Here’s something I used to do a lot but I haven’t been doing lately: a totally random K-pop post.
I’ve written before that my current K-pop bias is the group SEVENTEEN. (I wrote a short background of how I got into the group at my SEVENTEEN Ideal Cut in Manila Aftermath report.) The group has just released their latest single, HIT, and it was AWESOME. I mean, I am not a fan of EDM but for some reason, this song just caught me hook, line and sinker. I feel like clubbing after this. Mind you, I hate clubbing.
I’ve also been spending time watching reaction videos to this MV and they all had one thing in common: after the video, they just sat there dumbfounded and out of words to say.
It suddenly it hit me: there’s a recent thing which had the same effect on me and practically everyone who saw it.
That recent thing? The movie Hello, Love, Goodbye.
I distinctly remember the premiere night, how everyone just sat through the end credits as if it’s a Marvel movie, waiting for what will happen next. We strutted out of the cinema with eyes glazed, asking ourselves and each other what the heck did we just experience. It’s simply mind-blowing. We were all dumbfounded, we just found ourselves grasping for tickets to the next screening. And the next. And the next.
Fortunately for SEVENTEEN’s Hit, all I have to do is to hit ‘reload’ to see it again. And again. And again.
So there I was in our now-yearly tradition of attending the annual GMMSF, Inc. Boxoffice Entertainment Awards even if Alden Richards is not among the awardees. I was just expecting to see a lot of famous artists mingle with mostly Bulakenyos dressed in our Sunday bests, intending to just take a lot of photos if I get bored. I never expected that I will experience one of the most utterly satisfying moments of my life as a fangirl and music lover.
Juan Karlos ‘JK’ Labajo was awarded the Most Promising Recording Artist of 2018 for his super-trending single Buwan. As one of the music awardees, he is expected to do a spot number. Now remember, this is a strictly formal event with nearly half of the attendees belonging to the middle-aged to senior citizens category. Knowing his style, I’m not sure if JK can pull it off without ‘offending’ the audience.
JK and his band started off with an intro that’s unfamiliar to the general public, thus, it didn’t elicit a favorable reaction. That is, until he finally started with, “Ako’y sayo, ikaw ay akin… It went smoothly from then on.
Then he reached the part before the final chorus that everyone has been waiting for. The band paused, and production people thought it’s over. Two of the emcees, Elisse Joson and Enchong Dee, were already called onstage. But JK and the band continued to sustain their guitar riffs, indicating that they’re not done yet. For a moment there I was afraid that things will get awkward, the band will be asked to stop playing and get off the stage, and JK might pull an undesirable stunt. Can’t blame me for thinking that way with all the issues hounding JK lately.
Then he launched into that viral sensation of a climactic chorus. I got goosebumps all over. I heard screams of adulation from everywhere in the venue. I looked around, and was shocked at the sheer number of cellphones raised up to film his onstage antics, raised hands and fists rockin’ along with him. We’re talking people wearing formal clothes, some of whom are senior citizens. Everyone’s smiling, howling, clapping. At the end of the song, JK was met with a rousing applause.
Omigad, Juan Karlos, what have you done. You wrecked the Boxoffice Entertainment Awards. In a damn good way.
You know what? JK has been criticized for being too frank, too rough and un-mannered. I’m used to his kind of personality, having spent five years of my life being around bands in the Pinoy rock scene. JK is tamed compared to some of them. Also, no offense, but I’ve read and heard some of his statements and I actually don’t find anything wrong with it. Most of the time, he’s perfectly on point. JK is a lot of things, but among those things is that he is one charismatic performer. You can’t teach that kind of thing. It’s inherent. I’ve seen a lot of band frontmen in my lifetime and only a few has that kind of raw stage presence. One of them is his The Voice Kids coach, Bamboo. I’m glad that JK was able to imbibe that quality from his coach.
I just hope that JK Labajo will be able to maintain that path to artistry without losing his way, so to speak. Don’t leave that talent to waste.
Aftermath: Alden Richards ‘Adrenaline Rush’
21 September 2018 – Kia Theater
I had difficulty figuring out how to begin this Aftermath report. My blogging skills have been really rusty these days and the concert has so much feels, I don’t know where and how to start.
To warm up, I re-read the beginning part of my blog re: last year’s Upsurge concert. Guess what, the first paragraph basically said the same thing: I don’t know how I’ll write about the concert.
This is my overall takeaway from Adrenaline Rush: Alden Richards made a statement. That statement being: “This is me. This is what I want. This is what makes me happy. I will do things my way from now on, and I hope you’ll still be there with me and believe in me as I proceed with this journey.” Continue reading →
I have just finished watching his comeback stage at KBS Music Bank and I must say, it seems this album is an improvement – by a mile – from his last album. Though I’m not too fond of Gang because the genre isn’t my cup of tea, but the other two songs that he performed (Sunshine and Again) reminds me of vintage Rain circa I Do and Love Story. His voice is still the same haunting voice that was one of the reasons why I became his fan. As for the dancing, nice to know that despite his earlier claim that he can’t dance anymore, he proved himself wrong and showed that he still has the chops to do it. (Side note: I get amused whenever I see comments to this effect: “For his age, Rain can still dance like that.” Ahm, isn’t he just 35? )
Lastly, it’s nice to see him looking fresh and happy again, something that I haven’t seen on him for the longest time. (If anyone gets offended by that statement, please check again which blog are you on right now.) I guess being a family man agrees with him, ‘no? It’s his lifelong dream to have a daughter, after all.
KBS Kpop’s YouTube Channel has disabled embedding for the videos, but here are the links in case anyone hasn’t seen it yet: