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Legendary rock band Songolmae to take time-slip adventure at reunion concert tour

Renowned rock band musicians Bae Cheol-soo (left) and Koo Chang-mo pose for photos during a press event for the band’s upcoming nationwide concert tour “Songolmae Live Tour 2022” in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Renowned rock band musicians Bae Cheol-soo (left) and Koo Chang-mo pose for photos during a press event for the band’s upcoming nationwide concert tour “Songolmae Live Tour 2022” in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Iconic South Korean rock band Songolmae is ready to start a time-slip adventure to the 1980s by embarking on a nationwide tour with the long-awaited reunion of Bae Cheol-soo and Koo Chang-mo.

At a press conference to introduce Songolmae’s upcoming concert series, titled “Songolmae Live Tour 2022” in Hapjeong, Seoul, on Wednesday, the two best-known members of Songolmae shared their excitement for the upcoming rock ‘n’ roll event.

“We will perform as if we are traveling into our youth in a time machine,” Bae said. We hope those who will attend the concerts return to their youth as well by listening and singing along our songs with us. We’ve arranged the songs (that we’re set to perform at the concerts) just like the original version of them.”

Koo said, “We are so excited and thrilled. We’ve put considerable effort into bringing back the old school vibe to the concerts.” Yet the two veteran musicians also expressed concerns that fans might be disappointed to see the band members’ middle-aged looks and rusty performances, as several decades have passed.

Songolmae, put together by Bae, formerly the vocalist and guitarist of the band, in 1979, led the country’s rock music scene in the 1980s with numerous hit songs including “Accidental Encounter,” “Let’s Gather!” and “The Moment I Saw You.”

Koo, the former lead vocalist, joined the band in 1982 but left two years later. The band continued with new members but stopped performing after releasing its ninth album in 1990. Since then Bae has been hosting a radio show for 33 years, while Koo left the musical scene and ran his own business.

Renowned rock band musicians Bae Cheol-soo (left) and Koo Chang-mo pose for photos during a press event for the band’s upcoming nationwide concert tour “Songolmae Live Tour 2022” in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Renowned rock band musicians Bae Cheol-soo (left) and Koo Chang-mo pose for photos during a press event for the band’s upcoming nationwide concert tour “Songolmae Live Tour 2022” in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Earlier in May, the legendary band announced that it is embarking on a nationwide tour with the long-awaited reunion of Bae and Koo after some 38 years. Kicking off with a two-day concert on Sept. 11 at the Songpa Olympic Stadium in southern Seoul, the band will subsequently perform in Busan, Daegu, Gwangju and Incheon until November, according to the concert series’ organizer.

While the upcoming tour’s Korean title is “Yeolmang,” meaning “aspiration,” Koo explained that it contains the band members’ hopes to show the passion and desire they had in their 20s for rock music. 

On Wednesday’s event, Bae unveiled Songolmae’s plan to visit three cities in the US -- Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta -- in March next year as well. At the same time, he mentioned that the US tour would likely be his “last performance” as a member of Songolmae.

Bae said, “It is easier said than done but we’ll do our best to deliver the best performance at the concerts. We’ll not disappoint the fans who will come to our concerts.”

Koo also said that the upcoming tour would be the band’s gift to the fans who have sent continuous support. At the same time, he promised performances that would satisfy the audience and revive old memories.

K-pop boy group EXO’s Suho (left) and band Jannabi’s vocalist Choi Jung-hoon perform the remake of Songolmae’s hit song ”Love All” and
K-pop boy group EXO’s Suho (left) and band Jannabi’s vocalist Choi Jung-hoon perform the remake of Songolmae’s hit song ”Love All” and "All That Matters," respectively, at a press event for the band’s upcoming nationwide concert tour “Songolmae Live Tour 2022” in Hapjeong-dong, western Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
While preparing for the nationwide tour event, Songolmae teamed up with Suho of K-pop boy band EXO and popular indie band Jannabi to remake the band’s hits from the 1980s.

Suho and Jannabi’s vocalist Choi Jung-hoon covered “Love All” and “All That Matters,” respectively. The two singers attended Wednesday’s event to showcase the songs for the first time. Both Bae and Koo were satisfied with the covers. They complimented the “fresh feelings” and “extraordinary sense” the younger musicians gave to the songs.

“My parents are longtime fans of Songolmae. I decided to participate in the project, thinking it is truly an honor to my family to sing the song,” Suho said. “Masterpieces never get old. I did my best to sing the remake song not to tarnish the band’s reputation.” Choi also said that Songolmae is a legend for him, who has influenced positively on his musical career.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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