I'm all about the music. I am up for any concert, just ask. With only a month and a bit before I leave (tear tear), lately I've been reminicing about all I've managed to experience while teaching and livng in Korea (Are you ready?). I am amazed at how much I have done in such a short amount of time, especially when I think about all the concerts I've attended. It seems like ages ago, but at this time last year I was preparing to witness Lady Gaga's first and very controvercial world tour stop in Seoul. A short while later I joined happy-go-lucky young Koreans lounging on Nami Island for the annual Rainbow Island Festival with Jason Mraz as the headliner.
A friend surprised me the next month with tickets to Korea's famous pop music countdown show, Inkigayo. I was able to live out my childhood TRL dreams and be schooled in K-Pop all in the same day. Later in the summer I hopped from one stage to the next at Super!Sonic where I was able to inch my way to the front of Foster The People, Gotye, New Order, The Vaccines and other stages. Also, during the summer and fall I spent many a weekend night with a beer in hand in Hongdae park where young creative college students performed for large spontaneous crowds.
Oh, and how could I forget, I basically had a date with Psy last fall. He paid for everything, soju was chugged, and his shirt came off.
After stumbling out of Hongdae's Rolling Hall a few weeks ago with ringing ears and sore feet I sadly realized this particular night probably marked my last big Korea concert. But I couldn't think of a better act to end with.
Claire Boucher (aka Grimes) is a Canadian musician who has learned to successfully mix just the right amount of electronic pop with beautiful vocals to create dance-worthy and uplifting beats. Her Seoul trip was a special one becasue she is a huge K-Pop fan and apparently a few big Korean names, including G-Dragon, were present at the March 23 show.
photo from @supercolorsuper
I may have a year or so on the small yet fiercely blonde music-maker, but her stage precense was uniquely uplifting and powerful. I think one reason I enjoy live music so much is that I love witnessing people doing the one thing they are meant to do in life. Grimes is a musician and she is made for the stage. I left the show with a desire to continue dancing and an even stronger apprecition for my decision to wear flats on this particular night.
Here are a few resources you should check out to ensure you do not miss the next big show in Korea. So many fantastic acts grace Korea with their presence each year, you just have to be on the look-out for information regarding each show.
2) The Korea Gig Guide is a great resource for small and big acts performing in Korea. While browsing this guide last year I stumbled upon the Lady Gaga show information. You can also skim it before venturing out on a Friday or Saturday night to see which bars will have live music.
3) Interpark is kind of like the TicketMaster of Korea. I used this site to buy Super!Sonic, Lady Gaga and Rainbow Island Festival tickets. The site is easy to navigate and you can sign up for emails to inform you of upcoming shows.
Get your music on this summer:
May 4: Snoop Dogg
May 17: Jason Mraz (I just love him, ok?)
May 17-18: Greenplugged Music Festival
May 17-18: The Seoul Jazz Festival (Check out Damien Rice, Kings of Convenience and more!)
May 17-19: World DJ Festival
June 7-9: Rainbow Island Festival
June 14-15: Ultra Korea
July 26-28: Ansan Valley Rock Festival (I am so jealous, The XX will be there this year. Check out the promotional video here. It makes me want summer in a bad bad way.)
August: Super!Sonic will return this year, but the specifics have yet to be released. Keep an eye on this page for more information and don't miss it.
Enjoy. And wear flats.
Devan Meserve, a New Hampshire native and St. Lawrence University alum, decided that after two successful post college years living and working in Boston she was primed for exploration beyond the East Coast. With encouragement from friends and family and Aclipse’s expert advice she landed an instructor position with Chungdahm April English. Devan is loving life in Uijeongbu: she is continuously impressed and entertained by her young students and spends her free time following Anthony Bourdain’s advice, “I’m a big believer in improvising and getting lost.”
Check out her blog!