12
Nov 12

Above & Beyond Live in Bangalore: Photos and videos from TATW 450

Date: November 10th, 2012

Finally! The last time Above & Beyond played in Bangalore, I missed it. I hoped they would return but I never expected my favorite trance outfit to return like this. I couldn’t believe Submerge managed to snag an epic event like this and bring the group down to Bangalore for it! Trance Around the World, my favourite trance podcast, episode 450 – which they announced at the end of episode 449 would be their last – was going to be transmitted live from Bangalore!

Six hours of amazing trance with other Anjunabeats artists such as Jody Wisternoff, Andrew Bayer, Norin & Rad, Mat Zo, and finally Above & Beyond taking the stage for a two-hour set. Since I knew I couldn’t dance for six hours straight, I only made it to the venue at around 5:30pm just as Andrew Bayer was on stage.

Andrew Bayer Tatw 450 Bangalore India

The stage setup, the sound, the impressive venue… it was all really well put together

Andrew Bayer Tatw 450 Bangalore

I really enjoyed Andrew Bayer’s set — pure trance at it’s finest

Norin and Rad TATW450 Bangalore India

Next up was American duo Norin & Rad

Norin & Rad Tatw450 Bangalore live

Didn’t dance a lot to their set, although they were great in getting the crowd pumped up

Norin Rad Tatw450 Bangalore concert

A good hour-long set none the less

Submerge says dance bucket Bangalore

Submerge says dance, and dance we did!

Above & Beyond TATW 450 live in Bangalore

I still couldn’t believe after all this time I waited to see Above & Beyond in concert, it would be for a live recording of the final episode of the trance podcast I’ve been listening to since 2006!

Mat Zo TATW 450 live in Bangalore

Mat Zo, the final ‘warm-up’ act took to the stage for his hour-long set

Mat Zo TATW 450 Bangalore

His set was much better!

Crowd Tatw450 Above & Beyond Bangalore concert

They had streams of colourful cloth spreading through the crowds. It was symbolic for it is the graphic that represents Group Therapy Radio – Above & Beyond’s new radio show

Above and Beyond stage group therapy

As the clock struck 8pm, it was now time for the main act. The crowd went wild as three men took to the stage.

Paavo Jono Tony Tatw 450 Bangalore India

(L-R) Paavo, Jono and Tony – or better known as the legendary Above & Beyond! I won’t mention their DJ Mag ranking… mostly because I don’t give a shit how high they rank!

Above & Beyond Tatw 450 Hello Bangalore

Needless to say all of us were going bonkers seeing all three of them on stage together (Usually two of them go on tour while one stays back in the studio)

Above & Beyond group therapy Bangalore concert

The end of Trance Around the World and the beginning of Group Therapy Radio episode 001

Above & Beyond stage Bangalore Tatw 450

The played classics from like “Liquid Love” and even some world-exclusive first listens. If it weren’t for ‘Tri-State,’ I wouldn’t have heard of Above & Beyond.

Above & Beyond live Bangalore India

But of course, there’s always that one moron who keeps shouting for “Sun and Moon” right from the start. Ugh. (They played it towards the end of course)

Above & Beyond confetti concert India

Epic six-hour long live broadcast ended with an epic shower of confetti!

Paavo hugging Tony end of TATW 450

Paavo and Tony seemed pleased

Above and Beyond members Bangalore concert

So were we

Above & Beyond Group Therapy Bangalore India

I began to leave the venue as they closed out with “Good For Me” (from ‘Tri-State again). I was kinda disappointed they didn’t play “Good Day” as it was the one song I was so looking forward to singing as loud as I could.

Above & Beyond Group Therapy radio Bangalore

But this being a ‘good night,’ play “Good Day” they did. Although it was the vocal mix. Still, it didn’t stop I or anyone else from singing along.

