Official Press Release by CNBLUESTORM
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After having waited for such a long time, European fans finally got a big announcement from FNC Entertainment that they had wanted to hear. On September 22 2012, one of their major artists would be visiting Europe for a first ever live concert, the band would be CNBLUE. The destination chosen was London, England, the country’s capital and pillar of rock music. It’s a judicious choice fitting with the music style of the band. CNBLUE is often lumped together with other K-pop Idol groups because of their good looks and sale-ability. Their music would be better described as Pop with a heavy rock flare. The band’s Rock sensibility is one of their greatest attributes and is prevalent more so in their songs, ‘Get Away’, ‘Where you are‘, and most recently, ‘Come on’. CNBLUE’s musical color has continued to evolve since the band’s first album ‘Now or never ‘ which was released when they were still an independent band in Japan.
European fans have been anticipating CNBLUE’s arrival especially after the band’s highly successful joint concert with label mates FTISLAND ’Stand Up Live’ concert that was held in Los Angeles, California on March 9 earlier this year. Because of its success, concert promoters wanted to take this opportunity to hold a similar event, this time in Europe. CNBLUE‘s fans, formally known as BOICE, especially showed their enthusiasm regarding this first live in Europe. The news of this special event attracted fans from all over Europe, assuring a sold out concert. BOICE of many different nationalities gathered from all over the continent to the gates of the IndigO2 in London, England just to attend the first live CNBLUE concert.
When the gates opened at 6:00 pm, fans some of which had been waiting on line outside the venue since the night before, rushed into the concert hall to get their positions for the night. The circular shaped architecture of the prestigious IndigO2 arena was built to be able to accommodate at least 3,000 people. Regardless of location whether on the floor standing or seated, fans would have optimal view of the stage as the band performs. For a band like CNBLUE which debuted on the music scene only three years prior to this event, it must feel like an honor to be able to perform in the same venue as some of the other musical acts they have looked up to.
The stage was adorned with a giant banner as main decor bearing the logo of the band as well as several of the boys’ own individual instruments, were displayed ready and waiting for the band to take the stage. The small stage was nothing unlike what the band was used to performing on when In Korea or Japan but the space was amble enough to accommodate even the most energetic and playful musician. Fully prepared for the show were the fans called the group, as they proudly held up posters, flags and glowing light sticks. While fans awaited CNBLUE to finally take the stage, the venue hall was filled with the sounds of rock music being played over the house speakers, with best songs by The Killers, Green Day and Sum 41.
At around 7:00pm, the venue lights dimmed and finally some familiar intro music with very catchy electronically synthetic sounds and towering beats began to play. Surprisingly, it was not the intro music of the ‘Thank U’ album but the more recently release version found on the ‘CODE NAME BLUE’ album, which made for a thunderous opening to the show. Ultimately, “C.N. to the Blue” was announced an auto tune voice before Jung Yonghwa, Lee Jonghyun, Kang Minhyuk and Lee Jungshin made their way to the stage together, almost running to reach their position. CNBLUE greeted the audience for the first time and kicked off the show with one of their most recognized songs, ‘Intuition’.
The concert commenced with a very lively CNBLUE, clearly wanting to show their playful side to the audience. The atmosphere was festive, ‘Have a good night’ was the next song on the setlist, giving way to a pleasurable party time feeling. Through carefree lyrics, CNBLUE invited their audience to move and dance. Following this track, the quartet decided to step up the show by asking the fans to stand up with ‘Wake up’. The performance began perfectly as the music was paired with dynamic red, yellow and blue lighting effects, intensified by dazzling flash.
The young musicians played their instruments with exuberant fervor on the IndigO2 stage. CNBLUE is not a band who just shows up to play music. When they perform, they bring their playfulness and show their personalities on the stage to accompany their music. The boys are passionate musicians and for them, this live gives them the opportunity to have fun with each other and with their fans. The audience could instantly feel the friendship between the four members. They were close and didn’t hesitate to play together or rave and laugh with each other.
The fans acclimated themselves immediately to the feeling of the show. They knew all the lyrics of the English and Korean tracks perfectly so they sang along with the boys during most the songs, which seemed to surprise the band. Some fans took the time to create special fanchants for some of the songs including ‘LOVE GIRL’.
CNBLUE and their BOICE got close quickly and continued having fun together throughout the night. As a good leader, Yonghwa knew how to excite the audience and seemed to elevate his charm from one song to the next. The band, although not very fluent with speaking the English language, still managed to communicate with the crowd. The main correspondence coming from lead vocalist Yonghwa and bassist Jungshin, which proved to be a bit difficult for them however they made light of their lack of English skills and made the audience laugh with their comical banter as they blurted out whatever English words they knew. At one point Jungshin was asked what he liked most about London to which he replied in his best British accent, “Harry Potter!” which delighted the crowd of cheering fans.
