After a casual dinner at the Village Diner in South Orange and ice cream at Carvel’s…OK wait, I have to stop here and elaborate on Carvel’s for a quick sec. Here in Pittsburgh, I’m so used to getting gigantic scoops at all of our ice cream parlors, so when I ordered my Kit Kat ice cream, I asked for just one scoop in my sugar cone and what the old broad behind the counter gave me was the equivalent of Baby’s First Ice Cream Cone. I mean, when you say “one scoop” in Newark, they take it to heart and flick off any extra curls that might be try’na crown that dome of frozen dessert. Such a puny little ball of ice cream, the girth was barely enough to keep it from slipping inside of the cone. I was SO SAD and SO UNSATISFIED by the time I finished it but in hindsight this was probably a good thing because I’m the Queen of Eating Until Sick.
We should have went to Cold Stone which was next door to the Village Diner but who wants to go somewhere that’s also in their hometown!? Before we go back to Newark in September (ughhh) I’m going to spend at least a week researching ice cream places because this is just dumb.
Anyway, Henry dropped us off at the Prudential Center after that and this time we found that the lines were more organized but it still took FOREVER to get inside and somehow we picked the slowest-moving line as usual! I spent most of the time internalizing the fact that the barcodes on our ticket print-outs were smudged but spoiler alert – we got in.
The best part of the line-standing experience was that one of the staff-ladies (I actually remembered her from last year when I was in line for one of the fan engagements!) was so sweet and helped this lost girl reunite with her friends, who had her ticket. She even went inside the Prudential Center and came out with a megaphone! Then while she was up on a railing with her megaphone, she pointed out a burly tattooed biker dad in line, and said, “And shout out to all the parents out there who brought you guys here today. Yeah, I saw them, saving your spots in the hi-touch lines while ya’ll were out there running around doing stuff and then you came back and STILL complained! Don’t bite the hands that feed you, kids!” Chooch looked at me and said, “Yeah, I’M doing this for YOU.”
Lol, get over yourself Chooch. You’re deep in this k-game too.
Even being in a shorter line this time, we were somehow even LATER getting inside. I thought for sure we were going to miss the preshow, but we JUST made it to our seats, and happily, the annoying warbler wasn’t behind us this time!
During the preshow, the two winners of the Asiana tickets to Korea came out on stage with their big fake Publisher Clearinghouse-esque checks and I was so happy because they were both Korean guys in their early 20s. The girls that won last year were white and annoying, so it warmed my heart to see two guys who both said they were excited to go to Korea and see relatives that they haven’t seen in decades.
And, of course, eat.
Someone in the crowd screamed, “Are you single?!” when the first guy was introducing himself. He said no, but the when the second guy introduced himself, he tacked on, “…and I AM single.” Everyone was cracking up and Chooch nudged me like, “go get ’em.” Lol.
The host asked them what they were most looking forward to eating in Korea, and the first guy said, “Well, it’s something that I see in all of the Korean dramas….Subway.”
It couldn’t have been any funnier if it was scripted! Danny Lim, the preshow host, was like, “You guys could take my job!”
Then the show started! This was the lineup for Night Two:
- Golden Child
- Wanna One
Chooch was oddly fixated on Golden Child all weekend (“Is that Golden Child? Is this Golden Child? Put on Golden Child.”) but I was most excited for EXID and NCT127. As per usual, all groups delivered! Let’s get started with a quick recap because KCON is already two weeks out at this point and I need to stop procrastinating or like, quit my job so I have more time.
(JUST KIDDING, JOB, I LOVE YOU.)
- Golden Child: All I knew about them preceding KCON was that they were on Weekly Idol once with Weki Meki and they were competing to see which group had the most flexible member?! They’re a young, rookie group – it hasn’t even been a year since their debut, and I only knew one of their songs which is total bubblegum pop so I was not expecting them to come out so strong like this!
They were fun! Chooch really imprinted on them though and said that they were one of his favorites of KCON. Big praise from Kpop critic Chooch!
- Fromis_9: When this girl group was originally announced, I was underwhelmed. But then sometime after that, they had a comeback with DKDK and I was like, “OK I GET IT, I AM CERTIFIABLY CAPTIVATED BY THEIR CHARMS. Plus, their video features a giant cat!? I gave them some love on here a month ago, so we’ll skip the formalities and get right to the video:
THEIR DRESSES! These girls are like the posterchildren for what I think the general conception of Kpop is: frilly, cheesy, feel-good bubblegum pop. That’s not a bad thing to have in your life here and there, you know? It’s good to chip some of the ice off the ol’ heart sometimes!
