The boys are back, thank g.o.d.

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The boys are back, thank g.o.d.

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Embarking on a nationwide concert on Saturday, g.o.d. returns as a five-member group for the first time in 12 years. By Lim Hyun-dong

“Everybody thought it would be impossible, but now g.o.d.’s five members are standing before you. I think a miracle just happened, and we thank you for making this miracle happen!” shouted Son Ho-young at some 15,000 fans packed inside Jamsil Subsidiary Stadium on Saturday evening. The sky was illuminated with sky-blue light sticks and balloons. Sky blue used to be g.o.d.’s signature color.

As Son said, not many people - even the most ardent fans - believed that g.o.d.’s five members would reunite after nine years of solo careers, despite sporadic rumors that fuelled faint hopes of their comeback.

But then the rumors became reality. G.o.d. has been resurrected for their fans as a five-member group after releasing their eighth studio album “Chapter 8” on July 8 and embarking on a nationwide series of concerts, which kicked off on Saturday.

Fans who adored the group when they were teenagers are now office workers or even parents, but their adoration of the pioneering K-pop group doesn’t seem to have faded.

The first of 10 concerts nationwide was completely dedicated to the group’s past. Four gigantic clocks installed on the set took the band’s five members - Kim Tae-woo, Joon Park, Danny Ahn, Yoon Kye-sang and Son - and their fans 10 years back into the past. Among the 20 song, 16 were from previous albums, including “Love and Remember,” “Lie” and “To Mother,” performed just like they used to be with placid narrations and explosive choruses.

It can’t be said that the concert was flawless, which was probably to be expected considering the group’s average age of 37. Yoon forgot lyrics at one point and the choreography wasn’t as sharp as in the old days.

“My body has a hard time keeping up with my mind,” said Park, 45, the eldest member of the group, during the concert.

But what was praiseworthy were vocalists Son and Kim’s stable vocal tones throughout the two-hour concert. Kim’s improvisations were so impressive that the concert became an opportunity to rediscover his talents as a singer.

There are reasons why the public feels such a special attachment to these rather plain-looking guys. When the group debuted in 1999, they were most definitely not one of the metrosexual pretty boy bands that provided fantasies to young girls. The members weren’t afraid to reveal their hard days when they were penniless trainees. Their small-theater concerts differed from mystical idols who seemed to be always hidden behind veils of unreachable stardom.

However, by breaking free from the typical trajectory of an idol group - a rise, followed by a fall, after which they were but dim memories in fans’ pasts - g.o.d. succeeded in providing an overwhelming experience to their loyal and patient fans.

“While preparing the album for the past two years, we agonized over what kind of album we should make,” said Kim at a press conference held before the concert. “But the answer was simple: making songs that anyone - whether it’s a father, mother or child - can enjoy. The story of their lives was the answer to our stories, too.”

BY kim hyo-eun [janna924@joongang.co.kr]




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