On the final day of what is all-but-confirmed to be the East Coast's largest K-pop celebration to date, KCON 2016 NY Presented by Toyota closed with an explosive concert in Newark's famed Prudential Center. MAMAMOO, Eric Nam, DAY6, and headliners BTS made up the unique slate of acts with each artist closing the convention's largest New York iteration to date on an incredibly high note.
See below for the standout moments of the closing night concert of KCON New York, and check here for the 10 best moments from Day 1 concert.
1. Going Classical With BTS: YouTube star Jun Sung Ahn gave a special performance to warm up the audience by covering some K-pop cuts with his violin. The crowd particularly enjoyed his cover of BTS' "Save Me," that saw Ahn dancing a bit during the breakdown. And later the YouTuber revealed that BTS loved it too, writing on Twitter that, "Rap Monster just came up to me and said my performance was amazing and that the BTS members have seen my videos. I'M DEAD."
2. NYC Hearts MAMAMOO: By looking at the male-female ratio for the KCON New York lineup (seven male acts, two female), it's clear there's an emphasis on selling the boys to the audience. But if there's an act who can prove that the ladies deserve just as much shine at KCON, it could be MAMAMOO. The girl group got a humongous response as the first K-pop act to hit the stage as the crowd roared for their vintage-inspired soul-pop sound and the playful spankings they gave one another throughout. Later, when introducing themselves to the audience, member Solar adorably asked the crowd, "You guys know us?" Hell yes they did.
3. Eric Nam's Big Debut: Fuse previously reported that Eric Nam's collaboration with EDM duo Kolaj had the potential to do big things in America and its live debut continues to make good on the promise. While Kolaj wasn't on hand to perform with Nam, the singer-songwriter delivered the first live performance of the tropical jam to the arena to a massive response, nailing every big belt.
4. Eric's Important Plea: Before introducing "Into You," Nam made an important plea to the audience when asking for their support for "Into You." While excitedly talking about the track, Eric asked their help in making the single a hit "so we can have an Asian-American, Korean-American performing in the States," to a huge roar of approval to the 18,000-plus audience that has the power to put a game-changing move like that into action.
5. Rap Monster's Explosive Aegyo: A staple of any K-pop show is when someone does "aegyo," the Korean word for a cute expression/gesture performed in a baby voice. While the concept would be foreign to most Americans, when the night's co-host Rap Monster of BTS was coaxed into performing a little aegyo by Ailee, the room exploded in a collective shriek by the two-second display. Rap Mon was even shocked by the response, asking the crowd, "How do you guys know that word?"
6. DAY6 Goes Classic K-Pop With Guests: Looking Beatles-esque with their long hair, suits and instruments in tow, DAY6 rocked through their singles "Letting Go" and "Congratulations" but ended with an unexpected special performance. The group went through a medley that included snippets of CNLUBE's "I'm a Loner," BIGBANG's "Lies" plus a special cover of Wonder Girls' "Nobody" that saw them joined by MAMAMOO with the ladies performing the track's famous dance moves.
7. Eric and Ailee's Awkward Chemistry: DAY6 and MAMAMOO weren't the only acts showcasing a special stage with Eric Nam and Ailee performing new-age K-pop classic "Some" for the audience. The pair did their best to play up the romantic-leaning lyrics of track and ended with a hug--which elicited screams from the audience--only to have them both declare "that was weird."
8. BTS Confirm Their Headliner Status: When it was finally time for headliners BTS to hit the stage, anyone who knows K-pop or was successfully primed on the KCON 2016 NY lineup knew that the group was about to smash it with their spirited delivery and in-synch choreography. But BTS' setlist was actually the most notable part of this performance with the group opting to forgo some of their hits, including 2015 breakout single "I Need U," for some album cuts still had the audience going buck-wild for them. Read more about the remarkable performance in a full review here.
9. Dabs on Dabs: We think we may have confirmed a new trend in K-pop: dabbing. During the show, not only did Eric Nam whip out the viral Cam Newton dance during his set, but BTS members went on a dabbing spree during the finale. Watch as Jungkook, Jin and V crack up while performing the dance below:
10: Hellos and Goodbyes, Part 2: Like they did yesterday, all the KCON performers of the night came out on the stage to say goodbye to the audience once last time and also congratulate one another in what's one of the more fascinating parts of the show. Eric Nam seemed to be the most social, shaking hands with nearly everyone and giving a big hug to Rap Monster. Ailee and BTS' Jungkook, two top vocalists, gave deep bows to one another as did BTS and DAY6 to each other's groups. MAMAMOO seemed to keep to themselves more than the other acts, but they did interact with DAY6 with mutual bows towards one another.
11. See You Next Year, KCON NY: When signing off for the night, the night's hosts Ailee and Rap Monster seemed to make a promise that KCON New York would return in 2017, telling the audience multiple times, with the LED screens in the background lit up saying, "See you all next year." The festival market is saturated, no doubt, but the success of the second iteration of KCON New York that doubled its lineup and arena space seems to indicate K-pop's largest East Coast event is not only going to return, but come back bigger than ever next summer.
Stay tuned for interviews with Ailee, Eric Nam and loads more with all things KCON coming to Fuse soon. Check out all our on-the-ground coverage here. Below, watch our KCON NY interview with Eric Nam: