Year's end, the holidays, 'tis the season to be jolly and attend the slew of Christmas and New Year's concerts that pepper December. Although I'd like to join the enthusiastic crowd, the thought of going to and coming from the concert is very dissuading; total traffic chaos descends upon Seoul d and unless you're prepared to curse like mad while driving or curse like mad while trying to catch a cab or curse like mad while waiting to enter the jam-packed metro station or just simply spend the whole night out till morning - home is the best place to be.
Lucky for me, my favorite crooner of the '90s, Shin Seung Hun, started off his 20th anniversary tour in November and I was able to snag tickets. His Christmas show is at the COEX but the first show was held at Ilsan's Aramnuri Concert Hall, which is a more intimate setting. Perfect for Shin's style.
Shin is probably most famous abroad for having sung the theme song for the 2001 film "My Sassy Girl", but he was already known as the "ballad king" since the '90s. As I've mentioned in a previous post, K-pop wasn't always saturated with autotuned-to-the-max idol groups as it is now, there was a lot more serious singing and being a talented singer songwriter, Shin was the cream of the crop.
It's been 20 years since his debut and a commemorative album was released. Although they may be less sophisticated to the ear, I prefer his original versions:
"Your reflection in a smile", my favorite ballad
"Like the first time", a faster number
"Romeo & Juliet", the one that makes you want to happy dance
His concerts are always entertaining and his energy addictive. The zealous enthusiasm of his longtime loyal fans add to the ambiance (I realized how NOT a hardcore fan I was) and time just flies. The concert lasted for three and a half hours. (And Shin is in his mid 40s!)
Taking photos are prohibited during the concert but okay for curtain call; he took his time thanking the fans.
Besides the Christmas shows, Shin plans to tour nationwide all next year so there's plenty of time to catch his concert. I went to the very first show where there were a couple of technical glitches so I'll probably take in another one in the spring.
Check him out : http://www.shinseunghun.com/