Words by Ava Sharra Sumortin
Photos by Isabella Cruz
When people think of Korean music, most would think of bubblegum pop tunes, synchronized dancing, and colorful outfits. We overlook that hip-hop is also a big part of the Korean music scene.
And, of course, one of the best and most influential hip-hop groups is Epik High. This group has been in the music industry for more than ten years.
After the release of their album Shoebox, the trio has been touring Asia for the “Epik High Concert Parade” tour. On April 18, Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz, met Filipino High Skools for the first time at the Skydome. This date has long been marked in High Skools’ calendars; and I’m also pretty sure that the trio is just as excited as the fans.
The night starts with the deafening chant of “Epik High” when the lights dimmed.
Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz, stylishly dressed in black and white, then took the stage. “Encore” was the first song on tonight’s list. With a sample that goes “I didn’t realize that the show was over,” it was a clever way to start the show. They followed it up with “Fly.”
For his introduction, DJ Tukutz showed his mad DJ skills. Mithra and Tablo introduced themselves in the best way that they can — by rapping.
Park Bom’s (from 2NE1) voice then filled Skydome with “Up.” When they introduced “It’s Cold,” Tablo said that it was a perfect song to cool down in this Manila heat. They abruptly stopped the song and took it a notch colder with “Umbrella.” Tablo then stopped the track because he said that the weather in Manila is just perfect and that it is as perfect as the crowd. So they continued the show with feverish tunes such as “Light It Up” and “Map the Soul.” I was thrilled to hear “Light It Up” because it wasn’t included in their previous setlists.
While performing, each member sometimes got things from fans to sign. Albums and shirts were signed. Phones were taken from fans so that a member could take a selfie (or a selca). DJ Tukutz went down from his booth to dance for the fans. Of course, his dancing skills! We will never forget your dancing skills, DJ Tukutz.
Tablo even learned Filipino expressions, and he thanked the crowd saying “Salamat po.” “Nage-enjoy ba kayo?” “Mga pogi at magaganda kayo.” “Ang galing niyo.” Tablo came prepared. DJ Tukutz also said that next time, they will bring Sandara Park with them. Maybe Tablo learned those Filipino expressions from Dara. (Epik High was under the same entertainment company as 2NE1.)
“Love Love Love” is one of the group’s earliest hits, but it was still a crowd favorite. The fans went crazy for the next song. “If there’s somebody that you miss, someone that you miss very much in your heart, imagine that person for this song.” That song that was “Eyes Nose Lips.” Their fans sang and rapped every word of that song.
“High Technology,” “One,” and “New Beautiful” were high-energy songs that made High Skools jump non-stop. For their encore, the crowd went wild when they performed “Born Hater” and “Don’t Hate Me.”
If I should sum up the night in one word, I would say that it was electric. The crowd had so much energy, and the group was relentless in giving High Skools a night they won’t ever forget. We all had an epik kind of high that only Epik High can give.
EPIK HIGH Concert Parade Live in Manila is presented by Pulp Live World.
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