WHO IS B.A.P?
The super short and brief explanation (mainly only on their concert activities).
B.A.P (Best Absolute Perfect) debuted in January 2012. This Korean boy band is well-known as a strong Hip-Hop group that consists of six members (Bang Yong Guk, Him Chan, Dae Hyun, Young Jae, Jong Up, and Zelo) in which their music describes self-identity and the social issues of the world. A year after their debut, B.A.P had two concerts: Pacific World Tour in 2013 and Live On Earth (first) World Tour in 2014. Earlier this year, B.A.P has released their 6th mini album ‘Carnival’ that has kicked off with their second world tour concert, Live On Earth: Awake! This concert started in Seoul for two days from February 21st to the 22nd. Just around early March, the band has released the entire destination tour dates. Starting from North America to Mexico to Europe to Southeast Asia and back to East Asia (finishing in Seoul, South Korea) from the spring throughout the summer.
I’ve known B.A.P since their debut in 2012 and followed them until the end of 2013 summer. I started to listen to them here and there and eventually became a fan in the New Year of 2014. Their music style and the way their group was constructed stood out for me, which appealed to me.
Gladly, their first stop for Live On Earth: Awake happened to be at San Francisco, California that was on Thursday, April 14th. This is my first time in (almost) six years since I’ve went to a concert. The last concert, SM Town 2010 concert, was an experience that I loved, enjoyed, and remembered until now. I would never forget that day. However, B.A.P Live On Earth: Awake was a special one because this was my first solo concert that I’ve went to. SM 2010 concert was a shared staged of various artists who were under the same music label performed for the masses. B.A.P happened to be the one to make a special memory to me.
B.A.P held their concert at the Warfield Theatre at San Francisco. The Warfield Theatre was beautiful because it has all of the elements of an old fashioned theatre. Regardless of being a theatre major, the place looks fantastic! (Just note that the Warfield staffs needed to at least smile rather than mugged.)
Inside the theater, there were two floors. The first floor has: the pit, the general standing, and another standing (near the door entrances). For the second floor, the seats were steep and narrow towards the stage. Unfortunately, I didn’t arrive as early as I expected, so I ended up standing at the way back, behind the general standing area. When you stared at the Warfield pictures, the stage looks far from the audiences (and where I stood), but it was so much closer in reality rather than pictures.
I remember once the lights went down, the entire fan sticks glowed and the fans started to scream. The time, I read from my watch, it was 8:09 PM. I was surprised that it has started. I was so nervous, right when their first song, ‘Warrior,’ was up I found myself blasted! B.A.P, whom I always seen on screen, has become real. They were no longer boxes, but they were circles. (My explanation of saying that B.A.P were no longer people on a flat screen TV who sings, raps, and dances, but they actually have shapes just like us and were moving at the same time and same moment as us.) The spikey leather jackets and all black outfits were the best choice for the opening. It immediately set the mood and tone that they were here to show their passion; they are serious with their performance! Besides, they were so much taller than they really look! I was so shocked that triggered me to exploded and cheered! All of the fans were pumped up. The speakers were blasting extremely loud and the red lights shined onto them. The DJ on stage right focused on his two Macs to play the music and the drummer on the stage left was pounding the drums. Every one of the members’ moves were sharp and swift. Their vocals and raps hit the absolute pitch and style, which was even better than the audio.
The pre-show stage. Screen says, “Where are you?”
The song set list was a total of 23 songs performed: Warrior* // What the Hell // No Mercy + (Queen’s) We Will Rock You // S.N.S (Him Chan’s solo) // Spy // Be Happy // <Talk Session> // Feel So Good // Carnival // Slow Motion (Young Jae’s solo) // Hurricane (Remix) // Badman (Remix) // Dancing in the Rain (Remix)* // Crash // Bangx2* // Now (Jong Up’s solo) // <VCR: ‘No More War’> // One Shot* // Young, Wild & Free // 1004 (Angel)* // With You* // <VCR: Encore> // Kingdom (Korean Ver.) // Excuse Me // Carnival // <VCR: B.A.B.Y – B.A.P’s Thank You notes>
Note: Hurricane, Badman, and Dancing in the Rain were all together as remixes.
