Sunday, October 31, 2010

[Guest Blogger] Afterthots from Kpop Night Concert

annyong peeps! i'm back, i'm back... back on tiffany's blog, that is...

after the FRILLS AND FRINGES, guess it's time for me to blog about the concert proper, ya?

but before that, let me touch abit on the comments and general feedback coming from the concert. i think it's fair and safe to say the event was a success. yes, despite the glitches and stuff, it was a success. oh, c'mon, don't think there's such a thing as a perfect event. even the seemingly perfect-est of events will have some behind-the-scene booboos that you and i may not be able to see.

what really counts is that the event happened (mostly) the way it's supposed to, with all the acts appearing, in the order they're supposed to, and performing whatever they had prepared, and that the fans who came had enjoyed themselves and went home safe. and... if the performing artists too had a great showing and a fab time, and the organizers pocketed enough to cover all expenses and then some, then i think we all can be happy.

i took some time to speak with quite a substantial number of concert-goers after the event, and ALL of them declared oh-so-loudly that they had enjoyed themselves thoroughly, and totally loved loved loved all the acts!

even for those who are complaining lots about this, this, that that... i dare you to go put up a perfect show where all involved parties are perfectly happy. not an easy job, i tell you... and this KPOP NIGHT CONCERT went on rather well, taking into consideration there're seven acts and some 8,000 fans involved. so thanks for putting together this event, PROOF LABEL.

i hope the strong showing from the kpop fans is enough to warrant the staging of perhaps one or two such kpop concerts every year.

that said, i also wanna say one more thing... coz of how kpop has shifted from alternative to mainstream, everyone wants to be a part of it now. organizers and event planners, seasoned or a day old, all want a piece of the action and everyone seems to be wanting to stage a fan meet, a showcase, or some kpop thingy.

and oh, every other kpopper wants to be a kpop blogger or a writer/photographer with a kpop news portal too. can you believe the number of new kpop news portals that have been appearing in the recent few months...? and that's not counting the individual kpop news bloggers or aggregators.

goodness, whilst i'm all for new media and social media marketing, i'm also worried that some of these sites may spoil the market.

passion is, of course, important, and one needs to be interested in kpop in order to run a kpop site well. but if you're in it coz you want the opportunities to attend press cons and want press passes, then you're in it for the wrong reason. also, it's important to ask yourself what skills you possess, and whether your site can provide something that the market is not getting from somewhere already. otherwise, why reinvent the wheel?

or more crudely, what makes you think you can do better than, say, AKP? or what makes you think you can blog better than, say, tiffany? (hee, hope she won't chew my head off for this... am just trying to illustrate and strengthen my point..)

anyway, back to the concert proper. now first things first, i ain't exactly a very big kpop fan (yes, and that's why i don't run a kpop-centric blog like tiffany does here, keke!), but i had brazenly and daringly taken up the offer of the media pass coz tiffany had said it's alright even if i were to blog from a non-kpop fan. it might be nice to hear some 'fresh' voice and hear what a non-kpop fan thinks about kpop after attending the concert.

let me put up some of the lovely pics that KANDACE had taken. this is just a small selection of the lovelies she's snapped last saturday night, and you can check 'em out on her blog, ya?

the opening act was FT ISLAND.

did you know that FT Island stands for Five Treasure Island? and yes, there're five of them, and their debut was back in 2007. i think most kpoppers here in singapore should be familiar with them since they had been here on three other occasions to meet the primadonnas. twice in 2009 and once this year, and then yea, last weekend. that's FOUR times, quite possibly one of the highest records by any kpop group, me thinks...

and oh, of course, the k-drama fans amongst you would probably have watched YAB, and know that the lead singer, LEE HONG KI, had acted as JEREMY in the (cult) drama. i watched it too (though i didn't finish... yea, i've this nasty habit of never, ever, finishing my k-dramas, not that i watch alot of them to begin with... aigoo!) but i did get to the part when he was singing amidst tears onboard his special bus. i loved loved loved his husky voice... and i've been told umpteen times that FT Island is fantabulous coz they're such a 'band music' type of group, and not your typical song-and-dance idol group.

