During the press conference for the SMTOWN Live Tour III concert in Singapore, Super Junior‘s Donghae revealed to the reporters that SM artists rarely have time to catch up except during such concerts when all of them get to meet and prepare the events together.
He shared that there would usually be a drinking session after a performance and told a surprising story of Yunho‘s charismatic drunken dance.
Donghae revealed, “Once, we had a chance to have a drink with some seniors after the performance. At that time, Yunho happened to drink too much and he ended up doing a drunken dance.”
He continued to describe the drunken dance as ‘un-imaginable’ and hope to share it with everyone, to which the crowd burst into laughter.
SMTOWN concerts are highly popular and always in demand due to the popularity of SM artists and having to share the same stage together and especially for the Singapore concert, the production cost is estimated to be over S$5 million (US$4.1 million).
For the SMTOWN concert in Singapore, Kangta, BoA, TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, f(x) and EXO were present to perform with the exception of Super Junior’s Heechul and Leeteuk, who were currently serving in the military. Siwon was also absent due to the filming of the drama, The King Of Dramas.
During the press conference, the artists talked about the SMTOWN concert which they would be performing for the first time in Singapore. Kangta said that he was anticipating for a good performance and hope to share the joy with Singapore fans.
Kangta added, “It’s been a long time since we visit Singapore and so to our fans, we want to show a performance better than what we have done before.”
BoA who has not performed in Singapore since the MTV Asia Music Awards 2003 said, “It’s been awhile. I’m very happy to be back and can’t wait to see all the fans who have been supporting SMTOWN.”
Covered by Sng Yun Ting@hellokpop.com
Photos by Kenny@hellokpop.com and Running Into the Sun
Read the transcript of the press conference below:
(Kangta) Hello, I’m Kangta. I’m really glad to be here, and am thankful that so many Singaporeans have turned up to welcome us.
(BoA, in English) Hi, I’m BoA and what should I say? (nervous laugh) I’m glad to be back in Singapore and I can’t wait to see all of you. The show will be really great so am looking forward to seeing all of you at the concert. Thanks.
(Yunho and Changmin) Hi, this is DBSK!
(Yunho) It feels great to be back in Singapore for the SM concert after such a long time, and it’s really great to be able to see all of you again.
(Donghae) Hi, I am Donghae! Hi! (chorus of ‘hi’s from many females) I’ve been wanting to greet everyone here for a long time. It’s been a while since we met our fans here in Singapore, so it feels really great to be back. I hope everyone who watches the SM Concert later will enjoy it!
(Seohyun) Hi Singapore, I’m Seohyun from Girls’ Generation! I’m so glad to be back in Singapore, and Iet’s have a lot fun tonight! Tonight is the first SMTown concert held in Singapore, and I heard that the fans have been waiting for a very long time. I am excited as well and can’t wait to perform for everyone.
(Onew) Hi, I’m Onew from SHINee! Singapore is a place which I always look forward to performing in, and we have prepared a very special performance for tonight, and I hope everyone enjoy themselves this evening.
(Victoria) Hi, I’m f(x)’s Song Qian, Victoria. Having only transited at Singapore’s airport before, I finally am here and have the chance to greet the fans in Singapore. I hope you will all enjoy the performance tonight. Thank you!
(Suho) Hi, I’m EXO-K’s leader Suho! (long silence) No one seems to be clapping for me? (half in jest and half somewhat sadly, and at this the SM artistes all clapped for him wholeheartedly, which cued the media representatives to give him a more enthusiastic welcome!) This is the first time that EXO-K is here Singapore, and we are thankful that you guys are supporting us so much! As this is a very great opportunity, we are honoured to share the stage with our seniors.
(Kris) Hi, I’m EXO-M’s leader Kris. I agreed with what Suho said and I think Singapore is such a beautiful place. This is the first time we are here and we want to thank all the fans who turned up at the airport and everyone who has shown us support. Hopefully we can come back again soon. I look forward to that.
SMTown World Tour Live Singapore 2012
How does it feel to hold your first SM Town Concert in Singapore?
