2PM bravely entered the Japanese market 5 years ago, and have successfully built both a brand and a massive fan base in the country. Not only group Japanese releases, members too have been releasing solo records in Japan. And of course, there are the tours: the tours distinctive from the tours the rest of the world get, which make watching 2PM’s concerts in Japan now a goal for many HOTTESTs, their fans. This year, 2PM returns to Japan with their 2PM of 2PM 2015 Arena Tour. Since it’s held mostly during Spring, the merchandise features Japan’s national spring love, the flower sakura.
For three days (May 19-21), the tour made a stop in Yokohama Arena. For this arena, at the front they have the main stage which was connected by two walkways to an additional stage that was located more to the center of the venue. At the opposite end of the venue from the main stage, there’s a smaller, hydraulic stage prepared.
Dramatic spotlights and music signed the start of the concert; Nichkhun’s voice was heard singing the opening lines of Slender Man. Fans looked up to the main stage, but it was still covered by white curtains. 2PM kept on singing, and they were seen on the giant screens flanking the main stage; their surrounding was dark, with only some light illuminating the member who was singing their part. Camera smoothly moved around them, taking close-up shots of them in turns. Fans now looked around, but still 2PM were not seen anywhere. But faint lights seen dancing behind the white curtains indicated that 2PM were on the stage, hidden from the fans, who were only allowed to see them from the screens. It was a unique way to start a concert, designed artistically to grab the attendees’ attention since the start.
When the song finished, suddenly a lot of smoke appeared, enveloping the additional stage at the center. And 2PM, who a while ago were still on the main stage, now stood tall among the smoke, clad in golden. They launched into their second song, Fight, which still continued the grand sound of Slender Man, with Junho fearlessly jumped high over his friends as part of the choreography.
2PM then pumped up the tempo. Dancers, all male, finally joined them for their oldie-but-goodie Unmei; and after that, some more dancers, now the ladies, also took part in Everybody, dressed in white and black. Mercilessly, next 2PM hit the fans with the sexy I’m Your Man, making fans scream louder, especially when they members, seemingly effortlessly, ripped their shirts open at the front. Nearing the end, we could see that there were only 5 members left on the stage – the screens too were only divided into 5 fields, each showing up a close-up take on one member’s face. Chansung was missing – for a good reason, because he’s preparing for his solo performance. During the short quiet period between I’m Your Man and Chansung’s solo, a male fan was heard calling Wooyoung’s name outloud with such a passion that other fans giggled with awe.
All the screens now were turned off. No sound was heard over the speakers. Silently, Chansung appeared at the center of the main stage, dressed in white, and started to dance gracefully. Everything around him was dark, save for the big spotlight that shone on him – and he moved to an unheard music. Everyone was quiet, not even daring to breathe outloud. A male dancer in black joined Chansung on stage, and for a while the two of them were dancing, until a female dancer, also in black, now complicated the matters. They conversed with their movements for minutes, until the two other dancers left Chansung alone. It’s time for him to begin singing his solo, with a giant silver moon on the backdrop as his sole company on the stage now. Fans couldn’t stop being a bit worried as they heard him coughing several times, although he tried suppressing his cough.
He managed to pull it to the end, though, and attendees’ attention was quickly drawn to the additional stage. Jun.K was now there, wearing red hoodie like what his mascot Pan.K is wearing in the tour merchandise. With his powerful voice aniki (‘hyung’) performed WHPH, with dancers in black tops and red trousers and balaclavas. Jun.K also showed off his synthesizer-playing ability, and he shouted, “Yokohama, minna aitakatta!” (“Yokohama, I miss you all!”) This, of course, triggered more screams from the fans.
2PM then returned as six on stage, performing Shiny Girl. Now they were wearing suits coloured white and pink, with floral patterns. For the next song, Guilty Love, they stood on six blocks that were part of the main stage. These blocks could move up and down, and the front parts were actually screens. Now along with other screens, they showed bright block colours like the designs of the clothes and jacket pictures of the single Guilty Love.
Another feature of the stage was used during THROUGH THE FIRE: the six blocks lifted up to the same heights, becoming an upper platform. Now a part of the stage right in front of the blocks raised up: turned out that it could turn into steps that 2PM and dancers (who were now wearing marching band uniform) used to go up to and down from the platform.
And finally, it was MC session. Nichkhun shouted cheerfully, “2PM of 2PM e youkoso!” (“Welcome to 2PM of 2PM!”) Wooyoung invited the other members to do self-introduction, but he’d start with himself. He did a short beat-boxing, ending it with “Wooyoung desu!” He stopped beatboxing, but Taecyeon continued it to go along with Chansung’s self-introduction. Jun.K, as can be expected, showed his rapping prowess. Junho then took over the task of beatboxing while Taecyeon, full of confidence, shouted, “When I say T, you say Y! T!” Audience roared as a response, “Y!”
