Asia News: Billie Eilish, Queen + Adam Lambert, One Love Asia & More

Billie Eilish at FM4 Frequency 2019
Gregor Graschitz
– Billie Eilish at FM4 Frequency 2019
She joined a bill that also included Twenty One Pilots, Swedish House Mafia, Macklemore, The Offspring and many more

Billie Eilish Announces Asian Tour Leg
The Asian leg of Billie Eilish’s “Where Do We Go?” world tour was announced on Jan. 19. 
Most of the shows, presented by Live Nation, will qualify as her debuts in their respective countries. 
The leg starts Aug. 23 in Seoul, South Korea, and moves to the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, on Aug. 25, and the Taipei Arena in Taiwan on Aug. 28. 
Then it’s on to Hong Kong and the Asia World-Expo Arena on Aug. 30, followed by Yokohama Arena in Japan on Sept. 2 and the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines on Sept. 5. As of now the Asia tour wraps up in Jakarta on Sept. 7.
In other concert news, Conor Oberst’s indie rock group, Bright Eyes, announced its first set of live dates in more than nine years as it gets back together to release a new album. 
The first concert will take place in Tokyo at Liquidroom on March 23, after which the tour will proceed to the U.S. and one date in the UK. Oberst cultivated a devoted fan base in Japan toward the end of Bright Eyes’ original run of popularity in the 2000s.
Queen + Adam Lambert Meets Seoul
The main performing members of the Queen + Adam Lambert Rhapsody Tour held a press conference in Seoul on Jan. 16 to mark the band’s first-ever concerts in South Korea, where they performed at the Gocheok Sky Dome on Jan. 18-19. 
Though the band had never performed in South Korea when their charismatic front man, Freddie Mercury, was still alive, the movie that chronicled their rise, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” was one of the biggest box office hits in South Korea in 2018, which is quite a feat in a country that is notorious for its dedicated movie-going habits. More than 9 million people paid money to see the film.
Guitarist Brian May commented on the fact that the biggest K-pop band in the world right now, BTS, sold out two nights at London’s Wembley Stadium last year, which has special meaning for him since “Bohemian Rhapsody” centers on Queen’s famous appearance at the same venue for the 1985 Live Aid concert. 
“It made a big impression on England, very big,” he said, referring to K-pop, according to Yonhap News Service. “It’s very interesting for me to wonder how it will evolve because when we were young, rock music was the language of the kids and it grew up and everybody thought rock and roll will be finished after a few years.” He added that he wondered if K-pop would continue to be “the voice of the generation.”
He also said the enormous popularity of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in South Korea helped bring the band back to life. “It definitely brought a new generation to us,” May said. “We witnessed at the airport young kids screaming at us, which we haven’t seen for quite a while.”
Adam Lambert, who has been singing lead with May and drummer Roger Taylor for ten years now, commented that he has never endeavored to replace Mercury. “I knew living up to the standards is gonna be nearly impossible,” he said. “I quickly learned that instead of imitating and copying what Freddie did, the key to making this work and to have some integrity is look at the songs as great pieces of music and as ways to communicate human experiences and be of service.”
“There’s only one Freddie Mercury and there will be only one Freddie Mercury,” he added. “It’s such a joy to be onstage and celebrate him as an artist.”
Taylor said that Lambert, who has his own very successful solo singing career, was “an incredible discovery.”
“In some ways it’s different, because in those days, we were hacking out. We were creating new situations for ourselves,” he said in reference to Queen’s early days. “Now, we are in a place where we know where we are. The nice thing is that we are still being creative and evolving. Adam brings new interpretation and new life.”

One Love Asia Announced
A new pop festival will be launched this spring in Singapore called the One Love Asia Festival. 
The event will take place over Singapore’s Labor Day weekend, May 1 and 2, at the Bayfront Event Space in the Southeast Asia city state, and so far will feature Singapore’s own Stefanie Sun and Tanya Chua; Taiwanese singers Jolin Tsai, Hebe Tien and Show Lo; South Korean singer BoA; China’s Joke Xue; Japanese singer-songwriter Naoto Inti Raymi; rappers Shigga Shay and Thelioncityboy; and the Goo Goo Dolls and Greyson Chance from the U.S. 
The festival will be presented by IMC Live Global. 
Romell Song, chief operating officer of IMC Captasia Group, said in a statement, “For the first time ever, we have an amazing lineup of big acts gracing one stage and entertaining fans with full-set performances.” 
The festival, which will also feature “food options” and a “curated village” space, expects to draw 25,000-30,000 people. 
The hope is that it can be a traveling show, and plans are in the work to export the festival to Japan and other Asian destinations sometime in the future. Tickets went on sale Jan. 18.
Halsey Gushes Over BTS, Suga
American singer-songwriter Halsey, who will perform in Seoul in May, told the Korea Herald in an email interview that her collaboration last year with K-pop juggernaut BTS was “one of the best experiences of my life.”
“It definitely inspired me to maintain that kind of dedication with art as well,” she commented to the newspaper. Consequently, she was able to form personal relationships with each member of the group and ended up collaborating with one member, Suga, on her new album, “Manic.”
“His solo music really spoke to me,” she wrote. “The music was a lot about really personal times and the dark side, the confusing life of being a musician and to go on as a person accepting that. And when I heard that, in my heart I knew I wanted to have Suga on my album.”
Super Nintendo World Gets A Theme Song
Charli XCX and Galantis have teamed up to produce a theme song for the new Super Nintendo World mini attraction that will open this summer at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka, right before the Tokyo Olympics. 
The song and video, “We Are Born to Play,” made its debut publicly on Jan. 14. 
The music interpolates recognizable tunes from Nintendo’s popular Super Mario series of computer games, and the video offers viewers a CGI-sourced sneak-peek at the USJ attraction before it’s completed and open to the public. 
According to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, the USJ attraction will be interactive, using a special phone app with Nintendo-themed magnetic wristbands and Nintendo Switch integration. 
In detail, the attraction will feature Peach’s Castle and Bowser’s Castle, as well as rides such as Super Mario Kart and Yoshi’s Adventure.
Super Nintendo World is also slated to open at Universal Studio theme parks in the U.S. sometime later.