Yesterday, I went off to Hye Wah, and got a chance to see the Korean rock group, SUPERKIDD. They were super fun. In fact, the tagline for their concert was, "Super Happy Fun Music." Most of their songs were an inter-splice between 70's punk rock and Beastie Boys diatribes. The lead singers were an emcee duo. The smaller of the two, was thin and frail with a sort of whiny-nerd voice, that made me picture him as the Korean Buddy Holly. He was too cute. As far as the other emcee, he was tall, handsome, and had a much deeper timbre - almost Tone Loc-ish. They were both wonderful front men, as they played singalongs with the audience, incoporated megaphones, and danced continuously to the groovy choruses.
There are several things I would like to highlight about SUPERKIDD, and the KOREAN rock experience. First of all, there are no drugs in Korea. It's strictly forbidden, so you don't have the same shadiness you would encounter at an American rock venue. The fans are there for one thing - the music. This was particularly noticeable, and made for a unique expereince on my part. I didn't have to push the tripper off my back, or tell the stoner behind me I didn't have Cheetos. I just danced, and watched the crowd move with me.
This shared experience was further amplified by the theatrical tricks SUPERKIDD had at their disposal. As I walked into the small club, I was surprised to see a scrim in front of the stage. Several members of the crowd tried to peak underneath, and there was a strange moment where I thought they just might play their entire set behind the scrim. Just when I sat back to enjoy this type of show - believe me I've seen them - the superheroes were unveiled, and the entire crowd leapt up on their toes, with shirts and water bottles being spun in the air above them. It was quite an electrifying moment.
Another wonderful exchange was orchestrated, when Richie Valens' Labamba was given its Korean heartbeat. Initially, when I heard the chords kick in, I assumed they would simply go through the standard. I was wrong though. SUPERKIDD had much more up their sleeves. Instead of letting the track simply play with a crooner, they dropped all instrumentation except for the guitarist and the drummer singing. He sang one verse in Korean, and then the bund thrust forward into the full original. It was in the traditional 4x4 time of old, until the Chorus kicked in, and the band just leapt off the stage into a double-time 70's funk-punk groove. It was just fabulous. I can't give enough kudos to this very talented, young band. If you have a chance to visit their site, please do. They've got plenty of kick ass Tee's to go with that super-happy sound.