I was so nervous about getting into line for the Kang Daniel show because we were general admission / floor and the line was already long. I’m glad we ended up eating a small meal beforehand because the energy was needed!
(Also, the font somehow keeps changing on me so please enjoy. Maybe I should also change the color as I go along too, throwback to LiveJournal circa 2001. Add a MIDI file to the background.)
The line snaked all the way down the block and was just started to round a corner by the time we reached the end. And then it proceeded to grow longer and longer as we waited for 7pm to roll on up. Everyone in line was very chill and it wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been SO FUCKING COLD. I was so unprepared, even after checking the weather before leaving Pgh, where we had been enjoying False Spring. Mary, I was wearing a denim jacket and Vans with whatever the next step up from PEDS is. I was icing over, practically. Shivering so hard that my body vibrato was visible to all who looked at me.
A gallant man, had he been my boyfriend, would have maybe wrapped one MAYBE TWO arms around me to help warm me up a bit. Not my gentleman friend! Nope nope nope, gotta stay chaste and platonic-appearing. Armspan apart. Really how did we not break up on this overnighter?!
Shortly after getting into line, a girl walked up to us and asked, “ARE YOU HERE FOR KANG DANIEL?” I said yes and she handed me a little packet of photocards. Then she asked Henry and tucked one into his hand too, I was dying lol. He never gets kpop swag!
Anyway, this was really cool because in addition to the Kang Daniel photocard that had the tour info on the back as a keepsake (this was awesome to have especially since you can’t really get physical concert tickets for most shows anymore and SOME OF US ARE PACKRATS who keep boxes of paper mementos but OK), each packet also contained a photocard of one of Kang Daniel’s dancers!
Mine was Taehee, and Henry got Kyujin who apparently was replaced on the tour with LilDae after Kyujin switched to the role of “performance director” instead. Here’s what the back of the cards said:
Isn’t that the cutest idea?? I definitely tagged Taehee in one of the reels I posted that night, lol. I love shit like this.
Meanwhile, there was a single white guy in front of us. I’ll guestimate that he was in his early 30s perhaps. Almost immediately after getting into line right before us, an Asian girl (based on context clues from their convo, I think she was Chinese) turned to him and ask, “Excuse me, can I ask you a question? So, what brought you here tonight?”
The man said that Kang Daniel was actually recommended to him on Spotify recently and he really liked what he heard. I wasn’t TRYING to spy on their convo, but they were legit right in front of me and it’s not like Henry was entertaining me at all. From what I pieced together, his wife is Korean (?? I think ??) and he is no stranger to kpop. He seemed to lean more toward the girl groups though, while his standing-in-line partner was really into older kpop and mostly boy groups. I was happy to hear her say that she didn’t care much for BTS aside from two songs (“Save Me” – same girl, and “Fake Love”) and that she only started to listen to Kang Daniel the day before, having just a bought a ticket based on the fact that she didn’t want to miss out on any concerts anymore after Covid. Valid!
I kept looking at the poeple sitting inside the Tim Horton’s next to me as a means to stop eavesdropping, but then I was just getting mad because they all looked so warm and cozy with their hot bevvies and donuts.
It was so cold, yo. Plus, Toronto had recently had a snow storm (I originally typed “stormstorm,” please book my brain a room in a detox resort ASAP) that weekend so there were random snowbanks along the sidewalk which just made it seem even colder.
I was not a fan of this.
The line still hadn’t moved after a good 30 minutes, even though it was nearly 7pm by then. The girl in front of us had dropped her Kang Daniel packet so I picked it up and handed it to her. Now she was aware of my existence.
“Excuse me, can I ask you a question?” she started and I was so excited that someone was finally talking to me! I said SURE with probably definitely way too much zeal, to which of course she asked me what brought me there.
I told her in great detail that I had been a fan of Wanna One. “Who was your top pick?” she asked, and I said, “Well, I didn’t watch Produce 101 (the elimination show that Wanna One was born from) but out of Wanna One, Kang Daniel.”
Then she started asking me all of the “Do you know….” questions and luckily I am DEEP IN THE GAME so I was able to yes to everything. She asked if I was going to be going to any other upcoming concerts and I gushed, “OMG NCT DREAM I HOPE!! IF I CAN GET A TICKET!!”
She smiled calmly and said, “Oh, you will you get your ticket, don’t worry!” AND MAYBE SHE IS THE REASON I DID – IS SHE MY KPOP GODMOTHER?? So then we talked about NCT and she asked who my top pick is for that and that’s when I realized she was saying “pick” instead of bias – I never heard that before but I liked it! It made me feel like we were talking about sports, lol.
I told her Ten is my top pick across the whole NCT universe and she exclaimed, “REALLY?” like it was shocking for some reason, but it also made me feel like she was acknowledging the fact that I actually do know my NCTshit, and also I think it’s assumed maybe that most non-Asians tend to pick Korean members as their biases, but two of my top NCT picks are Chinese and Thai.
“Do you like SHINee?” I asked her and she said yes so we started talking about them, Taemin, and SuperM, which she didn’t get to see.
“But it’s OK because Baekhyun is my top pick and I got to see him with EXO,” she said, and that made me happy for her.
Meanwhile, the white guy kept occasionally joining in too because he was interested in the fact that Henry and I came from Pittsburgh for this show. “And you like him too?” one of them asked Henry and GUESS WHAT HE SAID YES.
Then the occasional person would stop and ask our general vicinity of the line what everyone was waiting for and then would say WOW I HAVE NEVER SEEN A LINE THIS LONG FOR THIS VENUE or something else to that effect. The power of kpop, you guys. Kang Daniel probably could have managed to play a bigger venue, honestly!
Now the line was moving but I wasn’t ready to stop talking so I blurted out, “ACTUALLY, MY ALL TIME TOP PICK IS G-DRAGON!”
I fucking swear to god, this girl turned around, looked me up and down with a smirk and said, “Of course he is.”
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!!? LOLOLOLOL!
And then she said, “But….actually, I feel sorry for you—” and yo, she didn’t even need to finish that statement because I feel sorry for me too and all BIGBANG fans out there. It is literally the most depressing fandom to be a part of.
By now, the line was moving swiftly, and we got through security quickly and without incident. When we were waiting for our turn though, a VERY ATTRACTIVE Korean guy in a super cool white satin baseball-type of jacket with cool embroidering on the back came out of the venue and was talking to a girl in Korean. I was like, “WHO IS THIS GUY, HE LOOKS LIKE HE COULD BE AN IDOL” and we found out once the show started that he was one of the dancers – I WISH I HAD GOTTEN HIS CARD, OMG HE WAS SO CUTE.
Anyway. *clears throat*
It was really nice talking to these people in line – I love kpop fans. All those other concerts I used to stand in line for and most people were either too cool for school or just total assholes that I didn’t want to talk to anyway. But people at kpop concerts are so nice. I will say that way less people in my life give me shit for liking kpop these days as they did in the beginning, but it is still so very comforting to be surrounded by all these people who share your love for Korea and its music. Just this moment alone was enough to turn the whole day around, and I knew that once we got inside, it was destined to get even better.