was fortunate enough to see FT Island in both Warsaw and Amsterdam. Nothing can touch these kids in terms of sheer, pure, raw talent and not to mention stage presence and, in my opinion, no other band ever will.
The set opened with ‘Wind’. I'm not sure if you know this song but, if you don’t, you should. JongHoon opens the concert with a beautiful piano solo, leading into HongGi’s voice hauntingly singing the opening chords of this beautiful, powerful ballad. You don’t need to understand the lyrics to be touched by the sentiment.
‘What You Want’ seems to be a style all of their own. By transcending KPOP and adding their own, heavier chords the boys are having fun now and the audience is responding well.
‘Champagne’ is ‘pop’ and has the audience singing along in the chorus. HongGi’s personality is already shining out as he draws the audience in. Jaejin is encouraging the fans to sing louder.
They then move on to ‘The Night’. The opening sound of this song is incredibly catchy. Somehow, it makes me think of an old movie where the 1950s gangsters are carrying Tommy Guns. They then lead into some excellent base by Jaejin. Minwhan, on the drums, makes you realise how incredibly talented he is. Then, between SeungHyun and JongHoon on the guitars, the whole song has an excellent overall sound. HongGi sings and shows you just how powerful his voice actually is. There is a point where HongiGi says, in English, "Let’s Go F*cking Crazy" and the whole sound takes on a heavier tone and the boys start headbanging, even JongHoon somehow while playing lead guitar?!
I love 'I Hope' simply for its fun sound and so do the rest of audience, who are all singing along.
‘Paparazzi’ is so much fun! The audience is bouncing.
‘Puppy’ is next. No matter what your musical taste is, if you don’t love this fun song then there is something wrong with you. The audience totally loves this song and the band seem to love having fun with the audience barking at them.
‘Love Sick’ is an oldie but still a great song.
‘Life’ has a heavier sound from the introductory songs and the boys are giving the crowd their all.
During ‘Love Love Love’ HongGi is simply the king of audiences. He always keeps them engaged. He interacts with them in a way I have never seen from another artist before. Jaejin is always encouraging the fans to enjoy themselves.
I loved 'Memory' being played. The audience knew many of the lyrics in all of the same places that I knew them.
I’m not familiar with 'Lose' so it hasn’t stuck in my memory, but that will be quickly rectified.
‘1 2 3 4’ was simply HILARIOUS! The lyrics go “1, 2, 3, 4 burn burn burn it you know”. I’m actually not sure if the audience knew this as they kept singing "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8"? The band found this in itself hilarious and started singing "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8" with the audience.
The building is ROCKING when they play 'Time To'! In Warsaw the audience were stamping their feet. The band loved it and asked them to do it several times.
HongGi’s headbanging during 'Pray' makes even my neck hurt. If you’re not familiar with this song you should be. This song was their first release after their first European tour. It was the first song where they had a little more artistic freedom and were able to play the heavier sound we only ever heard during live shows. It is also a tribute to all the kids that died in the Sewol Ferry disaster. It’s a beautifully tragic song.
‘Still With You’ is simply pretty. It's anthemic when delivered live.
‘Shinin’ On’, for me, is arguably one of the best and catchiest songs FT have ever done. BOUNCE was created for this song!
‘Freedom’ is catchy and it rocks. It is FT Island!
Honggi seemed to have one or two blips with his voice earlier in the concert but then seemed totally in control of it during 'Out Of Love'. His sheer raw power is beyond comparison.
‘Take Me Now’ is AWESOME! I defy anyone not to headbang. I had just spoken to Kyu and was stood by the door when this came on in Warsaw… it was one of the defining moments for me. ANTHEM! HongGi, again, drew the crowd in. I usually hate comparisons, but for sheer showmanship and crowd-pleasing HongGi is only bettered by Freddy Mercury.
‘On My Way’ is such an amazing song, with deep pulsating baselines. This is probably Jaejin’s shining moment. His perfect, sweet voice rings out along with the heavy baseline he plays.
‘Tree’ has such a sad undertone. It also signals that heroes will be leaving soon.
If you missed these guys then make sure you catch them next time! There are few bands worth travelling the world to see and FT Island is one of them. They are insanely talented. You have to hear HongGi’s voice to understand what raw power truly is. He makes the likes of Dickinson and Kiske seem tame by comparison. His voice has three aspects combined into one which is incredibly rare and I can’t say I’ve ever heard before. It’s husky which defies the sheer power his vocals exude; how can such a soft sound be so powerful? Then there is the reverb. Completely unparalleled in speed and accuracy to pitch, it never falters. I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything quite like it.
No matter the size of the audience these boys give their absolute ALL! They don’t care if the audience is 800 strong or 80,000 they never ever give anything less than 100%.
Jaejin hits notes higher than most sopranos and he is always pitch perfect. His deep baselines never falter, not even when he is bouncing up and down on the spot or headbanging.
JongHoon, the multitalented leader of the band, is beyond compare. He is arguably up there with the likes of Hendrix and Moore and he isn’t getting the acclaim he deserves. He plays lead guitar while headbanging and bouncing up and down. He makes a piano ‘talk’ and convey emotions and has a face that would stop angels in their tracks.
Minhwan, the young drummer, keeps everyone else in time. It seemed that in his solo he seemed to manage to hit more beats per minute than is humanly possible.
Last, but certainly not least, is SeungHyun on second lead guitar and vocalist. He's insanely talented and, I feel, often without the opportunity to express it. His voice is simply stunning in it’s own right. His guitar riffs are perfect, and it simply wouldn’t be Five Treasure Island without him.