naturally, i was soooo.... looking forward to my maiden experience of watching and listening to FT Island live. but but but... the sound system's awful! i could not hear the singing at all, and to be honest, it sounded all bad. yea, all the way from Bing Bing Bing, to I Hope, to Love Love Love and to Flower Rock.

yes, all four songs were just bad. i think the boys would have been been disappointed as well. i could see they were giving their all, not their fault that the sound's bad, i guess. not sure if it's me, but the sound did seem to get slightly better later, but the opening act.. sighs, i feel sorry for FT Island, especially since they're supposedly darned good live.

but hey, all's not lost, shall we ogle and drool over some nice-nice pics of hong ki then....? this was during the beginning of the concert when the five boys came on.

oh, i love love love the next two pics!

yes, he did... remove the jacket, i mean, keke! (nice job, kandace!)

and oh, here's a clip from RAZOR TV of them performing Flower Rock. fab song, btw!

a couple more pics from FT Island before i move on to the next act.

next up... The BOSS!

actually for this next group, their name's caused abit of confusion, or at least the english version of their name has confused some. basically they're known as Dae Guk Nam Ah (대국남아) which means "remaining superpower". since the beginning when they had made their debut (which was early 2010), fans had started to call them (incorrectly) D-NA, DNA, or even D-GNA!

later, they had come out officially to say their english name should be The BOSS, which stands for The Boys of Super Space. there are five of them...and although they kindda wanna be the nation's dongseungs, they're really more like the boy-version of DBSK. yes, these boys CAN sing.

let me say that again, these boys can really really sing! me likes (and i had only heard them for the first time last saturday, mind you!) they performed a total of three songs, A Bright World, Stumble Stumble (aka Stumbling) and Admiring Boy.

once again, a RAZOR TV clip of The BOSS performing Stumbling Stumbling (aka Staggering)

and now, since yours truly likes these talented boys and me thinks most of us ain't as familiar with them, i'll put up a bonus clip, keke!

next up... ZE:A!

actually ZE:A (제국의 아이들, also known as Children of Empire) is as 'rookie-new' as The BOSS, since this nine-member boy group too made their debut in jan 2010.

but i guess the local kpoppers ain't as unfamiliar with them since they were just here not too long ago. in fact, their name was added to the list of performers for the concert only after their fansign event in september. guess they 'tested waters' then and saw that the fans' response was very enthusiastic. i did hear of how the boys gave such excellent fan service during their september outing, hee!

like the BOSS, ZE:A too performed three tracks, namely Mazeltov, All Day Long and Bad Talk Sad. i'm already of ajumma-age, so i guess these (overly) young boys are just way too young for me. i just looked it up, the oldest amongst them 1988, and the youngest? 1992. O.U.C.H.

and this RAZOR TV clip is of ZE:A doing their Bad Sad Talk.

and... then Infinite (인피니트) ∞

a total of seven members, and guess what? their debut was even later than The BOSS and ZE:A! their debut showcase in south korea was actually during june this year! but this group had gained popularity even before debut coz they're groomed by Epik High's Tablo and Mithra Jin.

last saturday night, they had performed three songs just like the other 'hoobaes-groups', namely, Come back Again, Wings and She's Back.

and this is them, singing Come Back Again.

for that night, one of the most anticipated groups to perform was the contemporary R&B group, SHINee. this five-member group made its debut back in 2008 with a song that i loved even without listening to it, keke!

huh? what's that song? it's Noona Neomu Yeppeo (Replay) 누난 너무 예뻐... yea, Noona, You're Really Pretty!!

and yes, that's the group whose member is involved in the DATING HOOHA that's splashed across all internet tabloids and kpop news portals in the past week. incidentally, i thought WONDERRRGIRL wrote a rather nice (and rational) piece about it HERE. love her choice of title too.

