SXSW Pictorial – No Brain and YB at V-ROX

No Brain's bassist Jeong Wooyong (정우용) and singer Lee Sungwoo (이성우) reving up the crowd
No Brain’s bassist Jeong Wooyong (정우용) and singer Lee Sungwoo (이성우) reving up the crowd

I’ll be honest, this was the showcase that I was most looking forward to. Oh don’t get me wrong, I was looking forward to them all but there is nothing like seeing live music outside. Add into the mix my Canadian fondness for drinking on patios (for our non-Canadian readers, Canadians love patios and as soon as the weather warms up to double digits, we spend a significant portion of our free time on them… myself included). And the fact that it was No Brain and YB playing… yeah, this showcase was going to rock.

And it did! But since no one wants to read me fangirl – yes, even I have a limit. ^^ I thought I’d do a pictorial review instead. Yep, instead of me telling you how much the show rocked, let me show you.

But first, a little background info on the showcase. It was the first ever V-ROX Festival showcase at South by Southwest (SXSW). For those of you who aren’t familiar with the V-ROX Festival, the full name is the Vladivostok Rocks Festival (in Vladivostok, Russia) and its showcase at SXSW featured a mix of Russian and East Asian bands including No Brain and YB.

YB at the V-ROX Showcase

YB lead singer, Yoon Do-hyun (윤도현)
YB lead singer, Yoon Do-hyun (윤도현)
Heo Jun on the guitar (and later the keyboard as well)
Heo Jun (허준) on the guitar (and later the keyboard as well)
Despite being ill (he had mentioned not feeling well as the Seoulsonic showcase), YB put on a good show
Despite being ill (he had mentioned not feeling well as the Seoulsonic showcase), YB put on a good show
Yoon Do-hyun (윤도현, lead vocals as well as keyboard & guitar), Park Tae-hee (bass) and Scott Hellowell  (guitar)
Do-hyun (lead vocals as well as keyboard & guitar), Park Tae-hee (박태희, bass) and Scott Hellowell (guitar)
Love this shot - it shows the vast amount of energy we saw on the small stage.
Love this shot – it shows the vast amount of energy we saw on the small stage.
Are you a YB fan? Give them a shot, they'll convert you.
Are you a YB fan? Give them a shot, they’ll convert you.
The crowd was so into the performance
The crowd was so into the performance
It must have been getting warmer on the stage
It must have been getting warmer on the stage
This is one of my favourite pics from their set
This is one of my favourite pics from their set
You can almost see the emotion
You can almost see the emotion

No Brain 

No Brain rocking their set, I'm biased but they are just that good
No Brain rocking their set, I may be biased as I’m a fan as well as a writer but they are just that good
No Brain's lead singer Lee Sungwoo (이성우)
No Brain’s lead singer Lee Sungwoo (이성우)
Lee Sungwoo (이성우) getting the crowd to sing along
Sungwoo getting the crowd to sing along. He did this on my side of the crowd but I chickened out. 
As a photographer, I love it when it looks like they are looking right at the camera... it makes for a great shot!
As a photographer, I love it when it looks like they are looking right at the camera… it makes for a great shot!
Can't you feel the energy, there's nothing like seeing No Brain live
Can’t you feel the energy, there’s nothing like seeing No Brain live
Caption this photo!
Caption this photo! How would you describe it?
Can't you just see the vitality and personality that Lee Sungwoo (이성우) brings to the stage
Can’t you just see the vitality and personality that Sungwoo brings to the stage
I know I'm biased but seriously, these guys rock.
As well as being a fan and all the fun of seeing them live, I love photographing No Brain as I always end up with great shots
I love seeing this song - One Shot of Soju (소주한잔) - performed live... it's just so much fun.
I love seeing this song – One Shot of Soju (소주한잔) – performed live… it’s just so much fun.
It's almost like you can hear Hwang "Dolly" Hyunseong (황현성)
It’s almost like you can hear Hwang “Dolly” Hyunseong (황현성)
Lol, you would almost think they were drunk instead of putting on an amazing show
Lol, you would almost think they were drunk instead of putting on an amazing show
Big Phony joined No Brain on stage for the end of their set.
Big Phony joined No Brain on stage for the end of their set.
This is another of the "I'm looking right at you" shots that I love. The audience - and myself - were so close to the stage that it was so easy to get these shots.
This is another of the “I’m looking right at you” shots that I love – it’s like Wooyong is looking right at me. The audience – and myself – were so close to the stage that it was so easy to get these shots.
Love the collaboration between Big Phony and No Brain's Vovo (정민준) at the mic on the right ^^
Love the collaboration between Big Phony and No Brain’s Vovo (정민준) at the mic on the right ^^

Final Thoughts

I was expecting good things from this showcase and it was so much more. In addition to seeing No Brain for the third time this year at SXSW – yay! – I was able to see YB again – always fun – and check out a host of other bands from Russia, Japan and China. The weather finally cleared up (it had been raining earlier) and it was actually a lovely night filled with great music on a patio. Fabulous music on a patio, what’s not to love? But seriously, both YB and No Brain put on an amazing show with lots of energy and crowd interactions. 

Writing simply as a music fan rather than a music writer, it was my favourite show as all the elements of a great concert came together. I liked the venue, the weather/temperature was comfortable and the music rocked. Plus, while there was a nice-sized crowd, I was never jockeying for space or getting bumped.

Writing as a music writer, I agree with my inner fan. ^^ Seriously, it was a fabulous show and being so close to the stage – I could have reached out and touched the musicians – led to some amazing shots. And I can’t stress enough, how good the music was – whether I’m writing as a fan or a writer.

Unfortunately, the night had to come to a close… but what a night it was! Fantastic show… on a patio… with my fav Korean band (No Brain). So much fun, yay! I sound like a broken record but it’s true.

Did you see YB and No Brain at the V-ROX Showcase at SXSW? What did you think of their performances? We’d love to hear from you!

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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