By Kitchana Lersakvanitchakul
“Space Mission”, the first ticketed concert performed by BNK48’s 50 members in both classes was staged at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, the day before last weekend’s Asia Festival 2019. But while it was a commercial success, the scope was simply too big for these young Thai idols.
Cherprang received the majority of votes in the "Senbatsu" election, which allows fans to vote for their favourite idol, and will take up centre position for the sixth single.
Some of the Thai otaku – as the fans are known – talked to this reviewer after the show. A couple told me that the overall concert wasn’t different from the shows at the BNK48 Theatre except for the larger-scale stage production. Others were critical of their insufficient skills in terms of singing and dancing. I couldn’t help but agree.
Cherprang and Music thrill fans in "Aitakatta" ("Yak Ja Dai Phop Ther").
In line with the title, the magnificent stage was transformed into a spaceship on which the girls travelled into space together with the audience, the catwalks like spaceship legs branching out among the audience.
The mostly male audience let out a big roar as all BNK48 members came out on stage to perform “BNK Festival” before segueing into “Shonichi” (“Wan Raek”) and “Oogoe Diamond” (“Chob Hai Roo Wa Chob”). Cherprang, Music, Pun and Jennis then boarded two spacecraft and moved around the arena to “Aitakatta” (“Yak Ja Dai Phop Ther”), as the audience squirmed and strained in their seats to see them.
Kaew sings after playing the piano with Fond on "Anata to Christmas Eve" ("Kham Sanya Haeng Christmas Eve").
The concert continued with “Mata Anata no Koto wo Kangaeteta” (“Khid Thueng”) with some BNK48 members dressed in white. That was followed by “365 Nichi no Kamihikouki” (“365 Wan Kap Khruangbin Kradat”) as fans shouted out their support.
Screams erupted as Cherprang – the favourite idol – and Music, both in them clad in blue costumes, joined up for “Temodemo no Namida”.
Noey, Minmin and Namnueng joined up for "Kiss wa Dame yo" ("Joob ... Mai Dai Na").
Pupe, Pun, Mewnich, Korn and Nat were then grouped together for “Classmate (“Puean Khon Phiset”), Kaew played a white piano as Fond sang on “Anata to Christmas Eve (“Kham Sanya Haeng Christmas Eve”), and Minmin, Noey and Namnueng sang together in “Kiss wa Dame yo” (“Joob … Mai Dai Na”).
Niky gets a surprise cake and birthday song from her mates during "Namida Surprise".
The girls stuck to the set list, singing “Sakura no Hanabiratachi” (“Khwam Songjam Lae Kham Umla"), “River”, “Yume e no Route (“Muen Senthang”), “Tsugi no Season” (“Rudoo Mai”), and the closer, “Kimi wa Melody” (“Ther Khue … Melody”) as Noey boarded a spacecraft moving towards the audience.
All BNK48 members were back on stage with an encore featuring “BNK48”, “Namida Surprise” (“Prakai Namta Lae Roy Yim”) and “Koisuru Fortune Cookie”. And while the girls were performing “Namida Surprise”, Niky from BNK48’s second class was surprised with a birthday cake and a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to mark turning 14.
It was announced after the concert that in BNK48’s “senbatsu” – an election that allows fans to vote for their favourite idol – Cherprang received an absolute majority of 84,195 votes and would be in centre position for the sixth single. Jannis came second with 58,362 votes and Music third with 57,987 votes.
“I will do my best to prove myself worthy and thank the fans who have supported me all the time and given me a chance to reach this high point,” said a beaming Cherprang.