JYP featuring 2AM In Los Angeles
JYP has mad swagger. Let me repeat that. MAD SWAGGER. This is the guy who trained Rain (yes Rain, I heard you when you said you “surpassed JYP” but he’s still got mad skills). But first! Some soft, sparkling melodies from the four members of 2AM. I suspect just as many in the audience were there for 2AM as they were for JYP, and 2AM did not disappoint. Their well-tended voices melded into the music, notably “I Was Wrong”. There was some tricky choreography involved, but nothing that the boys of 2AM can’t handle. Who knows? Maybe more dance music is on the horizon for them.
A lull of silence, and suddenly JYP’s face appears on screen, and he looks at the audience with this intense all-knowing charisma, snaps his fingers and the lights flicker on. A smirk and the lights switch color. He brings a hand to his ear and the audience screams. It’s like that, all powerful JYP. Already I’m thinking, “Well, he’s stylish.” A thermometer appears on screen: Cold, Warm, Hot, JYP. Well, now we know what’s beyond “hot.”
When Mister JYP appears on stage, he doesn’t just appear. He comes out in style, head on one of his saucy girl dancer’s lap, chilling on a velvet bench. And when Mister JYP wants to use a mic, he doesn’t grab it. He summons the mic to him. Really! He simply stretched his hand out and the mic obeyed.
Little instances like this made the concert more than just a continuous streak of performances. It really was the JYP show. JYP the tap dancer, JYP the magician, JYP the guitarist, JYP the pianist, and JYP the matchmaker (with himself…). We, the audience, were treated to a wide palette of JYPs and a variety of genres, everything from hip-hop, to ballad, to rock music. He balances it all.
Fact is, there were so many moments to awe over. He can hold notes longer than most people can breathe underwater and he’s got a natural tact for showmanship and keeping the audience constantly entertained. For instance, JYP is notable for his compositions. They go on to become #1 hits and stay etched forever in the pages of karaoke books. “Tonight I’m going to sing my songs in my own voice.” It was a real treat to hear JYP’s personal treatment of his songs, from his style of singing to the arrangement. This is honestly one of those “you had to have been there” moments, and I always enjoy a moment or two like that in a concert. It makes being witness to the event more special. There were new songs sung (“Again & Again”, 2PM) and old songs (“Once Again Love Lost”, Lee Ki Chan) and remixes of well-known tunes (“Billie Jean”, Michael Jackson) within songs (“She Was Pretty”, JYP). Everyone got something.
The choreography was hot, and there were times where I had to question whether or not this was truly an all-ages show, but my mind threw the question out quickly. I was enjoying JYP’s variety of stage performances far too much, and to the lucky girl JYP pulled from the audience on stage? I was enjoying every minute of watching you be serenaded, kissed, and then whisked off stage left.
Yes, it’s no question that JYP is an artist extraordinaire. But he also illustrated deeper issues, such as painting a picture of the divisions of love by separating the audience into those who are happy in love and those who are sad due to the love. He also took a moment to point out how asians have made it in just about every aspect of the industry in the US except in music. He reaffirmed that he wants to change that and made mention of the Wonder Girls’ recent climb to #6 on the Canadian music charts. However, what was most endearing to hear was that his dream is to grow old with his fans.
“Every year I want to meet with my fans, once a year, and grow old together.”
He did mention that he was not interested in making new fans, but after these series of concerts, I’m not so sure. Sorry JYP, but unless you lose your mad skills, I think making new fans is inevitable.
Let me end this by requoting his intro, in which most of us in the audience got told off in the most brilliant way possible.
“You might know me as Wonder Girls JYP or manager of 2PM JYP or composer of 2AM JYP, but I’m here today as the singer and dancer JYP!”
Photo credits: Antonia Lam