Remember when I got tickets for the KASCON27 closing ceremony concert and was so excited to see Roy Kim and Epik High perform? Well, good news and bad news. Good news? The venue was teenie and I got an amazing seat. Bad news? No Epik High.
Bummer guys, bummer.
Turns out I had missed an email from the venue about the change. Le Sigh. But as Regina said as we were walking to the coffee shop when I was mid freak out, “It’s okay, we’re going to have fun anyway, right?” of course, she was right. It’s Regina time. Usually any time with Regina is fun time.
I will say, the organization of this thing could use a LOT of work. Not so much because of the change in artists, as they did notify me of that, so that bad was on me, but the tickets said one location, it was in a different location. The tickets said one time, it was a different time. We were notified the morning of the concert they found out we had to have badges to get into the concert (as the concert itself was actually part of a Korean American Student Conference), so we had to go to a different location downtown to get the badges. We go to the concert location to double check (because at this point we’re giving everything side-eyes) and the box office had no idea what we were talking about. “No, we don’t have anything scheduled tonight.” The guy then double checked and said, “Oh, they did have something scheduled but it was something that had been postponed from the night before.” Uhhhh…no? Then he confirmed he thought it was the concert and that it started at 7. (Our tickets said 10, the poster said 8.) We walk back to the venue at the time and were told it was a private thing going on and we weren’t actually going to be let in until 7:45.
GAH. I was frustrated, but was cheered by the good seats we eventually scored.
The lineup with the cancellation of Epik High, expanded to: A beatboxer (sorry, I did not catch the name, beatboxing really isn’t my thing) Megan Lee a Youtuber who is also on some Nickelodeon show, Dumbfounded who, to the surprise of the organizers, brought his own crew, and, of course, Roy Kim.
Have I mentioned I love Roy Kim? Well, I do.
We were able to sneak into the theater area early by promising the ticket taker (or badge looker) that we really did want to hear the lecture that was going on. Turns out it was a fairly dry lecture by a guy who, you could tell tried to relate to these college kids, but didn’t quite make it. Turns out he was the ambassador from South Korea. That’s pretty cool.
When he was done, they officially opened the closing ceremonies and let the concert ticket holders in. This was our chance. We made a break for it before the rest of the group walked in to snag one of the open awesome seats. Although, strictly speaking, this place is pretty small so anywhere we would have had a great seat.
You would think the music would have started there, but no, we had another lecture. Dr Dennis Hong, a robotics professor from UCLA. Sounds boring? You would be wrong! This guy was great. He talked about creating robots, different competitions he’d been in, and mixed in general encouraging words to live by. He was a robotics rock star. Apparently, the whole event was running behind and he had to cut his hour long speech to 20 minutes. Poor guy. He closed his speech with a video of a collection of robots falling at this competition they were at. Yes, it was funny, but within the 20 minutes of talk it was interesting how we were also able to feel bad for all hard work that went into getting the robots there. (You know, through the laughter.)
It was time for music!
We started out with the beatboxer, again, sorry, I wasn’t a huge fan. Regina whispered to me that if it were T.O.P who were beatboxing it would be cooler, and I had to admit to her a dark secret fact: I’ve seen T.O.P beat box and I didn’t care him doing it either. Noises! With your mouth! Oooohhhh… Actually what was more interesting was wondering if the guy travels with his own mike? I mean, that has to be a lot of spit, just think of the next guy who uses that mike…
Next up was Megan Lee.
I’m not a huge girl singer fan, but she was pretty good. She sang a few songs one being a cover of Killing Me Softly, and ended with the Korean folk song, Arirang, which was beautiful.
The heels of her shoes were huge!
I was very impressed with her ability to walk on them as they added a good 6 inches to her height.
Then it was Dumbfounded and Friends, which I believe in hiphop terms they would be called a posse? A crew?
Anyway, there were lots of them with more coming out all the time.
Ladies rushed to the stage and he made us all stand up and wave our hands. Dumbfounded does know how to work a crowd—he should—he seems to be the go to MC for many a Korean function.
My friend Regina was very excited about this as she thought one of the guys were super hot. (For reference it’s the guy with the shirt with the side zippers.) Dumbfounded even brought out a girl rapper. Aquafina.
Once they were herded off the stage it was time. What time was it, ladies? Roy Kim Time! He walked out in a linen suit looking all adorable and Roy Kim like. There was an issue with the amp that he had to waste a lot of time on. We felt bad for him as we could tell, having an issue like that, with all those eyes on him, waiting? Had to be stressful. However, he handled it like a champ, not showing us his sweat.
My friend Regina (who unfortunately, I convinced to go to this thing with me on the lure of Epik High) was unfamiliar with Roy Kim, but when he came out, became excited as she thought he looked adorable. Ahem. She may have been right.
Amp fixed he jumped right into the music, beginning with a cover of Damien Rice’s Volcano. One of the things I love about Roy Kim? How much he fanboys over Damien Rice. I’ve seen him perform twice and both times he’s covered one of his songs. When I heard him perform at KCon his cover of Blower’s Daughter made me cry, but I managed to hold it together on this one.
He moved pretty much from song to song without much patter. After the first song, he did ask if they could turn down the lights a bit as he felt really exposed up there. You know, if anyone was listening to him. (Something tells me things were going on as well behind the scenes as they were from our experiences of the day. But they did turn down the lights. Yay for him, bummer for the lady with the camera. (me)
The crowd loved him. There were several I LOVE YOU ROY KIM!’s in both English and Korean—there were even some inquiries to his dating status. While I may not have cried during that first song, my friend Regina, who as I mentioned was not a Roy Kim fan, broke out the tissues. SEE?? Not just me people. What is it about his voice?? You know, that quality which reaches in and says howdy-do with your emotions.
Anyone know what the name of that song was? My Roy Kim expert Jess and Shazam could not figure out what it was.
He then chose to sing, Bom Bom Bom, which is one of my favorites. On the beginning of the video that’s me exclaiming “this song is so cute!”. Gah. Professional videographer and/or journalist I am not.
Regina was willing to take up the video taking job for me so I could get some stills. Yes, yes I had to get every song because I knew big Roy Kim fan Jess couldn’t be there, and I wanted to make sure she got to see it. (You’re welcome, Jess 😉 )
Regina’s video features 2 songs. The first song, he tried to get a girl to come up to sing with him since it was a love duet, but he was a good sport when he landed with a guy—especially when he realized they both went to Georgetown together.
It was the next song where Roy Kim looked over to me and was all “Uhhh….Stephanie. You haven’t cried yet? Let’s see what we can do about that.” And reached in, tinkered with those emotions and I cried. Gah. Why you gotta do me like that Roy Kim? Why?
He wanted to do another song, the trooper he was, but the venue himself was shutting him down, the thing had ran so long. With little fanfare, he waved to the crowd and was gone. No, Roy Kim, nooooo.
He came, he conquered, he left. So we did, too.