[Review] Concert Coverage: FTISLAND Rocks NYC


On Wednesday night, January 28th, hundreds of fans lined up around the block at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square, NYC despite the bone chilling cold to see five man band, FTISLAND.

FTISLAND was a completely different experience to see live. Until Wednesday, I had only seen Korean Hip Hop, and mainstream Pop artists in concert. For those genres of course, high energy is always needed, but with FTISLAND, they brought a whole new meaning to energy, and introduced me to a new concert experience.

This concert felt so personal, and so intimate. It felt as though real thought had gone into each aspect of the event. The first major difference was that there were no costume changes, so the boys NEVER left the stage, except for the moments before fans called them out for an encore.

Lee Hong Ki

Another standout was Lee Hong Ki. As the group’s he took command of the show, doing the only real talking (with the exception of Lee Jae Jin’s helpful “yeah’s” and “yup’s”). And, in addition to his high energy for the duration of the hour and a half long show, blew me away with his live vocals. Now, I always knew Lee Hong Ki had an exceptional voice, one of the best in Korean music, but hearing him live was absolutely amazing. Everything sounded identical to what you hear on their albums.

At one point in the show, near the end, the group took a break to talk with fans, and play some of their more mellow songs. They talked about how they were amazed that people from across the world had even heard of them, feeling unworthy to play in a country where so many Pop stars are born, and a few references to hard times the group had gone through recently.

A particularly moving moment was when Lee Hong Ki took a moment to talk about how it had only been a year and a half since he, and the group, have been free to make the music they like, and want to make, a subject that seemed to almost bring him to tears. But, he quickly recovered and made sure to bounce the mood back with his jokes, and random bouts of English speaking.

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The group also dropped a nice surprise for fans, saying we could expect a new album from them by March or April!

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The thing that I loved most, that I would like to commend FTISLAND for, is being the first, and ONLY Korean group that I’ve seen, to have the good sense to bring a translator. While it’s all in good fun, and sweet, to see our favorite groups put the effort in to speak in a language their fans understand, it shows even greater effort to bring along someone who can perfectly convey their true feeling to their fans. FTISLAND did both, and it was the most unique aspect to FTISLAND’s concert, and something other Korean groups need to take a cue from.

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Overall, seeing FTISLAND live, was a one of a kind experience. It became clear why this group has been so successful at breaking the barrier between mainstream Pop, and Rock music in Korea as well as overseas. The event was full of good decisions, like picking a small and intimate venue, and good music which together made for a nice and welcomed change from the typical idol group.

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For ALL the pictures from the show check out our Facebook page.

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photos taken by Shanice Moffett


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