UK BABY’s were more than excited to hear that B.A.P were going to be holding a show in London on April 27th 2014. The tickets only went on sale 3 weeks before the concert, but that time passed quickly, and soon it was finally the day. In fact, B.A.P arrived several days early to film something, although we are still not sure what.
People began to arrive at the 02 Academy in Brixton, London as early as 9am to queue, and those who did were rewarded with glimpses of Zelo, Jongup and Daehyun waving out of the windows from the 2nd floor. Thankfully it was a clear day, making the long wait a little better for everyone. About an hour before the doors opened it began to rain, and the queue was very long, going around several street corners. At 7pm, the doors opened to the 4000 eager fans, and even if you could not see the main entrance, everyone knew that the doors had opened from the mass of screaming excited fans with Matoki sticks waiting in their hands.
Fans piled into the venue, some stopping to pick up their signed albums to see if they had won the chance to meet B.A.P in the meet and greet after the show. What’s great about the 02 Academy in Brixton, is that the floor is sloped, meaning that anyone standing has a great view, even those who might consider themselves short. As it got closer to the beginning of the show, the room gradually lit up in a green glow as more and more Matoki sticks were switched on in anticipation. At exactly 8pm, the lights went down, causing the crowd to scream in unison as the opening video clip played on the big screen, telling the story of B.A.P coming to bring the world to justice
The first song was One Shot, which being one of B.A.P’s most popular songs, almost everyone knew the words and were singing along. The boys came out with a lot of energy, making fans even more excited to see what was to come later in the show. They followed up with Badman and Power in order to continue the high energy and create a charged atmosphere amongst the fans. It was a great start to the show. After another short video featuring Youngjae and Zelo, it was time for Love Sick followed by the first major talk. A man dressed as a barista pushed a small cart onto stage full of coffee, and a logo similar to Starbucks was put on the front, which said ‘StarBABY’s’. At this point, the boys gave a lot of fan service, and Daehyun and Zelo even gave drinks to a few lucky fans at the front. Youngjae was also throwing little hearts with his hands left, right and centre.
This small interlude flowed smoothly into Coffee Shop, where the boys looked a lot more serious, a big change from the first few songs. Following that, was the song everyone had been waiting for. After hearing the fan reports from the American show, everyone was eagerly awaiting Body & Soul. The choreography was the focus of the song, and the boys clearly wanted to drive the fans insane, and they did it perfectly with their seductive glances and hip thrusts right on the edge of the stage. The faces of the male security guards at the front of the stage at that point was priceless and they certainly needed their earplugs. I’ve never heard fans collectively scream so loudly! The members walked off the stage with smirks on their faces for another costume change.
Another video played whilst we waited, before the intro to Punch began to play, and fans began to cheer once again. Matoki sticks were once again held high above everyone’s head as they pumped their fists to the beat. No Mercy followed and this was one of the highlights of the concert for me. Whilst I love the song, it is not my favorite and I was not anticipating it as much as some others. However, the entire crowd did the hand moves to the chorus making it feel like a mini flash mob. It was definitely a great moment. Bang x2 finished the ‘Passion’ segment of the show, and allowed the ‘Emotion’ part to begin.
Rain Sound began and hands started swaying in the air, and after a small solo dance from Jongup, showing what an amazing dancer he is, Save Me followed. During both these songs Daehyun’s impressive range and vocal skills shined through and I was really amazed. Youngjae’s vocals were also great, but Daehyun’s really stood out.
As the members ran off stage for another costume change, it was time for my next favorite moment of the show and looking back it was probably the highlight of the show, purely for the fan interaction. Two backing dancers came on stage as another video played teaching us the dance to Check On. Whilst the dance was short, simple and quite funny, it was easy to follow, fun to do and a great way to meet the person sat beside you, if you hadn’t already spoken to them before the show started. After the dancers had taught the crowd the dance, the boys came back to perform the song and do the dance along with all their fans. It was a great moment and brought a lot of smiles and laughs to the fans faces.
Excuse Me, Spy, Hurricane, Dancing In The Rain, Stop It and finally Crash all closed the last segment of the show and the last talk of the show gave the boys the chance to say a few personal thank you’s and of course showed off all the English they had learnt whilst touring in the USA. In fact, this was the first K-Pop concert I’ve been to where there was no translator and the group spoke entirely in English. Yongguk’s English was particularly impressive, and his deep voice became even deeper in English making all his fans scream even louder. Speaking of screaming, the boys held a small popularity competition amongst themselves. Yongguk got the crowd to scream for each member to determine who was the most popular. Zelo won by a long way, and looked particularly pleased with himself hearing all the fans yelling for him.
The members then told the crowd to wait for exactly 1 minute and 30 seconds, as then ran to change costumes and make tweets about the show. As fans watched the countdown timer, the tweets appeared on the screen one by one. Fans began chanting the countdown from 20 seconds, but it unexpectedly froze at 10 second making everyone shout out in worry. Perhaps it was a technical problem with the equipment? But, no, it was just the members teasing the fans and soon the countdown continued. The members burst back onto the stage with Angel, and they were all clearly fired up to make this the best performance of the show. Warrior quickly followed this and every fan knew the words, and many also had whistles, which they blew in time with the music. It was another one of the great moments of the show, and it has really stuck in my memories.
The concert ended with the boys promising a surprise for everyone, and waving as they left the stage with big smiles. The concert went smoothly with no problems, and the crowd was buzzing with happy fans chatting about the show with the people beside them. No one was a stranger at that point. It lasted just under 2 hours, but it didn’t feel short and the electric atmosphere continued throughout.
B.A.P. Live On Earth, London
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Pictures by Sophie