Wednesday, April 13, 2011

South Korean Pop Star Rain Was A Strange Choice For A F1 Post-Race Party Treat But He Delievered The Goods


South Korean pop star Rain was a strange choice for a F1 post-race party treat, but he delivered the goods.

RAIN! Rain! Rain! Rainism reigned high as K-poppers were an exuberant presence among F1 race enthusiasts at the Petronas Malaysia F1 Grand Prix post-race concert on Sunday night.

Malaysian Clouds (Rain's fans) had been waiting all evening for South Korean sensation Rain (real name Jung Ji Hoon) to continue the adrenalin-pumping action at the hillside celebration party held at the helipad of the Sepang International Circuit.

The excitement raced as the lights dimmed at 9.15pm and Rain, an international star that’s ever larger than life, made his entrance to a screaming crowd.


Mr Electric: Korean pop singer Rain performed at a concert in Sepang.

Bursting onto the two-tiered stage with his powerful dance style, the buff all-action, all-singing entertainer was accompanied by six dancers as he ran through his hit songs including Rainism, Bad Boy, It's Raining and Nappeun Namja during his hour-long show.

Amid crowd-pleasing stage routines and the confetti blasts and fireworks, Rain kept the show going at full speed. He was the life of the party as he picked up the pace through the show. No he didn't rip off his T-shirt in Sepang, but that's concert conservatism here.

Surprisingly, I did not feel too disappointed when my scheduled interview with Rain had been cancelled at the very last minute, as that was typical of Korean artiste management. After all, I already had the pleasure of interviewing the extremely polite entertainer in Seoul for his portrayal of lethal killer Raizo in Wachowski Brothers-produced Ninja Assassins, his first lead role in a Hollywood production.

But, it was my first time at a Rain concert (so heartbreaking to have missed the one in KL in 2007!).

So, after the heavy downpour on Saturday, I kept praying that the rain wouldn't come on Sunday. Although, the Seoul-born singer would have looked absolutely badass in a wet T-shirt, I would rather stay dry in mine.

Well, it did not rain but the day was sweltering and humid. And, Rain was drenched in sweat as he declared his love for Malaysia but admitted he was quite overwhelmed by the heat.

But, it wasn't all bad as to the delight of local K-pop fans, Rain's T-shirt stuck to the bodalicious singer like a second skin. And the dance machine aimed to please as he worked his way from one thumping dance-pop number to another.

Music videos marked intervals where he made quick costume changes and addressed his adoring fans and thanked them for their continued support over the nine years of his entertainment career.

Timed at a little over an hour, his F1 show was awesome but seemed to end too soon. Fortunately, Rain fittingly closed his show with a poetic video message to demonstrate his gratitude to the Clouds faithful, and a promise to work harder and forge ahead in his career.

South Korea's biggest entertainment export, Rain has seven albums (six Korean and one Japanese) and 19 singles to his name. He picked the cream of the crop for his Sepang night out.

The tenacious 28-year-old singer-actor, who has been active in the entertainment scene since 2002, is slated for enlistment in the army for mandatory service this year and is set to wrap up shooting for another movie and roll out more concerts till year end.

That made Rain's Sepang appearance a special one for his devoted fans (mostly teenyboppers breaking a curfew!) despite previous post-race parties like Jamiroquai in 2009 and Wyclef Jean and Fatboy Slim last year attracting a far bigger, more international-looking crowd.

My only grouse was the haphazard organisation of the post-race event, resulting in a four-hour wait to cover Rain's concert!

The concert was preceded by the very sedate finale show of the Ford Models Supermodel of the World Search Malaysia 2011, which saw 12 lasses unimaginatively strutting their stuff on stage.

Luckily, media guests, race enthusiasts and K-poppers alike had respite from the boredom at the after-race party hosted by Chivas on site.

Fortunately, the lacklustre fashion show wrapped in half an hour, as the audience began to grow restless. The atmosphere only perked up when the deejays resumed spinning dance tracks and local act Joe Flizzow opened the concert with an upbeat medley of hip hop tunes in English and Malay.

It was a long night, but thanks to Rain’s showbiz professionalism, the masses had something to talk about from this otherwise underwhelming F1 post-race party.

Source: the star online &
Credit: Rain-Indonesia

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