[Review] Krazy K-Pop Super Concert a Decent Sampler of New Generation K-Pop Acts, but Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

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 UBS Arena/Dennis DaSilva

“[My fanmade sign] says ‘please look at my camera’,” a young woman standing near me in the line for the Krazy K-Pop Super Concert - which took place at the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York, on the 26th of August - explains with regards to a Korean-language sign she was carrying. 


She made the sign in hopes of prompting one of the concert’s five headliners (Cravity, AB6IX, Kwon Eunbi, IVE, and MONSTA X’s Shownu and Hyungwon) to pose in front of her equipment, admittedly with the assistance of Google Translate as she does not speak Korean. 


Tongue-in-cheek fanmade signs in both Korean and English were of prominent presence throughout the event, as was general excitement for each of the performers, although that was curbed to a (now acknowledged by Pulse Events) certain degree by a lack of organization in terms of logistics throughout the venue - particularly throughout the Meet-and-Greet portion that preceded a soundcheck and the actual concert in question, which concludes a summer that was marked by equal parts live musical extravaganzas (most notably put on by the likes of Taylor Swift and BeyoncĂ©) and repeated questionable attempts at garnering attention from performers on stage.


In fact, the environment surrounding the event was indicative of such - from concertgoers paying homage to some of the most ubiquitous archetypes of K-Fashion to IVE’s security detail trying its best to limit seemingly gratuitous physical contact between the six members and fans during their short Meet-and-Greet to arena personnel putting concertgoers’ sneaky photography skills to the test as they attempted to enforce a cellphones-off rule that was in effect for the duration of soundcheck. 


UBS Arena/Dennis DaSilva


While the energy radiating from fans maintained a conspicuous presence throughout the show (along with the pre-show fixtures designated for VIP ticket holders, like Meet-and-Greets and soundcheck, and the opening dance performances), the same thing could not necessarily be said about all of the performers that took the stage, with Shownu and Hyungwon in particular - the performers who had the most visible fans amongst the audience and the most measurable impact across North America by virtue of being MONSTA X members - being underwhelming in comparison to their usual performances, albeit still in control of decent stage presence.


UBS Arena/Dennis DaSilva


AB6IX’s, Cravity’s and IVE’s performances were respectively the night’s most memorable, with IVE in particular delivering spectacular choreography for songs like 
Kitsch and ElevenKwon Eunbi is currently navigating her path as a solo artist after the disbandment of Iz*One in 2021, a group she led to K-Pop superstardom from their debut in 2018. The performance suggests that while it may take a little more time than expected, she is on the journey to solidify her identity as a solo artist, separate from her Iz*One legacy.

UBS Arena/Dennis DaSilva

Keeping all that in mind, the overall concert could have also done without the awkward-sounding interview intermissions that took place between the event’s MCs and the performers, although the awkwardness could be explained in part by the linguistic barriers in

place (questions were asked in both English and Korean, with some of the performers opting to answer in the former and others preferring to speak in the latter. A Korean-speaking MC would immediately translate to the crowd after each instance of such). Another factor could simply be that the arena wasn’t as packed as it normally is otherwise during events of the same caliber, with many empty seats being visible in plain sight. 


UBS Arena/Dennis DaSilva

It’s no secret that Hallyu (the South Korean Pop Culture Wave) shows no signs of slowing down in North America, especially as interest in K-Pop and K-Dramas specifically started to transition from being an ultra-niche interest reserved for certain subcultures to a more mainstream movement in the late 2010’s, with K-Pop hits even starting to get their fair share of airplay on Top 40 stations in the late 2010’s and early 2020’s as they started climbing charts across the world, the most notable and mainstream of which being the Billboard Hot 100. 


If the attendee demographics of the Krazy K-Pop Super Concert could also be of any indication of the bigger picture, a predominantly Generation Z listener base from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds (albeit still askew to a certain degree towards the umbrella of Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities) is the one most likely to keep K-Pop on rotation for the time being. 


UBS Arena/Dennis DaSilva

Overall, the concert itself was a rather swift conclusion to a summer that was marked by concerts going back into a full swing post-Pandemic, and a reminder that the Hallyu remains something to not be underestimated within North American markets in particular. 


Whether new editions of the concert will materialize in the near or distant future is something that remains a mystery for the time being, although it might take substantially more to attract those who are casual, non-diehard K-Pop listeners or even those who aren’t tapped into fandom subcultures.



Review by Dalia Abdelwahab 


Note: Contributor opinions are their own and do not represent the opinions of KpopWise. 
 



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