18 December, 2012

dewaanifordrama's playlist #5: BIGBANG [concert] edition

Source BIGBANG's Facebook

While I appreciate reading about K-pop in non-K-pop related news sources, I am a little tired of the under-researched and condescending tones so often used in them. Every time I hear people talk about BIGBANG being like One Direction, I pretty much want to scream. Especially when the references make it seem like somehow BIGBANG is following in the footsteps of One Direction, come again?!

Another reference made in another article also said that Fantastic Baby sounded like Gangnam Style. Please excuse me while I blow a gasket. People - do your research - Fantastic Baby was first!!! It's as if they read a Wikipedia article and thought that somehow this would suffice. And another claimed that BIGBANG are virtually indistinguishable from One Direction and Justin Bieber...REALLY?!?!?! I will say that this one with just GD was pretty decent though.

Another thing that drives me completely batty is that these reviewers can't restrain themselves from making comments about the "weirdness" of BIGBANG (weirder than Nicky Minaj?) and eternally comparing them to American artists as if American artists are the only ones worthy of accolades. It's probably one of the reasons that K-pop tries so hard to pander to the U.S. music scene because apparently only when music is like everything in the U.S. is it good. Really?! Is this world so bent that we have to all conform to one form of music from one culture/country in the world?

Source BIGBANG's Facebook
One of the articles also made a comment about a lack of originality (of performance) at the Anaheim concert. I am not sure what standard of "originality" they were using, and I guess that is up to subjective opinion - but I for one had never been to a live K-pop concert (other than a few live stream concerts on Youtube), and it was pretty dang original to me. Granted, I am a K-pop fan, and that makes a difference. I think that something that many non K-pop inclined reviewers fail to recognize, is that K-pop artists/idols and K-pop fans have a more interesting, complex, and symbiotic relationship than many other music artists and fans. The concert was just as much about presenting their music, as it was a gift to the fans who have never seen BIGBANG perform live in the United States. GD's rapping in English was proof of that - all the members did and said things to show the fans that they love and appreciate their support. And as a fan, I appreciate that. K-pop artists are highly aware of their fan-bases, and try constantly to find ways to reach out to them in a way that no other western artists seem to do. And I really like that (and yes, I understand that there is also money and marketing involved, but that's the same in the western music scene). That's not to say that I don't think K-pop doesn't need criticism, and that I won't give it, but I think it needs to be given by people who actually understand the context of K-pop, and aren't intent on only comparing it to the non-K-pop artists that they know. That said, I guess I want the rest of the world to love K-pop as much as I do - I just want people to have a good first impression. And BIGBANG are easily one of the best groups in K-pop. Their roots in hip-hip helped inspire a lot of later debut groups, and that has only positively influenced the K-pop industry in my opinion. What I like about them is that they are also always trying to experiment and try something new, but they still maintain that distinctive BIGBANG flavour. (I would say though that I prefer T.O.P.'s earlier rapping than what he's been doing recently - not that it's bad, I just like his older stuff better). Each of the members are incredibly talented, and have a lot to offer. And they're quirky (especially GD) and funny. They also seem like they are trying to make music. Sure, they're an idol group, but they are also working on becoming better artists trying to reach out to a global audience. And they most definitely showed that image at the concert. I was extremely impressed with their ability to interact fluently in English with the crowd. Anyway, ranting and analyzing aside...now onto actually talking more about the concert.

You're probably thinking - dewaani, um, the Anaheim concert was so last month ago - but really I have been super busy! Let's just say that trying to graduate from graduate school while blogging about K-drama and K-pop doesn't always work. Yeah. Sorry. I am trying to be better. And the playlist part - beware of the fangirling!

In the days leading up to the concert I would have moments of - I AM GOING TO THE BIGBANG CONCERT!!!! *hyperventilating with excitement*. And that just increased as lizabr3ff, another friend, and I got closer and closer on our epic roadtrip of awesomeness. On the day of the concert we even went to Garden Grove and had some Korean food (the ajhussi's were tickled pink at a bunch of white girls coming into their neck of the woods). After dinner we headed to the concert venue and joined the throngs of fans waiting for the concert to start. It's hard to describe the energy of the crowd. I've been to some other concerts, but it was nothing like this - it really felt like it was a dream. Anyways, I'm not quite going to give a step-by-step rundown of the concert, but rather a mix of playlist, tweets (with lizabr3ff's permission of course), and fangirl commentary. Thanks to the YGFamily tumblr for the complete set list. [If you click on the bolded song names, you'll find a link to the songs with MVs].

