KCON 2018 LA took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center this weekend, Aug. 10-12, and saw 94,000 fans in attendance enjoying all things related to Korean pop culture, including two headlining concerts. In its seventh year, the West Coast leg KCON saw some new faces and old ones, like returns from TWICE, Seventeen, Wanna One, Nu'Est, Davichi, Dynamic Duo, Crush, and Roy Kim, and put an emphasis especially on new rookies, like Imfact, Dreamcatcher, In2it, Chung Ha, and Golden Child.
Here’s a look at some the most exciting moments from the two nights concerts on Aug. 11 and 12.
1. TWICE channels Beyoncé
The first night KCON 2018 LA, girl group TWICE ignited the crowd with their vibrant performances hits like “Dance the Night Away” and "Cheer Up,” and even taught the crowd some their most iconic dance moves. But before they did that, Tzuyu, Jihyo, and Momo put on a stunning performance Beyoncé’s “End Time,” which was straight out their Twiceland tour. Twiceland hasn’t headed Stateside ever, so the performance was a nice touch for local fans.
2. Ailee dominates the stage
It was unclear who was having more fun when Ailee took the stage: the artist, or the crowd crying back at her with adoration. The Korean-American soloist commanded the stage as she performed her set, including rendition “You and I” and “I Will Show You,” and led the audience in waves cheers as they supported her appearance. Step aside, Los Angeles, because the singer gave L.A. a new meaning: “Loves Ailee.”
3. “Midnight Fantasy Garden”
Girl groups Dreamcatcher and fromis_9 and soloist Chung Ha had already served up charismatic performances their own songs, but returned to the stage to switch up their styles for sultry renditions Camila Cabello’s “Havana,” Fitz and the Tantrums’ “HandClap,” and Ariana Grande’s “God Is A Woman.” Yes, yes, she is -- all 16 them.
4. Seventeen’s dancers bless the crowd with “Lilili Yabbay”
For regular KCON-goers, the 13-member boy band’s appearance was pretty similar to last year’s, when they also closed out one night KCON 2017 LA. But with renewed energy and another year experience behind them, plus new songs, Seventeen captivated the stage from the get-go when their vocalists appeared to perform “Don’t Listen In Secret.” Their hip-hop unit appeared next to perform an unreleased mixtape track allegedly called "Bow Down," but it was when their dance team -- Jun, Hoshi, The8, and Dino -- arrived with a rendition “Lilili Yabbay” that shouts delight echoed through the Staples Center at getting to see the rarely-performed choreography in person. The act also closed out the night, performing new songs like "Oh My!" and "Our Dawn is Hotter Than Day" and older ones like "Mansae" and "Very Nice."
5. Wanna One gives their apparently last Stateside performance
Put together by the television show Produce 101 last year, Wanna One’s time together as a group has an expiration date, and it’s rapidly coming up at the end 2018. Though it was likely their final performance in the U.S. before they disband and the members go back to pursuing their own careers -- such as Minhyun being reunited with his original act Nu’Est, which performed the next night as Nu’Est W in a return to KCON seven years after they appeared at the first one ever in 2012 -- KCON 2018 LA was the third KCON USA performance from Wanna One, following this year’s event in New York and last year’s concert in Los Angeles. It also comes after they had several tour stops in the States earlier this year. To cheer them on, fans came out in full force with roars approval as the 11-member boy band closed out the first night KCON 2018 LA while looking dapper in lavender, pinstripe-accented outfits, and performed their songs “Energetic,” “I Promise You,” “Burn It Up,” and their latest release “Light.”