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S. Korean pop groups hold first concert in Paris

All Headlines 11:40 June 11, 2011

PARIS, June 10 (Yonhap) -- Five South Korean pop bands held their first concert in Paris on Friday, making a successful debut on the European stage in front of more than 7,000 eager fans.

Popular acts TVXQ, Girls' Generation, Super Junior, SHINee and f(x) put on a three-hour performance at Le Zenith de Paris concert hall, singing a total of 44 songs for the fans, who had come from all parts of Europe, including France, Spain, Italy and Poland.

About 100 teenage fans spent the night outside the concert hall on Thursday, while more than 1,000 people crowded outside the hall five hours prior to the start of the show. Even rain was not enough to drive away fans who stood waiting for the concert to start as they sang Korean pop songs and danced to their music.

"I started liking K-pop because of my daughters," said a father, who had come with his two teenage girls, one of whom had injured her leg in a recent accident. "I like Super Junior. They dress well without being too flashy."

The pop groups took the hall by storm as they sang and danced for the cheering and screaming of fans. The show's organizers estimated that only about 2 percent of the audience were Koreans.

"The singers and fans came together as one and made today's show a successful debut performance (in Europe)," one of the organizers said after the concert.

The pop bands' Seoul-based agency, S.M. Entertainment, initially scheduled only one show for Friday, but later added another show for Saturday after tickets for the first concert sold out in 15 minutes. Hundreds of French fans rallied in front of the Louvre Museum to demand an extra show.

"I think K-pop is gaining popularity thanks to S.M.'s global system, foreign composers and choreographers, and the singers' appearances," said Leeteuk, a member of Super Junior. "I think it was also helped by social networking sites, such as YouTube."

"Most people in the audience were able to sing along to our songs even though it's difficult to understand another's feelings and thoughts without understanding the language, and our songs were in Korean, not French," he said. "I think K-pop may gain popularity not only in Europe, but also in South America and Africa."


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