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MNET ULTIMATE LIVE! IN ASIA
Marina Bay Sands Exhibition Hall E
The ear-piercing screams from fans, mostly teenagers and women in their 20s, sometimes threatened to drown out the performances of the Korean bands.
But Mblaq, Miss A, 2AM, Beast and hot favourite 2PM showed off powerful lungs and well-rehearsed dance moves during the three-hour long show.
This was the first time Mnet Ultimate Live!, an annual Korean music festival organised by Korean television network Mnet which tours East Asia and South-east Asia, had come to Singapore. About 4,000 K-pop fans turned up for the blockbuster event.
Starting half an hour after the stipulated ticket time of 6pm, Mblaq were the first to receive the fans' enthusiastic cheers.
About 1,000 fans, who paid $188 for freestanding tickets, queued since 5am for a spot near the stage with a T-shaped runway.
Clad in dark blue military-inspired suits, the five-member band performed mostly solos, where each member had a chance to shine.
Mblaq's vocalist Lee Joon danced a ballet solo which added a delicate touch to the entire concert, mostly filled with head-throbbing beats. Their hit song Y was the only song the band performed together but their vocals were completely drowned out by the powerful sound system. Thankfully, the sound balance was restored for the second half of the concert.
The next 20 minutes belonged to girl group Miss A, who were without band member Suzy as she was sick. But she recorded a video message for the fans. The three-member Miss A were greeted with fewer waving hands than the boybands but their sexy dance moves were met with strong applause. While it would have been nice to hear more singing, the relatively new group did a good job with their energetic number Bad Girl Good Girl.
But Mblaq and Miss A were simply a warm-up for the main attractions.
The four-member 2AM, clad in all-white suits, are known for their ballads and their singing was thankfully not overwhelmed by the loud sound system as they all sang to playback. The band sang a set of seven songs. The standout number was I Did Wrong, in which they mimicked puppets in their dance moves.
Next in line was the eye candy Beast, a six-member group, who sang nine songs. It was 19-year-old rapper Son Dong Woon who stole the show, running along the edge of the stage and teasing fans with air kisses.
But it was boyband 2PM that fans were really waiting for, and the shrieks reached supersonic levels upon their arrival onstage.
The well-known hunks were the crowd-pleasers. Taecyeon and Thai member Nichkhun addressed the audience in English, saying how it seemed like their first time in Singapore although they had come two
months ago for The Korean Pop Night Concert. The band gave out lollipops and roses at random during their hit song Angel and had at least three outfit changes during their set of 14 songs.
It was a good idea to pack five bands into one show, as newer bands such as Mblaq and Miss A had fewer songs to offer compared to their more established counterparts, 2AM, Beast and 2PM.
The constant stream of bands kept the fans' attention onstage and their energy levels high.Reviewed by Rachel Boon for The Straits Times (Singapore)
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