This weekend saw the second UK Kpop concert of the year. It’s been a long and slow summer but with Infinite, SuperJunior and VIXX rumoured to be heading our way, let’s hope 2013 goes out with a bang! Last Saturday, at the very elegant Hammersmith Apollo, Kpop fans were treated to a frenzy of muscles, sweat and abs. Not your usual Kpop show, we experienced the manly macho side in the form of newly debuted “man group” VICTOR and Mr shirt-ripper Jay Park.
VICTOR stands for Victory and even though they only recently debuted, the members have all previously been working in the industry and had a very strong and professional presence. The Leader, named In, was very friendly and polite, you can tell he was a very respected leader. Nicknamed the Father, he had all the characteristics of a good idol leader and greeted everyone with full 90 degree bows. Also in the band is Choo, In’s three minute younger twin who was very playful and someone likened him to ZE:A’s maknae Dongjun, with the same cheeky smile. Being a Kpop group, you can’t be missing a rapper and VICTOR’s rapper Gyum is hilarious, keeping us all entertained and light-hearted throughout the interview. We hope he is okay as he unknowingly drank from Jay Park’s bottle of water during the press conference and hopefully didn’t catch his cold! Main vocal of the group was Jun who was a model before he joined VICTOR, he had a smooth deep voice and we couldn’t wait to hear him sing! And last but not least was Bie, the very adorable maknae who only joined the band this year and was previously a solo artist in Thailand, although he was quite shy, he really came alive on stage!
VICTOR opened the night with 4 songs and some special stages. Before the concert, not many people knew who VICTOR were but after their 30 minute set, they no doubt left with many new fans! VICTOR demonstrated some very strong and powerful dancing as well as some rather fluster-inducing hip thrusting. They had the crowd cheering and the girls screaming. After a brief introduction and a couple of songs, including their Korean release Mr. Right, VICTOR split into special solo stages to show off more of their individual skills.
Gyum was first on stage and even though he’s a bit of the group clown, he transformed into a dynamic rapper. After a while the leader In returned to the stage with Choo. Before VICTOR, the twins worked around Asia as dancers and actors, having trained with Jackie Chan’s film crew in martial arts and Asia’s first dancing idol Aaron Kwok’s choreographer just last year. For their duo stage they showed off their pop and lock skills. Their performance was so slick and possessed the seriously impressive synchronicity that only close twins can pull off; it left the crowd in awe. To finish off the special stages, Bie came on to lift the mood with his rather cheesy but very catchy tune “put your hands up” (not the 2pm track!). He even jumped off the stage to interact with the crowd before being rejoined by the rest of the members.
We personally loved VICTOR. They are manly and far from the flower boy image that’s been popular in Kpop land and worked well as the opening act for Jay Park. We wish them lots of luck in their new career and hope they will gain many new fans during this European tour! For more pictures of VICTOR visit our Facebook page and don’t forget to subscribe to VICTOR’s official Facebook Page!
Now to the man himself. A couple of days prior to the concert, Jay Park tweeted to say he had been ill for the last couple of days but he fought on and hoped to give us all a European tour to remember!
Before the show, Jay Park took some time out of rehearsing and sleeping to give us a little press conference. At the Press conference Jay mentions his new up and coming venture in the form of his very own label called AOMG. Watch the video below for all the news and Jay cheekiness! The lighting in the room was awful but the audio turned out ok, so we figured a few fans would like to hear Jay’s smooth and sensual voice so here it is (apologies for the dark and ominous visual and a MASSIVE thanks for Jay who was cool and funny even when ill).
At the concert Jay Park’s set was only 55 minutes long and many fans felt that was not enough time and there was also no encore stage. But understandably Jay was ill and he even removed his shirt to give the UK a look of his infamous abs. When he first came on stage after a torturous 30 minute interval, the roar of screams were instantly deafening and it was not just female screams! There were a massive amount of guys in the crowd, showing just how universally appealing Jay Park is.
Jay treated us to a mix of his official singles, collaborations and that infamous first YouTube cover that had all the girls weak at the knees from the very first two words… Beautiful giiiiiiiiirl. Jay is a man of many talents, we can just about fathom enough brain power to put on the kettle when we are ill, but Jay pulled off some epic and energetic dance routines along with his amazing dance crew. From the adorable Jay many people know from his TV work to his serious and powerful rapper self with hits such as “사실이야 1HUNNIT”, the UK crowd got to witness the many dimensions of the all round entertainer that is Jay Park.
During the concert Jay playfully cracked his voice giving all fan girls a heart attack but he showed off his usual charming self performing some of our favourite fun tracks such as ‘Joah’ and it was rather emotional seeing everyone singing along and waving their hands in the air.
When Jay finally removed his top (because it wouldn’t be a Jay Park performance without some toplessness), the venue shook. Even when ill Jay Park looked AMAZING. He made sure he worked the full length of the stage to ensure he interacted with all his UK fans, even those up in the far corners of the balcony.
Jay Park is smooth, and if we had to pick one word to describe this man, there could be no other word. He is smooth like melted chocolate; when he starts singing, talking, rapping, he just had everyone hypnotized. Along with his amazing dancers, everyone looked like they were having the time of their lives! Although this concert was short, it was definitely sweet and we thank Jay Park and his abs for gracing us with his presence.
Jay Park and VICTOR are now off to Amsterdam for their 2nd concert on 25th September 2013. We wish them lots of luck and hope to see them again soon!