Posted on March 05, 2015
Set in Hongdae, the birthplace of Korean indie music culture ‘Live Club Day‘ has made it’s long awaited and much needed return to the scene this year. A ticket to the show gets you access to multiple clubs where you can see a plethora of bands and musicians from a wide variety of genres including everything from rock, jazz and hip hop to electronic, crossover and more. The original Club Day was started way back in March 2001 where it became a mainstay of the live music scene, now, after a 4 year break it has been revived from the dead. February the 27th was the first Live Club Day of the new era, and they started out strongly with an amazing lineup of over 30 artists across 10 of Hongdae’s finest live music clubs. DoIndie’s members were there to enjoy the evening and 4 of the team have written their thoughts on the evening.
Reporter : Patrick Connor
The return of live club day promised to be a massive event right from the get go. Early bird tickets (and most of the standard tickets as well) had all been snapped up before most of us even realised that Club Day was making a return. The Live Club Day Committee (Consisting of the 10 live clubs who take part in club day and headed by Company F) ran a super slick, well organised marketing campaign (at one point, all I saw on my SNS pages were posts relating to Live Club Day) that, along with the stellar line up of bands and amazing value tickets, created a real buzz and a lot of expectation. With such enormous interest in the event, there was a lot of room for people to be disappointed. So was I (or anyone else for that matter) disappointed?.
In a word. No. The Live Club Day Committee emphatically delivered, as promised, a great night of live music. All the clubs I attended were packed to the rafters, some so much so that people had to watch from the stairs. It was great to see fans who were singing and dancing along to their favorite bands. There were mosh pits, stage dives, sing alongs and everything else you want to see at a good live show. To top it all off, the bands all brought their A games, put on great shows, and rocked their respective venues to their cores. It was gratifying to attend shows that felt like big, well-supported indie events. In fact live club day was one of the first times in a long while in which a show felt like bonafide, calendar-marked ‘event’. No one was sitting down. Everyone (bands, fans and staff alike) were rocking out and having a good time.
So looking forward, to Live Club Day Vol. 2! Will the line up be as good? Will it be as well attended? Can they keep people interested for the long run? Can they keep up the slick marketing campaigns? Will it survive? These are the questions I heard asked frequently throughout the evening. For sure, it won’t be easy. Seeing as there are only a limited number of bands, fans, and venues it is going to be a challenge. I was pondering these things on the way home after the show when I came across a Club Day banner I had not seen before which was advertising the first wave of bands for Live Club Day Vol.2 That banner and the fact that early bird tickets are already all sold out emphatically answers those questions, at least for the time being.
Reporter : Doyeon Lim
In this generation it is considered ‘fashionable’ to be into indie music, however if you are someone who regularly hangs out in Hongdae you will be aware that the Korean indie music scene is facing lots of problems. One good example of this is that many music ‘fans’ are only into the big international festivals and don’t attend events at the smaller clubs that are the heartbeat of the indie music scene. As things stand right now, many clubs are having to close their doors because of financial difficulties, which highlights one of the big problems the scene here is facing. Everyone who loves indie music knows and worries about these things. Still, watching a live show is clearly a great experience for everyone. Even if you are watching a performance of the same song you have seen a thousand times, that day’s atmosphere, the response from the audience, the bands condition, and loads of other elements combine together to create a unique, one-off experience for the concert goer. Of course, the big festivals too create great atmospheres and a cool experiences for the fans, but witnessing a great show in a small cramped venues leaves a wonderful & lasting memory. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to give everyone one of these great live experiences? Wouldn’t it be great if we could get more fans and musicians together to develop the music scene?
I’ve no doubt that the return of Live Club Day was orchestrated to answer some of these questions. For the first time in quite a while, on the night of Feb 28th 2015 in Hongdae I had what I would call a ‘true’ live experience. By the time the shows started all the clubs were packed full, and the press was busy snapping away and fighting for the best spots in the clubs. It was a very different experience to a typical weekend show in Hongdae. The most moving thing about the event for me was that people were not just there out of curiosity. They seemed to be there because they had been longing for an event like this; they really wanted to be there. ‘At last, Club Day is back! Let’s party hard tonight!’ It was a really fun set of shows where everyone was moving their bodies, singing along to their favorite band’s songs, and moshing away happily.
With Live Club Day, even when compared with the big live international festivals, the Live Club Day Committee has created a gift that both bands and fans alike should all be thankful for. Actually, just the return of club day is like a present, and the lineup was simply a priceless bonus! Just like the fans, the bands too were all stoked to see club day return to the calendar and they showed it by putting on great shows and ensured that everyone went home satisfied. Club day was received with wild enthusiasm by everyone who attended. For me, the evening was over in a flash and I had danced so much that I ached all over the next day.
After putting on such a successful Live Club Day, they must be feeling the pressure to sustain this kind of quality for future events. They will have their work cut out to fix any problems they faced on the night and to make any improvements they can. What can we do to help? It’s pretty straight forward: If we simply attend Live Club Day and have a good time each month we will be supporting the scene in the best way possible. If we keep supporting Live Club Day, they will be able to introducing more and more people to the live scene. I think this is something we can all do easily, something we can be thankful for, and something we can have fun doing at the same time.
English Translation : Patrick Connor
Reporter : Rock 'N' Rose
The return - in slick, well-funded and expertly organized form - of Live Club Day has, at least for the moment, breathed life back into Hongdae. With all the tickets sold out weeks in advance, every venue filled to capacity, and long lines of people waiting (often in vain) to get into all the clubs last Friday night, there was an exciting festival spirit in the air.
