In Los Angeles at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, over a thousand Asian Americans spent their Labor Day rocking out at the International Secret Agents concert. Produced by the hip hop group Far*East Movement and Wong Fu Productions, the concert featured a variety of talent including the dance group Quest Crew, YouTube personality KevJumba and musicians David Choi and Kina Grannis.
Far*East Movement (FM) had the most spectacular performance with strobe lights, colored panels, and fog. Kev Nish said before the show, “we’re taking the secret agents to the moon, past the moon, up to Mars, past Neptune to a different galaxy.” Kev Nish, Prohgress, J-Splif, and DJ Virman wore silver jackets and space helmets. FM experienced their first success with the song “Round Round” in the movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. They performed a few songs from their most recent album Animal and for the finale to the night got all the featured artists on the stage with them for their latest hit “Girls on the Dance Floor.”
The audience spontaneously rose to their feet when Quest Crew came on. This group of breakdancers won MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew (third season). Previously, member Ryan Conferido won lots of hearts on the first season of So You Think You Can Dance but got shafted from the title; Hok Konishi and D-Trix Sandoval were on the show in subsequent seasons. The energy in the auditorium surged and some stood on their chairs to see the breakdancers debut a new freestyle set developed just for the show. As a returning performer from the first ISA concert last year, Hok said he was excited “to see the faces that we saw last year and see them succeed at what they do. It’s really meeting friends and sharing the arts that we do.”
Lydia Paek from Quest Crew and Tom Ngo hosted the concert. Because the audience was a high school and college aged crowd, they talked about going back to school and their music and art classes. Tom Ngo played good sport to ongoing dialogue about whether he could ask out Kina Grannis. The skit had echoes of the short film “Yellow Fever” that Wong Fu Productions made in when they were at UCSD. It seems the guy is still figuring out how to get the girl.
Since “Yellow Fever,” Wesley Chan, Ted Fu, and Philip Wang of Wong Fu have made more films and online content, stayed busy with speaking engagements at colleges, and were recently featured on CNN. Said Philip Wang, “the hardest part was putting on the show last year. We were doing it all by ourselves with our own money and it was just FM. Then we had another show in San Francisco that was sold out, and now we’ve come back here, the ISA name is bigger now, the fans are more excited and this was a little easier.” They continue to strengthen the ISA brand and the other facets of their media company.
(Video credit: Pacific Rim Video)