Female Rocker Maya @ New York Korean Festival
On New York Korean Festival female rocker Maya performing her hit song “Azalea” and doing a soulful cover of Kang San Ae’s “… Ra Gu Yo.” She is known for her uniquely strong voice, compared to other female K-Pop artists. Maya strode to the stage to perform her iconic track Azalea with a full orchestra playing behind her. Thanks to her husky voice and thick vibrato, Maya completely owned the performance, adding a rich lustre to the music festival that night. The KBS New York Korea Festival was solid evidence of the widespread influence of the Hallyu Wave.
Watch Maya’s Video on MTVK
- Maya – “Be Cool” (쿨하게)
- Maya – “Geu Dae Ra Neun Yi Reum Yi Yuh (그대라는 이름이여)
- Maya – “Unblossomed Flower” (못다핀꽃한송이)
- Maya – “Shadow Boxing”
- Maya – “Downwards” (아래로)
NY Korea Festival @ Overpeck Park, New Jersey
On October 8 and 9, the New York Korea Festival was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Korea joining the United Nations and to promote Korean culture through food and music. K-pop fans were ecstatic to learn that instead of the usual 2-3 K-pop acts, 2011 was going to be the biggest collection of idols and artists New York City’s Chuseok celebrations had ever seen! (2010 had Son Dambi and Brian Joo; 2009 brought Leessang, Brown Eyed Girls, and Wax.)
The all-star lineup was as follows: SHINee, 4Minute, Maya, BEAST, Insooni, Hong Hye Kyung, Kim Tae Woo, Jang Sa Ik, G.Na, Kim Young Im and her students, Ryeo Hyun Gu, SISTAR, Tae Jin Ah, Sul Woon Do, 2PM, TVXQ, and Patti Kim.
On Saturday, October 8, these artists (with the exception of SHINee and 2PM, who flew in on Sunday) found themselves at the Korean consulate, for a cocktail reception where UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon expressed his appreciation for these artists in empowering and spreading Korean culture with their music.
The following day was the highlight of the festival, as fans from all over invaded New Jersey’s Overpeck Park as early as morning to ensure a good view of the stage for that evening’s 3+ hour concert. Despite all of the craziness leading up to the free concert (venue relocation, introduction of ticketing policy, poor communication between concert organizers and attendees, etc.), everyone was brimming with anticipation for the main event.
Kicking off the concert was… the Village People? The guest performers were met with amused smiles and laughs when they first took the stage, but as “Macho Man” began playing, the audience was having a great time singing along – that is, until technical difficulties cut the veteran group’s performance short.
Loud cheers from the crowd stirred up once 4Minute, G.Na, and SISTAR took the stage for a special joint performance of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” with the ladies dressed in sexy black outfits and dancing in sync with one of the many crowd favorites of the night.
The concert was hosted by SHINee‘s Minho (a last-minute replacement for Taecyeon of 2PM, who arrived later than expected due to a delayed flight) and KBS announcer Hwang Soo Kyung.
Following the female idols’ joint stage came SHINee’s powerful performances of “Ring Ding Dong” and “Lucifer,” and Taemin’s ultra-blond hair stunned even those in the very back of the crowd. Their live vocals were truly impressive, as affirmed by continuous gasps of awe from the concert attendees.
4Minute was next in the lineup, blowing the crowd away with their energetic performances of “Mirror Mirror” and “Hot Issue.” Their sexy outfits (and really shiny legs) and fun choreography clearly made the male audience members more than happy to see 4Minute return to the stage. Female rocker Maya took the stage, performing her hit song “Azalea” and doing a soulful cover of Kang San Ae’s “…Ra Gu Yo.”
4Minute’s labelmates BEAST took over with “Fiction” and “Beautiful,” minus Lee Ki Kwang. BEAST members later told us at MTV K’s United Cube Live in NYC show that Ki Kwang couldn’t make the trip to New York due to drama filming. Hyunseung caused a few laughs between songs when he asked the crowd, “Are you enjoy?!” to which they lovingly cheered a resounded yes.
Singer Insooni performed two of her most famous songs, “Dear Friend,” originally featuring Cho PD (but a GD lookalike rapper took over for him that night); and “A Goose’s Dream,” which she performed while gracefully signing the lyrics in sign language. She also performed an awe-inspiring cover of Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”
Kim Tae Woo performed “Love Rain” and a fun cover of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” between classical singers Jang Sa Ik and Hong Hye Kyung, followed by pansori (Korean folk) singer Kim Young Im and baritone opera singer Ryeo Hyun Gu.
Girls idols kicked off the second half of the concert, with SISTAR doing their live renditions of “So Cool” and a unique medley of “How Dare You” with all four members singing SISTAR19‘s “Ma Boy,” eliciting an excited response from SISTAR fans. G.Na followed suit with a bubbly performance of her latest single “Top Girl,” which she just recently ended promotions for in Korea.
After a series of trot medleys back trot veteran singers Tae Jin Ah and Sul Woon Do, surrounded by sexy female back-up dancers that made it a bit awkward to watch, all of the night’s male idol groups (TVXQ, SHINee, BEAST, & 2PM) made their way onstage for the guys’ joint performance of “New York, New York.” Despite not everyone knowing the full lyrics, fangirls in the crowd went crazy the entire time — especially Hottests, since many had thought 2PM hadn’t made it in time for the concert at all.
Maybe it was because people had given up on seeing 2PM and were beyond surprised when they showed. Or maybe 2PM just has a LOT of fans in New Jersey. Either way, 2PM’s performance got the hottest reaction from the crowd out of all the acts. Unfortunately, the otherwise-perfect performance was blemished by some technical problems that caused members like Wooyoung to lose their mics during some parts of the songs… But no one really seemed to mind because at this point, fangirls and fanboys alike had rushed up to the stage, shouting “Put Your Hands Up” along with 2PM, who followed with their debut single, “10 Points Out of 10,” another crowd favorite of the night.
Last but certainly not least was TVXQ. Yunho and Changmin took the stage as girls screamed their names, kicking off their three-song set with the smooth and sexy “Before U Go,” followed by a flawless live performance of “Why (Keep Your Head Down)” and a revival of one of their earlier hits, “Rising Sun.”
The night ended with the emergence of legendary Korean pop singer Patti Kim, later joined by all of the artists for a finale performance of “Oh! Korea” — the perfect end to an exciting night. [mtvk.com]
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Posted on 07/03/2012, in Festival and tagged Azalea, Ban Ki Moon, Female, Jang Sa Ik, K-pop Festival, Kim Tae Woo, Maya, New York, New York City, SHINee, SISTAR, South Korea, Tae Jin Ah. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.