It’s 3 o’clock in the morning here in Seoul, and I’m again wide awake, looking for things to do. So I decided to be productive and start blogging about the trip while the memories are still fresh in my mind.
This was my first full day in Seoul and it was quite an experience, to say the least.
Because this is my very first visit to Korea and I haven’t made much progress in my Korean lessons, I’ve been quite apprehensive about the trip even though I’m totally excited about the concert. Things at work got crazily busy during the week leading up to this trip, I didn’t really get a chance to research and plan out the itineraries. What I did at the last minute was printing out some suggested itineraries and I tried to read them on the flight here. LOL With that little preparation, I kind of knew already that I was in for a bumpy ride.
My hotel is technically located in the Myeongdong area, but judging by the small map I printed out, it seemed pretty far away from the main attractions (i.e. the shops). But that was where I went wrong, and I later realized that I had no skills in reading Korean maps or following directions. Actually, all the directions I had were in relation to the Myeongdong subway station, but my hotel is next to the Euljiro 1 ga station (on the opposite side of Myeongdong), so that made things a little more difficult. What I also realized (belatedly) was that everything was smaller in scale than what I had imagined. Walking down the streets in Myeongdong, it was like, ‘if you blink, you’ll miss it.’
So even though I decided to make things easy on myself and just explore Myeongdong for my first day, it was not as easy as I had hoped. I first went looking for the tourist info center, hoping to get some maps and guides, but of course I didn’t find it. Then I went looking for some recommended restaurants that opened early enough so I could get a late breakfast. Again, no luck. I pretty much covered the entire Myeongdong area, from west to east, and from north to south, while looking. And I realized that Myeongdong is actually not that big of an area. But of course, when you stop by all the shops one by one, it’s a totally different story. Anyway, I had to retrace some steps and read the signs very carefully, and I finally found my breakfast spot. But it was more like brunch time already. So I ordered tons of food and totally stuffed myself. haha It was very delicious, by the way.
After that, I set out to do some shopping. It’s hard to believe, but there are like 4 or 5 The Saem stores in that one area. But I wanted to go to the Shop #1, thinking that it would probably be bigger and have more SeungGi goodies. It took me quite a while to find it. And I did see two other stores on my way, and they both had tons of SeungGi posters and life-size cutouts all over the place (one of the stores was pretty crowded outside so no pictures).
Then I also saw the FUBU store. So I went in and started taking pictures. But right after I took my first one, this sales girl came up to me and said NO! Gosh, what’s wrong with taking pictures of posters?! But she was pretty adamant, and she followed me everywhere I went in the store to make sure I didn’t take more pictures. That was totally annoying. I was tempted to buy the jacket SeungGi wore in the picture, but when I wanted to try it on, the sales girl had this look on her face like doubting if I would be able to afford it. One thing I cannot stand is salespeople with bad attitude. So I walked out of the store without buying anything. SeungGi ya, sorry I couldn’t be more supportive of FUBU.
Fortunately, right after walking out of FUBU, I found The Saem Shop #1. The sales girls there were a lot more friendly. One of them started saying something in Japanese, and when I gave her a blank look, another girl came up and started speaking Mandarin. Now that I could understand. (It’s just my experience, but it seems that English doesn’t really get you very far here. ) Anyway, it was such a pleasant change from my FUBU store experience. The first thing first. I asked her if there were any SeungGi posters left, and she laughed and said yes. Needless to say, I spent a LOT of money there, and they gave me a lot of freebies, which I didn’t really care for. I just made sure that they gave me my SeungGi poster! haha Before I left, the sales girl told me that SeungGi would be having his fan signing there on December 1st. Too bad I won’t be able to attend.
I also saw a bunch of KB banks, but didn’t see any SeungGi pictures posted anywhere. I still showed my support and exchanged some money there. Aren’t I a good fan? haha
Finally, I stopped by a bookstore. I’m still missing the 3rd repackage album for my collection, but I didn’t find it there. They didn’t even have the 4th repackage album. Strange. I also wanted to get the Ceci magazine, but unfortunately, they were still selling the November issue. But I did not leave the store empty-handed. I didn’t find the MGIG novels, but luckily I did find the comics.
Just an interesting side note, even though it’s unrelated to SeungGi. I was walking around in Myeongdong and saw a crowd gathered around a small stage. Being curious, I joined the crowd. I’m not sure what kind of event it was, but the person hosting it looked familiar. It was Kim Jae Dong. He was interviewing a couple of young girls on stage. I didn’t understand much what they were saying except that he asked them who was their favorite celebrity. And one of them said, “oppa.” haha So there you have it. My first celebrity sighting in Korea.
