The last time six-member South Korean boy band BEAST were in Australia was in 2011. Almost five years later, the tremendously talented and completely charismatic sextet landed in Melbourne early on Wednesday morning in preparation for the next stop of their ‘Ordinary’ fan-meet, providing Aussie Beauties with a truly unique opportunity to get up-close and personal with their favourite idols.
Melbourne appearances of some of K-Pop’s biggest names earlier this year, including sell-out BIGBANG and BTS shows, did not stop Korean-Pop fans of all ages travelling in droves to Melbourne’s spectacular Regent Theatre. Distinctively, there was something rather special about this event, even before the venue doors were swung open. Evidently, it became abundantly apparent that BEAST fans were passionate for the pure pop-perfection that modern Korean music consistently and constantly delivers.
The choice in venue was almost serendipitous; a perfectly stunning location that was small enough that it remained personal and intimate, but big enough that it comfortably sat rows of excited fans, all armed with an array of fan-chants, merchandise, banners and light sticks. Soon, the theatre was full with hushed whispers and excited chatter. The atmosphere was euphorically electric and undeniably contagious. As the lights dimmed, the audience lit up, almost angelically, in a display of bright white lights.
A brief introduction by SBS PopAsia’s gorgeous Jamaica dela Cruz amplified anticipation. An endless stream of giggles and squeals increased hysteria, as dela Cruz perfectly played the role of MC for the night, preparing the audience for the performance that was to come. Where we ready? Indeed, it was clear that the audience was growing impatiently eager. Soon, nearly everyone was shouting.
All six men that everyone had come to see finally appeared on stage, each wearing bright shining smiles, demanding attention as they energetically performed one of their most recent releases, ‘YeY’. Dynamic and electric, this song seamlessly ran straight into crowd favourite ‘Good Luck’, where the boys from BEAST showed us their best in a series of sexy and sleek dance moves. Their energy did not wane as they performed ‘Kimi Wa Dou (I Think I Love You)’, proving that their combined physical prowess is almost an exact match for their incredible vocal abilities. Three songs in, and they were flawless.
It was here that they boys took a small break to introduce themselves properly. Every eye from the audience was locked onto the stage as Junhyung, Doojoon, Dongwoon, Gikwang, Hyunseung, and Yoseob all individually had their own opportunity to say hello to their fans. Six lucky audience members were fortunate enough to be picked out from the crowd to join the BEAST members on stage in a quick game, where the boys had to sing-along to iconic Australian folk-tunes. Indeed, Dongwoon singling along to the Kookaburra song was an uniquely hilarious joy shared by those in attendance; before the end of the game the audience was in raptures, a shared ecstasy that did not wane as the boys prepared themselves to perform ’12:30’. From the start of the song, bright, twinkling fairy lights lit-up amongst the audience – a truly magical moment for Beauties as they saw their boys smile brightly on stage. Each second of their performance displayed BEAST at they top of their game, showing no signs of slowing down. Indeed, the talents of each individual member were increasingly evident as the show progressed. This stunning performance was the prelude to an intensely evocative performance of ‘On Rainy Days’; passionately, fans swayed their light sticks in the air as the boys belted out this beautiful ballad. The dream continued with ‘Midnight’.
Just before everyone melted into one great collective puddle of goo, we were all popped back into reality with a balloon game. Armed with darts, the boys burst balloons to win prizes for a few lucky fans. Up for grabs were a few bears, signed merchandise, and even selcas with the boys themselves; with keen interest, everyone watched almost intensely as, one-by-one, the boys stepped up to the board.
While the game might have finished quickly, the fun was most certainly not over. The first few notes of ‘Shadow’ played, met with screams across the theatre. Each song was a little more energetic than the last, with ‘Shock’ getting everyone out of their seats and dancing along to its fast, driving beat. Almost effortlessly, the boys spent some time relaying messages full of promises to come back with a full concert, which of course was met with a truly enthusiastic response. Indeed, it was truly a ‘Beautiful Night’, with the group getting closer to their fans for their final song. But of course, the boys could not truly leave the stage without an ‘Encore’, which seemed to serve the purpose of the boys taking videos and selfies with their audience. Right up until the very last selca, the boys continued to push the boundaries of the crowds’ immense expectations. Effortlessly moving in between beautiful ballads, and electric pop beats, each song seemed to highlight why the group has witnessed sold-out concerts and earned number one ranking singles; sublime vocal ability matched with punchy raps and faultless dancing, it was not hard to see why BEAST has risen to worldwide fame.
Indeed, their ‘Ordinary’ fan-meet was a show unlike what has been shown within Melbourne before. What is clear was that BEAST is so completely far removed from anything that could be distinguished as ordinary.