Feature | MusiCube: 2NE1's KBEE 13 Performance Review

By Adam Riley 19.11.2013

The Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo is all about forging links between South Korean businesses and those of other countries. 2013 saw the event brought over to London, UK and with numerous VIPs in attendance, including UK Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, it was the perfect opportunity for the impressive export of K-Pop to be driven home to a UK audience. As Mr. Vaizey himself said, not only has he had to live with people telling him South Korea's Internet service is far better than the UK's, but now he regularly hears how K-Pop artists are better than their UK counterparts! Although said in jest, there is a modicum of truth and the sheer importance of the Korean music industry cannot be ignored.

Image for Feature | MusiCube: 2NE1

YG Entertainment has already seen massive success around the globe with PSY's two mega-hits, Gangnam Style and Gentleman, whilst BIGBANG member G-Dragon has duetted with Missy Elliott and been seen with the likes of Justin Beiber, whilst 2NE1 has been linked with will.i.am for forever and a day. It was the girl group 2NE1, however, that was chosen as the K-Pop Ambassador for the prestigious event, being present at the Congratulatory Ceremony and then treating everyone to a three-song set.

In advance of the event, sister site K-Pop Korner held a special show dedicated to the South Korean girl group, which can now be heard below in its new archived format:

K-Pop Korner Ep.26 - Bringing the Best of Korean Pop to the World! 2NE1 'Best Of' Special by Adam Riley on Mixcloud

After various website crashes in the run-up to the event, the day finally arrived and the throngs of people waiting for the performance was outstanding. Amusingly, when first coming out on stage to take part in the Congratulatory Ceremony, clearly someone did not hear their cue, as nobody came out after 2NE1 had been announced. Marginal levels of embarrassment aside, the procession took place, all the various officials present had their time to stand and bow, before everyone got on stage for an awkward countdown and even more uncomfortable scene where everyone was encouraged to press large buzzers placed before them as a sign of commencement - but as the buttons were not really hooked up to anything other than a glowing light, some did not even register, leaving people looking puzzled.

There was an agonising wait between the end of the ceremony section and the performance part, but it allowed for perusal of the business stands at the expo, of which readers will find out more from future articles. Eventually heading back onto the stage, 2NE1 played popular hits, Lonely, I am the Best, and Do You Love Me to rapturous applause and screams from their loyal 'Blackjacks.' This was the perfect warm up for an inevitable World Tour, and with how impressive their stage presence was on the day, fans will undoubtedly be in for a fantastic treat. Pure, unadulterated class - and to achieve such heights in a short time is testament to their talent. Making best use of the small stage, selecting a wide range of styles across a mere three tracks from their venerable array of hits, and then rounding everything off by addressing the crowd to show their appreciation for those that made the trip, it left everyone with an amazing desire for more. Thankfully, there was a special Hologram Concert afterwards where another of 2NE1's classics, Fire, was played. Short, but deliciously sweet…


[score=8]What can be said? Sure, it was only a three-song performance, but considering this was only meant to be a business expo, seeing 2NE1 blasting out a handful of tracks at the 2013 Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo was a fantastic experience. The group exuded such enthusiasm, professionalism and a downright 'cool' vibe that whipped the small crowd into a frenzy, and even had the VIPs in attendance grooving away! Addressing their fans in such a heartfelt way, complete with near-perfect English, only helped cement their status as one of YG's most important exports. Primed for great success over here, without a doubt.

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