The 2007 SBS Gayo Daejun (Song Festival) kicked off last night at 9pm (Korean time) and saw the most popular groups/singers this past year come together to create a fun-filled three hours music extravaganza. It had earlier announced that it would not be holding a music award show but instead change it to a music festival format. The festival was divided into two parts, the first was special stages while the second was a mini-concert concept.
The show was hosted by Lee Hui Jae and Lee Hyo Ri who looked elegant and stunning in her low-cut cleavage light turqoise evening gown. Some of the performing artistes even took the opportunity to run over to where they were standing and started dancing. The first part of the music festival saw many different singers collaborating together to put on special stage performances. The opening act was performed by Shinhwa member, Lee Min Woo together with three “dancing queens” Stephanie, Chae Yeon & Seo In Young. Stephanie perfect rendition of Beyonce’s, “Beautiful Liar” led to big roars from the crowd.
In the middle of all these was a musical drama skit which was pre-recorded and starred members of popular groups, Wonder Girls & Big Bang in a high school romance story. What it did was to integrate all the songs that got No.1 over the past year on SBS Inkigayo as the background music for each scene to develop the love story. Songs included, “Love Love Love”, “Love Sick”, “Loving One Person Is Enough”, “Toc Toc Toc”, “Love is Delicious”, “Tell Me”, “Lie”, etc. This concept was really special and interesting to many including me.
The 2007 Rookies representatives, Younha, F.T. Island, So Nyeo Shi Dae and Wonder Girls was put together as they did a special stage that saw them singing classic songs from the past that were No.1. Three members of So Nyeo Shi Dae, Soo Young, Seo Hyun, Yuri did Park Ji Yoon’s, “Adult Ceremony” dance and also S.E.S, “Dreams Come True”, “I’m Your Girl”. Wonder Girls meanwhile performed Fin.K.L, “Now”, etc and also, Hyo Ri’s classic, “10 Minutes” which saw Hyo Ri unable to resist dancing along to her former songs.
The second part of the festival was broken up into mini-concerts of different music genres plus music companies representation. It started off with four R&B male singers, Brian & Hwan Hee (Fly to the Sky), Wheesung and Eru singing Big Mama’s classic hit, “Break away”. This was followed by each of them discarding their ballad image and present a solo dance of their own. The second group to appear was three female ballad singers, Baek Ji Young, Yangpa and Lee Soo Young. Third was three hip-hop representatives, Drunken Tiger, Epik High and Dynamic Duo who performed each of their hits together as one.
Then it was time for company representation performances which was started off by M.net as singers under it which included, SeeYa, SG Wannabe, F.T. Island, Supernova performed. SeeYa ditched their usual demure image and wore sexy costumes as they performed, “Toxic”. Supernova became SeeYa’s dancers and pushed the festival to another high. The four groups then perfomed PSY’s, “Champion” which got the crowd really high as they sang along.
SM Entertainment was next and you can’t count them out in such an event. They paraded CSJH The Grace, Super Junior, So Nyeo Shi Dae who performed hit songs produced by SM in the 90s which included those from H.O.T, S.E.S, BOA, DBSK. JYP Entertainment who was having a roll this year, also saw its artistes like Park Jin Young himself, Wonder Girls, G-Soul, Lim Jeong Hee and first public appearance for new face, Min.
Big Bang who has been red-hot around the nation also saw it’s entire company artistes appear in full force. The MC announced beforehand that there will be a mystery guest besides Big Bang & 1YTM when announcing the list. Big Bang and 1YTM performed their own songs and suddenly, the subtitles wrote, “YG’s old sunbaenim (senior) Jinusean” which led to a sea of applause from the crow. The two veteran hip-hop founders from YG appeared and sang their classic songs, “A-Yo”, “Telephone Number” with their juniors. This was not all, the spotlight was focused on a piece of white cloth and the singers on stage started counting, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!”. The white cloth fell and SE7EN made a SURPRISE appearance as he performed a dance segment.
The final highlight of the festival and the last performance was one that was anticipated by many. A tape showed Shinhwa achievements since it’s debut in 1999 till now and led to lots of cries from the crowd waving orange balloons. Eric appeared first with a rap followed by Dong Wan, Min Woo, Hye Sung, JunJin and Andy. They sang four full songs and definitely made the crowd keep the Shinhwa legend in their hearts for a long time to come.
The format of the music festival might have changed which may lessen the thrill of watching it, but to be able to see the singers come together as one and celebrate music in one setting makes for a moving story. SBS certainly deserves a pat on the shoulder for this well-run show from start to finish with a stellar cast and excellent performances. Undoubtedly still the king when it comes to producing variety shows.