Jaymahal palace concert venue Bangalore

Nikhil Chinapa, who is one of the men behind Submerge, then took to the stage to thank his home crowd for an amazing night

This year marked the 10th anniversary of Submerge, an institution that started out as a platform for Indian DJs back in 2002 and which has since grown into a tour de force in the promotion of electronic dance music in India. You’ve really got to hand it to them. Even Nikhil Chinapa said he never expected they would get this far, but all the applause he got from the crowd was well deserved. Sunburn Festival, all the international DJs they bring to India, and the Submerge nights… Nikhil has done EDM in India a world of good!

As for videos from the night, here are a bunch of clips recorded on the Samsung Galaxy SII (also used for all the above photos). You might want to turn down the speakers as I was close to the stage, and so there’s a lot “brrrr brrr”. Also, if you’re epileptic, you have been warned!

You can listen to TATW 450/Group Therapy 001 in full here.


15
Jul 12

Photos from K-Pop Nation 2012 concert in Macau: U-KISS, B.A.P, SHINee, and Girls Generation

I wanted to put up this post that very night the concert ended. But considering I only got back to Hong Kong around 2am, I was too damn tired to do anything but sleep. To say it was a hectic day would be an understatement — but I’ll write about my Macau experience when I begin my Hong Kong travel series.

This post is going to be all K-pop!

I chose to go to Macau on 2nd July, 2012 (Monday) because the K-pop Nation concert was happening that evening. I got up early and took the ferry from Hong Kong in the hopes of reaching Macau airport before the flight from Incheon (Seoul) landed at 10:40. That didn’t go according to plan for reasons I’ll rather talk about in the Macau post, but long story short, there was no need for me to go to Macau airport. You see, my biggest (K-pop) dream is to see the members of SNSD up close and in person. But as soon as I got past immigration, I saw a bunch of Shawols (SHINee fans) waiting outside. I was wearing my custom-printed SNSD t-shirt when a considerate girl approached me and told me in her limited English that SNSD arrived yesterday night at this very terminal! She told me it would be of no use to stand around if I was hoping to see the girls.

I thanked her for that bit of information, but as disappointed as I was, I thought “what the heck” and waited to at least see SHINee up close.

Macau Shawols ferry terminal

SHINee fans had been waiting long

Macau Shawols waiting for Shinee

But SHINee was to land in Hong Kong only at 2pm

Shinee fans Macau terminal

The boys wouldn’t land in Macau for another hour

Macau Shawol Diablo sign for Shinee

I can see how this is appropriate, ‘cos you know, SHINee are South Korean… and practically everybody is playing Diablo III right now!

Shinee arriving Macau terminal

As it neared 4pm, the screams began

Taemin Key Onew Shinee Macau arrival

But as they quickly made their way out of the ferry terminal, there was one tall guy missing: Minho

Onew Jonghyun Shinee Macau arrival

Sorry for the blurry shots, but it all got a bit crazy as you can imagine. I couldn’t use flash either.

Macau Shinee ferry terminal arrival

It got chaotic pretty soon

Despite the hour long wait, my experience of seeing SHINee (or whatever I could see of their faces – I couldn’t even see Taemin’s face), lasted less than a minute. Just like that it was all over. There were sunglasses and other things belonging to fans scattered on the floor in the frenzy as girls ran all over the place to get a glimpse of their idols. But fortunately nobody got hurt, and SHINee’s asshole manager didn’t punch anybody either.

I left the ferry terminal and took the bus to The Venetian Macau to get my tickets to the concert as my return ticket back to Hong Kong was only at 11:45pm. I got the HK$780 (Rs. 5,500/$100/€82) ticket and decided to spend some time sightseeing until sunset.

Cotai Arena counters Macao

I headed back to Cotai Arena around 7pm. Although I had to handover my Canon 7D camera and tripod to security, I still managed to keep my Canon 450D in my bagpack

Inside Cotai Arena Macau panorama

This is Cotai Arena – and my HK$780 seat was in front of the girl in white top

As the clock struck 8pm, a DJ came on stage and started playing some dance music to pump up the crowd.

