KCON 2015 LA kicked off its first day on Friday, July 31 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. KCON is the largest North American convention all about K-Pop and features fan engagement sessions with some of the hottest K-Pop artists, celebrity panels, fantastic performances and concerts, and more activities to satisfy K-Pop fans’ feels. This year, over 58,000 K-Pop fans attended KCON LA alone!
On the first day, fans had the chance to enjoy the convention, eat delicious Korean foods from food trucks, fangirl and fanboy at fan engagement sessions with Zion.T & Crush and Roy Kim, and dance the night away at KCON’s first ever, Klub KCON, with a special guest appearance and performance by rookie boy group, MONSTA X.
Saturday’s schedule was packed with all sorts of panels, meet & greets with celebrities, such as fashionista Irene Kim and actor Son Ho Jun, beauty and cooking workshops, and fan engagement sessions with the artists set to perform at the M Countdown Concert: Feelz in LA (Part 1) later that evening. Fans were also treated with a special GOT7 fashion show in collaboration with Beyond Closet that took place during the convention hours. In addition to that, some extremely lucky fans were able to catch MONSTA X, GOT7, and more when the artists appeared randomly on the convention floor to surprise their fans.
Fans were also given the chance to attend the Red Carpet, an event that only a select number of fans could attend through the random tickets distributed during the convention. Japako Music was given the opportunity to attend as press and was able to take some amazing photos of Super Junior, SISTAR, GOT7, MONSTA X, Roy Kim, Son Ho Jun, and Daniel Henney.
To finish off the day, fans made their way to the Staples Center to witness the truly exhilarating performances by Super Junior, SISTAR, GOT7, MONSTA X, and Roy Kim. MONSTA X started the show and showcased their extraordinary talent. They were fantastic as they performed “Trespass,” “No Exit,” and “Honestly.” GOT7 were next, presenting fans outstanding performance of “Stop Stop It,” “Just Right,” “A,” “Girls Girls Girls,” and “Bounce.” Next up were the gorgeous SISTAR, performing “Shake It,” “Touch My Body,” “Lead Me,” “Loving U,” and “Ma Boy.” Changing the atmosphere 180 degrees, Roy Kim was next as he beautifully sang “Home,” “Love Love Love,” “Bom Bom Bom,” and a cover of “Lucky” in collaboration with SISTAR’s Soyou. After Roy Kim, GOT7 and MONSTA X were back again to perform a surprise collaboration performance that totally rocked the stadium. To close out, Super Junior appeared, and when they did, the crowd went completely wild. The whole stadium seemed to be a sea of pearl sapphire blue (Super Junior’s fan club color) as E.L.F.s (Super Junior’s fan club) waved their light-sticks for their idols to see. Super Junior performed “Twins (Knock Out),” “Sorry Sorry,” “Mr. Simple,” “Shake It Up,” “Oppa Oppa,” “Rockstar,” and “Devil.”
As if Friday and Saturday were not enough, Sunday was just as explosive! Many fans spent the day enjoying the different activities, but most fans spent the day on the lookout for none other than top star, Kim Soo Hyun. Fans flocked to the K-Drama panel featuring Ji-Eun Park, the writer of “My Love from the Stars” and “The Producers,” in hopes of a surprise appearance by the star himself. Though the actor did not show at the panel, he made his first appearance at the Red Carpet. Because the Red Carpet is a closed event, there were many disappointed fans. However, those fans were in for a complete surprise as Kim Soo Hyun finally showed himself to all the attendees as he took the stage as one of the special MCs at the M Countdown Concert: Feelz in LA (Part 2)!
Rookie girl group Red Velvet kicked off the night by performing “Ice Cream Cake,” “Something Kinda Crazy,” a cover of “StickWitU,” and “Happiness.” Next, the wild Block B ignited the stage with performances of Zico’s solo track “Tough Cookie,” unit group Bastarz’s “Conduct Zero,” “HER,” “Very Good,” and “Nalina.” After the boys, the lovely ladies of AOA performed “Heart Attack,” “Confused,” “Like a Cat,” and “Miniskirt.” Moving away from the idol world, hip hop R&B duo Zion.T & Crush stole the spotlight as they performed “Just,” “See Through,” a duet between Zion.T and Red Velvet’s Wendy for “Yanghwa BRDG,” an intermission special performance of “Puss” by AOA’s Jimin, and “Oasis” featuring Block B’s Zico. Last, but never ever the least, the kings of K-Pop, Shinhwa, completely blew the stadium away as their beloved fans, Shinhwa Changjos, sang along to their hits. The legends performed “Sniper,” “T.O.P. (Twinkling of Paradise),” “Hey, Come On,” “I Pray 4 U,” and “Jam #1.”
KCON summed up in one word: Transformative. KCON absolutely transformed the K-Pop and K-Culture scene in North America and transformed the lives of its 58,000+ attendees. In its fourth year running, KCON has seen its biggest success yet, and with K-Pop continuing to expand globally, it looks like KCON has a bright future ahead.
Review by Colleen