I have to admit that before the concert I liked and knew about Eric Nam more from his hosting and interviewing skills than for his music. Seeing that he was having a concert relatively close by, a 3 to 4 hour drive for me, I immediately bought a ticket hoping to make up for my lack of attention to his musical abilities.
Going to Houston was a bit of a change up for me since so many Kpop concerts in Texas focus on Dallas. Eric did also have a show in Dallas, but I hate the longer drive and constant roadworks on the main highway from San Antonio to Dallas, so Houston became my default. Houston traffic is no picnic though. So Kpop groups please appreciate the efforts of Texas fans to get to the venues. (Texas is almost 7 times the size of Korea, with no railways to speak of. We have to drive or fly.)
The concert took place at the House Of Blues in Houston which is located downtown which meant finding parking, which actually turned out to be relatively easy. A line had already formed by the time I got there just before 3pm . It didn’t take long to get to know a few others in line. The venue staff were good, putting out a ‘hydration station’ so the fans had easy access to water, a necessity in the Houston summer heat. At one point they even came around with frozen ice-pops which was really nice of them. As time passed and the lines got significantly longer they came around and did the security checks and handed out wristbands while we were still in line. This allowed everyone faster access to the venue and the air conditioning once the doors opened at 7pm.
Feeling my age a little I jumped at the opportunity to get a table seat in their VIP area when Tyler came down the line with the offer. It did cost extra. And it was well worth it. Not only did I have a great view of the stage, I was in the center right behind the sound booth with an unobstructed view of the whole stage, I was also able to have dinner and a drink before the show started. I was so happy not to be in the crush in front of the stage.
The evening started with Loote who put on a note worthy performance on their first live tour. Made up the duo Jackson Foote and Emma Lov Block, and assisted by Jacskon’s brother on the drums they got the crowd fired up. Being both singers and songwriters they sang a few of their own songs such as Out Of My Head and Your Side Of The Bed, which you can find on Spotify.
Although the cheers of the crowd were loud for Loote’s performance they rose to a roar when Eric came on stage. He even commented on the noise level and the fact that some fans screams reached ‘dolphin levels’. He controlled the stage and the crowd with ease.
He has sometimes made fun of his dancing skills, but he went all out once he hit the stage. His body rolls and other moves thrilled the crowd. Eric has one of those somewhat unassuming voices that sneak into your soul without effort, and then he’ll switch to power vocals and wow you into unabashed admiration.
It was a pleasure to hear him perform and fun to see how he interacted with the audience with a somewhat self deprecating dry wit. He is obviously smart and definitely has a sense of humor, which is why he is the to go to guy for interviews with English speaking celebrities while they are visiting Korea. In 2017 he was chosen by Forbes Magazine as one of their 30 under 30 Asia Edition and was one of GQ Korea’s Men of the Year in 2016 so he has multiple facets to his skill set.
He was born and raised in Atlanta, graduated from a good university, studied abroad in China and speaks 4 languages. ( English and Korean fluently, proficient in Spanish, and can carry on a conversation in Mandarin. ) So perhaps not your average Kpop star. This North American tour included 15 shows in 14 cities. He sold out all the US dates and only the Mexico City one still had tickets available. And all this without all the fanfare that surrounds many other Kpop celebrities.
The show was fantastic and I enjoyed every moment. It sped past way too fast which made me appreciate all the more the moments he took to interact with the crowd. His interactions with the audience when asking if it was anyones birthday, were both funny and sweet. What was also notable was how everyone seemed to be happy. I have never seen such happy dancers at any show I’ve ever been to. They looked like they were having the time of their lives. The photographer and other staff also smiled a lot, so it must of been a fun tour even if it was also long and exhausting.
After the show everyone who had bought the VIP tickets lined up and waited for group photos with Eric. It was advertised as ‘meet and greet/group photo’ but although he did shake hands with each of us there was no time for much more than that. There were 5 people, plus Eric, in each photo and as we all asked him to consider San Antonio for a future tour stop the staff were ushering us along. So in future staff/promotion company please don’t use “meet & greet’ in your advertising when basically all we were getting was a group photo. We would have probably all still bought the VIP tickets but we would have had lower expectations, and therefore not been disappointed. A last impression of an event can be the impression that lasts the longest. We were handed a signed poster as we left.
It is too late to catch any other stops on his tour as Houston was the last one in the US, but he promised another tour and I strongly recommend you get tickets for that. You can watch fancams on youtube from the tour, and you can also listen to his music on spotify etc. Youtube also has multiple music videos of his as well as those of him interviewing a long list of famous celebrities. There’s lots to like about Eric Nam so see what you like most about him.
Have a great day everyone.
A shoutout to Briana Val Verde who was my line buddy and was in the crush near the stage. She kindly allowed me to use some of her photos. All photo credits to original owners. Featured photo, plus 4, 5, and 6. to Briana. (You can also follow Briana on instagram. ) Houston traffic photo to City of Houston. All the rest to me.
And Melvia W was kind enough to also share some photos with me.
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