April 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
The Super Show 4 Paris experience.
As it was announced that Super Junior would hold their first concert ever in Europe on April 6 2012, it was also quite soon decided that I would be attending. I have written this so many times before and will probably keep on repeating: Super Junior was the reason for me to become, and also a reason to remain a Kpop addict. Since then, I’ve been so extremly nervous of how this concert would turn out, and eventually I had to get angry with myself for becoming quite the imbecile of fandom.
But, never trust an idol beforehand is a motto of mine. Do it afterwards when you really know how great it turned out.
The epic evening starts as this boyband of nine men are introduced with a screened hd-music video, showing them half-naked swimming under water, growing wings, rising to the sky over Manhattan, and then land ready for performing their Super Show. It is unbelievably beautifully done and in some ways, extremely Kpop. Very much what the audience is craving for.
The concert then really kicks off when Superman, a track from the autumn of 2011 is blasted out over the arena as the members rise, backlighted in red simultaneously out of the floor.
For me, this dramatic track has taken the place of a lament over Super Junior and the groups past, not always so cheerful history and it ads something really bombastic, a serious side and an aire of sadness to the glimmering show about to happen. For everyone who can count this is at least partly relevant, as they could have been 13 members on stage. Many of us will remember and miss those of different reasons not present this evening. What remains are nine members, on a moving stage that slides out in the audience while Superman continues and who just the same are about to take their group to the very top of fame.
And as Super Junior continue the evening with Opera, another newer track, there is little room and time for gloom and you are taken back to the fact that Super Junior there and now at Zenith de Paris, is more popular then ever before. The arena is lit by thousands of blue light sticks, the official colour of this group and there are no mistaking why people are there.
As Super Junior has been at the very center of my attention for quite a few years now, I was hoping for and expecting a couple of things from this concert, and I believe I got most of them this Friday evening in Paris.
First of all, the fact that I ever got the chance to witness Super Junior do a live performance is still a bit hard for me to grasp. I have followed them closely since 2009 and watched many of their concert performances on YouTube, getting to know their type of shows and longing to see it live. When all of a sudden the members run out in the audience (They keep doing this over and over through out the show) and you have them only a couple of metres away from your seating you finally begin to understand that this is happening.
Second, what makes a Super Show different from many other concerts is to what extent the members of this group play out their dorky personas on stage. To watch a Super Show is not merely a concert with peformances of their top tracks, but also a cavalcade of stupid costumes, non coreography, jokes and many moments of spontanious confusion as they make the audience fall in love with Super Junior. A recipe that has proved to work more then well with the fans. As the concert closes in on four hours we have been able to witness Super Juni0r dressed among others as Steve Jobs, Britney Spears, Hulk Hogan, Chuckie, Marilyn Monroe and the entire Von Trapp family. To see this makes it worth all the money and time spent.
Every member as always, except this time Shindong(!) of some weird reason has their own solo to show of their individual talents. Mostly remakes of international English pop music. Strange examples as Kyuhyun with a version of Isn’t She Lovely and Leeteuk with SHE. The ones that really stands out is lead singer Yesung with his incredible voice and smooth ballad sung in Korean and Ryeowoks upbeat Moves Like Jagger. All of this is done in close interaction with their audience. Super Junior is highly aknowledged for these abilities and it is of huge importance to their fanbase.
Through out the show we have also been able to see modern classics, tracks such as Pyjama Party, Don’t Don, A Man in Love, Mr.Simple, Superman and Sorry Sorry being performed. For those of you reading this not familiar with the tracks listed it will be hard to understand the deep pop cultural impact some of them have had on East Asia and other parts of the world over the last couple of years. But these are facts that a simple google search can verify.
Super Junior is a super group, not only to it’s scale but also to the extent they are known and listened to at the moment. The single release from the autumn of 2011, Mr.Simple, has just achieved more then 40 million views on YouTube, which must be said is quite well done by a track sung in Korean.
Who would have even dared to guess back in 2009 that I, that we, would have reached this point of fandom? If Johanna, my companion to this concert would have told me back then that we would buy tickets to a Kpop concert in Paris, travel all the way there and think of it as something of utmost importance or that there would be a fanbase this big in Europe, I would probably see that it could happen, but not really think that it some day would.
The fact that it does happen and continuosly seem to do so in Paris also deserves to be mentioned. France seems to have become the base for Kpop in Europe, the first stop for any Korean artist embarking on the European market. Paris have the biggest Korean population in Europe and there are more then one shop to buy Kpop albums and merch in. Kpop groups are also doing their best to please this European market, but as they do so the confusion of languages emerge.
Europe is in a Korean way of thinking probably just as homogenous as East Asia is in a European perspective. Therefore much of the speaking parts in this concert is simultaneously translated, into French. As a service for the European fanbase and for the interaction during the show. Understandable in some aspects, but on the other hand a dilemma since probably almost half of the arena are unable to understand what is going on. Because even if fifty percent of the audience in the arena are of French origin, the rest is not. My own French is quite rusty and some of the magialc interaction with the group on stage is of this reason lost.
