Black Pink: In Your Area. Fort Worth 2019.

After a harrowing drive north through yet another mega Texas storm I checked into my hotel across the street from the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena around mid afternoon. There were a lot of people outside, some in lines, and some just hanging out, but nothing like the crowds for BTS. The city didn’t seem to have as much planned out for the Black Pink fans as they had for BTS. (No port-a-potties, or blocking off the street or any of the other things they did for BTS.)

My favorite Fort Worth bartender had a prime spot at the bar waiting for me so I could watch all the goings on while I waited for my friends to arrive at the venue. Not too much later and I was out the door joining in and mingling with the crowds. Because of Black Pink’s commercial relationship with Kia there were a number of photo ops for fans with cut out figures etc. You have to look really closely to spot the Black Pink patch on the Kpopjacket.

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Krunk was also out and about and there were also some ‘cover’ dancers performing to a decent sized crowd. Not being able to get close I can count myself fortunate to have hugged a large sized Krunk while in Korea.

Confusion seemed to have been a byword for this concert. Firstly there was the fiasco over the ticket sales and the adding of another date, to then abruptly cancel the second date. Fans scrambled to buy, or sell, tickets as information swirled about the interwebs. Tickets were selling for prices in the many hundreds of dollars and as low as $19 at one point. Then on the day of the concert the information for those lining up to get in with seated tickets was worthless. One long line formed over the course of the day, but no one told those fans there were actually 8 lines open. This caused some fans to barely make it into the arena in time for the start of the show was actually a little delayed. Staff rushed to get last minute fans in, only to leave no one helping direct fans to their seats. The ushers showed up right when the concert started.

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People in line can be the best. I hung out with a great bunch and also got to speak with a few people I’d met at previous concerts. One lovely young lady gifted me with some fan bracelets she had made which was sweet of her. (Thank you if you read this.)

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Once inside we all split up as we had seats dotted all around the venue. Thanks to a friend I had a good seat. Even so unfortunately my camera wasn’t really up to the occasion, particularly with the very busy and glaring back screens they used. I understand them wanting to wow the audience, but I felt it would have been better if instead of competing with Black Pink for our attention they could have enhanced the girls in a better way. Again my apologies for the poor quality photos.

The roars from the crowd as Black Pink appeared on stage were thunderous, almost deafening. Made up of four young ladies, Jisoo, Jennie, Rose, and Lisa, each with a diverse background Black Pink debuted in August 2016 with hits such as Whistle and Boombayah rising to the top of various charts almost immediately. Being the first girl group to debut from YG Entertainment in the 6 years after 2NE1’s debut there were unflattering comparisons on the one hand and high expectations on the other.

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I think between group and solo songs they performed about 20 songs, with all their top hits featuring prominently. They kicked off the night with a powerful rendition of Ddu Du Ddu Du, and mostly kept the momentum going. All four of them appeared confident and in charge of the stage, although it was somewhat unfortunate that they often looked dwarfed by the shear size and emptiness of it. Particularly when they were performing their solos I wondered what their set/stage designer had been thinking. The only saving graces were the large screens, and of course the decent sound system which allowed their voices to wow the crowd. The vocal and happy crowd also did a lot to keep the excitement at a peak level.

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When they came up to the ancillary stage it allowed me, and many others, to get a better look at them and really hyped up the crowd. All four of them are remarkably pretty as well as being talented and when they spoke the audience hung on every word. With at least 2 of them being fluent English speakers it was easy for them to interact with their fans. (Blinks)

One of the highlights for me was catching their more intimate and candid moments on the big screen so I could see the ‘real’ them.

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One of the downsides was the kinda tacky commercial they ran between sets for Kia. With most Kpop groups coming up with interesting, unique, or even just really cutesy videos to fill the time between sets, Black Pink fell down in this area. The Kia advertisement just wasn’t that good, except perhaps for the last second or two, which had a cute visual at the end. However, their choice to allow the live band to have one intermission to showcase their skills was a good one. They really kept the crowd pumped up and enjoying the music.

