The concert was off the hook!!
It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Omg, there were so many spectacular bits about the concert; where do I even begin??
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Before the Concert
First off, the amount of people standing outside Madison Square Garden was insane. There was so much going on — cameras flashing and recording everywhere, reporters and camera crew running all round, fans chanting/shrieking enthusiastically, banners and glow-sticks waving all around, and crazy fan girls/fan boys jumping in at any mention of their favorite group/artist.
I think the only thing missing out there was a flash-mob and we saw one of those in K-Town on our way to the concert venue. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think it was a flash-mob; it was a group of people wearing yellow shirts and dancing to either Super Junior’s new song “Mr. Simple”. Sadly, they kept getting interrupted due to all the traffic and random pedestrians walking into the shot (there were dancing in front of a parking lot entrance for one thing, and they had to wait for breaks in traffic because the cameraman was filming from across the street (u___u;;).
Anyways, the line up for the the concert merchandise just went on, and on, and on but luckily the line moved extremely quickly — I think they were letting people in by the dozens so we actually weren’t standing for too long. It was only when we got pass security check that it got really chaotic. The “line-up” (I’m using the term loosely here because there was no line, everyone just crowded up) in front of the merchandise tables was like a mosh-pit.
People were pushing and shoving; those in front of the line kept freaking everyone out by screaming at random intervals — we had no idea whether it was from a celebrity sighting or a shortage of merchandise. My friend had to latch onto my arm the entire time and we immediately darted in when there’s a gap from people leaving. We finally realized what all the commotion was about once we got closer to the front of the line — it was either because:
- There were no more fans with the face of a specific SNSD or Super Junior member printed on them,
- People thought they ran out of t-shirts when in fact there were still boxes and boxes of them under the tables,
- Seller’s were screaming at everyone to chillout and move back by pushing the counter forwards and squishing everyone in the front by doing so since people could not back up fast enough (it was so crowded that you can’t even see your own torso, much less your feet),
- People were trying to leave this insanity once they’ve bought what they wanted,
- Or lastly… all of the above.
As I’ve mentioned before, the concert was off the hook!! It had absolutely EVERYTHING(!!!) — fire, steam, streamers, confetti, lazers, fireworks (yes, that’s right; real fireworks inside the stadium), and even flying!!
Our seats were AMAZING!! Not only did we have the perfect view of the stage and the three jumbo screens, but we were close enough to see everyone’s faces while they were performing. Oh, and the best part of all… we were literally 6 feet away from Eunhyuk and Shindong of Super Junior when they marched in from our staircase/exit — had we sat a few seats over, we could have shaken their hands as they made their way to the stage singing a cover cover in Jinusean’s anthem “A-Yo”. It was absolutely epic; there’s just no other word to describe it:
- SHINee’s performance of “Lucifer” — OMG… everyone went crazy; even more so when all of them flew above the stadium with these awesome Wolverine claws/gloves that shot lazer beams at the audience.
- Jessica (SNSD) and Krystal (f(x))’s cover of Ke$ha’s “Tick Tock” — that was one of the opening songs for the night and they rocked it. It set the tone for the night and got everyone singing along with them.
- Onew (SHINee)’s opera number “Nessu Dorma” — I don’t think there was anyone there who wasn’t awestruck by that performance. I didn’t even know that he can sing like that!! Granted, I may not be the best judge of his Italian pronounciation but it doesn’t take a musical genius to realize his voice is absolutely stunning — so powerful and so full of emotion.
- Super Junior (Kyuhyn, Ryeowook, and Yesung)’s “Sorry Sorry Answer“ — So smooth! It’s so amazing to hear it live. It also makes me wonder why the heck have I never noticed Yesung before; he has one the sexiest smirks I have ever seen. I must’ve been blinded by Siwon’s manly abs and now that he’s on hiatus to pursue acting, I’m free from distraction to notice the other guys of the group. =P
- Super Junior’s “Don’t Don” — I didn’t intend to record this since I’m not too crazy about the song but that that performance was quite easily one of the best of the night: steam blasting from the side of the stage, a giant drum set rising from the middle of the stage with Henry rocking it out on his violin and Zhou Mi rapping up a storm, fireworks going off in the background, and oh yes… there was flying.
- Girl’s Generation’s performance of “The Boys” for the first time ever.
- f(x)’ “Hot Summer” — pretty much shrieks all around whenever Amber rapped regardless of the song.
- BoA’s spectacular dancing and her performance of “Did It For Love” with Key.
- I almost forgot about TVXQ since they didn’t perform until maybe about two-thirds of the way into the concert but man, do they know how to make an entrance. I almost felt bad for BoA because they were setting everything up as she was performing; everyone in the crowd got distracted, wondering who was getting air-born next since it was too dark to see anything. Of course, those with floor tickets caught a glimpse of everything before it happened.
And lastly, can we please talk about this photo:
Now I didn’t see this particular moment, but I did notice a Nemo being tossed back and forth from the stage. I think what happened was a fan threw a stuffed Nemo on the stage as a gift for Super Junior. One of the guys (can’t remember who) picked up Nemo and posed a bit with it for fans and then tossed it back to the person who threw it, only to have it thrown back on stage again (that fan was very persistent). I don’t know if Super Junior ended up keeping Nemo since I got too distracted by their show to notice its fate. xD
In short, I think I speak for everyone present that coming out of the concert, we were all deaf and our throats were hoarse from screaming / singing / cheering / gushing so energetically. Oh, and did I mention that by the end of it, all the artists were throwing things to the audience? Yeah, it was a madhouse… especially when it came to towels… Quite a few members of Super Junior even took fans’ camera to take pictures of themselves with the fan before giving it back to them — that’s the advantage of having floor “seats”.
Overall, I think the best performers of the night were SHINee, Super Junior, f(x), BoA, SNSD, followed by TVXQ and Kangta. Not only did SHINee walk all over the stage but they really gave it their all (they defied all rules of gravity). Meanwhile, Super Junior wins the award for having the most diversity in their acts, and the girls get points for making me sing my voice away. It’s not that TVXQ and Kangta were bad; it’s just that I like the other groups a lot more in comparison. Kangta’s songs are quite lovely, but I tend to enjoy dance-pop/electric-pop/R&B more than I do ballads. The only criticism I have for the entire concert is that the microphones were a bit off; everyone sounded a bit more chipmunk-ish than they normally do (it was especially apparent when BoA was speaking) but watching the clips now, I realize was done intentionally since voices do record a bit lower on video (maybe it’s the echo).
Briefly put, there is simply no words to describe this entire experience. We had our photo taken by the press, we got interviewed for our reaction at the end of the concert (I should have asked the reporter to repeat what paper/media he was working for, though I suspect he felt somewhat intimidated by us since we were most likely screaming our enthusiasm at him from being slightly deaf at that point) and according do my friends, we got recorded by some news station when they did a sweep of the line before the show.
Despite my initial doubts, I have no regrets for this trip because this concert truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Everything worked out beautifully, with the exception of finding the infamous “Chinatown Ice Cream Factory” (we found it eventually after realizing the hard way that we cannot be trusted with a map in a strange city). Moreover, I ended up spending a lot less than I expected and we got to do everything we wanted, so that’s a definite plus. ;)
The only regret I have is not seeing SHINee and Super Junior in Central Park because as it turns out, they were also there on the same day we were, LOL!