Kpop Nation Cotai Arena glowsticks

All the glowsticks up in the air gave a good indication as to many seats were unoccupied

Cotai Arena unsold seats kpop concert

The concert was far from ‘sold out’. A good 40% of the seats were vacant. The HK$780 I paid was the fourth highest in a six-tier pricing — meaning there were three more ticket prices that cost more.

And then, seven guys walked on stage. Then walked off. Then walked back on again.

U-Kiss Kpop Nation Macau concert

U-Kiss!

U-Kiss Kpop Nation stage performance Macau

They kicked off their performance with their best song to date, “Neverland”

U-Kiss concert Macau China

The boys performed “Believe” “0330” “Bingeul Bingeul” and “Man Man Hi”

U-Kiss performing Kpop Nation macau

But it was fairly apparent that the boys were lip-syncing

U-Kiss performing Macau kpop concert

Which was kinda disappointing considering how good they are as live performers

The organziers were pretty strict about anyone recording video, but some people (as always) managed to record fancams.

B.A.P entrance kpop nation Macau concert

Next up were a hot rookie group

B.A.P performance K-pop Nation Macau concert

B.A.P began their set with an R&B ballad behind curtains before unveiling themselves

B.A.P K-Pop Nation Macau concert

They sang all their singles to date: “Warrior,” “Burn It Up,” “Unbreakable,” and “Power”

After two songs or three, every group would take a break to introduce themselves to the audience. The audience had a laugh when one of the B.A.P members said something along the lines of: “… I’m excessive to be here”. He meant “excited” but that’s not how we all heard it :)

B.A.P performing Macau China

Despite the fact I’m not a huge fan of them…

B.A.P Kpop Nation concert Macau dancers

… B.A.P put on one heck of a performance! I was really impressed!

After B.A.P’s energetic performance, it was now time for the big guns of K-pop. The hugely popular SM Ent. artists were up next. I was a little disappointed to not see Minho since SHINee are not Super Junior — even if one member is missing, their choreography just doesn’t feel right.

Shinee kpop nation concert

But come out as a four-piece SHINee did

Shinee Kpop Nation Macau concert

They began with with “Lucifer”. I had a blast singing along to the whole song, as it remains my favourite K-pop song!

Shinee performing in Macau

But despite the expected awesomeness that comes with being SHINee… they were lip-synching too

Shinee on-stage Macau China

After performing “Stranger,” they paused to speak to the audience. Jonghyun also explained why Minho wasn’t here tonight.

Or at least that’s what I assumed he was talking about, because he spoke in Korean and the translator only spoke in Cantonese(?). Maybe Minho was filming his drama.

Shinee Sherlock live in Macao China

The crowd went wild when “Sherlock” came on

Shinee Sherlock live in Macau China

Fans were itching to chant/shout “SHINee’s back!”

Shinee Sherlock dance Macau concert

“Oh-I’m-curious yeah…” Love that chorus! :)

Shinee Sherlock Kpop Macau concert

Taemin is such an energetic dancer

After “Sherlock,” I assumed “Hello” or “Replay” was next. But no. The boys looked at each other and awkwardly just walked off stage waving goodbye to the audience. I was like: “huh?”. The deal was that each artists would perform five songs each. I assumed SHINee would do an encore of two more songs later. At least that was the hope.

Kpop nation concert dj

Anyway, the DJ came back and I got ready for the final act

Kpop Nation Macau concert stage

For it was now time for the pink glow sticks to come out!

Sunny Sooyoung Seohyun screen

Because it was now time for the biggest act in the concert line-up

Jessica Yoona Yuri screen

The loudest cheers were for this group

Taeyeon Tiffany screen

Heck, they’re the main reason I came to Macau today

Snsd Macau kpop nation concert

I spent $780 mainly to see them

Girls Generation Kpop Nation Macau entrance

Because they’re my absolute favourite group in all of K-pop

SNSD Kpop Nation Macau China

SNSD a.k.a Girls Generation!