OMG, I just found out that there had been some misunderstanding over the picture with Daeju. That is NOT me! It’s PD Shin! ^^
My 2nd full day of adventure in Seoul has come and gone. And I have to say, it was quite a day!
After spending the previous day finding my way around Myeongdong, it was time to venture out to do some real sightseeing. So it was time for me to learn the Seoul subway system. The subway map seemed pretty complicated, but I’ve been told that there are English signs everywhere and it should be easy to find my way around. Wrong! After spending the entire morning getting lost in the subway stations, I’ve completely lost faith in my ability to follow directions.
Fortunately, it was not a complete waste of time, because wandering around in the subway stations actually meant more SeungGi sightings. haha
The Saem stores are really everywhere, aren’t they?
And then a very pleasant surprise. What I didn’t find in the bookstore the day before:
Feeling re-energized after some eye candy, I finally found my breakfast spot. But by then it was more like my lunch spot. haha
This place should be familiar to the 1n2d fans. Gwangjang market:
I was so hungry by then, all I could think about was food, food, food! So you have to excuse me for the lack of pictures here.
I wandered around first, just admiring all the different food, until an ajumma motioned me to sit down at her stall. Just like everybody else, she started saying things in Japanese. And I, for some strange reasons, started ordering with the very few Japanese words I still remembered. LOL
After I was about halfway through the meal, I noticed that the ajumma still hadn’t given me the sundae I ordered. So I asked her again. She said, ok, ok. But she gave me some japchae instead, which I took. But I asked her for the sundae one more time, still she wouldn’t give it to me! Then I finally realized that she probably didn’t think tourists like me would be able to handle exotic food like sundae. So I guess I’ll have to try my luck somewhere else.
An interesting side note. While I was eating, 2 people came by asking the ajumma if it was where Kang Ho Dong had his tteokbokki and kimbap, which I highly doubt. The ajumma didn’t exactly say yes, but she convinced them to sit down and eat. haha
After the satisfying meal (despite the sundae incident), I finally went for some real sightseeing. But I was worried about finding my way to KBS for the meeting with PD Shin in the afternoon, so I decided to go back to the hotel a little early to get things ready. While I was browsing the subway map and figuring out the way back, I noticed a stop called “Wangsimni”. Those of you who follow SeungGi’s news closely might remember that the angel wing mural was recently moved to the Wangsimni Square/Plaza. So I decided to make a stop there and get my own angel pose. haha
After that, I made my way back to the hotel to get ready for the big meeting coming up. For those of you who may not know, international 1N2D fans have been preparing a gift (postcard/food) project for the 1n2d team, and 3 of us (Nikki, Jacqueline, and I) were going to personally deliver the gifts to KBS, and PD Shin was actually nice enough to arrange a personal meeting with us. So of course we were all very excited!
Don’t hate me for saying this, but for me, even though I am a fan of 1n2d, the biggest reason I love the show is SeungGi. So being involved in this gift project was still more about my fangirl passion for SeungGi. Bee was painting a rosy picture of 15 minutes of fame for us, but I was only focused on showing some support for SeungGi and of course hoping to maybe get some SeungGi goodies. I think Bee even suggested backstage passes for the Hope Concert, but I told myself that I would be extremely satisfied if I could just get something with his autograph. That’s not too much to wish for, right?
Anyway, I was supposed to meet up with Nikki and Jacqueline half hour before our meeting with PD Shin to get the gifts assembled. I set out for the dreaded subway station half hour before that, and actually got to the transfer point without any incidents. But it took like forever for the train to arrive. When it finally arrived, I was so happy that I didn’t pay attention to anything unusual about it. But then when it announced its next stop, Yeouido Station, without stopping at my intended destination, National Assembly Station, I realized that I got on an express train! Now I was starting to panic. I was already running late, and I was somewhere I was not supposed to be, and the neighborhood map at the station did not show any KBS buildings at all! I did see one exit for KBS Annex Building, so I took it. But it was nowhere to be found after I came out of that exit. I started asking for all kinds of help, on twitter, from people walking by on the streets, but I was still lost. So I started flagging down taxis. After a while, a taxi finally stopped, but the driver didn’t even know where that KBS building is! But he drove to the back entrance of the main KBS building and asked the gatekeeper, and it turned out that the building I was looking for was right there!
