SMAP bops in Beijing


BEIJING (majirox news) — SMAP, Japan’s most popular pop group for the past two decades, gave its first ever overseas concert on Sept. 16, playing to a crowd of about 40,000.

SMAP played about 30 of the group’s hits during the concert, which had been long-awaited both in Japan and the Asian mainland after two earlier attempts to put on a concert in China had been canceled.

SMAP delighted the crowd, many of who waved fluorescent lights in beat with the pop band’s tunes.

The theme of the concert was to encourage Japan’s recovery from the March 11 disasters, thank China for its support in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that struck on that day and stress unity across Asia.

SMAP formed in 1988, but had never previously performed live outside of Japan, where the group remains a phenomenon, dominating music chart rankings with each new release and its four members each being a widespread presence on TV screens due to their ability to draw in high ratings.

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