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2PM maintains popularity as undisputed fan favorite at KCON 2016 Japan

All Headlines 21:54 April 11, 2016

By Park Sojung

CHIBA, Japan, April 11 (Yonhap) -- Stage fright. It happens to the best of musicians.

But not so for the South Korean boy band 2PM, not at least on the second and last day of KCON 2016 Japan, where they performed the closing act.

The six men dressed in varying outfits strutted all over the stage at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, east of Tokyo, on Sunday with such confidence they dispelled any remaining doubt about their relevance in Japan's music scene today.

The stage was set for this seven-year-old group to shine at the KCON 2016 Japan X M Countdown concert. Thousands of fans screamed at the top of their lungs whenever a photo of Jun K., Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho and Chansung appeared on large displays scattered throughout the venue.

Ears went numb when Taecyeon and Wooyoung appeared amid the crowd as special MCs, introducing "girl crush" acts of the night -- TWICE's hip-hop dancing, AOA's Jimin and Heize's rap collaboration and a solo performance by Heize, who was made popular by the Mnet rap competition show "Unpretty Rapstar."

Earlier that evening, TWICE opened the show with its latest hit "OOH-AHH," stunning male and female audience members alike.

KangNam, perhaps better known for his humor than his vocal chords, showcased his two solo tracks, "CHOCOLATE" and "Ready to Fly."

"I know you guys all know my name," he said, a statement met with laughter. "Yasuo will try his best."

Rock band DAY 6 put on the first slow-paced act of the evening with "Letting Go" and "Congratulations."

"I hope our performance makes you feel fuzzy inside," member Young K said and was reassured by one courageous fan who screamed "It did!"

Then came BOYFRIEND, whose six members appeared in outfits largely made of silk. During their performance of "Be My Shine," audience members raised their hands and made castanet-like movements on the lyrics, "kiss kiss."

Sunday was also Jun Jin of the 1990s boy band Shinhwa's opportunity to introduce his solo tracks to the Japanese audience. Teaming a checkered suit with a pair of white sneakers, he broke out the powerful dance routines for "WOW WOW WOW," the title track of his latest solo album, and "Hey Ya!"

"I was in Japan last week for a fan meeting, and it's an honor to be here again today," he said in Korean, the only person to speak entirely of his mother language rather than Japanese. "Thank you for your support as always, and I hope you continue to support Shinhwa and newer bands."

Next was Block B, which stood in front of Japanese fans for the first time in one-and-a-half-years. With a new album to be released that midnight, the group showcased the album's title track "TOY," along with "A Few Years Later." Then they walked fans down memory lane with old hits "HER" and "Very Good."

2PM, however, was the undisputed favorite of the night, with multiple fans interviewed naming them as the best act.

"It was great because I got to see Junho whom I haven't in so long. I'm looking forward to his show, which is premiering here in June," a 34-year-old woman, who only gave her first name Kumi, said. She was referring to tvN's "Memory," in which Junho plays a supporting role.

"I saw a beast in Wooyoung's arms -- so muscular!" tweeted one fan with the handle 11114krg. "They're as muscular as a savage beast's!"

sojungpark@yna.co.kr
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