SONICA Music Festival was held in Melbourne Australia at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Bringing together a thriving atmosphere of music and arts celebrating all the best of Asian pop culture.
The star stellar line-up included R&B singer-songwriter GARETH.T, Singaporean singer-songwriter GENTLE BONES, plus K-POP sensations HENRY LAU, AMBER LIU, and ZICO.
With a loud enthusiastic chant from the SONICA crowd as they all rushed to the front, the lights dimmed and AMBER opened up her set with ‘EASIER’. ‘HANDS BEHIND MY BACK’ featured remarkable choreography with captivating dance breaks by her and her dancers. The crowd lit up their phones and waved in sync as Amber delivered the soft piano ballad ‘NUMB’ touching hearts throughout.
Amber had a heart-to-heart with the audience about her determination and encouraged everyone to believe in themselves. “I’m going to keep putting myself on this road and I’m going to work hard day by day, even if I screw up today or tomorrow, it doesn’t matter, I’m going to keep getting up, I’mma keep pushing myself to be the best person that I can be”.
You can hear Amber talk more about the importance of mental health plus Australian wildlife and an upcoming world tour in our K-exclusive interview here: youtube.com/watch?v=IsnFdVSyIZ0
Before she moved on to sing her just-released track ‘NO MORE SAD SONGS’. She taught the audience how to sing the chorus and was extremely impressed by the feedback. The crowd sang along and Amber was in awe, almost tearing up saying she “felt like she was going to cry”.
She closed her set with an energetic performance of ‘COUNTDOWN’ and ‘OTHER PEOPLE’.
The stage filled up with smoke and HENRY emerged with a spectacular violin opening to ‘RADIO’. He went on to show off his musical talents being a one-man band covering ‘DANCE MONKEY’ by Tones & I.
He mentioned during our K-EXCLUSIVE interview that he would love to collaborate with Tones & I and that she’s amazing when asked about who he wanted to collaborate with in the future. See our K-exclusive interview here: officiallykmusic.com/k-exclusive-interview-with-henry-lau
Henry re-visited his 2018 soulful track ‘MONSTER’, serenading the audience with heartfelt lyrics. Henry then moved on to perform his viral Imagine Dragons ‘BELIEVER’ cover, creating beats from an oil barrel, a wheelie bin, that he referred to as an “Aussie garbage can” which made the crowd laugh, and his instruments using a loop station. He absolutely wowed the audience with his vocal ability to hit all the high notes and hold on to them, truly a breathtaking performance.
He continued on singing his latest release, ‘MOONLIGHT’, fitting as the lyrics went “meet me underneath the moonlight” as the crowd sang along with him while the moonlight shone from above the open-air venue.
Henry pulled heartstrings with ‘IT’S YOU’ from the popular k-drama ‘While You Were Sleeping’ making the audience go wild from his beautifully smooth voice. Thinking that was the end of his set, Henry surprises everyone one last time by appearing in the audience and venturing around, giving lucky fans a close-up experience playing Lil Nas X’s ‘OLD TOWN ROAD’ on his trusty violin.
ZICO (지코), leader of BLOCK B, rapper, singer-songwriter, and producer was the most anticipated artist of the night. The audience went absolutely wild as Zico ran out on stage opening his set with ‘FREAK’ and ‘ARTIST’ making his presence known.
He threw to the audience asking what we wanted to hear next and made a cheeky pun asking “Would you enjoy any song I perform? Could I perform any song at all?”, making it a smooth transition to his TikTok viral hit ‘ANY SONG’. As the opening piano tune rang out, the audience cheered louder than ever, singing along as Zico strutted across the stage and danced the viral TikTok dance we all know and love.
‘I AM YOU, YOU ARE ME’ was up next, a 2016 Zico classic, he serenaded the audience with a chill and mellow vibe matching the lyrics being sung, and fans participated by swaying along with their phone flashlights to the melody.
He mentioned that he had only landed in Melbourne that morning and thanks to the crowds’ ‘znergy’ throughout the night, he was powered up and gave a hyper performance of ‘NEW THING’, ‘(거북선)TURTLE SHIP’ and ‘OKEY DOKEY’. His ‘znergy’ throughout the night was unmatched.
Fans shouted for an encore when he left the stage and he returned with the final song of the night, ‘BOYS AND GIRLS’, wrapping up a spectacular night with fun and playful vibes.
Read our K-exclusive interviews with HENRY and AMBER before the festival below:
Written by: May Lam
Photos by: Toby Trinh