KCON 2013. Where to even begin?
First, I don't know if you know this or not, but I was also able to make it to the inaugural KCON 2012. But I already talked about that here, so I'm not going to talk about it again. If you want to see how both experiences differed from each other, please feel free to take a journey back in time and check it out.
Now, some of you may have been aware of a little KCON related drama on a personal level. Basically I bought the ticket when I heard GD was coming because I couldn't function until I did. I was such a mess that day. Shaking and breathing fast and crying because I knew I couldn't go. And stalking Ticketmaster. Can't forget the stalking Ticketmaster part. I would check to see if there were still tickets. Then I'd sit there watching the clock count down as I vacillated on whether or not to pull the trigger. Somewhere around stalking #3 or 4, after selecting "best available ticket" option just like every other time, something unheard of happened. It was like fate stepped in and took over. Floor. VIP2 (VIP1 was long sold out) level. ON THE FLOOR. To see GD and all these other groups. G-Dragon. Right there in front of me on the stage. I mean, how could I not?!?! So yeah, I pulled the trigger. Tossed aside all reason and conscious thought and bought it, assuring myself that if nothing else, I could always sell it off later if I couldn't go. Fast forward a few weeks -- I decided I couldn't go. It was with heavy heart that I chose to be a responsible adult and not jeopardize or infringe on the needs of my family and I put them up for sale. First to a good friend and later to the public. Long story short, the ticket did not sell and it was time for me to make a game time decision. Drive my butt over to California and have a blast with my friends and GD or let the ticket go to waste? Well, when faced with that sort of dilemma, I mean, what else was I to do? So yeah, I packed up and hit the open road.
What a fabulous weekend it ended up being! Now, a lot of it had to do with the friends I was with and not entirely KCON itself. In fact, I didn't really have the "full KCON experience". You had to be lucky enough to win a spot at any of the artist engagements, which I wasn't. I didn't get to see any big names up close and personal. I didn't get to give GD a high five. *pouts* I did however, still manage to have a blast. And frankly, one nice thing about the way they did it was that I knew from the time I got there that I hadn't won any of those opportunities, so the rest of the time I was able to just let it go and enjoy myself. And enjoy myself I did.
What was one thing that struck me about KCON this year? It was HUGE!!!! It was so much bigger and more organized than last year. Also, going with friends is wayyy cooler than going as a mom with an 11 year old and being dropped off by your husband. I was there with two friends and the three of us had so much fun together! We collected our various swag items from different tents, entered all the raffles we could, played games, all of that. We didn't make it to any panel discussions or big activities like the dancing lessons or whatnot. Even still, we had a great time. We scouted the boys, squealing like schoolgirls when we saw a cutie walk by (oh, and believe you me, those squealing moments were coming fast and furious at times because there were A LOT of cuties). Is there anything better than girl time? Well, yeah, I guess my family ranks up there pretty high, but as a mom, it is just so therapeutic and rejuvenating to get out every once in a while and be a silly girl, you know?
One of my highlight moments of Saturday was meeting Sean Richard at the Viki tent. First, Viki people were AWESOME and so nice. And Sean, oh my goodness, Sean. Confession - before this, I had no idea who he was. After this though, I am seeing him everywhere! It's crazy. But seriously. He just randomly pops up in things when I'm not looking for him. You know when people say something like, "wow, you're even better looking in person"? Uh, yeah - it's true. Seeing pictures I was all like, "meh", but in real life I was completely twitterpated. He was so handsome and so nice and he laughed when I asked him to sign my light stick and was all like, "I wondered what these were". I made Sean Richard laugh. And I took the dorkiest picture with him. My eyes were closed yet I had the biggest, goofiest smile on my face. Totally twitterpated, remember? After I got my signature, we went back in line later so that my friend could get hers. Two times I got to stand right there with him and take pictures of my friend with him. Silly, gloriously wonderful moments like that. Another highlight was when my friend Jen was able to score a shout out from one of her favorite artists that just so happened to be there as well, Dumbfoundead, for her KPop radio show. I heard it - it was awesome and she was so giddy to get it. Ahh, all of our fun fangirl moments.
We eventually started to wind down. It was hot and sunny all day and we were pooped. It was time for some refreshments. We were off to KTown LA! We shopped and ate and had the best after party for 3 ever. Have you heard of the store called Daiso? It's a Japanese dollar store to put it as generically as I can. Everything in it is $1.50 and they have some super amazing stuff that you can get for $1.50. I was in heaven. Really. I'm cheap. I found all sorts things that I had been wanting but not bad enough to shell out normal retail prices for. How happy was I that I had driven to California all by myself in my 7-seater car? There was no limit on the space I had available - I could buy whatever I wanted to buy. Which I did. And it was fabulous and I can't wait to go back and do it again sometime. Hi, my name is Dongsaeng and I am a Daiso junkie.
The next day was the concert.
Omo...the concert. Wow! Just....yeah....I don't even know how to put it into words. Everyone that performed went above and beyond my expectations. There was the surprise 2AM stage. I didn't think I really cared for 2AM and had no interest in seeing them, but lo and behold, they were fabulous and I fully enjoyed their performance. f(x) gave me a girl crush on Amber. She was rocking it all night, appearing a couple of other times on stage throughout the show. You could tell that she was comfortable and feeling at home unlike her bandmates (sorry girls - but you seemed terrified up there). Teen Top stole my heart after I fought it for so long. I had refused to like them in the past because I felt they ripped off Big Bang in a lot of their concepts. But, one can not see those boys in person and not fall head-over-heels. Especially C.A.P. That boy is fiii-iiine! I was entranced. Mesmerized. He was my bias list buster of the night for sure.
|not my picture - I have to see if I have one of him from that night, but until then, this one is a great place holder, is it not?|
And then there was EXO.