SNSD Girls Generation Kpop Nation concert

It was only because I was this far that I could manage to fit all nine of them in one frame :)

Girls Generation leg dance Macau

The girls ‘kicked’ off their set with “Genie (Tell Me Your Wish)”

Yuri Hyoyeon Snsd dancing Macau

I wonder what Yuri found funny

Tiffany Genie performance SNSD Macau

“Macau, put it back on!”

Snsd screen graphics kpop nation Macau

Girls Generation Genie end pose

And that was song number one

SNSD Macau Genie line dance

Next up was “Run Devil Run”

Sunny behind Sooyoung Genie dance

Poor Sunny – the shortest member right behind the tallest girl in the group :)

SNSD close up Macau concert

Run Devil Run dance SNSD

As impressive as their choreography usually is, it’s funny when you capture such frames. Looks like they’re creepily trying to exit the stage :D

Girls Generation on-stage Cotai Arena

The girls then took a break to introduce themselves

Ice Princess message for Jessica Macau

This Jessica admirer got his message on the big screen

Sooyoung Girls Generation Macau

Sooyoung raises her hand, Sone raises his hand — just when I click. Ugh.

Taeyeon Girls Generation Macau

Hello dorky leader :-)

Girls Generation Macau audience interaction

The girls introduce the next song

SNSD Hoot graphics

Time to “Hoot”! And thanks again Sone’s hand. Ugh!

Girls Generation Macau Hoot performance

But just before hitting the first chorus…

Girls Generation technical problem Macau concert

… the music suddenly stops!

Taeyeon surprise Macau concert

Best part? Taeyeon goes: “Surprise!!!!”

Yoona talking Macau concert

The girls make small talk while the team behind the scenes try to sort out the technical glitch

Girls Generation Hoot down dance

When the music began a second time, it was time to go “Down, down, down” again

Girls Generation Hoot Macao

Seohyun was doing her line before the first chorus

Girls Generation technical problem Macau

And the music stops again! And Taeyeon went: “Surprise!” – again! LOL

SNSD on stage Macau

But thoughtful ‘manager’ Tiffany still gave a shout out to the technical team for their efforts. While Yuri checked up on Sooyoung.

It was really funny, but at the same time we all wondered what was going on. Here’s a good fancam of the goof-up(s):

The girls were about to walk off stage…

SNSD Hoot third time Macau

Just then the song restarts a third time… the girls embarrassingly walk back to their positions

Hoot SNSD Macau Kpop concert

Third time proved to be a charm as it went without a hitch

Girls Generation Macau concert

The girls followed “Hoot” with “The Boys”

Girls Generation The Boys live in Macau

Which was a moment everybody was waiting for as we finally got to shout “GG!” at the top of our lungs

Girls Generation hair Macau concert

Ahh, hair freeze moments

Snsd hair funny picture

Seems everybody but Tiffany had their hair moment :) LIKE A BOSS!

Girls Generation The Boys Macau concert

You don’t realize just how cramped for space SNSD’s choreography is until you see them live. How do they not bump into each other? :)

Snsd The Boys live in Macau

“Girls bring the boys out!”

SNSD lights Macau concert

Confetti began to rain even though we had one more song left

Girls Generation Taeyeon jig

The girls spoke one last time before getting into their final song (that’s Taeyeon doing a jig)

Taeny Macau Kpop Nation concert

TaeNy is so real, it’s no joke!

Snsd Macau stage

Everyone was up on their feet and ready to fan-chant like crazy for the final SNSD song

Snsd Gee performance Macau

For it’s SNSD’s signature song, and the one that introduced me to the group

Girls Generation Gee crab dance

“Gee, gee, gee, gee, gee, baby baby”

Girls Generation Gee dance Macau

Even though I’m tired of hearing “Gee,” seeing it live is another feeling altogether

Sunny Hyoyeon Jessica Girls Generation

Sunny smile!

