After the first day of what will likely go down as the East Coast's largest K-pop celebration to date, KCON 2016 NY Presented by Toyota closed with a humongous concert in Newark's famed Prudential Center. Seventeen, Crush, Ailee, BToB and Dynamic Duo made up the diverse slate of acts with each act—plus a few special guests—making for an ultra-memorable night and an impressive start to KCON New York.
See below for the standout moments of the first concert of KCON New York.
1. Hosts Ailee and Rap Monster: BTS wasn't performing until Saturday, but the leader of the KCON 2016's headlining act was on hand on Friday to be a surprise co-host the concert with Friday performer Ailee. Fans yelped over the loads of cute interactions between the duo, but if the shrieks when Rap Mon initially hit the stage give indication of how Saturday is going to be, we might suggest brining ear plugs to protect yourself.
2. Seventeen's First U.S. Performance: The rookie boy band went all-out for their debut performance in the States, opening with a special video performance of "Shining Diamond" and rolling through singles like "Pretty U," "Mansae" and "Adore You." The boys speaking in English while greeting their fans was also a special treat.
3. Crush Was Feeling Himself: The smooth R&B crooner was in a turn-up mood throughout his entire set at KCON, moving around with gusto and excitement even during his more moodier tracks. For his closing number, he brought out Dynamic Duo's Choiza for a special duet.
4. Ailee Loses Sound, Still Slays: During her opening performance of "Mind Your Own Business," the sound went out on Ailee's set. Ever the professional, the singer finished her chorus and hook a cappella with loads of riffs that not many K-pop stars would have the guts to do. Read more about the remarkable performance here.
5. BToB Sets the Mood: The production and visuals on the KCON NY stage were at times breathtaking, but that moment was never felt more than when the boy band hit the stage to perform their hit ballad track "Remember That." A gorgeous forest landscape was behind them that made the dreamy track feel that much more magical
6. Movie Stars in the Building: Korean actors Yim Si Wan (who has been in K-dramas like Moon Embracing the Sun and Man From the Equator) and Park Bo Young (featured in the movie A Werewolf Boy and TV drama Oh My Ghostess) greeted the audience and spoke a little about the unexpected response they received from KCON attendees. "Are K-pop fans this excited everywhere in the world?" Park Bo Young asked, before deciding, "I think this audience is special."
7. Seventeen's Fiery Comeback: That wasn't all we saw from Seventeen as the group returned to the stage to perform remixes of classic K-pop songs including "Bang!" by their label mates After School, "Sorry Sorry" by Super Junior, and "Balloon" by TVXQ!. It was another reminder of how strong the group's performance, vocal and rapping levels are in the must-see medley.
8. Rap Monster Knows His Stuff: During an MC segment where he and Ailee spoke about the best hip-hop talents to come from America, Rap Monster showed he knew his rap history as he dropped unexpected names and influences like J Dilla and Nas, along with the famous rappers like Notorious B.I.G, Drake and Kanye West.
9. Dynamic Duo Closes With a Bang: If the KCON audience was tired, you wouldn't know it from the veteran hip-hop duo's performance. In a set that wouldn't be out of place at Ultra or Electric Daisy, DD's Gaeko and Choiza had the audience bouncing the entire time. Crush eventually joined in on the fun for their final song of the night for even more insanity.
10. Hellos & Goodbyes: In what is always a fascinating moment at every KCON, all the artists return to the stage for the finale which includes goodbyes to the fans, a group bow, and loads of interaction between the acts. Namely, fans noticed there was love being show between Dynamic Duo's Gaeko and Rap Monster, along with Ailee and Seventeen's S.Coups who hugged one another and stayed side-by-side. Plus, fans saw all of Seventeen bowing to Choiza when he came to greet the band, and there was loads of mutual, respectful bows between the BToB and Seventeen members.
Stay tuned for loads more with all things KCON coming to Fuse soon. Keep up with all our on-the-ground coverage here. Below, watch our KCON NY interview with Ailee: