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Korean folk music band instills nostalgia in LA concert

Posted July. 25, 2011 07:23,   


The Korean folk music band C’est Si Bon held a concert in Los Angeles Saturday evening with just two of the three original members -- Yoon Hyung-ju, 64, and Kim Se-hwan, 63. Cho Young-nam, 66, replaced the third original member Song Chang-sik, 65.

Song, who has walked in circles in his room for daily exercise for decades with the goal of achieving 10,000 days, said, “I have more than 2,000 days to go and if I go to L.A., my walking schedule will be interrupted because of the time difference.”

The Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium and Expo Center with 6,200 seats is the oldest concert hall on the U.S. West Coast. The venue has hosted the Academy Awards as well as concerts by the late Michael Jackson and Madonna. In 1986, C’est Si Bon performed on that stage, too.

Aside from the band`s three members, Cho Young-nam, Yang Hee-eun, Jo Dong-jin and Lee Jong-yong also sang there. Kim Se-hwan said, “Twenty-five years ago, our fans were in their 30s and 40s, and now they are back in their 50s and 60s. It’s so touching to communicate with our fans, who have aged with us.”

Concert host Lee Sang-byuk started the concert by saying, “Today, we`d like to feature songs and memories that have matured for 40 years.” When the three singers began to sing “Rain That Fell Yesterday” and “Sitting on the Roadside,” the audiences went back in time 30 years ago, when the band was popular.

Some sobbed when “The Girl with Long Hair” started with the video of high school girls in a 1970s uniform. The audience sang along with “Tying Clam Shells,” “Saturday Night,” and “Hwagae Market” in excitement and clapping.

Cho spiced up the mood further when he joked, “Laugh until your dentures fall off.”

Though the microphones and lights failed for three minutes during the show, the audience encouraged the band with applause. After the two-and-a-half-hour concert, they stood up and demanded an encore.

Kim Gyeong-shik, 67, who stood up and sang along with the encore song, “It’s You,” recalled when he first arrived in the U.S. as an immigrant 40 years ago. “You heard pop songs by C’est Si Bon while listening to classical music at other music cafes such as Renaissance and Apollo. I like their music even though I went to Renaissance more often. I can’t believe that I heard them sing ‘Saturday Night’ in person.”

Park Song-dae, 69, got emotional when talking about the concert. He said, “I came here to make a living. Their songs helped me throughout my life as an immigrant. Whenever I had difficulty in business, I sang their songs, and now, time has passed really fast.”

Band member Yoon said, “I had long wanted to comfort those living overseas by singing to them, and when I met them here, I could feel how much they missed their country.”

Emcee Lee Sang-byuk said with tears, “I`m so emotional to see those of you who came here from far away to hear our music.”

After the encore songs, the emcee and the singers sobbingly said in the end, “Take care and goodbye.”