Oh, you know, not much…only getting to see BIG BANG LIVE!!!!
For those of you who don’t know, Big Bang is pretty much my favourite group ever (of any language). I also attribute the start of my interest in the Korean language to them. I had never even heard Korean being spoken until YouTube had randomly suggested me one of their songs back in 2008. One listen of ‘Haru Haru‘ and I was hooked. Kpop certainly isn’t the reason I moved to Korea, but I also can’t deny that it is what started it all…or that I have an embarrassing amount of Kpop on my mp3 player ^^
Big Bang is a Korean group consisting of five members (from left to right): Daesung, TOP, GD, Seungri, and Taeyang.
Back to my story! I was pretty devastated when the only two stops they on their North American tours were to LA and Newark. Neither were possible in a practical sense of the word. I consoled myself that I would soon be leaving for Korea and that there would be always be a ‘next time’. You could imagine my glee when YG Entertainment announced that Big Bang would be holding three concerts in Seoul to finish their 10 month long world tour.
For four solid nights, I tried my luck to get tickets…to no avail. The tickets sold out each day in 7 minutes, and I was battling on a all Korean website. My story was still sad up until January 19th. After failing to get tickets through Gmarket, I looked to places like Seoul Craigslist and the Facebook page for people selling excess tickets, but most of them were aiming to rip you off. I was talking with a girl who had pretty decent tickets for $180 Canadian (still cheaper than what I would have had to pay to go to the US shows), but by the end she wanted me to pay $240, to which I said ‘no way’. I wanted to go to the concert, but I wasn’t about to enable people like that. I had emailed one person before, but she told me that she had already sold all of her tickets, to which I thanked her and set myself upon the idea that I was not going to be going to the concert. However, as luck would have it, the person she was originally going to sell her tickets to wasn’t paying so I was offered one of the tickets. I immediately grabbed it up and started looking forward to January 27th!
Getting to the concert was pretty easy, if a bit out of the way. The concert was at Olympic Gymnasium Arena, which is located right along the way off Olympic Park Station. For me it was a simple act of getting on Line 6 at 대흥역 (daeheung yeok – Daeheung Station) and transferring to Line 5 청고역 (cheonggu yeok – Cheonggu Station) for the rest of the way. I got to the Olympic Park around 3pm because I wanted to look around and see if anything was going on before the concert. I couldn’t believe my eyes how many people were already there waiting!!
It made me really wish I had a friend to go to the concert with. It was a little lonely walking around by myself, but the atmosphere around the area was so great! People were running around with posters, signs, newly purchased merchandise, and wearing more animal suits then I have ever seen in my life!
There was even this adorable girl who went to the concert in her hanbok.
Mini-sized flash mob! I’m not sure how many of the participants knew each other, but one moment there was no one dancing, and the next there was an almost choreographed dance going on.
I wish I could have bought more souvenirs but I had placed a limit of one (preferably small) item as a keepsake. I ended up going with this BIGBANG ring. I love it, and the small one fit perfectly (which is rare for me…my whole family has little baby hands). But I deeply regret not buying one of the fanlights. I know why I didn’t buy one (they’re fragile and I doubted I could get it back to Canada safely), but I still felt so left out during the concert without one!
I have no photo evidence of the concert because the security guards were super strict! I know that they were filming these final concerts in Seoul for the DVD, but wow! They turned me away at the entrance because I had a camera. I had to go and wait in line to check my purse before I could go in. They did place some official pictures on the BIGBANG Facebook page though, so that’s nice.
I haven’t been to too many concerts in my life: AC/DC, Michael Bublé, and Foreigner are the only ones that come to mind (and Foreigner was a free show). And out of all those shows, I feel like this one was one of the smaller venues. After checking out the official website, it turns out there was 13,000 people at the show! (every one of the 48 concerts on the tour sold out) It certainly didn’t feel like it though.
I was in section 41, seat 101 (almost exactly the middle of the 41 section), but I feel like there wasn’t a terrible view in the entire place. The sections more around in a semi-circle around the stage, and the three screens by the state were the most crystal clear display I’ve ever seen. The only complaint I have over the screen display is that TOP wasn’t on it enough ^^ (I’m a huge TOP fangirl, and thankfully the two seats besides me contained two English teachers who were equally as TOP-fangirlish. We had a great time chatting before the show started.) The seating chart above is mildly deceptive. I had figured that 2F and 3F were in fact that…a second and third floor. That turned out to not be the case. The whole thing was on one level with an angled increase. What I thought would be nosebleed seats were in fact just fine!
The actual concert was just amazing! It was loud, vibrant, you could feel the pounding music from the live band, it contained several costume changes, and individual highlights for each member. The whole thing ran almost 3 hours! According to the set list found on the official website they performed 30 songs in total.
I’m still a bit giddy over the entire thing. I can’t even fully remember what happened during the concert. It was such a neat experience. The minute the stadium lights were turned off, the building erupted in cheers and a sea of yellow crown-shaped lights turned on. It was so pretty! I wish I could have gotten pictures of my own to show. On the other hand though, I feel as if my Korean has gotten a little better! I could pick out a few small sentences when the members addressed the crowd! Yay! There was plenty of silly moments, Taeyang took his shirt off twice, and TOP did his adorably-awkward dancing a few times
When entering the venue, volunteers handed everyone of us one of these small yellow posters. It had instructions in Korean, Japanese and English on the back to start waving the signs and singing along during ‘Haru Haru’. It was a sight to see the entire arena suddenly turn yellow.
Overall, the concert was absolutely FANTASTIC BABY. I am not telling any LIES….The whole time I was thinking BABY DON’T CRY. OH MY FRIEND, I couldn’t have asked for a more WONDERFUL time. I just know that WE BELONG TOGETHER. THIS LOVE will ALWAYS be WHAT IS RIGHT. TOP, you will always be my NUMBER 1.
*cough* Now that I’ve finished trying to awkwardly fit in every song title that I could into that paragraph, here is a short video taken by one of the band members (Seungri) during the concert. Because Samsung sponsored the tour, they had to do a short Galaxy S3 promo each concert. Not that I’m complaining though! It gives me a small keepsake memory as to what it was like to be there ^^ Enjoy!
Till next time!