M.O.N.T. Puts on the Ultimate Ode to K-Pop in NYC
M.O.N.T. is no stranger to The Kraze; back in November 2018, we had the opportunity to sit down with FM Entertainment’s group to meet the members and discuss their career. M.O.N.T. and FM Entertainment are the perfect faces of this new up-and-coming generation of K-Pop groups. The primarily female-led company are debuting the group as global stars, taking their first single on a unique Asia, Europe, and U.S.A. tour.
M.O.N.T., known for busking in South Korea, has also been revolutionizing fan events, being more approachable than a K-Pop group has ever been. Fans had the chance to be part of a high-five event with Narachan, Bitsaeon, and Roda prior to their show and take a professional picture with the group. After the concert, fans could buy individual selcas with their preferred member as well as get their albums signed. As if that wasn’t enough, M.O.N.T. also has an ongoing “Dress Code” event. Before each concert, one of the members will show up on a post on their official Instagram page with a costume. The fan who goes to the concert with clothing that looks the most like their Dress Code wins a picture with the group!
From ZICO to BTS, Jay Park, and Bruno Mars, M.O.N.T. proved they can perform it all during the New York City stop of their Global Tour. No other artist has ever been more excited to play a concert in NYC more than M.O.N.T. From being backstage talking nonstop about Mint’s energy and thanking everyone along the way for being alongside them during this tour to taking on the stage, Narachan, Bitsaeon, and Roda never stopped smiling for a second. The unusual venue, a bar in East Williamsburg, was taken over by the trio’s energy. Sunnyvale’s staff and regular customers soon had glowing M.O.N.T. tiara’s on and were waving their hands to “Will You Be My Girlfriend.” While the sight of heavily tattooed, 30-something men dressed in all black carrying around K-Pop lightsticks was incredibly amusing, everyone’s attention was always directed at M.O.N.T.
Narachan asked the crowd if they loved K-Pop before every performance, only to be greeted by “we love you!” from their energetic NYC fans, many who had taken planes from Canada and driven hours from neighboring states, some even hitting more than one concert during the tour. The setlist was made up of covers from all over the K-Pop and Pop spectrum since M.O.N.T. is still working on their own releases, but the crowd went wild with every special performance. Unfortunately, as M.O.N.T. was performing their first single, “Will You Be My Girlfriend,” after Roda enthusiastically rehearsed his verses with the audience, the trio was faced with technical difficulties. Narachan quickly took his post as the leader and carried the performance acapella with the help of the crowd.
To sort out issues with the sound system, the group moved on to their interactive game of Never Have I Ever, answering questions the fans had written for them before the concert. What was truly surprising was how well all three members carried themselves through the technical difficulties, never once shying away from a smile, missing a dance move, or looking remotely disappointed. Bitsaeon, who was feeling sick that night and didn’t get to perform his solo stage, was the ultimate loser and had to pay in aegyo, by fans' request. Of course, all of M.O.N.T. joined in.
As someone who has been following K-Pop for years and has seen the changes in generations, M.O.N.T. had me intrigued and excited for what’s next. There I was, at a venue where I would normally see a small indie band with a jaded crowd in their 20s, surrounded by eager teens and their supportive parents watching a rookie group from South Korea. It made me happy, made me emotional, slightly confused, but ultimately excited. What’s your excuse for not having M.O.N.T. on your radar?