It’s been almost a week since the NCT127 concert and I still haven’t really lost that glorious buzz.
The concert started at 8 so I decided we should leave our hotel by 6:30 because sometimes it can take FOREVER to get inside a Kpop concert. There were a bunch of other NCTzens staying at our hotel also and several of them were waiting for their rides at the same time. Ours came first and I giddily called out, “HAVE FUN TONIGHT GUYS!” and they all happily waved and yelled YOU TOO and this is the difference between Kpop and the other scene I came from because I would have been probably met with a scowl or eyeroll if I had done that to a bunch of scene kids lol ugh. With Kpop, there is no age limit. Young Kpop fans don’t look at broads like me and call us Grandma or assume that we’re just there with out kids. I have never had a bad experience with any Kpop fan (except for BTS fans lol they are the most toxic people, trust).
Our Uber driver dropped us off around 6:45 or so and I was surprised at how short the line was to get in! We opted for the opposite side of the arena this time because it took us SO LONG to get inside for Stray Kids. There were about 8 separate lines to get into 4 doors so it was still not the fastest moving line, but it was ok!
It was drizzling a little bit, but I didn’t care – I’m not delusional enough to think that anyone in NCT was going to NOTICE ME SEMPAI and I certainly wasn’t tryna impress Kpop Dad over there. Haha.
IN THE RAIN, HAIR FRIZZING.
I purposely didn’t bring a bag and Henry only had his wallet so we cleared security in record time. I hate how shitty the world is. When we were recently there for Stray Kids, the various jewelry and accessories people were being told to remove was mind-blowing. I would have loved to have brought in my Cherry Bomb purse but it has chain straps and I also would have accessorized with my NCT enamel pins but I feel like if you can’t wear a spiked choker, why would they let you in with MINI DAGGERS OMG.
Once we got inside, we (lol, “we”) ran straight to the merch stand upstairs. The line was BLESSEDLY short and I was able to snag the shirt I wanted in about 5 minutes. Much better than standing in that long-ass “early merch” line we saw earlier that afternoon. The line snaked all through the courtyard of the Prudential Center!
You didn’t ask BUT HERE IS THE SHIRT I BOUGHT:
Luckily, I already have an NCT light stick because the guy that was 3 people ahead of me bought the very last one – they took it right off the display and put it in its box for the dude. Henry actually bought me the light stick last year for Christmas because I kept screaming about how I just KNEW NCT127 was going to come here in 2022. Good thinking, Henry, you smart, grizzly ol’ NCTzen, you.
I know it’s hard to see, but this was the crowd of people trying to get in on the other side of the arena! I’m so glad we got lucky with the doors we chose.
So, this is the part where my heart was acting like it was on a bunch of new designer street drugs at a 1996 rave. I was A BALL OF NERVES. You guys, NCT! I was about to see them! LET’S GOOOO! But also, HOLD ON, I’M NOT READDDDDDY!
We had a good while to kill before getting our (very separate) seats, so since I was in a bigly competition with some stranger named Marisol in the FitBit Workweek Hustle, I made Henry do laps around the Prudential Center with me. When I say I know this place better than the hockey arena in my own city, there’s really no hyperbole to be found. Not even a crumb of it behind my molars. So weird how many times kpop has brought me to this place.
Anyway, we kept seeing the same people over and over, including some of the people who were waiting for a ride outside of our hotel! It’s so strange how once you home in on certain faces, your eyes find mystery ways to find them again and again. I also saw the guy who brought the last light stick about 4 times and every time I pointed him out, Henry acted like he had no idea who I was talking about. At one point, I kept trying to move over to let the person behind me pass because it sounded like they were in a big time hurry and the scuff-squeak of their boots kept getting closer and closer to the point where I was afraid they were going to walk up my back. Finally, I side-stepped in time for a tiny Asian girl in a school uniform and big white boots to pass me in the aforementioned big time hurry. I laughed and said, “I’ll probably see her 87 more times tonight now.”
I didn’t have my wallet so I made Henry buy an Angry Orchard for us to share and he bragged because on one of our cycles around the Prudential Center, she smiled at him and that apparently means they’re FRIENDS now. Mmm. Then we did this adorable photo shoot, lol.
Henry looks like he’s mad to be there (I sent this to my mom and she called me pathetic, I guess because everyone assumes I dragged him there against his will, as if he’s not a NCTzen whose bias is Yuta – HE CHANGED IT FROM JUNGWOO! This is brand new intel!) but he was actually just mad because Ticketmaster is a shady web of scammers so he had to get a really shitty seat one row from the last row possible because it was the only ticket we could afford after I spent …. I don’t want to say it again … on my ticket.
We took one last victory lap around the Prudential Center. I loved seeing all the crazy outfits people put together for the show. One of NCT’s main colors is lime/neon green and this was the dominant color of the night for sure.
Around 7:45 I decided it was time to part ways and take our respective seats. I could tell immediately that my view was going to be obstructed because my section was too close to the side of the stage BUT I was the first row of that upper section so at least I wouldn’t have the token Tallest Person in the Room in front of me.
My ass wasn’t even all the way in my seat yet when the girl to my right IMMEDIATELY said hello. I was like, “OK good a friendly person who is also here alone” so I engaged. I know weird right? But sometimes tiny fragments of my lost personality come back to the surface and inspire the small talk. She is from Boston, her bias is Jungwoo, and SHE IS 17, of fucking course.
“My dad is here, but he’s sitting over there,” she said, motioning to the other side of the arena.
“Mine too!” I cried happily. Then she said her dad’s bias is Yuta and I started to get paranoid that her dad and Henry are the same person.
She asked me who my bias is (“Across the board? Haechan and Ten. Specifically NCT127? Jaehyun.” to which she nodded approvingly) and how long I’ve been a NCTzen (“3 years, but have been following them since 2017.” – for those wondering at home.) and it was fucking wonderful, having someone who speaks my language! I admitted that I’m an old hag and that my main fave is BIGBANG to which she asked, “OT5 or OT4?” and I was honest and said OT5 because give me Seungri or give me death. We talked our faces off until NCT127 came on and you know who didn’t come up once because we’re real Kpop fans? BTS lol. It was a safe place for real.
About 3/4 of the way through the concert, the girl on her other side made contact with her and that girl was only in her 20s probably so my new friend who could be my daughter dropped me like a hot potato and that was fine because SHE KEPT MAKING COMMENTS AND ASIDES about every single thing happening and you know what? I just wanted to stand there and oscillate between weeping quietly and shrieking, “OMFG!!!!!!” every time and to be honest I couldn’t hear what she was saying that well anyway!! Honestly though, everyone around me in SECTION 127 (!!!) was wonderful and I have no complaints (Henry can’t say the same but we’ll let him tell his version another day – he even has pictures haha).
The girl sitting to my left was a SUPER great seat mate – she was so quiet, watching the whole concert through her binoculars and only ever screamed when Taeyong was talking. Oh yeah, and she was also The Big Hurry Girl in the school uniform and stompy white boots who almost mowed me down.
TO BE CONTINUED!