Oh EXO. So many conflicting thoughts swirl around you with me. I like you. I like most of your music. I especially LOVE Growl. Then there's the mom side of me - the side that sees some of your fans (whom I call EXOhaustives - the crazy ones that is). Granted, all EXOtics are not created alike and I recognize that, but for whatever reason, this particular group seems to have appealed to a whole new batch of obsession unbefore seen to my eyes. I can understand how they were banned back in Korea from attending tapings. Rabid fans some (not all) of them. That's a totally lame old lady reason to not like a group, isn't it? I swear one day I'm going to be the cranky old lady next door yelling at kids to get off her lawn. Hey, at least I recognize and admit to this particular character flaw of mine. I is what I is -- and some of those EXOtics are cray cray and need an EXOcism. Just sayin. "Enthusiastic" fans aside though, their performance, at least what I could see of it was awesome. This was my first time ever on the floor for any show and I learned a hard lesson - floor seats are freaking rad, but there are downsides, like the fact that sometimes the stage is really hard to see because there are a gazillion people in front of you. The way they had the stage configured, there was a big stage in the back and one in the foreground. When they were on the front stage, I had a great view and felt like I was right there. It was magical. The back stage was different though. When they were on the back stage, I had to crane and peep through small openings between arms and cameras and freaking tablets (yes, tablets - people videoing the entire show with giant ipads blocking the view for the people like me unfortunate enough to be stuck behind them). Add in the lighting and the glare and I just kind of gave up when performances were happening there. At least there were screens to show what was happening on stage - when those screens were actually showing what was going on on stage and not just displaying the CJ logo as it all too frequently did. Annoying. Anyway, EXO is a large group so most of what they did took place on the back stage, meaning that I didn't fully get to appreciate them as I would have liked to. That and the sound was bad. I'm sure they had it optimized for the M Countdown recording they were doing, but with the crap sound and the screaming fans, it was sometimes hard to even hear what song they were doing. All of the little frustrations aside though, I really did enjoy seeing EXO.
The best part of EXO and the EXOhaustives though? After their set, a few, not many, but a few, EXO fans left the floor area, meaning that I got to inch just that much closer to the stage for my main man. *sigh* Oh GD. GD, GD, GD. What this boy does to me -- I am still a week later trying to G-Dtoxifiy. I can focus on little else besides that man. When he came out on stage, I lost all sense of everything. I no longer cared who's view I may be blocking or who I was pissing off around me with my screaming. I just lost it. There he was - as beautiful and wonderful as ever and I was there. The logical side of me knows that I shouldn't care as much as I do, but heaven help me, when he's around, logic dies and takes a heck of a long time to resurrect. I'm still not there. I'm still in GD lalala land. I've never had a hangover, but I imagine that in a lot of ways it would feel like this. Everything, all the time we had together as he danced and sang and performed is just a blur and I'm left scrambling to come down from this high. Have I mentioned before that I kind of like him? Just a tad? The absolute best moment was being able to see him perform his new song with Missy Elliott for the first time. It was cool knowing that we were the first audience to see and hear it. I have watched that clip, and all of his other songs from that night, repeatedly. I am starting to memorize his every move and action during these performances because I've watched them so much. I just have to. I have to keep reliving the magic in order to convince myself that it really happened and wasn't just some wonderful dream. Sheesh, Dongsaeng, dramatic much?
And that's my story. Or at least the parts worth mentioning. It was a fantastic weekend filled with friends and fun and fangirling and food and Korean immersion. I love my Korean immersion time. It still is awkward at first to be around my friends and actually say these things out loud. To talk about dramas or KPop artists or what have you. It is an odd feeling the first few times because someone is standing there, face to face with you, and conversating about this "underground" world that you so often feel all alone in. It's so very cool to do. I love it. I love getting out into that world where I can be me and express my infatuation with all of it and people around me get it. And feel the same way. It's nice to be an odd duck in a pond full of other odd ducks.
I've blabbed long enough. Time to throw some pictures up on this sucker and some videos and then I'm done. I can't believe I'm going to share these because I think I look weird. o.O
|Signing a banner for Big Bang thanks to USAVIPS!|
|I'm in this shot ;) It's like a game of Where's Red?|
|I was so gross and sweaty by the end but it was so worth it!!!|
Also, I'm going to toss up G-Dragon's newest MV that was just released a bit ago!!!! I am so excited! It was a crazy long day of very impatient waiting. But it's here now and I LOVE it!!! The imagery is amazing. He is a true artist. He's the real deal and the whole package and that's why I love him so. Yes, I know, this is, once again, a very GD heavy post. I can't help it. Do you know what this boy does to me? I cannot be held responsible for my reactions or actions when it comes to him.
Enjoy the music! If you were at KCON too, drop me a line and let me know! We can chat and reminisce together. Unless you got to give GD a high five then I just don't want to talk to you no more. ;)