While going up the stairs, through the glass walls, I saw someone walking over to a group of people in a corner and greeting them. I thought that must be PD Shin! And I was right. Even though the original meeting was set up for 3 of us, there were actually 7 fans who showed up: Nikki, Jacqueline, Liyieng, Lilian, Haart, and one other person (I’m so sorry I can’t remember the name!). PD Shin initially brought some Huk CDs autographed by Lee Su Geun and some 1n2d stickers. We asked to take pictures of her with the gifts, but she was worried that she looked tired from all the editing she’d been doing. But we told her she still looked beautiful, which was totally true. She’s much younger and prettier than I had imagined. She then went back upstairs to get something. And we started chatting among ourselves. I usually try very hard to keep my real life and online life separate, so it was definitely an interesting experience to meet with people I’ve only chatted with online. And everyone seemed so nice!
Then PD Shin came back out, and brought someone else with her. And it was Daeju! He also looks younger and cuter in real life.
He came to help getting the gifts upstairs, but we didn’t think the two of them would be able to carry everything, so he went to look for a trolley after we explained all the gifts to them. PD Shin also brought more goodies for us, autographs from all the members! She asked us if we all came for SeungGi’s concert, and said that she would be going as well.
After lots of thanks from both sides, photos, and handshakes, we finally bid our goodbyes to PD Shin and Daeju.
Then it was time to divide up all the goodies. I’m sure you all know what I want, right? But unfortunately, there were only 3 autographs from SeungGi, and 3-5 autographs from the other members. I guess PD Shin was only expecting 3 of us, so that was the minimum number she prepared.
The hot commodity was of course SeungGi’s autographs. So we had to do our own bokbulbok with a round of rock-paper-scissors. And unfortunately, I lost. Can you imagine my disappointment at that moment? I came all the way here with that one wish, it was so close and yet it slipped by me just like that. I think my disappointment was pretty obvious, because Haart came up to me saying I looked really sad. Then she offered me the copy of SeungGi’s autograph she won!!! I just couldn’t believe it! I don’t think I could have done anything like that if I was in her shoes. I guess that just goes to show that I’m not as good a person as Haart is. I asked her a few times to be sure, but I did accept her offer and gave her the autographed Huk CD I got. I’m sorry for being so selfish. And I’m eternally grateful to Haart for being such an angel!
Afterward, we all went searching for the famous KBS steps where 1n2d often films its opening. It somehow seemed quite different from what we’ve seen on TV, but we decided we’d found the right place and took lots of pictures.
Then we split into two groups, with one group going for some drinks and the other one going for dinner. I joined the dinner group and we went to a famous samgyetang restaurant in Myeongdong. The food was okay, but we had a lot of fun digging around the bowl and looking for that elusive ginseng root.
I came back to the hotel after dinner, while the other girls went shopping. We did make plans to meet up at the concert, which was less than 2 days away!
It was the day before the concert, and I could already feel all the excitement in the air!
At first, I was rather tempted to just relax in the hotel and rest up for the big day. But that was just the hungry me talking. I went downstairs and got tons of food from one of those street stalls (I finally got my taste of sundae!). After stuffing myself, I was definitely ready to attack another day.
I first went to the Bukchon Village, where 1n2d had filmed before. Again, the maps and directions I had were pretty useless. All it said was “walk 10 minutes from exit 3 of Anguk Station.” So I just started wandering around the area aimlessly. The path I took was probably the least productive one, because after an hour or so, I only came across one of the 8 photo spots!
But I had quite a pleasant surprise while wandering around. I actually ran into some of the international fans! It was right after I found that one photo spot, I saw Liyieng walking up the hill. She was with Lilian, and then I also met Natt(!) and Lisa. There was another girl with them, but I didn’t catch her name (sorry!). What a small world, right? I think they had more success finding the photo spots.
I also passed by the high school where Winter Sonata was filmed (this was shown on 1n2d as well). But I was told the school was only open to visitors on Sundays. There were some stores by the school selling all kinds of Hallyu star souvenirs. I looked around and actually saw a SeungGi calendar! I was so excited and the store owner asked me if I liked Lee Seung Gi. I was like, of course! Haha He told me to go inside the store and had his wife showing me a huge box of SeungGi goodies! It was like anything you could imagine, they had SeungGi’s pictures printed on them. There was even a SeungGi umbrella! So I guess SeungGi is definitely considered a big Hallyu star now.