As two girls are invited on to the stage and they are given instructions in french by the interpreter. The problem is that one of the girls is not French at all and does not understand a word until Siwon repeats them whispering in English in her ear. When time comes to congratulate Siwon and Eunhyuk on their respective birthdays, the song though is not in French but the English standard version of Happy Birthday. Also understandable for a group from South Korea, on of the most amercanized and westernized countries in the world. The members of Super Junior have all practised hard learning greetings in French, a nice gesture but again it goes a bit wrong since so many people present are not French at all.
It is hard to make comparision to other big acts, lets say from America, but really, English will probably be a more useful language for Kpop groups in Europe since the fans come from all over. The intentions though all the best.
One thing that comes to mind as critique has got to do with choices. The choices of songs to perform. This is a group with five albums and dozens of mini albums to pick material from, but who picks the songs? The third and magic album Sorry Sorry is only represented with one track, Sorry Sorry itself which is saved to the encore performance, something that leaves me with a tiny bit of a question mark in my head. I’m fully aware that the latest album is the more important album to perform, but looking at it in perspective of quality of music they clearly could have done other choices for this tour. To miss out on performing top tracks like It’s You and No Other is in my eyes quite unforgivable.
The quality of music is, on the other hand only one of many aspects as you attend the a concert such as Super Show, and it is impossible for me to leave Zenith de Paris with out thinking that I’ve just been a part of historical magic.
The Future is Idol – and EverLastingFriends
November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
We kinda overslept the morning of the concert since we intended to start queing at 4 AM. But we didn’t get to the que until 6 AM. Queing was a bit boring and at times it was hard to communicate with other fans since all the people that surrounded us were Germans that spoke a limited amount of English. But the ones in front of us were nice and explained to us how everything worked. We got our tickets and left Tempodrom around 11:30 to go get lunch. We came back after that and qued again to get some merchendise. Sadly, I didn’t buy a t-shirt, since I didn’t have enough money on me. But anyway. I bought pins and the posters were for free.
Naturally there was A LOT of Cassiopedias and I really didn’t fit in much since I’ve never really been and probably never will be a Cassi. But I managed. We met some nice Swedish fans. I was surprised to see that there where at least 6-7 people from Sweden that went. It was nice.
There was a huge amount of Korean and Japanese fans, which was nice as well. The Korean and especially the Japanese fans were very friendly and shared their love for JYJ with handing out free merchendise such as banners and stickers. I was totally ecstatic when I got hold of a Junsu fan (not a person fan… but a fan you use when it’s hot outside XD). There were fans from all over Europe, so it was really cool.
This was the first K-pop concert I’ve ever been too and it’s totally different from the concerts I’ve been to with Japanese rockbands. First thing first… the artists are SO FREAKKIN FAR AWAY.
But it was still amazing. They were all flawless and really gorgeous and beautiful and omg JUNSU.
They opened the concert with their song Empty, a song that I really enjoy. And they continued with… I think it was AYYY GIRL… I never really approved of that song much, but it was SO MUCH BETTER when they sang it live than on the CD-recording. They wore white suits for the first part of the concert… but the real gorgeous clothes were put in when they preformed Mission, which me and my Maknae agreed was the best song that they preformed that night. The three of them all preformed one solo-song each, but because I’m biased I really only remember Junsu’s (You are so Beautiful).
Overall, the concert was great. It was really great, except for some minor stuff. Like the sound was really off on a few of the songs that you could barely hear them sing (the background music was too loud). And there was absolutely NO USE looking at the big TV-screens that they had, because they only filmed their dancers. And well.. the dancers was great. But we didn’t pay 60 euro to come see the back-up dancers. Like really. But during the ballads, the screens were very convenient indeed. But other then that, they only made one annoyed.
AND THE CONCERT WAS SO SHORT.
Like really. We got in at, what was is, 6PM? The concert started a while after 7PM and then ended around 9PM. That’s what, less than 2 hours? And well… they did say that they hadn’t had any time to prepare that many songs for the concert, but it was such a pity.
They snuck in smaller interview-sessions between the songs just to fill it up a bit, and I think those were the highlights of the concert! It was really fun to see them joking with each other and answer questions. There was a whole lot of Yoochun and Jaejoong teasing Junsu. It was adorable.
And when they got the question of what they wanted the audience to bring back home from the concert, all three of them answered “Junsu’s behind.”
I was happy to hear that they had actually got some time to be tourists and see Berlin. It’s very common that artists are too busy to even see the city they’re preforming in properly. So I was very glad to hear that. They had even tried some German food. A lot of sausages apparently.
So to sum things up… the sound could’ve been better, and the cameramen could’ve been more concentrated on filming JYJ instead of the dancers. But the energy from the fans and from JYJ was an amazing experience.
Greatest thanks to Niki for sharing her spazz with us!
