K-pop girl group Apink complete hectic North American concert tour
K-pop girl group Apink recently completed a hectic North American concert tour, covering four cities in five days
When K-pop idol groups go on concert tours in the West, the word “tour” almost becomes a misnomer of sorts, as there is hardly any time for them to sightsee.
Just ask Korean sextet Apink, who in January completed their first North American tour — covering four cities (Vancouver, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles) in five days.
They were the first K-pop girl group to stage multiple shows in North America since 2NE1 held arena concerts on the east and west coasts in 2012.
In an e-mail interview with M, the girls, often touted by critics and netizens as “successors to Girls’ Generation” and “Korea’s next National Girl Group”, expressed disappointment at not being able to explore more of the US and Canadian cities they visited.
“It’s sad, but we didn’t have enough time to go out,” said Eun Ji, 22, the most recognised member of the group and an accomplished actress, with lead roles in TV dramas such as Reply 1997 (2012), Trot Lovers (2014) and Cheer Up! (2015).
“If I could, I would like to go out a lot.” Her bandmate Cho Rong added that their schedule was “so tight” that they decided to set themselves a simple, achievable aim.
“At the different cities we performed in, we tried to go out — at least in front of our hotel,” said the 25-year-old.
With the tiny pockets of rest time in between rehearsals and concerts, they managed to “hit the beach and try a famous burger joint in Los Angeles”, said Na Eun, 22.
“In San Francisco, we did a bit of shopping.” Apink, also comprising Bo Mi, 23, Nam Joo, 21, and Ha Young, 20, will be holding a mini concert and fan meeting here next month.
They were last in Singapore in March last year, where they performed to a 3,500-strong crowd at the Max Pavilion.
Non-Korean fans never cease to amaze them with their ardent support, said Cho Rong.
“I remember that during our North American tour, there were not only Korean fans who came to see our shows but also many foreign fans who love K-pop,” she said.
“I was surprised that they know Apink and really enjoy our songs.”
Ha Young recalled meeting a foreign female fan who tried to communicate with them despite her poor command of Korean.
She said: “She had practised Korean so she could talk to us. It’s not easy to speak perfect Korean in such a short time. She looked so cute and I was really thankful for her hard work.”
Best known for their bubblegum synthpop tunes like Mr. Chu, LUV and Remember, Apink are looking forward to playing in Singapore once more.
Of course, just as enticing as the prospect of singing in front of fans here is tucking into Singapore’s chilli crab.
“The first time I ate it in Singapore, it was so delicious I didn’t even know the crab sauce had splattered onto my clothes,” recalled Ha Young.
Bo Mi said that this time round, she hopes to try satay.
“I want to try every food that our fans have suggested,” she said.
Besides performing as Apink, individually, the girls hope to grow as actresses and variety show entertainers.
Said Eun Ji: “Up until now, I’ve been doing bright, cheerful roles (in my dramas). But I’d love to portray characters who are dark and strong.”
The youngest member Ha Young, the only one in the group who has no acting credit, said: “There are many roles I want to play. I want to be a young wife, a secret agent, or a female soldier with lots of action scenes.”
WHAT: 2016 Apink Pink Memory Day In Singapore Mini Concert & Fan Meeting
WHERE: MegaBox Convention Centre @ Big Box (Level 3)
WHEN: April 2, 8pm