In recent years, more and more musicians from around the world have set foot upon Korea to perform their splendid musical talents. A mere month ago, Michael Bolton performed live in Seoul on November 21 and 22, and a few days later, Jason Mraz toured around Korea performing his hit songs such as “Lucky” and “I’m Yours”. Even if you missed out on what probably would have been literally “music to my ears” experiences, have no fear, there are quite a few more artists coming to Korea this winter.
The list starts with Blake, an operatic pop trio from the United Kingdom. Winner of the Classic BRIT Awards Album of the Year of 2008 with their same-name album “Blake”, the group has harmoniously covered some of the most popular classical and pop songs and themes from movies. “Time to Say Goodbye”, “Nella Fantasia”, and “Chasing Cars” are just few of the many songs they have covered in a classical crossover manner. If you are looking forward to listening to some mellow singing from three rather handsome singers with excellent vocal skills, make sure not to miss their performance from December 17 till the 21 in Seoul and Busan.
The next concert up on the list is something one should definitely mark on their calendar for January of 2015; the Hyundai Card Super Series Culture Project “5 Nights”. Organized by Hyundai Card, the project is a chance for world-renown artists that the Korean public is rather unfamiliar with to show off their talents and make an impact. The festival goes on for a total of five nights (hence the name) from January 12 through 14, and 16 through 17, and on each night, a different musician/group performs. Avenged Sevenfold from California, US starts off the festival with a bang on January 12, with hard rock and heavy metal. With two albums that each made #1 on the US Billboard 200, their hits include “Bat Country”, a standard heavy metal song, and “Hail to the King”, a chanting-like metal song that can easily sweep the crowd into following the simple lyrics “Hail, hail, hail, hail…” In the following night, Bastille, a rather odd name for a British group, perform on stage. You can expect their hit song “Pompeii” with its simple but addictive lyrics “Eh-eh-o eh-o” to be performed. The next night, Starsailor, a post-Brit pop group that formed in 2000, will perform live. One interesting fact about this group is that the four members went their separate ways after releasing their 4th album back in 2009 to focus on their individual careers. However, they made a comeback in May this year, and Korean fans have a lucky chance to meet the group reunited. Their hit songs include “Love is Here” and “Silence is Easy”. After skipping a day, Rudimental restarts the festivities with their electronic music such as “Feel the Love” and “Waiting All Night”. The latter song won the 2014 BRIT Awards for British Single of the Year, so get ready to party hard that night. The concert ends with a relatively calmer genre of music by Asgeir, a rising star from Iceland. A singer-songwriter who debuted in 2012, he topped the Iceland music charts before taking on the world stage. Overall, this five-day festival is something one will never regret in having listened to music from simply marvelous musicians.
Another artist to look out for who’s coming to Korea in 2015 is Cyndi Lauper. A 1980s popstar, she has a career in the music industry that spans over 30 years since her debut in 1983. Surprisingly, this is not her first visit to Korea; next year will make it 25 years since she last visited Korea as she came here to perform in 1989. One of the earliest female icons to perform and mesmerize the general public back then who grew up watching MTV, she has won over 14 Grammys with hit songs such as “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time”. Chances are, a student at KAIST won’t recognize her, but there’s a better chance for the student’s parents to have grown up listening to her pop music. So why not send your parents on a Cyndi Lauper concert as a way of saying thanks?
No doubt Korea had its culture grow year by year, and only recently have we had a chance to meet some of the most influential artists around the world come and play their music. Thankfully, the visits to Korea seem to be on the rise. If there is a band or a solo artist that is coming to Korea to perform whose music you are interested in, don’t hesitate to reserve a ticket with good seating; when and where else would you see him/her/them perform again?