Feb 232019

Yo yo yo, I’m back with another kpop concert blog recap and I know you’re like, “Wow, I didn’t know Erin likes kpop” but it’s true. I do. Now you can’t say I never told you any secrets.

So this particular concert was for Red Velvet, a five-member girl group from Kpop juggernaut SM Entertainment, and also one of the very first groups I started to pay attention to at the beginning of my k-aerobics journey. The first video of theirs’ I ever watched was for “Dumb Dumb” and I was instantly entranced by the creepy quirkiness of it and immediately shared it with a bunch of my co-workers for Friday Video and even they were like “This is weirdly good.”

Over the years, we’ve seen numerous comebacks from Red Velvet and they have really evolved into something special. They have a dual concept: the cute and poppy “red” side, and the sultry r&b “velvet” side and it really works well for them. It makes them more well-rounded, multi-dimensional, and less of a one-trick pigeon-holed pony.

Chooch also really likes Red Velvet a lot so when they announced their first North American tour a few mths ago, I apologized to my bank account, begged for financial forgiveness, sold Henry’s right kidney on the dark web, and bought us two tickets, which were nosebleed even though I sat there for 45 minutes before tickets went on sale, staring at the countdown page.

There has got to be a better system. Someone, please give us a better system. Can we go back to, I don’t know, standing in line outside of Kaufmann’s, waiting for the ticket office to open? Am I dating myself? DO I CARE?

You know, it’s not even so much the price of the tickets that kills me, it’s the fact that these shows never come anywhere closer than Newark or Toronto, so no matter what, we have to road trip, so now on top of the ticket prices, we have to add in the cost of travel and hotel rooms and then skip a few meals but whatever, it’s all for the experience and the chance to talk about it at some funeral wake twenty five years from now, am I right or wrong.

This damn concert landed us in Newark again which is fine, whatever. I was just happy that we had the opportunity to see these awesome girls!

I even had our clothes all picked out in advance!

In honor of their song “Red Flavor,” I bought Chooch this cool watermelon shirt which will be mine once he outgrows it, and I wore my Strawberry Milk sweater. Henry was like, “Yes, I get it” and then begrudgingly took our picture.

The concert was the the NJ Performing Arts Center, right near our hotel. It was literally a two minute walk, but Henry said that on his way back (we made him walk us there, lol), there were people at our hotel getting an Uber to take them there?! Hopefully they just didn’t realize how close it was, otherwise, I have officially lost all hope for mankind.

This picture is super blurry because I was walking when I took it, but this is the fucking merch line. It wrapped around three floors! We got there right after doors opened, and it was already like this. That’s a big hard NO. Also, when we were still in the lobby, someone behind the merch table started yelling that all the white shirts were sold out, so I wasn’t even about to get in line at that point. Luckily, a limited number of shirts were made available online a week later, so I was able to get a black one then. Sucks that I had to pay for shipping, but at least I didn’t have to wait in that line just to be disappointed!

We were all the way up in the fourth tier, but! We were in the second row smack dab in the middle, so it was actually a great view even though we were up high. And the people around us were inoffensive. There were three Korean girls behind me, probably in their late 20s, and I heard them gushing about Taemin’s comeback before the show started! I had this strong urge to turn around and butt in, but I hate talking to strangers and also Chooch was like PLZ DON’T EMBARRASS ME.

He’s at that awesome age where everything I do is embarrassing.

Or am I at that awesome age where everything I do is embarrassing?

Guys, this old couple in the row in front of us was so fucking cute, I couldn’t stand it! Who knew there were such old ReveLuvs (the name of Red Velvet fans) in America!? I love it. Kpop is for everyone.

The show started at 7:00 with a video of Red Velvet at EVERLAND and we were excitedly whispering, “We were there!” to each other. The video was adorable and tied in with the whole “Redmare” concept by showing them waking up from naps and having weird things happen to them, like disappearing and appearing on a stage in….Newark (sorry girls but at least NYC is nearby!), turning into animals and being hunted by zoo keepers, and getting lost in a haunted house. It was split up into several parts and shown throughout the show. As soon as the video started, I had tears streaming down my face. I have zero hold over my emotions anymore. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN I HIT MENOPAUSE????? I can’t think about that now.

The first song they performed was Russian Roulette and it was a strong choice! Everyone was screaming their dumb faces off, me included. I had the dumbest face of all the faces probably.

I might be way more into boy groups these days, but in the beginning of the descent down the kpop k-hole, it was all about the girl groups for me and I have to say, this concert was everything that I didn’t know I needed — the girls just bring a totally different charisma and charm to the stage. Obviously, it was fun to the maxxxxx, but it was also a huge sense of camaraderie – there is nothing quite like the feeling of being in a beautiful venue with thousands of other people who understand how invigorating and joyous Korean pop music is.

This song is special to me because it came out right after I had a Korean lesson on “here, there, over there” so when I heard this song for the first time, I screamed, “I KNOW WHAT THEY’RE SAYING THERE!” and then I explained it to Henry who gave negative fucks about it. But for me and my remedial Korean education, it made a big impression.

They did a bit of talking here and there – Wendy is Canadian so her English is fluent, and Yeri gave a strong effort. The rest of them relied on an off-stage translator at the end when it was time to talk about their feelings, and I’m glad that they were able to have that opportunity to communicate with us their excitement and appreciation. I’m going to be honest here – I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like this show because their KCON performance was so short and some of the Korean performances I had seen (music countdown shows, award shows, etc) sometimes came off feeling a bit stiff and emotionless. But on this night, they were IN IT and the emotion was strong. There was a video floating around of Seulgi losing her hairpiece during one of the songs and Irene couldn’t stop cracking up—it was so cute to see them looking so relaxed and enjoying their time on the stage!

Seulgi is my RV bias, but I came super close to Henry’s bias Yeri. HER HAPPINESS IS GODDAMN PALPABLE.

Chooch was so engaged and invested through the entire show, whereas he was definitely losing interest at the BTS concert and even during parts of all the KCON concerts we’ve attended. Red Velvet had his undivided attention though!

We both agreed, at the end, that it was 100% worth the trip to Newark.




Before we left the venue, I texted Henry to come and meet us so we wouldn’t have to walk back alone. He said NO!? That he was TOO COMFORTABLE?! I thought for sure he was kidding, no way he’d let his precious cargo stumble along the dark streets of Newark alone.

NOPE, HE WASN’T KIDDING. We got back to the hotel and he was watching The Princess Bride in his underwear.

Say it don't spray it.

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