Thursday, 2 May 2013

K-Performance Supporters' Dinner and K-Pop Party! Gangnam Style!

It has been a while since the K-Performance Supporters have gathered to have fun. The last time we did was during the trip to the Special Winter Olympics in February 2013 in Pyeongchang, which, for me, was a very good opportunity to get out of the city and see the snowed landscape of the Korean countryside. That very memorable day-trip was capped by the Snow Music Festival concert. I could not forget that day because the snow from Pyeongchang actually followed us all the way up to Seoul. When I got off our bus, I felt like an alpine skier without skis as I meandered through the slippery sidewalk on my way home.

And we gathered once more. In less chilly temperatures though.

In April 2013, to welcome the new 2013 K-Performance Supporters and to thank the 2012 batch, the Korea Tourism Organization organized a dinner with an awarding ceremony, and capped with a K-pop concert! This time, we didn't have to get out of the city. I just had to cross the river, to Gangnam!

When I got the invitation details, I was impressed that the venue was a K-Pop Hall in Gangnam! "Wow!" I told myself, "Gangnam has its own K-pop venue!" But when I got there, I realized I have been to that place, Diamant. I attended a friend's wedding there a couple of years back. How could I forget her wedding? She and her groom were standing on a stage that was revolving! I wonder if the newlyweds got dizzy until they left for their honeymoon? Ha-ha-ha!

But this time, inside Diamant, there was no wedding, only a huge dinner and a fun K-pop concert! This place (official website>> here) is just a walking distance from Exit 2 of the Samseong Station of Line 2. That huge street that cuts above the station is Yeongdong Boulevard, half of which was closed down when Rain had his farewell concert before he entered the military service in 2011. (which reminds of a comparison I made between Rain and Psy's concerts: Rain was able to close half a boulevard, while Psy was able to close the whole downtown!).

But tonight, there wasn't any Rain or Psy at our dinner and K-pop concert; only people whose passion to help promote performances, cultural events and everything in between, came together to celebrate a successful 2012 campaign and to wish everyone luck this year! Congratulations to the top 2012 K-Performance supporters, by the way, especially to a friend Sung, whose efforts last year were rewarded with gifts from KTO. 

After dinner, it was all K-pop concert! The showcase included acts, and new boy and girl bands, who are starting to make their names in the K-pop scene:

ARIA, a trio of ladies playing the traditional Korean instruments (performance clip), opened up the show.

F1RST, a mixed group of boy and girls (performance clip), did their thing to impress the audience.They also showed us their own take on 2PM's Hands Up (performance clip). Having told the 2PM guys myself that I liked their Hands Up video, I didn't find it surprising that this popular hit was sung that night and enjoyed by everyone. 

N-SONIC, was an all-male band dressed in a hip-hop style, while (performance clip)...

....G-IAM was another boy band in their black and white uniforms with neckties (performance clip).

T-ANGEL is another trio ladies dressed in skimpy, leggy shorts and performed trot (performance clip), a music genre popular among the older Koreans. The 'T' in their name, I guess, stands for trot.

GORILLA CREW, a b-boy group, must have had the wildest response from the crowd with their gravity-defying moves on stage, not to mention their b-boy clown who gave away balloons (performance clip).

The whole night was fun, although I came to dinner late. And I appreciate the gifts I got as part of the 2012 batch. I hope these new bands and acts will make it big soon. Competition is very stiff in the K-pop scene, but I guess they know that already and are working hard at it.
                                          (Thanks, KTO, for these gifts!)
And speaking of success, I wish all my fellow 2013 K-Performance Supporters a fun campaign in the months ahead!

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