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BTS and BLACKPINK star… Showed Grammy class in Korea

The first concert of a 29-year-old pop star who has won a Grammy Award in Korea
Unwavering live performances and excellent communication with the audience
‘Star of the stars’… BTS and BLACKPINK also watched the stage

With any performance, if you have high expectations, it’s easy to be disappointed. This is the reason why many foreign singers say, ‘It wasn’t bad, but should I pay this much to see him’ whenever they perform in Korea.

Pop star Harry Styles’ (29) concert in Korea, ‘Love On’, held on the 20th at KSPO Dome, Olympic Park in Bangi-dong, Seoul, had also raised such concerns before the start. This is Styles’ first concert in Korea after 13 years of debut, and the audience’s expectations grew even more as he won ‘Album of the Year’, the most prestigious award at the Grammy Awards, the most prestigious pop music awards ceremony in the United States States last month. The ticket price (198,000 won for P seats), which was already more expensive than other foreign singers, jumped to 500,000 won in the used market.

If I had such high expectations, I would have been disappointed, but when I saw the performance, my worries were ‘unfounded’. The 1 hour and 30 minute performance was a place to prove ‘why he won the highest Grammy’. With his very low voice, Styles sang 18 songs of various genres perfectly, from quiet and appealing ballads to energetic punk rock. The stage manners of ‘training’ the 15,000 spectators who filled not only the fixed seats but also the designated seats were evident.

'Star BTS/Blackpink'... Showed 'Grammy Class' in Korea

First of all, the live performance, which is the ‘basic’ of the performance, was unwavering throughout the performance. Appearing at 8:10pm wearing purple and light green striped tights, he opened the door with ‘Music for a Sushi Restaurant’. This is a song from his third album, ‘Harris House,’ which won him a Grammy Award. Then, they sang songs with rhythmic beats like ‘Golden’ and ‘Adore You’ one after the other. Even when running around the stage and shaking their bodies violently, the sound was as accurate as if a CD had been played.

When she sang ‘Matilda’, a quiet rock ballad that showed off her singing ability, she played the high notes neatly. In one of the encore songs, ‘Sign of the Times’, the high pitch was replaced with a low pitch, but it wasn’t awkward. When they sang ‘Watermelon Sugar’, which topped the Billboard singles chart for the first time, and ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, a hit they released when they were active as idol group ‘One Direction’, the audience jumped in unison. and enjoy ‘singing together’.

'Star BTS/Blackpink'... Showed 'Grammy Class' in Korea

What really shined through their live performance was communication with the audience. In the middle of each song, Styles read English signs written by fans, and sang a happy birthday song to a fan who had a birthday. During the performance, he wore a heart hat and glasses given to him by the audience, and also ran around the stage holding a national flag. Styles said “I’m happy to come to Korea” and “Thank you” in pre-prepared Korean. When the audience chanted “Harry, Harry” by name, they wittily called out “Why?” in Korea.

What made Styles’ stage shine even more was the fan event. As Styles sang the final song of the show, “Love of My Life,” fans held placards reading “Harry, you are the love of our lives.” In Matilda and Sign of the Times, the stage was lit by a wave of mobile phone flashes.

Top class ‘K-pop stars’ also visited the concert hall that day to see Styles. After the performance, eyewitness reports of BTS’s RM, Suga, Jungkook, V, and Blackpink’s Jennie and Rosé were compiled one after the other on social media. It shows that Stiles is a ‘star of stars’.

Styles, who poured explosive energy for 1 hour and 30 minutes, promised the next one at the end of the performance. This is probably what fans who have been waiting for this moment for 13 years want to hear the most. “This may be the first time, but it won’t be the last.”

Reporter Seonah Lee suna@hankyung.com

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