While I was browsing through the goodies box, 2 groups of ladies came in asking for “Lee Seung Gi”! I think they were from Japan. After they left, the store ajumma told me that they also came for SeungGi’s concert. Isn’t it just amazing?! There were definitely a lot of SeungGi fans roaming the streets of Seoul today.
Pretty soon, I got tired of walking, and decided to give up on the rest of the photo spots. I then headed toward Insadong. But on my way there, I saw a tourist information office. They had a much more detailed map of the Bukchon Village, with all the photo spots marked. So if anyone plans to visit, make sure you stop by the local TI office first!
Then while I was wandering around Insadong, I came across another pleasant surprise. BL fans, does this look familiar to you?
Yes, it’s where Hwan and EunSung met for their date, and where Hwan had his caricature drawn.
After Insadong, I was getting even more tired. My feet were really killing me! But I decided to make another stop since I remembered another place that I had wanted to visit. I thought it would be a quick stop before I headed back to the hotel, but it turned out to be a big adventure. And it was definitely my biggest accomplishment for the day!
The place was the YakHyeon (Jungnim) Cathedral, where DaeWoong confessed to Miho. I posted an article on this earlier in the month, and I think the headline was “Where on earth is it?” That was definitely the question of the day. The direction in my guidebook was “10 minutes walk from Exit 1 of Seoul Station.” Again, not very helpful. So I decided to make things easy and just go by taxi. But very surprisingly, none of the taxi drivers knew where it was! I showed them the picture, and also the address! But they kept shaking their heads. I totally don’t understand why they couldn’t find a place with the address given to them. I was almost ready to give up, when a light bulb went off in my head. Google map! I use it all the time back home, so why not try it in Korea? Thankfully, it worked! I’m pretty sure I looked silly walking around holding a phone in front of me as my guide, but I was too happy to care.
The cathedral was just as beautiful as it looked on TV, but the surroundings somehow looked different from what I remembered. I definitely hope this was the right place! There was a wedding ceremony going on at the time, so I didn’t get to go inside.
Afterward, I went back to the hotel and rested for a while. But since this would be my last free night in Seoul, I decided to go visit the Namsan Tower for the recommended Seoul night view. I was going to take the cable car, but there was a huge line waiting, and I didn’t have the patience anymore, so I took a taxi instead. The taxi driver was a guy, but very chatty. He asked me if I liked Korean dramas, like Dae Jang Geum. So I said, “I like Korean dramas, but I like MGIG.” He was surprised, and said, “That’s a brand new drama!” Well, it’s not really new to me anymore! Haha I told him that I watched it because of SeungGi. He was like, “Oh, Lee Seung Gi! He can sing, and he can host. He can do everything!” OMG, I felt so proud hearing that!
It was then time for dinner, and I decided to go for some pizzas. Even though I don’t really eat at Pizza Hut back home, but SeungGi always made the pizzas look so delicious, I just had to give them a try. But it was such a disappointment when I walked into the store and didn’t see any SeungGi life-size cutouts greeting me. But I did see one small poster after I sat down. AND 1n2d was showing on a small TV screen close to my table. I think my expectation for the food was a little too high, but overall it was a good experience eating dinner while watching SeungGi on TV.
When I went to pay the bill, I saw them giving out 2011 calendars. I got so excited. I mean, SeungGi just renewed his contract with Pizza Hut, wouldn’t they put SOME pictures of him on their new calendar? So I asked for a calendar. When I opened it up, it was a total disappointment! There was not a single picture of SeungGi in there!
But I comforted myself with the fact that I would be seeing him in person soon enough!
After months of anticipation, the big day had finally arrived!
The concert was scheduled for 6 PM, but I started the day rather early. It was partly because of the excitement and partly because of the jet lag (still!), I woke up at around 6 AM. I wanted to watch the 1n2d rerun on TV but didn’t know what time it would be showing. So I just kept the TV on and started blogging. Then I heard “1 bak 2 il” and looked up, it was the preview for the new episode. SeungGi looked so good wearing a FUBU vest. I tried to grab my camera, but it was too late. The 1n2d rerun eventually came on, but I couldn’t finish watching it because I had to head out early.
I got my concert tickets through China Café and I was supposed to join those fans at a lunch gathering organized by SeungSunLove Café, SeungSunLove in Japan, and China Café. The lunch was supposed to start at 11 AM. I did find the restaurant without getting lost this time (and I met Yon there), but it turned out that we (the China Café fans) were actually at the wrong restaurant!!! The lunch was supposed to be at the Outback Steakhouse right next to the Olympic Park, but we somehow got directions for another Gangnam branch. So we all took taxis and rushed over to the right location.
