Is everyone ready for a KCON NY 16 Concert 1 Recap? If your answer is 1) why did it take you so long — my answer is get off my back I have been very sleepy. KCON takes all of your energy, all of your pep and getup and go, and mushes it right into the dust. Even now, the toss up between writing this and going back to sleep is precariously leaning in your direction. A few more long blinks and who knows? If your answer is 2) WAHOOO! Lay it on me! My answer is — give me some of your energy. Please.
Let us begin!
First night, the night where I wasn’t suuuper excited for any of the acts? This was the night I got an accidental upgrade pushing me from P5 (the nosebleeds) to P3, the ‘howdy-do I can actually see your faces’ seats. My partner in crime for the night was my friend and sometimes contributor, Regina. As we’ve both been the recipient of pretty crappy years, we were pretty stoked, not just to be there, but for some sort of Korean Idol Karma being on our side, gracing us for these tickets. Did we complain that the mistake wasn’t made on BTS night? No! That would make us ungrateful brats who did not deserve such luck.
Okay. Lie. Obviously. We complained a bit. A VERY LITTLE bit.
The lines to get into the building were MASSIVE. We’re talking past the main crowd, around the building and down the street. In our group we had Regina and I, our friend Alexis (who had amazing P2 tickets — but you’ll hear more about that on the night 2 post — let’s all try not to hate her too hard) and bringing up the rear was the girl who was behind us who was experiencing her first concert experience. Awww…. (You learn to make friends at these times.) The lines were moving so slowly. There was a moment where we worried we were not actually going to get in before the concert started.
Luckily, once the P1 was loaded in, security herded us in through that entrance. Now, security is where I always get a little squicky. Are they going to let me into the concert with my camera? Not to mention I actually had my computer with me since I was on the panel — but a few half-hearted pokes into my bag and we were off to P3!
The set up of the stage was different from the other KCON’s I’ve been to where, instead of the stage being in the center with the standing crowd huddling around it, it was more of a set of 3 stages connected together, pointing in one direction. There are pros and cons to each stage. With the stage in the center and the groups dancing around it, there are bound to be some times when they are performing with their backs to you. This time, while they were mostly facing in one direction, if they didn’t come up to the upper stage, you weren’t getting as good of a look at them. Me? I think I’m leaning the circular stage because then, at some part of the night, everyone has a really good seat.
We sat there eagerly awaiting the night to begin and were surprised when the seats around us didn’t actually fill up. We were almost all to our lonesomes. Cool exception? The next row down Jun Curry Ahn sat there with some of his peeps. I knew my friend Jess would die knowing he was so close. I almost asked for a picture, but I’m that awkward one who can’t do things like that. Sorry Jess.
The night was kicked off with a dance performance by a local high school, then some guy (Danny? Shrug) came out, introduced the night and introduced the hosts of the evening. It was Ailee and RAP MON!!!
The crowd lost its shit. Or maybe that was just me? Possibly. He was adorable speaking all English with his giant glasses hamming up his dorky side.
There was a dark moment when they kept talking about BTS performing when I worried about which night they were performing. Why you ask? Didn’t I have the better seats for night one? Wouldn’t that be better? I was panicked for 2 reasons. 1) I was a moron who left her SD card at home. ZombieMama was cool enough to help me find the Game Stop around the corner so I could buy a new one, but I didn’t think 8G was going to record me diddly. 2) My friend Kate was hoofing it from NH as we sat there in order to be there for the second night of concerts — just so she could see BTS. If we got the nights wrong, I was going to be dealing with one pissed off fangirl. I hastily messaged my Facebook friend group to have them check the site. Whew. Nope. Night 2. They were probably just referring to being excited for BTS performing in general. Way to freak out a fan. It wasted a good 2 minutes of my Rap Monster gawking.
When they left the stage it was time for the concert to officially begin. The first band on the roster was a group called Seventeen.
Turns out? Not seventeen members — although they moved so fast on the stage, we could all be wrong about that. Maybe they snuck in a member or two while we weren’t looking. From the sounds of the crowd lots of people were huge fans of the band. While I’m not, I can still totally admit they did a good job with the singing and the dancing.
There was one guy who was a head shorter than everyone else on the stage and it was super cute to see.
There was also a guy who I thought was super hot. Well hello there, maybe I’ll give your band another chance or two…
Next to the stage was Crush, who seemed a little bit sad without his buddy Zion.T. I hope they were still able to stay friends after Zion.T switched management companies.
Usually YG is pretty flexible about letting their artists collaborate with artists from other companies. He came out wearing the same exact outfit I saw him wearing out in the crowd earlier in the day.
An outfit where, pretty much everyone agrees, looks like it stepped right out of the 90’s. While again, Crush’s music isn’t super my cup of tea, I could appreciate it while I was there listening. My favorite thing though? He’s not a dancer!
Laugh. This just makes my job of trying to take photos that much easier. For one song, one of the guys from Dynamic Duo came out and joined him for a bit. Regina was quite concerned when the guy left and did not return. She is a big Dynamic Duo fan and was worried that that little bit of song was all we were going to get from them. (Spoiler alert: We were wrong, which is good because I think Regina may have gone into full on riot mode if that had happened.)
