Appearing amid smoke and blue neon lights, Big Bang kicked off a steamy summer Saturday night with its 10th anniversary concert “0 To 10” in Seoul.
The 65,000-seat Seoul World Cup Stadium was filled to the brim with a sea of blazing neon yellow sticks -- the Big Bang fan club’s signature color. The crowd erupted in cheers when the boy band appeared on stage at 7:30 p.m. and opened with “My Heaven.”
The five members -- G-Dragon, Taeyang, T.O.P, Seungri and Daesung -- climbed onto mobile miniature stages that circulated the stadium for “We Like 2 Party” and “Hands Up.”
YG Entertainment went all out for the “monumental occasion,” employing state-of-the-art cameras and stage equipment. Ten speakers were installed around the stadium for full volume in all seats.
Big Bang romped around the 28 meter-wide, three meter-deep platform designed to rise eight meters above the stage, while 30 automated and handheld cameras -- including one attached to a wire traversing the stadium -- filmed the performances to be packaged into DVDs.
“So many people came despite the heat today,” said Seungri, sweating profusely. Some fans became dehydrated soon after the show began. “We can’t continue with the show if this goes on,” said T.O.P, asking the audience to refrain from overexerting themselves.
“We weren’t sure how many people would come. We’ve been spending a lot of time overseas,” said G-Dragon, referring to the band’s world tour last year.
“We would’ve extended the concert to two days had we known that so many people would come,” said Taeyang.
Big Bang performs at its 10th anniversay concert at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Saturday. (YG Entertainment)
“Bad Boy” and “Loser” followed, after which Seungri took to the DJ station. Next came his solo piece, “Let’s Talk About Love” and “Strong Baby,” the stage spewing fireworks and flames.
G-Dragon put up an electric guitar-infused version of “Heartbreaker,” appearing on stage in a flaming red velvet suit atop a golden pyramid. He and T.O.P sang “High High,” riding around on Segway electric scooters.
Psy, the star of the now world-famous “horse dance,” made a surprise guest appearance. Like the concert veteran that he is, he goaded the audience to fist-thumping jumps with frenzied performances of “Champion” and his worldwide hit “Gangnam Style.”
“I wonder if there has ever been a boy band that keeps developing with such a strong identity, confidence and color,” he commented on the group, which has achieved iconic status in K-pop.
According to reports, over half of the concertgoers are thought to be overseas fans, most of them Chinese, the influx prompting a 10 percent spike in hotel reservations in the Myeong-dong area.
The concert was live-streamed in China through online platform Tencent, which formed a partnership with YG Entertainment in May, and through Naver’s streaming app V in Korea.
After “Crooked,” “Good Boy,” “Doom Dada,” “Eyes, Nose, Lips,” “Ringa Linga” and more, the concert blasted on with hit dance tracks “Bang Bang Bang” and “Fantastic Baby,” followed by an encore medley of “Last Farewell,” “Sunset Glow” and “Lies.” The nearly three-hour show wrapped up with “Always” and “Bae Bae.”
The concert is the latest installment in the group’s celebration of its past decade. Big Bang released a film of its 2015 world tour in June and opened an art exhibition in Seongsu-dong last month.
By Rumy Doo (firstname.lastname@example.org)