Day Two of HallyuPopFest
Despite not really knowing much about the second-day acts beforehand, I must say – the second half of the festival was certainly not a downgrade by any means. The second day followed the same format as the first, with an Artist Showcase introducing the audience to two acts before the main concert.
On the second day, the first act was Weeekly – one of the newest girl groups on the K-Pop scene. Somewhat alternating between their girl crush concepts and their more cutesy concepts, Weeekly certainly provided something for everyone. Their own discography is where they shine the most in my opinion, but it was still nice to see them take part in a Random Cover Bingo challenge where they covered dances from the likes of BTS and BLACKPINK. Their teaching the audience about the choreography for Tag Me (@Me) was also a nice little touch to connect with them!
Paul Kim was up second, and what was lovely to see was his surprise at how many of his songs the audience knew. Performing a mixture of ballads and songs from various OSTs, Paul Kim certainly managed to charm the audience with his performance. Not only that, but he also charmed the audience. He showed off his knowledge of certain slang terms such as ‘peng’… I didn’t expect to hear that!
Again, as on Day One, the two artists from the Artist Showcase performed for a second time during the Evening Concert, before the rest of the acts performed.
Cravity was the first act afterwards, finding not only their centre of gravity but also finding themselves centre stage. I’ll admit that I didn’t really know much about Cravity, a boy group that debuted in 2020. However, I was massively impressed by their set. Everything from the choreography to their actual songs really impressed me. The stand-out songs, and performances, from Cravity, in my opinion, were Adrenaline and Bad Habits.
There is, admittedly, a bit of a theme for the second day of HallyuPopFest for me: the line-up was full of acts that I didn’t really know too much about.
Not to be an exception, CIX was up next. I have always liked their music, or at least the tracks I had heard before such as Cinema and Movie Star, but I’ve never really taken the time to get to know more about them. This has changed, however – their performance was amazing, and even somewhat enchanting to watch. At some point during their set, they said, “We want all of you to fall in love with us!” Well, CIX you certainly managed it.
The biggest surprise of the night for me though was from the second girl group of the night: KEP1ER. Or, rather, the fans of KEP1ER. I had known that the girls were super popular, despite only debuting in January of this year, but I never expected to hear such a loud crowd. Kep1ians, you were the loudest cheers of the night, if not the loudest cheers of the festival. By a long shot. Not that your volume wasn’t justified, of course. KEP1ER has a great discography and their songs certainly just hit different when performed live. Honestly, I would argue that, had the girls not just debuted this year – had they had a couple of more years of experience under their belt – they absolutely would have been the headliners.
The one group that I knew the most about on Day Two was next: SF9. SF9 have certainly grown on me over the years, having debuted in 2016, but they really did impress me on this night. They were the only group to have technical issues. Performing their opener, the music dropped out, but they coped with it so well, especially Zuho who began signing acapella to fill the time. Although the members may have looked concerned at various different parts of their segment, I do believe that they couldn’t have handled it much better, and they showed so much professionalism. Not only that, but it was incredible to see their choreography, something I hadn’t really seen before. They have definitely made it into my favourites now!
Finally, the last act of the night, and of the festival as a whole, was EXO’s Kai. Similarly to his bandmate, Kai’s solo career hasn’t really been on my radar. My younger EXO-L self would be disappointed! However, even I get deny that Kai has some amazing songs, and I’m sure I’ll dig into his discography a little more after this! Despite having to go through an early outfit change due to a wardrobe malfunction, Kai showed off his incredible dancing ability throughout his set. My favourite had to be Mhhhm, but Peaches certainly went down well with the crowd!
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