K-pop’s Jay Park performs in front of only 200 fans in S’pore

Elizabeth Soh
Elizabeth Soh
Singapore Showbiz

Solo K-pop artist Jay Park performing at STAR Vista (Photo courtesy of Agenda Events)

He may have been the ex-leader of K-pop idol boyband 2PM and constantly praised by influential Korean celebrities as the next big thing, but Jay Park showed Singapore that he was still just a boy from the 'hood at his one-night-only concert on Friday.

The 24-year-old American-born Korean joked and bantered his way into the hearts of his fans in a two-hour performance that was more like a fan-meet than a full concert -- with only about 200 fans in attendance in the cavernous STAR theatre at the new Star Vista mall in Buena Vista.

Here's our take on how it went down.

The Good

He's been described as a "born entertainer" by revered and beloved veteran singer Patti Kim - and on Friday night, he lived up to that name. The Energizer Bunny one-man show never seemed to slow down -he confidently sang, danced, chatted and rapped non-stop, with only a ten minute break in between.

That's no mean feat when you consider that most of his dance routines were heavy duty b-boy style stunts performed with style and control that has set him apart as one of the "top 5 K-pop dancers" in the industry.

In "I Love You", for example, Park did a dub-step (slow motion) dance that was so smooth that it was almost surreal -- think Matrix, but without the help of any CGI.

He also got his fans all hot and bothered during "Do What We Do", which had some seriously naughty lyrics.

"I know that you’ve been naughty/ So get up on my lap/ And work it, work it," he sang whilst gyrating his hips suggestively in front of his mostly female teen audience, who went completely wild.

Jay Park shows some b-boy action onstage (Photo courtesy of Agenda Events)

Any disgruntled males in the crowd had already been given fair warning.

"Sorry to the guys, I know you don't want to see me doing the whatever whatever," the cheeky Park quipped before the start of the song.

Park's banter was a refreshing touch set him apart from other K-pop acts -- who are usually only able to mumble the usual "I love Singapore" and "I love chilli crab" -- helping him really connect with his smitten, if small fan base here.

Another case in point? When fans started chanting for him to "Take It Off" and reveal his famously toned abs, his immediate reply was "You perverts!" to appreciative laughter.

For the record, he did eventually shed his shirt and delivered on the goods.

Jay Park flashes those famous abs (Photo courtesy of Agenda Events)

While Park is not an outstanding vocalist, there was strictly no lip-synching and his clean, boyish singing tones complemented his simple, boy from the 'hood outfits and catchy rapping.

The Bad

This reporter wished that we could have seen more complete dance routines from Park, instead of mostly teasers or mid-song moves that left one wanting more.

His charismatic dancing truly makes him shine -- Park's music videos and larger-scale concert performances have shown that this boy can seriously work it, but his dancing took a backseat during his gig in Singapore.

Jay Park jokes and banters with the crowd (Photo courtesy of Agenda Events)

The STAR performance arts venue also let Park down -- a 5,000-seat venue for a crowd of 200-300 only served to provide a hollow, echo-ey atmosphere. A more intimate venue would have been more appropriate and made the concert far more enjoyable.

The low-slung seats also meant that many audience members were blocked -- in fact, many were seen walking to the front midway through the concert for a better view.

There were also no stage sets at all for Park's performance besides a large live screen which was a bit distracting -- this reporter found it difficult to focus on Park's performances, especially when the lights were dimmed.

Park's last time here in Singapore was just six months go. According to him, Singapore is the only other country he performs at more often than his home-base of South Korea.

He also said he's been working hard on another album and more music videos so he has more songs to sing the next time he comes.

Park's star may not be shining as bright as other bigger, more commercialised group acts. But with such a strong hard working ethic and effervescent, sincere attitude we're sure he'll soon be going places, even if it's just on his own.

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