Warning: This blog post is a shit show of typos (probably), gross overuse of exclamatory statements, and a landmine of videos that no one will watch. Please just pretend that you’re reading the blog of a fifteen-year-old and then it will make more sense.
Ahhhh, this was the night I was waiting for! Twice and CNBlue were both performing and I was pinching myself repeatedly because HOW WAS THIS NOT A K-DREAM?
Henry dropped us off at the Prudential Center around the time line-up was beginning. This was one of my few complaints about KCON and maybe it’s more of the Prudential Center, but holy shit was this a clutserfucked disarray of clueless people, Chooch and myself included. The side of the arena we had lined up the night before was completely different so I asked one of the KCON volunteers and he said we needed to be on the opposite side. So we left a perfectly good line and trudged back to the side where Henry had dropped us off, only to find five messy lines full of people who had no clue where they were supposed to be. I know this because I kept asking people if we were in the right line and it was a bunch of undulating question marks, people.
So many confused souls.
Some of the guys from the AT&T tent came over near our line with huge boxes of extra finger heart hats and they started giving them away, so at least we got a small prize for getting in line a million hours early when we had seats. We got one for Henry too who refuses to wear his in public because he knows he can’t pull off that k-look.
Meanwhile, a girl in the next line over noticed my Pierce the Veil shirt and started singing “Yeah Boy & Doll Face” and we lowkey became best friends. OG PTV fans unite!
We finally got to go inside after having security scream in our faces about what we couldn’t bring in and Chooch was about to lose his shit because like me, he hates being screamed at by authority figures—it doesn’t scare him, it just makes him want to fight. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD TRAIT HE PICKED UP FROM MOMMY.
Once we were safely in our nosebleed seats, we took a selca (selfie for you Americans) to send to Henry who didn’t answer right away because he was probably at a strip club – LOL JK he was most definitely laying in bed at the hotel, watching lame TV shows on his phone.
One of the first things I noticed when dipping my toe into the Kpop pond was that the audience was always waving some type of glowing wand in every live video I watched, no matter what group it was. That’s when I learned about LIGHT STICKS and how each group has their own design.
I wanted to buy one immediately but then I never did because I honestly never thought I’d be attending any Kpop concerts in the near future—I love when I’m wrong about these kinds of things!
We couldn’t find any light sticks on the first day because we didn’t look hard enough, but by the second day, we got our coveted Awesome Wands! They didn’t have merch for each individual group (aside from some unofficial stuff like pins, etc) so we had to stick with the KCON light stick which was better than nothing! I just wish I had bought a Twice Candybong online beforehand like I was considering.
On this second night of KCON, we were treated to a tear-jerking violin performance by Jun Curry Ahn (“This is from ‘Goblin’!” I yelled in Chooch’s ear during the rendition of Crush’s “Beautiful” and Chooch just rolled his eyes because he won’t let himself trust-fall into the strong yet cushion-y arms of Korean dramas) who also did a bit of dancing too when he performed his cover of BTS’s “Spring Day.” I loved it! But when I sent Henry the short clip I recorded, he was just like, “OK.” Nothing impresses Henry, except for airplanes, and possibly when he knows the meaning of a moderately large word used on NCIS.
The dance group 1Million also performed and Chooch and I were blown away. I want him to learn to dance but he doesn’t seem to understand just yet that being a good dancer gets the girls.
As soon as 1Million was done, the KCON intro started up, getting us all hyper and screaming. I expected Up10tion to come out first, but KCON had a surprise for us! They put together a JYP tribute stage (JYP is one of the labels/agencies in S. Korea) and who rose up from below the stage?
Momo, Nayeon, Mina, and Sana from Twice! They performed part of “Bad Girl Good Girl” by Miss A, and I’m pretty sure the girl behind me had a bloody throat from shrieking. Then they left the stage as Jihyo, Tzuyu, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Jeongyeon (Chooch’s and my bias!) came out to sing Wonder Girls’ “Nobody” (I just made Henry do the KpopX workout routine to this song last weekend!) and then my throat joined the throat of the girl behind me in a collective pool of blood:
The JYP special stage ended with all nine of them performing JY Park’s “Honey.”
[Fun crossover-culture fact for my non-kpop people: JY Park (the head of JYP, obv.) has a music video featuring Conan O’Brien and Steven Jeun from “The Walking Dead.” Watch it or not. I’ll never know.]
Now that Twice got us all riled up, the main event was ready to begin with Up10tion completely wowing us with their dance moves and super adorable fan engaging. Chooch was getting all kinds of fashion tips from them (who am I to deny my son of the hot pink blazer he now desperately covets?) while I was feeling the beginning of a new obsession starting.
THEY WERE REALLY FUN, OK.
