K-popped! was about 50 metres away from pop-rock duo The Cross (더크로스) at the showcase & autograph session at Berjaya Times Square (BTS), Kuala Lumpur yesterday (Aug 12). And now, you’ll get all the juicy details of the duo’s one-hour performance since we! were! there! Yes, dear readers, we strive to bring you the best.
Before the pair – which was made up of vocalist Kim Kyung-hyun (김경현) and guitarist/pianist/composer Lee Shi-ha (이시하) – took the stage, Owen Yap of 8TV (pic below) did a good job as the MC. The fans at BTS’ 3rd floor concourse area were kept in stitches with his easy banter.
Posters – some already autographed by The Cross – were given to members of the audience who correctly answered questions the MC posed. Also, kudos to the fans as they showed tremendous support; some even flew in from Singapore! Heya, neighbour!
Leave, Don’t Leave
Once the crowd was warmed up by the amiable MC, The Cross emerged from a white tent (their changing room/rest area) located at the left of the stage. Without wasting time, the duo launched into their first song – Leave, Don’t Leave (떠나가요떠나지마요).
And with that ballad alone folks, Kyung-hyun blew the audience away with his very impressive vocal gymnastics. That young man has an amazing set of pipes! It has been reported that the 25-year-old has a vocal range that covers four and a half octaves. Whoa, step aside Mariah Carey! (Fact check, Miss Carey has a 5-octave range but that is open to dispute. Ah well, close Kyung-hyun, VERY close).
As Time Passes By
Back in 2005, The Cross performed in Malaysia as part of the Korea Stars Asean Tour. So when Kyung-hyun was asked to compare the response towards their music back then and now, he said: “Compared to the previous trip, the people are more appreciative and supportive of our music now. We are very thankful for that and will work harder.”
Before launching into their 2nd song, As Time Passes By (시간이지나도), Shi-ha was asked about the use of the kayageum (the traditional Korean zither) in the track. The 25-year-old explained: “We used the kayageum to give the song a unique Korean sound since the musical instrument is exclusively Korean.”
While the rather shy Kyung-hyun spoke with the aid of an interpreter, the extrovert of the two, Shi-ha, had no problems understanding and communicating in English.
Because I Love You
The Magician is The Cross’ latest and third album. The single Because I Love You (사랑하니까) has been getting heavy airplay over local Chinese radio stations. It was also the song that had the fans lustily singing along yesterday.
The song is an emotion-filled ballad that is beautifully conveyed by Kyung-hyun’s powerful vocals. Here, click this link to listen to it. It’s good.
According to Kyung-hyun, the song was written after an accident. “After our last album, I was in an accident and we had to stop working on our music. We had time to think and decided to put more focus on our music. Thus, we worked hard and this song came along.”
You Are So Beautiful To Me
Kathy of Petaling Jaya was the envy of all the fans present at the showcase when Shi-ha presented her with a flower and a Special Edition autographed CD of their latest album. Meanwhile, Kyung-hyun knelt beside her, tenderly held her hand while he serenaded her with the chorus of Kenny Rogers’ You Are So Beautiful To Me.
And what did dear Kathy do to deserve such rapt attention from the stars? Well, at the urging of the MC, the gutsy girl actually took to the stage and sportingly sang Because I Love You to the audience during the guys’ costume change break!
No guts, no glory, huh? Good on ya, girl!
Keep your fingers, toes and eyes crossed, friends, as there have been discussions about The Cross holding a concert in Malaysia.
Shi-ha disclosed: “We have been discussing with kpopkingdom about a concert and if we get the chance, we would like to have one inMalaysia.”
After the promising statement, the pop-rock duo then performed their 2003 hit debut single – Don’t Cry, which is apparently a favourite in karaoke rooms all acrossSouth Korea. 😉
Oh my goodness! Why is The Cross doing a cover version of Britney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time? Somebody hit me quick (sic) to make sure I’m not dreaming.
Ah well, the redeeming quality of the preposterous song selection was perhaps Kyung-hyun spanking himself everytime he got to Hit me baby, one more time. Notti, notti. Nice. 😉
Apart from that, the duo – who had everyone on their feet for the medley – rocked it good with Queen’s We Will Rock You and Joan Jett’s I Love Rock and Roll before ending the showcase.
The audience was supposed to get Kyung-hyun to take-off his shirt and show off his well-sculpted torso (apparently, he promised to do that during a local radio appearance).
However, chants of 벗다! 벗다! 벗다! (boetda, i.e. “take off”) did not work its charm, much to the fans’ disappointment. Nonetheless, The Cross obliged their supporters with a rendition of their current hit, Because I Love You (사랑하니까) again.
End showcase, but the bottle blondes hung around to sign autographs. Sweet!