Despite pouring rain, some 20,000 people flocked to Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Tuesday, which was also Korean National Liberation Day, to see the American pop star who won hearts around the world by returning to the stage just three weeks after a suicide bomber attacked her concert in Manchester in May.
|Ariana Grande (Hyundai Card) |
At the request of the singer, security and screening for the Seoul concert was extra tight. Fans were only allowed to bring in foldable umbrellas and transparent bags. Photographs for press were also not allowed.
After a 10-mintue countdown, the 24-year-old singer, flapping her signature long ponytail, popped on the stage to kick off the Seoul leg of the “Dangerous Woman” world tour concert with “Be Alright.”
Living up to her global fame as a powerful vocalist, Grande’s 100-minute live concert was impeccable, featuring more than 20 hits such as “Bad Decisions,” “Side to Side,” “Bang Bang” and “Focus.”
|Ariana Grande performs at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Tuesday. (Hong Dam-young/The Korea Herald)|
In what may have been the most powerful moment of the show, Grande also stripped away the stage theatrics and performed an emotional “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” during which the logo for her One Love Manchester benefit concert -- a black ribbon topped with the singer’s signature bunny ears -- was projected behind her.
The cover of the tune made famous in “Wizard of Oz” has become an inseparable part of her world tour since she first premiered the number at the star-studded charity concert in early June. The benefit was held for victims of the May suicide bomb attack, which left 23 dead and hundreds injured.
|(Ariana Grande`s Instagram)|
Grande may have successfully wrapped up her first Seoul concert, however, fans were already upset even before her arrival due to what they called her “disrespectful” behavior.
Prior to the Seoul concert, Grande held Japan concerts from Aug. 10 to 13, and was scheduled to arrive in Korea on the 14th. But her flight was delayed and she eventually arrived at Gimpo International Airport via her private jet Tuesday, just three hours before her concert. Due to the delay, a rehearsal originally scheduled ahead of the concert was called off, and a meet-and-greet session was delayed and cut in half.
Hyundai Card explained the delay was due to bad weather, but that didn’t soothe upset fans who purchased expensive VIP tickets that included opportunities to watch the singer’s rehearsal and join the event. Some of those premium tickets holders have asked for refunds, but an official of Hyundai Card said they couldn’t comment on the matter, as the tickets were sold via the singer’s US promoters.
|(Ariana Grande`s Instagram)|
Upon leaving Korea shortly after the concert Tuesday, Grande took to Instagram to thank Seoul fans by sharing a photo of herself at the concert, which she captioned as “Seoul, you were magical. Thank you for your beautiful, loving energy tonight.”
Grande rose to stardom when her debut studio album “Yours Truly” ranked No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart in 2013. Her second studio album, “My Everything” in 2014, also hit No. 1 in the US. Infectious tracks from the same album, “Problem,” “Break Free,” “Bang Bang” and “Love Me Harder” stayed among the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 34 weeks upon their release.
By Hong Dam-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)