By the time we got there, the lunch was already underway. The meal itself was ok, just your standard western fare. But the atmosphere was just amazing! It was quite an experience to see that many fans gathered in one place, all getting excited over the concert that was just a few hours away. The SeungSunLove Café had prepared a small bag of SeungGi goodies for all of us. SeungSunLove in Japan and China Café also prepared gifts for everyone, like snacks and cakes. The Japanese fans even had SeungGi’s pictures printed on the candy wrappers!
Toward the end of the meal, they started showing some very nice fanpics and fancams on a big projector screen. I actually had never seen some of those pictures and videos before, so it was quite a treat. After that, there was a lottery for all kinds of SeungGi goodies, like magazines, posters, and clothes (there was even a pair of pants worn by SeungGi!!!). I wasn’t lucky enough to win anything, but Yon won a MGIG t-shirt. The very last item that was given away was this (I was so hoping to get it ):
Since I didn’t win, I was going to take a picture of it as a souvenir. That was when I found out I had left the camera’s memory card in my laptop that morning when I was posting pictures on my blog. PANIC TIME! OMG! How could this have happened to me on such an important day?! Since Olympic Park is pretty far from Myeongdong, I didn’t think I had enough time to run back to the hotel to retrieve the memory card. The only option left was to buy a new one. Anyway, we had started walking toward the Gymnastics stadium. So I kept looking for places where I could buy memory cards. I finally saw a convenience store at the stadium, right under SeungGi’s FUBU banner. I went in and asked, but unfortunately they didn’t have it. And they said there weren’t any places nearby that carried it either. I was definitely disappointed, but I tried to look on the bright side. At least I still had 2 iphones and a portable camcorder that I had prepared for backup.
Even though it was still early (I think we got there before 3pm), there were a lot of fans standing in various lines already. Most of them were waiting to pick up their tickets. And there were stands selling bags, lightsticks, autographed MGIG gift sets, and etc. The Saem and Activia also had their tables/tents set up. A lot of people were waiting in line to take pictures with SeungGi’s life-size cutout from The Saem. Next to the main entrance of the stadium, there were the wreaths of rice from various fan clubs.
Since China Café still hadn’t received the concert tickets, we were told to meet up again at 4pm. In the meantime, Yon and I decided to take a walk around the stadium. And we came upon this. I could only assume this was SeungGi’s van because the 2 white tiger dolls were gone.
The stadium was actually rather small, and it didn’t take us very long to walk around it. We were running out of things to do so we just stood there and chatted. I did see a few fans I’d met 2 days earlier at KBS, and then I met purple1n2d, kr4ever and lemoniesnickers. I also met a Chinese-Japanese fan, shunliwei, and she even brought me a gift from baidu tieba! I was so touched. Thank you, shunliwei and baidu tieba!
After a while, China Café finally got the concert tickets. Initially I thought they said our seats were in row 8 and row 10, and I was so happy since those would be pretty close to the stage. But it turned out that we were actually in section 8 and 10, which was a completely different story. Those seats weren’t even on the main floor! How could they still be called VIP seats?! I was so disappointed by this. I know not all VIP seats are created equal, but who would have thought that I needed binoculars to see SeungGi from a VIP seat?!
Just for the sake of comparison, here is the ticket I had for the LA concert (the red dot would have been me ):
And here is my ticket for the Hope concert:
And they are both VIP tickets! Anyway, you can just imagine how disappointed I was. But since that was beyond my control, I could only put my disappointment aside and cherish the fact that this concert was not getting canceled like the Concert X!
We started lining up outside the gate a little before 5pm. And we didn’t get inside until about 5:20pm. As you can see from the picture, the stage is kind of far away.
Getting ready for the cheering, this was the lightstick we used (from China Cafe):
And this was the banner from the Airen Cafe with specific instructions on when to use it. However, I was holding the lightstick in one hand, my cellphone in the other hand, so I didn’t get a chance to use it during the concert.
The concert started late, so we still had to wait a long time inside the stadium. There were some empty seats, but the stadium was pretty packed by 6pm or so. And I could really feel the excitement building up as time went on.
Around 6:10pm, SeungGi’s CFs started showing on the screens. I’m sure everyone in the audience had seen those CFs before, but I think we were all so eager for things to get started, everyone started screaming. And the screaming continued on every time there was a cute scene of SeungGi.
After the CFs were shown, there was more waiting. So they showed the CFs a couple more times, but didn’t get any more reactions from the audience.
