I recently saw one of my favorite K-pop groups in concert. As you can probably guess, there were many tears involved in the process.
Formed by JYP Entertainment in 2014, GOT7 is a seven-piece, multi-national group: JB (Korea), Mark (USA/Taiwan), Junior (Korea), Jackson (Hong Kong), Youngjae (Korea), Bam Bam (Thailand), and Yugyeom (Korea).
Back in March, I saw that they were having a concert in Seoul at the end of April – “Fly in Seoul.” I was instantly defeated. Getting tickets to any concert here in Korea is basically impossible. “All the crazy fan girls will snatch them up before I even get a chance,” I thought to myself. It was then that I remembered – I AM A CRAZY FAN GIRL AS WELL. I mean, I paid to see a musical twice just to see Cho Kyuhyun. I might have chased him as well…
On the night the tickets were to go on sale, I got home early to prep my body and soul for the fight of my life. I cleared my desk, logged into Interpark (the ticket website), pulled out my credit card, and waited [im]patiently for 8PM. At 7:45PM, the tears began to fall. I began to hit refresh constantly at 7:58PM… then finally 8PM rolled around. Screaming and peering at my screen through tear-stricken eyes, I began to click frantically. Every single time I chose a seat, it would vanish. I tried for fifteen minutes, but painfully watched the seats disappear right before my eyes. I almost gave up, but then I remembered how badly I wanted to see them in concert. There were about five seats left when I finally nabbed one. I SCREAMED, SHOOK, AND TOTALLY WAILED. It was too good to be true. I, JENNIFER [INSERT MIDDLE AND LAST NAME HERE], GOT A TICKET TO SEE GOT7 ON APRIL 29TH.
The morning of the concert, I saw that the leader, JB, couldn’t perform due to a back injury. I was devastated, but his health is more important to me than having him perform. After work that Friday, I hopped on the metro for what felt like forever to make it to the concert venue. I had never been to Olympic Park before, but I could barely take anything in other than the GOT7 banners and posters hanging around everywhere.
Thai fans shelled out money to display this in the subway.
I want a bus with my face on it.
As any sane person would, I took pictures with all the cardboard cutouts of the band members. I then got in line for an official light stick. I guess I should explain some things about concerts here:
- All fandoms have names. GOT7’s fandom = I GOT7. Other fandoms I am “part of” are ARMY (BTS) and ELF (Super Junior). I actually don’t like labeling myself as one of them, but there you go – I guess technically speaking I am an I GOT7, ARMY, and ELF.
- Groups have official light sticks that fans wave around during concerts. I got mine for the “low low price” of ₩25,000 ($21.38).
- Fans chant during the concert. [Click here] to see GOT7’s chant for “HOME RUN” (I spent days learning chants).
- Taking pictures/recording is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.
- Many K-pop boy groups cover songs by girl groups and go all out (as in wear dresses and wigs). [Click here] to see Super Junior cover Girls’ Generation’s “Gee.”
Clearly single, people.
New reusable bag.
Although I got one of the last tickets and was placed in the back, I could still see the stage plain as day. I COULD SEE THEIR FACES WITHOUT STARING AT THE SCREEN. It was marvelous – and must I say now that they are all super handsome. I took a picture of the venue, but then quickly put away my phone because the security guards there were VICIOUS. After the concert I saw a bunch of pictures on Instagram, but honestly have no idea how people got away with snapping pictures. I SAW PEOPLE GET REMOVED FROM THE VENUE. As much as I would love a picture to last me a lifetime, I would rather see the whole performance than be kicked out.
I have been to my fair share of concerts. I have seen OutKast, One Direction, The Kooks, Calvin Harris, Fall Out Boy, and so many more people live. GOT7 was by far the best. Everything was brilliant – I really do think K-pop concerts are “my style.” The hysterics, humor, fan chants, light sticks… I mean, you name it – I am here for it. The two girl group songs that the boys covered were “Dumb, Dumb” by Red Velvet and “Me Gustas Tu” by GFriend. JB even made an appearance. He cried, I cried, everyone cried.
Every single time I thought the concert was over, they threw something else my way. It lasted a beautiful three hours. Yugyeom even made eye-contact with me because I jumped up and threw a huge heart at him. He isn’t my bias, but who cares – I was in the heat of the moment. I would have stayed and screamed at them coming out of venue, but I literally had to run to catch the last metro. A taxi ride from Olympic Park to my house would have thrown me into bankruptcy.
On my way home, I noticed sparkly shoes in front of me. Later, while at the Burger King by my place, I noticed the sparkly shoes again. Apparently a girl in my neighborhood is a die-hard fan as well! We talked and even exchanged Kakao information. I love you, Bettina and Bea, but I need some K-pop friends on this side of the globe.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realize that BTS concert tickets were also on sale in March. I MISSED OUT. Their new music video for “Fire” is just that – FIRE.
I CAN’T WITH YOU, JIN. STOP IT NOW.
If you are able, I highly recommend going to a K-pop concert. Even if you don’t know the words, chants, or even the people you are watching, it is still an awesome experience. Many of these people have trained for YEARS, so they know how to put on a killer performance.
Until next time, boys. Until next time.