(Kangta) This is the first concert held in Singapore and we are anticipating it. It’s been a long time since we’ve been in Singapore and we want to show our Singaporean fans a performance better than what we have before. I think we will put up a great performance. SMTown’s concerts have been around for a very long time and have given many people joy. However, because this is the first time we are doing it in Singapore, all the more we want to share this joy with the Singaporean fans. Thank you.
SM Town is going to be held at the Marina Bay Floating Platform, which to us, is considered very prestigious because we have our National day parade and the Youth Olympics held there, so how do you feel for you to perform on such a prestigious platform?
(Yunho) As senior Kangta has already mentioned, this is our first time in Singapore. It is really an honour being able to perform on such a prestigious stage which is usually reserved for special events. Personally, this is the first time I am performing on a stage on water, and that goes for many of the other SM artistes as well. Together with our seniors and juniors, we really are anticipating being able to put up a wonderful performance today for the people here and for the fans who have come to see us. Having seen the beautiful view in Singapore, the evening view would be even more fantastic and we look forward to making beautiful memories together tonight.
(To Suho and Kris) It’s your first time in Singapore, what are your first impressions of our country?
(Suho) It is winter in Korea now so it is really cold, and in comparison, Singapore is warm so my first impression is really good. Also, I have always wanted to come to Singapore and perform here with my seniors, and so I’m feeling very happy.
(Kris) I agreed with what he said. Like he said, it’s really cold in Korea right now, and the weather is so nice here. It seems to be getting hotter, and will get even hotter at the concert tonight? This is the first time we are on a stage on water and we are all really excited. Hopefully we can come back here again.
To the Queen of Kpop, BoA, what do you have to say to your fans here in Singapore, who have been waiting to see you?
(BoA) It has already been 10 years since I was in Singapore in 2003 for the MTV Music Awards in Asia. It’s been awhile and so I’m very happy to be back, and cannot wait to see all the fans who have been supporting SMTown. The show will be really great, and we prepared a good stage, so let’s have fun! Thank you!
SMTown has gone to a few cities, so which is the most memorable city to date and why?
(Onew) Regardless, we have had many memorable experiences in many places. For me, many of the concert experiences bring to mind the first concert I ever participated in. In the same way, I would work as hard for today’s show in order to re-experience that feeling. Please also show support for the next SHINee concert to be held in Singapore on the 8th of December 2012 (SHINee World II, to be held at the Indoor Stadium).
What do you think of your Singaporean fans queuing up for so long?
(Kris) Oh, I love them! They are so wonderful and beautiful. Like I said, it is the first time we are here, and we did not expect fans turning up at the airport and showing support to us. I want to say thank you to our fans for supporting us.
Did you do any special preparation for the show and do you have any pre-concert routine?
(Changmin) As this is the first time SM Town is performing here, DBSK has specially prepared performances from the first album and which will be shown for the first time. We really hope that we can put up a good show and that everyone will enjoy it.
How is the atmosphere backstage in comparison to the individual group concerts?
(Victoria) SMTown concerts are the most exciting. Backstage, the seniors and juniors mingle and chat with each other backstage and cheer each other on. Going onstage together for the last song, it is especially interesting as we can have fun on stage and greet the fans together. This is the probably what makes the SMTown concerts different and interesting in comparision.
What is it like backstage-is it really crazy and what are some of the funny things that happen?
(Donghae) SM senior and junior artistes have very busy schedules and we hardly have time to meet one another. Except for SMTown concerts, there are hardly any other instances in which we get to meet and prepare for performances together. After the concert ends, we have a good time catching up with one another and have an enjoyable time together. Recently, there was a very interesting incident, although it was not really backstage. We had a chance to have a drink with some seniors after a performance and Yunho had a bit too much to drink (extracting an outburst from Yunho) and happily did a dance which we would really like to be revealed to everyone. It is something that is unimaginable, something which is so unlike his usual charismatic image, and I really want to share it with everyone. (crowd laughs)
You saw the fans queuing up, how do you feel about it?
