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K-Pop Star CL performs for adoring fans in NYC

By Consuelo Pereira-Lazo

Section: Arts

November 4, 2016

This past Saturday, South Korea’s, and Asia’s Baddest Female, 25-year-old Lee Chae Rin (CL) made her presence known in New York City again, but as a solo artist. she totally killed it. She was previously known as the leader of 2NE1, four-member Korean girl group that performed Korean Pop (KPOP) for seven years. This group reached across the world to millions of fans with their catchy beats, meaningful lyrics and funky styles. CL’s concert was sold out and hundreds of fans had VIP access passes in order to meet the Queen. Overall, I had an amazing experience.

Traveling from Boston to NYC was necessary in order to attend the concert; nonetheless, it was definitely worth it. VIP members who bought some of the most expensive tickets received early entry, merchandise and a chance to meet CL and take a photo with her. I was one of those lucky few. The merchandise consisted of a CL “+HELLO BI+CHES TOUR 2016” red light stick, a CL “+HELLO BI+CHES TOUR 2016” keychain, a GZBZ + CL banner, a VIP Sticker and a CL “+HELLO BI+CHES TOUR 2016” Poster. Light sticks are must haves for fans attending a KPOP concert.

As a VIP, I had to arrive by 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 in order to attend the meet and greet. The temperature in NYC was just perfect; not hot, but cold enough that a light sweater was just fine while as I waited for doors to open at 7:30 p.m. Once the doors finally opened, security checks were done and the fans finally got the chance to be inside the Hammerstein Ballroom concert venue. The anticipation increased exponentially because the fans were that much closer to being wowed by a great performance.

Final mic checks were done. Security and SIVA Group volunteers and employees kept the crowd entertained as VIP members made their way to the room where they would meet CL. During the wait for my photo with CL, I got to meet JRE (Just Random Everything) who was also attending the concert. JRE is a famous YouTuber and whom I had also met at GOT7’s concert (another KPOP male group) back in Atlanta. We took pictures and soon found out that we would be in a group picture with CL. As I descended the stairs to the room, my heart rate picked up. When I actually saw her, my heart almost stopped. “Hi, how are you?” she said in her deep and smooth voice. She walked up to me, gave me a hug, took the picture and gave me another hug. I stepped away but then went back for another hug. That moment was so precious.

After meeting her, the VIPs were sent to the VIP section of the ground floor, where we would be standing very close to the stage for the remainder of the concert. CL paid homage to her previous 2NE1 members by playing videos of 2NE1’s hit songs on the main screen before coming onstage. Fans sang along, and some even danced. At 8:50 p.m. CL was introduced through a compiled video of her entire career and she then finally came on stage singing along to 2NE1’s “Fire.” She was on fire: Her outfit consisted of a skin tight black romper, a shiny black jacket and knee-high, wedged Converse sneakers.

CL included a lot of diversity in her backup dancers as well as in her dances and clothes. ecause CL is a recent solo artist, she performed all of her solo songs, as well as her parts in the majority of 2NE1’s songs and her other collaborations. However, many of the tracks performed were remixes, and choreography between the female and male dancers was up to par. During dress changes, CL would randomly disappear and the dancers would continue to perform as the musicians kept playing; they would even just jam out and have fun. Each wardrobe change was quick and she came back looking even more beautiful.

For her slower and calmer songs, CL wore a lavender pant-dress that added a very nice glow to her appearance. The fans sang in unity and it was a true beauty to see her perform such varied songs. Her most prized number, “Hello Bi+ches” had fans going crazy with excitement. It didn’t help that CL had made an entirely new video specifically for this title, to be shown only on the tour. The video was a work of art.

The most beautiful part of the concert was CL’s constant admiration of her fans. She could not contain her smile when she looked out into the crowd. Her dancing was fluid, her music was amazing and the entire concert was simply well performed. She made sure we knew all of those who put in so much work for her concert. As the fans left, we caught a glimpse of another 2NE1 member, Sandara Park (Dara), who had come to support CL (basically her sister), a moment that just topped off the night.

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