Extra! Korea

June 30, 2009

A review of the Wonder Girls’ performance in Portland

Filed under: music — extrakorea @ 6:12 am

As you are probably aware, the Wonder Girls are currently on tour as an opening act for the Jonas Brothers. Here is a review of their first performance, in Portland.

Following Honor Society was a unique all-girl band from South Korea called Wonder Girls. Dressed in 60’s chic (think The Supremes), Wonder Girls is an odd infusion of retro cool and bubble gum pop. I don’t think that the audience for the Jonas Brothers really knew what to make of them. Their first set, a single song, was so short it was hard to get a real sense of them. Wonder Girls performed a second number after Jordin Sparks’s set and an introduction by Paul Jonas (the Jonas Brother’s father) called Nobody. The song itself was pretty catchy but the dance that went along with it could only be described as odd. It’ll be interesting to see if this Asian super group will find traction with American audiences. It could go either way.

Unfortunately, that reminds of when I used to write report cards for students. If I had difficulty thinking of something positive, I would write, “Has potential.” At least their tune was described as “pretty catchy.” They can fix their costumes and/or dancing after some feedback. So how were the other opening acts received?

First to meet this adoring crowd was the relatively new Honor Society, a band who described themselves as a ‘Myspace Band’ (or a band that built its following initially from myspace). While Honor Society only played a handful of songs, the audience responded exceptionally well to them. The final song from Honor Society, ‘See U in The Dark’, was the clear favorite of their set. The song snapped and popped like a good pop anthem, noticeably elevated from the rest of their set and is sure to become a hit. I was surprised at how short the set was; I would have expected them to do another song or two especially considering how well they were received.

[ snip ]

Jordin Sparks, who I had seen a few years back, performed a much stronger set than the last time I saw her. Sparks had a much higher level of comfort on stage and seemed to connect well with the audience. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough of spark in her performance and even her signature single “No Air” didn’t have the punch that it should have. The highlight of Sparks’s set was a rendition of Pretty Young Thing (PYT) in tribute to Michael Jackson, which Sparks performed with more energy and spunk than the rest of her set. Sparks seems constantly on the brink of breaking out and I think a lot of the raw goods are there, but she seems to be lacking the right material to bring her to the next level.

If you’d like to see how they did for yourselves, you can check out some fan-made videos (one, two, and three) courtesy of Pop Seoul.

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for posting. :]
    Everyone seems to have their own point of view about it.
    I heard that the JBs dad had to ask for people to clap and cheer for the Nobody song. If you asked hardcore WGs fans, everyone and their momma loved the group…although the more they describe the event you’ll find that mainly little girls were asking for autographs/posters and that they are using JYP’s twitter post to validate thier exprience (“they killed it!”). If you tlak to people who aren’t really fans or anti’s I’ve found many to claim that it wasnt’ that big of deal. People weren’t really yelling/clapping until told to or that the loudest ones were the fans.

    Comment by [!] — July 12, 2009 @ 3:34 am

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