Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wayback Wednesday: When a K-pop group performed in Pittsburgh in 2009.

On July 25, 2009, the K-pop quintet Wonder Girls toured the US with the Jonas Brothers, and provided the first and only K-pop performance in Pittsburgh. They were one of the biggest girl groups in Korea in 2007 and 2008, and had focused on an international tour in 2009. Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly for the time and the presentation, they made little impression in Pennsylvania. A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review of the Jonas Brothers concert says their show only lasted one song:
From the Jonas Brothers?

A bit grown up, but other than that, moms and daughters got a lively and very wholesome night of entertainment from these Jersey boys, not to mention Sparks, South Korean girl group Wonder Girls (for one song) and the harder-rocking quartet Honor Society.
Two days earlier the tour was in Philadelphia, where the Inquirer misreported their region:
They also shined the spotlight, briefly, on the South Asian girl group Wonder Girls, whose one-song performance failed to make much of an impression.

In the video posted above, the group is trying to teach the "Nobody" dance, which was ubiquitous in Korea the year before. It was being pushed hard by the label; from manager JYP's Twitter:
Come learn the Nobody dance by the girls! Verizon Bus-Pittsburgh,Mellon Arena @ 4:30 C u there(No tickets required!might cancel if it rains)
. . .
11:27 AM Jul 25th from web Learn the Nobody dance by the Wonder Girls! Verizon Bus -Wachovia Center(Philadelphia)@4:30 (No tickets required!might cancel if it rains)
. . .
10:26 AM Jul 24th from web Come learn the Nobody dance by the Wonder Girls! Verizon Bus -Wachovia Center(Philadelphia) @ 4:30 C u all there!(no tickets required!)
It was a time when other Korean performers had little-noticed or poorly-received US debuts. BoA, who had been big in Korea and Japan for most of the decade, released an English-language single in 2008 and her first English-language album in 2009. Se7en dabbled in the US market from 2007 and released the single "Girls" with Lil' Kim in 2009.