(Seohyun) Despite not having performed many times in Singapore, there are so many who have turned up for today’s SM concert, and I am really grateful. Having heard that fans have been waiting for us for a week in the rain, I am really worried about their health. For the fans who have been so patient and have done so much for us, we want to perform our very best to the same extent, and repay our fans.
(To seniors Kangta and BoA) In concert situations like this, how do you feel as seniors? Do you use this opportunity to impart knowledge or give advice to your juniors?
(Kangta) I do not wish to hold on the microphone to the end like this! (to laughter from the crowd) I do not want to be called the best senior as well. My juniors are doing much better than me, and as they are always doing so well – I really have nothing to give as advice to them. However, I think it is important to appreciate being able to stand on stage, and bearing that in mind, one will be able to do well on stage, and all would be fine.
(BoA) I feel the same way. They are all doing really well, and I am really glad that we can go places and perform together. Basically, no advice, just support.
Any last words (to the Singapore fans) before you head off to the stage?
(Yunho) Firstly, I am really thankful to my senior and juniors who can speak English! As this is after all the first ever SMTown concert in Singapore, I am very thankful for the very important opportunity given so that we can greet fans here on a stage like this. Everyone-the SM artistes, fans, the media, the staff who has to constantly worry about many things and make sure everything is in place-having been anticipating this day for a long time, so please come and enjoy yourself with us! Come have fun with us! And the last thing, and only thing you need to remember, is that the important person tonight is YOU! Thank you!
With more than 23,000 tickets sold for the first ever SMTown World Tour Live Singapore 2012, this is without a doubt, the biggest Hallyu act ever in Singapore thus far. This first-ever commercial concert held at the Float was realized with a budget of S$5 million, around 200 people clocking a total of 96 hours in preparation for the stage, 600 ushers who each received 12 hours of training over the course of one month, the dedicated staff, hardworking artistes, and of course, the very important people, you!
Picture Credits: Kenny@hellokpop, Picture Credits (those without hellokpop’s watermark): Running Into the Sun
Browse below for more photos of the press conference:
Singles Korea‘s November issue features f(x) leader, Victoria.
Dressed in colorful outfits from clothing brand Double M, Victoria introduces the fashion trend for Fall/Winter. Praised by her ability to pull off different expression and consistency the crew said that:
“With her perfect poses and her talent to model any outfits, we almost forgot that Victoria is actually a singer and not a professional model. She is shorter than our average models but her body is ideally proportioned and so we were able to get great pictures.”
Here are some of her fabulous photos from the pictorial.
Release: April 20, 2011
Distributor: SM Entertainment
It’s always nice to see (erm, hear) artists enjoy themselves. F(x) has always delivered that in droves–playful vocals and spunky attitude were defining characteristics of debut single La Cha Ta, just as they were for almost every subsequent major release. Not ones to mess with a good thing, SM Entertainment seems to have its mind set on having its younger girl group carry this image for a while, because F(x)’s first studio album Pinocchio continues both traditions.
You’d think that formula would have gotten at least a little worn by now. Fortunately, F(x) manages to make it sound brand new again. That owes more than a little to the fact that from beginning to end, Pinocchio is full of novel ideas and encouraging signs of experimentation to a degree seldom seen from an idol group. This isn’t a half-hearted attempt at forcing a square peg of variety into the proverbial round hole; rather, Pinocchio sounds and executes like a project that actually intends to push the envelope. Whenever the album isn’t as innovative, it makes up with the group’s innate uniqueness.
Lead track and lead single Pinocchio is exemplary of that latter part. Essentially, this is F(x) redux, in that it’s driven by the group’s trademark traits. Of these, the rather creative lyric writing is the most apparent. If you remember, several previous outings, such as NU ABO, used onomatopoeia as well as imaginary words to fill in rhyming schemes and color up the track. Normally I’d call it lazy writing, but it always seemed to fit this group’s character in an odd way. Pinocchio takes it one step further: made-up words appear sparingly, yes, and the mixing of formal and informal tones adds flair, but it’s the outlandish metaphors that steal the show. Over the song’s duration, the five girls reference emeralds, scanning, pastry, doctors, Christopher Columbus and the New World, a doll, and a key to a maze; and that’s just part of it. It’s to the point where it’s easier to look for lines that don’t involve such a metaphor than those that do. Whether this kind of writing is creative or just juvenile will be up to each listener’s preference. But it’s definitely more than meets the eye: the chorus “Dda ra dda ra dda dda dda // It’ll sting and shock // So full of curiosity // Don’t you dare move // Piece by piece, dda dda dda // I’ll take you apart, dda dda dda // And put you together the way I like” reads like an intentionally chilling contrast to the happy-go-lucky overtone.
