VAV’s second visit to Dallas was billed as a ‘Meet and Greet’ but with the exception of stage sets it was pretty much a concert with some crowd interaction and fun bits thrown in from time to time. Backstage breaks and costume changes were minimized leaving the hyped up crowd with more time to appreciate their favorites. The boys were on point and the whole evening was a blast from start to finish.
The day started mid afternoon as fans gathered outside the venue. After some confusion with the queuing numbers the VVIP ticket holders were allowed into the Southside Music Hall just after 6pm. Still being carefully kept in lines according to our numbers everyone waited for the first of the ‘perks’ that usually are available at shows put on by Studio PAV. We were handed our free album and then got to say hi, get our album signed and then have a quick hi five or hand shake. This time we weren’t too rushed, although the time never seems to be long enough. The boys were friendly and cute, being particularly endearing when chatting with a couple of child fans.
We then relined up and waited for our group photos. Putting 12 fans in each photo with the 6 group members was a bit too crowded and some people had to crouch down at each end of the line. This actually worked out great for me as I got to have a few moments chatting with Lou who was extremely charming.
The group photos took a while as both VVIP and VIP ticket holders got this perk as part of their ticket. Once again we were kept in numbered lines as we waited to be allowed into the area in front of the stage. Although things happened between 6pm and when the concert began shortly after 8, there was a lot of just standing and waiting. I was lucky to be front row although off to one side, which meant I didn’t get good photos of them all as they seemed to have a set order in which they stood whenever they were chatting and interacting with the audience.
VAV initially debuted in 2015 under A Team Entertainment and have had a few members leave and others join since then. Last night’s show featured six of the current 7 members, with Jacob currently promoting in China. Although they have a somewhat limited repertoire they easily and entertainingly filled in any gaps with introductions, question and answer sessions, and audience participation rewards. The rewards provided the fans with some wonderfully humorous and touching moments and while we all wished we could be the ones up there on stage, we were thrilled for the ones chosen. One was a selfie with the group, another a serenade, and yet another a personal fan cam of the group.
The highlight had to be the little girl who came with her dad. She was so precious, and she melted everyone’s hearts. That twirl and their faces smiling at each other and laughing was just wonderful.
The evening was filled with music and dancing as well as all the laughter and fun. Of course they performed Thrilla Killa and they profusely thanked their fans, Vamps, for helping them reach 22 million views on YouTube. (Almost 23 mill today and you can check it out here.)
Another fan favorite was Senorita, and keeping with the Latin theme everyone thoroughly enjoyed their cover of Despacito, with the whole audience singing along.
I spent much of the evening not only enjoying their performance but also their shear joy at being in front of their fans. I thought St.Van would break his face he smiled and laughed so much. But then he took his jacket off and that kinda changed my thoughts a little.
The others all had their moments too, but as I mentioned earlier not all of them spent much time my side of the stage. Also making me smile and feeling happy to be there with them and to be a part of the excitement and collective passion is as much a reason for making the effort to go to concerts (often over a 5 hour drive) as the music. And in general Kpop artists excel at ‘fanservice’, the little touches like eye contact with audience members, the wink, the nod the smile. All these things VAV did and more.
There were many special highlights throughout the evening, one being the surprise birthday cake for Ayno. The staff pretended there was a technical malfunction and dimmed the lights before bringing the fan gifted cake onstage. I actually think he was genuinely surprised as we had all sung Happy Birthday to him earlier in the evening.
Later someone also managed to get a birthday crown passed to him which he wore for a while.
They posed for photos with the audience as the evening started to wind down.
And after a rousing encore they finished the concert part of the evening. Even though it was after 10pm they still had one more part of the night to complete. Perhaps the main thing that sets apart the shows put on by Studio PAV is the ‘Pick A Pose’ snapshot session. Even though they have raised the price to $20 per polaroid taken by an amateur volunteer there were still extremely long lines to take advantage of this opportunity. Of course I did so too.
The fans pay the money, even though the picture quality is poor just to have those brief moments one on one with their idols, biases and crushes.
Even the mega thunder storm that drenched me to the bone on leaving the venue and the hazardous driving conditions with flooded out streets could not dampen my high spirits of having had such a fun night out. If you get the chance go see VAV in concert, you won’t be disappointed.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to original owners. Mostly Debora Marzec.