Another favorite part was at the end when it really seemed they didn’t want to leave the stage. They sat down and chatted for a bit which was wonderful……and cute.

They seemed to be happy with all their gifts perhaps particularly their cowboy hats.

When the final farewell bow was taken they slowly sank beneath the stage, leaving the crowd happy and exhausted. Black Pink put on a solid performance and wowed their US fans. Their promise to return was met with joy and a little scepticism as we all know just who makes those decisions. But we were so very happy that we had seen them here in Fort Worth and that their whole tour was a success, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed their have a bright and happy future and come back and see us real soon.

Have a great day everyone.

You may also enjoy A Look At Some Of My Favorite Dance Practice MVs   and  The Beauty Of Korea.

Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to Debora Marzec.

 

NCT 127 Neo City-The Origin Tour, Houston 2019. Thoughts.

2019 has already been a huge year for Kpop in the US, more tours, more groups, more stops, and bigger expenses for fans. But that has left fans with hard choices to make. Very few of us have the time, money and transportation to see them all, although a lot of fans really do try. ( I’ve meet fans who follow their favorite groups to every stop on the tour, and others who go to every concert within driving distance of where they live, but the regular fan nowadays often has to pick and choose. )

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Having managed to get front row at VAV’s Dallas concert, I knew that good tickets for NCT 127 were going to be harder to get and indeed I ended up a fairly long way back. That’s not to say the view of the stage wasn’t bad, just that they were tiny and to see facial expressions I had to watch the big screen for much of the time. Maybe that’s why it took me a little while to really get into the concert.

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I had been looking forward to a NCT USA tour for a long time and particularly since I saw them perform at the Busan One Asia concert in 2017 where they were probably the most dynamic act of the evening and one of my favorites. So even I was surprised that I wasn’t ‘wowed’ from the moment they came on stage. It wasn’t really that there was anything lacking in their performance, in fact far from it. Their first songs were polished and their performances energetic and professional. Their dancing was on point and their singing and rapping too. Everyone around me was so happy, excited and cheering and screaming like crazy. But for me there was just a little something lacking for the first part of the evening. I guess for me they lacked that extra ‘spark’ that captures every iota of one’s attention. That tug on your senses that just pulls you into a world of their making.

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Fortunately as the evening progressed I felt both myself and them get more in sync and into the rhythm and feel of the evening. Towards the end of the evening a couple of the boys commented that they hadn’t been in peak condition and they thanked the audience for giving them strength. So maybe that was what I was sensing. I also noticed that as the show progressed the camaraderie between them seemed to become more relaxed and natural which is always an aspect of Kpop that I enjoy. The brotherhood and friendship between members has an appeal and charm not often seen on the usual American concert stage.

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The venue, the Smart Financial Center in Sugar Land just outside of Houston, is large and somewhat cavernous but the color changing light-sticks, the vocal and appreciative crowd  and the better than average Kpop concert sound system soon made it party city USA. The audience were loud, raucous, and so very excited to be there. I could see almost everyone stood up and waving their light-sticks while so many were dancing and singing along. The roars from the crowd would swell and recede like the ocean as certain songs were played or particular biases were featured on the big screen. And like the ocean there was always a constant underlying sound from the watchers. If the sound of happiness could be bottled that’s probably what it would sound like.

They performed their most popular songs as well as some new ones and mixed up the evening between hard rhythm thumping athems and slower tempo ballards, which is when you really realize just how talented each group member really is. One of my favorite songs was probably when Johnny played a keyboard solo that segued into Regular. At this point they had my full attention as they managed to make putting on their jackets as sexy as heck.

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I was hoping for a little bit more pole dancing type action when I saw the metal framework appear on stage for Wake Up, but it was used more for climbing and dramatically posing than anything risque. They also used it for Baby Don’t Like It which was  notable for a couple of ‘skinship’ moments which drew loud cheers and screams. Still a very unique and interesting stage prop and they used it to good effect.

