I was immediately excited when news broke that Amoeba Culture‘s Dynamic Duo, Crush, Zion.T, Primary, and DJ Friz were coming to New York City. One of the most successful hip-hop and R&B labels in South Korea, Amoeba Culture is a powerhouse of talent, so I immediately jumped on any chance to see this show. If you missed out on the tour stops in Atlanta or NYC, I don’t feel bad for you, because this was one show to remember.


The show started with DJ Friz putting on an electronic dance set that started off fine, but quickly fizzled. As interesting as the set was to listen to, DJ Friz couldn’t maintain a groove big enough to entice the crowd to dance. Recorded, he’s done some good stuff (Tablo‘s “The Tide” and Dynamic Duo’s “Life is Good”), so maybe he should stick to that.

Thankfully the first singer came out within ten minutes. I’ve never been his biggest fan but, man, could Crush put on a show. Coming off his first LP, Crush played a set of hits to get crowd into the spirit of the show, from “Single,” “가끔,” and “Hug Me.” Charismatic, full of energy and aegyo, Crush was a delight to watch onstage.

Next, Zion.T hit the stage. One of the reasons I attended the show was to hear his voice and Zion.T did not disappoint. Moving like an awkward robot throughout the stage, watching him perform songs like “Two Melodies,” “Babay,” and “Yanghaw Bridge” was like playing with an old wind-up toy belt out a beautiful tune. On the latter, his voice was particularly gratifying, making it one of the highlights of the night.

Primary joined him onstage for “See Through,” who’s own material, full of funk and R&B tunes (and even removed the cube helmet!), led perfectly into Dynamic Duo entering the stage soon after. Sporting a three-piece (bewildering) and street clothes (made more sense), Choiza and Gaeko respectively, were the definition of party. From an extensive catalog, Dynamic Duo played all the hits, ranging from “BAAAM,” “Go Back,” and” Friday Night,” they were the consummate performers I expected them to be and more. The only quibble is that they didn’t play “Shoot – Goal In,” but “만루홈런” made the cut, so no love lost from me.

If you notice, there are no pictures of Zion.T, Primary (with or sans helmet), or Dynamic Duo to accompany this post. From the beginning of the night, Music Enkor shuffled the press troupe around like sheep, moving us from one pit to another, then scattering us the second floor with no direction whatsoever. Put us all in a closet for all I care, but the constant movement made it hard to do our jobs as reviewers. We were promised a return to the stage pit near the end of the show, but like other hosting companies, promises are easily made but hardly kept.

What would have been a great show by Amoeba Culture was soured by Music Enkor’s offstage nonsense.

Let it be known, I had fun with this show. The members of this label know how to put on an exciting and pleasing show and nothing in your mind should be dissuaded from that fact. I just wish hosting companies would get their acts together to prevent unintended consequences, something I don’t see changing any time soon.

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Contributed to McRoth’s Residence with a focus on Korean indie and hip-hop music.