The Mayan Theater got the K-POP diva glow-up, as Transparent agency hosted Hyolyn’s very first US Showcase, featuring special guest artists Lijah Lu and Jun Curry Ahn. Setting the party mood just right was DJ Eman from radio show “Power 106”. The first artist of the night Lijah Lu, continued the good vibes with a soulful mix of pop grooves reminiscent of Timberlake, with an extra bit of Latin flair. Lu’s soft- textured harmonies stood-out during his acoustic number, and by the end of the night, his dance-oriented tracks had me consulting his sound-cloud for some good jams.
The next artist was violinist and dance cover sensation Jun Curry Ahn, whom I knew well from previous stages at KCON as well as for his YouTube covers. While I was sad that he didn’t show-off some dance moves, I adored his violin covers which included BTS, Big Bang, and OST songs from the “Descendants of the Sun” and “Goblin”. Jun Curry Ahn playing against the gorgeous graphics in the background, provided a beautiful feast for the eyes as well as the ears. A special pocket of fanboys added their special brand of vocals to Jun’s playing, which generated a couple of laughs from the audience and Jun Curry Ahn as well. If he has a Sound-Cloud, you may also find me raiding it for some good study session tunes.
Finally, the crowd swelled with cheers as the K-POP diva everyone was waiting for, strutted across the stage. Hyolyn’s fashion style was reminiscent of her muse Beyoncé, circa “Crazy in Love”. Sashaying towards the crowd in red stilettos, a crop white tank, and cheeky blue-jean shorts, Hyolyn flashed that charismatic eye-smile and came ready to serve all the fierceness to the land. Hyolyn and her dancers launched into her booty bouncing track “Paradise”, and without so much as a breath in between, she kept the dance party popping with “One Way Love”. The mood turned grown and sexy as Hyolyn body rolled into a club banger remix of “My Boy”, followed by a sensual, turnt-up performance of her solo album tracks “Massage” and “Dope”. As the crowd’s shouts of appreciation competed with the dropping beats, every Hyolyn hair flip, hip sway, booty pop, and sexy smirk got the fans worked up.
Hyolyn finally took a breather to give her fans official greetings before the next set. Slowing it down, Hyolyn launched into her 2nd track release “Love Like this”, off her latest mini album “It’s Me”. Sistar’s album track “Alone” signaled a mini intermission as “Act Two” came across the main screen. I knew there was no possible way Hyolyn wouldn’t showcase some of the latest Sistar releases, but I was also curious if a slower groove like “Alone” would appear in her set list. Wisely, Hyolyn kept the tunes to the most recent Sistar tracks that had dominated years of summer jams. Act two did not disappoint as she launched into the bluesy intro of Sistar’s “I Swear.” The hoarse cries of happiness from the fanboys were especially memorable, while the fans danced and sang along proudly with Hyolyn during “Shake It” and “Touch My Body”.
I wondered what else she could possibly pull out of her musical catalogue, as Hyolyn and her dancers exited the stage and “Act Three” filled the screen. Hyolyn made her encore appearance, giving heartfelt thanks (in Korean and English) to everyone who came out to support, then announced her final song as “Bang Bang”. Usually an artist will showcase a cover song at the beginning or middle of a show, but Hyolyn saved this powerhouse performance for last, and I understand why. If anyone doubts why Hyolyn is considered one of the top vocalists in K-POP, her live cover of “Bang Bang” would certainly set minds right. That song is a vocal feat, and Hyolyn more than met the challenge with extra sass and slayage to spare.
Any Sistar fan knows that part of their magic and staying power, is the ease in which they navigate from sexy to cool and cute to classy. Some of the most memorable dances and ear-worms in K-POP are courtesy of Sistar, and Hyolyn’s LA showcase proved how critical her talent is to that success. Hyolyn provides a special vocal clarity and signature tone, that is as easily recognizable and alluring, as it is unforgettable. Even with years of success in Sistar, it seems like Hyolyn is just beginning to show her star power. I hope this showcase is an indication of her further evolution as an artist and future projects to come. Thanks to Transparent Agency, Starship, The Mayan and Hyolyn for making this concert possible.
- Act I
- One Way Love
- Ma boy (Live Perf. Re-mix)
- Love Like This
- Act II
- I Swear
- Shake It For Me
- Touch My Body
- Act III
- Bang Bang