Junho danced a bit, then say “Yokohama, this is my day”. (The stop in every city is designed as ‘a member’s stop’, and there are special member-related goods sold in each city that were not sold in other cities.) Junho then imitated a bit of Jun.K’s song, but ended it with “Baby that’s you!” (instead of me) and pointed at Jun.K. Nichkhun caused fans to scream when he chest pumped, but in the end he only said shortly, “Nichkhun desu!”
2PM didn’t stop there. Junho tried free-styling rap in Japanese, which caused fans to laugh: “Yoyoyoyokohama, ikitai, Fujiyama, FujiQ, noritai, Fujiyama!” Junho said Fujiyama which is actually a wrong way to read the name of Mt Fuji in Japanese, Fujisan. And he said ‘noritai’ (noru is a verb that means getting on a vehicle, noritai means wanting to get on a vehicle) when what he meant was ‘noboritai’ (noboru means climbing up). While the FujiQ that he meant was the popular theme park FujiQ Highland, not far from the mountain.
The boys continued to reveal some things about themselves. Nichkhun said he lately likes golf, and Wooyoung asked, “Isn’t it expensive?” The Thai prince said yes, it’s a bit expensive, but since he got money from everyone (the fans)… at this point the other members voiced their disagreement at Nichkhun’s words. Oops, that’s a bit impolite, isn’t it, Nichkhun? Nichkhun realised it and he quickly apologised with a sweet expression, causing protest from his friends again. How could they not forgive him if he apologised with such a cute face?
Junho then asked Jun.K and Chansung to explain about their awesome solo stages. Chansung said that the title of his song was “Boku wa (I am…)”, to which someone, presumably Wooyoung, quickly snapped, “…nani? (What?)” Again this made the audience laugh.Chansung proceeded in explaining about the dance that he performed. Jun.K then said that his solo song was called WHPH, short for Work Harder Play Harder, the words that appeared on the screen when he was performing. Chansung, thinking a bit, tried to translate the title into Japanese: “Shigoto ganbatte, asobi ganbatte..” Wooyoung snapped, “Chansung, pass!” telling Chansung to just let it go.
Junho fished a yellow paper out of his pocket. Since it’s his day, he had to read a speech in Japanese. He looked at the paper for a while and said, “Uh, today it’s difficult.” The sentences prepared for him ended with ‘pen’, as if they are the words of Junho’s ZooPM mascot, Emperor Pen Pen. Taecyeon pretended to look around for Pen Pen’s costume that Junho should wear. (Of course there wasn’t any.) The last of Junho’s series of sentences was “Omaera ga suki da pen pen!” (I like you all pen pen!) He paused for a while then said, “Actually Pen Pen’s voice is high,” so he repeated the sentence with a voice higher than his usual, supposedly to be Pen Pen’s.
The dancers appeared again, but now 2PM split into 2 groups, and each group rode a cart pushed and pulled by some staff half-circling the arena. On the right cart were Jun.K, Chansung, and Wooyoung; they met with the left cart (Taecyeon, Junho, Nichkhun) on the stage at the other end. On their way to the small stage, they generously held out their hands to touch the fans at the rows closest to them. The hydraulic stage raised up, and sakura petals graced the screens as the boys sang Harukaze ~Goodbye Again~. Nichkhun’s soft voice fitted the song really well, but Junho and Jun.K truly shone in it. They even acted as if they tried to outcompete each other with their voice near the end of 365, but when they finished the song they shook hands.
The other members retreated to the backstage as Taecyeon performed his solo, Chocolate (feat 15&’s Yerin). The floor blocks on the main stage now turned into dynamic steps, moving up and down as part of Taecyeon’s choreography in this song. Nichkhun then brought cheerfulness to the stage with his solo, which witnessed him transforming from a shy person into a flashy, attractive one on stage, almost like magic (by this we meant he changed clothes so quickly in front of everyone).
Next was time for medley, and during this, not only 2PM but the audience also gave a special performance – in the form of changing oceans of colours. Each 2 members stood on one hydraulic floor block; the first to sing was Jun.K, performing a part of Stay With Me. As he sang, his floor block rose, glowing his colour, pink. The whole arena turned into a pink ocean. When Nichkhun took over to sing Masquerade, his floor block glowed red while the lightstick ocean swiftly turned into red. And so forth the colours changed accordingly as Taecyeon (I Can’t), Wooyoung (Only You), Junho (Love Song), and Chansung (Stay Here) performed their part.
In black and white outfit, the boys young and old proceeded with Beautiful, opened by Jun.K powerfully singing the altered opening lines: “Yokohama beautiful…” Giant roses swirled elegantly on screens as they sang. They then continued with the groovy Sexy Ladies—off their latest Japanese album, not to be confused with Wooyoung’s solo song Sexy Lady.
