Live Review: B.A.P ‘LIVE ON EARTH 2016 SEOUL AWAKE!!’ – SK Olympic Handball Gymnasium, Seoul (07.08.16)

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The best, absolute, perfect boys B.A.P were back again in Korea after their long journey of ‘B.A.P LIVE ON EARTH 2016 WORLD TOUR’. The members of B.A.P were ready to meet their Korean BABYZ once again and so were the fans ready to welcome the boys back home. Having been to two of the B.A.P concerts in Sydney, I knew what to expect from the famous performance idol. But the B.A.P concerts never fail to include that extra excitement for the fans to enjoy every time they come to watch the concert. Firstly, what I did expect from the ‘B.A.P LIVE ON EARTH 2016 SEOUL AWAKE’ concert:

What I have noticed about B.A.P concerts is that they always follow the ‘AWAKE’ theme perfectly. As the audience was entering into the arena, the bold letters “Where Are You Now?” are shown on the screen, setting the theme for the concert. The concert began with an infant slowly waking up, with heart-beating sound. The lightings, sounds, live band and the DJ woke up the fans, warming them up whilst Yongguk, Himchan, Daehyun, Yongjae, Jongup and Zelo came up on stage.

The concert began with their debut song ‘Warrior’, as if to remind everyone of their ‘awakening’ moment. The strong, fierce atmosphere continued with ‘What The Hell’ and ‘No Mercy’, heating up the excitement. Himchan then quickly changed the scene from a war-zone to an exotic loving mood with his solo performance ‘S.N.S’ All those screaming from the fans when Himchan did his sexy moves surely told me BABY was ready to enjoy any atmospheres.

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The Seoul ‘LIVE ON EARTH’ concert was special because it was the first time B.A.P performed their new title song ‘That’s My Jam’ live in front of audience. An introductory VCR was screened before the song began, once again ‘awakening’ the fans to meet another side of B.A.P with their new album. The title song ‘That’s My Jam’ was cheeky and lively, allowing the members to show off their beagle-like characteristics. For me Jongup’s voice stood out in this song when he sang his solo part perfectly. At the end of the song the members had time to introduce themselves and the new song. Their introduction was just like their new song – cheeky and playful, making the fans laugh with their short greetings for the fans in different languages. Yongjae introduced the song for the fans – it was produced by Yongguk and choreographed by Jongup. Daehyun quietly mentioned how difficult it is to follow the fast-paced song as well as the choreography – but the performance was great!

The playful atmosphere continued with the following songs ‘Feel So Good’ and ‘Carnival’. What I enjoyed the most about ‘Feel So Good’ was that during the performance, the screen featured the B.A.P rabbit characters riding a car passing by signposts stating the cities and dates of the ‘B.A.P LIVE ON EARTH 2016 WORLD TOUR’ performances. This visual aid perfectly showed the journey B.A.P took with the world tour which completes the theme of ‘FINALE AWAKE’ for Seoul concerts. For me the song was perfect combination of LED screen visual aid and group’s live performance.

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Another change of atmosphere was made by Zelo’s solo performance ‘Blessing’. It was time for the fans to admire Zelo’s rapping skills and the story he engraved into his performance. The lyrics were displayed on the LED screen enhanced his voice, gestures and emotions which were delivered straight to the audience. He ended up in tears near the end as the song revealed his feelings towards his parents. It was a very heart-warming performance, an excellent combination of staging elements and the artist himself.

The concert continued with ‘Badman’, ‘Dancing In The Rain’, ‘Bang x2’, coming to Jongup’s solo performance ‘Photo’. The song was produced and choreographed by Jongup himself, and it was obvious he put his heart and soul into the performance to show it to his beloved BABY. ‘One Shot’, ‘Kingdom’ and ‘1004 (Angel)’ followed Jongup’s performance. I thought the overall concert showed great pacing with the songs, with members freely moving between warrior-like and cheeky stages.

Perhaps my favourite performance was the ending song ‘With You’. The stage took place after the final speaking time for the members, and what surprised me was that B.A.P remained sited on the stage floor throughout the song. The members first sat on stage during their speaking time, talking with the fans. It felt like a free conversation time rather than a concert, with the members so eager to communicate with their fans and tell their stories. The fans were happy, the members were happy and I was sitting there as a 3rd person, enjoying the exchange of love between them.

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What I did not expect from the ‘B.A.P LIVE ON EARTH 2016 SEOUL AWAKE’ concert:

From the beginning of the concert to the encore songs, the theme ‘AWAKE’ stood out, especially when the members expressed their affiliation toward their fans and their life as artists. Normally a concert theme only provides simple guideline for how it will be shaped. However, this concert was all about B.A.P being ‘awake’ in different ways. The narration at the beginning of encore songs stated “B.A.P will never stop from now on” emphasising B.A.P’s ambition to strive forward.

The solo performances of B.A.P also surprised me. Himchan, Zelo and Jongup all showed their individual singing, rapping and dancing skills wonderfully, differentiated from their usual performance as a team. Each performance showed different characteristics, enriching the overall concert contents by changing song atmospheres each time.

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Also, the use of 60m LED screen increased the concert standard more than I’ve expected. The long screen showed various visual aids for each song as well as live footage of the performance. With the screen slightly curved and covering from one end of the standing area to another, the venue itself looked bigger and fuller. The lightings also assisted the use of the LED screen, and together the two elements enhanced the quality of the performances.

I am happy to say that the ‘B.A.P LIVE ON EARTH 2016 SEOUL AWAKE!!’ is the best B.A.P concert I have seen, with the staging elements perfectly assisting each performance. It was a good opportunity for me to experience each member’s artistic side, and also to watch live performance for the new song ‘That’s My Jam’. For me B.A.P is surely an artist to look out for, who stands out on their live performances.

Photos courtesy of TS Entertainment 

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