Korean band 2PM rock the house
By HARIATI AZIZAN
Hallyu fever in Malaysia rose to its hottest frenzy as K-pop sensation 2PM enthralled fans at Stadium Negara last Friday.
HOW do I love thee? Let me count the ways. ... A hottie by any other name would still smell as sweet ...”
Excuse my lyrical hyperboles, but South Korean boyband 2PM proved to be real poetry in motion at the Malaysian leg of their 2PM Hands Up Asia Tour last Friday night.
The strapping young men lithely leapt and bounced up and down the stage performing their upbeat hits, then swayed smoulderingly to the pulsing amorous rhythms and even got down on their knees for their swooning fans!
To many of the more “sophisticated” (read: older) music lovers, the names of the Korean bands are a curiosity. As one esteemed music critic once mulled: “Why do they all sound like flight numbers – TVXQ, 2NE1, SNSD, SS501, MH 3435?”
Then there are the clock-related ones – 2PM, 2AM, 4Minute, 30 Seconds to Mars… oh, the last one is not Korean?
Do Koreans have a thing about time, I pondered?
I decided to venture where fans fear to tread in case their membership to the Hottest (2PM’s official fanclub) is revoked, and ask the big question.
“Eh?” snapped one fan, before fleeing as far away as possible from this “crazy” reporter.
“I don’t think Koreans have a thing about time. You see, 2PM’s songs are suitable at 2pm and 2AM’s songs (love ballads) are good at 2am,” lectured a buzzing Jufadilla Jamaldin, who had waited at KLIA for her favourite idols to arrive late last Wednesday.
“It’s because it is the hottest time of the day,” one irate Jasmine retorted, the curt “Duh!” trailing silently.
As the time for the concert to start drew near, 2PM’s first ever in Malaysia, all these questions were drowned by the youthful hormones permeating Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur. And when the lights went down, the erupting screams instantly jettisoned them out of mind.
The curtain dropped, and the fireworks began, as the six hunks kicked off the show with an aptly titled number, Hot. Before the crowd could calm their drumming bodies, they thumped out their next booming tune, Electricity. And when the boys threw their hands up for the title track of their latest album Hands Up, the crowd’s rapture rose to a frenzy.
Yup, 2PM was definitely here in KL, and they seemed mighty fine even after 8.30pm!
The squealing got louder when the boys took the time to greet the fans, and introduced themselves one by one – Junsu, Junho, Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung and Chansung.
Although their rapport was clearly scripted, the six genuinely tried to connect with their Malaysian fans. Taecyeon and Nichkhun, who grew up in the United States, dominated the banter, while Junsu (who lived in Singapore when he was younger), also charmed the crowd with his fluent English. But it was Junho who got the loudest cheers as he tried out his rehearsed Bahasa Malaysia lines, especially when he promised: “Saya akan balik lagi!” (I’ll come back).
One thing for sure, 2PM really know how to work the crowd as they continued to regale the fans with their high tempo hits and signature macho moves.
The boys got the fans not only to sing along but also dance in time to the powerful beats of their chart-topping numbers.
It was not all frenetic energy, though, as they also performed some romantic ditties to melt the already-liquified hearts in the arena.
Temperatures rose when the boys transformed into suave crooners decked in smart suits to serenade the crowd with their love ode, I Can’t.
Then Taecyeon and Nickhun strutted out in matching, updated zoot suits to wow the crowd with their sentimental duet My Valentine.
But what is K-pop lurve without the “fanservice”, and this the six lads duly delivered by throwing out roses to the adulating fans while serenading them with Only You.
To make the fans feel closer to their idols, the boys even treated them to a behind-the-scene video, giving them a glimpse of the lives of each member as they prepared for the big tour. Filmed through the eyes of Chansung’s celebrity pet cat Jeonggam, it gave a cheeky take of the group.
Many, however, were waiting for a peek of their six-packs, and the boys did not disappoint. As they seductively rocked and thrusted their hips to the steamy Back 2U, their female background dancers suddenly ripped off their shirts, sending the crowd into delirious excitement.
It is no wonder that the Hottest lovingly tag the band as “Beastly Idols”. Heck, the American press have even dubbed 2PM as the Chippendales (a touring dance troupe best known for its male erotic dancing) of K-pop.
The band also put to rest the doubts – well some at least – about their individual music talents with their solo and duet performances, including Junsu who sang his own composition Alive.
Junho sang his self-penned Besides You in a duet with Wooyoung, who also did the choreography for the performance.
Chansung, the baby rapper of the group, upped the stakes with ... wait for it, a swordfight on stage! What a drama it was with its mix of multimedia and shadow play to tell the story of how he avenged the death of his girlfriend, who was murdered in a dark alley. This can be one awesome audition for a sageuk (Korean period drama) role, if he ever needs one; you hear me, drama producers?
They may be first and foremost eye-candy, but 2PM showed that they are not too shabby in the music department that night.
After all, they were named the most influential star and Daum’s Search Hot Star at the Mnet 20’s CHOICE awards 2010 in South Korea. Following their show in the US last month, the New York Daily News picked them as one of “Top 5 must-hear K-pop acts”.
To many a Hottest’s sorrow, the two-and-a-half-hour concert flew by in a blink (they performed 24 songs in total), but luckily Chansung decided to leave a memento.
As his bandmates swaggered offstage, he turned around and whipped off his shirt. The fans’ screams got impossibly louder, pleading for him to throw them the sweat-soaked shirt but, sigh, he only gestured a throw to the hankering girls, before disappearing backstage with a cheeky grin. (In other venues, ahem, other bandmembers whipped off their shirts too and actually threw them into the lion-ettes’ den!)
Well, don’t cry Hottests, like Junho promised, they akan balik lagi....
Korean band 2PM rock the house
p/s : Jufa aku gelak gila pagi nihahahah siap kantoi ngan bos hahahaha. Nasib nama i tak keluar gak hahaha.