07 October 2007
Love Festa 2007
This weekend, Cyndi & I attended Love Festa 2007 at the swanky W Seoul - Walkerhill Hotel. Love Festa featured a hip lineup of Japanese and Korean artists and djs, including headliners, Soul'd Out, m-flo, and Clazziquai. Tickets were priced at 70,ooo won and 55,000 won. Of course, I opted for the less expensive ticket, but it turned out to be a great bargain -- even though we had to stand the WHOLE TIME.
In order to promote a club atmosphere (or maybe chairs were just more expensive), Love Festa was a standing-only concert. The event was scheduled to run from 9 pm to 4 am and featured several DJs. I think the setup was designed to encourage some major clubbing action, but not much of that actually happened. Most of the concert-goers just jumped up and down or swayed side to side.
The event started off with an hour of party music courtesy of DJ Schedule 1. Schedule's set was very DJ Osvaldo 2005 - 2006. He even played the Lumidee/Crazy in Love remix. The song list seemed like it came straight off the Wild 94.9 playlist -- just a couple of months to a year behind. Though his mixing and scratching was a little rough, I enjoyed DJ Schedule's selection of hip hop and pop hits. I'm not sure if the rest of the crowd was feeling him though. People just stood around and chatted for the most part. They did go a little crazy when he played "Sexy Back", but who can resist the powers of JT and Timbaland combined?
DJ Schedule 1 was accompanied by a pair of gyopo hype boys, who diligently hey-ed and ho-ed along with all of the songs, trying to rouse the crowd. I can't say they were very successful, but I appreciated the effort. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the next performer was running behind schedule, so we had to listen to more of those heys and hos for another forty five minutes.
That's when I decided to do a little sudoku and Cyndi traded in her free drink coupon for an orange juice and vodka. That's right. I said "free drink!" Our tickets came with a complementary drink. You don't really get that kind of freebie in the States.
Get this lady some vodka. Stat!
Cyndi is happy.
As you can see, we were far from the stage, but it wasn't too bad. I've paid much more for a worse view.
The concert finally started with a Korean band called w & whale. I don't think they've hit the big time yet, but they were quite talented. I would describe their sound as electronica with a dash of pop rock. The band's front woman not only rocked a cute black mini dress, but she also possessed a soulful rock-pop voice.
w & whale rocking the keyboard guitar. Sweet.
w & whale were followed by a Japanese dance troupe (I think?) called House Rulez. I'm not entirely sure what they were about, but I think this group is about dancing to hip hop and house music. I wasn't very impressed by their dance moves. I think they were trying to bring it with some break dance and hip hop moves, but it just looked like a lot of shoulder movement and spinning. If you ask me, the star of House Rulez is their soprano saxophone player. He was like Kenny G, but cooler because he was Japanese and wearing a top hat.
Can you spot the sax player?
House Rulez also brought out a couple of female vocalists, but I didn't catch their names.
House Rulez was followed by Soul'd Out a rap duo from Japan. The crowd went wild, so I'm assuming they have a bit of a following. One of the rappers was a pretty decent beat boxer and the other spoke English very well. Yup. That's all I can really say. These boys can flow, but I was not very impressed by their music, so let's move on.
Sould'd Out was followed by a fairly well-known Korean rap group called Dynamic Duo. (These are the guys featured on the photo wall of fame at 99 Chicken). I've heard a couple of their songs before, so I was looking forward to their set. They were quite engaging and really energized the crowd. I was disappointed that they only performed a couple of songs.
One of the highlights of the evening was the next act, m-Flo, a popular hip hop group in Japan, consisting of DJ Taku Takahashi and emcee Verbal. Similar to the previous acts, m-Flo's music is a fusion of house and hip hop. My knowledge of m-Flo's music is rather limited, but I'm a big fan of the few songs that I've come across. m-Flo's set also featured a few guests artists: LISA, Ryohei, and Emi Hinouchi. Many of the Love Festa artists, particularly the emcee, Verbal, spoke in fluent English that I momentarily forgot I was in Korea. I definitely recommend that you check out m-Flo if they happen to have a concert in your neck of the woods.
The charismatic emcee Verbal.
Cutie guest artist Ryohei.
Guest artist Emi Hinouchi. I love her voice.
The crowd loved M-Flo. Dare I say that they were getting a little hyphy?
The final act of the night and the primary reason I was interested in this event was Clazziquai, another multi-genre group that combines electronica, house, and jazz. The band consists of writer/producer DJ Clazzi, female vocalist, Horan, and male vocalist, Alex. Unfortunately, before we could hear Clazziquai, we had to stand through a forty-five minute set featuring the beats of DJ Clazzi. Don't get me wrong. He's quite talented, but I'm just not a huge fan of house music. I love the driving beats in house music, but can only take the genre in moderation. Thus, I was very excited, but also very weary by the time all three members of Clazziquai hit the stage. They performed some of my favorite songs, including an all-English version of Love Mode!
Clazziquai was worth the wait. I'm a big fan of Clazziquai's music, but am now a bigger fan now that I've realized that their male vocalist, Alex is pretty hot. :) Both Alex and Horan posses great voicals and stage presence. If Horan worked on her English pronunciation, I almost-think that Clazziquai has a moderate chance at success in the States -- almost. Christina, Alex's sister, and featured vocalist on some of Clazziquai's earlier music, also made a guest appearance.
The security guards started to enforce the no-picture-taking rule, so I wasn't able to get a decent photo of Clazziquai. Bummer.
DJ Clazzi doing his thing.
After Clazziquai, around 2:00 am, Cyndi and I called it a night. Unfortunately, so did most of the other concert-goers. The subway trains and buses were no longer running, so the line for a taxi cab was extremely long. Cyndi and I managed to take a nap on some lounge chairs and wait out the crowd. We finally left the hotel around 4:00 am. In retrospect, we should have just hung out at Love Festa until the very end, but given the state of our feet and backs at 2:00 am, there was no way that our bodies would let us stand upright for another two hours.
Check out my music box to the right for a sampling of music from Clazziquai, m-flo, and Dynamic Duo.