I had heard many wonderful things about the best, absolute, perfect warriors who graced Australian shores back in 2014, so my expectations were high when I stepped into Luna Park’s The Big Top to watch B.A.P perform along with hundreds of BABY on the 27th of May. After writing a few articles on the group’s Live On Earth World Tour I had a fairly solid idea of what to expect: a new set-list, a few solo stages, and Zelo‘s super-speed rapping. Now let me tell you what I didn’t expect.
I didn’t expect the group to follow through so strongly with their ‘AWAKE’ theme! The start of the concert welcomed fans with an introduction video of a fetus slowly waking up. The ‘LIVE ON EARTH’ aspect was emphasised through meteors and comets as well as a number of cleverly done astronaut references, and a smoke machine, live DJ and drummer sent musical vibrations running throughout the concert hall and gave the on-screen videos a 4D effect.
The concert started off with the group’s debut song, ‘Warrior’, and the boys continued to bring the heat with ‘What The Hell’ and ‘No Mercy’ (featuring a nice addition of ‘We Will Rock You’!) Jongup then took to the stage for his solo performance! He began seated in the corner with two spotlights beaming down on him before bursting into powerful choreography alongside his backup dancers. BABY were cheering so loud that there were times where it was hard to hear his voice! He put on a fantastic performance and definitely gave me a surprise with his stable and powerful high notes.
‘Spy’ was introduced through a smooth, James Bond-esque introduction video playing on a big screen above the stage. The opening of the song had the members performing short solo dances – the standout was definitely Jongup’s martial arts flip in the air! Is there anything this group can’t do?!
A music video for ‘Be Happy’ played in the background as the boys sung along! Zelo’s dance break definitely had all the BABY in the room happy, and the group continued to brighten the atmosphere by shooting hearts at fans. Cue the group intro! All of the members introduced themselves in English before somehow ending up doing a back-and-forth chorus of ‘Be Happy’ between the group and the fans before continuing the show with ‘Feel So Good’. Daehyun‘s high notes were THROUGH THE ROOF. After all the concerts and performances I’ve seen in my life, I’ve never heard anybody sing high notes so effortlessly. I wouldn’t be surprised if he could communicate with dolphins. The video playing on-screen featured a group of Matoki going on a road trip across the world. It was sweet to see them happily travel past the Sydney Opera House!
Youngjae turned the atmosphere around with his solo stage where he performed ‘Slow Motion’. Very red, very atmospheric – very impressive! Beams of light supported every beat played by the DJ as smoke filled the stage. One of the members gave a loud cheer from off-stage before the group reappeared in new outfits! Fans were met with an EDM remix of ‘Hurricane’. Jump, jump, jump!
The boys held small flashlights, performing eye-catching choreography before the beginning of ‘Badman’. Unfortunately there wasn’t a whole lot of the dance routine performed, although Youngjae was having a great time dancing around for the fun of it. Either way, the short-lived choreography can be easily forgiven by the number and quality of the performances! ‘Dancing In The Rain’ has a colourful on-screen video and bright lights illuminating the room. Definitely a feel-good show so far! “Are you having fun?!” Himchan calls out with a grin. As if you don’t already know!
‘Bang x2’ is performed next, and although the official choreography is not included, the boys dance around the stage freely. The song ends and two flashlights light up a small section of the stage – Zelo appears doing the moonwalk and egging on the crowd’s cheers! He performs a dance routine to a remix of a few different songs, and the general response of BABY can be summarised in three words: “Wow. Wow! WOW!” Zelo smoothly transitions between dance styles, ending with an incredible contemporary dance. His solo stage is a perfect showcase of exactly how passionate he is about his field of work.
The screen then flashes a list of wars from the year 1914 before the boys perform ‘One Shot’, followed by a short but mesmorising solo dance performed by Jongup underneath a spotlight during the beginning of ‘1004’. It’s easy to see that this song is a crowd favourite with BABY singing along almost the entire time! The lights come on and signal the start of the talk segment. The members use the opportunity to make eye-contact and interact with as many of their fans as possible. They told fans not to worry – that “we are very happy, and we hope you are happy too.” They continued to thank the fans, saying that they wouldn’t be here without them.
The last song is introduced, and Daehyun asks fans to follow his lead: “With you, with you, with you, with you, baby!” The final song, ‘With You’, plays and fans sing along with the chorus while holding up slogans saying that they will forever be with B.A.P. Meanwhile, English subtitles on the large screen explain to us the meaning of the song. Zelo returns to the stage after disappearing for a short while, and this time, he’s back with the Australian flag draped around his neck! Don’t you just love it when your favourite singers love your country? Daehyun ends the song with some more insane high notes, and adlibs for a solid minute or two after the music has stopped. He was adlibbing as a joke – he wasn’t even taking it seriously, but he was incredible! (I promise that this is the second-last time I’ll talk about how great Daehyun’s high notes were!)
The boys leave the stage – “Okay, bye!” – but it’s not long before fans are chanting for an encore and the sounds of the earth rumbling beneath us brings them back to the stage for ‘Young, Wild & Free’. A monologue with English subtitles plays in the background with the theme of running with no fear. Yongguk rocks this performance! His raps are always dripping with emotion. The members give their individual goodbyes in Korean after the song ends, and although the end of a concert is always a sad moment, they definitely gave it their best shot to make their fans laugh! Youngjae commented that in his field of work, he hears the words “You’re so handsome!” all the time, but it’s still good to hear. Daehyun continued to say that he’s going to have to come back to Australia, because “you are all so beautiful! Ho, ho, ho!!”
‘Excuse Me’ is the final song and B.A.P spend a good five minutes waving farewell. Zelo is the last person to leave the stage, and he makes sure his leave is memorable: he walks away while slapping his bottom. BABY cheer their goodbyes and the DJ continues to play tunes while the large screen shows images of the members with messages of thanks written in English.
Final thoughts? I didn’t expect to be literally blown away time and time again by Daehyun’s insane vocal chords! His high notes in every song were flawless and left me in both disbelief and genuine confusion at how a human being could so effortlessly sing such high notes. In fact, I was impressed by every member at various points during the concert. The vocal line are powerful and stable, and the rappers are fantastic at adding B.A.P’s unique colour to every song. I also appreciated how much time was spent into making the animated videos that were used as the introduction to a number of songs. The lighting and sound was carefully prepared in order to accompany these videos, with vibrations produced by the audio helping to bring the 2D images into a 4D experience. Definitely a concert to remember. Let’s bring B.A.P back for round three soon!