Concert review: K-pop boyband iKon impresses with top-form rapper and energetic performance

SINGAPORE – All my favourite K-pop performers are rappers. And I have a new one on my list – K-pop boyband iKon’s Bobby.

After watching his performance with his bandmates at their Continue concert on Sunday (Nov 4) concert at The Max Pavilion, I have concluded he is one of the best rappers I have seen in a mainstream K-pop boyband.

Through all the band’s heart-pumping songs, the 22-year-old had a strong, distinctive sense of rhythm and style. On a technical level, Bobby impressed with both speed and enunciation. He also had an ease about him and an almost hyperactive presence onstage.

The rest of the septet also did a good job. Aside from Bobby, Junhoe also charmed with his distinctively deep, husky vocals that confidently hit all the right notes.

Performing just one day after company mate Winner at the same location, iKon pulled off a stylistically different show. While Winner went for a sexier aesthetic, iKon had a more typically clean-cut boyband image.

The group’s enthusiasm onstage was palpable. Its performance was very rap-heavy as well as dance-centric and energetic.

Members of the septet often came very close to the fans in the mosh pit and frequently bantered in English. They readily admitted that they were not fluent in the language but still managed to be funny with their off-the-cuff remarks.

The group also worked the crowd well, rallying audience members to sing along and encouraging them to stand and jump to the beat, giving the concert a party-like atmosphere.

Near the end of the concert, the group also asked the audience to lower their cameras, presumably in the hope that the audience would enjoy the performance live rather than through a phone screen.

Production-wise, iKon’s concert shared the same set design and stage layout as Winner’s – both groups had a two-storey set with several layers of lights but the stage effects felt more impressive in Winner’s performance.

However, the video segment featuring iKon midway during the concert was quite a letdown as there was no attempt at an interesting storyline and it just looked like a run-of-the-mill music clip with no real theme.

Regardless, the concert was great fun. And now that I have witnessed what iKon can do live, I might even call myself a new fan.

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