KCON 2012: Delivers On the Promise of Bringing All Things Hallyu to the United States
By Staff Writer | October 16, 2012 10:49 PM EDT
MNET proves where their strengths lie: producing entertaining and meaningful content and a star-studded concert with quality performances from all artists. In the recent KCON 2012 held in Irvine, California, about 10,000+ fans were in attendance for an all day event that sunny October 13th Saturday.
For a first ever convention of its kind in the United States, the event brought fans closer to the artists, made them more knowledgeable about the stuff behind-the-scenes of a hit song, a dance routine, or even a hit drama.
With doors opening at exactly 10 AM sharp, fans were a mixture of anticipation and excitement. Spread throughout the Verizon Amphitheatre during the entire convention were event tents that featured many different interesting topics.
The main attraction was, of course, the Artist Tent, wherein beginning as early as eleven in the morning, concert performers were dropping by to sign autographs for the fans and engage in Q&A sessions. Pledis Entertainment's NU'EST was the first to interact with fans, followed by VIXX, B.A.P and G.NA, in roughly 45-minute intervals. SM Entertainment's EXO-M also participated in the close-up opportunity at 3 PM and saw their fans high with anticipation. CUBE's 4minute capped the autograph sessions, about 3 hours before the main concert started.
During the event, MNET also unveiled MCube, their newest entertainment offering which aimed to bring the same experience as KCON to people all over the globe, even digitally.
While some fans were busy queuing up at the artist tents, KCON 2012 catered to another demographic of fans - those who are interested in an intellectual high as they offered the chance to get to know the creators behind the top hit dances, songs, and dramas. In one panel, composers such as Drew Ryan Scott, Sean Alexander and J.D. Relic, shared their thoughts on their inspiration behind the songs they had penned for SNSD, Taeyang, U-KISS, among many others.
While in another panel, Rino Nakasone, Aimee Lee Lucas, Ellen Kim and Kyle Hanagami discussed the ins-and-outs of Kpop choreography. Many other panels featured in the convention, including a debate between Jpop vs Kpop, the secrets of fanclub success, Youtube stars and many others. It proved to be a challenge to any attendee to have been able to touch each stream of the convention with lots of things to cover. This would be the best time to have powers to be in two places in a single moment.
Of course, the K-Drama panel also was one not to miss, as most Kpop fans start with K-Drama. There, Park Ji Young, a producer of CJ Entertainment and Monica Macer, a scriptwriter behind the hit American TV series Lost and Prison Break, explained the process and the grueling hours that lead to a hit drama.
Workshops also were teeming throughout the event - all from starting your own fanclub, making your own Bibimbap, or how to groove to EXO-M's MAMA. Indeed, KCON had something for everyone during the day.
But what is Hallyu, without a Kpop concert? As the sun set in Irvine, the stadium was filled with music as AJ Rafael, Dumbfoundead, and Daze 47 in collaboration with BWB opened for the hottest stars in the Korean Wave.
After strong opening acts, B.A.P began the main concert event grooving to "No Mercy," "What My Heart Tells Me To Do," and then finally captivating the audience with their performance of "Crash".
Then, G.NA, prior to assuming her MC duties for the night treated concertgoers to her sultry performances of 2Hot, the English version of I'll Back Off So You Can Live Better and Black and White.
Jellyfish Entertainment's and also MNET Mydol finalists, VIXX, was up next and danced to Rock Ur Body, UUUUU, and Super Hero.
Fiery in their red suits, NU'EST showed a heart stopping performance with Face, Not Over You and Action.
After which, the stadium broke into a pandemonium as EXO-M was introduced. EXO-M performed History, Angel as a group before Luhan and Chen did a heartwrenching duet for What is Love. The group sealed the deal with their strong performance of MAMA.
4minute capped the concert donning their zebra-print maxis, vixen-like in their performance of Volume Up, Huh, Mirror Mirror. During Heart 2 Heart, the girls were seen being cheerful with each other, showing their adorable sides. Hot Issue was the final song of the night.
The day was long, and while the event is far from perfect, for a first ever convention of its kind, MNET delivered and has proven that KCON is to become the newest tradition in Hallyu.
Reporters: Dorothy A, Jocelin N, Zari S | Photographers: Jasmine S, Jocelin N, Dorothy A, Mark Francis Photography
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