Kpop Nation SNSD confetti Macau

Confetti marked the end of the girls’ performance

Kpop Nation Macau crowd Cotai Arena

The crowds were pleased, and so was I!

Empty seats Kpop Nation Macau

Ignore the empty seats below, the upper sections were full

Girls Generation SNSD saying goodbye

The girls cheerfully walked off stage with Yuri giving us all a big “muaahh”!

The DJ came back on again and some of us waited to see if there was going to be a encore. I was hoping for more SHINee, but there was none. The announcer said ‘thanks for coming’ and I left the arena.

Kpop Nation The Venetian Macau

I collected my Canon 7D and tripod and made my way out

B2ST 4minute Macau concert

Next up, B2ST and 4Minute!

Kpop Nation tickets

So was it worth it?

Well, kind of. I can now say I saw Girls Generation live in concert. And U-Kiss, B.A.P and SHINee. Add to the fact I’ve seen Jay Park and three-fifths of BIGBANG, I guess I’m lucky to have seen enough K-pop acts compared to most fans back in India. On the other hand, K-pop Nation 2012 wasn’t a well put together concert. For something that promised to be an unique show with the artists interacting with the fans and sharing stories… yeah, there was none of that. Pretty much all the interaction went like this: “We are _______” “Hello Macau, I am _______” “What’s up Macau, how you doing?” “Our next song is _____” “Goodbye Macau, we hope to be back”. That’s it – standard concert talk. In fact, SNSD spoke the most, and it was thanks to technical difficulties.

As much as I loved seeing SNSD, it was B.A.P’s set that I can say was the best without any bias. Their segment was if that’s how they would have done their stand alone concert. From start to finish, their act packed quite a punch. So I appreciate the effort they put in putting on an impressive show for what was a multi-starrer concert.

I’m proud of the fact SNSD were pretty much the only group who didn’t lip-sync! Every other group danced well, but didn’t bother singing live (did B.A.P sing live? some vocals sounded like it did). Girls Generation did both live, and were funny… god, tell me why I love them so much again?

It would have been cool if the venue was sold out as the experience could have been wilder, but that’s what you get when you price a concert out of the reach for most K-pop fans (who are really young). I know K-pop concerts in general are more expensive (heck, I’ve seen world famous David Guetta and Metallica for less!), but I can imagine the cost of bringing down such acts to such a small place like Macau, and that too in an expensive venue. Still, it’s baffling to see how many seats were empty for a concert that had U-Kiss, SHINee and Girls Generation in the line-up! That last group alone could fill up a stadium.

Of course I would have wished I was closer to the stage so I could see the girls better, but in some ways I’m glad I only paid HK$780. SNSD barely came forward to the smaller stage up front, so there was quite a bit of distance even for those who were seated in the most expensive section. It would have been nice if they had like a T-shaped stage, but anyway… I’m saving up and hoping for an SM Town in either Singapore or Bangkok later this year.

Otherwise the concert was alright. Oh yeah, there was one moron who showed up with his girl to the venue and accused me of taking his seat. I didn’t want to argue with him so I just let him sit in my seat. SNSD were just finishing up “Gee” and I wanted to click as much as I could before they left the stage. I don’t know what his problem was.

All-in-all, looking at the above photos, I’m happy I was there. My love for K-pop remains the same and I don’t think my urge to see the SNSD again has died down one bit.

As for the rest of my day, I’ll begin writing about my Hong Kong trip soon.

P.S: I did take a few more photos of U-Kiss and B.A.P, so if any of you fans/clubs want to see those, just ask. I’ll e-mail them to you. I didn’t take any videos as the Canon 450D can’t take videos, plus I didn’t want to get into trouble as the usher was right behind me.

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