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K-pop Concert

This post will cover both yesterday and today, as today was pretty much just a continuation and repetition of yesterday’s events.

Yesterday we headed out to an event that we had anticipated for a while: ‘Incheon Korean Music Wave Concert’. It is a concert held once a year that features a lot of famous Korean singers that each perform two songs. It lasted about three hours, and even though it was a lot of fun all of us were completely exhausted by the end of it.

We left home three hours before the concert was set to start, as we had to take the metro for a bit over an hour in order to get to Incheon (just out of Seoul where the international airport is also located). We hence arrived 1 and a half hour early but still headed straight to the concert place when we arrived in order to avoid being late.

Incheon Music Wave concert is a concert mainly held for Japanese fans as over two thirds of the tickets are only sold to Japanese fans, including all tickets close to the stage. Korean fans are only able to buy far away seats, and these seats are then distributed to different fanclubs. We somehow managed to get tickets in the Korean section (the Japanese seats are only sold in a package with airplane tickets and are also at least 30 times more expensive than the Korean seats). But we didn’t know what fanclub was situated where we had bought our seats.

We snapped a couple of photos on the red carpet installed with pictures of some of the performers before we divided into two teams and headed into the concert place. Me, Unnie and two of Unnie’s classmates had bought seating tickets together and the others had got standing tickets (standing seats = close to the stage) from another girl.

We headed up the stairs, but just as we arrived at the top and had almost found our seats it started raining so we headed down again to buy some raincoats. But, of course, it stopped raining again just as we found our seats again. It didn’t start raining again. As we reached our seats we saw the girls that we had parted with earlier. They were sitting around 10 rows behind us, it turns out that what they had thought were standing tickets, were indeed seating tickets, just as me and Unnie had guess a while back (as we knew that standing tickets were way more expensive and only sold to Japanese tourists).

It turns out that we had gotten seats in the ELF section (Super Junior’s fanclub). This was, unfortunately, slightly bad new for us as Super Junior fans are quite famous for being very very very loud and very very crazy. They also have a bit of a reputation of being rude. Of course this is not true for all ELFs, I like Super Junior very much myself and know many completely (or almost) normal ELFs. I priced myself happy that I hadn’t bought SHINee balloons or light sticks as I wouldn’t have been able to use the goods here in the ELF section.

Unnie had a bit of an unlucky encounter with an ELF during the concert. The girl sitting behind her had first hit Unnie in the head with her feet with no apologies following. She had lost her water bottle that Unnie had picked up for her yet the girl didn’t say a word of thank you. Unnie’s temper fired up when the girl suddenly spitted water out all over Unnie’s back. That was when Unnie turned around and said: ‘지금 뭐하는거야?’ (pronounced: jigeum muo ha neun geo ya) which roughly translates into: What in the world do you think that you’re doing? and is very rude. The girl seemed to be completely unable to say anything as she was in shock and her friend sitting next to her apologised for her instead, obviously equally in shock. For the rest of the concert they only bothered Unnie by screaming very loudly, but that can rarely be avoided a concert.

I don’t know how the hour before the concert passed so fast, I reckon that everything was still new to us at that point. I seemed to be the most knowledgable about the performers and fanclubs, so the other’s questioned me about what fanclubs were where.

Old live recordings of the performers were showed on a big screen and when their favorite idols came up on screen each fanclub screamed like they were riding on a rollercoaster.

Then suddenly a counter started from 5 minutes and down. At each ten seconds showing a teaser of a new group set to perform.

This, naturally, just made all of the fans even more excited and there seemed to be a battle between the fanclubs about who could scream the loudest when their idols’ teaser appeared. In my opinion the ELFs won, I have never met louder fans.

They had a bit of trouble with their microphones at the beginning, but eventually fixed it. I was very surprised to see how little fans they had, compared to the other groups no one seemed to be cheering for them. It was quite shocking as it always looks as though they have quite an amount of fans when watching shows or other performances. I like MBLAQ so I wish them the best as I, unfortunately, don’t think that they will last a lot longer if they don’t manage to get more fans.

Afterwards girl group SISTAR, followed boy groups Teen Top and Z:EA performed. I was again completely amazed at the amount of fans that both Teen Top and Z:EA had compared to MBLAQ as they haven’t been around for as long as MBLAQ.

Honestly I don’t know Z:EA that well, I only know about three of the member’s names, and I only know one of the members quite well because he appears on a lot of TV shows. As they performed a lot of fans, from all fanclubs, cheered them on and when they introduced themselves the cheers were even louder. The member that I know the best, Kwanghee, is very famous for always talking about plastic surgery and has a very distinctive voice, even though he barely gets to sing in any of their songs. As he introduced himself his voice came through before the picture on the big screen changed and everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) screamed  his name. I knew that he was popular, but I never knew that he was this popular before.

Once Z:EA had performed Girl Group 4Minute took the lead followed by Infinite and then 2AM. Unnie is a very big 2AM fan so I had promised to take some photos and videos for her as she would be too busy watching the performance to be able to do either. 2AM received fabulous response as well, but afterwards we all expressed our concerns about them since no one seemed to have seen them perform this poorly in a very long while.

Girl group T-ARA was the next act, followed by f(x) and Secret.