(Though there was fancam (fans’ video records of live performances) for the Seoul Concert back in February, I did not dare to look at them. I wanted to excite myself and see what B.A.P can pull off.)
At one point of the concert, B.A.P did a Rave theme for three songs that they had all remixed it. The lights started to go change its color and lasers all over the theatre. I am seriously not kidding, but when you go to a concert you like and especially it is one of your favorite band or artist, you will literally jump and flow with the music! That’s what happened to me. Not just only in the Rave, but the entire time of the concert I jumped up and down with the glow stick. I was all hyper because I was enjoying every moment while it still lived. I didn’t want to lose the chance to corporate such as when they say, “jump, jump, jump.” I had to take the chance! And I did! I jumped, cheered, and had so much fun that I was literally hitting the two person next to me (my sister on my left and another fan on my right)! I felt like I was punching the air and my elbow kept on crashing into these two on both of my sides. I gave it all my energy to. Jumped, jumped, and jumped all night. Cheered, sang, and screamed. I even threw hand gestures and rapped too. Yes! All that (expect for dancing because there was no space).
I was looking forward for B.A.P to perform slow songs somewhere in the middle of the concert, but they didn’t. I was sad for a while, but the concert was still enjoyable. The songs that has an asterisks were the songs that I very much enjoyed and was prepared to sing along with. These were the few ones that I highly anticipated most. The live performances of Warrior, Bangx2, and One Shot were the strong and at the same time, the other three, Dancing in the Rain, 1004 (Angel), and With You had sensibilities.
However, there were three of the six members had solo stages. Him Chan performed a B.A.P song, “S.N.S,” Young Jae covered Trey Songz’ “Slow Motion,” and Jong Up sang his own song, “Now.” All three had great stages and was able to show their own styles with the vocals, dances, and rap. I really enjoyed because it was a different from their group images, which was an impressive effort. Talking about the three other members briefly, each of them had possessed an impression even if they did not had a solo stage for this tour stop. Leader Bang Yong Guk was quiet most of the time, but he was no joke on stage. Once the stage lights are up, Bang just killed the stage like it’s nothing! Main vocalist Dae Hyun took the lead in speaking (alongside with Him Chan) during the talk sessions. His high notes were awesome (way better in live than the audio, no kidding). As for the last member Zelo, he was able to shine on stage even more than before with his powerful fast raps and twisty body dances! These six gentlemen each carried out their own personas!
The end of the concert. Text: “We were here! B.A.P Live On Earth World Tour U.S. Awake!”
Throughout the concert, B.A.P continuously pulled the audiences to participate in their songs and to sing along. It was amazing because there were times where some of the members would literally look at my section intensely. They would have the most ambitious or the happiest faces on ever. I was connected and knew that they were considerate enough to include us. One of the reasons that made B.A.P and their performance more powerful was all thanks to the live instrument of the drum! He did an awesome job in banging the beats! (It makes me now really want to go to a rock concert!) Which made me really hoped to see them on stage with an actual live band one day.
B.A.P has come back after a while to San Francisco to kick off their World Tour all until the end of the summer! Even though they had returned this year with a bright and colorful image, B.A.P was still able to perform at their best to continue on their stand for humanity and their strength as individuals. Their live performances are still alive and I truly appreciate that I was able to participate to be the first crowd of their tour! It was all about living it, not dreaming it. This was the experience that I would never forget.
Here are some piece of advice:
Advice 1: Remember, if you are to go to a concert, make sure that you write down what you experienced right after the concert. You do not want to wait a few days later because you may not remember what had happened (because it was that much fun).
Advice 2: DO NOT worry about not recording any performances because you know that someone in the audience would definitely post videos of the concert up! So don’t worry about it! (I am serious!!) When you are there, the memories and live counts much more – you have to live it to feel it!
Advice 3: Once the concert ends, do not say, “It feels like a dream.” If you do, your mind will start to develop the thought that the concert was a dream rather than a reality. Keep it real, record / write it down!
Advice 4: Have FUN!