People go to live shows of performers they like because they like certain qualities those artists offer. If you want something unhinged, you could go for some rap or rock shows. If you want high energy and production, you see an idol act. If you want to see a man totally in control, effortlessly chic and commanding, you see BewhY's show.
Part of why BewhY's excursion to New York City was a success had to do with simplicity. He was not accompanied by background dancers, or even an on-stage DJ like many have come to expect from hip-hop acts. There was no hype person, unless you count a translator for spoken parts in between songs that did a good job engaging the crowd. When the music came on - then stopped for an a capella rhyme - it was time to give your full undivided attention to BewhY, and everyone in attendance was excited to do just that.
The introductory music for the concert was somewhat trippy, setting a tone for the night. Many concertgoers would make themselves feel at home on the lounge couches on both floors of the venue, while others were dancing like nobody was watching - even between songs. As BewhY stood in a stone cold stance, rapidly rapping his heart out, he gained total control over the crowd. His presence was commanding, and his outfit - complete with pieces from Gucci, which he eventually made sure we knew - was fashionable but simple. Like much of the stage, he was covered in black, with the attention being yielded to the words that left his mouth.
After trading the absence of sound for the presence of bounce, BewhY had turned the crowd into something of a hybrid between a dance floor and a mosh pit. Some were hitting moves to "Bichael Yackson," while others just waved their hands wildly with energy. Keeping his cool through each pop of crowd reactions, he moved on to later hits like "9ucci Bank" and his verse from "1,000,000 WON" and the room was lit with joy.
After trading blistering trap snares for gentle arpeggios for a song, BewhY started speaking candidly with the crowd (mostly through a translator). He seemed happy to be there, but like he was questioning himself. He mentioned how he used to fill his life by buying clothes like the ones he was wearing, which he remembered getting "called out" for. He essentially said that in his situation, it's easy to get caught down the wrong path - one of vanity that eventually feels bad anyway. He used this speech to segue into the emotional "Hewgeso," which fans loved.
It seemed that the concert put BewhY in a thoughtful mood because the amount of talking in between songs increased as the show went on. He explained how Christianity helped him find a purpose other than working hard to earn luxury items. This got some cheers from the crowd, and a later bit about Jesus did as well, lending the event an unexpected religious flair. "God says you're my star," he concluded.
After stepping out to switch into a red outfit, BewhY proceeded to do several straight trap bangers in succession. It was a welcome change of pace and showed some versatility in his capabilities. "The Time Goes On" in particular drew a huge response, and many finally felt as if they were capturing the energy of a "Show Me The Money" final event in person. Fittingly, BewhY closed the show after mentioning how SMTM has reignited interest in hip-hop in Korea and made his presence in America possible. He stated, "I hope that all my fans can dream of dreaming just like me." After a good and wholesome night like that, dream on they did indeed.
Photos courtesy of Trevor SK Tomlinson