It finally happened! South Korean superstars BIGBANG finally set foot on the land down under – and they’ve definitely left their mark! VIPs were left exhausted by the end of the night from all the jumping, dancing and singing along to a setlist of classics. Plus, if you’ve been following our BIGBANG concert livetweeting session on Twitter, you may have noticed that over the course of the two hours I may or may not have developed a teeny-tiny crush on Daesung. How did that happen, you ask? Let me start from the beginning…
BIGBANG’s official fanclub, VIP, had been lining up hours in advance in hopes of getting as close to the stage as possible! Fortunately, the group’s hit songs and music videos were being played on a huge screen – that would have made the wait a little bit less painful! Anticipation was rising with every second as we shuffled into the Allphones Arena. Along the way, we were presented with small blue lightsticks which we were told was to be used for when the group performed ‘Blue’. What a sweet idea! It’s fan-events such as this that really make K-Pop concerts all the more exciting.
More great tunes and classic hits kept us company as we waited for the show to begin, and it wasn’t long before the venue was filled and on the main screen played a VCR that looked like it came straight out of an action film – except that BIGBANG were the main stars! Speeding cars, fights, enemies… we’ve got it all! The members were introduced through the video as actors playing their stage personas: Kwon Jiyong as G-DRAGON, Choi Seunghyun as T.O.P, Dong Youngbae asTAEYANG, Kang Daesung as DAESUNG, and Lee Seunghyun as SEUNGRI.
The members appeared on stage for ‘BANG BANG BANG’… and bang, cue the fireworks! The stage was very clever in that it was mobile and could be split or moved around as necessary. ‘Tonight’ was next up – did you know that G-Dragon could play the electric guitar? Here’s a better question: is there anything he can’t do? Daesung had an absolute ball busting out ‘Stupid Liar’ with more adlibs than I thought humanly possible. It became apparent right away why BIGBANG are as popular and respected as they are (as if anyone had any doubts!) The members introduced themselves in English and would continue to speak entirely in English for almost all of the show. They seemed to enjoy getting their fans to sing along with them: “say ye-eah! Woo-ooh!” I’ll be the first to admit my singing skills are not quite to the same level of the likes of Taeyang and Daesung, but who can say no to those smiles?
The next VCR ended with T.O.P swearing and aggressively arguing with himself in the mirror. “You think you can say that about me? You wanna come say it to my face?” He’s definitely an actor! This lead us into ‘Loser’, for which mirrors had been added to the stage to match the chorus: “In the mirror, I’m a loser.” ‘Blue’ was next – quick, find your lightstick! The yellow ocean was replaced with a beautiful blue, and fans were passing around more lightsticks just in case anybody had missed out. Great teamwork, VIPs! The members were on separate platforms throughout this performance and their platforms would rise and fall depending on who was singing. Have I mentioned yet how cool the stage was set up?!
Time for another talk session! Taeyang said he’s always wanted to come to Australia and felt blessed to be here. He commented that he thinks Sydney is clean and quiet, but that today, he doesn’t want us to be quiet! Seungri encouraged us to make some noise – “We can see you guys, but don’t be lazy!” Meanwhile, Daesung corrected that because of his long fringe he in fact couldn’t see us, and needs to be able to hear us instead! The concert then turned into a quick comedy show of sorts, with Daesung teasing, “Do you want to see my big… eyes?” only to dramatically lift his fringe and pull wide-eyed funny faces into the camera. I wish I could capture with words exactly the faces he pulled, but unfortunately the English language is a limited one! I will say, however, that I was crying from laughter. Ten points to Daesung!
‘If You’ was up next, and– WOW, T.O.P?! T.O.P’s singing voice is gorgeous! The sweet ballad was followed by ‘Bad Boy’, another VCR and finally Seungri’s solo ‘Strong Baby’. Clap, clap, clap, clap! The set was complete with bright reds and powerful choreography. Daesung’s ‘Wings’ was next – I had been half hoping to spot a harness somewhere, that he might fly around while he performed, but unfortunately that wasn’t this case this time around. It was still a wonderful performance nevertheless! ‘Wings’ is a song that I hold dear to my heart, so to see it live was an incredible experience. Taeyang continued the solo streak with ‘Eyes Nose Lips’, which I’ve since decided needs to be renamed ‘Eyes Nose Lips and Lungs’ because Taeyang’s vocals are insane! And then for the 2016 concert remix – ‘Eyes, Nose, Lips, Lungs and Voicebox’. I think it’ll catch on! T.O.P stepped on stage next with ‘Doom Dada’, a.k.a the coolest song on the planet! He returned moments later accompanied by G-Dragon and together they performed an energetic ‘ZUTTER’. Their rap? Dope! Their style? Dope! They were running all over the stage and managed to raise the atmosphere even higher! ‘Good Boy’ was next, and once again I have to point out the amazingly synchronized back-up dancers, lighting and even streamers! G-Dragon’s solo ‘Crooked’ was up next, and he had every VIP on their feet throughout his entire performance. His stage was very interestingly coordinated in that all of his back-up dancers had their own individual prop. Very clever! Daesung suddenly appeared with a drum kit – ‘Sober’ must be next! But before that he presented us with by far the happiest, brightest, most joyful drum session I’ve ever seen! He continued playing the drums like this throughout the entirety of ‘Sober’. TWENTY POINTS TO DAESUNG!
The solo stages were finished and it was time for another talk segment! We could sense that the end was near, and Taeyang gave a lovely speech about how happy he was to be here. “I’m not sure when we’ll meet again, but… maybe tomorrow?” Aw, I wish! G-Dragon thanked us sincerely for coming, and T.O.P agreed, saying that it was their first time in Australia but he was very happy to see everyone. At some point along the talk segment, Seungri ended up singing along toMichael Jackson‘s Billie Jean while Daesung gave a passionate dance accompaniment! Daesung’s inner comedian slips out of every word he says and I was trying not to fall out of my seat from laughter. “Actually, I don’t really like you guys… I LOVE you guys!” THIRTY POINTS TO DAESUNG!!
‘Fantastic Baby’ was the final song, and the members played around with toy kangaroos and koalas on stage while giant beach balls with ‘SYDNEY LOVES BIGBANG!’ written on them were rolled around amongst the crowd. G-Dragon slow danced with a toy kangaroo and tried to throw it to the second floor, but he either underestimated how high he’d have to throw, overestimated his fans’ catching abilities, or underestimated the weight of the kangaroo because it took him a solid three attempts to get the toy across to a lucky VIP! But wait… it’s not over yet! After a final VCR, the group left us with ‘We Like To Party’ and snippets of ‘Bae Bae’ as our encore song.
A fantastic concert by a fantastic group of talented individuals! From the lighting to the musical direction, everything about this show was exactly what I’d expect from BIGBANG: top quality. Come back soon, guys!
Photo by Johnny Au