1. Still Alive [Intro] - Yes!!! They came out in the capsules!!!

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
2. Tonight
3. Hands Up

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
4. Fantastic Baby Omo! It was even more fantastic live!

5. How Gee

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
6. Stupid Liar
7. One of a Kind + Crayon
Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
One of my favourite parts about GD's performance (other than the giant tiger on his jacket) was that he rapped in English at the beginning. I mentioned it at the beginning of the post, but man, it was cool! And I was definitely impressed with his English, and Taeyang's and Daesung's English (Seungri was just adorable - I think he was trying to say things in English beyond his ability - oh Panda).
Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
8. Knock Out [GD & TOP]
Um!!! 대박!!! Their performance was just awesome!!! They came in on this tank/float thing...? And then later on on the segways - yes! At one point TOP had on this jacket - I want, I want!!!
9. High High [GD & TOP]

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
10. Strong [Seungri]
Let me just say that Seungri is sooooooooo much hotter in real life. I am not sure what it is, but man, he must not be photogenic or something because he was sooooooo much hotter. Wow! He is also a pretty good dancer. I was impressed.
11. What Can I Do [Seungri]
12. Gara Gara Go
13. Number 1
14. Cafe
15. Talk
16. Blue
This is probably one of my favourite K-pop songs for 2012, so it was a little sad that it started out kind of pitchy live (it was probably the only one). Ah, I am so glad I got to hear it live though.
17. Love Song
Ah! Such a good song!!!

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
19. Monster 
20. Feeling
21. Only Look at Me [Taeyang]
22. Wedding Dress [Taeyang]
Ah!!!!! Sooooooooo gooooood!!!!!! I was keeping my fingers crossed that he would sing this live, and he didn't fail to deliver. Wow! Taeyang is a fabulous performer! He had so much energy and wanted to reach out to the fans so much! He was also a little like a hyperactive puppy. Oh Taeyang! I ❤ you!

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
23. Wings [Daesung]
Wow! There are no words. Daesung definitely has one of the most beautiful voices! Just wow! I LOVED his single from the album, and there really is nothing like watching him fly across the stage with his wings. Just wow!

24. Haru Haru

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook

The boys in their suits *faints again* *swoonssomemore* - not only did they sound AMAZING, but they looked so sizzling hotte! Seriously! And TOP!!! Omo! He is seriously so swoonworthy! There was a part towards the end of the concert where he took a towel a fan gave him, wiped his face, and then gave it back. I am sure they will probably never wash that towel again. So much lovely fanservice! Actually, all the BIGBANG members were all about fanservice. I ❤ them!

25. TOP's birthday song

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
I think my favourite things about this were Daesung being all goofy and then TOP doing his cute dancing. As much as I love the sexy image of recent TOP - I also love the Bingu TOP moments.

26. Lies
27. Last Farewell

28. My Heaven [Encore]
29. Bad Boy [Encore]
30. Fantastic Baby [Encore] - It was even better the second time. I think that during the encore they relaxed a little and that naturalness just enhanced their performance.
31. Feeling [Encore]
32. Hands Up [Encore] - GD was sooooo tired at the end though - he just lay in the stage for part of it. Taeyang and TOP seemed like they didn't want to leave. Man, I didn't want to leave either! I was high on happiness for hours and hours afterwards. They were just phenomenal!!!

Source: BIGBANG's Facebook
I feel like they also did Love Dust and Somebody to Love, but it could just be that we listened to them in on the roadtrip (we listened to a lot of K-pop). There are also some more that I would have loved to hear live - who am I kidding - I wanted them to perform ALL their songs! I wanted MOAR!!! Though I particularly love Goodbye Baby and Koewokikasete, so those would have been lovely! And then of course - this fantastic performance at the MAMAs this year!


  1. I agree that Big Bang gave one amazing concert. The one in Newark was also fabulous, so much so that the New York Times listed it as one of the best concerts of 2012. I'm not surprised - I thought it was the most fun I've ever had at a concert! Thanks for your detailed report!

    1. Always my pleasure! It was certainly the best concert I've ever been to! They really are fantastic, so I am proud to fangirl over them!