back to SHINee last saturday night. strange... for someone who's not exactly familiar with Kpop, i actually could recognize and even bop along all of SHINee's songs. guess what it really means is that their songs get alot of airplay everywhere, so much so that i had been listening to their songs without even realizing it!

and yes, they did Replay, Ring Ding Dong, Lucifer and Hello. and yes, all very very very nice, keke! here's SHINee with Hello.

and then.... SNSD!

the only girl group for the night. and oh boy, they're really really really big here, there and everywhere. not just fanboys, mind you, there're lots of fangirls too!

don't believe me? check out how many people love them!

i've to be honest, they ain't my fave... though there really ain't much i wouldn't give to have their youth and those legs!

have i mentioned those legs already?! they just went on and on and on and on... miles and miles of legs! (tell me, tell me, where can i order legs like that?!!!)

okie, where was i before? ahhh... not my fave... but even though they ain't my fave, gotta admit that they're extremely fun to watch, and very entertaining and definitely major eye-candy! songs are very very catchy too! as with those SHINee songs, i could recognize the SNSD songs too! at this point, i'm beginning to be amazed of myself. i don't watch k-dramas, don't listen to kpop much, don't really watch korean variety shows, where on earth do i tune in to these korean songs then...???

anyway, picture time! i was turning into a green-eyed monster by the end of it all coz i was alternating between feeling envious of their figures and wanting to bash them up for making me look like the matronly and unappetizing ajumma with a beer belly! so don't say i didn't warn you, okie?

are you alright...? well, if you feel like smashing windows coz you too are going green with envy, just remember i didn't take the pictures, KANDACE did, keke! go after her, ya?

these droolworthy south korean 'barbies' performed a total of four songs, Genie, Oh!, Run Devil Run and GEE. and, will repost GENIE from RAZOR TV.

and... yes, i truly believe the organizers have saved the BESTest for last!

from my vantage point, i could see how the fans were drawn to the performances especially by SHINee and SNSD. more than half the house were on their feet, waving lightsticks, swaying and singing along. (too bad kpoppers in singapore don't seem too familiar with fanchants, something that i've always been incredibly amazed by with the korean fans...)

anyway, when it was BIG BANG's time on-stage, everyone... and i mean EVERYONE was on their feet! it's lovely seeing how everyone was enjoying themselves. it's also possible that the night was at its peak given that we had been entertained and enthralled for the past couple of hours by the time BB came on-stage.

i think despite their lack of loud costumes, they TOTALLY owed the stage. (btw i love TOP and Taeyang best, keke!) they were also the only group with ENCORE calls, and they performed a total of SEVEN(!) songs!! what did they sing? you weren't there?!! aigoo..! anyway, they performed GaraGara Go!, N...umber 1, Day by Day, Lie, Last Farewell, How Gee and Hands Up.

pics, pics, pics!

at the end of the concert, all the performing groups were invited back on-stage. in the background, a presentation show on the world's issues were being played to the song of We Are The World.

me thinks it's abit cheesy and definitely overdone... but hey, i guess it ain't easy to wrap up something like this nicely, ya? anyone has any brighter or better ideas to share?

meanwhile, i had a fantabulous night out though a tad lonely since last saturday night marked the first time i actually sat through a concert alone. but it was a good night out, nonetheless. gotta thank TIFFANY for her kindness. (and thanks for the pics, KANDACE!)

and... this is BB, standing in for tiff who's still in fish and chips land, keke!

