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Are Korean Pop Concerts THAT Different from American Artist Concerts?

Concerts are exciting for everyone! Whether it's pop, punk, rap, country, or everything in between, everyone has something to love about concerts. But what makes Korean pop artist concerts so different?

In short? Yes. Korean pop, more lovingly referred to as K-pop, concerts are way different than concerts from American or Western artists. Getting to see an international group on your home soil is already exciting, but there is a multitude of factors that make them stand out even more.

K-pop groups are different from a vast amount of western artists. While a lot of western artists play their own instruments, or have someone else on stage doing so, or some just stand there and sing, K-pop groups are a lot more fluid. K-pop groups (sans a few who do play their own instruments) sing along to an accompanied track, and typically have a dance for every single song they perform. Two hours straight of dancing? Yeah, it's nuts! And super hype!

I want to touch base on the unity of the fans too, as I feel that's most different. Fans gather together in Facebook groups, and group chats even months prior to these concerts. They get to know each other and talk about their favorite members in the group, or favorite songs. Even at the concerts, you can make friends with the person you're sitting beside or standing behind in line. I have made so many amazing friends this way. It's truly a connecting and wonderful experience that I feel like I never get when attending concerts by American artists. I can't count on one hand how many times girls at shows I've been to have rolled their eyes at me when I try to talk to them. (Though there were a couple girls at Warped Tour back in my glory days who helped me when I passed out. Props to you girls.)

One of my favorite things at K-pop concerts are the light sticks! and I'm not talking just regular colored crack and glow sticks. A lot of K-pop groups have their own customized, basically hand held little lamp sticks! Fans will bring these to the concerts and light up the venue in varying colors. It's honestly so gorgeous to see. They're such a fun and unique element to K-pop shows. At events like KCON, which is a two day concert filled with multiple K-pop artists, you can see light sticks of many different K-pop groups shining all at once. 

A few examples of light sticks from K-pop groups, PC Twitter user @HaeJunNee

"So if they're singing in Korean, how do you know what they're saying to sing along to?" Well. We don't. Not always. While some fans have taken to learning the language, or just know enough to sing along decently, others just sing along with what sounds similar. And that's perfectly fine. We may not always know what they're saying, or the correct words, but I have never heard a venue full of loud, passionate, happy singing quite like anything a K-pop concert brings. 

So if you like K-pop, and get the chance to see a group perform here in the States, I truly encourage you to do so. You may go just for the group, but you will come back with new friends, and so many amazing memories that will last a life time.

(Please keep in mind that these are all common things I have experienced from all of the American artist and North American based K-pop concerts that I have attended. Experiences may vary from person to person and country to country of the performing artists.)

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