Wonder Girls with 2 AM

The opening act 2 AM was unnecessary. A boy band with tight pants, they needed to move a lot more. The singing and harmonies were okay, the beats were mediocre, and all I can say is "eh". They almost put me to sleep. I began to worry about the Wonder Girls' performance.

That worry was needless. The energy that the Wonder Girls exhibited right from the get go was a zillion times greater. It was the exact opposite of 2 AM: the beats and music were even more awesome than anything in their studio recordings; their dancing was excellent, particularly for their signature hits; and they exuded a modest charisma (asking us to please stay with them even when they become grandmas) that was refreshing. There were parts where when one member would be on center stage the others looked a bit tired or unsure, but this added to their charisma.

The five girls performed their classic hits including So Hot, Tell Me, and two versions of Nobody (one slow and one similar to the English version of the studio recording). I consider Nobody to be one of the great tunes in Pop and, to me, it is very very vaguely reminiscent of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive in terms of its chord progression (just the high/low pattern which I think is a very successful one to adopt).

I wish they had sung more of their songs in Korean. I don't know Korean much but I can say that the English translations simply don't sound as cool. The original version of Nobody, with a mix of Korean and English, I think is very unique and is kind of diminished by make it all English.

The concert was short, given the little material both bands had to showcase. To make up for this shortage, the Wonder Girls performed a variety of other hits, including a medley of five tunes showcasing each of the Wonder Girls solo. My favourite of these was Beyonce's All the Single Ladies by Sohee. Other cool covers included the Pussycat Dolls' Don't Cha, Lady Gaga's Paparazzi and the Black Eyed Peas' Boom Boom Pow.

It was my 11 year old daughter's second major concert (her first was Kraftwert when she was 5) and she brought her Korean friend along. Both were familiar with the Wonder Girls and enjoyed both bands, including 2 AM's slow robot dancing.

Music ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org || June 30, 2010