KCON LA 2017 Presented by Toyota
Los Angeles, California
As KCON get’s bigger and better to celebrate it’s 6th anniversary, this year’s lineup included performances and special stages by some of today’s hottest Korean artists; Cosmic Girls, SF9, Girl’s Day, Super Junior D&E, VIXX, Seventeen, KARD, Heize, Oh My Girl, Kim Tae Woo, Astro, Wanna One, NCT 127, and GOT7.
As fans waited in anticipation for M Countdown Day 1 to begin, host Danny Lim introduced beatbox artist KRNFX as the first artist to start the pre-show. Beginning with an impressive freestyle, he then covered his own rendition to “Very Very Very” by IOI which responded in many fans to dance and sing along. Violinist Jun Curry Ahn continued the pre-show by performing a violin cover of Goblin OST “Beautiful” by Crush. After setting down his violin and being surrounded by back-up dancers, he finished with a dance cover to “Not Today” by BTS.
Kicking off the night with a one of a kind special stage, VIXX’s Leo and Girl’s Day Minah performed a beautiful duet to “City Of Stars” by major motion picture soundtrack La La Land. Leo and Minah, two of the most unique voices in all of K-pop, proved that this was more than just a special stage. Impressing thousands of fans with their perfect harmonizing and perfect chemistry, the duet set the bar high for the night.
SF9, under FNC Entertainment, are rising rookies known for their sharp choreography and dance-inducing music. Appearing on stage, they performed a short dance intro to hype the start of the night. After performing song “Fanfare” each member spoke about their excitement to be in LA, especially member Inseong as he told fans “the energy here is LIT!”. Finishing with “Jungle Talk” and “Easy Love“, they showcased their impressive performance skills.
Cosmic Girls, under Starship Entertainment, previously performed at KCON Japan earlier this year and returned to KCON to perform for their fans in LA. Known for their multiple personalities and sweet charm, they opened performing their recent upbeat hit “Happy“. Each member cutely introduced themselves with short English, making ‘LA’ signs with their hands. With their distinctive ‘cosmic’ vibe to their music they finished with “I Wish” and “Secret“, impressing the audience with their vocal ability.
Girl’s Day, under Dream Tea Entertainment, are among some of the biggest girl groups in the K-pop industry. After debuting 7 years ago, they range in styles from super cute to sultry and sexy. They performed their most recent release “I’ll Be Yours“, followed by fan favorites “Ring My Bell“, and “Something“. Member Sojin let fans know that the group hopes to make more over-seas performances in the future.
Super Junior D&E, under SM Entertainment, are the sub-unit duo from legendary K-pop group Super Junior whom previously attended KCON LA in 2015. Before D&E were announced onto the stage, groups SF9 and Cosmic Girls joined together to perform a special stage of iconic Super Junior song “Sorry Sorry“. D&E then performed their songs “Growing Pains“, “I Wanna Dance“, and “Oppa Oppa“. With fans singing and the audience cheering along, they proved their popularity as K-pop seniors is still soaring.
VIXX, under Jellyfish Entertainment, are known for their unique concepts and particular music. The group previously attended KCON LA in 2012, 2014, and KCON NY in 2015. As their popularity in America ascends each year, their performance for KCON 2017 is received the most anticipated thus far. Engaging in a KCON-only fan service game “Pinata” the group participated in “photo time”, which let fans take photos of them as they walked around to each side of the stage and posed. Executing skill and artistry, they performed recent releases “Shangri-La“, “Black Out“, and “Fantasy“.
Seventeen, under Pledis Entertainment, returned for their 3rd time at KCON after KCON NY in 2016, and KCON Japan in 2017. As headliners for the night, they delivered an array of various performances. Each of their special units were showcased including, “Swimming Pool” by Performance Unit, “Habit” by Vocal Unit, and “Check In” by Hip-Hop Unit. Also enaging in “Pinata” the group participated in “random play dance” which let them let loose free-styling to random songs. During their random play dance, their song “Mansae” started playing, which in reply, the members and everyone in the audience swayed their arms to the beat of the music. The members then gave away free shirts, as they shot them through hand cannons to fans in the audience. Fully as a group they performed “Don’t Wanna Cry“, “Rock“, and”Very Nice” as the grand finale.
