Contributing writer drowningn00b relives the MTV IGGY “Brand New Band Concert 2011″ live from New York City, where he experienced performances by La Vida Boheme, Yuna, Gyptian, and the queens themselves, 2NE1! Read his recap below.
As a k-pop fan, watching live performances is part of the package. I’m not the first, nor the last, to state the obvious: k-pop is as much a visual experience as it is a musical one. And no one in the current state of “idol” music can put on a show like 2NE1. Their overall concept is on point; the fashion is appealing and the girls have energy to spare. So I just had to jump on the invitation to go with my NYC k-pop pal-in-arms, Mel, from the fabulous Melimastic blog, and see 2NE1 live in NYC for MTV IGGY‘s “Best New Band Concert 2011“. This is not a formal review of the concert, as you can view the entire thing on MTV IGGY’s website here, but I just needed to put in writing how the entire experience was for the readership of McRoth’s Residence.
Read on for more, fellow BlackJacks!
According to mtviggy.com, “Best New Band 2011″ was a live music event hosted in NYC to introduce new music from all over the world, with acts performing on stage as well as small montages highlighting even more acts that were absent. [Note: Mel and I were very excited when Skrillex’s name came up, but that balloon was promptly popped. Oh well.]
La Vida Boheme from Caracas, Venezuela opened the show with immense energy and fantastic bass-heavy rock music that put everyone in the mood. The audience ate it up, and enjoyed the music and paint aesthetic as much as I did. Yuna from Malaysia was next, turning down the energy, but impressing nonetheless with her voice and shy demeanor. The set changed to a club-setting, prompting Gyptian’s reggae set. Though I enjoyed the beats, the sirens and windows crashing effects in Gyptian’s stage were too loud and his singing was a bit too quiet to enjoy live. Suchin Pak did a wonderful job hosting on the concert venue-side of things, and I was shocked Matt Pinfield still did live appearances for MTV.
On to the main event!
When the first bars of “I Am The Best” blew out of the speakers, the crowd went berserk, only to find out that it would repeat several times until they finally hit the stage. Being the fans that we were, we just went along screaming “내가 제일 잘 나가/내가 제일 잘 나가” every time it repeated until eventually the YG ladies of 2NE1 hit the stage.
The sirens of “FIRE” began and the audience collectively lost their shit, blacked out, and became one large mass of 2NE1 fans. The girls brought the energy, the moves, the hits, and the audience gave it right back.
Going through their set of “Can’t Nobody [Korean Version]”, “Lonely” and “I Am The Best”, I was struck at how they maintained that level of enthusiasm throughout, all the while dancing and singing. It’s one thing to watch them do their damn thing on your laptop, but in person, the effect was beyond words. 2NE1 are performers of the highest order in the k-idol sphere and that was made very clear watching them live.
I confess, however, to have a few concerns about the performance.
First of all, has no one at IGGY watched a 2NE1 performance before? People, Bom‘s name is pronounced Bomb (minus the b), not BOOM! I admit, I chuckled every time I heard them mispronounce it, but still. Speaking of which, did anyone think she was such a sexpot before the set? Why did she bend over and grab her ankles, revealing black underwear underneath that scrap of fabric someone incorrectly labeled a skirt? It was such an overt showing of sexuality from Bom, let alone 2NE1, that it turned me off.
There were a couple of mic issues, but not enough to make an impression. Lastly, 2NE1 should’ve performed the English version of “Can’t Nobody”. It was a missed opportunity on their part.
I have to give it up to the American BlackJack contingency. Some braved the NYC winter day from 8 am till 1:30 pm, and some of us waited even longer – till 3:30 pm – when the concert venue opened. It was miserable out there, to say the least. But as soon as the line made its steady progression into the theatre, you could hear snippets of 2NE1 fandom all around. When it all began, though, the audience caught a second wind of energy, and it was glorious. I’ve been to concerts before, and this event was one of the few where the fans helped make the show a thrilling experience.
My voice is soar, my feet hurt, my ears are throbbing, but I could not be happier right now. Hours after seeing 2NE1’s first US performance in my hometown of New York City, I still can’t believe that it all went down the way it did, and that I enjoyed it as much as I did. For MTV IGGY’s Best New Band 2011 concert event, 2NE1 rocked the show, owned it, chewed us all up, spit us out, and I want it to happen again! It was short and sweet, with elements that make for a great show: fantastic audience participation, fabulous featured guests, and a speaker system that could handle the heavy bass without blasting away my eardrums.
YG Entertainment knows the talent and potential they have in 2NE1, and their investment in choreography, fashion, production, and promotional work is paying off. As a BlackJack many times over, I am ecstatic to say “I saw the first US performance by GLOBAL sensation 2NE1!” Who else can say that, huh?! (note by McRoth: I’ve prepared some mad jelly, sending you a jar soon.)
Thanks again to Mel, without whom this would not have been possible!
Hi! My name is Xtian, and I’m a total pop music whore. I’m from NYC and can be seen dancing in the streets with headphones permanently glued to my ears. I may not have had a musical background, but I’m a lover of all things music, so I’m excited to be bringing a new voice to the McRoth’s funhouse. Y’all can email me at email@example.com, or better yet, follow me on twitter, where I do most of my social media-ing, @drowningn00b. See y’all lataz!