[Herald Review] Musical picnic on the green

By Korea Herald

Greenplugged Seoul 2014 features 97 local acts of various genres

  • Published : Jun 2, 2014 - 20:34
  • Updated : Jun 2, 2014 - 21:29
Over the sunny weekend, thousands of people gathered at a riverside park along the Hangang River for an urban musical getaway.

Under the theme of “a musical picnic in the spring, the happiest music festival,” this year’s Greenplugged Seoul took place at Seoul Nanji Hangang Park, featuring 97 local acts in various genres including acoustic, soft rock, alternative rock, heavy metal and hip-hop.

Many festival attendees arrived via shuttle buses that circulated between Nanji and Hapjeong Station. Musicians took to five main stages and an open busking stage.

The first day’s eclectic lineup included the psychedelic post-modern rock band Magna Fall, female acoustic singer Taru, Casker and punk rock band Yellow Monsters, as well as the heavy metal band Pia, rock band Monni, hip-hop musician San E, veteran rock trio Delispice and headlining alt-rock band Nell.
Greenplugged Seoul 2014 was held at Seoul Nanji Hangang Park on Saturday and Sunday. (Greenplugged Inc.)

As the sun began to set on Saturday, electronica duo Casker flaunted its distinctive colors, characterized by the dreamy vocals of Lee Yoong-jin mixed with electronic overtones arranged by Lee Juno during its performances of “Scent” and “Just This Much.”

Popular hip-hop musician and rapper San E took over the main stage with energetic live performances of his hit singles “Rap Circus,” “Break Up Dinner” and “Lovesick.” The rapper dedicated his signature song “Story of Someone I Know” to a female fan whom he invited up on stage. He also single-handedly sang and rapped to Park Ji-yoon’s “Mystery (feat. San E).”

Meanwhile, veteran heavy metal band Pia delivered heated performances of “Monkey” and “Where I [m]” as the band’s vocalist Ok Yo-han, drenched in sweat, passionately bellowed out each song.

Rock band Monni, which recently released its fourth studio album, “Follow My Voice,” led a lively program on Saturday as well. Kicking off with a powerful rendition of “LOVESound,” the band’s lead vocalist Kim Shin-eui impressed the audience with his steady, resonant pitch-perfect vocals.

The band sang old favorites including “Together With You” and “Going To Leave Me” as well as its recent hit single “Dotnaeyo,” which was accompanied by a colorful stop-motion music video in the backdrop that fittingly complemented the song’s sweet melodies and lyrics.

The first day of this year’s GPS came to a grand finale with a headlining performance by the nation’s signature alt-rock band Nell. Mixing the old with the new, the lead vocalist Kim Jong-wan poignantly sang the band’s calmer hits including “Time Walking On Memory,” “Stay” and “White Dwarf” as well as “Four Times Around the Sun,” “Memories of a Stranger” and “Escape From Extinction” from its new studio album.

During “Ocean of Light,” white light beams flashed into the audience while fireworks exploded on stage, adding to the excitement. The four-piece band closed the night with a gloomy rendition of “Grey Zone” and did not return to the stage for an encore performance.

The Sunday lineup included performances by a number of other popular local acts including acoustic singer Han Hee-jeong, rocker Kim Bada, Urban Zakapa, rock band Galaxy Express, Jang Kiha and the Faces, Bumkey, Dickpunks, Nemesis, Sultan of the Disco and headliners M.C. The Max.

“I really loved how all the artists came on stage excited to perform, and how the people attending were equally as excited to be hearing great music in such beautiful weather,” said Lee Hyun-jung, who attended the festival on Saturday. “I would definitely like to return to GPS again next year.”

By Sohn Ji-young (jiyoung.sohn@heraldcorp.com)