K-Pop Stars Lay Siege to Madison Square Garden

A troupe of K-pop stars became the first Asian singers to perform at a large 15,000-capacity arena in Madison Square Garden on Sunday evening (local time) when the SM Town New York concert lit up Manhattan.

BoA, Girls' Generation, Kangta, SHINee, TVXQ, Super Junior and f(x) all belong to SM Entertainment, Korea's leading talent agency. As they took to the stage, they were met with rapturous applause -- indicating K-pop's growing international appeal -- five years after Rain performed at a smaller 5,000-capacity theater at the same venue.

Fans cheer and hold up photos of their favorite K-pop stars at the SM Town New York concert in Madison Square Garden on Sunday (local time). /Courtesy of SM Entertainment

The Garden is regarded as one of world's premier pop performance halls, having staged the concerts of Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Elton John, and Beyonce, among a raft of global megastars.

The audience passionately welcomed K-pop stars by chanting Korean phrases such as "Saranghaeyo," meaning "I love you." This concluded SM Entertainment's world concert series, which previously made stops in Seoul, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Tokyo and Paris.

The 15,000 tickets priced between US$60 and US$250 went sold out in two weeks, with 90 percent sold in just two days of being made available online.

A male fan shows a tattoo saying Girls' Generation in Korean (left); Girls' Generation performs on stage. /Courtesy of SM Entertainment

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