South Korean Heartthrob Rain Sends Indonesian Fans Into a Frenzy

The South Korean singer Rain had teenage girls nearly
apoplectic during his concert at JITEC Mangga Dua Square,
despite singing almost entirely in Korean

Deafening screams from thousands of dolled-up teenage girls rocked a North Jakarta auditorium as South Korean pop sensation Rain opened his first Indonesian concert with the hit song, “My Way.” Backed by a small army of gyrating dancers, Rain gave a hypnotic performance, even if the songs were almost all in Korean. Every move sent a charge through an audience eager to scream. Some fell into a frenzy when Rain removed his sunglasses for his second song, “Touch Ya.” When he took off his jacket for his third song, “It’s Raining,” many in the crowd started chanting his full name, Jeong Ji-hoon. Rain’s appearance renewed hope that Jakarta may once again be on the map for touring superstars. Several international artists have canceled scheduled concerts here over fears of terrorism and concerns about security. R&B sensation Rihanna backed away from a live show earlier this year. Legendary US band Chicago and hip-hop group NERD also canceled shows. None of that was on the mind of Umi, 17, on Thursday night. Wearing a jilbab, the teenager began weeping as Rain, who has recorded five best-selling albums in South Korea and whose appeal has swept most of Asia, opened his mouth to sing. “I really love him. I love his music. He is the perfect idol,” said Umi, who attended the concert with four friends. She said they had been saving money for tickets since August, when they first heard that Rain was coming to Jakarta. Three other young women at the concert confessed that the handsome Asian heartthrob, who has starred in several TV series and three movies, including the current “Ninja Assassin,” had captured their imaginations with his looks and dancing skills. “I like his six-pack abs and he is good looking,” Fiki Biaston said. One of her friends, Cherry, said she loved just looking at Rain. "We are here because we want to see him dance,” Cherry said. Another earnest fan, Michelle, said she also admired Rain’s body, but was at the concert to hear him sing. She also attended the concert with friends, all of whom were female, like the vast majority of the audience.

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