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Jan 30

Get caught in the storm

Once one of the most popular artists of the early Korea Wave, Rain had to exit the spotlight just as Korean pop culture was cresting to new highs. His career began in the late 90s at the tender age of 16 as a member of young boyband Fanclub. Rain quickly moved on to bigger things as a solo artist, and to date his discography includes 28 hit singles from seven studio albums (six Korean, one Japanese). Crossing over to television, greater stardom was achieved in 2004 when the Seosan native acted in the drama Full House, which aired in countries across Asia, Europe and North America. That resulted in further celluloid success and Rain’s cinematic highpoints include roles in Oldboy director Park Chan-wook’s I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK and the Wachowski brothers’ Speed Racer. By 2006 Rain was so popular he even made it on to Time magazine‘s list of 100 Most Influential People Who Shape Our World, a reader’s poll he topped several times until 2011. 

And then the brakes were hit. In 2011 Rain was forced to complete South Korea’s 21 months of compulsory military service. For almost two years the singer/actor was forced into the background, until the summer of 2013 and his discharge. After a number of film and television projects, last December he finally answered the prayers of fangirls desperate to see him in the flesh and announced a new concert tour, The Squall. 

Starting in Seoul and touring through China, the tour reaches Hong Kong on January 30. Taking place at AsiaWorld-Expo, expect to be wooed throughout a 150-minute non-stop storm of dancing, singing and massive visual effects. With a mix of R&B and pop – the style that shot him to stardom – Rain’s smooth vocals can still transfix in his hits such as What’s Love, Love Story and Love Song (we note a theme). Rain always delivers raw, high intensity live performances and adamantly refrains from lipsyncing – a sure talent audiences should appreciate in an era of autotuned stars. Kaitlin McPhee

Rain Sat Jan 30, 8pm. AsiaWorld-Expo, Chek Lap Kok. Tickets: $380-$1,680; hkticketing.com.


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