October 10, 2011 10:13
K-pop star Rain drew 15,000 fans to his free concert in Samseong-dong on Sunday afternoon. The street concert, which marked the singer's farewell before he commits to his mandatory military service, caused huge traffic jams in many parts of southern Seoul.
The concert was organized after Rain suggested to the Gangnam district office in July that he wanted to make a final contribution -- he serves the district in a promotional role -- before joining the military.
Police closed off parts of the huge Yeongdong Boulevard in front of the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) headquarters for 22 hours to facilitate the hosting of the concert.
One high school student who watched Rain perform said, "I came here from Cheonan at six in the morning just to get a spot right in front of the stage."
Another older spectator, 48-year-old Yoshizawa who flew over from Japan along with ten of her friends, said as she snapped away with her camera, "I have all of Rain's albums and I just couldn't miss his final concert."
But other residents were not so impressed at having their traveling time disrupted.
"Why do we need to seal off entire boulevards and go through this much trouble just because one person is going to the army?" said university student Cho Han-joon.
"If he wanted to put on a concert for a good cause, he should have done it at Jamsil Stadium or another venue," said office worker Kim Young-gwang.
Rain starts his military service on Tuesday.
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