August 1, 2016


KCON 2016 Los Angeles: 12 Best Moments From the Sunday Concert

Courtesy of CJ E&M
Courtesy of CJ E&M

On the final day of America's largest K-pop celebration to date, KCON 2016 Los Angeles Presented by Toyota closed with an eardrum-shattering concert in the city's famed Staples Center. Girls' Generation-TTS, Eric Nam, Monsta X, Twice, ASTRO, Davichi and headliners BTS made up the unique slate of acts with each artist closing the convention's largest iteration to date on an incredibly high note. 

See below for the standout moments of the closing night concert of KCON LA, and check here for the 10 best moments from the Saturday concert.

1. KCON Mexico Coming? KCON opened both nights of concerts with an impressive intro video hosted by super-famous Korean actor Lee Min Ho that put into perspective how huge KCON had grown since it debuted in California five years ago. A map showed all the different areas that KCON had hit, which to date have included New York, France, Abu Dhabi, Korea, and Japan. Savvy fans noticed there was another mark on North America in Mexico or Central America. The mark appeared on the video that was shown both days. Is KCON Mexico on its way?

2. Monsta X, Upgraded: The rising hip-hop boy band gave their first U.S. live performance at KCON 2015 LA less than three months after their actual debut. While the group gave an exciting performance then, Monsta X wowed this year after getting a full year of K-pop activities under their belt now. The group opened with a dance intro, before moving into intense renditions of singles like "All In," "Trespass" a remixed version of "Hero" that really displayed how far this group has come in a year.

3. Astro's Dazzling Dancing: Similar to GFriend's performance, ASTRO's choreography was something that needed to be experienced live to get a grasp on how technically skilled these dudes are on stage. Throughout their intricate showcase, which moved through singles "Breathless" and "Hide & Seek," fans viewing from the sides could see how closely they were working together with the members usually holding one another's waists to make sure they all stayed tight and in formation.

4. "Shy Shy Shy" Is a Hit in America: Twice's "Cheer Up" was already a hit in Korea, but the song got a double dose of popularity thanks to member Sana's adorable pronunciation of her line "shy shy shy" that came off more like "sha sha sha" on record. The line became a favorite for fans to chant during live performances in Korea and the entire Staples Center screamed along with Sana and the girls—appropriately dressed as Lakers Girls—when the famous line came. Watch:

5. Eric and Kolaj Get "Into You" (And Each Other): While KCON NY a month earlier had Eric Nam gave the first live performance of "Into You"—his tropical-house collaboration with EDM duo Kolaj—LA saw Kolaj's Teesa join Nam onstage for their first joint live performance. The pair looked extremely comfortable with one another onstage and Teesa even added a little bump-and-grind to the performance at one, of course eliciting shrieks from the crowd.

6. Eric's Important Message, Pt. 2: While Nam made an impassioned speech in NY about hoping to see an Asian-American performer hit the mainstream in the U.S. one day, he had another important cause to share with the audience. As the ambassador for CJ UNESCO Girls' Education campaign, he said, "62 million girls don't have access to education and our goal is to get that number as close to zero as possible." Hopefully he inspired concertgoers to see how they could help once they calmed down from him swoon-worthy showcase.

7. Davichi Reps the Ballads and K-Drama Lovers: KCON is great at making sure fans of all types of popular Korean music get their fix and ballad-focused duo Davichi were on hand to deliver. They opened their set with an impassioned performance of "This Love," their massive hit ballad off the soundtrack from this year's hugely popular Korean drama Descendants of the Sun

8. K-Pop Goes Top 40: At any KCON, you can essentially expect a few unexpected covers at some point throughout the concert. This year, Twice and Monsta X went Top 40 on the audience with the girl changing into old-gangster inspired outfits for a cover of Bruno Mars' and Mark Ronson's "UpTown Funk!" while Monsta X followed behind with their take on Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger." 

9. TTS' Birthday Party: Girls' Generation-TTS' performance was a celebration for multiple reasons. Not only was it member Tiffany's birthday, made extra special by the fact that she's a California native herself, but this week will mark the ninth anniversary of Girls' Generation. Putting her fans before herself, Tiffany emphasized that "we want to congratulate you" for sticking by the act for nine years. They appropriately ended with the trio's take on GG's 2015 single "Party."

10. BTS Bring "Young Forever" to the Stage: The stadium was shook when it was finally time for headliners BTS...but once it was their time, they didn't rush out. Instead the band performed a snippet of 2016 song "Young Forever" that was filmed inside a large LED fixture that kept the band hidden from the audience, offering a cool mini–music video that recalled their "Save Me" visual. It only hyped the crowd up that much for the humongous performance that followed.

10. BTS Demonstrate Their Power...Again: Just like when they headlined KCON NY, BTS didn't go with the sure-to-please hits for their LA set. While they slayed renditions of singles like "Fire" and "Dope," their performance of a 2014 album cut "BTS Cypher, Pt.3: Killer" had the entire crowd turning up and bouncing along with them, further indicating how strong their hold is on the U.S. audience right now. It also didn't hurt that they were spraying water bottles on the crowd to get them further turned up. 

12. See You Next Year: KCON fans usually wait with bated breath for one of the artists or hosts to tell them that the Korean convention-festival will return, and just as all the artists were coming out to say one last good bye, Eric Nam very quickly told the crowd that they'd see everyone next year. That quick confirmation let fans relax and watch their favorite idols all interact on stage as BTS gave respectful bows to TTS who returned them back, Twice and Eric Nam bowed to one another. Meanwhile, Monsta X decided to collect the mounds of confetti that were forming on stage and hit fans with confetti snowballs which inspired Amber, Eric and BTS to all do the same. For a moment it looked like BTS' Jimin would be the last to leave the stage as he took his time saying goodbye to the arena, but as he walked off, the Monsta X boys came back to dab multiple times for the audience.

Watch KCON New York performers like Eric Nam and BToB's Sungjae explain their "bizarre" experiences on We Got Married below: