More than a year ago, it would have been unthinkable to listen to K-pop beyond the occasional drama OST. How much more pay good money to watch a concert of Korean artists.
But thanks to CNBLUE, my eyes (and ears) have been opened to that side of pop culture. So yeah, thank you, Yonghwa.
And last night, I did what might be more unthinkable: go to a concert not knowing or liking any of their songs except for one. But I did. BIGBANG “made” me do it.
And surprisingly, I enjoyed myself.
Well, maybe not exactly a total surprise. I have friends who like BIGBANG (by friends, those I know personally and not just virtually), including someone who used to work in Seoul and covered the local culture scene, so I know they are…special.
But some things take time. And perhaps, last night was the time, finally. (At least it didn’t take four years like CNBLUE.)
And boy, was it fun even if I didn’t know majority of the songs. Sure, I gave some of their songs a listen weeks before and I did like Blue, and heard their latest releases as well, but I have been hung up on We Like 2 Party I was kind of worried that it would stop there (and that’d make me a…one-hit fangirl).
The atmosphere in a BIGBANG concert is like one big party. It’s like everyone’s gone there to watch the five boys perform, enjoy and have a good time with them. And every time GD asks “are you having fun?”, the energy goes up a notch more. (GDenglish YES.)
But I gotta say, Seungri was the life of the party. He trolled and teased each of his hyungs, but most especially TOP and GD.
Seungri: “Tee. Oh. Pee!!! Naa raak maak maak! (I like you very much!)”
GD: “This is our last song.”
Seungri: “GD! No, GD!”
*When GD talks about this being the last night in Bangkok*
Seungri: “No GD! Don’t go back to Korea! Stay in Bangkok!”
Seungri: “Some people say I talk too much.”
GD: “Yeah, you talk too much.”
Seungri: “I know GD, I know. I love you GD.”
Seungri: “Shit! My voice is f*cked up. What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me?!”
*GD looks at him as if to stop him from swearing*
Remember my post on #fangirlproblems #8 on GD vs TOP? Well last night, I confirmed for myself that it’s GD. I can’t take my eyes off the guy. He was just the epitome of cool. Though I gotta say, TOP is so handsome he’s like one of those artworks he posts on his Instagram.
But more than Seungri’s talkativeness or GD’s coolness or Daesung’s humor or Taeyang’s Engrish or TOP’s art of a face, I ended up liking the music and I kept asking my concert buddy every time which song it was they were performing. It took a live performance for Sober, Loser (even if the microphones during this number were losers but it proved that they sing live, see video below) and Bae Bae for the songs to grow on me.
My concert buddy told me that BIGBANG members are known for not being synchronized in their dancing. But I don’t think their fans, and those curious enough to watch them live just like me, go to see some dancing. After all, you can do that on YouTube.
What spoke to me last night was the music and I surprised even myself because their kind of music is not my kind of genre, and maybe that’s why it took my ears some time to open up.
As I write this, I am also checking GD’s songwriting credits. There’s a reason why he’s considered one of South Korea’s most talented songwriters and a “legend” among his peers even at his age.
The group is marking a decade next year and though I haven’t experienced what it’s like to wait for three years for their “comeback”, I do feel the pride of their fans.
That fan pride is so palpable in this MADE tour and I can see why. Nine years in the industry is no joke especially when there are “boy bands” debuting every year and then there is BIGBANG singing Fantastic Baby for those years before this comeback. But what sets BB apart from other K-pop groups is because they compose their own music and has developed ownership over their work. Ownership is very important for idols to sustain not only their fame but their enthusiasm for what they do. If they remain merely as “puppets” with the marketing and concept teams of their agencies pulling their strings, then they’d really start to look and behave like puppets, wind-up dolls and robots in their performance or appearances. That’s why such ownership is important in any idol group because that would determine their longevity, otherwise, their puppeteers will just chuck them if they don’t serve their purpose anymore (which is to milk fangirls of money because did we honestly think they were just there to entertain us? For free?).
The concept of releasing two songs each month until the MADE album is, well, made, is a brilliant idea too. It also makes life difficult for the competition because BIGBANG fans are so hungry for a comeback. And I gotta say, VIPs are among the coolest fans I have seen. Though maybe I just say that because I haven’t and won’t delve into the fandom to save myself the drama. But seeing their yellow crown light sticks last night was just so pretty (can Arashi and CNBLUE adopt the same idea, an official light stick that does not change? That would fit the 嵐 logo too.)
And while I did not buy me a light stick, I bought the shirt because GD wore it (on the back is the MADE logo). I’m easy that way.
And today, I spent hours listening to BIGBANG’s songs and downloading them. Thanks to my Twitter friends who were so enthusiastic and generous with their recommendations, from one song perennially on loop (WL2P), I now have 15 songs (including the acoustic version of Haru Haru) in my BB playlist. In fact, it’s playing on high volume as I write this, the better to set the mood. I guess this won’t be my last BIGBANG concert after all. And once MADE is released, I’m so
made done there.
♫ We like to parteeeyyy… ♫
My BIGBANG playlist:
We Like 2 Party
Tell Me Goodbye
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