K-Pop Hits Madison Square Garden at SMTown Live
If fans storming hotel rooms or camping out at 4:00 a.m. for their general admission seats wasn't enough indication, K-Pop officially hit New York City this weekend.
October 23 marked the first performance of an Asian pop group in Madison Square Garden with the SMTown Live '10 World Tour. In previous years SMTown, a South Korean entertainment company, has put on the popular tour but never ventured to America. This New York stop follows successful shows in Los Angeles, Paris, Toyko, Shanghai and Seoul as part of the 2010/2011 run. That L.A. performance at The Staples Center was a sell-out landing the show at No. 9 Billboard's Boxscore Grosses that week with 15,015 tickets sold.
"We would like to have this opportunity, if there was any a wall between the West and East, to take this opportunity to squash this wall," said Kangta via a translator at the start of a press conference that included all the performing artists. "Hopefully we could be much more famous in the United States, as well as all the other Western countries."
Musically, the show brought down walls with the performers singing their biggest hits, plus occasional dance battles. Yet there were some English songs. In 2009, BoA released her first English album, "BoA," and last night performed four of those cuts, including "I Did It For Love," which originally features Sean Garrett, with Key from SHINee taking over his part.
Last Tuesday, Girls' Generation released its first English single, "The Boys" (produced by Teddy Riley). This concert marked the first live performance of the English version of "The Boys" for the group.
"It's going to be new for both the group and all our fans but I think that's going to be totally fun and something to look forward to," said member Tiffany. "We put a lot of effort and energy in the song so the result is turning out to be very satisfying and rewarding."
When asked whether the other artists on the roster would be seeing U.S. releases in the future ("The Boys" was released by Interscope Records), Tiffany responded, "There's nothing for sure, but in the future if everyone gets the right time and opportunity, they're more than ready to take on the U.S. market as well."
"We're simply very flattered to have so many fans around the world, not just us, but all the members of SM Town. They really appreciate all the fans," said TVXQ's U-Know via translator. "Since this is our first time in Madison Square Garden performing, we're going to do our best and we hope everyone has a great time."
If the massive roars of the sold-out show were any indication, everyone had a great time at the first -- and most likely not last -- major Korean pop show at Madison Square Garden.