The scene in Times Square outside the MTV studio was reminiscent of the heyday of TRL - hundreds of excited fans gathered in the streets for a chance to see B.A.P perform live in New York City.
Thursday night K-Pop superstars, B.A.P performed live in the MTV studio for MTV K Presents B.A.P Live in NYC, an exclusive show live streamed on MTV K’s official website. The event included a performance of four hit B.A.P songs as well as a question and answer segment with fans in the audience.
Just looking around at the crowd gathered in front of the MTV studio, it was clear to see that B.A.P really do live up to their name - Best. Absolute. Perfect.
The fans were a diverse mix of ages and races, proving that the powerful Korean hip-hop group’s music has wide-ranging appeal.
“We haven’t had this big a crowd in a while,” one crew member said to another as they gazed down from the studio in awe of the Babyz in the street holding signs and cheering.
In the studio for sound check there were a handful of VIPs who had participated in various contests to win the opportunity to witness the intimate performance.
“I’m the Twitter contest winner. I get to ask them a question,” said Heather Folsom, a B.A.P fan from Ohio. “I really wanted to be here, so I asked about a hundred questions on Twitter and they chose one of them.”
Folsom also explained that many of the Babyz had traveled long distances to see B.A.P’s concert in New York and to attend the various fan events. “I am part of a Facebook group for B.A.P fans who were coming to the concert from all over. We all finally got to meet in person this morning,” she explained.
And not just Folsom, but the select audience in the studio was full of excited fans who had traveled from around the US and Canada to support B.A.P - and judging by the energy in the room, the travel was worth it.
When B.A.P finally entered the studio, the Babyz almost didn’t know what to do with themselves. The initial reaction was to scream, but suddenly it turned to a mix of hushes and self-contained squeals as the idols took the stage before their drop-jawed fans.
Although the stage itself was rather small, as B.A.P performed four of their hit songs, their dynamic choreography and lively on-stage personalities overwhelmed the room and had everyone singing and dancing along.
They started out by singing their recent hit single, “One Shot” and the cheers from fans inside the studio, as well as out on in Times Square, were so loud it was actually difficult to hear the song.
After the first number the group was asked what is it that sets them apart from other K-Pop groups. The members all looked to leader Yong Guk to answer. He paused for a moment, then responded rather matter-of-factly, “Hard core style.” The Babyz in the studio seemed to agree whole-heartedly as instantly there was a deafening roar of cheers.
B.A.P’s second song, “Rain Sound” slowed things down a bit, but they performed with so much passion it was easy to see they were really happy to have the opportunity to be there.
“No Mercy” was an absolutely unbelievable performance. The energy level was through the roof, so much so that even several staff and crew members could not help but dance along. All six members exuded swag as they filled up the entire stage.
For the final song B.A.P performed their debut single, the intensely powerful “Warrior.” The group gave it their all for the finale, enticing the fans to get their hands in the air and scream as loud as possible.
When it was all over, they headed back into the dressing room to cool down and prepare for the Q&A segment, giving the Babyz a much needed break as well.
During the interview portion of B.A.P Live in NYC there was a lot of laughter as the guys cracked jokes all while answering the fan questions earnestly.
One of the most entertaining parts was when an audience member asked “Who does the best impression of Yong Guk and Zelo’s rapping?” In unison the guys answered, “Him Chan!” causing the audience to egg him on and show off his impersonation. He lowered his voice a few registers and delivered a slow line of rap a’la Yong Guk then sped things up in a frenzy of lyrics in Zelo’s style. The Babyz went wild and everyone laughed and applauded.
When asked about what their experience in New York had been like so far, all six B.A.P members agreed that it has been very exciting. They mentioned a shopping excursion on Fifth Avenue the day before and raved about cheeseburgers from Shake Shack, a famed New York establishment.
Later, when Jong Up was asked what superpower he would like to have, he responded (in English), “Teleport,” causing a stir of cheers from fans impressed by his language skills. He then added that if he could teleport, he would be able to return to New York whenever he wanted… and eat at Shake Shack again.
As the B.A.P Live in NYC event came to a close, the members took the time to thank their international fans, as well as those in the studio and outside, for their support and encouragement. As they left the studio for the last time, they moved through the crowd and gave high fives to the Babyz, smiling from ear to ear.