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Along with the dynamic songs for which they may be better known I enjoyed the slower ode to their fans, “you are my” Angel which was a pleasant lyrical interlude.

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Some other favorite bits were the solid choices for video ‘fillers’, particularly the light hearted ‘dance battle’ that took place in the past and the MV for Highway to Heaven. Highway to Heaven was one of the yet to be officially released songs which they have been showcasing this tour. If you haven’t heard it yet you are in for a treat on May 24th.

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I also enjoyed the times they spent between sets speaking with us. It was then, even after seeing them being so professional and masculine with their power songs like Cherry Bomb or Chain that one could see that they are still young in so many ways. Being a mixed nationality group I wasn’t surprised at the ones speaking English, but I loved the charm of the native Korean, and Japanese, speakers as they did their best to get their thoughts across to their fans. (NCTzens)  Although a translator was used from time to time it was easy to see and feel the members earnest desire to communicate with us on a personal level.

It seems from their stories that they enjoyed Houston and were able to get out to the Zoo and the park. Some fans were lucky to spot them while they were out and about and get photos with them. We also heard that they ate a lot of food and apart from Yuta complaining a little about the price he had to pay, ( his turn ) they all said they enjoyed it. More than one also said that they hoped/planned to come back to Texas, which is always good to hear.

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None NCT 127 related I also enjoyed the pre concert camaraderie of the fans waiting outside the venue on a very hot day, the previous concert buddies who stopped by to say hi and the new friends I met in line. There’s a special feel to being a Kpop fan and on the whole they are a very inclusive and welcoming group.

On that note I’ll finish up for now and wish everyone a great day.

Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to original owners. Photo credits for photos 2,5,6,7,9 and 10 to Raquel Gonzales who kindly let me use some of her photos because my phone acted up on me and ‘lost’ all but a couple from the hundreds I took.  (photo credits 1, 3, 4, & 8 to me.)

You may also enjoy Ateez: The Expedition Tour in Dallas and The Unique Faces Of Kpop.

VAV: Dallas 2019.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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Later someone also managed to get a birthday crown passed to him which he wore for a while.mvimg_20190501_215853

They posed for photos with the audience as the evening started to wind down.

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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.

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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.

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Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to original owners. Mostly Debora Marzec.

You may also enjoy Ateez: The Expedition Tour In Dallas and Kpop: The Best Dances Of The Time, (around 2009).

Kpop: The Best Dances Of The Time? 2010.

I fell in love with Kpop in 2009, which was arguably the best year ever for Kpop. It was a year of so many songs that later became classics. And of some which changed the face and feel of Kpop forever. So a look at any year after that is going to be a bit of a letdown. However 2010 was still a year of some great songs and some still recognizable dances. Show someone some of these dances and they can instantly tell you the artist and song.

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It was also a year when Kpop had much more variety. There were bands such as CNBlue and FT Island, ballad groups like 2AM and 4Men, as well as a lot of soloists singing everything from OSTs to Hip Hop. There was a lot of experimentation with style and format too which led to some fantastic girl groups who created girl power ‘anthems’ that have since become iconic.

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It was also a time when I still followed girl groups as well as the guys.

Not all my favorite songs from 2010 fit this title of ‘Best Dances Of The Time’ but here are some of my choices that do. With most of these the dance helps make the song a ‘package’ of all that’s wonderful about Kpop.

I’ll start with Hyuna who has been selling her sex appeal in a powerful fashion for years. Her first solo song ‘Change’ was flagged as being ‘inappropriate to minors’ which didn’t seem to bother her as she is still pushing boundaries to this day.

Another 2010 song that may surprise some of you new to Kpop is Psy’s song Right Now. Released 2 years before Gangnam Style, it too was banned from those under 19+ although the ban in his case was for an ‘obscene lyric’. Psy had already been showcasing his nonconformity for years in Korea before he became a worldwide phenomenon and Right Now helps you understand that Gangnam Style really just didn’t appear out of ‘nowhere’.

