I’ve been a fan of Kpop since 2009 so now that 2019 is over I can truly say I’ve been a fan for a decade. However in the beginning going to concerts was tricky as not many groups came to the US, and even fewer came to Texas. Fortunately that all changed in 2013. SXSX in Austin had a ‘Kpop Night Out’ although no idols performed, and then in November VIXX came to the Dallas area with their Milky Way Global Showcase’.
Although I really regret not going to see Vixx I am happy that my first concert was B.A.P one of the most dynamic groups of the time. Their concert was electrifying and made me aware of the draw of being in a venue with like minded fans. There’s really nothing like the uplifting feel of a Kpop concert.
Although BAP was the third Kpop group to perform in Texas, after VIXX ( 2013) and Boyfriend,( 2014 ) they really solidified the trend for choosing Texas as a stop on future artists’ tours. From one tour in 2013, to five in 2014, and an incredible twenty nine in 2019 if you count KHip Hop and groups like Epik High.
Needless to say there’s no way I could manage that many concerts and found I could only get to see twelve groups, although seeing Monsta X twice bumped it up to thirteen concerts. Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out as evenly spaced as I had hoped and May saw me attend four concerts in three different cities, while June saw none.
The year started off with Winner who performed at a new to me venue, in a different part of the Dallas metroplex allowing the whole experience seem fresh and new. I lucked into a sort of VIP experience so the year started off to a fantastic start. The concert was amazing and you can read about it here.
In March I was invited to theMU:CON Networking Party at SXSWand saw preview performances by Jambinai XXX and Kirara. I also got to chat with a few really cool people which made the evening even more fun.
Two totally different feels for each concert and people who say ‘all Kpop is the same’ have no idea what they are talking about.
May almost killed me. VAV in Dallas,
And then Stray Kids back in Houston. I put a lot of miles on the truck and I ended the month really worn out. Was it worth it? Hell yeah. But I was glad for a month off.
July saw one of my favorite groups Monsta X come to two cities in Texas, Dallas and Houston. I was lucky enough to be able to go to both. Both concerts were amazing and made even more special by having good friends go with me.
August was Imfact who delivered a surprising enjoyable concert. After Monsta X I felt any concert would be a bit of a let down, but Imfact kept me entertained and engaged the whole time.
SuperM made up of some of the ‘biggest’ names in Kpop performed in Fort Worth in November. Even with the excessively cold night outside, inside the venue was blazing hot with all that talent on the stage.
And the last concert of the year was Dreamcatcher who put on a great concert as well as showcasing themselves during the fan event before the show. Not normally a huge fan of girl groups, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
I’m sort of glad 2019 is over as much as I enjoyed all the concerts I attended. The real world chaos and negativity prevalent in 2019 made it hard to feel happy so I’m always glad for Kpop which lets me slip away for a little while to a more joyful place. But even Kpop was fraught with scandal and sorrow in 2019. So I sincerely hope 2020 will be better for everyone. I hope you have a happy and healthy New Year, and that some of your dreams come true.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to original owners, mostly me. (BAP to TS Ent. Winner to YG.)
Note. Texas is huge. Houston, a city in Texas is only slightly smaller than the country of Iceland. At 268,596 square miles Texas is almost 3x the size of the UK, and 7x the size of Korea. So while it might seem unfair that Texas is seeing a boom in Kpop concerts it’s kinda because it is a big place and has a big economy. (If Texas was a country it would rank about 10th in the world in GDP as of 2016 statistics.)