Then finally, at about 6:30pm, the lights went dark, and a video started playing on the screens. It showed scenes from Brilliant Legacy, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and 1N2D, but put a big X mark on each of them,
meaning we were not going to see the actor SeungGi or the entertainer SeungGi. Then a scene from 1n2d of SeungGi singing on the bus was shown, and it got circled. So, it was the return of the singer SeungGi! It actually meant we shouldn’t take pictures like Hwan, eat/drink like SeungGi on 1n2d, or talk on the phone like DaeWoong, but we should be cheering and enjoying SeungGi’s performance like the 1n2d staff. (OMG, I can’t even interpret simple video messages! Thanks to DC_SeungGall for the correction. )
Then it was a video message from the other 4 1n2d members. It was mostly HoDong talking, asking us if we were ready to meet the emperor. They started the countdown, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… then HoDong yelled “SeungGi ya”, and the curtain dropped. I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a moment there.
I could see the band playing on the stage, but SeungGi was nowhere to be found. I just kept staring at the main stage and looking for him, then I saw his face on the big screen, singing, and he had already appeared on the T shaped stage in the front! There were so many blinding spotlights on him, it was hard to make out his figure on the stage, but I was feeling quite overwhelmed just thinking that there he was, standing right in front of my eyes! Then my mind finally registered that he was singing one of my favorite songs, Love Taught Me To Drink, and I got even more excited! But as he continued singing, he moved back to the main stage, getting further away from me, thus bringing back some of the disappointment.
After the first song, it was the opening ment. Let me clarify something first. I think a lot of people overestimate how much Korean I know since I do some Korean to English translations. Yes, I can read a little bit with the help of a dictionary, but my listening and speaking skills are still at the beginner’s level. So I really didn’t understand most of what SeungGi said. I think he said he was thankful that so many people came to the concert, but he was very nervous. He even asked for some encouragement, and the fans yelled “SeungGi ya!” a few times at his request, and he held his arms out basking in the cheering. He talked a little bit about the last 2 concerts and said he had prepared a lot for this one. He also said that he would try to keep his promise of holding a concert every year.
Then, he sang “Cry Out” and “White Lie.” Right afterward, a fan yelled out, “Lee Seung Gi, the best!” Haha, that was exactly how I (and I’m sure many others) felt. I won’t make any more comments on how good his singing was in this post, but I don’t think there should be any doubts on his singing skills. The reason I like him so much as a singer is that he can sound better live than on CDs, and he definitely did not disappoint on that day.
After those two songs, it was time for another ment. SeungGi really talked a lot, and he’s always very good at it. I’m sure I’d enjoyed the concert even more if I understood his ment. Anyway, I think he talked about telling white lies as a celebrity, but he said he was sincerely happy. He also asked how many of us liked him since his 1st album, and a lot of people cheered. So he said, “That would be a white lie.” lol
He then sang “Please” and “Let’s Break Up.” When he went backstage to change, a video clip of SeungGi visiting a family of 8 kids was shown (this should be broadcast on DongHaeng soon). Everyone, including the kids and the parents, was so happy and excited to see him. He hugged a few of the kids and everyone on screen and off screen was screaming. He brought them gifts, helped clean up the house, put up wallpapers, and stock up on coal bricks (sometimes looking very serious but very handsome while working hard). He then made his famous sweet potato mattang, which seemed to be quite a hit. He did a little singing (live performance of I Love You From Now On!) and also played games with the kids. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and it was fun to watch them as well.
After the video, SeungGi reappeared by the main screen and sang “Words Hard to Say.” Next up was “My Possession.” While he was singing, he took the microphone, walked to the front of the extended stage and even shook a few hands. The atmosphere was really starting to heat up. When he started singing the next song, “One More Time,” some people were jumping up and down already. SeungGi seemed to be having a good time on stage as well. I think this press photo was taken during that song.
SeungGi went backstage again. This time, they played some BTS clips from MGIG with “Losing My Mind” playing in the background. I guess this was the start of part 2 of the concert. After the video, the same music came on, and SeungGi was on the stage surrounded by dancers. Alright! The 1st live performance of Losing My Mind with the cutest dance! And everyone just went crazy when he did the love bullets! I unfortunately missed part of the performance because some people in front of me started standing up, and I was too slow to follow suits. But it was definitely the most memorable dance performance of the night.
