After sold-out shows in Korea, Japan, China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia, K-pop heavyhitters Big Bang finally brought their Alive Galaxy World Tour 2012 over to the States, including a two-night appearance in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center on November 8 and 9.
The band’s first world tour has been a huge success so far, selling out almost every show in record time and establishing a promising partnership with Live Nation and world-renowned concert director Laurieann Gibson, the woman behind Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball tour.
Anticipation and excitement buzzed through Prudential Center that Thursday night, as Big Bang music videos played on the HD displays that hung above the stage, eliciting screams each time fans’ favorite members graced the screens. Lights dimmed, and screams roared as a curtain fell, revealing Taeyang, Daesung, G-Dragon, Seungri, and T.O.P in those all-too-familiar space capsules that assured VIPs almost a full rocky year ago that Big Bang was, in fact, “Still Alive.”
Fog swooped across the stage floor as “Tonight” and “Hands Up” welcomed VIPs to the two-hour party unfolding in front of them. After every three or four songs, the members made a point to talk to their fans in English — an endearing arsenal of memorized English phrases. Their first time back on the East Coast since filming “Bad Boy” early this year, the members expressed their excitement at finally being able to meet their fans in New York and ”New Jerz.”
Seungri stole the show during these breaks with his ever-visible desire to please his fans. “Yeah, I know, I’m funny guy. That’s my job,” he sighed jokingly after the entire venue laughed lovingly at his broken English for the umpteenth time that night. Taeyang revealed that the post-Hurricane Sandy blizzard a few days earlier almost ruined their plans. “It was really tough to get here. Three flight changes. Let’s make it unforgettable tonight!”
It was an unforgettable night for East Coast VIPs, indeed, who had waited years to see their favorite band in the flesh. Big Bang performed all of their biggest hits, from this year’s “Monster” to older fan favorites like “Lies.” They also pulled a few English songs from their early Japanese releases: “Number 1″ had the whole stadium jumping up and down, while “How Gee” saw the members glide onstage riding blinged-out Segways and lowrider bikes.
One of the most exciting moments of the evening came during the band’s acoustic performance of “Haru Haru.” The members turned it over to the fans for the entire chorus of the song, and fans of all ethnicities sang the Korean lyrics perfectly back to the boys — yet another piece of proof of Big Bang’s role in leading the introduction of K-pop to the rest of the world.
G-Dragon seemed to take the spotlight for a good portion of the night, with his white-tiger vest and crazy onstage antics — not that his members seemed to mind. Taeyang proudly introduced “his homie” G-Dragon’s solo set while Seungri later expressed his admiration for the Big Bang leader, “Actually, he’s a genius. I love him. He’s my hero.” GD’s set began with “Crayon,” followed by a freestyle all-English rap and later, an impromptu a cappella snippet of “One of a Kind,” set to the tune of T.O.P and Seungri’s beatboxing talents.
Taeyang’s sexy solo stage was a medley of his solo debut single “Only Look at Me” and “Wedding Dress,” while Seungri performed a remix of “Strong Baby” that quickly transitioned into “What Can I Do,” with the help of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Daesung seemed to have the most fun during his solo performance of “Wings,” where he soared above the stage, donning huge white wings and shooting his smile at the screaming sea of VIPs below him.
T.O.P was the only member without a solo stage, but he and GD were able to flex their onstage chemistry and charisma with back-to-back performances of “Knock Out” and “High High.” T.O.P is one of those performers who exudes a certain confidence onstage, seemingly untouchable at times, which make those rare moments from “choom-TOP” all the more enjoyable to watch.
VIPs from the band’s early days were thrilled as Big Bang finished out their setlist with their first two hit songs, “Lies” and “Last Farewell.” And after a rush of two hours’ worth of songs, the five members took a deep bow and thanked their fans in both Korean and English for coming out that night as they headed backstage. The lights went dark, and, as if on cue, the venue was filled with chants for an encore.
Taeyang’s voice resonated through the arena as he rapped the intro to Linkin Park and Jay Z’s “Numb/Encore.” It was the perfect reference for the American fans, and the band ran out onstage again, performing a full four more songs (“Heaven,” ”Bad Boy,” “Fantastic Baby,” and “Feeling”) before the night was officially over.
Big Bang’s ALIVE Galaxy Tour 2012 is far from over. After a successful night in Lima, Peru on November 14, the band heads back to Japan this month for a couple more shows before flying over to Hong Kong to play at the Asia World Expo from December 8-10 and then London to perform at the Wembley Arena on December 14 and 15. And though it was their first show on the East Coast, the boys promised that it wouldn’t be the last. “We’ll come back soon!”
Check out the full setlist from Big Bang’s US tour stops below, and stay tuned for more updates on Big Bang’s world tour and upcoming releases!
Big Bang: Alive Galaxy Tour 2012 @ Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
November 8th Set List:
Intro: “Still Alive”
GD solo – “Crayon”
GD&TOP – “Knock Out”
GD&TOP – “High High”
Seungri solo – “Strong Baby”
Seungri solo – “What Can I Do”
“Gara Gara Go”
Taeyang solo: “Only Look at Me”
Taeyang solo: “Wedding Dress”
Daesung solo: “Wings”
“Haru Haru (Acoustic Ver.)”
“Heaven” – encore
“Bad Boy” – encore
“Fantastic Baby” – encore
“Feeling” – encore
Source: MTV K
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TAEYANG always VIP*.*