A Night with TEMPT: Is Thai Pop Music’s Next Big Thing?
TEMPT makes a case for Thai music and unique experiences
Despite spending most of my life listening to Asian music and being surprisingly ignorant towards Western music, I’ll admit I’d never really taken a chance on Thai music. Or rather than never giving it the time of day, perhaps it would be better to say that Thailand never particularly came to mind when thinking about which tracks or groups to start listening to. There was Japan with its Johnny’s Entertainment sweethearts and visual kei, then South Korea with its oddly addictive K-Pop, but there was never a moment to stop and consider what Thailand had to bring to the table.
Last weekend, I finally saw it for myself at TEMPT’s fanmeet in Manila. The four-piece group has been to the Philippines previously to promote their boys’ love drama Love by Chance, in which all of them were casted. Fast forward to 2019, the newly minted musicians returned for the first time, this time with instruments in tow: Title and Perth on guitars and vocals, Gun on bass and Plan on the drums.
On the surface, TEMPT’s music video felt oddly familiar to the K-Pop content I’ve consumed for over a decade. The envy-inducing makeup! The cinematic appeal! The abundance of flowers and clocks and flashing lights all in one video! There’s definitely heavy-handed inspiration coming from the K-Pop realm, but seeing TEMPT performing and interacting with their fans during their fanmeet certainly punctuated the differences.
It doesn’t take much to tell when an artist is enjoying themselves onstage. There’s this indescribable, word-defining euphoria that drips off their being while they perform, and there was definitely quite a bit of that going on at the TEMPT show. Despite being a band and not a dance group, they filled up the performance space with their stage presence and the steady beat of their instruments.
Their solo stages, which happened in the second half of the show, was a much-needed peek into what each member is like.
There was bassist Gun, who despite his stoic, devil-may-care attitude when performing, makes it apparent that he enjoys being in front of a crowd. Then there was Plan, who unexpectedly chose to sing a slower track instead of an upbeat number that would suit his youthful image. Lead vocalist Title’s performance was easily the most emotional, with his singing capabilities shining through despite the language barrier. Meanwhile the solo stage of Perth, who has a natural magnetism that makes him seem like he was born for the camera, was a personal favorite out of the four.
No matter what the boys had to offer was met with the roaring screams of their fans.
Speaking of the fans: boy oh boy, was there plenty of interaction. It felt like a watching my young fangirl dreams unfurl right before my eyes, to be honest.
The game segment was kicked off with a little question and answer portion––nothing out of the ordinary––but the real fun kicked in when the members of TEMPT were made to select the lucky fans who would be joining them for the next part of the show. Mobile numbers of fans in the audience were drawn from a bowl, and fans were called up (yes, on their phones) by the boys to be personally invited onstage.
The game that the organizers had planned was one we Filipinos know all too well: the newspaper dance. Needless to say, there was an abundance of dancing and huddling and hooking arms––and surprisingly, no awkwardness between TEMPT and their fans.
With only one single and a number of cover tracks under their belt, it’s a little early to tell where TEMPT is going to go next in terms of their music. But there’s definitely potential there––and plenty to look forward to the next time they return (yes, they promised).
Keep up with TEMPT’s shows, music and vlogs by following them on Instagram and YouTube! Follow FanLive on Instagram and Facebook to stay in the loop on long-awaited concerts and unforgettable fan experiences.
Special thanks to Fanlive
Art Alexandra Lara