Nowhere that I visited was this excitement more palpable than at SangSangMadang, where a capacity crowd waited for the return to Hongdae (after a 2 year hiatus) of Guckkasten, arguably Korea’s best alternative rock band and the first Club Day’s biggest draw card. It’s a long time since I’d heard a crowd scream with such excitement when the band stepped onto the stage and the screen lifted, nor since I’d feared the sprung floor would cave in from the non-stop jumping of 400 fans. The first time I heard the insanely talented vocalist Ha Hyun Woo was at an acoustic set which moved me to tears; but this time was 45 minutes of fiery rock, a balance of new songs from their album “Frame” (one of which they had to stop playing, citing a lack of practice) with all their older crowd-pleasers, slightly reworked and supported by an additional guitarist. The only disappointment was the brevity of the set.
I returned to SangSangMadang later for a unique collaboration between another of my favourite vocalists, Yi Sung Yol, and young indie idol band Annyeongbada. This was in fact a repeat of their joint concert of last winter. Yi usually performs with a stage full of talented backing musicians and equipment to create his complex and layered sounds, so this time it was interesting to see that stripped down somewhat and Annyeongbada having clearly worked hard to stand in as his band. Singer Namu was also a good match for Yi’s beautiful vocals, providing the right falsetto harmony.
The after-midnight sets by Dead Buttons, Julia Dream and Love X Stereo at Freebird 2 were the perfect way to end the event, especially as many of the night’s musicians, in unusually high spirits, came there to unwind with a drink and a dance along with the thinning crowd, and celebrate the success of the Day.
Reporter : Yoonji Lee
Club Day. As soon as I saw the words I got butterflies in my stomach. I was in my early 20s in 2007 and had just started getting interested in live music and the indie scene of Hongdae. At that time the original Club Day (by the electronic dance clubs) and Sound Day (the live clubs) joined forces and launched a combined dance and live club ‘Club Day’. With a single ticket, everybody entered all the clubs freely and watched their favorite bands & DJs on various stages. I felt really alive and at one with all the other people who were watching the show and jumping around like mad with me. For 2 years I came every 3 or 4 months and had a load of fun at Club Day. Among the real clubbers who were going crazy and losing themselves in the moment, I was a bit more restrained and would jump around sheepishly, but still my heart was pounding. Sadly, as I became senior at university and tried to find a way to earn my bread and butter, I grew apart from Hongdae.
One day, I heard that Club Day was going to come to an end. It felt a little like I a friend who I could never have imagined parting ways with had just upped and left without telling me when they would be back. The differing attitudes and aims of each of the clubs, thoughtless behavior of some people and the commercial exploitation of the Hongdae district drove the original Club Day to its end. It was depressing. At that time I hadn't been to Club Day in over a year, but I still felt depressed. I knew that my favorite bands would still be playing and making music at other venues. But something was not right. It was a disaster for fans and musicians alike when that door closed and that particular path vanished. Sadly I too chose to give up and accepted the end of Club Day.
Lots of water has passed under the bridge and I’m in Club Ta on Friday 27th February 2015. Jammed in among a tonne of surging people, because I’m so small the only thing I was able to see was the top of Rockgun Kim (the bassist of Lowdown30)’s head. Just 2 meters in front of me, Byungjoo Yoon was stood on the stage, but I couldn’t see him, my sight was totally blocked. Taehyun Kim, the drummer. I could only feel his presence from the energetic drumming that made it seem like he was about to tear apart the snare's skin. Under the circumstances, I wanted to scream. Scream out of dissatisfaction?? Never. I was truly happy. "Club Day is sooooooooo back!!!!!!"
I dance joyfully, like a jellyfish in the deep ocean with all the other people who chose to be in the same club watching the same band as me. A strange sense of solidarity starts to boil up inside me. The tightly packed audience created a great sweaty live club atmosphere which spurred the bands on to produce some amazing performances. Yeah, it's back. Club Day has been successfully reincarnated under a new name Live Club Day. Thanks to fantastic musicians like Lowdown30, Yellow Monsters, Rock N Roll Radio and Idiotape I put my already worn out body through the wringer, I thought I might die. At 1 AM of 28 February, while I walked home in a cold dawn breeze, I was exhausted, but I was happy, for the first time in ages I was happy to be worn out. And I made a new resolution: I’m gonna work out the next month so I can stay out later at the next Live Club Day.
English Translation : Patrick Connor & Yoonji Lee
장기하와 얼굴들 (Kiha & The Faces), 게이트플라워즈 (Gate Flowers), 고고스타 (GoGoStar), 단편선과 선원들 (Danpyunsun and the Sailors), 디아블로 (Diablo), 소심한 오빠들 (Sosimhan Boys), 슈퍼키드 (Super Kidd), 박주원 (Juwon Park), 아시안체어샷 (Asian Chairshot), 파라솔 (Parasol), 9와 숫자들 (9 & The Numbers), 김간지x하헌진 (Kim Ganji x Ha Heonjin), 김지수 (Kim Ji Soo), 딕펑스 (Dick Punks), 레이지본 (Lazybone), 루디스텔로 (LudiSTELO), 바세린 (Vassline), 스페이스파파 (Space papa), 위아더나잇 (We Are The Night), 최고은 (Gonne Choi), 프럼 디 에어포트 (From The Airport), 한해(HanHae), 맨 (Man).
< Advanced Tickets >
+ Ticket Open : March 9th (Mon) 2pm
+ Price : 20,000won
+ Reservations : Interpark ticket
< Special Package Advanced Tickets >
+ Ticket Open : March 12th (Thurs) 12pm ~ March 20th (Fri) 00:00
+ Price : 30,000won (1 Free Drink + 1 Free T-shirt
+ Reservations : 29CM (www.29cm.co.kr)
Door tickets : Very limited tickets will be available on the door.
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