Friday, October 29, 2010

[Guest Blogger] Frills & Fringes from Kpop Night Concert

annyong peeps!

after reading tiffany's Hello Hello shout-out earlier, i kindda felt compelled to wave at everyone reading at her blog, especially at the part where she had mentioned my name.

yes, yes, this is BB who was soooooo lucky to have gotten one of the media passes from tiffany to attend what's quite possibly the biggest kpop concerts to ever reach our shores. yes, SEVEN exciting acts all in one night, and at the same place too! awesome would have been an understatement.

it's a pity tiffany who's been blogging all things korean for so long had to sit out this one coz she's away. but hey, she's got KANDACE and yours truly to help cover the event. hee, goes to show how competent SHE is, ya? needing two of us to do what she can normally do alone^^

mianhae, i haven't yet 'coughed' out the kpop night concert post, been literally swamped with work. and oh, i alternated between working and feeling guilty for not blogging yet. decided to ease my own conscience a teeny weeny bit by putting up what i'd call a pseudo-post!

yes, just giving you some frills and fringes from last saturday, wakakaka!

first things first, met up with the delightfully cute and bubbly (and oh, very well-spoken and well-mannered too!) kandace before picking up our media passes from the reception area.

along the way, we saw people queuing to enter the concert hall. oh by the way, i'd read some tweets that some fans who had bought tickets for the standng pits had queued overnight! guess they wanted to be really really really hugging the foot of the stage, keke!

aigoo, it was such a loooooong walk to the reception area to collect our media passes!

along the way, we must have passed something like five to six washrooms? and yup, practically all had snaking queues. guess with some 8,000 peeps attending the concert, most people wanted to make sure they cleared their bladders first (sorry, if you're eating or doing something nice and really really refined whilst reading this^^)

ZZANG...!! our passes and tickets!

incidentally the organizer PROOF LABEL had also thoughtfully set up a gift collection centre at the reception area. as we were waiting for our media passes, we saw fans popping by to drop gifts for their fave idols. can you see those pink(!) bags behind the counter? yea, each gift was clearly labelled with the idol groups' names.

but but but... the quick thinking and DSLR-wielding kandace decided to cajole the staff into exchanging her media pass for a photographer pass. you see, that gal loves to shoot. pictures, that is.

we checked out our respective 'positions' after picking up our media passes.

you know, this kpop night concert is really a wee bit like the DREAM CONCERT that's held in may every year in korea, where some of the most popular artists would come together and perform. but it's done quite differently in korea, since they would demarcate sections for the respective fanclubs.

as you all know, each kpop artist or group has his/her/their own fanclub colour. actually i believe they call it the balloon colour in korea, since balloons are very commonly used as support props during performances. so it's really nice during dream concert to see the fans banding together to show support for their fave stars. it kindda sends goosebumps (the good kind) up my spine when i see sea of green, sea of red, of pink, of... it's very touching, and totally lovely to watch!

for dream concert, the capacity's much bigger and they would reserve the upper sections (these are the 'worse-off' seats in terms of proximity to the stage) for the fanclubs. if you want better seats that are nearer the stage, then you will have to buy your own tickets individually from Gmarket and not be able to sit with the fanclubs. i feel it's a rather good system as it allows members of the public (or peeps who like kpop in general but may not have a fave) to attend the concert and get good seats, and it still allows for fanclubs to show unity for their stars. something to learn there...? shrugs, maybe...

anyway, when we were at the reception area, we saw some VIPs and SONEs. (for the uninitiated, big bang fans are called VIPs and SNSD fans are SONEs)

it was great to see the VIPs with their royal yellow crown lightsticks and the SONEs with the (mighty cool!) pink light sabers! if only there're more fans willing to surface to show more visible support. me thinks it adds lots of fun and colours to a concert this way...

what's really interesting is how the VIPs and SONEs are standing side by side for a photo opportunity! yes, TOGETHER!

think it was the organizer who had tried to arrange this in order to take a nice-nice picture showing our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr GEORGE YEO with the fans. yup, yup, he had graced the occasion with his presence!

wanna know how big the turnout was last saturday at the expo? here are some pics of the crowd inside the hall.

were you there too? were you standing or sitting?

tell me, tell me, tell me, did you enjoy yourselves?

will be back really really really soon for a real concert report. this is BB standing in for tiffany who's in fish & chips land.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hello hello

From all accounts, the K Pop concert was a great success. Big Bang & SNSD lived up to their expectation & the hosts were great. I wish I was there. I would have loved to watch it. But I was battling the rather cold & wet English weather. But not to worry, bb & Kanndace were there & they will give the full report here soon complete with photos. I saw a photo of Taeyang & it was fantastic.

