Concert Review
K-Pop Live
The Theatre at Solaire,
Solaire Resorts and Casino
THE FRENZY that accompanied the visit of K-pop group, MOMOLAND, to the Philippines over the weekend overshadowed the arrival of three of Korea’s best singers.
K-Pop Live, a concert exclusively for patrons and guests of Solaire Resorts and Casino, had a formidable lineup of Korean artists, aside from the nine-member all-female group.
The show, held at The Theatre, gathered singers Lyn, Isu, and Lena Park to provide the select audience with a night of cool music and unforgettable performances. Think of Jaya, Ariel Rivera, maybe Lani Misalucha, then you get an idea of the Korean singers’ caliber.
Due to the airline accident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which resulted in the massive cancellation and delay of flights, the concert was delayed by at least two hours.
Originally set for 8 p.m., the Filipino front act, SB19, came onstage at nearly 10 p.m. As the three Korean singers were still “being processed at the airport’s Immigration counter,” the producers decided to let the show’s main act MOMOLAND go first. This actually benefitted the children in the audience, who came in throngs obviously to watch the ladies sing their hits “Bboom Bboom” and “BAAM!” It would have been way past their bedtime if they stuck to the schedule and had MOMOLAND close the concert.
After MOMOLAND finished its set, Korean host Joon Hyung Park stretched the succeeding segments to give the newly arrived singers enough time to prepare.
The wait was definitely worth it, especially when Lyn sang her well-loved hits from the official sound tracks of some of the biggest Korean dramas. The OST Queen opened with “My Destiny,” from the blockbuster K-drama My Love from Another Star, and followed it up with “With You” from Descendants of the Sun, and “Back To Time” from The Moon Embracing the Sun. The 36-year-old Lyn (a.k.a. Lee Se Jin) has 10 studio albums to date. She is a favorite for K-drama OST due to her first-rate rendition and crisp timbre.
Her set — which was accompanied with clips from the blockbuster Koreanovelas shown on an LCD screen — left K-pop fans mesmerized, to say the least.
Isu, on the other hand, came across as a bit unprepared. This was understandable as he performed without the benefit of the usual sound check. He came straight from the airport and on to the Solaire stage. Nonetheless, his performance was nothing to scoff at. The former member of Moon Child, which disbanded in 2001, sang five Korean songs and belted in some numbers, to the delight of the audience.
It was nearly midnight (by which time about half of The Theatre’s audience decided to call it a night) when it was Korean diva Lena Park’s turn at the spotlight.
The Korean-American singer, also known as Park Jung Hyun, started her set with “Vincent.” Unlike many Korean performers, her English was impeccable, making her performance a real treat.
Her repertoire was a mix of English and Korean songs and even if her set ended at nearly 1 a.m., the spectators who decided to stay until she sang her last note were glad that they did.
Ms. Park, too, has a number of K-drama OST hits under her belt, with “Only With My Heart” from Lee Min Ho’s The Heirs as among the most popular. However, it was when she sang “Angel” from the OST of the Nicolas Cage-Meg Ryan hit film City of Angels, that this writer was sold. Having seen videos of her singing the song on the streets of Budapest, it was surreal hearing it live.
The airport incident could have let to the concert being postponed, or worse, cancelled. Fortunately, the producers were quick to handle the situation. If there is anything that K-Pop Live established is that there is more to Korean entertainment that the seemingly dime-a-dozen boy bands and girl groups. There is a large pool of great Korean entertainers and Filipino fans should be exposed to more of them. — Cecille Santillan-Visto