In 2013 f(x) headlined the first ever K-pop showcase at SXSW, arguably the most influential music festival in the world. At the time, I was working on a lengthy college thesis on the history and development of the Korean music industry. A few weeks before the showcase, I got a text from a colleague who I had interviewed for my thesis saying that Amber’s big sister would be coming to Austin to see her sister perform and asking if I could show her around since she didn’t know anyone else in Texas.
Jackie and I became fast friends over the course of the five days that she visited Austin. She has amazing taste in music, a hilariously disgusting sense of humor, and if there was one thing that was abundantly clear, it was that she is f(x)’s biggest fan.
When f(x) landed in Austin, I drove Jackie over to their hotel so that she could spend some time with her sister (only after picking up 20 tacos from Jack in the Box for Amber, of course). As soon as we arrived, Jackie pulled Amber into a hug so tight I swear I heard some bones pop, and then proceeded to thoroughly check her over from head to toe. She measured her wrists, ruffled her hair, squeezed her cheeks, asked if she was eating well, if she was treating herself and her friends right, how the dogs were, and then pulled her into another bone crackling hug.
It’s impossible for anyone to love Amber Liu as much as Jackie Liu does, and so without further ado, we present to you an account of f(x)’s first ever solo concert by f(x)’s biggest fan.
It’s been a while since I last saw f(x) perform and every other time that I have, they only sing 2 songs at some festival in the states. I would then walk backstage, give Amber a hug and say good job, and she’s back to Korea in a heartbeat. When f(x)’s first solo concert was announced, of course I had to go.
The first week I was in Seoul, Amber and the girls were practicing daily until 3am, but they were excited and in good spirits. The night quickly approached and the lights were dimmed. The sea of periwinkle light sticks was inspiring. I was completely fixated on the opening video montage, which was obscurely artsy, and of the highest quality. As they opened with “Electric Shock”, everyone started dancing and aggressively shaking their light sticks. The f(x) fandom could finally relish with their own, and it was awesome.
The beauty of not having a concert for 5 years is that this show wasn’t really promoting a specific album. It was more like “let’s play all of your favorite f(x) tracks” for 2.5 hours. They covered 30+ songs, only 2 of which were ballads (and they were back to back).
The second best thing about watching them live is seeing their choreography uninterrupted. You know how when the camera operators on Music Bank or another music show have ADD and give you motion sickness by switching angles 100 times? Well there is none of that. As seasoned concert marathoners, Kevin (U-KISS) and Aron (NU’EST) advised Amber to conserve her energy for the 3-night run, but it seemed nearly impossible to do so when the whole show was basically a rave.
After all these years, it has been a rollercoaster watching Amber grow with f(x). From her first super awkward “LA-chA-TA” performance up until now where she is completely comfortable and confident being her goofy self on and off stage. People always ask me, “Has she changed with all her success?” The answer is always no, because I know she is still having fun.
Tags: Amber Dimension 4 f(x) Jackie Liu SM Entertainment