I'd like to thank the 2 girls for helping me to cover the event whilst I was away despite their busy schedule. And I would also like to thank Prooflabel for being so helpful to me. But next time, can you hold your events when I'm in town? ^^

See you all next week.

Tiffany in Fish &. Chips land

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

JYJ in Singapore- Press conference

JYJ was only in Singapore for less than 24 hours and looked how much dust they kicked up. Good thing there wasn't any haze on Saturday or I think there would have been more people would be hot under the collar.

The press conference was supposed to be 4.30pm but I received an urgent email from Quest on 16th October at 2.15 in the morning saying that the press conference has been changed to 4pm. Sharp! oh well. Half an hour early is ok. I found out much later the boys had changed their rehearsal time from before the press conference to after the press conference. Bad move....

Anyway. I 'know' Junsu because I had covered Zuno's event in May. But Yoochun caught my eyes. Well, having a thick black scarf, with long sleeve sweater in super hot Singapore probably does stand out. ^^ No seriously, it was because he was the only one who was smiling and seemed actually relaxed.

Junsu and Jaejoong didn't seemed very happy or perhaps they were tired. I'm not sure. Whatever it was, they didn't smile much. But I must say Jaejoong still quite cute lah.

There was a little drama even before the actual press conference started because it was announced that media would not be allowed to ask any questions! Questions 'prepared' by media earlier would be presented instead. Of course, the media was up in arms, because, well, it's quite silly to have a press conference if the media was not allowed to ask any questions. I guess JYJ's management did not want any awkward and sensitive questions asked about SME and the lawsuit. However, I think the boys should be confident and grown up eenough to answer or not answer any potentially sensitive and dangerous questions. And I was proved right later on. Sort of..

So back to the 'prepared' questions. You can check it out here or just watch the clip below. This is part 1 of the press conference.

Watch Junsu at about 1.44m when he laughed. He really looked like a little boy. The boys seemed a little reluctant to answer the questions, pushing the mike to each other. But again, it could be due to fatique. However it does appear that the 3 of them share a certain closeness. Micky Yoochun surpsied me with his fairly fluent English. Perhaps he should have answered more and rely less on the translator?

The PR for JYJ then announced that the management had approved and the boys would take 5 questions from the media. Unfortunately the first question was indirectly associated with DBSK. There was a 15 seconds silence from the boys before Junsu finally picked up the mike to answer. Personally, whilst the question asked was sensitive because it was related to DBSK, I felt that it was also a difficult question to answer. I mean, how do you answer the politically fireloaded question -'is it more lonely with just 3 of you or more enjoyable?'

But Junsu did well and answered diplomatically. Perhaps they should learn to answer more of such questions instead of avoiding them? It may fuel less sensational stories. Afterall, Jay Park, who also left under much controversial terms answered all questions during the press conference (even though the media was warned to stick to questions related to his showcase only). But then again that's just my personal opinion.

So here's Part 2 of the press conference. The clip is below.

But part 2 was also more light hearted especially with regards to Yoochun's drama and the album sales. I couldn't quite catch which character Yoochun thought Jaejoong could be. Anyone care to enlighten me? And the translator was tripping over the figures and the pre-orders part. I think the question may have been asked by a fan or one of the forum. ^^

The press conference ended very, very quickly. It was only about 20 minutes or so and then they went for the exclusive group interviews. But I heard later there was some drama with that too.

Anyway, by the time the whole thing ended, it was about 5.35pm or so. So like I said in my last post, everything was just too rushed and not enough time.

Hmm... I think I may watch 'Sungkyunkwan Scandal' afterall...just because I found Yoochun really charming at the press conference. Haha! yes, I'm shallow.