Taeyang, A New Born Rock Star : RISE in Seoul (F.ound 141106)

As the Asian leg of Taeyang’s RISE Tour draws to a close, here is a short review of the last day of the Seoul concert. 

From F.ound Online by Seo Ok-Seon (who had also previously interviewed Taeyang in July 2014 and 2010.)


I am one of those people who think that you absolutely have to go watch your favorite artist’s concert when the artist has recently released a new album, and a new set has subsequently been announced.

There are several reasons for this: one, you are curious as to how much he has grown and changed; two, you want to hear every single track from his previous albums you really love, even in shorter, rearranged versions; and, last but not least, if the artist is someone who is particularly good or interesting in live, the concert will bring you an enormous catharsis. Taeyang is one of those rare artists who meet all of the above criteria.

Starting from August, Taeyang’s third solo concert tour “RISE” continued for over a month in Japan, which was then concluded with three shows in Seoul. The F.ound Magazine attended the last of those three, which was held on October 12. We thought the show had to be different from his 2008 concerts following the release of his EP “HOT” or the ones following the release of his first full-length album “Solar” in 2010 in terms of its structure, presentation and quality, and our expectations were crazy high.

That day, Taeyang indeed looked very different from his previous solo concerts. I mean the way he looked – literally his outside appearance. The Taeyang that we had seen in his previous solo concerts – the idol pop star, who used to show up on stage looking all fancy, gorgeous and perfect from head to toe, was no longer there. The show kicked off with fast beat tracks such as “Body” and “Superstar” and segued into “You’re My” and “Eyes, Nose, Lips”, showing that where there used to be tensed nervousness, there is now the ease of a seasoned performer. When I saw him singing beautifully as always, but now with more ease, and dance better than anyone else, as always, but now with a greater sense of self-control and freedom, how much he’s changed for the past four years really hit me hard, especially during his “Breakdown” and “Wedding Dress” performances.

When I heard him singing the last two songs of his near two-hour show “Let Go” and “Love You to Death”, the expression “a new born rock star” came to my mind. I found myself asking, have we ever had a singer, a performer, an artist like him in this country before? (And the answer was, no, I don‘t think we ever have.)


Taeyang said he was involved in every aspect of the planning process of this tour. He did the tour he wanted the way he wanted and the outcome is simply amazing. Granted, there was room for improvement, especially in terms of stage design and the video played at the concert. However, I am just so grateful for his near perfect singing, which he could not deliver in his previous solo concerts, trying too hard to “look” perfect, and for proving once and for all that he could look better than anyone else simply by singing well.

After the concert, I found myself thinking that I could never imagine Taeyang putting on extra weight. Or him singing perfunctorily, giving up moving his body rhythmically, or him not treating music with sincerity.  I presume that his ever-present thirst for “singing to my heart’s content” – as he has said repeatedly and consistently – has been quenched to a degree through his RISE promotions, where he could put more time and effort into this concert tour, while minimizing repetitive TV appearances. Here, we put a small full stop and wait for the next part of his story to begin.

Translation by pgeorgie for alwaystaeyang.wordpress.com.  Please credit if taking out.

7 thoughts on “Taeyang, A New Born Rock Star : RISE in Seoul (F.ound 141106)”

  1. I love how there just seems to be so much affection and support from the media who has followed YB’s career for so long and how excited they are for what more he has to show in the future. All of them keep on saying how he keeps on getting better and better and how moved they are when they see/hear him perform. (And I find it so amusing that this reviewer points out the video and stage the same way KMS did in the Superman review for Solar. YB needs a bigger budget YG!) But honestly, they’re saying a lot of what’s in my heart as well: that we’re so proud of how he’s going about his career and that we know there are so many more places that we want to go with him. And how thankful I am that I’ve been able to watch him grow as an artist.

    By the way, I love it when he wears his hair down and minimally styled like this. It’s like a symbol of his new free-style performances and seems perfect for the more relaxed and yet daring vibe of his concert stages. (Not to mention that it’s sexy as hell.) Rock star indeed!

  2. I agree so much with this review, particularly the beginning. It only adds more to the list of “reasons why I must see a YB concert (preferably solo)”. He has grown so much and has only gotten better. He’s a completely different man from his SOLAR and even HOT days, it’s both amazing and inspiring watching him grow as an artist, yet his heart still remains the same – passionate and full of love for the stage and performance. Plus all the fan accounts tell me he is just a great big sweetheart, so all the more reasons why to be honest. Fate just does not play to my hands, sigh 😦

    On the bright side, I suppose it gives me time to save for that eventual trip I must make to see his concert (be that Taiwan, Korea, Japan, or Singapore)… whenever that next one will be. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a fan of this man – truly a gem shining inspite of the cut-throat industry he’s in.

  3. Thanks so much for putting up the translated article- I was fortunate enough to have made it to YB’s concert in Singapore, it was such an amazing, unforgettable night and this article summed up basically all I want to say about the concert. One thing that stood out to me the most was his stamina and his voice. Despite a hectic back to back concert schedule and an 8-hr bus ride from Malaysia YB’s voice remained stable and crystal clear from start to finish. There was no signs of exhaustion, singing out of tunes or shortness of breath that we occasionally saw during the solar era. YB’s concert was well worth the 7-hr plane ride and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again whenever the next one may be. After all he’s this amazing artist whom you have to see live to do his craft justice!

  4. She’s (or he is) a long time fan too eh? ^^ it’s always nice to see people from the media giving him so much support and has high expectations of him (like Bluemaid mentioned). I love the way the writer wrote her/his review because i feel the same way and i can see how much freedom he feels and exerts on stage and he radiates such easiness and comfort when he sings now. I even had the same ‘seasoned performer’ thought too. All of the songs were performed perfectly well when i was at Rise Malaysia. I expected to hear the shortness of breath from the heavy dancing, maybe some cracks here and there… given how humid the weather was (he could have been very tired prior to the concert due to the weather, long flight, being in a foreign country and all). i expected all those things but i thought i wouldn’t mind and I would understand but then… right from the soundcheck to the start of the concert, his energy never faltered, his voice was amazing, his singing and dancing were great that at those moment when he was backstage changing clothes and i finally had the time to myself to comprehend what just happened i was staring into space and couldn’t stop thinking what an amazing performer and artist he was.

    attending Rise Malaysia and the fact that i had such good times, felt so much, makes me wonder how would it feel like to attend Hot and Solar concerts and therefore able to compare how much he has grown. Also, Rise made me feel nostalgic nowadays. i kept watching his old performances and concert videos. haha.

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