*updated with corrected interpretation of the concert’s opening video* 😛
[Sorry this is long overdue. I tried my best, but the concert was just such an overwhelming experience, it was hard to convey everything through words. :P]
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 :P):
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!