ConcertK-popped Around the World

A Humbling Experience At The Music Bank Global Festival In Japan

2023 Music Bank Global Festival in Japan is a humbling experience. Held in Belluna Dome, home of the Saitama Seibu Lions in Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan. The stadium with a capacity of almost 32,000, was full of screaming fans. Each came with their own lightsticks that signify the fandom they belong to and little dolls of their favourite members of the group. To say that a group has more fans than the other is an understatement. The lights shining in the stadium was purely a mixture of all fandoms.

The moment the lights were dimmed, scream of happiness were heard from all the way outside the stadium. This author was still finding her way inside and thankfully, sat down before the first act was out. Seconds later, a familiar song, Gento by SB19 was played, The Boyz and Kang Daniel showed up on stage and does the viral dance. Each group were introduced with different viral songs and emitted more screams from the fans. Other memorable openings were from Kep1er with Ting Ting Tang Tang and Stray Kids with ATEEZ doing Neyo’s Because Of You.

After the fun opening, MC of the night, Rowoon (former SF9, now actor), actress Go Min Si and Lee Young Ji showed up on a small stage situated closer to the furthest area of the stadium. The setting of the stage is clever as they thought about the fans who were seated quite far from the main and extended stage, giving the fans at least a closer view of the 3 MCs (but sadly no performers at the small stage).

First performers for the night starts with BoyNextDoor, who showed their cutesy, next door boy charms. Although the group debuted merely 7 months ago, their stage domination disprove that. Performing 2 songs, But Sometimes and One & Only, I was sad to see them go as they were really good on stage.

The second performer that night was NMIXX, and boy, did the stadium suddenly oozes testosterone as for the first time that night, screams from fanboys were heard. Performing a remix version of Love Me Like This and Soñar, I was truly amazed by Lily’s vocals as she hit the high notes.

Kep1er came up next and I suddenly realised, when everyone has stopped moving around the seating area, that the stadium is almost at it’s full capacity. Singing and chanting along to each and every song. Most of the audiences are using binoculars as the stadium is really big and most are seated really far away from the stage. But that doesn’t deter them to still enjoy the performances.

Rookie group &Team and NiziU came next. Showing that they also could dominate the stadium just like any other groups.

The next segment, Rap Gate started as one of the MCs of the night, Lee Young Ji takes the stage. Young Ji performed Fire and for the first time that night, the extended stage was raised.

At around one hour after the show started, it was P1Harmony’s turn to show what they’ve got. The groups introduction started with a dance break by 2 of their group members, and one by one, the other members popped up, gaining more screams from the fans who were getting more excited the night goes by.

Then it was Kang Daniel’s time to shine. It has been awhile since this author has seen the Wanna One alumni, and it was good to see him again, still performing albeit solo. And it was this moment that I realised that he was performing live, with little backing audio, and he sounded good.

STAYC performed next with a dance medley of ASAP, Run 2U, and Poppy Love and performed Teddy Bear, Bubble and a dance break during Bubble.

Then the time came for the Falling In Love Gate, as MeloMance serenaded the audience with At The Cinema and the famous Love, Maybe (from the drama Business Proposal).

The next performer gained the loudest cheers from the audience, in my opinion. The lovely girls of NewJeans showed up on stage and performed OMG. And during the time, the travel trolley shows up for the first time and brought the group from the main stage to the extended stage and gave the group the chance to interact more with the audience. The group performed a slowed version of Ditto, and a dance break by the dancers before performing New Jeans, Super Shy and back to the main stage for ETA.


The performance by NewJeans was like the climax of the night, but the screams turn louder as The Boyz came on next, standing on tables (looking all handsome and all). The Boyz performed the Special Unit’s Passion Fruit and the latest song Watch It before giving way to ENHYPEN.

As the screams got louder, ENHYPEN opens up with Bite Me, and a dance break before moving to the extended stage. During Bite Me, the chants were so loud that the groups voices were drowned by the chants. They continued with a short and alluring dance break before continuing with Sweet Venom. Seems like everything the group does garners louder and louder screams, especially when the screen shows Sunoo’s and Sunghoon’s face. The group closed their performance with Orange Blood. As the group left the stage, MC Youngji congratulated Ni-Ki on his birthday (December 9).


The next segment, Performance Gate started with ITZY, sans Lia who was still recovering. The group performed their new song Kill Shot, Cake, Wannabe and Dalla.

Le Sserafim
Le Sserafim

The stadium heated up again as ATEEZ and Le Sserafim continues their stage domination next.

Stray Kids came on next and phew, did the stage go on fire or what! Stray Kids opened up their stage with Superbowl, then continues on with Social Path, S-Class and LALALALA. It was totally an exhilarating experience watching LALALALA performed live.

JYP Nation
JYP Nation

Then, the group that needs no introduction, SHINee came on next, and performed HARD, Don’t Call Me, Body Rhythm and Juice. TAEMIN manage to sneak in his famous move from his solo song – Guilty (hands in his shirt) during HARD and the fans totally ate it up!

Last gate of the night, Forever Gate started with performances by the Golden Girls (One Last Time), with JYP on keyboard. Then JYP performed as the closing performance of the night.

Before the gates of the night were closed, all the performers showed up on stage once more and danced and sang to BTSs’ Permission To Dance while greeting the audience. The group Stray Kids was the last to leave the stage as they went around everywhere they can to greet the fans, and making more and more fans fall for them.

Music Bank in Japan will be available via Amazon Prime on January 24, 2024.

We would like to thank Music Bank in Japan for the opportunity given.

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