It was the first time for CNBLUE to perform on a London stage and they no doubt honored the home of rock. Yonghwa proudly wore a Rolling Stones T-shirt in honor of the event. To express their joy and love for the British’s capital, the boys named famous UK bands like U2 and decided to play the beginning of the song ‘Supersonic ‘ by English rock band Oasis. Unfortunately, before they could get past the intro of the track, Yonghwa hesitated and stopped the music as he exclaimed with a clearly embarrassed, “…I don’t know” after flubbing on the lyrics. The leader was quickly forgiven when he composed himself and announced the next song by shouting “Let’s Rock’n’Roll!”
CNBLUE’s music can be best described as a contrast between Pop and Rock sound, which changes style with every new song. But, when CNBLUE is on stage, the show is totally Rock! The songs were more intense and heavy, riffs were more impressive, especially when the band played ‘Just Please’, ‘One time’ or ‘Tattoo’ which was kicked off by an impressive drums solo from Minhyuk. All the boys revealed their talent over course of the performance and were exciting to watch. Yonghwa sang powerfully while he played guitar in true Rock star fashion as he danced to each song with his signature sensuality. The lead singer used his inexhaustible charm, especially when he performed the track ‘Tattoo’. He delivered a particularly aggressive feeling taking pleasure in the crowd reaction as the song advanced. Jonghyun was more discrete compared to the more outgoing Yonghwa, but his playboy charm was exposed with his flirty smiles and his deeply observing the audience. He was able to capture the full attention from the audience with his wonderfully fascinating guitar solos. Jungshin played his bass with class and would rap on certain songs with a confident attitude. Minhyuk seemed bit shy and discrete but he would glace into the crowd and make eye contact with fans while he enthusiastically beat on his drums.
To please old and new fans alike, CNBLUE would perform some of their best songs ‘Kimio’, ‘Hey you’, ‘Let’s go crazy’. The language barrier was forgotten as CNBLUE chose to perform most of their English songs. Unfortunately, they didn’t play one of their most recently released rock songs, ‘Come on’ which was highly anticipated by concert goers. With its heavy rock sound, this track would have been a memorable moment during this live. Regrettably, the band’s Japanese songs were not planned as part of the setlist for the evening. However, the songs performed alternated between energetic, lively songs and sumptuous ballads.
For some of the ballads, Jonghyun performed with his acoustic guitar. The lead guitarist belted his best sultry voice for ‘Eclipse’ as he sang the entire song with great emotion. The lead vocalist Yonghwa also performed throughout the night with full emotion. He especially proved his “Emotional” persona when he sang his solo track ‘Y, why ‘passionately.
After the next two songs ‘Now or Never’ and ‘Where you are’, CNBLUE announced the next song would unfortunately be the last song. “This song is for you, London in my head.” Quickly after this statement, they began to play the Korean version of ‘In my head’. The members recited the words “In my head” together during the chorus, inciting the audience to sing along with them. Like the most of CNBLUE’s songs, ’In my head‘ is more addictive in a live setting. The audience jumped excitedly and sang again before their final applause as the band left the stage.
Immediately, after they left, fans started to scream out “CNBLUE” in a chant. More than an hour and half had passed since the concert began; the fans began to get unruly during the wait for the band to resume the stage for their Encore performance. At this point the security staff had to intervene in the pit which became stifling to the fans that were in that section resulting in many weaknesses. The staff asked fans to step back to avoid further incident. On their return on the stage, showing their concern for the safety of their fans, Yonghwa insisted for the audience to step back away from the railing sweetly adding “This is dangerous!”
The ENCORE was one of the best moments of this live. CNBLUE began the ENCORE by singing ‘I’m a Loner’ and encouraged the fans to sing along before playing the full song. Afterwards, they continued to interconnect with the audience with Yonghwa asking the crowd to repeat after him “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE” and “Clap clap clap”, to introduce the song ‘LOVE’. Even though Yonghwa is a good rapper, he failed when he tried to do the beat box, making the audience rumble with laughter. After singing ‘Happy Birthday’ song, celebrating Jungshin‘s belated birthday, the band finally gave the best and the most magical ending to the show with the song that was written for their fans, ‘Thank you’. The song had new meaning being a message to thank European BOICE for their enthusiasm and being such a lively crowd. To express their gratitude for such an incredible night, the fans threw many presents on stage which Yonghwa did not hesitate to pick up. The boys thanked everyone again and promised to come back again soon.
It was a great performance which European BOICE will never forget. The Korean Blue Boys would be able to join the British rock band community and be at home in London, the home of rock. CNBLUE felt happy and alive with their Rock ‘n Roll spirit. The band played with energy and enthusiasm. It was a crazy atmosphere which took over the night. CNBLUE didn’t come to London to play in front of their European fans only, but to share their passion for music and leave an unforgettable impression on their fans. European fans hope to see CNBLUE live again in London or elsewhere in Europe. In the next few weeks, CNBLUE will embark on their next venture, a six city Arena Tour beginning October 2 in Japan.
More EXCLUSIVE Photos by CNBLUESTORM
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- [EXCLUSIVE] CNBLUE Live in London – Official Summary by CNBLUESTORM (cnbluestorm.com)
- [News] 120927 CNBLUE’s ‘LIVE IN LONDON’ Concert Goes Live Around the World (colormecnblue.com)