K-POP MUSICAL - MATILDA Mesmerised K-Pop Fans in Sarawak Alongside AtoZ and Rion Five
K-Pop Musical 2017 can be considered a breakthrough to Hallyu Wave in Sarawak. With the support from the Sarawak Tourism Board, the organiser, Winter Star Sdn. Bhd. brought not one but three K-Pop Acts to perform at Siburan, Sarawak for a night full of energetic dances and powerful vocals. Although at the beginning, the K-Pop fans were hoping for a "bigger" acts, to come, they were then being blown away by AtoZ, Matilda and Rion Five who rocked the night with almost 20 songs performed altogether.
A day before the concert, a Meet and Greet was held at Pullman Kuching, the resident hotel for the event, where the three groups greeted the fans for the first time. Kicking off the Meet and Greet, AtoZ (Leader Zeroz, Hyunjae and Jihoon) and the featuring DJ, DJ Do Tll Die introduced themselves to the fans. The English speaker of the group, Jihoon expressed his excitement because this is personally his first time performing overseas. Afterwards, Matilda (Semmi, Sebyul, DanA and Haena) took over the stage and greeted the fans. Although they have been on full schedule for the previous week, and even a day before their flight to Malaysia, they are all looking lovely in casual blouse.
Following Matilda, Rion Five appeared to introduce themselves to the fans. Consists of six members Leader Rohyun, Minjae, Taewoo, Jeonghyun, Yousung and Kangsan, the fans were eager to see them especially because one of the members, Taewoo was a trainee in the survival programme, Produce 101 Season 2. They then proceed to the fansigning session, before going to VivaCity, CityOne and Cafe Cafe to make a short appearance and to promote the concert to the fans.
Although at the beginning, many fans are concerned about the change of venue, Eastern Mall was full of K-Pop fans that night as they were ready with their banners and glowstick to enjoy the night. All three groups have performed simultaneously starting with AtoZ who performed their single Dark Lady, Psy's Right Now, and also a fresh remix of Big Bang's Sunset Glow. Although they kept telling that they are old ( the members' ages are 32, 34 and 36), they never failed to impress the fans through their dynamic performance, and even a few backflips by Hyunjae who did it off the stage. They performed a total of 5 songs, and towards the end of the performance, Jihoon made the fans promise to not forget them as they were overwhelmed by the fans supportive manners throughout the performances.
Being the only girl group of the concert, Matilda steals the attention and the hearts of the male fans. With black as their main stage outfit theme, the girls started off with a strong number of their latest song, You're Bad Don't Make Me Cry as well as their debut song Macarena. What really stole the limelight of Matilda's performance was their lady's night numbers, including Spice Girls' Wannabe, Jessie J's Bang Bang and Destiny's Child's Emotion which truly showcase their vocal ability for singing live. Apart from that, they also performed their viral video, the Disney Princesses' Medley and fans were screaming as Haena hit the high note of Let It Go. In between songs, they interacted with the fans and DanA's bubbly personality on stage brings laughter to the fan. It was amazing how these petite girls can stay energetic and bubbly even after performing eight songs non-stop.
And last but not least, Rion Five appeared the last, by starting off with their 2017 single, Unbroken, a strong rock-ish tune that brings the crowd to hyped up after a cheerful moment with Matilda. In between songs, there are also some session where the boys gave out signed glowsticks to fans, and Rohyun becomes the night's emcee by asking the youngest, Kangsan to translate everything he said but it all ended up with everyone excitedly talking and interacting with fans. The Produce 101 trainee Taewoo also showed a short dance of NaYaNa and Rohyun danced to Girl's Day's Something. They seemed to be excited to see the big crowd that attended the concert, that performing twelve songs including their own Dduk Dduk Dduk, I Cry and Women of Beach, as well as the fans' favourite songs from chart topping artists like Winner, iKon and BTS seems too short for the night.
This concert proves that Hallyu Wave in Sarawak is getting bigger, and by bringing rookie groups, this allows fans to learn more of Korean Music Industry which is very huge, and let them discover hidden talents like Matilda, Rion Five and AtoZ, who might not be chart-topper, but their stage presence and experiences are at par with those who secures music awards. Hopefully, there will be more K-Pop events and concerts being held in the Land of Hornbill so the Borneo K-Pop fans can enjoy concerts just like Semenanjung fans too.
A huge thank you to Winter Star Sdn Bhd for inviting us to cover the event!