Beirut, Metheny, Il Divo, oh my!

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Beirut, Metheny, Il Divo, oh my!

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Beirut, left, renowned for its exotic Balkan sound, will perform in Seoul for the first time on Jan. 25. Ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin, right, returns for a third concert in Korea on March 8. Provided by Sony Music, Private Curve


From jazz instrumentalists to heavy-metal rock bands, the Seoul music scene is set to be jam-packed with concerts by a slew of artists from abroad in the first half of the year.

First among them is the legendary jazz guitarist-composer Pat Metheny, who will perform at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts tonight, just eight months after his latest gig in Seoul. This time, he will take the stage with his long-time partner, double-bassist Larry Grenadier, performing tracks from his recent album “What’s It All About.”

Other artists will be embarking on their maiden journey to the peninsula, including five-member rock band Evanescence. The concert, scheduled for Feb. 17, comes one year after the band, renowned for its female vocalist Amy Lee, ended a five-year hiatus to release its new album “What You Want.”

American indie-rock band Beirut, led by singer-songwriter Zach Condon, will also play in Korea for the first time on Jan. 25. The versatile leader who plays various instruments, including the trumpet, flugelhorn and ukulele, will bring along five other musicians to provide Korean fans with their first exposure to the band’s signature Balkan music as well as the group’s evolving sound. The set list will mostly consist of tracks from “The Rip Tide,” an album released last year.

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For fans of classical crossover - a genre with strong classical influences that ultimately produces popular music - “popera” group Il Divo is coming to Seoul on March 3. Having debuted three years earlier, the four members who majored in classical music have been performing worldwide. The group has sold more than 25 million albums and two million concert tickets. The four recently released their new album, “Wicked Game,” which will be performed at the concert.

Judas Priest, a grunge-rock group, is coming to Korea on Feb. 4 to play its last concert in Seoul - ever. The group was formed in 1970, and this world tour will be the final chance for fans to see them.

The group says it is not breaking up and plans to keep releasing albums but will no longer tour. Since it is their last concert, Judas Priest is preparing special effects not limited to flames, smoke and motorcycles. They will be performing “Before the Dawn” and “Breaking the Law,” which have been Korean favorites throughout the years.

American vocalist Bobby McFerrin, best known for the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” is set to have his third concert in Seoul on March 8. The repertoire will mostly come from “VOCAbuLarieS,” his 2010 album that mixes jazz, African folk, classical music and R&B.

The groups coming to Korea are touring with numerous other bands and special guests, from Im Jae-bum to British rock band Bush.


By Shin Ji-ye, Seo Ji-eun [style@joongang.co.kr]
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