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SMTown World Tour Live in New York — My Experience

28 Oct

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:

  1.  There were no more fans with the face of a specific SNSD or Super Junior member printed on them,
  2. People thought they ran out of t-shirts when in fact there were still boxes and boxes of them under the tables,
  3. 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),
  4. People were trying to leave this insanity once they’ve bought what they wanted,
  5. Or lastly… all of the above.
Despite the craziness of it all, people were still very polite and civilized; nobody got hurt or trampled  on.  It’s a shame, this didn’t get recorded but we all felt so victorious when we finally left the booth with our goods in the air (I bought a SMTown World Tour Mug and T-shirt); it felt as though we just won a battle so we had a mini celebratory dance and immediate donned our prize before heading into the stadium.

SMTown Concert

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:

Some of the most memorable moments of the night include:
  • 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

General Thoughts

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!


The Countdown Begins Now!! AHAHAHAHA!!!

24 Sep

In exactly one month from today…

Omg, I’m so excited!!  I don’t really listen to BOA anymore and I’ve never been a Kangta or a TVXQ fan but I love Super Junior, SNSD, Shinee and f(x).  Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I really hope YG Entertainment doesn’t do their world tour until next year, or better yet, the year after — I’m an ever bigger fan of Big Bang and 2NE1 but I’ll be broke after SMTOWN.  It’ll be devastating if I can go to one World Tour but not the other!

Anyways, the tickets are bought and according to my friend, it should be in the mail on its way to us now.  We’ve already booked a hotel but after visiting a few travel agencies today, I think it’s best for us to just cancel the hotel and go with a tour.  We haven’t checked the Greyhound prices yet, but the cost for train tickets to and fro costs almost $200 in total — which is really expensive not to mention time consuming (11 hour trip x2)!  The tour with the travel agency is significantly more economical — not only does the price include hotel, transportation and breakfast, but they’re also dropping us off in Manhattan.  The only thing we have to worry about is paying for a cab ride back to our hotel from Madison Square Garden, which I imagine will be quite pricey since it’ll be in New Jersey (about 45 minutes away).  Actually, does anyone know how much it’ll cost, approximately?  I know it’s a $45 flat rate to get from Manhattan to JFK, which is about an hour away so I’m hoping it’ll be around the same price to get back to the hotel.

Actually, I don’t know if this is a stupid question or not but New York cabs do go to New Jersey, right?  We’ll be going from one state to another so I’m not quite sure how that works…

Oh, and I need to renew my passport…

And I am freaking out a bit about next month’s credit card bill.  It’s gonna be really scary… oh whatever… Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!!  Let’s face it, they’re semi-famous in North America now so in a few years, they’re going to be even more so; what are the chances that SM Entertainment will do another World Tour with all the artists under their label?  Not very likely, I imagine.  Even if they do come, it’ll only be one or two groups, right?  So yes… once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…

Next month’s credit card bill is gonna be really scary, but that’s okay cuz memories are priceless!!

‘Tis the season to be baking ❤

28 Dec

This weekend was pretty eventful, if I do say so myself:

  • Christmas Eve:  Last minute shopping rush, hot pot dinner at home, and baking chocolate chip cookies
  • Christmas:  Baking gingerbread cookies, simple lunch, lazying about, Christmas feast, decorating cookies
  • Boxing Day:  Dim Sum brunch with relatives, shopping at Carrefour Laval
  • Dec. 27:  Dim Sum brunch with cousins from Toronto, grocery shopping at Costco, dinner with family friends
  • Today:  More shopping around Downtown.

I’m quite surprised at my Boxing Day/Week haul this year since I have, literally, never found anything worth buying on Boxing Day in previous years.  This time around, when the stores claim to have sales, they really mean it — none of that buy one, get one half off non-sense they had in the past (because let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard enough finding  one item that you like during sales, let alone finding something else in the same store just for the sake of having a bigger discount).

I think I’ll list out all my purchases either on the weekend or sometime next week since all my new clothes are in the hamper right now.

Anyways, I’m rambling.  The point of this post is to show off my cookies so here they are!!

We started out a lot more than this, but over half the batches either got eaten or were boxed before these photos were taken.  Hah! Even my brother agrees that it’s pretty obvious who decorated which, but see if you can guess which ones I did, lol.

I’ll post up the answer later on this week. 😉

The Nicholas Brothers — Pure Unadulterated Joy

28 Sep

Do not underestimate this routine just because it’s in black and white — sometimes you just can’t beat the classics.  What I love about the Nicholas Brothers is that when they are dancing, their hearts are leaping right along with them.  They make it look so easy and effortless.  They are so light on their feat that with every step they take, they are practically flying.

It’s quite unfortunate that despite their obviously ground-breaking talent, the Nicholas Brothers never achieved the same acclaim in the media as the other dancers of their time (such as Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Temple, and Busby Berkely) due the color of their skin.

Although they have taught master classes in tap dance as teachers-in-residence at Harvard University, they did not choreograph.  Most of what they do is done on a whim, barely rehearsed.   Even their sequence in Stormy Weather (which, by the way, is hailed by the legendary Fred Astaire as “the greatest dance number ever filmed”) is done in a call-and-response act with the pianist.

If none of the above convinced you to watch this, then at least do so for the leapfrog splits — absolutely death-defying.

One down, two to go!!

26 Nov

Just presented for my DRM class this morning.  Haha, our group’s presentation totally kicked ass!!  There was another group who did a skit as well, but I’m biased; I think ours was better… We had “costumes” & props!! =D

Anyways, must cram for exam now…

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