2NE1 New Evolution Tour 2012 - 1st World Tour

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Are you ready for the B-E-S-T?!

I certainly was.  It's times like these when I feel very VERY fortunate to live Los Angeles.  Actually, I don't live in the city itself but most of her places of interest are so accessible to me, even via public transport.  The Nokia Theatre, for example.  It is a part of the LA Live, Nokia Plaza across the street from The Staples Center.  I know this place very well because I pass by this area every single weekday on my way to and from work.  It is so convenient for me that the 2NE1 concert was held there on a Friday when we get off work earlier than usual.

Considering I pretty much got last minute tickets, I scored a good seat.  I just hate Ticketmaster's service charges.  I was seated Orch PP 103.  The view didn't look all that good on the site but based on my previous experience with the Nokia Theatre, the seats are better in person. Also, I kind of prefer going to concert alone.  It's not me being my usual anti-social self.  It's just that you can almost always score better single seats than group tickets.  Plus this being my first KPOP concert experience, I can slaughter the songs (phonetically) without shame.  After all, the people around me don't know who I am.  ;-)

By the time I got there, people were all lined up and ready to go.  It's surprising how many people are there!  (Later it was reported that the place was sold out!)  And not just Koreans or Asians... there were so many white people there too.  And they were the most enthusiastic of all!  Wow, speaking as someone who loves 2NE1/Big Bang and does not understand a word of Korean, I can attest to their universal appeal.  This happened to me before with the Taiwanese boyband F4 so I guess music will touch you no matter what language it is.  If anything, there are always translations.  Hee!

I'm not much of a merch girl so I didn't get the light stick.  I know I should've but against my obsessive fangirly judgment, I passed.  I did get the poster and bag though.  After all, I'm more after pictures.  Those are ample souvenirs for me.

They were playing YG Entertainment videos as the theater filled up.  When I entered the orch, they were playing PSY's Gangnam Style and you can see the crowd literally bouncing along to the dance.  And now, for my moment of intense fangirling...

As I made my way to my section, I planned to ask an usherette for help.  I started to ask her and then... then the teaser trailer for Big Bang's ALIVE World Tour 2012 played.  The crowd exploded.  I saw the text say "Taeyang" and I just froze.  I may even have squeaked a bit.  The usherette had to snap me out of it with a, "Ma'am, you still need help with your seat?"  Embarrassing!  Earlier that day, I was texting my mom that I still don't know when the Big Bang concert will be so I have to keep my November clear.  And then that trailer.  NOVEMBER 3, bitches!  You know where to find me.

But this is about 2NE1.  Big Bang's time will come in a few months and please, do not expect the same coherency then.  XD

The girls performed I believe ALL of their songs.  I was kind of hoping they're put their cover of Last Farewell in also.  And Lollipop.  Heh.  It was a very high energy 2+ hours and the girls gave it everything they've got.  The staging and choreography were great.  It was like watching one of their weekly performances on Youtube.  And just like those performances, they sang live but with some kind of backing track over a live band.  So it wasn't 100% live which I can forgive them for.

naega jeil jal naga
Also in those videos, the crowd sings along somewhat.  Or they say the lines back.  I found out that if you're right there and everyone's doing it, the energy will take you.  I admit, I screamed "naega jeil jal naga" back at them, clapped along during I Don't Care encore, pumped my fist at Go Away, and even did the dance for the Clap Your Hands chorus.  Yeah, good thing no one knew who I was for I lost all sanity in those two hours.  And blew out my voice in the first 5 minutes.

I Am The Best is definitely one of my favorites from 2NE1.  It's one of the most badass pop songs I've ever heard.  You cannot help but dance along.  Even Big Bang can't ignore how epic it is!  It is the perfect song to kick off the night.  The girls didn't do much talking.  In fact, only CL and Dara spoke.  I assumed Bom is rather fluent in English as well but not a peep from her.  I cannot get over the Filipino accent in Dara's English!  I love it!

They did IATB and I Don't Care twice.  During the first part of the night and then as encore.  I prefer the regular version of IDC over the reggae so I'm glad they did both.  I dreamed of doing that clap pattern out in public for the longest time! 

Each girl had a solo stage.  CL dj'ed.  Bom sang You and I as well as a bit of Please Don't Cry.  Minzy did a dance solo.  And Dara, dressed as a cheerleader, wanted to show the audience her "sexier side" and invited a lucky guy on stage with her and gave him a kiss.

Other highlights of the night: their perfect performance of It Hurts and my favorite 2NE1 slow song, Lonely.  I have Lonely on video but my stupid memory card is hiding the file from me so I still have to work on that.  They have awesome costume changes (although I am definitely not a fan of Jeremy Scott designs, sorry).  KPop is all about the flash, the explosion of colors, and the visual.

It Hurts, Lonely
I also enjoyed their sexy performance of I Love You.  That song took a bit of time to grow on me but I like it now.  It is very different from the rest of their songs so far and it shows growth.  It also sets them apart from the candy bubblegum pop that KPop ladies are doing for years.  The unplugged version of that song is also one of my favorites.  It clearly showed that these 4 girls can sing well.

The graphic during the Ugly performance was impressive.  Each girl boarded a moving platform that ran across the stage in front of a projection of their face distorted by water graphics as they sang their respective line.  I have a special love for that song and I love that the chorus is in English so I didn't have to butcher it out loud.  Haha.  Also, the Can't Nobody version they did was English.  Duh.  Bom forgot for a bit there when she began the chrous.  Started off in Korean and then caught herself.  I'm still bummed that she didn't even talk. -__-

I Love You
For the encore, they inflated a huge bouncy gym thing in the shape of a lipstick and diamond ring with slides.  Bom was having so much fun on it.  By then, everyone was dead tired but the girls didn't show it.  They still partied as hard as they did at the beginning.  I was tired myself but it was a proud moment, as a fan, to see the (technically) foreign market embrace them.

When I first heard about the LA show, I was dead sure that a special guest will show up sometime in the concert.  And I was right.  Black Eyed Peas members will.i.am and apl.de.ap dropped by during IATB encore.  I've seen both guys in a past concert and I was so pumped to see them again.  wil.i.am produced the girls' still to be released US album and believed in their talent.  CL performed Where is the Love with both guys in 2011 MAMA event.   The first thing that I thought of was this:  Did apl.de.ap and Sandara talk in Tagalog?  Hahaha... they should have!

Overall, it was one helluva good time.  Nokia Theatre does not have the best acoustics.  My ears were ringing for hours after the show.  But I enjoyed that night so much.  Hats off to CL.  She's all energy and talent.  That voice, her rapping and dancing... she's amazing.  I've been a fan of Minzy's voice and she didn't disappoint.  I'm glad to see that she's coming out of her shell.  Bom Park, she's so cute.  She kept up with the rest of them just fine.  After seeing her hair, I kind of don't want to cut mine anymore.  And Dara... oh Sandara.  I've seen her many times before she became "Dara" and I've always loved her.  She's not the best but she makes up for it with her charisma and enthusiasm.  She's still my favorite 2NE1 member.

So that is it for my first KPop experience.  Yes, I know this genre has been around for a while but not until a couple of months ago did I sink my teeth into it.  I've been a fan of 2NE1 since I heard Fire and I'm glad that through them, I got introduced to the whole scene.  It is also fortunate that I got into it when I did... just when these acts scheduled their tour stop at my backyard.  Up next:  BIG BANG!

All photos are mine. Credit properly if taking.  Thank you!