What a fun and exhausting weekend! Every year, it always feels like I have a KCON hangover as it takes me a few days to recover from all the excitement, activities and just engaging in the fangirl/fanboy camaraderie going on. Here’s a rundown of general KCON hoopla that went down this weekend.
I didn’t have any panels the first day so I moseyed on in, in the afternoon. It was nice to check out some of the panels as well as all the booths. Every year, it seems that KCON seems to be getting bigger and bigger and it is always the hope that it’ll grow even bigger next year, especially considering how big the LA counterpart is.
Having said that, the main event for my first day was the concert. The MC’s for this evening were GFRIEND’s SinB and SF9’s Chani. Then later, GFRIEND’s Yuju and Umji took over the duties.
The evening performances started off with KNK, who graced us with their tall height. As I said in my Jive Monkey Playlist post, I was looking forward to their performance of “해, 달, 별 (Sun, Moon, Stars)” and I’ll admit that it wasn’t everything that I hoped it would but it was still good. I suppose that they are new-ish and still need some work in getting their moves down.
Then, GFRIEND’s Yuju and Highlight’s Son Dong Woon treated us with their special stage singing, “Beauty and the Beast,” which seemed to be a crowd favorite because of the recent release of the movie. Many of the KCON NY special stages had a Broadway theme to them.
Next up, rookie group SF9 leaped up onto the stage full of energy.
They also showed us some of their aegyo through a variety-esque events that they planned for KCON called “The Fortune Wheel (Wheel of Fortune is a trademarked name.)” in which the groups engage in activities with the audience by spinning a digital roulette wheel. SF9 activity was a proposal in which they would propose to a lucky fan in the audience, Paige.
Afterwards, GFRIEND took the stage to perform their latest track, “FINGERTIP” as well as their past hits, “너 그리고 나 (Navillera) (You and I (Navillera))” and “오늘부터 우리는 (Me gustas tu) (Starting From Today, We Are (Me gustas tu))”. Noticeably missing was Yerin who was off in the Indonesian jungle filming for Kim Byung Man’s Laws of the Jungle.
One of my favorites of the night was Zion.T. He showed off his typical quirky personality as he sang “Complex” and “노래 (Song)” from his latest album. He then showcased some crowd favorites like “꺼내 먹어요 (Take It Out and Eat It)” and “양화대교 (Yanghwa Bridge)”. I apologize for my horrible singing. I tried not to but I couldn’t help myself.
As SF9 is known for their dancing, they did a cover of EXO’s “Call Me Baby” and BTS’s “상남자 (Boy In Luv) (Real Man (Boy In Luv)),” which, as you might expect, are crowd favorite hits.
My favorite boy band of the night though was Highlight. It’s been years since I’ve seen them perform live, back when they were Beast, so I was really looking forward to this. It has seemed like these boys have aged as you could literally see sweat dripping from Yoon Doo Joon, Yong Jun Hyung and Lee Ki Kwang that they had to keep wiping it off. I’ll admit though that they were wearing a lot layers as they did come with robes which they later took off for a costume change. However, they ended the first night with a bang.
They also participated in the “The Fortune Wheel” and took a selfie with the audience.
And before I knew it, Day 1 was over. This is when you know that you’ve expended a lot energy screaming and jumping up and down but you’re not tired. You can’t be. Not yet. After all, there’s another full day of activities and fangirling/fanboying.
As for Day 2, we had a great panel talking about rising stars in the K-Drama world with my fellow panelists, Joan Vos Macdonald, Young Ajummah and Zombie Mamma. We talked with about our favorite up and coming stars and whether they will become household names, like Lee Min Ho, Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun. We also had a really great audience who had some thought-provoking questions that made the panel even more engaging and fun.
For the concert in the evening, there was a great pre-show. A KCON staple, Jun Curry Ahn took the stage to play Crush’s “Beautiful” from the drama Goblin.
However, 1MILLION Dance Crew blew up the stage with their fabulous moves. I had actually seen them in the green room practicing their moves as I was doing last minute prep for the panel.
Then, the main festivities started with CNBLUE’s Jung Yong Hwa and Lee Jung Shin opening things up by MC-ing.
Interestingly enough, the first group to come out was TWICE who treated us to various JYP song covers. I was sitting to some excitable girls for Day 2 so you’ll notice a lot of camera movement which couldn’t be helped. It was all in good fun though.
Then, Up10Tion took the stage by treating us with a performance of their newest song, “시작해 (Runner) (Start (Runner))”. You can get the track when their new album is released this coming weekend.
They also performed other title tracks, including their debut song, “위험해 (So, Dangerous),” and “나한테만 집중해 (Attention)”. I wasn’t completely blown away by their performances but they are still new so they’ve got plenty of room to grow.
As far as new-ish boy groups go, I was looking forward to seeing NCT 127 and they commanded the stage with their bass-pumping numbers. Can I just say that I’m loving Taeyong’s pink hair? It just looked so fluffy and even though he was busy jumping around and rocking the dance floor it maintained it poofy nature. Can you tell that he’s my favorite from this group?
For night two, NCT 127 also took a spin on “The Fortune Wheel”. I’ll admit that I can’t help doing an eye roll every time I hear that name. Their mission was to sing a love song to another lucky fan which happened to be Emma on this night. She originally wanted another member to sing to her but they had to prepare for their next performance so that task went to Taeil and Do Young. I’ll admit that I was quite partial to Do Young’s crooning but that may be because he’s Gong Myung’s younger brother.
In keeping with the Broadway theme, Up10Tion returned to the stage to do a jazzy pop version of ABBA’s “Honey Honey” from Mamma Mia.
The only other girl group of the two day event, TWICE, graced us with performances of their addictive hits like “Signal,” “Cheer Up,” “TT” and “KNOCK KNOCK”.
They also participated in “The Fortune Wheel” too in which they posed so that fans could take pictures of them, including the flower pose, the chic pose and the heart pose.
The final act of the night was CNBLUE. A few years ago at KCON LA, I made the mistake of not bringing enough memory so I was sitting there trying to delete bad photos to make room to film more video. I came prepared this year because CNBLUE is sooo great live. I knew that I might run out of batteries, which I did, but I had the spare ready and swapped the batteries out in a flash to catch all of their performances.
The only thing that sucks about their performance, which they can’t really help, is that they are a band and literally bound to their instruments and only one section of the stage. Jung Yong Hwa did a great job of moving around.
Another amusing moment during their performances is that you’ll hear some random screaming in the video. Every time, Kang Min Hyuk was featured on the big monitors the girls went crazy for him. I get it, he’s cute and because he’s the drummer, he’s tucked back in the rear section of the stage. You’ll see him smirking a few seconds later when he realizes why their screaming which makes him even cuter.
And so ends another year at KCON NY. Now, it’s time for me to catch up on sleep, shows that I’ve missed watching while preparing for KCON and life, in general.