By Kim Jae-heun
BIGBANG’s last concerts in Korea seemed no different from any of their other performances, but this time, over 64,000 fans gathered for the concerts at Gocheok Sky Dome, Seoul, to bid farewell to the rapper T.O.P ― the first BIGBANG member to be drafted into the army. He will report for duty next month.
Fans filled up the baseball stadium with lights shining from thousands of yellow light-sabers ― an official cheering tool of the idol group’s fan club “VIP.” They could be heard throughout the three hour-long concerts. They were BIGBANG’s last shows in Korea before the band gets back together again in five years time, at earliest, after all the members complete their military service.
“BIGBANG members and I came this far with each other since we were 19 years old,” said T.O.P during the Sunday concert. “Honestly, I was afraid of moving to a new environment before where it’s a totally new place to me, but now I feel comfortable. I have exactly a month left before I join up, and everybody has to go. I am just thankful that I am able to round off my work here for a while and I thank you all for your support and love.”
“Two years won’t be too long a time. I will try to make eye contact with each and every one of you and keep you in my mind. I will come back as a more mature and improved person,” added T.O.P.
The band leader G-Dragon agreed with that sentiment, saying that it took three years for them to return with their recent M.A.D.E. album.
“BIGBANG will not be able to perform together with all the members of the band for a while, but we will strive to fill T.O.P’s spot by releasing albums as a 4-member act as well as giving solo performances,” said G-Dragon.
BIGBANG kicked off their world tour last July with three concerts in Osaka, Japan, and one in Seoul at the World Cup Stadium in August. They followed with 20 more gigs in four different cities. The Big Bang M.A.D.E. concerts were one of four programs of the idol band’s year-long project to celebrate their 10th anniversary and a total of 1.12 million fans attended the shows.
The K-pop group opened the final show with three lively dance songs “Heaven,” “We Like 2 Party” and “Hands Up” and performed to their latest songs “FXXk It,” “Last Dance” and “Girl Friend.” They were the new additions to the previous M.A.D.E. Series concert in Seoul, last August.
Each member featured their solo performances in turn and unit collaborations, such as between G-Dragon and T.O.P. and G-Dragon and Tae Yang.
Not only did Koreans enjoy the shows in Seoul but many fans from different countries flew here solely to attend the concerts.
Hong Kong fan Wendy Chu has attended all the concerts in her homeland and Saturday-Sunday’s concert was her second in Seoul. Chu flew four hours to Korea to see T.O.P.’s last performances before his enlistment.
“I watched both shows this weekend. I only came to Korea to watch BIGBANG and I am very sad. I hope T.O.P. takes care of himself while he is in the army and hope he comes back safe and sound,” said Chu.
Source: The Korea Times