It is incredibly rare for a popular Korean group to include Australian stops on their tours, so for CNBLUE to bring their Blue Moon World Tour show to not just one but two Australian cities (Sydney & Melbourne) was a huge deal for Australian Boices (the official name for CNBLUE’s fan club) and for Aussie Kpop lovers in general. I fall into both of those categories so needless to say, I’d been looking forward to this show for a while and happily flew from Brisbane to see this Korean pop rock group live – and I certainly wasn’t the only one who’d travelled for the occasion. Fans from around the country and even abroad began lining up from 6am, and by the time the doors opened the queue extended far beyond the limits of Luna Park, around the corner and out of sight.
Let’s get this straight right away: the four members of CNBLUE – vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jung Yonghwa, lead guitarist Lee Jonghyun, bass player Lee Jungshin and drummer Kang Minhyuk – are not your standard all-singing, all-dancing Korean idol group. Their songs are usually at least partially composed by the members and this was a genuine live show – real instruments, real energy. No miming here. The boys never missed a beat and almost every note was spot on.
When CNBLUE took the stage my first thought was, ‘Wow, so they ARE that pretty in real life.’ Dressed in the standard rock band uniform of t-shirts and skinny jeans, CNBLUE looked like they’d jumped right out of some unsuspecting fangirl’s poster. Yeah, see what I did there, Boices?
They danced, headbanged and, in frontman Yonghwa’s case, shoulder-shimmied their way through a nice mix of new songs from their January release Re:Blue as well as plenty of older tracks, stole many a heart with a mini-set of ballads halfway through the show and then kicked it back into overdrive for the home stretch. “Coffee Shop” was a highlight, with much of the crowd holding their “CNBLUE So Awesome Tonight” banners high (as per instructions stapled to the banners – Kpop fans are nothing if not organised) and their older and heavier song “Just Please”. My personal fangirl heart attack came during the encore with “You’ve Fallen For Me” from Heartstrings, a Korean television drama in which singer Jung Yonghwa and drummer Kang Minhyuk both starred.
Cheesy lyric-laden graphics accompanied some of their English songs on the giant screen backdrop, which I found a little distracting during songs like Wake Up, but the band members made an impressive effort to communicate with their audience in English. There were a few random moments, when Minhyuk declared “We love steak! I like medium!” and Yonghwa repeatedly said “dark, sexy metal”, seemingly apropos of nothing, but their repeated chants of “We love you!”, “Thank you very much!’, “Dance with me!” and “Sydney you are awesome!” were not lost in translation and had the very soggy and bedraggled crowd onside from the word go – even after hours queuing in the rain.
It was definitely a show worth travelling for, and I’ll be back for another round if CNBLUE keep their promise and come back to play for us again. CNBLUE 화이팅!
Article by Erin Smith @ the AU review