And they performed the new song they were talking about at the fan engagement that morning, and I loved it! When the video was finally released a week later, I was so excited and now I will post it here and make you all watch it (no seriously, you have to watch this one):
NCT-127 was next and while I was interested, I wasn’t expecting to get all caught up in the hype. They’re clearly one of the latest “it boy groups” that all the girls are fighting over and even though I watched some of their videos, and even one of their appearances on Weekly Idol (which is how I learned one of them is from Chicago and his name, obviously, is Johnny), I just wasn’t getting caught up in it. One of the kpop dance workouts I do uses their song “Firetruck” and I actually don’t care much for the song but I like the dance routine so it’s one of the ones I do regularly. Well, I’m here to tell you that I now officially love the song and the group because their moxie-level is higher than that dude who sold me iced coffee in an alley head shop. Chooch and I agreed that the boy groups on night two were the best and mostly because of their dancing.
I get it now, girls. And if I hadn’t gotten it right away, I sure as fuck would have been chugging the kool-aid after they finished their awkward Fortune Wheel and came back to perform CHERRY BOMB. (Again, this was another song that I wasn’t feeling when it was first released, but after those basslines nearly brought the house down, I was fucking sold and have this song playing in my head at least 127 different times a day.)
Because the word “honestly” is in my blog, I feel like I need to be a little negative for just one quick second and admit that I hated their outfits OK MOVING ALONG…
(I mean, their dancing pretty much makes up for their weird Uncle-Rodney-Came-to-Xmas-Dinner-in-1968-Drunk-Again pantsuits.)
OK, what happened next was that Chooch and I were skyrocketed straight up into Kpop heaven. Straight the fuck up, no rest stops, no traffic, no time to fight over the music selection.
BECAUSE IT WAS TIME FOR TWICE!
Sure, we already had a sneak peek earlier in the night with the JYP special stage, but nothing could have prepared us for the aegyo explosion as they performed Signal, Cheer Up, Knock Knock, and motherfucking TT!!!!!
Oh, stop! Have you ever seen more perfect angels on a stage?!
Chooch and I were sufficiently shocked and awed. After each song, Chooch sat up straight and clapped with the purest sincerity, like he was at the opera, and it was so adorable. He said they were his favorite of the whole weekend and I have to agree — the whole place just exploded with enthusiasm the entire time they were on stage.
For their turn at the Fortune Wheel, they got “photo time” and they made the best of it. HOW ARE THEY SO ADORABLE?! I sent this to Henry and he was like, “Is that all they did the whole time was make cute poses?” and Chooch and I were like IT WAS DURING THE FORTUNE WHEEL, DUMMY.
This guy next to me was there with his wife, I guess, and his expression never changed all night. He never smiled, applauded, laughed—-nothing. He eventually got up and left during Twice and never came back. Some people just weren’t meant to feel joy I guess.
I wish Blake had been there with us — he really likes Twice too! And Henry admitted that he was sort of sad Chooch took his ticket because he was secretly to see Twice. Guys, I make him watch a lot of Twice TV, where they’re out and about being super adorable and funny. We’re all Onces in our house (THAT’S WHAT TWICE FANS CALL THEMSELVES, GET WITH IT).
There’s a video of Tzuyu and Jeongyeon in Times Square during KCON weekend, standing in a crowd and watching a bunch of people do a dance cover of TT – and they went completely unnoticed. I would have died if I turned around and saw them standing behind me!
I have tons of videos from their stages (in kpop world, they will say, “We hope you like our next stage” before starting the next song; these are the things I’m learning on your behalf, you’re welcome), but I will spare you.
I can’t remember now if Up10tion did their special Broadway stage before or after Twice, but in any case, they came out and performed some Abba song from Mama Mia, whatever the song is where they said “honey,” I don’t know musicals. This was adorable though because Up10tion fans are called Honeys! Oh, kpop.
The finale of the whole KCON experience was CNBlue. They’re the most veteran out of the whole lineup, and the only group that’s also an actual band. The lead singer, Yong Hwa, is my favorite Running Man guest! He’s made more guest appearances on the show than anyone else, and he is just a great competitor AND SO NICE TO LOOK AT.
They started off their stage with “Between Us” and I was having heart palpitations.
Yong Hwa gave such good fan service, too! He was all over the stage, taking selfies with audience members’ phones, dancing so prettily – it was a phenomenal performance, and Yong Hwa’s English is so good!
Really, there isn’t anything more I can say other than [INSERT 823981 SUPERLATIVES HERE]. KCON was so dreamy, so jam-packed with fun and amazement and opportunities, and honestly it was just what me and my little family needed. A break from the bullshit, into this surreal world of pop perfection.
During the Goodbye Stage, I started crying (of course) and Chooch started talking about “when we come back next year” and I was like, “OMG ARE WE?!”
“I don’t know, I’m not in charge of that!” Chooch said. Ugh that’s right: Henry is.