Photos & Review by Angela Leung
On February 1st, fans were lined up around the block at Terminal 5 to welcome Korean-American rapper pH-1 (born Junwon/Harry Park) for his homecoming show. Despite New York being at its coldest point of year, that didn’t stop dedicated fans from waiting since early morning to secure a good view. The About Damn Time tour, which spans across 20+ shows across North America, Asia and Europe, was the rapper’s first ever world tour.
The venue was quickly filled up as soon as doors opened and cheers erupted throughout the three floors when pH-1 stepped foot on stage. He opened up with “MEET N GREET,” “Malibu” and “PACKITUP!” From one song to the next, pH-1 never missed a beat. “What’s good New York? Your boy home,” the Long Islander warmly greeted the crowd as he mentioned that this was the biggest venue on his tour. He proceeded to introduce the tour fan chant – “When I say ‘I’m here’ you say ‘About damn time’!” The wait was well worth it as fans expressed their enthusiasm to see him live for the first time by shouting the lyrics back at him. This show was particularly special as pH-1’s parents were there and it was his dad’s first time seeing him perform on stage.
Following the release of his newest album But for Now Leave Me Alone, it was only fitting for him to include songs from it like “Zombies,” “Tipsy” and “Yuppie Ting” on the set. The H1GHR-signed rapper thanked the audience for attending before starting “Homebody,” a song that features lyrics in which a lot of listeners could probably relate to. In between songs, he brought out his polaroid to snap three photos to give to lucky fans, a common practice he has done at every stop on this tour. He resumed his set by hyping up the crowd with the chant, “Me and my bad, bad homies doin’ bad, bad things but it feels so good ok,” leading up to the track “Mr. Bad.”
There wasn’t a single dull moment as the night was filled with endless screams. pH-1 continued to deliver his rap verses in an impeccable manner with DJ Spray in charge of those catchy beats. There were a handful of signs in the crowd, most notably one that read, “Harry can you be my Valentine?” which was aptly held up when pH-1 dedicated his next songs to all the singles in the audience. During tracks “Cupid,” “365&7” and “Juliette!” fans effortlessly carried on through the melodic verses with their singing.
pH-1 never failed to express his gratuity for this show as he mentioned he had around thirty of his friends and family in the audience, even giving a special shoutout to Dr. Kim from the dental office he used to work at. Taking the pacing down a notch, the rapper remained candid on the topic of alcoholism as he introduced the next tracks “Break the Glass” and “Shrink Told Me.” He continued with “DVD” and “Like Me” while perched on a stool under a spotlight to match the atmospheric vibes of the songs’ raw lyrics.
The mood shifted back to that high energy pace as pH-1 dived right into some upbeat bangers such as “OKAY” and “TELÉFONO.” The crowd at the general admission floor was sent into a frenzy as they were sprayed with water bottles while the ones on the balcony levels returned the love whenever he waved or sent heart gestures in their direction. As a former contestant of the TV show Show Me the Money, he made sure to include hits “Achoo,” “Orange” and “Good Day” in which he took part in the creative process. At several moments throughout the show, it was worth mentioning that the rapper commented on how crazy the crowd was and there was no lie in that statement.
With a generous setlist, pH-1 delivered a 100% performance. Regrettably, the show was nearly coming to an end but not a second was wasted. Hearing the fans singing along to “Iffy” really brought a smile to the rapper’s face. After hearing the chant, “One more song!” he closed off his set with the encore song “Oscar.” “Thank you guys for making my dream come true tonight,” pH-1 reflected as he bid his farewell while bowing and blowing kisses to the audience.
It has been a good six years so it’s super fitting to say that it’s “about damn time” pH-1 held a tour. Although the North American leg is over, we hope fans get to see him in Asia and Europe!