As the hottest K-pop icon of the decade, G-Dragon is truly one of a kind. Even his second solo world tour was unlike any other – Act III: M.O.T.T.E ‘Moment Of Truth The End’ World Tour was an unusually intimate show that gave his audience a glimpse into the life of the superstar.
A late afternoon downpour did not dampen the spirits of fans who were out in full force. More than 10,000 VIPs (BigBang fans) thronged Stadium Merdeka on the night of Sept 17, screaming out his name (Kwon Ji-yong) and waving VIP crown glowsticks that turned the venue into a sea of yellow.
The concert literally got off to an explosive start. The opening music was so loud that some of the lighting fixtures at the main entrance were smashed to smithereens.
Opening the show with his 2009 hit and title track from his first solo album, Heartbreaker, G-Dragon painted the town red, as he performed in a succession of red outfits on a stage bathed in blazing red. The colour is symbolic of his fame and popularity.
G-Dragon is not known as the King of K-pop for nothing. Every year, he makes more than 800mil won (RM3mil) just from the royalties of his songs alone. And, just last year, he was named by Forbes’ as the most influential Asian entertainer under 30, as well as one of Chinese media outlet Sina’s top 10 most influential celebrities in China.
Being a top K-pop act, there is a price to pay for his success. As the show progressed, fans got to see the dark flipside of his success, fame, fortune and flamboyance, as he revealed his pain, sadness, loneliness, fears and vulnerability.
The show was divided into three acts – Act I: G-Dragon, Act II: G-Dragon vs Kwon Ji-yong, and Act III: Kwon Ji-yong, with his hits played in chronological order from first album Heartbreaker to his latest self-titled release Kwon Ji-yong.
Beginning with a sparkly all-red ensemble, his outfits evolved as he peeled off the layers and removed the bling to reveal his true self.
“I want to be someone who shines bright, even without all these shiny things,” he said.
The main message the 29-year-old wanted to convey was relayed using interviews with family and friends, as well as a monologue: “I’ve lived many years of my life as G-Dragon.
“From now on, I want to live my life as Kwon Ji-yong.”
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The mood lightened considerably when his guest artiste Sandara Park, 32, joined him on stage. He sang Missing You and Hello with his YG entertainment labelmate, better known as Dara of recently-disbanded K-pop girl group 2NE1.
Together, the “Daragon” couple (a term coined by fans) teased the crowd with their cute antics, further fueling rumours about them dating.
As the show came to a close, a huge door appeared amid the clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds on the screen, and G-Dragon made his exit, a fairytale-like farewell to fans before he goes on hiatus for the next two years.
So long, farewell
Fans screamed for an encore so he returned with Dara for Crooked and closed his show with Untitled, 2014. Together, they sang more than 20 songs, including Breathe, Obsession, That XX, One Of A Kind, and Crayon.
Since this solo world tour will likely be his last before he enlists for South Korea’s mandatory military service next year, the concert was a fitting and fond farewell to the King of K-pop.