Ever since KCON, the multi-day celebration of Korean culture, left New York City in 2019, New York K-Pop fans have been craving a major multi-artist concert. These prayers were answered when the Krazy K-Pop Super Concert was announced, with AB6IX, CRAVITY, Kwon EunBi, IVE, and ShowNu X HyungWon (MONSTA X) performing. Unfortunately, despite a strong performance from the artists, fans left disappointed as multiple logistic failures and event cancellations marred what was otherwise a mildly successful event.
Long lines met attendees throughout the event, from the initial concert VIP check-in that roughly took more than an hour, to queues that snaked through the massive UBS Arena building where the event took place to, lastly, the one concession stand that was opened for the majority of the preshow. Check-in lines were so long that a non-insignificant number of attendees missed their purchased meet-and-greet photo, which was the main reason attendees spent between $150 to $210 USD. Affected attendees were promised an additional meet-and-greet session after soundcheck if schedules allowed, but that too was canceled.
However, after the initial confusion of the meet-and-greet sessions, the classic parts of the concert experience went off without a hitch. Each artist performed a two-song sound check, some with full choreography. Afterward, opening acts from ILoveDance and OHTNYC’s Jinsoul filled the time as guests filed in. As the concert started, the venue was noticeably empty, with most of the floor filled and little else on the lower and upper bowl sections.
CRAVITY, a nine-member boy group from Starship Entertainment, kicked off the event. Their infectious energy showed no bounds, even though the group is in the midst of their Masterpiece World Tour and most recently performed at KCON LA. Performing favorites like ‘My Turn’, ‘Baddie’, ‘Boogie Woogie’, ‘Groovy’, and ‘FLY’, the group may have turned attendees into brand new LUVITYs.
An enthusiastic performance by AB6IX continued the high energy without missing a beat. A contingent of hardcore ABNEWs from around the country flocked to the event, as the group’s August tour was postponed until November of this year. They were immediately rewarded as the group performed ‘LOSER’, ‘SAVIOR’, ‘THE ANSWER’, ‘BLAZE’, and ‘BREATHE’. Their strong vocals did not disappoint.
Fresh off her comeback ‘The Flash’ where she notched her first solo music show win, former IZ*ONE leader Kwon EunBi brought in some much-needed feminine energy to the lineup. Opening with re-rising hit ‘Underwater’, Kwon EunBi performed not only her earlier hits ‘Door’ and ‘Glitch’, but also fan-favorite B-side ‘Beautiful Night’ and her most recent comeback, ‘The Flash’. As her first solo performance in the U.S., it will hopefully not be her last.
The crowd rushed forward as fourth-generation powerhouse IVE entered the stage. Despite only debuting in 2021, the group has already received critical success and became the first group in 2023 with multiple perfect all-kills with two songs from the same album. After performing their 2023 pre-release single ‘Kitsch’, the group followed it up with ‘After LIKE’, ‘ELEVEN’, ‘LOVE DIVE’ and their other 2023 hit ‘I AM’.
To conclude the night, MONSTA X’s first official subunit ShowNu X HyungWon came to the stage and literally flexed upon the audience. Excited MONBEBEs with their MONSTA X lightsticks easily made their presence known as the largest fandom in the crowd that night. The pair not only performed their original songs (‘Love Me A Little’, ‘Play Me’, and ‘Slow Dance’), but they also sang modified versions of MONSTA X’s ‘WHO DO U LOVE?’ and ‘Wildfire’.
Yet, at the end of ShowNu X HyungWon’s set, the house lights were immediately brought up to full strength and silence permeated the crowd. At most K-Pop concerts, artists would all come on stage to say goodbye to the audience. Yet, that did not happen at this show. Eventually, security ushered attendees either out of the building or to a VIP-exclusive send-off where the acts would wave goodbye as they left the building.
The send-off unfortunately was also disorganized as attendees scrambled to find a spot in line. While AB6IX was the only group that was not scheduled to be at the send-off, only Kwon EunBi appeared. Her RUBIs enjoyed the moment to say one last goodbye and then event security appeared to announce that the rest of the send-off was canceled as the other artists had already left the building. Chants of “We want a refund!” echoed through the now-emptied hallways of the UBS Arena.
Pulse Events, the organizer of the event, posted a statement the following day, “We acknowledge that there were aspects throughout the event that did not meet your expectations,” the statement read, “We are diligently investigating the causes to ensure such occurrences are prevented in the future.”
First impressions, especially when it comes to new K-Pop festivals worldwide, are hard to overcome. With a major void in the local New York market, Krazy K-Pop Super Concert may live to see another day. It’s unfortunate that an exciting concert with such an engrossed audience turned out to not meet anyone’s expectations. With many logistical fixes, such as a better-defined event schedule and additional onsite staff, the festival could be a success. The question remains though: Will U.S. fans give it a second chance? That remains to be seen.
A Kpopmap contributor was invited to and received a complimentary VIP A wristband from the event, which accompanied their paid ticket. It did not influence their coverage of this event.
Note: Contributor articles do not represent the opinions of Kpopmap.