Miss A debuted in 2010 as JYP’s new girl group. Now sometimes just known as the stepping stone for Suzy, who has gone on to acting and success as a product endorser, as well as having a solo career as a singer, Miss A was a fun and entertaining group. With the right support they could have been really successful. Bad Girl, Good Girl had some great lyrics about judging someone by their looks.

Infinite was well known for their dancing and if you look at their MVs you can see moves that seem familiar. It’s because some of their moves were improved upon by succeeding generations of Kpop groups and are still around today. Come Back was perhaps not their best song ever, but the dance helped the audience engage with this one.

One can’t talk about 2010 without a mention of Girl’s Generation. (aka SNSD) Although they debuted back in 2007, it wasn’t until 2009/10 that they became really popular with a slew of hit songs that earned them the label “The Nation’s Girl Group.” While Hoot was perhaps not their most famous song of 2010 people fell in love with the arrow shooting part of the dance and you could see people copying it on all the variety shows.

One also has to mention SNSD’s brother group, Super Junior. Formed way back in 2005 they were an even larger group than SNSD, with 13 members at their peak. They too hit their stride in 2009 and have continued ever since, albeit with different lineups of members. I personally enjoyed Bonamana which used some of Michael Jackson’s moves in their choreography.

One also can’t miss mentioning perhaps the best ever female Kpop group 2ne1. 2010 was a good year for them with multiple hits and awards, including Mnet’s ‘Artist of the Year’ award. While back then a practice video was just that, a video of them practicing, it still shows their uniqueness and personalities. Can’t Nobody was also released in an English version.

Showing their dance practice, and not those of the other mentioned groups is perhaps a tad unfair, so here is their Korean version, and English version. Just look at those fabulous outfits.

At lastly for today perhaps the best and most iconic Kpop MV song and dance and talent combination MV of 2010 there is Lucifer by SHINee.

It basically boils down to the fact that some song/dance combinations are ‘forever famous’ and for 2010 that is probably this song. (And their 2009 Ring Ding Dong may have won that title for that year too.) More than any other group SHINee encapsulates all the many facets that make Kpop so enjoyable to watch as well as to listen to. The dance, the clothes, the visuals all come together with the music and lyrics to create the ultimate Kpop experience. Seeing them all perform live was one of the highlights of my concert going resume.

Do you have a favorite Kpop ‘dance’ MV from 2010? One where the choreography is perhaps as important as the song itself.

Have a great day everyone.

All photo and video credits belong to original owners. Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation.

You may also enjoy Kpop: The Best Dances Of The Time? Part 1 (2009),   Like Dance? Watch Kpop,  and  SHINee World V Tour in Dallas. 2017.

 

Astro: The 2nd Astroroad Tour 2019.

2019 has already been a very busy year for Texas Kpop fans. This week I travelled up to Dallas to see two different concerts. Ateez was earlier in the week, while on Thursday I attended the Astro concert.

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Although both groups are ‘Kpop’ there were some striking differences between them, including the venues and the tour promoters that they used. After the overcrowded, dark, and standing only venue, which also was somewhat disorganized, for the Ateez concert it was wonderful to experience the well run Astro concert. Even though one rarely sits down at a Kpop concert the seats themselves act as barriers to being pushed and crowded. And that also means a better view for everyone.

 

Playing on the themes of starlight and the cosmos, the six young men burst onto the stage all sparkly and bright in their stylish outfits.

 

Astro made their debut in 2016 and is made up of members Jin Jin, MJ, Cha Eun Woo, Moonbin, Rocky, and Yoon San Ha. They are under Fantagio Entertainment, and they won a ‘Rookie of the Year’ award in 2016.

 

The members are all extremely talented and very good looking, each with a charm of their own. Each had their loyal fans in the audience but they all made sure to acknowledge all the fans, including those way up at the back.

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After both Astro and their Aroha ( name of their fans ) warmed up after the introductory songs, the group paused to take off jackets and to make their opening greetings and introductions. I will say that from start to finish they seemed very happy to be in Dallas.

