After the Malaysian Grand Prix, there was a complimentary concert for ticket-holders. The concert was originally was supposed to feature Lenny Kravitz, but he had to withdraw for vague reasons. However, his replacements are arguably more famous, the K-pop acts Girls’ Generation and boyband SHINee.
In particular, Girls’ Generation is one of the most famous pop acts in the world, with an astounding eight women in the group, all of whom largely look the same, with only slight differences in body type, hair, and face. I have observed that one unscientific measure of anything’s relevancy is the length and breadth of its Wikipedia entry. Girls’ Generation has a voluminous Wikipedia entry in every language.
Although I do not speak Korean, I am always interested in world-famous things, places, and people. Forbes magazine has rated Girls’ Generation as the #1 celebrity in South Korea. Despite singing mostly in Korean, they have toured all around the world. For those not in the know, Korean pop music and serialized dramas are immensely popular even as far out as the Middle East. In Amman, there were a bunch of Arab girls on a bus studying Korean!
The total show featuring the three Korean acts lasted two hours, with Girls’ Generation and SHINee trading the stage every couple of songs. The boyband and girlband share the same record label. SHINee features five guys aged from 21 to 25, and they were probably skinnier than the already anorexic looking women of Girls’ Generation. Both groups were professional, seeming to whip out the choreography of their hits like trained chimpanzees. SHINee required a female translator in their interaction with the crowd. Girls’ Generation spoke English so fluently that one could easily mistake them for being American, if not for their appearances.
The show started with ominous clouds and rain forcing the audience under tented covers, but when Girls’ Generation made their appearance, people freely ran out into the inclement weather to get closer. In between sets, workers had to mop the rain off of the stage, as they do with sweat on an NBA court. At one point, the timed pink confetti shot into the air, but the wind blew the mess into one of the girls, who spent some time untangling herself before rejoining her band. All in all, it was a worthwhile experience, especially since it was included with my Formula 1 admission!