KARD, under DSP Media, have gained mass popularity since their official debut on July 19th, 2017. With their rare concept of 2 boys and 2 girls, aside from the typical full boy/girl K-pop groups, they stand out from others in the current K-pop scene. With member BM originally from LA, him and the rest of his members expressed their excitement to be at KCON for the very first time. Performing their addictive up-beat songs “Don’t Recall“, “Hola Hola“, and “Oh Nana“, they hyped the audience as the first artist of day 2.
Heize, under CJ E&M, is a female solo artist known for her impressive rap and soulful voice. Previously performing for KCON in Japan, she made her first US appearance at KCON LA. After opening with her recent song “Don’t Know You“, she asked fans to turn on the flashlights on their cell phones, creating a sea of bright lights throughout the venue. Touched by the illuminating view, she performed her slow tempo hit, “Star“.
Oh My Girl, under WM Entertainment, are known best for their cute songs and bubbly personalities. After starting with their catchy recent release “Coloring Book“, the members also expressed their excitement to be in LA for the first time at KCON. Member Seunghee teased the audience saying “I always though LA fans had crazy energy, but I guess I was wrong. Am I wrong?” which got the audience screaming in response making the members laugh. Wrapping up their set, they pleased their fans by performing their iridescent tune “Closer“.
Kim Tae Woo, former lead singer of group G.O.D., is no rookie to performing in front of crowds. As the artist with the most seniority at KCON, many fans were met with long-awaited performances. Group Astro come onto the stage performing Tae Woo’s songs “Place Where You Need To Be“, and “One Candle” as his intro. As “One Candle” came near to it’s end, Tae Woo joined the stage with Astro for the song’s finale. He then performed his songs “Sorrow“, “Following“, and his newly released “Love Rain“.
NCT 127, under SM Entertainment, are currently one of the hottest rising rookie groups. After debuting in 2016, they have quickly risen to fame with their charismatic sound. Member Taeyong rose from middle stage and began an intense dance intro, with members joining his dance at the end. Member Johnny reached out to fans saying, “tonight you guys are here, and tonight we are here, so let’s make this a great experience!”. The group performed their 3 singles “Fire Truck“, “Limitless“, and “Cherry Bomb“.
Astro, under Fantagio Entertainment, returned to the stage after attending KCON LA 2016 last year. With increased fans shouting and singing along, their rising popularity was well displayed. Participating in “Pinata” the members received items they could sign, and gave them to fans as “star goods”. They then also gave more fans free signed t-shirts, by throwing them through hand-cannons. Satisfying fans with the group’s fan service and engagement, they showcased their variety by performed songs “Again“, “Breathless“, “Polaris“, and “Baby“.
Wanna One, formed by trainee competition show Produce 101 Season 2, were one of the most anticipated groups at KCON LA. After only debuting 2 weeks prior to the event, they performed as a full group for the first time overseas. With members expressing their excitement for debuting, member Daniel told fans “It’s our first time being in LA, and we’re so excited to be here… can you guys believe it? We are more excited to meet you guys for the first time!”. Wasting no time to perform their anticipated setlist, they performed “Energetic“, “Burn It Up“, “Never“, and “Pick Me“.
GOT7, under JYP Entertainment, returned to KCON after attending KCON LA in 2015, and KCON Japan in 2017. As the last performers for KCON LA 2017, the audience was thriving with anticipation. Before the group took the stage as 7, their sub-unit JJ Project appeared on stage to perform their recent slow track release “Tomorrow, Today”. As excitement for performances by the full group was at it’s highest, member Yugyeom rose to center stage performing a dance freestyle. Hyping the fans energy with their appearance, the 7 joined the stage together and performed their hit song “Never Ever“. Participating in “Pinata“, two lucky fans got the privilege of being proposed to by members Bambam, Youngjae, and Jackson. After engaging with fans, they finished the night with “Everyday“, and “Hard Carry“.
Each artist walked onto the stage individually for their last goodbye, waving and shooting hearts at their fans. Although bittersweet, fans were left with a memorable experience from seeing their favorite idols performing their favorite songs. As fans continued to capture the moment on their cameras, and keep the flying confetti as a souvenir, the intercom came on for the last time announcing “Thank you for attending KCON LA 2017, and we’ll see you again next year!”.
K-Popped! would like to thank KCON USA for the privilege of being able to cover an event as extravagant as KCON! As each year gets even better, we’re anticipating next year!
-All photos belong to KCON USA-