Over the last three years, I’ve watched my sister adopt K-pop into her own emotional journey of adolescence. It is her every poster, and seems to be all she is excited to talk about. This recent western phenomenon is more often than not, confusing for the parents of people like my sister. But this confusion, I was hoping, would be cleared up after I took her to a K-pop concert, the act known as ‘Day 6’.
For those who don’t know, K-pop both is Korean Pop Music and also specifically refers to this new wave of ultra-slick Korean boys and girls, backed with in-depth back stories and an insane work ethic. This was immediately apparent from the second ‘Day 6’ appeared on stage, with a tight pulsating rhythm section, backed by booming electronic and alt. Rock influences. It is important to state that this is different from a boyband concert one might find themselves taking a younger sibling to as it is on a much larger scale.
For instance, the boy group “BTS” was the most tweeted about celebrity of 2018, outranking the likes of Donald Trump and Justin Bieber. This ability to overreach cultural figures from polar ends of the spectrum, only illustrates the sheer universality of K-Pop. It is clear from this, that the genre does indeed possess a viral power and energy that little rivals.
However, this energy is only positive. Before the concert, there was lengthy promotional material beforehand stating ‘No pushing, no shoving, let’s all have a good time’, screaming a wholesomeness that I’ve never seen at a gig before. ‘This is for the fans’ was a phrase I’ve never heard at concerts before, as long as musicians get their money, they have little care usually for people’s safety unless it’s a very serious matter.
Even lining up for the gig is a very engaging experience, with fans running down with posters to give out for free, listening parties and chants. The energy here is the same energy that’s been sold to us with the rock myth- the screaming fan girls, the direct alignment between band and audience and an overall dedication for guitar based art. From all of this, I’m saying to watch out for the genre if you haven’t. It may be easy to be confused at first, but it harnesses a musical potential previously unseen.
Although I still don’t really like it.