The Korea Herald


Yoasobi's sold-out concerts prove J-pop still strong in Korea

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : Dec. 18, 2023 - 14:01

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Vocal Ikura sings during the Yoasobi concert, Sunday. (LIVET, Kato Shumpei) Vocal Ikura sings during the Yoasobi concert, Sunday. (LIVET, Kato Shumpei)

Despite freezing weather, about 4,000 fans gathered at Korea University’s Hwajung Gymnasium on Sunday to see Japanese duo Yoasobi perform.

“I am so excited to enjoy Yoasobi’s songs performed live. As a J-pop fan, I hope more singers from abroad would consider visiting Korea,” said Yoon Jin-young, who was waiting in line to get a ticket.

Yoasobi, who debuted in 2019, is a duo with a unique concept of reinterpreting novels into music. Producer Ayase is in charge of lyrics and composition, while singer-songwriter Ikura attracts listeners with her unique voice. The two-day performance on Saturday and Sunday received tremendous attention from Korean J-pop fans, as it was their first concert in Korea.

Only one concert had been planned, but the response of Korean fans led to the additional Sunday performance. When tickets went on sale on Nov. 17. they were sold out within a minute.

Yoasobi kicked off the concert with a splendid laser show. When they started singing "Into The Night" as the first song, the audience stood up to welcome them. Fans shouted "I love you!" and “Beautiful!” in Japanese, waving light sticks.

Producer Ayase ((LIVET, Kato Shumpei)) Producer Ayase ((LIVET, Kato Shumpei))

In 90 minutes, Yoasobi performed 15 songs, including "The Blessing," "Harujion" and "Probably." When singing "Comet," Ikura asked the audience to wave their phones with the flashlight on, creating a starry atmosphere.

Yoasobi returned to the stage to sing “Idol,” the opening theme of the Japanese anime series "Oshi no Ko" as the crowd enthusiastically called for an encore. It was the song that made the duo stars, with the music video recording 200 million views in 78 days of its release on YouTube.

"I can feel your support all the time. Thank you so much. I’ll perform with love and respect," said Ayase in Korean, reading from a prepared note.

"Performing a concert in Korea had become a dream, as I received so much affection through social media," Ikura said.

Yoasobi will continue its Asia tour, performing in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Taipei, Taiwan in January.