The second day of YouTube Fan Fest 2013 was probably one of the craziest, noisiest and most crowded night the Fan Fest has probably ever seen.
YouTubers from across the globe – Ryan Higa, Boyce Avenue, Little Boots, The Viral Fever, Eat Your Kimchi, Joseph Vincent, GAC, Dome Pakorn Lam and Nicko’s Kitchen – revisited some of the things on stage that made them household names on social media. They also talked about their experiences as creators of online content.
The highlight of the night was definitely legendary Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry’s surprise appearance during the fan fest. Missed it? YouTube Fan Fest has his entire presence on YouTube.
Here are the highlights from the Top 5 acts, according to UW:
Eat Your Kimchi
The Viral Fever
It won’t be a stretch to say that everyone at the YouTube Fan Fest was there to watch one of the most subscribed YouTubers of all time.
Living up to his reputation of being one of the most humorous guys on YouTube, Higa sashayed on stage with a guitar in hand (he doesn’t play the instrument). Given the volume of screaming and cheering from fans male and female, he could have easily been the act of the night, giving Boyce Avenue (another hot favourite that night) a run for their money.
After getting comfortable on the stool, Ryan refused to talk until the room was absolutely silent. Clutching his guitar, he moved his mouth closer to the mic, but instead of musical notes, the only thing that came out was… “Hi”.
Higa peppered his interview with humour the entire time he chatted with the host Dominic Lau. However, what had everyone in stitches was when Higa finally realised that whatever he said elicited screams from the fans in the room.
As if he needed to please his fans even more, Higa also invited close friend and American Idol season 9 contestant Andrew Garcia on stage to perform. Wesley Chan from Wongfu Productions also came up during his set to say hi – much to the ecstasy of the fans.
Eat Your Kimchi
This duo needs no introduction. Canadian husband and wife team Simon and Martina Stawski has made waves across the YouTube world with their hilarious take on Korean culture, music, and food, since relocating to South Korea in 2008.
If you thought they’re larger than life on video, they’re exactly the same – if not even more vibrant – in real life with over-the-top gestures animating their speech.
Their fans, known as “the nasties”, spent the first few minutes of the couple’s time on stage yelling “You’re nasty!”, which in Eat Your Kimchi speak, means “I love you”. The duo, who quit their jobs teaching English to make videos full time, never regretted their decision. “We did too much college,” Simon said during the press conference on the same day.
Naturally, a video of their parody on Psy’s “Gentleman” was played for the viewing pleasure of the “live” audience as well as those who were watching the proceedings streaming on YouTube. What the latter group didn’t know was that throughout the time the video was playing, Simon and Martina were grooving along with it on their stools – in perfect sync with the choreography.
Brothers Alejandro, Daniel and Fabian Manzano, who catapulted to fame with their cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”, had a blast interacting with their fans. Alejandro even agreed to marry a fan who yelled “Marry me”.
Performing 2 of their originals, “Every Breath” and “On My Way”, it felt like a very short Boyce Avenue concert with fans singing along while cheering simultaneously, hard as it is to believe you can do that.
During their time on stage, they even mentioned their plans to come back to Singapore for a full-fledged concert of their latest album. So Boyce Avenue fans, sit tight.
Hoorahjencar (Joseph Vincent)
The only other guitar-wielding musician that night, Joseph Vincent stole the hearts of everyone from the get go.
Just like Boyce Avenue, Joseph serenaded the crowd with 2 originals – “S.A.D” and “If You Stay” – both which showcased his soothing vocals extremely well and also showed why he was voted “YouTube artist of the year” in Australia by Star Central Magazine.
The other thing in his favour was that his passion for music could be seen almost oozing out of every fibre of his being. Despite his relative success of having over 350,000 subscribers on Youtube and with 1 album under his belt, he remains humble and sometimes even looks as if he couldn’t believe it was happening at all.
“It’s going to come out wrong… I let them [the fans] into my music, my bedroom,” Joseph said, looking at his feet and smiling shyly at the thought of the possible innuendo his statement has made.
The Viral Fever
“The viral… Who?” If that’s your reaction, you’re not the only one. The trio, who look like your everyday 9-5 office-going middle-aged men were they in uniform long-sleeved shirts and sober pants was met with lukewarm response from the audience when they came on stage. It didn’t help that their act followed Joseph Vincent.
There was no way anyone would have associated them with humour, but 5 minutes into their time on stage, and the audience grasped just how funny they really are, in spite of how they dressed. Talk about not judging a book by its cover.
Known in India as the “Monty Pythons of India”, the trio freely acknowledged that they’re not as recognised as the other acts. “One question we get a lot is… ‘What the hell are you doing here?’” one of them said, to the amusement of the crowd.
Of course, their almost brutal honesty about the Indian media industry mixed with their innate ability to make even the most mundane topic hilarious, like why they gave up their jobs to start one on YouTube (“So we have only one mission – kill television.”), endeared them to the extremely picky crowd. “We don’t do this for fun, we do this for vengeance,” another said as he related how they were rejected by the suits of India’s entertainment industry.
They also had a motto when they created their iconic “emosutra – a tale of seduction through emoticons”, “If you send the right emoticon, you shall get your crush, you shall get your love.”
By the end of their short 20 minutes on stage, they left with the audience cheering for more.