What makes a good concert? Is it a massive and sophisticated stage? Or maybe the dazzling lighting? There will be various answers to that question, but we in RekON believe that passion is the most important element that makes a concert great. We became more even convinced about this after watching B.A.P’s Live on Earth Singapore Attack on May 31st, 2014. Just like last year, the concert was held in The Star Theatre, a 5,000-seat venue inside The Star Vista mall. Even though B.A.P couldn’t make it a full-house, they still managed to give their best and deliver one of the best K-pop gigs we’ve attended this year. They proved to us that the stage is where they belong to.
Before the show began, Babyz had gathered around the venue. Some were lining up to buy the official goods, such as Matoki lightsticks (which were sold out half an hour after the sales were open), Matoki whistles, and eco-bags. Some others were waiting in the atrium, collecting freebies from fanbases. Banners for Lovesick were also being distributed. We wandered around the venue with big smiles on our faces. Seeing fans being all hyped-up before the concert always gets us excited!
At half past six, the escalators to the fifth floor commenced operation. Babyz took the escalators in neat queues; when arriving at the fifth floor, they had to scan their tickets on a gate. All the ticket categories were seated, but that didn’t stop them from being energetic throughout the whole performance. They stood up, jumped, cheered whole-heartedly, and blew the whistles with all their might.
The concerts in Live on Earth 2014 tour come with a mission. It’s divided into six parts, referring to the six things that B.A.P thinks the Earth needs at the moment. This is what makes LOE 2014 meaningful and leave a deep impression on the audience. Does this concept make B.A.P sound ambitious? Shouldn’t a concert be a place for fans to have fun and not to think about philosophical matters? Thankfully, B.A.P didn’t leave out the entertaining aspects. The whole concert successfully maintained the balance between the fun and the social messages that B.A.P has always been consistent with.
The concert began with a news clip reporting that there was a UFO sighting, which was of course the famous Matoki space ship! When B.A.P appeared clad in black suits with golden details, the whole Star Theatre screamed and waved their Matoki lightsticks, producing an ocean of neon green bunny heads. The sounds of the whistles sent the shiver down our spines, building an atmosphere that you can only experience at B.A.P’s concerts.
They kick-started the concert with One Shot, an epic track that sent them to global recognition. The theme for the first part was Justice (represented by Yongguk), so the songs in it were the ones that contain moral and social lessons. Badman was obviously the right choice for this session. The intro of the song created a haunting aura, particularly when all stage lights were off and the only source of illumination was the flashlights held by the dancers. The last song in Justice session was Power, but before that, Yongguk gave a short speech, reminding the audience that together we should stand up agains injustice because together we got the power. For us, Power is one of the best songs to be performed live by B.A.P. The heavy guitar shook the theatre, the choreography rocked the stage and the ‘Bomb, bomb, follow me’ part is always anthemic. VCR for the first part showed scenes about discrimination and oppresion in various parts of the world. We couldn’t help but thinking Yongguk contributed many of his ideas to the VCR, as he’s well-known for his huge concern on world problems.
The next session was Love, and it was started with a conversation between Jokomato (Youngjae’s Matoki) and Totomato (Zelo’s Matoki) about love. Basically, the conversation was about the innocent Totomato being confused about what love is. Jokomato explained that love makes you only want to kiss and hug, to which Totomato replied, “So love is like a puppy?” Having difficulties to answer Totomato’s bombardment of questions, Jokomato then asked help from Yongguk. So what is love? Yongguk answered, “Love is sick”, then the intro of Lovesick was heard. With its cute choreography, Lovesick displayed B.A.P’s ability to execute either powerful or sweet concept.
After Lovesick, a small coffee stall was brought to the stage. It’s Starbabys time! With a logo that resembles a famous coffee shop chain, the barista prepared drink for Babyz. Jongup and Zelo then chose two lucky fans to receive the drink. When Jongup was looking for a fan, a very excited Baby jumped closer to the stage, and the whole theatre cheered at her excitement 🙂 She then accepted a glass of juice from Jongup, who gave his sweet smile as a bonus! Then they performed the soothing Coffee Shop smoothly.
When Yongguk whispered, “Turn the lights off”, Babyz knew what song that would come next. And probably this was the song they had been anticipating! Some members took off their jackets, ready to show their sensual side in Body and Soul. If in Live on Earth Seoul Attack they performed Shady Lady in Love session, for The Continent Tour they chose Body and Soul. Even though we love Shady Lady a lot, we didn’t mind them replacing it with Body and Soul since it’s kind of rare to see B.A.P doing hip thrust and American dance, isn’t it? Furthermore, Jongup succesfully did his part by hitting the high note. This boy did improve a lot in singing.
Love session was followed by Passion session. They took a boxer’s struggle to illustrate how someone needs passion to achieve something. Some quotations from famous boxers like Muhammad Ali and George Foreman were also shown in the VCR. When we looked at the stage, a boxing ring had been set. Singing Punch from One Shot mini album, B.A.P acted like boxers, ready to fight and win. The rocking Bang X2 came after that. Although Daehyun said in the interview with DAZED that this is the hardest song to sing in First Sensibility, B.A.P executed the song like real rockers. Daehyun’s high note was just perfect without hurting your ears (kudos to the sound system), and Youngjae left his soft voice for a while to demonstrate he had the power for rock songs. Meanwhile, Zelo and Yongguk’s rap parts reminded us of Rage Against The Machine. Rock songs are not for everyone’s voice, but with the proper training coach, B.A.P tackled this challenge. We would love to hear more songs like Bang X2 in their next releases!
