I had the great fortune to be present at Highlight’s 2017 “Can You Feel It” concert on June 3, and was surprised by the absence of 4 Cs during the show.
1. Clapping: Highlight put on an outstanding performance, and the audience went wild. They cheered, screamed, and sang along at the top of their lungs. But there was no clapping at all… for one very simple reason. It takes two hands to clap, and everyone was busy waving an official concert glowstick. (Some people had two.) Or should I say magic wand? The 15,000 won device had a built-in USB, allowing it to be centrally controlled by the concert engineers. The wands magically changed into a myriad of colors, flashing in synchronized rhythm according to the beat and mood of the song. The fandom made up for the lack of applause by waving their wands and screaming in adoration.
2. Couples: I had a fabulous seat right smack in the middle, just above the standing zone, and had a superb view of the stage AND the crowd. And I could spot about four males among the concert attendees (excluding the staff and press) in my range of vision. One little boy had come with his young mother, who probably hadn’t been able to find a babysitter but just had to see Highlight’s concert. Then there was a brave boyfriend who had come with his lady; both seemed slightly uncomfortable about being there. There were also two men in the distance who had come together. The rest of the audience was overwhelmingly female. I saw a high school girl in her school uniform, young women in their twenties and thirties, and even a pair of conservatively-dressed prim and proper Japanese ladies in their forties. If I had a boyfriend, I don’t think I would have brought him along… so I could drool at liberty over the handsome hunks.
3. Canned vocals: The vocal virtuosity of Highlight was simply amazing. Several online comments joked, “Wow! I can’t believe they’re a group that just debuted! They sound like 9-year veterans!” It was astounding how the members managed to sing in unison and in harmony, reaching all those high notes, while power dancing. When you’re paying so much money for a ticket, you expect to hear live music with a live band… and Highlight did not disappoint.
4. Crying: Many a Beauty (name of the Beast fandom) must have shed tears during Beast’s disbandment and struggles to get back on their feet again. During the “Can You Feel It” concert, Highlight members promised their fans that there would not longer be any reason to cry. Before you even reached the concert stadium, there was a gigantic helium balloon floating in the air with a yellow smiley face and the message, “BE HAPPY.” The program was intentionally bright and energetic, so that everyone would have one helluva great time.
There was one C that might have been better left out… the “Chang” dance (짱댄스), a corny dance step that made its appearance in the latter part of the show. Lee Ki-gwang admitted that it was the worst part of their performance, and all the other members seemed to agree. But the Lights (name of the Highlight fandom) were so blinded with unconditional love that they cheered for the dance anyway. Guys, you are too cool and too cute as you are… no need to resort to silly antics. Let’s skip the Chang dance next time, okay?