As the sun set, the night became absolutely electrifying. Fans couldn’t have been more excited to welcome the BIGBANG member and soloist Taeyang to their hometown of Dallas. Anticipation thickened as the clock ticked closer to the start of the concert, and just shortly after 7:30 p.m., the lights dimmed to the audience’s roar. A single light beamed down to a crown of white hair. Taeyang was ready, and so were we.
All That Glitters
The concert started out with that YG Entertainment brand of swag when Taeyang busted out his moves to “Ringa Linga,” and the crowd was hyped to that club banger of a song. The snowy-haired singer didn’t waste a single second as he proceeded to the second number, “Beautiful,” and third number, “Super Star.” “Wake Me Up” was absolutely breathtaking. Set amidst a backdrop of cascading gold glitter, Taeyang commanded everyone’s attention to him as the lighting dimmed to create a more subdued ambience. This was the first time anyone would have heard “Wake Me Up” live, and no one was about to miss it as phones went up in the air to capture every moment.
From there on, Taeyang performed every song on his latest album, White Night, but he also made sure to weave in old classics of his that his American fans have never heard live before. Fans were ecstatic to hear “I Need A Girl,” an abbreviated version of “Wedding Dress,” “Superstar,” and more among his older songs. In particular, “Love You To Death” was an emotional piece featuring Taeyang crooning into a red-ribboned mic with the wind blowing all Gone With The Wind-esque. This is a rare song that even Korean fans don’t get to listen to live often! Rise was one of Taeyang’s legendary albums, so it was an absolute dream as a fan of his music to be able to hear it live in the excellent acoustics of Bomb Factory. During intermission, Taeyang shared with fans that his happiest moment in life was meeting his fellow members and that he hopes to stand on stage with all five of them again. It was a tender moment from the singer to his fans in contrast to his taciturn image. He proceeded to pay tribute to his group BIGBANG as he sang several of the group’s songs. “Last Dance” was rendered into an acoustic version that showcased Taeyang’s signature clear tones, and during “Bang Bang Bang” and “Fantastic Baby,” he made sure to not sing over other members’ parts out of respect. As expected of Taeyang!
In A Class of His Own
From start to finish, this concert has been nothing but one moving piece of artwork. Each song told a piece of the story that Taeyang and his art directors set out to tell. By the end of the concert, fans are left with a complete sense of who Taeyang is as a soloist, as a group member, and, above all, as a person. The setlist was carefully curated from all of Taeyang’s discography to showcase his growth as both an artist and as a person. You can see his early start into making a name for himself in R&B up until his most recent album that ventures into mellow EDM. The concert chronicled each song as a step towards who he is today. It isn’t surprising that the concert wrapped up with an encore of “Eyes, Nose, Lips” as this was arguably Taeyang’s most definitive moment in his career. Much of this is due to his ongoing relationship with actress Min Hyorin. It isn’t news to fans that much of Taeyang’s latter half of his career is inspired by his muse of a girlfriend. He is much praised by both the media and the public for his undying, unwavering love for her, and this concert shows it. Taeyang as an artist and Taeyang as a person are two distinct personas that interweave throughout the concert, and it leaves fans more than satisfied. This is the concert that even casual listeners of K-Pop or those looking to see what the wild popularity of K-Pop is about can enjoy.
When the lights dimmed and the fans slowly trickled out, it wasn’t with a sense of whetted appetite. Instead, Taeyang had achieved what every artist should strive to do at their concerts. He gave an unadulterated version of everything he has to offer as an artist and more that left fans completely at ease, knowing there wasn’t more Taeyang could have done to make this an intimate glimpse into his artistry. We might not see him for a while, with mandatory Korean military service looming in the near future, but there’s one that’s thing for sure: Taeyang is worth the wait.