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  • REVIEW: U-KISS First U.S. Tour Los Angeles – 01.14.14

REVIEW: U-KISS First U.S. Tour Los Angeles – 01.14.14

U-KISS First U.S. Tour has a date in Los Angeles for the first time since their 2011 appearance at the Korean Music Festival. This was a long time coming for KissMes.

U-KISS at Club Nokia in L.A. Live

U-KISS at Club Nokia in L.A. Live

The concert started with a video montage highlighting U-KISS’ early years to the present. Then they appeared on stage dressed in blue camouflage pants and ornate jackets. Immediately they go into the “Stop Girl” stance and the crowd gets super excited. I did notice how weird the choreography looks in person; nevertheless, it’s always interesting to see the differences between videos and concerts and to see how the band keeps up with the energy. U-KISS had no problem with that.

It was fun to see Soohyun, the leader and main vocalist, lip-synch his band member’s parts. A simple interaction that shows how much he enjoys leading the band.

The breaks between songs had lots of fan service. With half the band fluent in English, we heard some fun mocking of engrish with the non-fluent members. There was multiple versions of “What’s up L.A.?!” and a mention of how sweaty they were on stage. This delighted the crowd, especially when Kevin sang a bit of Nelly’s “It’s Getting Hot in Here.”

Seeing you in person, KissMes are so sexy! – Hoon (with a few body rolls)

I am a newer fan of U-KISS having discovered them in April of 2012 with the song, “Doradora.” As a big fan of pop music, this song reminded me of the boy bands era in the 90s/2000s. This performance especially had clear vocals and there was no shortage of their crazy body rolls and flashes of abs from Kiseop and Kevin.

Unfortunately the concert’s sound was very hit or miss. I found some of the tracks to be a little uneven, but “Standing Still” employed a heavy bass track that I think is neglected a lot in most performances. Vocals were done well despite everything.

Later another montage was shown with the Mnet America Headliner videos. Watching these over the last week of the tour has been a very cool way to connect with fans and show some stuff from behind the scenes.

Next were the duet stages. First up was Eli & AJ’s sub-group uBEAT featuring Kevin on “Should’ve Treated You Better.” This had an outfit change (inside joke for some fellow bloggers) for the almost halfway point of the show and segued to Hoon & Soohyun’s duet, “More Painful than Pain.” AJ came back with Kiseop for “Obsession” which featured a ton of fan interaction in the pit area. Hoon came in with Kevin at the end and the full band appeared for a break in the songs for a discussion and Q&A.

AJ made some silly noises from Ylvis’ “What Does the Fox Say?” which had some great moments with the crowd. They did some chit chat with favorite songs before checking out the board of questions. Of those asked, they joked about AJ’s chicken chest; fan “Sabrina’s” phone # with Kevin reciting a few digits; if Eli can twerk (with audience encouragement of “twerk twerk!”); who has the best lips (Eli) & kisses directed at the cameras; Eli interacting with AJ’s fan and a cute “how u doin’?” from AJ to said fan. This was so much fun. I don’t think I smiled this much during a concert in a long time.

There was a question about how songs are composed that AJ answered – he writes depending on his mood. Then Kiseop gave lots of fan service to the person who happened to be in the pit that asked another question, which he then did a little bit of the Doradora dance. In addition, there was some playful shirt lifting to show more abs. One of the silliest questions was if Soohyun wearing Hoon’s underwear (don’t worry, it’s his own). Soohyun cutely proposed to a question asker and later Kevin sang “My Reason” to a fan. This was particularly cute because Soohyun and also Hoon lip-synched along. Seeing AJ silly, Eli being very comedic and the band laying down all in front with lots of fans all over them was nothing short of amazing.

U-KISS has quite a following in Japan and played a few of their tracks from those promotions. I particularly liked this knowing that they had some fans travel from Japan to a few of their shows, including this one. How cool is that?

The next break was the very sweet L.A. Superfan, Chantel Lysette. Check out her story below on being the U-KISS mom.

WHO CUT ONIONS? It seemed there was not a dry eye in the house. After some ugly cries, they do “0330” and after, AJ gets the crowd to chant his famed lyric, “don’t deny our r squared pi.” This is both brilliant and ridiculous.

Kiseop’s birthday was in 3 days and with help from some KissMes, he gets a – “very very cute and sexy” – cupcake cake.

After the birthday wishes, each of the band members took a moment to thank the staff and especially their fans.

I won’t be able to forget today. The reason is our fans. – Kiseop

As the concert was winding down, it became clear that the audience loved every moment from Eli strutting around, AJ shooting imaginary cupid arrows and Kiseop spraying water all over and on AJ. With some encouragement, we get to the encore and last song, also undoubtedly the most popular, “Man Man Han Ni.” This showed the band in their most casual state playing with the crowd and just being relaxed. One of the cutest moments was they coaxed 2 staff members from Mnet America who helped them during their tour and thanked them on stage. It was adorable seeing them embarrassed and U-KISS being appreciative of them reflected how humble they are. We can’t wait to see them again!

Stop Girl
She’s Mine
Bingeu Bingeu
Standing Still
Should’ve Treated You Better by uBEAT
More Painful than Pain (Soohyun & Hoon duet)
Obsession (AJ & Kiseop duet)
Tick Tack (Japanese version)
Forbidden Love (Japanese version)
Mysterious Lady (featuring the Super Fan)
Without You
Man Man Ha Ni

U-KISS is currently working on Japan promotions. Check their SNS for updates!
Official Site: http://www.u-kiss.co.kr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ukiss
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UKISS_intl
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/ukiss2008

Check out Mnet America‘s Go! U-KISS’ Youtube playlist!
Mnet’s first Headliner of 2014, watch GO! U-KISS‘s full episode!

Our friends at KPOP Savant took some wonderful photos. Here’s their video wrap up with a BLINK OR YOU’LL MISS IT appearance by me.

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