I had already seen f(x) up close before but I had yet to see them perform. I was stunned to see the response from the fans. Before arriving in Korea I had thought that the members were more or less equally popular but it turns out that only one of the member is popular, however that one member is insanely popular. Every time she appeared on screen fans were shouting like there was no tomorrow (and although I like her as well I feared that there really would be no tomorrow because of their screams). The popular member was no other than boyish Amber, the only girl in the group with a short haircut and deep voice who has been dressed in boyish clothes since their debut. Whenever she appeared on screen the fans went crazy however when she didn’t have a solo shot on the big screen or wasn’t singing the support for f(x) was similar to the support that MBLAQ had recieved earlier the same evening.

(0:01 f(x), 1:25 4Minute, 2:34 Girl’s Generation, 4:17 KARA)

After f(x) it was band FT Island’s turn to perform. Out of all of the performers I really think that FT Island where some of the ones who gained the most support with almost everyone present screaming and singing along. They performed very well and gained enormous support, especailly for their second song.

Following FT Island was Miss A, delivering a very nice performance. Since it was their first time at Incheon their second song was mixed together to be a bit shorter and fans were complaining about this rather loudly as the song that they performed had a very famous dance move that they only got to dance once (compared to twice in the original).

(0:01 Miss A, 4:58 2PM)

Next up was Beast. I was happy to see that Beast got a lot more support than MBLAQ, even though the debuted at the same time, I had previously thought that the support for MBLAQ and Beast was pretty similar. The amazing thing about Beast, apart from their performance, was that each member seemed equally popular and fans cheered very loud every time a new member appeared. Even the members that I had thoughts to be less popular were aroused with cheers and screams.

Beast was followed by 2NE1, the group that I have also bought concert tickets to see in two weeks. Just as I had anticipated they also got a lot of support, even though it was their very first time at Incheon Korean Wave Concert. As always they put on their best performance and got the crowd pumped up for their second song.

(0:01 Beast, 3:46 2NE1)

After 2NE1 came the group that was the main reason that I wanted to go to the Concert: SHINee. SHINee is currently promoting in Japan so seeing them here in Korea is quite rare lately, so I am happy that I got the chance to see them anyways, as they are one of my favorite groups.

SHINee’s fans (the ones holding light blue baloons or green light sticks) have a reputation of being very kind as they will cheer loudly for every group and not just cheer for SHINee (as some other fan groups who will only cheer for their idol). Indeed SHINee’s fans caught our attention right away as they showed support for SHINee with organised cheers and waves long before the concert started and continuously showed great support to every performing group. Their fanclub made me proud to be a SHINee fan.

SHINee was followed by KARA (see one of the previous videos for footage). Our japanese friend was very surprised to see the lack of support for KARA here in Korea since KARA are very popular in Japan. After KARA Girl’s Generation and 2PM performed (also in previous videos) And finally Super Junior ended the concert.

We were sitting among Super Junior fans and had been fearing the appearance of Super Junior since the very beginning. We had good reason to fear, it was indeed a very frightening scene, or rather sound, that awaited us. As soon as 2PM left the scene ELFs (Super Junior fans) started cheering and chanting they fan chants. The scene lasted a couple of minutes and the event’s host had to abandon talking in order to let Super Junior onto the stage and please the many ELFs present. Oh how frightening sounds came out of the mouths of those twenty-something year old girls and boys alike. I am still amazed that my camera managed to capture just bids of the songs that Super Junior performed despite the many screams of fans.

As Super Junior’s second song began, Sorry Sorry, we realised that we had to leave then if we wanted to make it back to our University before the metro stopped running. So we sneaked down the stairs as Super Junior went on singing. I was video taping as I went down and was a bit terrified at the idea of being attacked by a wild ELF on the way. I ran out of space on my memory card right as I arrived at the bottom of the stairs, so there are no further photos of videos from yesterday.

And to all of you K-POP fans out there: yes, going to a k-pop concert is fun, but  prepare yourselves to loose your hearing by the end of it, and watch out for all of the other crazy fangirls.

The metro was completely full of people and the people stepping on the metro on following stops seemed completely perplexed by this situation. We got in contact with the other people that we had arrived with as we were standing on the metro and thankfully it turns out that they had also realised the situation and had left earlier as well, except two of the girls who wanted to see Super Junior until the end.

We met up with the others when we changed lines the second time and went out for some very late dinner when we arrived at Ewha station at 11:50, ten minutes before the metro stops running. We were home again around one hour later and me and Unnie managed to sleep until 1PM today. It is the first time that we have slept that long since arriving, this just goes to describe how exhausting going to a concert can be.

I haven’t done anything today apart from watching, editing and uploading videos, and it hasn’t been all bad, I’ve got my laughs and it is nice to be able to re-experience it all again today (ah, so that is what they call obsessive fan-girling).

Actually that is just a bit of a lie, something else also happened today and it is something that is nicely connected to yesterday’s event. At about 8PM I got a call, I was quite surprised as I wasn’t expecting a call, especially not at this hour on a Sunday. It was an unknown number and as soon as I took the call I knew. It was an Adjussi (an elder man) and this time around I understood everything that he had to say. I hurried out to the kitchen to get Unnie (as she was preparing dinner) and we both stormed down to the front entrance. There was an Adjussi there who asked Unnie to sign a paper and when that was over and done with I, finally, got my 2NE1 concert ticket.

Now there is no way around it I will be going to 2NE1 very first concert on the 26th, Friday next week.

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