While usually taking place on the first official day of SXSW Music, the K-Pop Night Out showcase took place on the second day of the festival this year instead but more importantly shifted to a much better venue for this year’s event. Moving away from the cramped, hot Elysium, The Belmont set the stage for this year’s featured Korean artists and provided great views of the stage from all over the venue.
One of the acts on the bill was Love X Stereo, an electro pop/rock duo consisting of singer Annie Ko and producer/guitarist Toby Hwang. With their English-language songs, the act was a bit more accessible to the audience than the rest of the lineup. With slow melodies, Annie’s dreamy vocals made Love X Stereo a perfect addition to the outdoor atmosphere at the venue.
Next up were K-Pop group MAMAMOO, who debuted fairly recently in 2014. The four-piece took the stage with great choreography and stage presence, which was matched by the enthusiasm of the fans who had waited in line to grab a spot up front to see them perform. Songs like “Um Oh Ah Yeh” had clear R&B influences, providing catchy hooks and singalongs for the excited audience.
Closing up the showcase was Zion.T with The Session, a recent signee to the huge YG Entertainment label. Zion.T set the mood for the nightcap with his soulful R&B accompanied by the backing band The Session, who provided jazzy instrumentals throughout the set. With smooth vocals and excellent production, it’s no surprise that that Zion.T is on the rise and helping to to expand R&B in the K-Pop world.