[Article] LA Weekly: 2NE1 at the Nokia Theatre on 24 August 2012 (August 27, 2012)


By Tiffanie Lee

Nokia Theatre

2NE1’s first international tour brought the K-pop girl group to Nokia Theatre on Friday. The show felt like a stellar girls night out, and you could tell they were feeling quite at home, too.

There’s no denying that group leader CL is a star, and not just back at home. While it’s true that another K-pop star PSY is hot in America right now with his song “Gangnam Style,” CL is arguably the crossover messiah K-pop has been waiting for.


Still, her solo segment of the show didn’t go so well. It started with a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and later moved into Madonna. Despite all of the lasers, pyrotechnics and designer threads, it was kind of a mess.

Meanwhile, Minzy proved to be a real dark horse. When the band formed in 2009, she was merely 15, the youngest member of the group. Now, she’s making 2NE1’s gaggle of male dancers work for their lunch money, and her voice has improved immeasurably.

Minzy was comfortably flowing with CL or belting out notes, and sometimes bested main singer Bom, always maintaining a smirk and a waggling tongue. In fact, she and CL seemed the most comfortable on stage, particularly shining in their rap duet “Please Don’t Go.”

Bom, however, struggled to sustain the rich, powerful voice she’s celebrated for. Still, she was redeemed in the stripped down renditions of her solo hits, “Don’t Cry” and “You and I.”

Though she possesses the voice of a diva, she neither looks nor acts the part. In 2NE1 she is the token absent minded cutie, but her talent is best experienced without the cacophony of euro beats and screeching from her band mates.

As for Dara, her voice is weak and delicate to the point of brittleness; she needed relentless auto tuning throughout her solo song “Kiss.” Still, this former soap star in the Philippines definitely knows drama. She pranced around stage as the words “Sexy Dara” splashed across a sparkly LED screen full of kisses. It was awkward.

Jeremy Scott, widely known for styling 2NE1, outfitted the group in neon Adidas jumpsuits, replete with air-sprayed names and giant portraits of each girl. Trust that the show was worth it just for the style showcase alone.

The encore consisted of their original version of “I Don’t Care” and closed with another performance of “I Am the Best.” The Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am and apl.de.ap promptly stormed the stage and crashed the K-party.

It’s widely know that 2NE1 has been recording with will.i.am, in what YG hopes to be a potential all-English album for the group. Perhaps this will be that coveted crossover that all the Korean record companies are seeking. But in truth, the group probably doesn’t need will.i.am’s help.

Personal Bias: I shrieked like it was Savage Garden all over again.

The Crowd: Neon threadheads, a cultural stew of K-town and the entirety of San Gabriel Valley, 20-something girls making their first stop of the night, 12-year-olds chaperoned by parents.

Random Notebook Dump: One of my best friends is likely to shave the side of her head a la Dara because of this show. Girl power.

Photos by Timothy Norris

Source: LA Weekly

Set List:
I Am the Best
Clap Your Hands
I Don’t Care (Reggae Version)
Don’t Stop the Music
Solo act: DJ CL
Solo act: Bom’s “Don’t Cry” and “You & I”
Try to Follow Me
Duo act: CL and Minzy’s “Please Don’t Go”
Pretty Boy
Solo act: Minzy’s dance number
Solo act: Dara’s “Kiss”
It Hurts
In the Club
Stay Together
I Love You
Let’s Go Party
Scream (Japanese single)
I Hate You
Go Away
Can’t Nobody

I Don’t Care (Original)
I Am the Best (Reprised w/ will.i.am)

More photos of 2NE1 at New Evolution LA by Timothy Norris for LA Weekly (Click to view fullsize):


8 responses to “[Article] LA Weekly: 2NE1 at the Nokia Theatre on 24 August 2012 (August 27, 2012)

  1. i love the honesty of this review…i’m kinda disappointed with CL’s solo stage..i expected something more…she should’ve just stick to rapping,singing,dancing and etc. lol

  2. Yeah, agreed. I really liked the honesty of this review and it touches on several ‘touchy’ topics for Blackjacks for example, Bom and Dara’s vocal ability, which I think makes for a really nice change and serves as a much-needed expression of opinions on 2NE1’s performances in the US from a non-biased point of view.

    And yeah, I did expected much more for CL’s solo stage and her DJ stage did disappoint me a little. I think that CL missed out on a golden opportunity to showcase her rapping skills and vocal skills by choosing to do a DJ stage. Imagine if she had done her stage at Nolcon(http://www.theprophetblog.net/2ne1s-cl-covers-drake-and-nicki-minaj-at-nolza-ends-their-respective-careers/) or something similar at New Evolution concerts instead. The flow of the concert wouldn’t have felt strange (like how some reviewers have commented that the DJ stage affected the flow of the concert) and I think that such a performance would probably have appealed more to the concert goers outside of Korea as not many pop artists do a DJ stage for their concerts.

    But that I guess is only one side of it; CL certainly gave us a surprise with this DJ stage instead of the epic vocal/rap performance that we all thought she was going to put up (at least I did!) and showcases a different side of her that we’ve not really seen before.. and at least we got to know she knows how to DJ?? Just as I thought she can’t be possibly any more cooler than she already is…… ^^

  3. I enjoyed this review more than the LA Times one. The reviewer, who may even be a CLover, certainly isn’t looking at her or 2ne1 through rose-tinted glasses and I like that. Although it may not have showcased her range of talent in the best way I think the DJ stage was something fresh, definitely unexpected and quite innovative, and that’s probably what CL intended. Imho it’s just another skill that sets her (further) apart from everyone else in the game, so I loved it. I don’t think we’ll fully get an idea of how bad this chick is until her solo album, which, if YG follows the BB timeline, should drop next year. Then we’ll know for sure whether she’s truly “the crossover messiah K-pop has been waiting for” 🙂

  4. Can someone kindly tell me what does ”the crossover messiah K-pop has been waiting for”? LOL I’m not that good at English.

    • A messiah usually means some sort of a ‘savior’ or a ‘liberator’ so I guess what the writer is trying to say is that CL might just be the one to help K-pop be successful in places outside of Korea with her language skills and stuff. ^^

  5. i think what the review is trying to say that CL is the expected deliverer of what k-pop is really about. and what i believe is that she is not typically ordinary idol. in fact, she’s an icon and inspiration to so many people.

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