DPR Live | Photo by Leslie Campos
It’s been a while since I’ve been to a concert. With all the shoving, waiting, glares from super fans, and other pains that come with going to a packed show, I figured it was time to let go of my concert junkie past and enjoy from afar. But once my phone rang with an oh, so familiar ringtone of artists I like coming into town, I had to answer. Especially since it’s already rare for Korean artists to do a full-blown North American tour.
The last time DPR was in America was at last years SXSW festival in Austin. In just a short amount of time, the rapper has managed to gain global recognition and love, enough to sell out shows in various cities across the country. Once we entered the venue, DJ and producer, DPR Cream had the crowd singing along and dancing while effortlessly switching between Korean R&B, Hip Hop and American hits, creating the perfect atmosphere until it was time for Live to come out.
Opening with his song “Know Me” ft. DEAN, the energy coming from both the crowd and him was so amped up, he started spraying water as the crowd screamed along to “this liquor’s got me faded talking crazy” while jumping across the stage. He followed with “Cheese and Wine,” “Laputa” ft. CRUSH and “Right Here, Right Now” ft. LOCO and Jay Park before giving a short speech about how much tonight means to him, sharing his extreme gratitude for his fans supporting him, and for being here tonight. In the middle of a song, he switches up the lyrics shouting, “F-ck this shit it’s okay, I’m in Houston now,” pumping the crowd up even more.
While catching his breath, commenting on how crazy it is to see so much love in America when he’s from Korea, he teases by saying, “DPR we gang gang,” a sort of motto between his crew and fans. Soon enough, he performs “To Myself,” and the room vibrates as everyone began chanting along to the chorus. As if the room couldn’t get any louder, visual director Christian Yu (DPR Ian) pops up and the atmosphere instantly changed as fans pushed closer to get a better look. Ian shyly waves back at screaming fangirls and adds his share of gratitude to the crowd, his Aussi accent noticeable as he pronounced “Houston.”
Live comes back on stage and performs “Playlist,” the first song and music video that introduced me to DPR. A friend had sent me the link on Twitter telling me to check it out and at first, I was drawn in by the bright colors and slightly hazy film effect used to open up the video. I thought it was pretty creative and liked the upbeat, summer-ness of the song enough, but as the video continued, I started to become genuinely impressed by the color schemes and playful narrative brought to life. To the crowd’s delight, Ian and Live suddenly broke out into synced choreography. Next thing I know, Cline (Jimmy), also Live’s cousin, joins on stage wearing a cowboy hat, Pokeball in hand and begins to do every single Fortnight dance move without breaking concentration. Excessive, but truly impressive.
The concert progresses as Live shares his love for his last album Her and performs his “Jasmine” stating how much he enjoyed writing that song but wanted to put his side of the story into it. He follows up with “Text Me,” pointing at girls in the crowd and coyly smiling as he tells them they could text him before closing the show with “Martini Blue.” Of course, there is no such thing as a final song and the crowd demanded one more by shouting “DPR WE GANG GANG” until Live and the rest of DPR came back on stage, performing “To Myself” a second time.
It was my first time being in a room full of Kmusic fans and it was great to see such a diverse crowd supporting an international artist. The chemistry between Live and the crowd was great and I was impressed at how comfortable and extremely charismatic Live was the entire time. Starting with nothing but a love for music and passion for creativity, it’s refreshing to see an artist and collective diligent on delivering only quality content yet managing to remain as humble, and down to earth as they are.