By Jade Inglada
Thousands of people were united by their love of Korean culture and entertainment at the Hollywood Bowl during the 13th Korea Times Music Festival on Saturday.
The four-and-a-half-hour concert showcased some of Korea’s finest artists that have appeared over the decades.
The lineup consisted of 12 artists of different backgrounds that ranged from Korean idol pop to ballad and trot, Korea’s oldest form of pop music.
The musical acts are chosen to appeal to a wide age group, from young teens to adults in their 70s.
The concert was hosted by former season 11 American Idol contestant Heejun Han and idol girl group member Hani.
Both hosts switched between speaking fluent Korean and English for the audience.
Most of the artists performed three songs, but certain acts were allowed to sing four, based on popularity.
Male idol group TVXQ made its third appearance at KTMF and closed the show with four of its popular hits, such as “Mirotic” and “Keep Your Head Down.”
TVXQ is Korea’s most recognized idol act since it began in 2003 and attracted hundreds of fans for its set.
Several fans brought handmade signs and wore red, the group’s fanclub color, as a sign of dedication.
Ballad singer Kim Bumsoo and musical actor Im Taekyung both captivated the audience with their strong vocals.
Im showed off his tenor through his cover of “Summertime.”
Bada, former leader of pioneering girl group S.E.S. in the late 90s, graced the stage with powerful performances.
Idol girl groups APink and EXID represented the new generation of Korean pop with its own distinct styles.
EXID displayed strong charisma and choreography when performing its new single “Ah Yeah,” while the members of APink flaunted their sweet feminine charms with “Luv.”
There were a few moments when the concert lacked excitement.
New male idol group GOT7 fell shorter than the rest of the lineup musically.
The group incorporates martial arts into its choreography, but the songs fail to make a strong impression.
There were no special performances or collaborations at this year’s festival, in contrast to previous years.
Im and Bada recently starred in the same Korean production of “Gone With the Wind,” and it would have been great for them to perform a duet.
KTMF has something to offer people of every age and continues to do a great job at introducing its audience to a wide range of talent.
Promotional booths from the festival sponsors gave out free snacks, prizes from games and foam light sticks to attendees prior to the concert starting.
KTMF began in 2003 and has grown to become the largest annual celebration of contemporary Korean music.