Note for french-speaking readers/Note pour les francophones: dans la mesure où il s’agit d’un article en français, nous le traduisons en anglais pour les fans internationaux
T/N « Asian Wave » is a french magazine about the Asian entertainment industry (Japan and Korea mostly, but also Taiwan, India and others).
This review is from the 6th issue (December/January 2013)
After going to Spain and Germany last year with his group, JYJ, Xia Junsu came back as a solo artist on our german neighbours’ ground for the last date of his world tour, Tarantallegra. We have fought the cold weather of this country to give you a report on this unforgettable concert.
A few hours before the show, I board the train that will bring me to the small city of North-Germany, Oberhausen, where the concert will take place. Once there, in the cold weather, fans from every corner of Europe and from further away are waiting in the cold weather. A 6.30pm, the doors open and fans rush in to get the best spots. An hour later, the lights are turned off and the atmosphere gets heated up. A first video starts, but Junsu isn’t here yet. The video ends, and fans are getting curious. Finally, the young man appears on stage, and the crowd stands up as one. Screams fill the venue while Junsu is still in the dark. Breath’s intro starts, and a spotlight finally brings light on him. With his beautiful black and white suit and his walking stick, he immediately gets the party on with his very complex choreography.
He goes on with No Gain, letting us enjoy his sexy waves that the crowd – mostly female- loves so much. With the same spirir, he sings Lullaby. He begins seated on the top of a few stairs with two charming dancers lovingly cuddled at his feet. After having once again shown his pelvis flexibility (yes, to this level, it is worth inviting a new word) [T/N the french word the author used for pelvis flexibility doesn’t exist in french] , he ends up blindfolded by one of them.
He then sings a title that many fans in the audience were looking forward to. As a proof, many fans sang along. Of course, I am speaking about Intoxication, one of the hit-tracks from his first solo album, with which he proves once again that dancing and singing at the same time is just a daily routine for him. Once the song ends, he takes a little rest and uses the opportunity to exchange a few words with the audience. His translator only translates in German, which makes it hard to understand for some people – including ourselves. After greeting the audience and thanking the crowd for coming, he says how happy he was to come to Europe for the last date of his tour. He then exits the stage, finishing this first part.
This is the first change of outfit to start the second part of the show. Junsu appears very classy with a long white jacket, which announces a romantic part. We go towards dramas with the title « You are so Beautiful », the OST from Scent Of a Woman. A beautiful song, sang in a way that subjugates the audiance. He then comes back to the front of the stage for a longer talk. Even though we didn’t understand everything, we still could enjoy the three wishes he granted to the audiance. Indeed, Junsu turned into a genie and granted the wish of three lucky fans. The first one is a fanboy who asks him to dance together with him the choreography of Tarantallegra. Junsu is very impressed skills of the young man, who perfectly knows the steps. A girl asks him to sing a cappella a track from Tears of Heaven. The crowd is really looking forward to the next wish, and as everyone asks for his « angel face ».
Embarrassed, he asked to the males and the Korean media to close their eyes, which gave way to many laughs. He then made his so-famous facial expression under the screams of an axcited crowd.
After this leisure time, music is coming back on stage with the song « Though You Already Know ». For this one, Junsu just sits on a stool with a light coming from his back. A beautiful moment, filled with emotion, that is extended with the track « Around and Around ». He even made us sing a part for him.
He leaves us for a short time to change his outfit. During that time, the dancers replace him and give us a show on the remix of the song « Be My Girl ». Junsu comes back in a black leather outfit (that looks like it’s coming out from the manga « Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures) that we can see in Tarantallegra MV. This is the perfect outfit to get started with the musicals segment. He first gives us « Last Dance » from Elisabeth. The dancers also wore their best outfit, and they all make an amazing choreography. XIA then sings « I Am Music » and « Why don’t you love me », two tracks that he has sung has Mozart, in the eponymous musical.
After an other change of outfit, he comes back to sing his famous « Tarantallegra ». He begins quietly on his thrown and then gets unbridled, and everyone feels like dancing. He finishes on the same throne, in the dark, the crowd screaming his name. As everyone is completely into the show, the first notes of Uncommitted can be heard and the audience takes out all at once blue lighsticks that had been distributed in front of the venue. A blue ocean is created. A great success for this fanproject. While everyone is waiting for Junsu, it is actually just the MV playing. A little bit disappointed, we wait and, at the end of the video, he comes back and the song starts again, this time with Junsu. Everyone having gone emotive, he give the final strike with « I don’t like love », an OST from the drama Rooftop Prince.
Unfortunately, the « last » song of the show is here. It is « The Tree Covered in Dew ». In the middle of the song, silver streamers and thousands of little white papers are thrown in the air, towards a conquered audience who screams « saranghae » (I love you) to our star.
Of course, a proper concert can’t end like that, so he comes back for the encore with the song Fallen Leaves. At the end of the song, he bows and wave to the crowd for a long time, under applause and screamings that ask him to stay. Fans then leave the venue with eyes filled be stars. And tears, for some.
We have just attended an excellent show, given by one of the best Korean artists. We hope that he’ll come back soon to give us an other show like this one.
Credit: Alan Benkei, Asian Wave
Note: The issue of this magazine also had a small mention of the end of the SM lawsuit.
« End of the lawsuit – On November 28th came some news that many K-Pop fans have been waiting for over 3 years. Indeed, on that day, the lawsuit between the company SM Entertainment and the group JYJ came to an end. A mutual agreement has put an end to this sordid case. Through this one, SM should normally stop incapacitating the group. After having been banned from the TV shows of the 3 main korean broadcast networks during all this time, let’s hope for them that this will be implemented.
Credit: Mayura, Asian Wave
Asian Wave #6 (December-January 2013)
French translation: JYJ Francophone