 

They only released their first studio album, All Light, this past January and managed to get the number 1 spot on the Korean charts and 6th on the Worldwide chart. But that does not mean that they didn’t have a large selection of songs as they have released numerous EPs. During the course of the evening they sang all their most popular songs as well as some lesser known ones. It was hard to choose a favorite, but mine was probably Crazy, Sexy, Cool.

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There were multiple outfit changes throughout the show, with them becoming more casual and comfortable as the evening progressed. They looked remarkably good dressed in all white, quite dashing in fact. And yet a little later they were cute and adorable with their animal outfits.

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These 6 young men have a pleasant, friendly appeal that easily worms its way into your heart. There really is nothing about them that isn’t nice. That in no way means that they don’t have sex appeal. Trust me, they have plenty of that. It’s just that their music is cheerful and fun, and it makes you want to dance along.

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Astro has that wonderful ability to make you feel more cheerful after listening to their music. You feel better and you feel a smile coming out for no real reason except it feels good.

 

Both Jin Jin and Cha Eun Woo made good use of their English skills while the others mostly relied on an off stage translator. Fortunately everyone quieted down enough for us to hear what each member said.

 

Apparently they liked Dallas, ate well, and thought the weather was lovely. At one point Eun Woo told us that he had woken up at 7:00am and when he looked out over the skyline of Dallas he could see both the sun rising and the super moon in the sky at the same time. He was so impressed he even left the hotel and went out for a walk.

 

Yoon San Ha had a birthday cake brought on stage for him, and he said he was very happy to finally be 20.

 

Although they were all confident and comfortable on stage from the first moments of the evening, it did seem that they became relaxed as the evening progressed. They laughed and joked around with each other. It was nice to see them interact with each other.

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The end came all too soon, even though they warned us and we knew it was coming. They spent quite a bit of time thanking us and saying how much their Aroha meant to them. They also said they would try to come back again.

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It was a really nice concert and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I do have 2 complaints. One please consider other fans when you decide to wear tall headbands, or have large fan signs. My photos are only showing part of the group in many shots because I couldn’t see through the headband someone was wearing.mvimg_20190321_185525

Second, the tour promoters pushed us through the Hi Touch so fast I literally didn’t even have time to say ‘Thank You’. I mean I’ve been through a LOT of Hi Touch lines and only one other was as fast as this. So please give us enough time to at least make eye contact.

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Astro held a great and very enjoyable concert and I would really recommend you go see them if you ever get the chance.

Have a great day everyone.

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All photo credits to Debora Marzec. Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation.

You may also enjoy Kpop Credentials and The KpopJacket: In Photos.

 

Ateez: The Expedition Tour In Dallas.

A sunny spring Sunday saw me set forth to venture north to the Dallas area. The route along the infamous I 35 was bad as usual with much of the time spent at a crawl. Fortunately I got to the Granada Theatre with plenty of time to spare, plus I managed to snag one of the last parking spaces in the nearest lot.

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Riding high on my good fortune I tried to work out the line number entrance order. My Music Taste had given fans numbers and so we each had to find our correct place in line. It was a bit messed up but eventually we got into the right order. I lucked out and ended up with some friendly line buddies.

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Although our numbers were in the low 100’s the pit had really started to fill in so we got front row on the second tier which helped out those of us on the shorter side.

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The crowd was intense, and the venue was filled to maximum capacity, which may not have been a great idea as many people ended up with a poor or even no view. Texas Kpop fans have a reputation for being among the most fervent, yet they still retain their manners. People mostly kept to the line number system and were well behaved, unlike the debacle at the California stop where Ateez had to leave the stage until the fans calmed down. I even heard that a couple of fans passed out or were hurt.

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The Dallas fans sure were loud though. You can hear them in the background of the VLive show they did from backstage. It was a little surreal watching the live video on our phones knowing they were such a short distance away from us.

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I just going to comment here for those who follow me, yes I finally got a new phone so got some fairly decent photos………but apparently I still need a bit of practice using it! So all the photos aren’t necessarily in order I just chose to use some I liked.

