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B.A.P - talent and potential
“B.A.P Live On Earth 2014” in Düsseldorf
Sometimes you see people in a certain place and you know it's precisely where they belong. Seeing B.A.P (short for Best. Absolute. Perfect) on stage in Düsseldorf during their Europe tour „B.A.P Live On Earth 2014“ makes you feel exactly this way. The six members need to be on stage, that's where they shine the most - which of course doesn't mean they shine less when you meet them in person. While idols mostly have to play a fixed role, you get the impression that B.A.P always show who they really are deep down. They are musicians and stars, and above that they are strong personalities. Not too often you find an artist who is awe-inspiring. Meeting the members of B.A.P you can't help but feel proud of what they achieved till now, curious what they are capable of, both as musicians and people, and eager to find out who they will become with time.
Music is there to entertain, it's there to make you feel and while B.A.P accomplish both, they also do not forget that music is the chance to transport universal messages and critical subtext that sneaks into the brain while listening to great sounds.
“The starting point of a new revolution,” that's what B.A.P promise us in their debut song “Warrior”. They did indeed sound new and they were also quite revolutionary. With a dirty, yet stylish setting and look the group changed the standard for K-pop music videos. The high quality video had a setting which was reminiscent of a rock group, as were their clothes and styling. The sound was also different, rougher, stronger; a convincing mixture of rock and hip hop.
For a long time K-pop, no matter if boygroup or girlgroup, had a clean and cute image. Although slight changes had been visible already, B.A.P were the first to show such a manly and grown-up image. Adding their lyrics critical of society, it was quickly clear: these boys are unlike any other.
When writing about B.A.P you need to mention Bang Yongguk who started his career in the underground music scene, and who is constantly raising awareness among the fans for social and political topics which also lead to a nomination in the category “activism” for the “Shorty Awards”. Then there is Himchan, who has a broad musical education, including traditional Korean instruments; or Zelo, who is known for his LTE rap, a term that describes his fast rapping skills. Not to forget are the vocal skills of Daehyun and Youngjae, at the same time powerful and beautiful, or Jongup and his remarkable talent for dancing.
But these are just pieces you put together without capturing the complex picture of the group as a whole.
Seeing the six members on stage does complete this picture. For their concert in Düsseldorf they performed 21 songs in total. The show opened with powerful hits such as “One Shot” and “Power” and closed with the same high level of energy and their debut single “Warrior”. During the two hours they showed that they don't rely on one fixed image. With dance tracks like “Hurricane”, cute songs like “Stop It” and the smooth lounge-jazz sound of “Coffee Shop” they got to show many different facets of themselves.
The tour also impressed with a thought-through concept. “Earth Needs” is the overarching motto of the concerts and so the show was subdivided into six parts: Justice, Love, Passion, Emotion, Happiness and You. The songs were arranged around these catchphrases. Not only the prearrangement impressed, but also the passion and knowledge behind the stage show and the courage of entering the stage without a translator. B.A.P spoke with their fans in English and German with surprisingly good pronunciation.
Most K-pop groups tend to do cute fan service, but B.A.P involved their fans in another way into their show. Most fans mentioned after the concert the video where they learned how to dance along with “Check On”. Since the simple choreography needed two people to be perfect, the fans got to interact with each other. While it's obvious that fans take photos during the concert, Himchan also always makes sure to have his own camera with him to capture lasting memories. He also uploads them to share them with the fans. This also is an individual way of showing affection towards the fans.
Looking back on all the K-pop concerts which took place in Europe in the last few years, the “B.A.P Live On Earth” show was without doubt the most professional and entertaining until now.
Watching B.A.P on stage, two things became clearly visible: talent and potential. After debuting only a little more than two years ago, and considering the young age of the members, this is a group not only the Korean music market should be aware of.
The fans will take home lasting memories, as will B.A.P; but hopefully they have inspialso been able to collect inspiration for their upcoming music. We believe that here is a group which will not fade slowly or vanish suddenly, because they still have so much to show and so many stories to tell. With TS Entertainment they have a company behind them that knows how to polish their potential. B.A.P is a group who has the ability to develop, change and adjust and therefore to rise and shine for a long time.