The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics closing ceremony was all about the music. Korea delivered big time, and K-pop had a huge moment. Correction: K-pop had many huge moments throughout the entire ceremony. Who performed at the 2018 Olympics closing ceremony? The lineup was truly unforgettable.
While I was expecting more incredible light displays, some drone action, and fireworks, I wasn’t expecting to create a totally new Spotify playlist based on the musical talents shown in the closing ceremonies.
The musicians, pop stars, and DJs that performed brought all their energy to the closing ceremony, and it paid off big time.
The ceremony kicked off with 13-year-old guitarist Yang Tae-Hwan absolutely shredding on the electric guitar. This kid rocked out like no other. Standing atop the giant Olympic slope in the arena, Yang Tae-Hwan tore the closing ceremony wide open with his rendition of the “Winter” portion of Vivaldi’s the “The Four Seasons,” and it was absolutely perfect. The music was accompanied by dancers in light-up suits attached to the slope with bungee cords. They were running, springing backwards, and doing cartwheels to match the energy of the guitar.
The closing ceremony continued the pattern from the opening ceremony with the mixture of new and old. Matching up with the electric guitar was a group of 80 musicians playing geomungos, a traditional Korean string instrument resembling a zither, according to The New York Times. The whole thing was pretty overwhelming.
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Next up, pop artist CL (born Lee Chae-rin) took the stage. Described by Forbes as “one of the most iconic Korean female rappers and fashion icons … [and] an artistic muse of Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott,” she’s a force to reckon with.
CL was a rapper for the K-pop group 2NE1, which sadly disbanded in 2016. She’s now a solo artist and proved herself as the queen of pop with her performance of “The Baddest Female” at the closing ceremony.
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Since women dominated across the board at the Olympic Games, the lyrics were so fitting. According to Genius Lyrics, the English translation of the lyrics to “Bad Girls” read,
I’m a bad girl, I’m a bad girl, I’m a bad girl/Where All My Bad Gals At?Yeah, I’m strong, very fierce (yao)/Someone like you can’t ever handle me (uh em)/I don’t have an ounce of jealousy in me/Even fortune tellers can’t figure out my heart (aha)I’m a queen bee, I’m the heroine/I’m like a rugby ball, don’t know where I’ll bounce to next/On my neck is a gold chain swingin’ left right/I’m not lonely, every night I get rightConfident principles, valuable dignity (uh huh)/My eye smile is a given, my tears are my weapon (that’s right)/My smile is fire, it’ll burn you up (burn)/You want it, come and get it now, if you don’t wanna, that’s too badI’m a bad girl, I’m a bad girl, I’m a bad girl/Where All My Bad Gals At?
While CL was a much anticipated performance for the ceremony, EXO had fans raving all over the world. The nine-member boy band took the stage and lit up the arena with their performance of “Power.”
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Please let 2018 be the year of the K-pop boy bands in the United States. More dancing, more singing, more everything. EXO’s performance of “Power,” was a great reminder of all the “power” we possess over our future. The English translation of “Power” lyrics, according to Genius Lyrics, read,
Don’t hesitate, move on/There’s no time/Your future depends on your imagination/Throw away your fear, we can do it, it’s okay/All the keys are in your possessionYou used to dream even when you weren’t asleep/I hope you never forget/Today, let’s burn it up with fun together/Like we’ve become one, feeling feeling/So turn me up
Needless to say, the arena at the closing ceremony was lit at this point. The excitement just kept rolling until the end. After International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach passed to torch to the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing, the music of DJ Raiden erupted throughout the stadium.
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The Korean DJ turned the closing ceremony into a full out rave, and it was the perfect celebration to end the Olympics.
Raiden was joined by Martin Garrix, who admitted a previous Olympic performance is what inspired him to begin a career in music. He said on Instagram before the appearance, “I was watching The Olympics in 2004 with Tiesto opening the event which inspired me to do what I do today.”
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He continued on to say that he hopes to “inspire” someone the same way Tiesto did. DJ Raiden and Martin Garrix definitely gave the end of the Olympics a lot of life.
The entire closing ceremony was majestic, and the music did not disappoint. That may be a wrap on the PyeongChang Olympics, but we can all take the amazing bops with us forever.
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