SXSW K-Pop Review: Jay Park, Idiotape, Hyuna


One of my favorite aspects of SXSW is the international variety of music that is available. It’s like a well curated all you can eat buffet. One of the newest traditions to come about in recent years is the Korean pop night on Tuesday nights at SXSW. Taking place at Elysium, the Korean music industry took over the bar on Tuesday night and showed the world some of their most talented musicians. I had a great time and my only wish was that there was a bimbimbap station somewhere or something.

First up was the electronic trio Idiotape. An award winning EDM group from South Korea, these guys absolutely rocked the house. Featuring two members on keyboard and electronic thingies, the band benefited from having a third man on drums to help drive the beat and pace. The band’s music progressions and payoffs were great. Coupled with some well placed visuals, the groups overall presentation was both visually and musically compelling. There wasn’t a single motionless body in the the house. Highly recommended.

The second act on the bill was Jay Park. The man is known as “The Fresh Prince of Seoul” and well, to say he was popular in this crowd would be an understatement. The high pitched screams that greeted him as he took the stage reminded me of what it would be like to go to a pop star concert. Mixing a variety of music that includes rap, hip hop and ballads, the former b-boy/boy band member demonstrated his top notch showmanship to a rabid crowd. The crowd hung onto every word and dance move that Park had, which involved a lot of b-boy dancing. An industry man himself, Park also took the time to introduce his protege, who seemed a bit overwhelmed but clearly learned some of the pop star moves that his mentor had taught him. Think Mase to Puff Daddy. An energetic show to a crowd whose energy could have powered a building, it was easy to see why this man is so huge in Korea.

Last up was female pop star Hyuna. Owner of several pop hits over the years, most people probably recognized her from Psy’s video Gangnam Style. Taking the stage with a group of attractive female dancers, Hyuna played a short and fun set showcasing some of her hits, including Ice Cream. Without the grasp of English that Jay Park (born in USA) had, Hyuna seemed a bit shy on stage in between songs, but she was definitely in full command when her and her dancers would go through the choreographed movements for all her pop hits. The songs were definitely bubble gum variety, but surprisingly, like most K-Pop act, still had a bit of EDM edge to it, making it more interesting then your average song. I felt the set was a bit short, but it did leave me wanting more. So maybe that was the point.

All in all, a great time exploring music from an ocean over.

Posted on by Ricky in Everything

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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