Wooyoung, of course, had a solo stage, but not Sexy Lady. He’s had an expanded song collection now, and for this tour THE BLUE LIGHT was chosen. The arena too glowed with blue light from the lightsticks (or better known in Japan as penlights). Wooyoung, wearing blue and white, rode the cart with two dancers circling the arena, riling up the audience to join him moving his body. When they’d returned to the center stage, a long white cloth was being held up by other dancers there. Wooyoung and his two dancers took up a can of spray paint each, and began writing THE BLUE LIGHT on the cloth.
The last member to perform solo was Junho, with rock song Crush that fits his voice very well. When he walked back to the main stage, we could see that there were already mirrors and an electric guitar prepared there. Junho played the guitar a bit, and at the end of the song, used the guitar to hit the mirror to pieces.
In their latest Korean comeback, 2PM showed that they could score another dance floor anthem, which was Go Crazy (Midaretemina). The stage was now awash with colourful lights, as if it’s the 80s once again. Audience now actively moved too during all-time favourite 10 Out of 10, doing the hand choreography each time 2PM sang ‘ship jeom manjeome ship jeom’. And who don’t put their hands up when 2PM commands them to during Hands Up? And since this was Japan, of course there’s their trademark Take Off with its distinctive pose that everyone in the venue did together. It was a blasting way to end the main set!
2PM took rest a bit as the audience was entertained by a home video showing them preparing for 2PM of 2PM arena tour. They afterwars returned with Jam Session, wearing their tour T-shirts. Wooyoung asked whether it was OK with the audience because today’s concert was a bit long (the Yokohama leg was held on weekdays). Fans answered that they’re OK. Taecyeon said that his knees were hurting but he’d keep on trying to the end.
2PM got a surprise as a huge cake with strawberries was brought to the stage. It was a cake to celebrate the 5th anniversary of their Japanese debut! They asked fans to together said “sei… no!”, then they blew the candles together. The members eagerly ate, even feeding each other, the strawberries, with Wooyoung proclaiming: “Vitamin!” A picture was of course due, and they had some taken with the audience doing the Take Off pose as the background.
Taecyeon seemed to be a bit spent during the next song, Burning Love. He sat on the steps as his friends actively moved on the walkways. Slowly he followed Nichkhun and Junho to the right cart, which again went to meet the left cart at the hydraulic stage. The stage again lifted up during Midaretemina (remix), and Junho decided to sit on the edge. Jun.K joined him, and for a while the two of them sat side by side with legs dangling from high above the floor.
When they were about to return to the main stage, they should have swapped carts just like they did previously, so that each of them got to circle the whole arena fully. But as Taecyeon was about to get on the left cart, he found that Chansung was already there. Chansung forgot to switch cart! Taecyeon finally just turned around and rode the right cart again.
2PM’s fans have a good use for their muffler towels: to be swirled over head during NEXT Generation, which was soon as the true last song for the concert. 2PM said goodbye and threw the muffler towels that they had used to the audience. To complete the 2PM concert experience, Chansung took off his shirt and threw it too. Junho wetted his towels with a bottle of water, so that it would be heavy enough and he could throw it further to the audience nearer to the back. He even got down to the floor, and walked around touching fans’ hands. As a gesture of final fanservice of the night, he tied the bandana he’d been wearing at the wrist of a little fan.
While it seemed like Taecyeon’s hurt had disappeared. Now he seemed so unwilling to leave the stage; even when his friends had all disappeared, he stayed on the stage. He tried to understand some of the words Japanese fans on the right hand of the stage shouted at him, but he failed and just promised that he’d learn Japanese better. He walked back to the very center of the main stage, and bowed deeply for a long time, before finally walking out of the stage. Once again, 2PM showed how able they are now as stage performers – they have clearly truly matured on stage. And that is why their shows are always worth waiting for.
2PM of 2PM arena tour 2015 setlist
- Slender Man
- I’m your man
- Boku wa (Chansung)
- WHPH (Jun.K)
- Shiny Girl
- Guilty Love
- THROUGH THE FIRE
- Harukaze ~Good-bye Again~
- Chocolate (Taecyeon solo ft. Yerin of 15&)
- Miss Wonderful (Nichkhun solo)
- Medley: Stay With Me (Jun.K), Masquerade (Nichkhun), I Can’t (Taecyeon), Only You (Wooyoung), Love Song (Junho), Stay Here (Chansung)
- Sexy Ladies
- THE BLUE LIGHT (Wooyoung solo)
- Crush (Junho solo)
- 10 out of 10
- Hands Up
- Take Off
- Jam Session
- Burning Love
- NEXT Generation