Live Review: G-Dragon ‘Act III Motte’ – Hisense Arena, Melbourne (12.08.17)

G-Dragon finally arrived in Melbourne for the third leg of his Australian tour. On a cold spitting winter’s night, the leader of BIGBANG gathered fans at Hisense Arena for his Act III: Motte World Tour on the 12th August.

Despite being a big venue, the arena was basically filled up with passionate VIP’s singing along to the music even before the show started. Lights dimmed, cheering soared through the roof and G-Dragon finally took the stage with his solo debut track ‘Heartbreaker’

A series of his classic songs such as ‘One of a Kind’, ‘That XX’ and ‘Crooked’ were sung in order of when they released. It was like walking through time and seeing his musical development over the years. The stage transformation was breathtaking and the use of lighting, fire and fireworks brought fan’s screams to their peak! The contrast of GD’s all red look against a sea of yellow VIPs clutching onto their lightsticks riding to the rhythm of each song was truly amazing.

There was a very GD feel to the concert. Quirky, weird, high energy, very rap and hip hop focused. Despite choreographed, the dancing had a very laid back feel to it. And even being a solo act without his fellow BIGBANG members, he was able to fill up the stage and never letting you feel a glimpse of emptiness.

But all things seemed to change when we hit the halfway mark to the concert. A series of video footage was played, starting with video interviews with his family and friends about who is G-Dragon, who is Kwon Jiyong, and if there is a difference between the two. It finished off with a video of himself talking to the camera, confessing that him himself doesn’t really know the difference either. The footage cut out and “Who Am I?” were the only words left on screen.

The singer came back on stage stripped of his red clothes. I personally saw that as a way of him letting down his stage persona and opening up to the audience to see a more personal side of Kwon Jiyong. Not dressed ‘shiny’ (as he would describe it) but at the same time, bits of red were part of his white outfit as well as keeping on a red cap. Almost like Kwon Jiyong telling us G-Dragon will forever be a part of him, but not consuming all of him. Since his previous three outfit changes were all red from head to toe.

Returning with ‘Super Star’ after the videos played was very impactful as he stood on a high platform singing “I need somebody. I ain’t got nobody” almost as if it’s like a cry for help and showing his vulnerability as he deals with who he is really is when the lights go off and the cheers stop.

This was also the first time it felt like the stage was empty. G-Dragon, or should I say Kwon Jiyong standing there by himself having the big stage engulf him. In almost all white, he stood there alone with just a mic stand. He confessed that there were times he felt lonely and never expected himself to make it this far. He said “Jiyong is a shy boy, I thought you won’t get me, but you get me”. To give him support and let him know he wasn’t alone, the fans chanted “Kwon Jiyong” repeatedly putting a smile on GD’s face as well as gifting his fans a cute round of applause.

To my surprise, G-Dragon spoke in pretty fluent English all night adding a personal touch to the concert. The singer provided lots of fan service sending out finger hearts, winks and even jumped off stage during his performance of ‘Untitled, 2014’.

My only downside to the concert was the overly loud audio making it quite deafening at times. As a lot of his songs were remixed, at times it felt like G-Dragon’s voice was masked by the background music.

All in all, Act III: Motte very intimate and unique concert concept; but it matches well with the concept of his latest album, Kwon Jiyong. Especially with his last outfit change. A blood stained looking shirt was strapped to him, which links back to the blood stained looking USB album he just released mimicking the blood on a new born from a mother’s womb. It felt like a very personal meeting seeing the struggle of this man juggling between his on and off stage presence. It’s quite a heavy and dark theme as compared to a lot of bright and energetic kpop concepts and music. It makes you remember behind the bright lights, the fancy clothes; that he too, is just a regular human living a superstar life. It was quite an experience and I shall look forward to where G-Dragon will be taking us from here on.

Photos by Anthony Smith.