When the lights went dark again, they showed a few clips from MGIG with Fox Rain playing in the background. Any time there was any skinship between the hoi couple, the crowd would start screaming. Then Lee Sun Hee appeared on the stage, and sang Fox Rain and The Person I’ll Love. She didn’t talk at all and the time went by very fast. Then it was No Min Woo, singing Trap. To be honest, I was very surprised at how loud the cheering was when he came on the stage. It was even louder than for Lee Sun Hee.
After that, more clips of hoi couple. Then SeungGi appeared by the main screen again, singing I Love You From Now On. He walked down the steps, and went to the left side of the main stage. Then there was a spotlight on the center of the stage, and Shin Min Ah was coming up from below the stage! Oh, the excitement! SeungGi walked toward her, took her hand, and they walked down the extended stage together, all while SeungGi was still singing I Love You. Gosh, who wouldn’t want to be in MinAh’s shoes at that moment?!
After the song, SeungGi asked MinAh to greet the fans. MinAh seemed kind of nervous. They talked a little bit, and some fans started yelling hoi hoi. SeungGi was like, you want us to do that LIVE?! The fans were like, YES! So the hoi couple obliged and did their hoi hoi greeting. Jo Jung Rin then joined them on the stage, and they talked a little more. The part I remembered was SeungGi saying how much his hands were sweating and how nervous he was being with MinAh. Then the other 3 cast members from MGIG, Park Soo Jin, No Min Woo and Kim Ho Chang, joined them. SeungGi went over and shook hands with the first two but hugged his best friend from the show. The rest of the interview felt pretty slow to me, since I was only looking forward to seeing MinAh, and I didn’t understand what they were talking about anyway. After the interview, Lyn came on the stage. I didn’t know who she was or what song she was singing, but it sounded really familiar. It turned out to be “We Were in Love” from SeungGi’s 1st remake album, and she’s actually the original singer. After that, BongGu joined her and they sang Two As One, one of the MGIG OST songs. Since everyone involved in the OST seemed to be showing up to sing his/her song, I thought for sure MinAh would be up next for her songs. Unfortunately, the MGIG part of the concert ended there.
Then a special video of SeungGi was played, showing him anticipating November 21st. After another countdown, SeungGi appeared on stage, singing Will You Marry Me. I think SeungGi was dancing to this song here.
He then sang Just Like the First Time, and Park Soo Jin joined him for the duet part. To be honest, she didn’t have much presence and I wasn’t very impressed with her part of singing and dancing, even though the overall choreography was very cute. I think she needs to blame SeungGi for outshining her even in cuteness.
After the song, his two stylists went up on stage and helped him change right in front of the audience. But he only changed his long jacket for a vest, so everyone was disappointed. haha Because he’d been sweating a lot, one of the fans ran to the front and offered him a handkerchief(?). He actually took it, wiped his face and gave it back. Everyone was of course screaming again. SeungGi then put on a shiny pair of gloves and said he was going to sing a song from the 3rd album, and the title was Long, Long Time. The fans tried to correct him that the song was from the 4th album. I think he was testing us to see if we were paying attention. haha He then said that since he was so bad at dancing, and because celebrities and their fans were alike, his fans seemed to be bad at dancing as well. So he wanted to teach us some simple dance moves. He had 2 dancers go up to the stage for demonstrations while he counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 4… After his dance lessons, the real performance started. Again, cuteness overload! Some of the fans had stood up and danced along. People were getting very high.
Unlike his previous two concerts, there was not a separate dancing segment. I’m sure a lot of people (myself included) were disappointed that he did not reveal his chocolate abs this year. But a lot of the songs were choreographed with super cute dance moves. Could that be a theme for this year?
The next video played was SeungGi’s previous trot performances. Even though I’m not a big fan of trot, but SeungGi always has these priceless expressions when he’s singing trot, so I always enjoy these performances. His songs of choice for this year were Sister and Twist of Love. During the first song, whenever he sang “sister,” he would point out to the audience. Of course, everyone would go crazy. Just think about how many “sister” fans were there in the audience! This was also when he showed off his napkin rose magic trick. I couldn’t believe that he really did it. I thought the press was joking when they included magic tricks in the scheduled performances for the concert. The second song was Twist of Love, so of course, SeungGi had to do some twists. OMG, it was totally daebak! How could he be so cute and sexy at the same time?!
After the trot performances, 3 members of SuJu (Teuk Academy minus Shin Dong, I’m not sure who the 3rd person was) appeared on the screen to introduce the next segment. Rock!!! The real highlight of the show!