The unique chorus intonation is also alive and well in Pinocchio. (We’re still talking about the song here.) This effect can get old really quickly if overdone, but it’s thankfully moderated in this track, and ends up being just a playful quirk. The instrumentation, prepared by Hitchhiker, doesn’t differ radically from anything we’ve heard, although the synthesizer is noticeably heavier than before, and there’s a nice touch with subtle guitar sounds. It does end up taking a back seat to the five girls’ performances–this kind of track appears to be their forte. Vocalist Luna, in particular, sounds as vibrant as if the song was made for her, and Krystal is prominent in the chorus. The melody is fiendishly addictive, and the track seems to be having no trouble charting well at time of writing.
The innovation part kicks in as the album moves on. 빙그르 (Binggeureu) takes a retro rhythm that wouldn’t be out-of-place in the 80s and joins it with another spunky theme, this time about a magical elixir. The Korean title as well as the vast majority of the chorus are, again, onomatopoeia. (If you’ve lived in Korea, the word may unintentionally remind you of a milk brand of similar pronunciation as it did for me. But I digress.) 아이 (Child) opts for a melancholy turn, and delivers an eerie heartache of a love song upon a moody beat. There’s energy and seduction cohabiting inside Dangerous, and a rare, bold swagger in the brass-heavy tango and unapologetic performances of My Style.
There’s even room for a couple ballads, in Beautiful Goodbye and So Into U. The former, in particular, is a cover of Kasey Butler‘s song of the same title, and it’s a good selection on the producers’ part. While this group doesn’t quite have the vocal prowess or a capella capability that CSJH the Grace had, its performance in Beautiful Goodbye is nevertheless reminiscent of that senior group; there’s room here for F(x) to harmonize expansively atop the breathtakingly sweeping instrumentation. It leaves an interesting possibility for future albums.
The quality slips here and there–while rapper Amber shines in Gangsta Boy, for example, the track as a whole utilizes unnecessary auto-tune and isn’t as tightly constructed as it could be. Stand Up!, performed with indie band Peppertones, tries to be interesting with instrumentation at first, but inexplicably stops doing so afterwards and degenerates into more mundane fare. But F(x) carries even these tracks to an extent, and that’s a compliment not usually paid to most dance-pop artists–not just idol artists.
Pinocchio (the album now) is charming, quirky, and clever. But more than that, every bit of it oozes class. That may sound like a curious thing to say about an album that can be so silly at times–one that appears as if it doesn’t really try. And there’s the genius of it – F(x) and its producers make Pinocchio stand out by its own virtue, of quirk, duality, or whatever else you want to call it, rather than by forcing a traditional girl-group album to be different.
F(x) already had a distinct identity, and it was a simple step to let it manifest into an album’s identity. That’s why this album has personality behind it. Everything revolves around that–the production team tailored Pinocchio‘s composition and progression so that it maximized the artists’ strengths, while lyrics were written to emphasize the kind of flavor that F(x) had developed over the years.
For an album that was probably just as much a corporate project as it was a work of art, Pinocchio is deviously good. It measures up to the works of more acclaimed artists. And it’s the best idol-group album released in recent memory, if not the the best in years.
Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)
1. Pinocchio – Danger
2. 빙그르 – Sweet Witches (Binggeureu – Sweet Witches)
4. Beautiful Goodbye
5. Gangsta Boy
6. 아이 – Love (Child – Love)
7. Stand Up! – Featuring Peppertones
8. My Style
9. So Into U
10. Lollipop – Featuring SHINee
Album reviews reflect the opinions of the writer and not Hellokpop as a whole.
Photo credit: Blogspot