After Crush it was Ailee’s turn to perform. Here’s where I should make a little confession. I wasn’t an Ailee fan. I’d say I was an anti-fan, but that would require me to actually listen to her music. Though many of my friends tried (or in the terms of Jacqueline, wheedled and cajoled) to get me to give her a try, but I had no interest. I didn’t even care that she actually care from NJ.
But then she came out and she looked awesome. I became a little more receptive. Then something happened. As she reached the end of her first song, her audio cut out — not her mike, but the background music — without missing a beat she just kept belting out her song, her voice a powerhouse. This is where I had to give her huge respect. There was no computer altering to her music, no auto-tune, no fakery.
This girl can SING. So I immediately went out and admitted my revelation and made my apologies to my friends for my ass-hatty attitude. (Although if we’re going to be friends, it’s just something that comes along with the territory. I can’t be led places, I have to come to them myself.) So, while I can’t say that I’m going to run out and buy all her music, I did really like it, and if she has a new song come out in the future, I won’t immediately turn my nose up at it.
Side note, I love this picture because it makes me think that this one dancer is completely out of sync, or just wants all of us to look at her bum.
Oh! The other thing I liked about Ailee? There was no fake sexy to her, no sugary aegyo. She’s a powerful singer and dancer who knows she has more to offer than just a sexy look.
Rap Monster came out again, this time by himself and I managed to not drool all over myself, managed to refrain from hurdling the rows to hop on stage in order to pinch his cheeks while saying “Ang, ang, ang.” So I feel like I should get some major fangirl points here.
What we thought was the ‘last band’ was . We were pretty concerned that this was the last ticket on the docket as the night still seemed really young.
BTOB performed and turns out? The guy who played the derpy police man in The Village is in the band! Which means I spent the rest of the time attempting to snag a photo of him, but alas he was an illusive creature.
Also, he looks really different in person. I can tell you, if I were to have to choose between BTOB and Seventeen?
I’d go Seventeen. And it’s not just because of the pink suits which made my camera go all wonky.
Then it was time for the special guests! Usually at Kcon LA we get stars who come out, chat a little bit and go back inside. At last year’s NY KCon there were no special guests so while there were only guests on one of the nights this year, it seems like the fact that they were there at all were at all proves that KCON NY is determined to grow as large as its west coast older sibling. So for a special guest we got Im Shi Won and Park Bo Gum!
I am a huge fan of Im Shi Won as I loved him in Misaeng. He was just adorable and broke your heart, and made you hope against hope that he’d be the one to finally buck the system. I’ve been looking for him to do another drama, but I guess he’s also busy being an idol. Let me just say though, he looks really different in person! Older? Although now that I think about it he is 2 years older than when he was in Misaeng so maybe he’s just starting to age. The two chattered on for a while, mainly in subbed Korean. I’d tell you what they said but at that moment my camera decided to get all wonky again and I had to focus on it in order to get my shots to come out right.
Good thing, we were not at the end of the night!
Which was actually a bit of a surprise as usually KCON has one artist after another, it doesn’t tend to loop back around again. For this next go around we got Seventeen again and let me tell you, I enjoyed the heck out of them! Why? They covered Super Junior’s Sorry Sorry. GAH! So cool. And as a big SUJU fan, it actually endeared me a lot to these new upstarts.
They covered a couple more songs, songs I will admit I didn’t actually know but someone told me afterwards was old school TVXQ (we’re talking a 5 member group TVXQ old) and a Wonder Girls track. I’m also a big fan of the military inspired outfits the guys were wearing. They were sharp!
I believe after that we got another outing of Ailee and Rap Mon, but if I remember correctly I angered deity of kpop as he was standing with his back towards me. *Why Rap Mon, WHY??* It did allow me a chance to check out the cool design on the back of his jacket. I will also say, Rap Mon and Ailee are adorable together — if some day it should come out that they are totally together — I am completely behind them.
The next (and last) part I have to say was my hands down favorite part of the evening. (Don’t tell Rap Mon, please. I still have to face him next month.) We may have been afraid that the little peek was all we were going to get of the group Dynamic Duo, but I’m happy to say that we were wrong. They came out. They performed. THEY BLEW MY FLIPPIN’ MIND.
Not kidding guys, I’d never actually listened to Dynamic Duo before — I had no interest at all. So when they came out all cool and rap-y? Yep. I nearly fell down. Or I would if I had been standing. These guys were so freaking cool. I loved them, I loved their music, and I can not wait to go out and listen to every single one of their songs. I’m sure that a few will immediately hit my workout playlist.
With that the night was closed the bands came out and did their final bows.
While personally I’m so glad that the night ended with Dynamic Duo as it had me leaving the concert with a fangirl song in my heart, I wondered, were they headliners? Was any of these groups a headliner?
In the usual KCON sense, I’m going to go with no. Actually, what it felt like (going into night two) was that the whole two nights of concerts were leading up to the one headliner for the whole event, BTS. As a giant BTS fan, I’m okay with that, I just thought it was an interesting way to go. A bit of a gamble if you will.
Whatever it was, Regina and I left the area blown away. Yep. Dynamic Duo murdered us with song.