Much as I love going to see the big name Kpop groups I have to admit I have a real fondness for the less popular groups. Studio PAV has carved a niche market for themselves by not only bringing the less well known groups, but by making the experience much more personal for the fans.
My first experience with Studio PAV was when they brought JJCC to Houston and I had a blast. (Studio PAV have also had some problems with a tour cancelling last minute so you might want to get travel insurance if you are travelling a long distance.) They state that they want to make their fan experience the same as in Korea, well they get close, but they’re not quite there yet.
Even in the Texas heat fans started lining up early outside the iconic Granada Theatre in Dallas. I got there before 2pm and was a fair ways from the front. Volunteers do a lot of the work at these events and so sometimes information is lacking as they only know what they are told. Everything went fairly smoothly and the VVIP fans were allowed in early to get their albums signed by each member of the group. Unlike in Korea where usually each member can sign their photos in the photobook, here they were told to only sign the front to speed things up. The boys were fresh faced, handsome and polite. They smiled, signed their names and thanked each fan for coming. A few fans got a little more interaction with their biases, but the line was kept moving. No personal phones or cameras were allowed during the album signing, although as usual I saw people breaking the rules.
We moved on from that line to another to wait for our official group photo with UP10TION. Again there was a few moments of interaction as everyone got into place.
Then we headed to grab our spots for the concert. It was standing only so getting a good spot was important. Not surprisingly there were latecomers who tried to push through to the front???? I had a decent spot a few rows back from the stage and was fortunate to be standing with some new friends who were fantastic line buddies for the whole evening. Then there was a lot more waiting. Many of us sat on the floor to conserve energy.
After being teased with videos, the show finally began. The boys, dressed in black and white, came out and dominated the stage from start to finish. I was a little to the left of center and was fortunate that Wei was often on the right side. I started the evening with no real favorite, but Wei drew my eye time after time with his dancing and energy. (I hated his outfit though.) All the guys performed really well and I enjoyed all of their performances and ended the evening still without a bias as each of them seemed to put their whole selves into their performance. Maybe it would be more true to say each and every one of them was my bias at some point during the evening.
The crowd was loud, the energy good and the songs catchy and engaging. It was a small stage so it was a little hard to contain 10 very active young men dancing some amazing choreography. I saw one little bump and a friend said she saw another, but to be honest I was surprised they managed so well on such a small stage. (The Granada Theatre is a decent venue, but better for smaller groups and soloists I feel.)
After a set of songs that left them sweating and breathing heavily, they slowed down to answer fan questions. None of them are fluent English speakers but they have been trying hard to learn, so with varying degrees of success they each chose a fan question from the board, read it and then tried to answer it. The were cute, smiley, and happy, except perhaps for Jinhoo who didn’t seem to really relax until the second part of the show. The fans made so much noise at times it was hard to hear, but the boys looked as if they were feeding off the energy.
More songs followed before they played a charade game with the audience. I’m not sure who was lacking at first, us or them, but soon we all got into the swing of it and had a lot of fun guessing things like ‘Dr.Pepper’, and ‘Whataburger’.
The whole evening’s setlist was good, they put all of their energy into each and every song. Attention, So Dangerous, White Night, Candyland and more, but I still liked Catch Me the most even though I find it kind of an earworm. Sticking with the classic black and white outfits was smart, it allowed the audience to appreciate the dancing which was crisp, clean and on point. For me Kpop is about the ‘whole’ so the choreography, outfits, presentation etc as well as the music and lyrics must all come together, and UP10TION achieved that. It was a great night of live music and performance.
But it didn’t end there for those who had paid extra for snapshot photos with the members. Each polaroid photo was $10 each and anyone could buy one, not just VVIPs. The quality is pretty poor, since the lighting was bad and the ones taking the photos were volunteers, but this is where the tour makes money and the fans get another few moments with their biases, plus a photo to commemorate the evening. The boys were obviously tired, but they smiled and thanked each fan. They came across as being sweet, gentlemanly and kind. One even called me Kpopjacketlady as I went up for my photo!
Thank you UP10TION you gave a lot of fans a wonderful concert and an experience to remember. Good luck on the rest of the tour……….and get some sleep when you can.
Have a great day everyone.
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