G-Dragon – Berlin, Germany 2017 – Act III: M.O.T.T.E
- A Boy
- But I Love You
- One of a Kind
- That XX
- Missing You
- You Do (Interlude)
- Who You
- I Love It
- Crayon (Remix)
- Middle Fingers Up
- Divina Comedia
- This Love
- Untitled, 2014
“When the king of Kpop finally makes an appearance near you, then you must go.”
G-Dragon is the most powerful male artist in the Kpop scene today, much thanks to the work with his group Big Bang, as well as his solo endeavors; nobody is bigger than G-Dragon in Kpop right now. That is why it came as a huge surprise that his last tour before heading to the army [mandatory for all Korean males for 25 months] was an honest and true world tour, actually visiting almost all continents of the world but Africa and South America. [Word around the grapevine is that South America is too far to travel to, and therefore not added to the tour. I say do SA after NA and all is dandy. The true reason? I am sure no promoter in SA could afford the hefty cost of the tour].
The thing is, when Kpop acts announce world tours, it is usually Asia only. So when anything outside of Asia is added to the tour, then it is time to rejoice. With Australia, Europe, and North America added, this just might be the most perfect Kpop world tour ever.
Of course G-dragon would go off with bang (pun intended).
I was lucky to get me some tickets to the last stop of the Europe leg, and besides getting to visit Berlin (one of my absolute favorite cities in the world), I was also about to experience some Kpop history. The tour was the first European tour that visited not one, but five arenas raging in the +15K capacity. Here, in my experience with Kpop concerts in Europe, I thought that there’s no way the venue would be filled to capacity. Color me surprised when I got to enter, at least 80% of the venue was full, not counting a section that had been roped off. I wish this type of enthusiasm would be shown by European fans when smaller groups visit the continent, but I digress.
In all sense and purpose, the show was of a grand scale that sadly faded in the capacity of the stage. It is obvious the show is produced for venues of a +40K capacity with tons of pyrotechnics, flashing lights, advanced stage settings and at least 20 background dancers. When minimized to a venue that’s half the size; well, you will be a little underwhelmed. I say this as a person with experience in concert production. For all means, the fans gathered at the Mercedes-Benz Arena were having the time of their life. G-Dragon delivered performing his biggest hits ever, as well as doing segments completely in English [by the way, he speaks well and he is cute when he is all shy]. Fans were dancing, singing, screaming, the atmosphere was great.
An interesting part of the show was the art direction. The entire purpose of the show was to say farewell to the G-Dragon we know, the Kwon Jinyoung we don’t know. Since he is going to the army and will be gone for a while, a lot of things may happen and he might change along the way. So much of the show was about the question: who is G-Dragon and who is the Kwon Jinyoung behind the persona. The show was divided in parts, and each part asked a question regarding GD and Kwon Jinyoung, the songs for each part reflected the question. Part one that was about GD seeing us experience his most popular tracks, the songs that made GD who he is today. The second part was the conflict between Kwon Jinyoung and GD, with songs ranging from sad to crazy, to sad. The last part, dedicated to Jinyoung where angry and dark.
Whether or not GD is facing an identity crisis, some pre-30 age crisis, or just a crisis; we will never know. However, directing the show around these issues that clearly are close to his heart, it allowed the fans to get a sense of the artist beyond the name, and to pull more emotion into each song played. I didn’t dislike it, but it also was a bit too mellow for my liking. I prefer my Kpop happy-go-lucky and sweet, but I guess this is the reason why G-Dragon is the undefeated king of K-pop, since he goes way beyond it and then some.
Huge thanks to YS Entertainment and ENT who without, this stop in the tour would not have become a reality.