[divider]HAPPY NEW YEAR[/divider]
First of all, we would like to take this opportunity to say “Happy New Year” to all of our readers before we jump into our coverage from The Final Countdown. As many of you know, living in Seoul around the holiday season can be tough. Spending time at your usual hangout can be a bit dull since the same scenery and the same group, or lack there of, can really put a damper on holiday spirit.
An important thing to remember around this time of year is to step out of your comfort zone and do something out-of-the-ordinary. The New Year is not only an addition to one’s Korean Age, but it’s also an opportunity to make positive changes. It’s easy to stay wrapped up in the same old same for another year, but a new year is a new birth. It’s the ending of the old and the ushering in of the new.
It’s also an important time to reflect on the past year and celebrate the good memories. That’s exactly why New Year’s Eve is, without a doubt, one of the biggest parties of the year. Overall, 2014 was such an incredible year for ElectRow. We attended some amazing events and interviewed many talented individuals in the world of electronic music and DJing. When deciding where to celebrate New Year’s Eve, we knew that we had to go somewhere special. To bring 2015 to a close, we decided to to cover The Final Countdown presented by Heineken.
[divider]THE FINAL COUNTDOWN[/divider]
VU Entertainment’s events this year, such as Global Gathering Korea and 5tardium, impressed us, so we trusted that this event would follow suit. We also knew from experience that Heineken-sponsored events were typically well executed. As for the event lineup, it a lot to offer for fans of multiple different music genres. With 27 acts performing between 2 halls at Walkerhill in Seoul, we knew that the variety would make this one of the most interesting New Year’s Eve parties in the city. With roughly 6,200 people in attendance to ring in the new year, we were far from wrong.
The guests weren’t just from Seoul. People traveled from all over the country including cities as far as Busan and Gwangju. While the sheer number of guests did make it a bit hard to breathe in some areas of the event, it’s always better to have too many people show up, rather than too few.
Other than that, the event was just as you can probably imagine. There was good music, plenty of alcohol, flashing lights, and a ton of people. The Final Countdown used a unique concept for the stages and overall atmosphere. Throughout the night, the elements of wind, water, and fire were incorporated into the stages/performances. It was a rush to experience strong gusts of wind as they blew through the crowd at the “Angel Stage”. The flares accented the hip-hop performances of the “Final Stage,” enhancing the overall visual aspect.
Just like Heineken’s past events Sensation 2013 and 5tardium, everyone that attended the event received an LED bracelet. These are really neat products from a company called PixMob, and this was the third event we’ve covered featuring them. The devices are controlled remotely, so when they turn on, the crowd enters a state of shock and awe. We feel they add a lot to the entire experience and atmosphere of events. People are encouraged to throw their hands in the air and take pictures of their lights and the crowd. (Stay tuned for an in-depth feature with PixMob in the very near future.) After midnight, the crowds got bigger due to the “Cinderella” ticket holders being allowed to enter. At the stroke of midnight, Koreans get one year older, so those born in 1996 became 20, and were granted access to enter the event. “So, this whole event was for the adults only…,” said Stacie Lee, mentioning that this was another thing that she liked.
[divider]THE FINAL STAGE[/divider]
One of the partygoers from Busan told us that The Final Countdown was the greatest party he’d ever been to. He spent most of his time at the Final Stage, which was located at Walkerhill’s Vista Hall. The Final Stage was geared more towards hip-hop and included some of Korea’s biggest artists and DJs like: KINGMCK, Dok2, Beenzino, The Quiett, Loco & Gray, and Conan.
As the countdown started the illionaire Records gang exploded on stage with their famous song “연결고리”. As the artists Dok2, Beenzino, and The Quiett performed, the energy of the crowd really took over the stage. People were chanting and cheering in unison. The trio performed other songs like “Profile” and “Boogie on & on”.
Continuing in the intense energy was the hip hop rookie and runner up for the 3rd season of “Show Me the Money”, Iron. The artist took center stage with Dok2 as they performed “I am” together. During the night, hip-hop rookie Loco also performed his songs “자꾸생각나” and “니가모르게”. Hip-hop senior Verbal Jint was also there to perform, singing and rapping his hits “Good Morning”, “좋아보여”, and “You’re pretty Enough”. As the crowd in the Vista Hall bobbed their heads, one thing was clear. All the local hip-hop acts were a huge success at this event.
Although the time it took to get from one stage to the other wasn’t exactly convenient, people appreciated having the option to switch up music styles. Stacie Lee, a student at Ewha Women’s University, was a big supporter of having two stages so people could “enjoy a wide spectrum of performance,” she told us. She went on to say, “What I enjoyed the most was Idiotape’s performance.”
[divider]THE ANGEL STAGE[/divider]
Idiotape was one of the acts featured on the Angel Stage, which was located in the Walkerhill Theatre. They always deliver a spectacular performance. The last time we saw them was at Global Gathering Korea 2014, where they killed it on the mainstage. The rest of the acts on the Angel Stage, with an exception or two, were DJs. Performances from Scarnite x Insidecore, Yann & Julian, Vandal Rock x Daywalker, and more kept the crowd dancing the night away. However, a lot of the local DJs that played can be seen on any given weekend in Seoul, so we felt that the Angel Stage lineup as a whole wasn’t too special. However, there was one special act, which we will get to now.
[divider]MERK & KREMONT[/divider]
The main EDM act of The Final Countdown was none other than Merk & Kremont. They performed on the Angel Stage, helping Korean EDM fans start 2015 the right way. With an incredible string of both remix and original releases in 2014, the guys definitely had a reason to celebrate. In fact, it’s mind-blowing that they were even able to release all the tracks below and still find time to play all over the world.
Merk & Kremont feat. Bongom – Now Or Never (Spinnin)
Nicky Romero feat. Anouk (Merk & Kremont Remix) – Feet On The Ground (Protocol)
Merk & Kremont, Toby Green – Strike (Doorn)
Helena feat. Shawnee Taylor (Merk & Kremont Remix) – Levity (Ultra)
Pink Is Punk (Merk & Kremont Edit) – Pinball (Rising)
Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne (Merk & Kremont Remix) – Rather Be (WarnerUK)
Merk & Kremont, Dannic – Anubi (Revealed)
Merk & Kremont – Amen (SIZE)
Syn Cole feat. Madame Buttons (Merk & Kremont Remix) – Miami 82 (LE7ELS/PRMD)
Chris Lake feat. Jareth (Merk & Kremont Remix) – Helium (Ultra)
Promise Land feat. Alicia Madison (Merk & Kremont Remix) – Sun Shine Down (Mixmash)
Merk & Kremont, Amersy – Charger (Doorn)
Having debuted at #94 on the 2014 DJ Mag Top 100 DJs listing, we expect to see Merk & Kremont climb even further in the years to come, especially if they keep up last year’s pace. While they offer the same caliber music as other big artists in the EDM realm, we really appreciate the groove that they inject into their productions. It was awesome that the Italian duo finished their year and started a new one in South Korea.
As The Final Countdown presented by Heineken came to an end, people made their way home (or to an after-party) full of memories, for the first time in 2015. With only a few minor criticisms (expected from such a big event/production), all in all, The Final Countdown was an incredible way to spend the last moments of 2014 and the first few of 2015.From all of us at ElectRow.com, we hope you had as good of a New Year’s Eve as we did and we wish you much success and happiness in 2015!
Be sure to be on the look out for any future VU Entertainment events. They have continued to demonstrate that they are a group of superb party planners and executioners. We look forward to seeing what they come up with next!