May 25, 2011 § 15 Comments
A fan-account about Rain in Dresden.
Well here is my fan account of what happened at the photo-call in the Kempinski hotel. I know that some fangirls got to meet Rain while he was out shopping. You lucky girls!
I want to first thank Lars for letting me post this on his blog. I can’t post this on YAM and I don’t have a blog of my own. So thank you for letting me borrow yours Lars!
I can start off by saying that Rain is so beautiful live it hurts. I bet that all of those lucky enough to be able to sit close to the stage at the Semper Opera could see. His skin is so smooth and it glows, he is as you see him on pictures. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!
Me and Dani were invited to the photo-call on the morning of the concert. We were there representing YAM magazine (www.yam-mag.com).
I was hoping to get an interview, albeit short with Rain, but it was clear that it wasn’t going to happen. I did get an interview with Vogler so that is all fine.
Well, me and Dani got to the hotel in where the photo-call was going to be held early and we were just waiting. Suddenly all the photographers arrived to the suite and Sung-Joong Kim came in to the room. She is the woman responsible for the creation of this collaboration, as being friends with both Rain and Vogler and the one that suggested they meet.
Lounging and mingling, we were waiting for Rain and Vogler to arrive when a very panicked Korean girl burst in to the room: ”He is here, he is here. Rain is here” she exclaimed. I stood up a little straighter, made sure to stand as close to the door as possible. I swear, the aura in the room changed, I felt the floor shake and in came Rain. He seemed to be in a hurry, he got in to the suite and was ushered to a side room. Behind him came his entourage, and I must say that it must be the best well-dressed entourage I have ever seen. I think they were 7 people in total. He had his own photographer and video-recording guy…. so classy Rain.
So, while Vogler arrived and the photo session started in honest we are taking pictures, I feel this heat behind me and there He is. You can see the fancam from the photo-call here.
I don’t think I need to explain more from what happened at the photo-call. When it was over we were ushered out because Rain and Vogler were to have an interview with a news channel.
We went out to the corridor and were just standing there waiting. Suddenly Rain comes rushing out of the suite. OK, so this is going to sound a bit nuts and confusing but bare with me because I’m not really sure what happened. I was standing against the wall on the corridor. So Rain storms out right? All I can focus in is his beautiful face.
The corridor was a bit small and both me and Dani where standing on each of it’s walls so it was even smaller. When Rain came out of the suite so suddenly, I couldn’t tell where the heck he was going. Beside me was the opening to go out of the corridor. It seemed as he was going that way, so I moved, I don’t even know why because my body went on pure instinct here. I think my movement confused Rain because he tried to avoid me but then I moved again and them BAM! I am suddenly in Rain’s embrace. Praise the lord, sweet-Jesus and the holy Mary, full body-contact with his face hovering near mine. Mind you, I had to look up, he is that tall.
Well, it took like five seconds. Rain said “sorry”, “excuse me” looked me deep in the eyes, gave me a small smile and then he was off. Dayum that boy is agile as hell. The crash was sudden yet smooth….. woah.
Anyway, he leaves me (very swooned) and starts walking to the end of the corridor. Dani gives me a stink-face and calls me an idiot. I give her a troll-face and tell her that I’m no fool, that was so intentional. Which it really wasn’t, not from my brain at least. My body just reacted. A perfect trip-fall (invisible rock ftw! It has been used on Nickhun before and it always works!) as my dear friends in twitter call it.
Back to Rain, well he walked to the end of the corridor. I thought he was going to his room so I was cranking my neck to see which room it was (hurr hurr hurr). But he was standing there and seemed nervous or bothered, couldn’t really tell. Three of his men were with him and they were talking. We could see Rain talking very agitated and his crew trying to call him down. No idea what happened. To be a Korean speaking fly just then!
Me and Dani got a little worried and almost wanted to go there and ask him if he needed something to call himself down (which I had because mind you, I have met Korean idols before and I know how well I can get overly spazzy about it. I need medicine to calm the fuck down).
When I am about to go up there (crazy and delusional as I am) Rain comes back out. The man has his game face on and he starts to straight his suit. He gives Dani the greatest derp face ever and goes back in to the suite.
At this moment I was in the phone with Cissi, I had to brag about my contact with Rain so I missed to film him as he walked back in to the suite. I only have a fail fancam of his chin passing me haha.
Back to waiting, I was again in the phone with Cissi so I again missed the opportunity to film Rain. This time he comes out and before he disappears bows to us and thanks us. Oh la la la.
He then ran down the stairs, looked like he had someone following him. So stressed the poor thing.
I think in all we spent like 15 minutes in Rain’s presence. He seemed so humble during the photo call, like he was a bit nervous. But he owned the stage on the Semper opera later that night. Dayum what stage presence that man has. He had all the fangirls at his mercy. One of the best concerts I have seen for sure. But there is no need for me to write about it when I can let the fan cams speak for themselves. In all I recorded all of Rain’s performances (sorry Vogler!). So enjoy!