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The show was one of the loudest I’ve ever been to, which is kinda ironic as the microphones didn’t work for a good part of the evening. You could see the boys getting frustrated when their mikes went out. The fans were so happy to be there they took it in their stride, but that definitely needs to be worked on.

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Ateez is a new group, as in really new. They made their debut in late October 2018 and they are already on a sold out world tour. They are young, talented and cute, but more than that they have that ‘spark’ or ‘je ne sais quoi’.

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That indescribable something that sets them apart is evident as soon as they start performing. It obviously doesn’t hurt that they are affable, and so very likable when they speak, for example one being adorably shy, while another looks on bemused. But in the time it takes to blink they turn on their charismatic charm, and a different performance persona emerges.

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They were incredibly enthusiastic about their performance, with dance moves sharp enough cut you. For me their dance and choreography ranks right up there with some of their ‘sunbaenim’. Seeing them perform live was captivating, maybe even mesmerizing. They were fierce, and dynamic, and powerful. They definitely showed off their masculine charms.

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Ateez is made up of eight members, Hongjoong, Seonghwa, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung, and Jongho the apple breaking phenom. They were all born in 1998 and 1999 except for the ‘maknae’ who was born in 2,000.  So they are both new and young, very young, to have a sold out world tour.

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Being new meant that they didn’t have enough songs for a full concert of singing, but that didn’t stop the fans from enjoying every moment of the evening. The breaks between sets were filled with the boys interacting with the audience, answering questions and playing games like the random play dance.

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The performances of their four most popular songs, Treasure, Pirate King, Say My Name, and Hala Hala almost brought the house down, literally. The screams and yells shook the rafters. The only time the noise level was louder was when the fans wanted the them to yell, ‘Yee Haw’.

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Some things I was somewhat surprised by; the intensity of the fans, the number of people they allowed for the hi touch (about 500), the choice of venue, (I like the Granada Theatre, but not when they over pack it, Ateez could have sold out a bigger venue), and how relaxed the boys were. I really believed them when they said they like Dallas, and they seemed genuinely happy to be sharing the evening with us. They told us they would come back and I know there’s a lot of fans determined to be in the audience when they do.

If you get the chance I highly recommend you go check them out.

Have a great day everyone.

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All photo credits to me, except for last one which their staff member took. Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation.

 

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The American Ahjummas……….don’t mess with them! Having lunch before the concert.

 

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Great Night Of Networking At The Korea Spotlight Industry Party @SXSW.

Just a quick post before heading up to Dallas for the Ateez and then the Astro concerts later this week. I wanted to make sure I to said what a fantastic and informative time I had at the Korea Spotlight Industry Party. We all know that sometimes these ‘networking’ things can be a bit on the dull side, but this was anything but. Packed from the beginning with a mini stage show by three of the Korean music groups that would be performing later that night at the Moody Theater it never let up.  ( Kirara, XXX, & Jambinai.)

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The party was held at Friend’s Bar on the famous 6th Street in downtown Austin.  Known as the Live Music Capital of the World Austin hosts SXSW, a mega music and technology festival every year which closes down the city center as thousands of people flock in from all over the world.  The venue was packed with people from all aspects of the music scene, from fans ( well those with SXSW Music Badges and wristbands ) to CEO’s and others in the management side of the business.

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Our hosts, Kocca, and MU:CON, gave out free drink coupons and put on a wonderful spread of Korean/Austin fusion food.

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The Kpopjacket even received a bit of attention from photographers.

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And just as the party was beginning to wind down I got a chance to have a brief chat with Kirara one of the Korea Spotlight artists.

 

All in all a great party, where I met and spoke with so many interesting and fun people. Learned lots of things. Plus lots of new avenues to explore.

Thank you to Kocca and MU:CON for upping their game each year, and for providing such a great venue for people to meet and share ideas and learn from each other. Thanks also to my friend, and photographer, who not only takes some great photos but who also holds my purse, phone, or drink. Thanks Sebastian.

Have a great day everyone.

All photo credits to Sebastian Gallardo and myself. Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation.

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