Saturday, July 14, 2012

How the KPop Industry Can Lure Me into Lives

You can call me I'm a snob or even say my standards are too high. You can even stoop down low and call me dumb for feeling this way, but I have no real desire to attend a kpop live...except Rain, he's worth it. You probably think that's strange since I do listen to the music, but while trying to connect to the fandom in the beginning, I could never get into live performances of the groups I enjoy. Despite 2NE1 formerly being my favorite girl group and Big Bang stealing H.O.T's spot as my favorite male group, they simply aren't worth me traveling to the East or West Coasts to see them live this year. Why is that?

I'd like to blame my surroundings for my high standards on live performances. I've been spoiled by pop culture and TV with their precision, creativity, and synchronization. I've been to lives that don't require back tracks to give the performers the option to lip sync while they dance together. They also give high energy to the fans without depending on them too much. There's also growing up around dancers that not only had to perform for their peers and family but for competitions. KPop lives don't appeal to me because of these reasons. I could say I'm going a little too far by calling them lazy with the exclusion of T-ara, but I wouldn't say it if the industry didn't emphasis on how much they invest in these idols' careers.

I know image is everything, but sometimes it seems like companies spend more time and money on their appearances, not just styling but high budget videos, than the actual talent. This mostly shows in live performances for me. Of course Super Junior and SNSD can't be saved. They can't even get their choreography together in music videos and usually groups shine in those. Even Block B's choreography seems decent in their videos and they admit that dancing isn't their strongest skill set.

I also know that they can't be perfect all the time, but if you brag about these things then I expect a lot. Seeing Backstreet Boys and *N'SYNC who are known for great harmonies and entertaining choreography, kpop idols were set on that level for me. America gets on artists immediately if they're caught lip syncing like the Ashlee Simpson incident. There's no excuse, especially when you brag. Daichi Miura produces heartfelt vocals and mindblowing choreography that is more complicated. I know for a fact that SM Entertainment is very guilty of this when their groups make a comeback. If the skill isn't perfected, companies try to cover it up with flashy, expensive stage production which can sometimes emphasis that the group is lacking.

I suppose it is difficult to fit extra training into an idol's busy schedule of commercials, TV appearances, and photoshoots, but American artists do it all the time without losing their performance value. This shows that the kpop industry is still at a toddler stage if fans constantly need to see activity from groups without ditching them for a new fanbase. If they can fix that issue then I believe groups can blow not only myself, but possibly other fans and potential fans away with their performances and gain more money from lives.