Intensity: Rain, UKISS, Christian Bautista

Of course, I went to the concert with the mindset that I would rather be with samkpopsal and chariteee over at the SMTown ’10. But then again, Rain’s been in the industry for this long because he’s an excellent artist: so the concert turned out to be a must-see—you’ve got to see Rain perform at least once in your life if you call yourself a consumer of kpop.

Setlist: Christian Bautista: Wrong Number, Beautiful Girl, The Way You Look At Me; U-KISS: 빙글빙글 (Round and Round), 뭐라고 (Nothing), 만만하니, End of the Road; Rain: It’s Raining, Touch Ya, 태양을 피하는 방법 (How to Avoid the Sun), I Do, 널 붙잡을 노래 (Love Song), Love Story, Rainism, Hip Song, 안녕이란 말 대신 (Instead of Saying Goodbye)

Having been exposed to Rain only during these latter years, I actually came in not knowing most of his songs, so the highlights for me were when he performed his latest songs, Hip Song and Love Song, but on to the review…

You had Christian Bautista and UKiss opening the show for Rain. Christian Bautista performs a very Filipino set: cheezy and cutesy and all, but he’s an alright singer and it was funny when one of the girls steals a smack from him. UKISS, well, they weren’t very good actually. Their dancing wasn’t synchronized (and recall that I didn’t have Rain to compare with them at this point). The singing, and mainly because most of their songs are autotuned, was just decent (and as a side note, the bass during 만만하니, to which I was looking forward, was too much I couldn’t hear the vocals). I will give you however, that the boys were quite charming. There was a story of how Alexander had already had two Halo-Halo’s that day that was meant to tug at the hearts of the audience. And there was also that more than one of them spoke english and that they were trying to make us laugh with all these antics that made their part enjoyable.

Rain is introduced by a slightly cheezy slide show (think the 3D-rendered clip-art-inspired texts of Rain’s name and some of his albums), and as I look at my notes, most is really that I thought that the dance breaks in each of the songs just blew me away. As mentioned, I really liked Love Song and Hip Song, because those are just great moves in there. So, really, Rain’s an awesome performer. His height is a great thing going for him. As is with most tall people, height can either make one look really awkward as most movements one does will be quite noticeable. The other is true here. Since Rain is such a great dancer, his movements look all the more awesome. And then there’s the charisma that he brings over to his dancing. It happened several times, though I’m recalling Hip Song here, when Rain would be breaking it down in perfect harmony with his backup dancers, and then start doing his own thing, though with this certain lazy-bravado that would still be in perfect sync with the beat. The impression then becomes that he’s such a great dancer he can do it asleep, something i feel can only be accessed by somebody as honed and talented as Rain.

I have a suspicion that he did a lot of lip-syncing (from the fact that despite intense dancing I never hear him panting), but one is never really sure, so I’ll just say that the audio was at least enjoyable. I’ll mention the girls spazzing around me with all the abs-flashing, but as for me I appreciated the stage. It was really all the screen behind Rain, but it was used so well. Consider 태양을 피하는 방법 (How to Avoid the Sun) for example, which was just a beautiful sun that rendered Rain in a silhouette. Other than that, I also liked that Rain is just classy in that there’s no over-the-top-put-you-off clothing.

The awkward part of the whole thing was how abrupt the concert ended, coupled with the fact that Rain couldn’t really communicate with the audience. It makes little sense that somebody like Rain (who’s starred in mainstream American movies, has dramas syndicated to so many other countries, and has a huge international fanbase) hasn’t learned english. But I forgave him for that, seeing that the girls around me would be screaming whenever he’d say something in Korean. But it happens all the time (at least in the Philippines) that fans would call for an encore, and that more was wanted was quite clear from what was shouted (quite synchronized in fact). But then, after what, with looking-back lenses, was a curt I love you and thank you (in Korean, of course), the concert was just over. Adding the fact taht Rain (as I heard from the news), missed one of his interview/fan-meeting things, I came out of the concert with the impression that Rain’s concert was just a performance, just a job for him, and that sadly, some love was lost there between Rain and (and I’m getting a bit biased and personal here) the Filipino people who clearly loved him.

In reality though, it was a concert well-worth the money I spent, so I want to be proven wrong about my theorizing. As in I want to think Rain was just overbooked with filming his Korean drama and touring and all. It would be such a waste otherwise.

[credits to http://www.AzraelColadilla.com for the pictures, mine were just terrible]

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