KOREAN POP NIGHT CONCERT 2010
Singapore Expo Hall 2/Last Saturday
There were at least a few good reasons why the almost 9,000 fans at the 2½-hour Korean Pop Night Concert 2010 might not have been as wildly enthusiastic as they were.
Some performances lacked the spontaneity and extra spark that would have made them different from the groups' music videos.
The singers were not pitch-perfect. And one of the groups' lead singer, Shinee's Kim Jong Hyun, did not even show up - reportedly because of an injury.
But did the 8,700 fans, who carried colourful posters, banners and lightsticks to the event held at the Singapore Expo last Saturday, care?
Not in the slightest. In fact, their eardrum-shattering sing-alongs - even when they probably knew not what they sang - helped it become the biggest K-pop gig here this year.
That, plus the stellar line-up, of course.
Pop-rock quintet FT Island, all dressed in sleek black suits, kicked off the proceedings with three up-tempo numbers and a love ballad, including Bing Bing Bing and Love Love Love.
Rookie boybands The Boss, ZE:A and Infinite showed off their potential with synchronised sleek dance moves that came across a little too rehearsed.
The biggest names of the night - Shinee, Girls' Generation and Big Bang - increased the excitement of the audience, as measured by the decibels of the fans' screams.
When popular K-pop boyband Shinee appeared, the voices from the crowd threatened to drown out those on stage.
Despite the absence of vocalist Kim, the remaining four members put in a good performance, singing chart-topping fast hits such as Ring Ding Dong and Lucifer.
The only girl group in the concert, nine-member band Girls' Generation showed off their bodies and slim long legs in tight and short black outfits. Their songs such as Oh!, Gee and Genie were almost beside the point.
Their pitch was off - not that it mattered to the owners of innumerable cameras whose flashes went into overdrive for as long as the girls were on stage.
Then they were gone and chants of "Big Bang! Big Bang!" echoed throughout the venue, urging the popular hip-hop Korean boyband to speedily come on stage for their debut live performance in Singapore.
When they finally deigned to grace the occasion with their presence, the five of them provided a burst of irrepressible energy, living up to the vibrancy implied in their name.
Performing seven songs, including top hits Haru Haru, Lies and Hands Up, they constantly ran up and down the stage to interact with the audience.
Their overly rehearsed rookie counterparts would do well to take a leaf from their books.