I hate to say it guys–after all that hype, after all that anticipation, the B1A4 concert was pretty much a dud. I’m not sure what happened! Maybe they were just too tired or maybe they just can’t support a full concert. Oh well.
Ahem. Just kidding. They were amazeballs. If I had the money…and a little less self respect, I’d follow them around the country watching the show over and over again. (Seriously, as I write this in Cafe Bene, listening to their set list, with my concert pictures doing a slideshow on my monitor I’m struck all over again with a case of the squeees.) Yep, my addiction is complete.
Setting off on my adventure, my home made sprout headband and camera hidden in my backpack, I was forced to take a detour to Chelsea as my printer is obviously a B1A4 anti fan and refused to print out my ticket. Nice try evil printer, Thea thwarted your evil plans by printing out my ticket at her work–I hope you enjoy the pieces I left you in.
When I reached the Best Buy theater, the line was weirdly short, just running about 10 feet. I was worried–I knew they hadn’t sold all their tickets, but I didn’t think it was that bad–my poor boys!
Approaching a very cranky security guard, I was informed the line actually began on the next street. So I rounded the corner, followed the sprout headbands down the street, around the corner, down that street, around another corner and down that street until I finally found the end.
How quickly my thoughts turned from worry for the band to worry for myself. The Best Buy theater wasn’t that big and I wondered how everyone was going to fit in and even wondered even more if I was going to be able to see anything.
I’d shelled out cash for P1 tickets as I’d learned my lesson at the CNBLUE concert where I’d ended up in the last row, behind a monitor and a blown speaker, that in this location, it was really best to purchase standing tickets if you wanted to see anything.
As Kpop fans are a friendly bunch, I quickly found myself chatting with everyone around me. We all talked about kpop, the bands we’d seen, and who our biases are. I explained that I chose not to have a B1A4 bias as I loved them al and if I were to choose one, it would just hurt the others feelings. And am I some sort of monster who would do that?? No Ma’am.
I was, of course, the oldest one for miles, well, the oldest fan. I was standing next to an Ahjussi, just a few years older than I who was there to escort a band of sqeeeing middleschoolers. My new friends guess, putting my age at 21, did nothing to make me feel better. Lets face it, being an….older….kpop fan is not for the weak of heart.
After a good hour, finally, the line began to move. The time was neigh! Weirdly, after a solid week of nothing but B1A4, as I headed into their concert it was the Running Man theme song which was stuck in my head.
Finally at the doors I submitted to a bag search which rivaled the TSA. What did they think I was hiding in there? Although–I was probably one of the few people there old enough to buy beer, so maybe they thought I was that person.
Putting my pants back on after the cavity search (just kidding, but seriously, this lady was crazy thorough, making me remove almost everything inside the bag.) I hit the escalator and descended down to the depths of kpop fandom.
As much as I love the band, I easily skipped the merch table with it’s t-shirts which usually come in one size–small Korean girl–CD’s that I already own, and posters which I made have made a solemn vow to never–ever–hang on my wall. They are way too young and I am way too old to have a poster of them up on my wall. And still keep my dignity.
So I went right into the concert, looking at my ticket the bored security person said vaguely, “Straight ahead”. Hmm. There are two sections of floor seating: one in the front of the stage and one on top of a landing (with the seating behind that). Did she mean on the landing, which, while up higher, was further away from the band? I asked the clueless security guard (I purposely asked him because he seemed so clueless and therefor easier to manipulate into giving the the answer I wanted.) He was no match for my overly friendly charm and I headed down to the area by the stage. As I got there so late for the line, I was in the back of the group, but that still put me about 10 feet away from the band.
While waiting I made another friend, Katrina “Like the hurricane” and we chatted and laughed our way through the time. She told me she’d been at the BAP concert in the same venue and it had been much more packed.
The band came out to a riot of cheers and immediately launched into first one song and then another. Their first outfits were not as cute as their knee socked look of Kcon–I guess I have a thing for men in knee socks. Weirdo. What I don’t have is a thing for men in white pants, wearing a shirt which had a droopy necktie like lades blouses from the 80’s.
