Korean pop-star BoA sings "Only One" from her seventh Korean album during her first solo concert "BoA Special Live 2013 Here I Am" at Olympic Hall in Seoul, Saturday. / Courtesy of SM Entertainment
BoA's concerts worth 13 years' wait
By Kwon Mee-yoo
It has taken 13 years for BoA to hold solo concerts in Korea; but on Saturday and Sunday she performed in "BoA Special Live 2013 Here I Am," at the Olympic Hall in Seoul, featuring songs from her Korean, Japanese and American albums.
Now 26, BoA made her debut in 2000 at just 13 with the album "ID; Peace B." She has since released seven albums in Korea, seven in Japan and one in the United States. She was a pioneer of "hallyu," or the Korean wave, and paved the way for other K-pop singers to advance overseas.
The singer exuded self-confidence throughout the two-hour concerts singing 25 songs, from opener "Hurricane Venus" to encore "Hope."
Except for costume and hairdo changes BoA was on stage the whole time, and sang fluently in Korean, Japanese and English.
"For those who expected something spectacular like me flying over the hall on a wire, I'm sorry. I wanted to share and enjoy my music with you," she said.
She appeared first in a silver jacket and black shorts and kicked off the concert with dance numbers "Hurricane Venus," "Dangerous" and "Energetic," while "Eat You Up," the title of her U.S. album was a particular highlight.
Then she changed into a lacy black skirt for dynamic performances of "My Name" and "Did Ya."
She showed off her singing ability through these dance numbers as well as ballads "Implode," "Waiting" and "Garden in the Air." Hit songs "Listen to My Heart," "ID; Peace B" and "Valenti" were rearranged as energy-laden rock tracks.
Her Japanese singles "Lose Your Mind" and "Bump Bump!" also graced the stage, and she wrapped up the concert with another hit "Girls on Top."
BoA returned to the stage for an encore and sang "No. 1," the hit that was responsible for her winning numerous awards.
She was powerful, mischievous and sexy at the same time and her 13 years of experience in the music industry showed. The concert was a little loose when the band filled in during costume changes but BoA made up for it when she returned to the stage.
The four-piece live band and a troupe of dancers complemented the show. Her first solo concerts in Korea left the audience anticipating what she could bring in the future.
Some 6,000 people went wild for BoA's performance during the two dates. They shouted out her name during solo dance moves and raved about her singing. Other entertainers including Max of TVXQ, Kang In of Super Junior and EXO-K attended the concert.
There were no fireworks or special effects but BoA was true to her music and fans. She made a deep bow during the encore, thanking the audience who filled the venue and showed their enthusiasm.
Though nothing is planned, BoA said she hopes to take the concert to other cities here or possibly to other Asian countries since she spent a lot of time preparing it.
She is currently working as a judge on popular television program "Survival Audition K-pop Star," along with Yang Hyun-suk, head of YG Entertainment and Park Jin-young, head of JYP Entertainment.