buttonOriental Lucy with The Plastic Day, Sagitta
@ 500, Seoul (26th Apr. '08)

Classy Digs + Awesome Acts = Memorable Night

      Its high ceilings, giant pillars, stone balcony, and candles make Hongdae's 500 one of the cooler live spaces in Seoul. Coupled with a bill of fantastic music courtesy of first rate locals Sagitta, The Plastic Day, and Oriental Lucy, the spacious, arty basement venue was definitely the place to be on this warm April eve.

      Husband and wife act Sagitta started the show. Comprised of vocalist Jungeun Lee and Cocore guitarist Woosung Lee, the talented duo each tried their hand at a variety of instruments including a banana-shaped shaker, ukulele, harmonica, keyboard, wooden blocks, acoustic guitar, and accordion during their well-played 35-minute set. Showcasing cuts from their sophomore effort, Hello Stranger, their mix of psychedelic-tinged, 70s-inspired folk and quirky indie pop created a beautiful, tranquil vibe inside the bohemian-style room. Seated with their shoes off on several large rugs, the near capacity crowd of Koreans and foreigners listened intently and silently nodded along to the Lees' enchanting tracks. "Okinawa Love Song" stood out as the night's best. A recording from Okinawa of waves crashing was at the forefront alongside Woosung's ukulele instantly transporting the audience from Seoul's crowded, polluted streets to a private sea side retreat. As the track began to wind down, Jungeun a played slide whistle that sounded almost like birds chirping that made the wonderful illusion being created seem even more real.

      The Plastic Day followed and quickly won everyone over with a healthy dose of indie rock from 2007's Lady. While Lady is a solid disc, The Plastic Day's material truly shines in a live setting. With the lights dimmed, the trio started off with a quiet, shoegaze-infused rocker. Vocalist and guitarist Green and drummer Yun Beom both wore toques while bassist Ho Seong hid under the dark hood of his baggy jacket. Things quickly picked up with fantastic takes of "Je"Star" and "30 Sec." Green's voice soared through 500 and with strobe lights flashing, Ho hopped up onto Yun's bass drum as the band's angular, passionate music increased in intensity. Finishing up after a mere 20 minutes, they definitely left the crowd wanting more.

The Plastic Day      Celebrating the release of their self-titled EP, Oriental Lucy ended the party with a stellar set of soulful rock n' roll. Rightfully considered amongst the top acts in Seoul's small, but active underground music scene, people were very excited about the unveiling of the quartet's long awaited debut recording. A teaser of sorts, hopefully the three songs presented will pave the wave for a longer album to come out soon.

      A spotlight shone solely on hip chanteuse Soohee Yeon as the group launched into their atmospheric opening number. The lights were raised for their second song and Yeon began slowly swaying while showing off her strong vocal range on tracks such as "Rorina Homestay." Still seated on the floor, the audience tapped their fingers and feet on the rugs while the band performed. One fan tossed a long-stemmed flower towards the stage which Yeon picked up and held while singing. It complemented the giant, red faux floral decoration that the group's guitarist had affixed to his shirt.

      Part way through the 70-minute concert, Yeon asked the crowd to get up off the rugs and move around. With the few hundred people in attendance now standing, 500 had more of a traditional live club feel to it. Back in familiar surroundings, the energy level onstage picked up as Yeon discarded her microphone stand and began to dance and pump her fist to the catchy tunes flowing from the speakers. Many audience members followed suit and also began clapping and singing along. A female keyboardist joined Oriental Lucy adding a bit of a new wave-ish, almost dance punk edge that had everyone roaring their approval. Wanting to join the party unfolding in front of her, Yeon sang "Butterfly Kiss" in the middle of the crowd as the group closed out their set. Returning to the stage amidst cries of "encore", their totally fun Han Myung Sook cover ended the awesome night of live music on a high note.

Oriental Lucy

report and photos by shawn

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buttonClassy Digs + Awesome Acts = Memorable Night (08/04/26 @ 500, Seoul) : review and photos by shawn

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buttonClassy Digs + Awesome Acts = Memorable Night : Oriental Lucy with The Plastic Day, Sagitta (26th Apr. @ 500, Seoul)
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