In Warrior Begins tour in Japan (read our article here), P.O.T band accompanied B.A.P during several songs, including No Mercy, creating a heavy rock atmosphere on the stage. Sadly, they don’t bring the band for this continent tour. Worry not, that doesn’t lessen the quality of No Mercy live. Having performed this song so many times, the boys completed No Mercy effortlessly. The whole theatre chanted the ‘boom clap boom boom clap’ part in unison, and this is why No Mercy has always been our favourite. It’s a song to be performed live.
A VCR with pastel colours with Himchan as the main character marked the next part of the concert, Emotion. The text accompanying the visual was heartbreaking, which was about remembering a lost love. Just like the title suggests, the performances for this session explore the emotion of human beings, particularly sorrow and pain. Wearing a simple attire of white button-down shirts and black trousers, B.A.P were sitting and singing Rain Sound. The entire performance was modest, but this is when we could see B.A.P stripping off their tough warrior image and showing their melancholy side.
There wasn’t any solo stage in The Continent Tour, except for Jongup’s solo dance. In a black suit and a black fedora hat, Jongup demonstrated his dancing skill. With his sharp and sleek movements, he was able to explore the theme of the session. He looked so comfortable and expert on stage we forgot that he’s not even 20. Funnily, he seemed to be a bit shy here in Singapore so he only showed his bare abs only for a few seconds. Jongup’s solo stage was followed by Save Me, another emotional song from First Sensibility.
During one MC session, B.A.P asked the audience who’s the most popular member in Singapore. Seeing the fans’ loud cheering, we guess it’s Daehyun? Knowing this, Daehyun smiled from ears to ears. Just like other artistes who visited Singapore, B.A.P also shared that they had chilli crab the night before. And then they started to chant “Chill crab, chilli crab!”, making Babyz laugh. There was one time when Himchan screamed ‘sexy clap’ instead of chilli crab, and the other members just looked at him in disbelief!
Back to the concert, after taking us to a bleak ambiance in Emotion session, they brought joy to Babyz in Happiness session. The VCR before Check On was our most favourite. Basically, it’s the instruction from Mato planet to the Earthlings about the hippest dance in the Mato planet. The dance was simple and silly, including hand-clapping and shoulder-sweeping, but most importantly, it’s entertaining. In the VCR, B.A.P members took turn in guiding Babyz how to do it. The crowd burst in laughter when the instructor said that even Michael Jackson paid compliment to this dance! After dancing happily to Check On, Babyz were taken to another lively moment with Excuse Me and Spy. Throughout Excuse Me, Yongguk repeatedly asked Babyz to put their hands in the air, following the rhythm of the song. While in Spy, we got to see the leader forgetting his shyness and wiggling his butt excitedly.
The party didn’t stop there since they continued the set with Hurricane. The lighting turned the theatre into a dance floor, and Babyz kept jumping to the song. Himchan practically didn’t do much singing during this song since Singaporean Babyz did the ‘the roof, the roof is on fire’ for him. Satisfied with the result, he made a heart shape with both of his hands. Babyz were not given a chance to stop dancing since Dancing in The Rain followed after that. They seemed to have so much fun during the song and made jokes to each other. Himchan teased Jongup by trying to lift up his shirt, but the dongsaeng managed to escape! Stop It and then Crash (in which Himchan did his routine, taking photos of Babyz for his Strong Babe site) ended this session.
For the encore, B.A.P wore white outfits, representing the purity in the song Angel (1004). Fallen feathers that illustrated the song lyrics were shown on the centre screen. Combining folk, rock and hip-hop, Angel signified the new phase for B.A.P’s music. During the MC session, they also teased Babyz about their upcoming single Where Are You? (which was released on June 3rd). Daehyun sang a little part from the reffrain, and Youngjae immediately told him to stop singing because, “It’s dangerous!”. Himchan also showed a bit of the choreography of the song, making Babyz scream excitedly.
B.A.P still had one more song, which was their debut track, Warrior. To match their appearance with the energy of the song, they had to go back stage to change their outfit. Then they asked Babyz to count until 100 while they’re changing. When the countdown timer was getting closer to zero, it stopped, requiring Babyz to scream louder. Babyz then shouted to the top of their lungs for B.A.P to go back on stage. And yes the warriors were back! Looking tough in studded leather jacket, the six young men performed Warrior thunderously.
Two hours seemed to go very fast, the concert had to end. B.A.P thanked the fans and promised that they’d go back to Singapore. They waved and threw kisses to Babyz, and Youngjae took a panda plushie from a fan. The centre screen left the most essential message of the concert: Earth needs you.
From our perspective, when it comes to full concerts, B.A.P is a kind of group who really focuses on songs and performances. There wasn’t any game or other gimmicks that you could usually see in other K-pop concerts. There wasn’t anything special about the set either. For some, it might be a loss, but through their solid and fervent performance, B.A.P has proven that nothing can beat their passion on stage. Earth does need B.A.P.
B.A.P. Live on Earth Singapore 31052014 setlist:
1. One Shot
5. Coffee Shop
6. Body and Soul
8. No Mercy
9. Bang X2
10. Rain Sound
11. Jongup’s solo stage
12. Save Me
13. Check On
14. Excuse Me
17. Dancing In The Rain
18. Stop It
20. Angel (1004)