Before I get to EXID, I want to talk about the special stage for this night, which featured a solo performance by LE of EXID and 3 members of NCT performing Whiplash, which I didn’t realize until after the fact, but that was the first time they performed that song live! Also this video isn’t one of the official KCON videos so it adds some hysteric audience flavor, if you know what I mean.
- EXID: When I first got into kpop through kpop cardio, I listened to girl groups almost exclusively. My favorite routines back then were to songs by 4Minute, 2NE1, Red Velvet, Girl’s Generation, Orange Caramel, and EXID, so when I started listening to kpop outside of those workouts, those were the groups I gravitated to. I especially loved the song Up & Down by EXID, and then when I saw the video for it, I was like, “SOLD.” It was so weird and just my style: super fun, bright colors, animal masks, with bizarre things slipped in, like a thumbtack on a tongue. I was so excited when EXID was announced for KCON because I’ve loved everything about then since that Up & Down video. They’re actually a five-member group but their leader has been sitting things out for the last year and a half while recovering from hyperthyroidism. She recently announced though that she’s been learning the new choreo and hopes to comeback very soon!
An interesting story about this song is that when EXID debuted it on the music countdown shows, it apparently flopped. But then someone posted a video that just focused on Hani (my EXID bias) and it went viral, so they got a second chance and it dominated the charts after that!
I screamed like a little girl for them! “Lady” is SUCH a 90s throwback, major TLC vibes for me and I just want to go back in time and not toss all of my yo-girl outfits because every time I hear this song, I want to put on my Cross Colours bodysuit and Karl Kani jeans and walk around downtown.
- NCT 127: Well, you guys I had so much shit written on here for NCT and Wanna One and thought that I published this on Saturday but for some reason I came on here today, saw that it was still a draft, and everything I wrote after EXID was gone OH WAIT I KNOW WHY BECAUSE WORDPRESS IS A PIECE OF SHIT. So, sorry if the rest of this post comes off as uninspired (lol, like that would be any different than anything else on here!) but I just came home from Warped Tour and instead of relaxing I’m apparently now going to spend the rest of my night writing a bunch of words that no one will read anyway but my blogging OCD will not let me leave this alone. SO HERE WE GO. NCT 127 are poised to be the Next Big Thing in Kpop Crossover, I really do believe this. Chooch and I saw them last year too and they just blew us away with their dance formations, visuals, and bass-laden bops. So we were really looking forward to them (Chooch’s eardrums notsomuch though!). First though, here is a really artsy and aesthetically-pleasing video to introduce you to all of the members:
They played my favorite Cherry Bomb but I already posted that last year, so instead, here’s their strong into and new’ish song “Touch,” which shows their more playful side:
- Wanna One: When we were in Korea, I definitely noticed that Wanna One was just as big as BTS and EXO, if not even more popular at the moment. You couldn’t walk a block without hearing one of their songs blasting out of a store, or seeing candy bars with their faces emblazoned on the wrappers in convenience stores, or notice huge Wanna One billboards in the subway stations. They are the product of a music survival show called Produce 101 (GET IT? WANNA ONE?! Season One produced a girl group called IOI, GET IT?!) and the unique thing about this show is that the groups have a short lifespan of about a year. It’s basically to help them get their name out there in the industry and all of the girls from IOI have gone on to other projects so it’s not as bad as it sounds. Wanna One is nearing the end of their contract so Chooch and I felt lucky that we got to see them. I hope that they all have successful careers post-Wanna One! Here is my favorite song by them and I love the dance move they do when they sing “do you feel the same” – I dare you to not be won over by their beautiful suited bodies, catchy songs, and imprint-worthy Kang Daniel.
After Wanna One, all of the groups came out for the “freeing of the confetti” and we all screamed out throats raw to show them how much America loves them.
And that’s a wrap for KCON 2018. I can’t tell you enough how happy kpop makes me and I’m so grateful that KCON exists so that we get an opportunity to see so many great artists all in one weekend. It’s hard to feel alone when I’m with tens of thousands of other people who love this scene as much as I do!
Then Henry was mad because he wanted us to take a Lyft back to the creepy hotel but I was like, “YOU SAID YOU WOULD COME GET US I DON’T UNDERSTAND” and he was all, “OK BUT IF I LOSE MY PARKING SPOT YOU’RE DEAD” maybe he didn’t say “you’re dead” but it was some similar empty threat, and then there he was, obediently waiting for us after the concert and we excitedly told him every single detail of the night and I could tell he was sad that he missed it. Maybe if KCON wasn’t so fucking expensive, Henry could actually go to the concert too! (Henry really does like kpop, sorry to shatter any misconceptions. He apparently now stans MAMAMOO because all of their videos were playing one night and he got sucked in because that’s how kpop works.)