Music fans face hard choices as legends land in Seoul

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Music fans face hard choices as legends land in Seoul

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The Eagles perform in Seoul on March 15.


Music lovers in Korea will find it hard to resist the temptation to devote an entire paycheck to more than a dozen upcoming concerts by world-class musicians scheduled through March. The lineup ranges from superstars such as Eric Clapton, Santana and the Eagles, to contemporary pop musicians including Far East Movement, Kesha and Ne-Yo.

The first to hit Seoul is Eric Clapton, who is coming here for a third time on Sunday. The renowned English musician - best known in Korea for his megahit “Tears in Heaven” - garnered enormous attention over the past few days after media reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s second-youngest son Jong-chol was spotted in Singapore at the musician’s Valentine’s Day concert. Clapton had his first concert in Seoul in 1997, and tickets to his previous two concerts sold out.

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Pop star Kesha hits Seoul on March 29.

Santana, another great guitarist, is also returning to Korea on March 9 after his first concert here in 1996.

The legendary American rock band Eagles is having its first concert here on March 15 to celebrate its 40th anniversary. All of its current members - Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit - will be in town for the concert.

“Numerous agencies in Korea have tried to bring the Eagles here in past decades but failed,” said Choi Sung-wook, head of business at CJ E&M, a Korean concert agency. “We hope [people] enjoy the band’s everlasting hits such as ‘Hotel California,’ ‘Desperado’ and ‘I Can’t Tell You Why.’”

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Eric Clapton is in concert in Seoul this Sunday.

Music aficionados will have a hard choice to make on March 10 when British heavy metal band Iron Maiden and British singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae play Seoul on the same day.

Iron Maiden is coming here for the first time and will travel with 60 crew members and 12 tons of equipment on Ed Force One, a customized Boeing 757. The plane will be piloted by the band’s lead singer Bruce Dickinson, according to Access Entertainment, its Korean concert agency.

Bailey Rae is making her second appearance in Korea following a successful gig last year at Jisan Valley Rock Festival.

Hip-hop and pop fans also have a good deal of fun to look forward to.

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Far East Movement takes the stage on March 19.


Asian-American hip-hop group Far East Movement will have its first concert here on March 19. The first Asian-American group to earn a top 10 hit on mainstream pop charts in the United States, the band saw its single “Like a G6” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for three weeks in October last year. Formed in 2003, the four-man group has two members of Korean descent - Prohgress and J-Splif. “Rocketeer,” the follow-up to “Like a G6,” also placed in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart last week.

Kesha, America’s newest pop diva, is set to perform here on March 29 as part of Hyundai Card’s Culture Project. The credit card issuer, which has built a reputation for clinching concert deals with big names, such as Stevie Wonder, Sting and Beyonce, has launched a new concert program aimed at introducing rising stars in various genres. Kesha has been chosen as the first artist.

Last but not least is American R&B singer Ne-Yo, who is best recognized here for his 2006 megahit debut number “So Sick.” The concert is being organized by Hyundai Department Store, which is celebrating its 40th birthday.

EWW, his concert agency in Seoul, says Ne-Yo will be singing numbers from his latest album, “Libra Scale,” as well as his past hits. The 31-year-old singer had two concerts in Seoul in 2008.

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By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]


Related Korean Article[뉴스엔]

'전설의 록밴드' 이글스 데뷔 40년만에 첫 내한공연
‘38톤 무대장비+140명 스태프’ 전례없네



전설의 록밴드 이글스(글렌 프레이, 돈 헨리, 조 웰시, 티모시 비 슈미트)가 한국에서 첫 내한 공연을 갖는다.

이글스는 오는 3월 15일 서울 송파구 방이동 올림픽 체조경기장에서 40여 년 간 축적해 온 수준 높은 음악을 국내 팬들에게 선보인다.

특히 이번 공연에 4명의 오리지널 원년 멤버 모두의 참여와 수십 년간 전 세계 공연을 함께 한 스태프와 전례 없는 대규모 시설까지 더 해진다.

사용되는 무대 장비만 총 38톤이 넘으며 이를 옮길 대형 트럭이 13대나 동원이 된다. 공연을 위해 함께 움직이는 스태프만 140여명. 이들은 미국 내에서도 최고 실력을 자랑하는 엔지니어들로 구성돼 주급만 해도 억대가 넘는 걸로 알려져 있다.


이글스와 짧게는 10여 년, 길게는 40여 년 간 함께 손발을 맞춰온 스태프들도 꽤 많아 공연의 완성도를 높이게 된다. 또 이번 단 1회, 약 3시간 정도의 공연에서 완성도를 최대한 높이기 위해 이글스 멤버들은 총 30여 대의 기타를 특별히 준비한 것으로 알려졌다.

CJ E&M의 최성욱 부장은 “이번 이글스 공연의 유치는 글로벌 공연 네트워크에서 한국 공연 시장의 중요성을 알리는 계기인 동시에 국내 공연 문화가 세계 공연 트렌드와 함께 연동되는 시작점이 될 것”이라고 말했다.

한편 이글스는 그래미 어워드 6차례 수상, 전 세계 가장 많이 팔린 앨범 기록, 록앤롤 명예의 전당 등재, 1억 2천 만장의 앨범 판매 등 세계 록 음악 역사상 최고의 밴드로 손꼽힌다. 공연 분야에서 미국 콘서트 티켓 판매 7위를 기록할 정도로 여전히 높은 인기를 얻고 있다.



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