kourier > [Event Coverage] FT Island Play!
The sun was scorching outside, but that didn’t deter the hordes of fans that were queueing outside the Max Pavilion on a hot Sunday afternoon. The excitement in the moments leading up to the start of FT Island‘s first major concert in Singapore was palpable, and even more so when the group’s 5 members – Choi Jong Hun, Lee Hongki, Lee Jae Jin, Song Seung Hyun and Choi Min Hwan – took the stage. FT Island, widely known as the first idol band in Korea, was back on our shores as part of their Asian concert tour Play!, but the group is definitely no stranger to this city, having had their first concert showcase back in 2009 and having paid a visit here exactly 6 months ago for the well-received Korean Music Wave.
Kicking off the tour just yesterday in Malaysia, it was commendable to see the group put on a high-octane performance for the crowd of fans, many of whom came decked in FT Island’s official colour (yellow), with pentasticks in hand, in an effort to proclaim their support for the group that turns 5 this year. The experience they’ve had as a performing band was unmistakeable; from the moment the idols stepped on stage and checked their instruments to the cues they took from drummer Minhwan at each song’s end – each member was completely in sync with the other.
Getting into the thick of things from the get-go, FT Island performed I Hope, Bing Bing Bing and Cool Vs Pretty before making their quick individual introductions. Dressed in a cohesive black were the guitarists of the group, Jong Hun (lead guitarist), Jae Jin (bassist) and Seung Hyun (rhythym guitarist) while Min Hwan was in a comfortable white T-shirt behind his drum set, elevated at the center of the stage. However, as expected it was lead vocalist Hongki, in his black shirt and gold pants, who took the spotlight. Occasionally running to the edge of the T-stage and shaking his hips to the songs; like a seasoned performer, he seemed fully aware how to get a crowd going.
The group quickly moved on to I’m Going To Have You and their popular hit single Love Love Love before a short pause where Jae Jin and Seung Hyun took the opportunity to probe the crowd on their familiarity with FT Island’s Japanese songs. To a resounding yes, the group performed 3 songs – Life!, I Want and Let It Go – and got them to wave their flags to the music. Consistently speaking in English, albeit somewhat awkwardly, it was comforting to see the members try their best in connecting with foreign fans – although if I didn’t know better, Hongki was itching to speak in Korean. (“I want to speak in Korean”, he cheekily said to Jae Jin, who promptly stopped him.)
Despite the language barrier, Hongki did a great job in getting the crowd to sit and listen for his cue to jump out of their seats in the middle of Flower Rock, which created a thunderous effect. The roars continued as individual clips of the members were showed on screen – each of them talking about their favourite things to do off-stage. Leader Jong Hun shared his love for photo-taking, emphasising that a good model (much like himself) makes or breaks a shot. Jae Jin showed off his fashion style dubbed ‘The Jae Jin Look’ which he claimed requires confidence, while Min Hwan confessed to his love for food and revealed the muscles he worked hard for. Seung Hyun informed the fans how much he was studying English to better communicate with them and Hongki was contented with the availability of social networking sites that allowed him to connect with fans regularly.
For a change of pace, the next few songs – Sunshine Girl, I Confess, Even Your Tears – saw all 5 members with an outfit change, seated leisurely in the middle of the stage, enabling Jong Hun and Min Hwan to join in with their lines for I Confess. But the group didn’t just sing their own songs, they also covered I’ll Love Everything and That Person in Shinsadong which they famously performed on the singing competition show, Immortal Song 2. By the time, they hit Like A Doll, Don Quixote’s Song and Troublemaker, Hongki was visibly drenched in sweat after jumping around the stage, much like a hyper kid.
The fans enjoyed everything minute of it though, and the group showed their appreciation by performing Primadonna, a song written specially for the fans. The group then left momentarily, only to return for an encore performance that included some of the group’s most memorable songs - Love Sick was the one that started it all for FT Island, Bad Woman was the first song with new bandmate Seunghyun and Like A Bird was the group’s latest single. And with confetti rain, came the end of the concert as the members took their bows and said a heartfelt “Thank You!” to all the fans who came to Play! with them.
We would like to thank ONE Production for this opportunity to cover FT Island’s first ever solo concert in Singapore. For more pictures, head on to our facebook page!