By Han Sang-hee
Girl group Wonder Girls showed that they were ready for the world with their singing and dancing at their first concert, "The 1st Wonder", at Olympic Gymnastics Stadium, Saturday.
The five-member group, consisting of Sun-ye, Ye-eun, Yu-bin, Sun-mi and Ahn So-hee
, appeared on stage right on schedule, with fans who ranged from elementary students to parents, cheering and shouting their names.
Dressed in black leather leggings, sparkling green boleros and black "kill-heel" sandals, the girls greeted the audience with their first song, "I Wanna".
The 8,000-strong crowd shouted whenever members' faces filled the two large screens on both sides of the stage, shaking purple and red glow sticks along with the music.
Then the girls appeared with a more futuristic look, with silver jackets and sparkling make-up, and offered the songs " Bad Boy " and "Good Bye". But the LED screen in the setting seemed a bit awkward, as it showed images of flowers, which was hard to connect with the metallic image the girls were going for.
When the melodies of the group's hit number "So Hot" played through the speakers, the crowd once again cheered on.
"What's up, Seoul!" Yu-bin, 20, yelled to fans after the song, smiling and waving with the other members.
After an acoustic version of "Nobody", a song that swept the nation and local pop charts last year, the girls continued offering their personal style and talents.
Ye-eun, 19, sang "Killing me Softly with His Song", showing off her vocals and stage presence, while Sun-ye, 19, sang her solo "Ilwoljiga" dressed in an elegant purple gown, her hair and outfit blowing in the wind, resembling a scene from the movie "Bodyguard"
in which Whitney Houston sings "Run to You".
Youngest members Ahn So-hee
and Sun-me, both 17, showed their sexier sides by singing and dancing to the songs "Single Lady" by Beyonce and "Invitation" by Korean singer Uhm Jung-hwa
Yu-bin surprised fans by walking down to the stage from the third floor of the audience, dressed in white shorts and a silvery top, singing "Sexy Back".
After more songs including "You're Out" and "Irony", the girls went backstage to change while the audience welcomed fellow JYP Entertainment group 2AM. The music blared after the four-member group began singing, but the audience cheered them for being such good sports.
The Wonder Girls finally came back onstage, all in white dresses, and sang "Saying I Love You" and "Take Away".
The girls finished up the concert with yet another version of "Nobody" and their popular number "Tell Me", this time asking fans to stand up and follow the famous dance moves.
After offering encores and also blowing the candles from a cake brought up to the stage by 2AM, the members thanked the crowd, some bursting into tears, and bade farewell.
"We hope to meet you all again at a much bigger stage next time. You will all wait for us until then, right?" Sun-mi asked.
Unlike boy bands that boast a large, loyal female fan base, girl groups find it difficult to hold concerts by themselves. But the Wonder Girls showed that they were a well-rounded pop group with fans ranging from young students to housewives, businessmen and even senior citizens. The members were a bit shaky with their vocals here and there, and the overall program was a bit mediocre as they spent most of their time singing and dancing instead of connecting with their fans like many other singers do during concerts. But the concert was still a great way to thank their fans, finish their activities here and gear up for more in the United States.