Not just having a back up band, I’m happy to say the band sang for real throughout their songs. A girl in line asked me if they lip synced (it was her very first concert) and it made me pause. It’s not like kpop bands really lip sync, it’s more like they have a track which plays and they sing various parts. It’s not so much lip syncing as them accompanying themselves. B1A4 did not do this, it was them singing almost the whole time. (I did catch a bit on a song towards the end though.)
After the second song, they stopped and chatted a bit with the crowd–their attempts at English was just adorable. For the rest an interpreter could be heard over the speakers. To set up the next song they asked if we knew where they were from (South Korea shouted the crowd.) and did we know what the capital was? “Seoul!” Then they told us they wanted to tell us about their home country and launched into the song Seoul.
I wildly tried to take pictures of everything bu these guys moved fast! And there were a few songs where I forced myself to put down the camera and just have fun. (Of course then the boys would do something adorable and the camera would be lifted again.)
During a part of the concert they went off stage and a video played of them in the green room. Something tells me this was prerecorded and was not actually them going back there just to be cute. I’m hoping the boys were actually taking a much needed break.
During another song, they interacted with the crowd again, and tried to teach us a dance to go along with a song. As I can’t even waive my arms to the beat, I only pretended to follow along.
Awww… #B1A4 tried to get us to dance…
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After a few more songs, they went backstage again and we saw a behind the scenes dance practice which was basically them hanging around being adorable. It ended with Baro acting like he was calling his girlfriend. And the words on the screen said maybe his girlfriend was one of us. The phone rang and up on the screen was Baro on one side with a random audience member, who must have had her mind blown, on the other. He had a pretend conversation with his ‘girlfriend’ and said he’d be right out.
I have no idea what I’d do in that position. I’m fairly certain I would probably fall over and die. Dead. My poor old lady heart wouldn’t be able to take the excitement/mortification. This girl was completely blase about it–like she was pulled up on stage and fawned over by a gaggle of Korean cuties every other Tuesday. At the end, they gave her a big teddy-bear and escorted her off the stage.
They sang some of my favorite, Solo Day, What’s Happening, and Beautiful Night. I jumped until my toes when numb and screamed until I was horse. It was a completely amazing time. But the end had to come eventually and the guys left the stage. This usually begins my least favorite part of the evening, which is the chanting for the encore. Come on. We all know you’re going to come back out. You know it.We know it. Why should we chant encore like we’re asking for a favor? However for B1A4, you don’t shout encore, it’s B1-A4! B1-A4! It puts a nice spin on a tired dance and I gladly pitched in–what I cold with my tired, horse throat.
Eventually the boys came out again and sang 2 more songs. I had a moment between Jinyoung and myself where our eyes locked and he nodded and waved the same way I was. (I’m telling you this really happened!) Then sadly, they were gone. And I may have–maybe–gotten a little teary.
Does my story end here? If you’re made it this far, I”m guessing you wish it does–but nope–there’s still some magic to come.
After the concert I meant to go home but decided to take a video of the sign. While I was waiting I struck up a conversation with Samantha who was doing the same. This turned into waiting to see if we could see the band come out of the venue.
Now I’d done this before with CNBLue and had been faked out. What they do is put the barricades up by the front for the crowds to stand behind–make it look like the band was going to come out the front doors–all while loading the band into a waiting nanny van on the side loading dock. I was determined not to be fooled this time, but was worried about making a wrong move.
When I saw the nanny van move into place, we made our move and hurried to the side entrance. Finally the gods of Kpop looked fondly down upon me and the band came out and loaded into the van right in front of me.
While everyone else waited by the doors, I saw the band, the band saw me. Not to mention they got stuck in traffic and I got several waives from Gongchan and Sandeul–and even some hearts. Night? Made.
What a great experience! I met lots of great people who I talked to easily, making (hopefully) lots of new friends, the band rocked my wool socks off and then I had a for realz moment with them.