KOREAN DRAMA OST NIGHT
The Star Theatre/Wednesday
This was a K-pop concert that you could enjoy with your eyes closed.
There were neither fancy stages nor costume changes. The performers' powerhouse vocals were enough to entertain the 4,000-strong audience.
K-drama fans gathered to listen to crooners behind the original soundtracks (OST) of hit dramas. The night's repertoire was largely soothing ballads and reflected the calm mood in the audience, which was an older crowd than that found in most other K-pop concerts. Among them were office ladies.
While the line-up of singers included veterans to newcomers, it was the old-timers who shone most brightly.
These included Baek Z Young, who sang one of her favourite tunes, That Woman, from romantic comedy Secret Garden (2010), and singer K. Will belted out the ballad Like A Star from the megahit serial My Love From The Star (2013).
Their juniors - vocal duo GB9 and singer U Sung Eun from reality contest Voice Of Korea (2012) - did covers of other drama theme songs, such as From Beginning Until Now from classic Winter Sonata (2002) and Touch Love from romantic comedy Master's Sun (2013).
Baek proved her title as South Korea's reigning "OST Queen". Her trademark sorrowful vocals brought back memories of the scenes from the sappy dramas.
In ballads such as Don't Forget from spy drama Iris (2009), her wide vocal range was showcased to great effect. She even busted out dance moves to techno dance track Bad Girl, and gyrated in close contact with a male rapper to the pop tune Candy In My Ears.
She also bantered easily with the audience and cracked some jokes, including one at the expense of the male rapper with whom she danced.
Later, it was revealed that he was actually her manager of 10 years.
"It was too costly to fly in someone else to sing with me," Baek said in Korean, to laughter in the audience. "I'm not going to pay him for this."
No wonder that the loudest cheers for the night were for her, though overall, the audience was a quiet one, with only a few waving light sticks. There was also very little of the furtive snapping of photos, which was banned by the organisers.
But the inner fanboys and girls were unleashed when the boyish K. Will appeared onstage.
Even the sight of him drinking bottled water onstage elicited screams, much to the singer's amazement. Cheekily, he started to drink from the bottle repeatedly, causing great excitement among the female fans.
"I did not expect to see so many of you come here to hear me sing and scream for me," said the singer whose real name is Kim Hyung Soo. "A lot of idols come here. I didn't expect that much support for me."
In the looks department, he certainly was idol material, with his smiley eyes, well-coiffed hair and 1.78m-tall frame. But the pretty boy could also hold a tune and hit all the high notes with ease.
He took the chance to perform the upbeat title track from his album My Heart Beating (2011).
He said via a translator: "I hope the next time I come here, I can sing more of my own songs."
Please do come more often. It is a refreshing change to attend a K-pop concert purely for the vocals.