TVXQ, the proclaimed “Kings of K-Pop,” performed this past Friday in Los Angeles’ Nokia Center for their “Catch Me World Tour.” This was the duo’s, made up of Max Changmin and U-Know Yunho, first time playing in the City of Angels as a solo act. From the electrifying, or more appropriately, laser-filled, bass-booming opening, it was clear that the pair was determined to give a strong stage and leave lasting impression for their fans, who they said “waited for basically ten years” for this show, and they did not disappoint.
They performed tracks from their newest album, “Catch Me”, and much to the delight of long-time fans, older hits like the electro-pop “Mirotic,” the bass-filled “Purple Line,” and the ballad “Unforgettable.” Though the 2 ½-hour show undoubtedly catered to Cassiopeia’s, which is the name of TVXQ’s fans (a group of mostly teenage and young adult Asian American women), it was clear that the duo has incredible talent, stage presence and a well-balanced dynamic. Yunho had charming charisma, showing off his dance skills and even leading a fan chant; on the other hand, Changmin was a bit on the quieter side but truly shined whenever he put his incredible vocals on display, highlighted by his solo ballad.
As a “sort-of” outsider looking in (because although I’m a fan of K-Pop, I’m a self-proclaimed VIP, or fan of BIGBANG, another guy group), the show was an impressively dynamic spectacle. Visually, it was an aesthetic gem, with an uber-clear LED flashing moving graphics, lasers, eye-catching stage outfits (i.e. denim jackets with chains running down them) and perfectly clean choreography.
The group gave bundles of fan service with numerous videos, and more impressively, greeting the fans personally by walking through the aisles of the theater. Needless to say, the audience went crazy.
In one of the more touching moments of the concert, the fierce expressions that Yunho and Changmin had throughout the concert changed into ones of sincere gratitude when, during the song “I’ll Be There,” fans held signs that said (in hangul), “We’ll always be here,” a powerful statement considering the headlines the act has made in the past few years.
It was almost like being part of a warm, triumphant homecoming, just with one of the biggest K-Pop acts today.