Lee Seung Gi with BooHwal
Boohwal appeared on the stage first, playing some introductory music. Then rocker SeungGi appeared, singing Heeya, Boohwal’s debut song. OMG, his powerful voice was just to die for! He then sang his own debut song, Because You’re My Woman. He sings this song all the time, but this was the first time he sang the rock version. And it was THE MOST memorable performance of the night. I think I tweeted from the concert that my heart just totally melted when I heard it, and I really meant it.
After the first two songs, it was time for ment. SeungGi said he was very honored to be on stage with Boohwal. He then introduced each of the members. I’m not sure what he talked about with the other members (except that they all had a lot of praises for SeungGi), but when he introduced Kim Tae Won, people started chanting “grandma” (Kim Tae Won’s nickname is nation’s grandma). SeungGi tried to put a stop to it, saying, “Why are you guys calling the rock legend grandma?!” But Kim Tae Won was totally enjoying it.
SeungGi then sang The More I Love, another one of Boohwal’s hits, and Because I Love You Because I Love You, a song Kim Tae Won had originally written for Qualification of Men. By this time, a lot of people had started jumping up and down with the music already, and you could really feel the floor shaking. SeungGi was actually also jumping up and down on the stage. He even did that rocker jump pose from the concert poster. It was unbelievable!!!
SeungGi and Boohwal talked more after this. SeungGi also thanked the fans, and said the magic words, “I love you!” He asked us if we were ready to enjoy the rest of the show. Of course we were! The next song was Crazy For You. Honestly, I didn’t like this song very much from the 2nd album or the 1st concert. But it was so much more enjoyable this time around. I’m not sure if it was because SeungGi had improved as a singer or it was the effect of live performance and the infectious atmosphere. Then, it was Lee Sun Hee’s Ah! The Old Days. I remember really liking this song when I first heard Lee Sun Hee singing it, and SeungGi’s version was equally (if not more) enjoyable. SeungGi then said it was time for his last song, rock version of Smile Boy. Another daebak performance!
After SeungGi left the stage, it was time to call for encore. But very surprisingly, the audience’s response was rather subdued. I read PD Shin’s tweet later that her mom and friends wanted people to stop calling for encore because they felt SeungGi was too tired already. Could it be because a lot of other people felt that way as well? It was easy to tell that SeungGi really gave his 100% at the concert. Especially during the rock segment, he had started sweating from the very beginning, and you could really see his neck veins popping out while he was singing. But he held up so well for the entire concert. All his performances were simply amazing!
Fortunately, SeungGi did come back for encores. He first sang Let’s Go On Vacation, with scenes from 1n2d playing on the screens. A lot of the fans were also singing along. After that, the music of Unfinished Story started playing in the background and SeungGi started with his closing ment. He was definitely getting very emotional. He thanked his parents, Hook family, and most importantly, his fans. I think he said he wanted to be back on stage as a singer next year (or every year?). He then sang the rest of the song, but couldn’t hold back his tears any more. He said more words of thanks, and then finally “I love you” and then he was gone.
They played one last video with a letter from SeungGi. Unfortunately, it was totally blurry (was it because of my own tears?) and I couldn’t read it at all. But from what I read afterward, it was a very touching letter.
Even though I knew the concert had come to an end, I just stayed in my seat and didn’t want to leave at all. The concert had lasted 3 hours, but it felt way too short! I guess I need to start counting down to the next concert already.
When I finally went outside the stadium, I ran into some of the international fans again. And we all agreed that it was an amazing experience, worth every penny we’d spent on our trips. Still feeling reluctant to leave, I went to the back door hoping to catch another glimpse of SeungGi. By the time I got there, there was already a huge crowd around the parking lot. I walked around and finally found a spot with a clear view of SeungGi’s van. I’m not sure how long I waited. But just when I was looking down at my phone and checking my messages, I heard the crowd cheering. OMG, it must be SeungGi! But it was such a short distance between the door and the van, by the time I looked up, SeungGi was already gone from my sight. I felt just terrible, and couldn’t believe I missed him like that! I should have had my eyes glued at the door! But just when I felt like crying, I saw SeungGi! I think before he went into the van, he actually stepped to his right side to wave to the fans standing in my direction. OMG, SeungGi was actually waving at us!!! I waved back, but before I could take a picture, he disappeared into the van. So here’s a picture of the van, with SeungGi sitting inside.
With that “close” encounter, the night had finally come to a beautiful end.
And so had my first trip to Seoul (the next day was pretty uneventful with packing and the long flight home).
But I know I will be back. SeungGi ya, see you next time!