By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
South Korea's Rain
or "Bi"embarks on a world premiere tour this Friday.
Rain, known as Bi in Korean, is undoubtedly one of the biggest K-pop stars nowadays. It's no wonder that around 40,000 fans, with almost a fourth from other countries, are expected to attend the premiere of his world concert tour at Jamsil Stadium, Seoul on Friday.
Fans from Japan, China, United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are expected to show their support for Rain.
The free concert coincides with the release of Rain
's fourth album on Friday. Rain gained popularity also as an actor throughout Asia in the hit drama "Full House".
Rica Valera, a caterer from Manila, Philippines, is traveling to Seoul with a bunch of friends to watch the concert. She and her friends arranged their Korean vacation to coincide with Rain's concert.
"I have seen Rain perform live in Hong Kong for his showcase and in Bangkok for the last leg of his Rainy Day Tour and he exceeded all expectations. I'm just hoping to see him enjoy his performance. I don't want to be stressed and pressured by placing high expectations on Rain
", Valera told The Korea Times.
Gina Wong, an accounts executive from Singapore, said she is looking forward to a great performance by Rain. "I'm not sure what to expect, but I know Rain will be great", she said.
The Oct. 13 concert is seen as a preview for Rain's upcoming world tour "Rain's Coming", which will officially kick off in Seoul on Dec. 15 ( Open the link
). He is expected to perform songs from his latest album.
For his concert, Rain has tapped prominent concert production people such as stage director Jaime King, who has choreographed dance moves for Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera; lighting specialist Roy Bennett; and visual director Dago Gonzalez.
StarM, the entertainment agency organizing the concert, has even coordinated with travel agencies from different countries to make it easier for fans to come to Korea and watch the show.
The price of the Rain concert package tours varies. For instance in Hong Kong, a travel agency is offering a special Rain concert package which includes airfare, hotel accommodations, VIP tickets to the concert and a tour of the "Full House" set, for HK$4,599 or roughly 560,000 won.
In Japan, there is a special dinner and concert package for 148,000 yen or roughly 1.19 million won, and a concert-only package which starts a 84,000 yen or 675,000 won.
The show will start at 7 p.m., with opening acts Paran, Popin Hyungjoon, NOW and Lim Jeong-hee.
Next year, Rain
is expected to take his concert tour to 35 cities in 12 countries, namely the United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
is also quite busy these days, after finishing his first movie "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK" directed by Park Chan-wook
. He is also preparing an English album to be released in the U.S. next year.
Last February, he held two sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City. He was also named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World this year.