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Epik High 2015 North American Tour

Living in New York City (NYC), I’m no stranger to the swarm of tourists and locals that flood the streets and avenues of Times Square. However, on the 13th of June amongst this bustling crowd a few hundred did stand out, so much so that one passerby stopped to ask what they were queued up for. “A concert,” replied the young man in line behind me.

Epik High 2015 North American Tour – a concert tour across 9 cities and 2 countries.

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Epik High’s encore show at the Best Buy Theater in NYC. (Photo Credit: Anjali Menon/KollabNY)

Formed in 2003 with DJ Tukutz and MCs Tablo and Mithra Jin, Epik High is a Korean hip-hop group based in the city of Seoul and is currently signed with recording label YG Entertainment (YG).

This was Epik High’s encore show, that featured DJ Soulscape and Masta Wu, in the United States at the Best Buy Theater.

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Masta Wu, YG’s veteran rapper.

Music connects you to people.

Masta Wu, YG’s veteran rapper and Jersey boy, opened the doors with Bad Boy – a throwback from 2003. “Music connects you to people. I’m crazy old for you all,” admitted the 36 year old “but I’m still connected with you all.” The house was getting crunk and stood testament to his words.

The rapper’s set list included YGGR and the recent hit single Come Here. The latter served as a nice lyrical segue into the headliner as fans called out to Epik High to come out on stage.

Epik High’s Encore, Sinatra’s New York New York and Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind were among the mix that played at the onset and was a fitting intro to the group’s encore performance in NYC.

Tablo, Epik High’s leader, introduced himself as “Haru appa [dad]” which was received with many awws and chuckles.

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(Photo Credit: Anjali Menon/KollabNY)

From dousing the pit with water because “It’s getting really hot in here,” to cutting short their performance of It’s Cold because “Chu-wo [It’s cold],” as Mithra simply put it, the group’s theatrics had us splitting our sides and screaming for more.

A pre-recorded audio letter played in mid-concert listing what the trio loved about North America. To our amusement it was a hodgepodge which included hot dogs and Starbucks, Bill Clinton and Charlie Sheen, and YouTube and Geocities.

Stanford University and I really went there.

Loud cheers of support and applause followed suit during the audio-letter when Tablo listed Stanford University and nonchalantly followed with “and I really went there.” In response, the witty Tukutz declared, “Stanford Hotel in Manhattan. We really went there.” Kudos to Tablo and Tukutz for making light of the 2010 Tajinyo controversy and keeping it real.

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Tablo, Epik High’s leader. (Photo Credit: Lakshmi Menon/KollabNY)

Epik High’s set list included Burj Khalifa, Map The Soul, Happen Ending, Up, Spoilers, Kill This Love, One and New Beautiful.

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The fans. (Photo Credit: Lakshmi Menon/KollabNY)

The concert came to a close with Fan – an apt dedication to the fans who’d come out, and Born Hater and Don’t Hate Me for the encore. In retrospect, the experience seems surreal and Tablo and his mates did not disappoint. I’ll remember the music, but more importantly I won’t forget the show – it was epic!

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