiwan, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Australia the boys of B1A4 steered their “Road Trip Live Tour” towards the United States- first stop, the Best Buy Theater! On October 3rd, 2014, Jinyoung, CNU, Sandeul, Baro, and Gongchan brought their energetic concert to New York City, delighting BANAs (B1A4 fans) from all over the east coast, Canada, and beyond.
As the lights dimmed, leader Jinyoung appeared on the back screen and started grabbing the other members to come with him as they planned out their long road trip across the world. After a little bit of planning (and a lot of cutesy poses), the video ended with the boys beckoning their fans to join them on their trip. If cheers from their intro movie alone weren’t loud enough, the audience exploded with excitement as the full live band on stage began strumming the chords to B1A4’s debut single “O.K” and the boys sprinted out onto the stage! They kept the mood high as they went straight into performing their second single, the ever ridiculous and fun song “Beautiful Target.” The line “you zoom zoom my heart like a rocket” echoed throughout the room as the crowd sang along, and the words “I like it” flashed in multiple spots on the screen behind the dancing boys. The crowd erupted with cheers when the boys busted out their signature sprout dance, and wouldn’t stop screaming as Sandeul demonstrated his vocal prowess with an amazing high note!
The lights rose as B1A4 took a moment to greet their fans and thank them for coming to their New York show. Since this performance marked B1A4’s first time in New York City they explained how excited they were to be there and to share this moment with all their east coast BANAs, and that they would show off their talents in many ways! Baro then cooed at the fans to listen carefully as things were about to get very romantic. The screen turned into a starry night sky as the boys began “나쁜 짓 안 할게 (I Won’t Do Bad Things)”. The mood stayed casual and romantic with the melodic ballad sounds of “Oh My God” and picked up the energy a touch with suave sound of “너 때문에 (Because of You)”. The music stopped and the boys took a moment to talk to the fans again. “Do you know what country we’re from? What is the capital?” Baro cheekily asked the audience who shouted the answer right back at them. Baro continued, “from now on we will show you Seoul, so let’s watch the screen together,” before the boys started singing “Seoul,” with night shots of the city playing across the screen behind them.
The next song was a real treat for BANAs, as the boys took to chairs for a wonderfully slow version of their already incredibly beautiful track “걸어 본다 (Tried to Walk)” from their third mini-album In The Wind. The soft sounds of the piano filled the room, accompanied by the audience’s voices as the shouted the song’s full fan chant back to the boys and sang the chorus with them. Even during this slower version Baro still managed to showcase his impressive (and fast) rap skills during the performance, causing the fans to cheer even more! B1A4 stood once more as the image of a clock and a timer appeared behind them for “This Time Is Over”, ticking away at the seconds as the boys sang their powerful pop ballad track.
The stage grew dark and the boys left, but fans knew it wasn’t the end yet! A typewriter clacked through the speakers and the words “It’s Over?” appeared on screen, “Not yet! Follow me!” The screen grew light as a camera stepped into the boys’ dressing room. Fans cheered as the boys played around and blew kisses towards the camera, with a handful of them jumping as Baro appeared in a Halloween mask! Even without being on stage B1A4 continued to interact with fans, shouting “When I say ‘New’, you say ‘York’!” back and forth with BANAs. The excitement only rose as Jinyoung was shown grabbing a guitar while the boys made their way back to the stage. B1A4 appeared back on stage, performing a brief, acoustic version of their song “Drive” from their latest mini-album Solo Day. As the others sang, Baro began beatboxing, and fans waved their arms and sang in sync with the fun and laid-back song. With his guitar in his lap, Jinyoung invited fans to sing a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” before they resumed with their own tracks, performing “Wonderful Tonight (Unplugged Version)” and “내가 뭐가 돼 (You Make Me a Fool)”. They rounded out this set of songs by kicking the beat back up a bit with “Amazing.”
The boys checked back in with their BANAs, making sure they were still having fun. It was time to take things slow (as Baro put it), with a couple of soft songs. Fans cheered loudly as they pulled out the signature scarves for their performance of “없구나 (Lonely)”, the title track of their Who Am I album, and only kept yelling excitedly as B1A4 transitioned into their most recent single “Solo Day!” Accompanied with a cute video of the boys driving down a long, open, road, B1A4 showcased their cute dance style and had BANAs singing “Solo, solo day!” in their spots!
“What if B1A4 was your boyfriend?” The screen asked after a compilation behind-the-scenes rehearsal video that showed off the boys practicing for a handful of the night’s performances. One very lucky BANA was picked from the crowd and called on stage to receive the ultimate B1A4 boyfriend treatment! As the boys crooned the lyrics to “쮸쮸쮸 (Chu Chu Chu)” they took her hand, body rolled up towards her, and gave her a truly perfect fan experience for her to take away (along with a teddy bear that they gave her too)! After the lucky BANA left the stage, the boys went back to teasing the rest of the audience, asking “who’s the prettiest here tonight?” They bounced between different parts of the stage, causing each side to cheer loudly whenever the members came towards them before they performed “예뻐 (Pretty).” At the end, Baro told the fans that he was thinking of all of them while singing the song, calling them all very lovely.
The excitement in the room shot straight up with B1A4’s animated and bubbly “이게 무슨 일이야 (What’s Going On?)” and “물 한잔 (A Glass Of Water)”, with BANAs jumping around in step with the boys and tossing their hands up as they sang, “Everybody, put your hands up and make a fist!” With their hands still up high, Baro taught the audience the simple dance step to “Who Am I” turning the whole crowd into a sea of waving arms and glow sticks!
The boys were down to their final songs, and took a moment to thank New York City fans for coming. Excitedly, BANAs started cheering “Saranghae (I love you)!” to them and B1A4 cheered, “I love you!” in English back. As the fan chanting continued, the boys switched from saying, “I love you!” to “BANA!” and a cute exchange of “Saranghae! BANA!” took place back and forth between the group and their fans while Baro beatboxed on the side! They rounded their set out with “잘자요 굿나잇(Baby Goodnight)” and “You Are My Girl.”
Fans hardly had time to shout for an encore before B1A4 started shouting their own name, bursting back onto the stage to perform “In the Air!” During the song each member took to different sides of the stage to blow kisses, make hearts, and take selcas with the lucky BANAs on the barricade! The show ended on a soft, sweet note with “너만 있으면 (If…)”, a smooth and sweet sounding pop ballad from In The Wind.
B1A4 was, without a doubt, one of the most dynamic K-pop shows to have come to the east coast. Jinyoung, CNU, Sandeul, Baro, and Gongchan seemed to have an unlimited amount of energy as the danced tirelessly around the stage and urged the fans in jumping and dancing with them. From start to finish “Road Trip in NYC” was engaging and interactive, and it really felt like the boys and their fans were bonding throughout the whole performance. B1A4 walked onto the stage as idols, but walked off as close friends. This is definitely a show that K-pop fans, even if you’re new to B1A4 and don’t know them incredibly well, should check out if they get the chance! It’s hard not to fall for B1A4’s addictive melodies and personalities and the production of the concert, with all of its changing and animated backdrops truly made it an all-encompassing experience. B1A4 promised to return to New York City soon, and they’ll definitely be welcomed with open arms!