MTV Iggy’s “Best New Band In The World” Part 1
Written by admin on January 04, 2012
Standing outside in the cold for three hours, you start to wonder why you thought this would be a good idea in the first place. You can’t feel your face. You don’t even know what hands are or what they feel like anymore. But there you are, outside in the middle of Times Square, hoping that maybe this is the hour that the line you’re standing in finally moves, and that maybe, just maybe you’ll remember what it feels like to be warm once you get inside the building. You also hope that you’re not imagining all the girls with the palm tree up-dos passing by. If any of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, then like me, you were probably in Times Square a few weeks ago, standing in line with all the fans waiting to get into Best Buy theater for MTV Iggy’s Best New Bands In The World concert. Although it may not have been a fun time waiting in line, once we got inside and the ice melted off of us (okay, it wasn’t as cold as it could be this time of year, but it was still a long wait, haha), it was when the real fun began. My apologies, this post is a little late, but I thought the experience was still worth sharing with all of you, and the artists that I talk about below are definitely worth checking out!
Thanks to my friend Lauren in New York, I was able to be in the audience at this somewhat multicultural event as her guest. I was excited for the opportunity to see 2NE1 perform for their first time in the United States and of course, to be able to to hang out again with my friend Lauren in the city.
In the email that MTV Iggy had sent out to us, we were told to check-in at Best Buy Theater at 1:30PM. Knowing that since it was general admission and that we would still have to secure our spots, we arrived around 12PM to line up. At first glance, it seemed as though the line wasn’t that long, but as we kept walking and turned the corner of the street, we saw that there were other groups of lines going around the building. I guess I wasn’t too surprised, since I expected that the hardcore fans would have arrived much earlier than us. I even heard that there were fans there as early as 8AM and probably even earlier than that. If I was feeling cold after only an hour, I could only imagine how much more freezing it was in the early morning. Those fans are real troopers, I tell ya!Eventually, MTV IGGY’s staff came down the line and gave us our wrist bands. We also heard that somewhere in front of the line, some lucky fans were given gold bracelets that would allow them to be in the smaller studio where the interviews with the artists would be held.
When we were finally let in to the building after around 3:30PM, we were herded down to the Best Buy Theater (located under the MTV headquarters) and were able to stand just a few feet away from stage left in what was a really intimate venue. I want to say that we were packed like sardines down there, but it really wasn’t as bad as I’ve experienced in other concerts. Even so, it was definitely packed on all sides with people anxiously awaiting for the show to start and inching their way closer to the stage. Most of the crowd was filled with passionate fans of 2NE1 (known as “Blackjacks”), equipped with fan-signs and light-sticks. Not before long, the show began and I could tell that this was going to be a good night when I saw that MTV VJ Suchin Pak was hosting the event, along with Sway who conducted the interviews in the floors above us.
The concert opened with Grammy and Latin Grammy nominated punk-rock band La Vida Boheme, hailing from Venezuela. Honestly, when I first saw the line-up for the concert, I had no idea who these guys were or the other artists who would perform that night besides 2NE1. But, after seeing all the performances, it was no surprise as to why these artists were runner-ups for Best New Band In The World. If you didn’t know who they were before this concert, they made you remember who they were after their impressive performances. La Vida Boheme came out in paint-splattered outfits and immediately hyped up the crowd with their upbeat, heart-racing, kick-you-in-the-face-in-a-good-way sound with a dash of cow bell.Their energy was bouncing off all the walls in that room and they were easily my second favorite act of the night. I’m still listening to Nicaragua as I type this. Everyone around me were jumping, dancing, and singing along. I even discovered that not everyone was there solely for 2NE1, as to my right there were passionate La Vida Boheme fans (their fanbase known as “La Resistance,” literally screaming lyrics at the stage and yelling “Viva Venezuela!” and “Venezuela is here!”  It’s always cool to see the die-hard fans, but I’m still waiting for my right ear-drum to recover. Later, we would find out that if the venue had allowed it, the band usually encouraged the audience to take part in splashing paint at each other, making it an interactive concert experience - a live Jackson Pollack painting.
At the end of their performance, the band talked about the hardships of living in a country (specifically, in the city of Caracas) where there aren’t many non-political events or even facilities for them and other local artists to perform at and gather with the youth.They briefly drew attention to difficulties that still remain in their country and reminded everyone that we are a global community and that it doesn’t hurt to not just be self-aware, but community-aware as well. As a 4C The Power intern, of course this spoke to me as the importance of youth culture and responsibility to the community are some of the main things that we are all about.
Up next was singer-songwriter Yuna, from Kuala Lumper, Malaysia who slowed things down a bit, but still managed to enchant us with her soothing voice and folk/soul songs. Even in just listening to her regular speaking voice, it’s almost as if you could just sit down and let her read to you a bedtime story in the middle of the concert. She graced us with two original tracks and a softer cover of a Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”. Yuna has collaborated with big names like Pharrell and Russel Simmons, and is launching her own fashion boutique in LA called IAMJETFUEL. Yuna's performance was lovely. Since she seems to love San Francisco, be sure to catch one of her shows sometime if you’re ever in the area. When Jamaica’s Gyptian came on, I realized that I’ve actually heard his song “Hold Yuh”  play on the radio a couple of times, but it must have been the remix version with Nicki Minaj that most people would recognize. MTV VJ Suchin Pak called him, “One of Jamaica’s hottest exports in recent years”. Gyptian prowled around on a stage accompanied by dancers dressed more for summer than for winter, and it was a mellow yet fun reggae performance that made you feel like it really was summer. As you could probably tell by now, each act was completely different from one another, but each one just as enjoyable as the last.
If you're a 2ne1 fan, you'd know that man on the left as Jeremy Scott. The time had arrived. Was he really there? Is he really introducing...?
Stay tuned for part 2!
Recap and photos by: JERI7YN (Intern)

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