It's easy to categorize Tiffany Young as a former K-Pop household name and Girls’ Generation icon of decade-long proportions, but after the recent wrap up of her North American showcase tour, 'Lips on Lips,' fans can’t get enough of this “Born Again” star. The tour, aptly titled after her latest EP release with Transparent Agency, shows fans just how much of Tiffany’s raw unadulterated talent they have been missing while she was still under her contract with SM.
allkpop had the chance to attend her San Francisco show and here’s what we have to say:
Fresh off the win of Best Solo Breakout at the iHeartRadio awards, Tiffany destroyed barriers in one fell swoop by becoming the first ever female Asian American artist to win this award! Naturally, the show must go on and she traveled from Los Angeles to San Francisco the next morning to finish off the second to last night of the tour. A line had formed since early morning to see Tiffany at a smaller venue called 'Great American Music Hall.' Fans sat outside for hours waiting to fulfill a decade's worth of dreams to see their favorite idol perform in an intimate solo setting.
When fans filed in, the first thing they noticed was the ornate and historical aspects of the venue, followed by a bartender who pulled a few prospective drink buyers aside to tell them that Tiffany herself specifically requested that all drinks contain shaved ice rather than cubed. Fans laughed at Tiffany's quirky preferences and joked that it's Tiffany's show, so we'll all drink slushies if she wants us to.
When the band started to play, pink lightsticks shot up into the air and screams began filling the venue as Tiffany's ethereal head of long blonde hair and soft pink flare pants graced the stage. She started with vocally impressive “The Flower” off her new EP then followed with fun and upbeat “Dance the Night Away”. Much to our surprise, instead of going directly into another song, she did a transition by covering “Express Yourself” by Madonna. It was easy to tell that Tiffany handpicked her own set as she played a combination of songs that highlighted aspects of K-Pop career, her new EP material, and songs that clearly meant a lot to her. Songs like Madonna's “Express Yourself” and *NSYNC's “Gone” were pleasantly surprised to the fans and Tiffany even did some fan service and sang “Talk Talk” off Girls’ Generation's “Lion Heart” EP.
We're used to a level of fan service from well-known idols, but no one was prepared to experience Tiffany's heart of gold and intense care for fans up close and personal. Whether it's responding to a yelled “I LOVE YOU!” from the crowd or answering a request to sing “Heartbreak Hotel” from a child in the front row, Tiffany is effectively the queen of fan service. Fans were cared for and given free water in between show segments while she took a breather. For her empowering song, “Not Barbie” her team even pulled two unsuspecting girls from the crowd to be serenaded by Tiffany herself! She promised them she would sign an autograph and hugged them afterward. Her fan service didn't stop there, she continued to interact with the audience members in an effort to leave no fan behind or left out.
After the pop diva finished her set, she took a few minutes to breathe before coming back up for the Twitter Q&A. She responded to multiple questions, some lighthearted in nature, some more serious. Whether it's blatantly saying she isn't the best cook or it's speaking out in support of LGBTQIA+, Tiffany is undergoing a pop star renaissance and understanding that her newfound freedom has given way to a means of musical and cultural expression previously unavailable to her. Not only has she realized her incredible power in standing for social issues, but she also explores a number of new musical styling previously untapped in her Girls' Generation past.
When asked about how to properly deal with bullying, Tiffany quoted Michelle Obama, stating that “When they go low, we go high,” and emphasized the importance of treating yourself and others well. She continued to give great advice, memories, jokes, laughs, and tears to the audience until finally the last question from a seemingly familiar member of the Transparent Team asked, “How did you celebrate your win at the IHeartRadio awards?” While she was confused, her team ran on stage with champagne, balloons, a cake, and confetti poppers to congratulate her and that's the moment that took this show to a whole new level.
Tiffany broke down into tears on stage.
The emotions she felt of liberation in conjunction with musical license and the ability to create again after years of being told what to do, what to say, how to act, and what to wear were evident on her face. Tiffany went from her debut in K-Pop with “Into a New World” and ventures into yet another distinct "world" with “Born Again”. Tiffany remarked that though she had been through multiple world tours, this was her first bus tour ever. Through this showcase, Tiffany Young has been able to re-brand herself, her art, and what she stands for. She is no longer the mushroom cut, pink scooter riding 14-year-old. Instead, this beautiful woman has learned to utilize her popularity for good causes and encourage positivity in many communities. Fans echoed this sentiment as it was clear that her evolution as an artist has just begun. We look forward to seeing and hearing what Tiffany has to offer in the months and years to come as she gains control of her own path, story, and vision. Tiffany left San Francisco with one extremely solid piece of advice for those who want to become better at their passion:
"No one is born with the skills. You have to work hard and hone your craft."
Tiffany- we can see you have worked hard.