Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fan Account by Lavender – KHJ First Japan Tour – TOKYO [English ver.]

Credit: LAVENDER at lovekimhyunjoong.com

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Kim Hyun Joong 1st Japan Tour
Tokyo International Forum-Hall A

Today is the day, I get to watch TWO Hyun Joong concerts, very excited waking up. It rained yesterday and proved Hyun Joong/SS501 are truly rain god. But today the sun is out and the weather is very good, makes me more cheerful.

It doesn’t long for me to get to the International Forum, I get there a little after 10. The first concert starts at 1:30pm so I thought I would be early, oh, boy, am I wrong. When I exit the subway station, a couple hundred Japanese fans have already lined up the sidewalks in an orderly manner across the street. I decide to stay on this side of the street and get myself a prime spot. We wait patiently, more and more fans come out of the subways station with each train arrival.

At 1100ish, men in black make their presence and start to rope off the sidewalks, that means wuri star is coming. Soon, big vans with tinted windows start to arrive, they make a left turn in front of me and enter the forum parking lot. They all have tinted windows, so it’s impossible to see inside. One van came with a cameraman standing through the sunroof filming the fans, we all cheer and wave happily. I am sure they will use some footage for 1st Tour DVD, so I may have a slim chance to see myself for 1/10th second, wishful thinking. The last two vans are gray, the kind Hyun Joong rides in Japan, so it seems everyone knows even though the windows are not rolled down. Fans call out his name and wave madly, I am sure he can see us and feel our love.

As soon as these two gray vans enter the underground, the guards take off the ropes and the crowd starts to move to the Forum Hall A where the concert is held. It’s a very nice venue and is the largest among his tour locations, it has two floors and holds 5000 seats. All tickets for the three additional Tokyo concerts were sold out and it’s quite an achievement. Some tickets with good seats were auctioned for over 50,000 yen. The tickets are not cheap by any means but still hard to get. Fortunately I have a wonderful cousin in Japan and she was able to get some tickets for me after several attempts. One time online ticket sale started at 10am, she and her husband started to dial the numbers using 4 different phones at 09:57, but they couldn’t get connected for 10 minutes, and all the tickets were gone by the time they were able to get connected. For the additional Tokyo concerts, Henecia membership (additional fee) was required to apply for tickets, so my each ticket costs 50%. The tickets are quite expensive even by Japan standards. My cousin mentioned even many famous Japanese singers charge no more than 7000 yen per concert. When I was in Hiroshima I saw a concert schedule and fee posted in the venue where Hyun Joong’s concert was held, Japanese singer concert tickets 5,000-6,000yen, DBSK 8,500 yen (the highest and the only one sold out). So in a way, wuri star has made it selling out all his concerts.

Sorry about the sidetrack, back to the concert venue. I follow the crowd towards the venue and I want to get a lightstick since the one I bought in Seoul was broken. I get in the hall and see a long line is already formed, it must be the line to buy souvenirs, so I stand at the end of the line like an orderly Japanese fan. But the line doesn’t move at all for 20 minutes, I finally realize this is actually the line for entrance for the concert. Why do they even line up even everyone has a ticket with a seat number? The concert starts at 1:30pm and they will let us in at 12:30, and right now it’s only past 11. I don’t understand at all but I am not willing to give up my spot, so I wait patiently in line for a seat will be mine regardless when I get in. There are notes for fans to write question for Hyun Joong and he will also pick some lucky fans to go on stage. I write down my question and seat number and drop the note in the box.

At 12:30 sharp, the staff let us in, each fan is handed a plastic bags with DATV flyers. They also put up signs no photo no video, each bag is inspected. But I have a new camera hidden underneath my scarf in the bag and I hope to take some close up pictures. I rush up the escalator, but another line is formed quickly in front of me, the one for souvenirs. I line up again, they are selling towels with HJ’s name too, I want that too. But right before it is my turn, they put “sold out” stickers on the lightstick and towel, I can’t believe this, I end up settling on a fan. Again, I don’t understand why they always sell limited amount of stuff like this, they could’ve made much more money and more fans happy. I can only sigh, I will have nothing to wave.

Anyway, I go into the hall, it’s very large inside, each seat is spacious and comfortable. I am so lucky my seat is at the 5th row, to the right side. It’s only 9 steps to the stage (I measured it, ^.^) I have a very good view of the stage, I don’t dare to take out my camera, so I use my iphone to take pictures of the stage and my seat, but one security guard stops me right away. Aigoo, it doesn’t look like I will be able to take any pictures, I hope MurderQ or Ahila will be in attendance because they always take wonderful pictures regardless where.

I notice the crowd is younger than the one I attended last year for 1st Love Story fan meeting. Everyone seems very happy and whole hall is filled with excitement. The seats start to fill up quickly. There’s a big screen on stage and 2 smaller ones on each side. Hyun Joong’s songs are playing and his CFs for Seoul ambassador and Japan Thermwear are showed too. Time passes quickly, 1:30 came and went, no signs of Hyun Joong. The crowd starts to get restless and starts chanting “Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Hyun Joong”. Finally at 1:40pm, the music for “Let it go” starts, everyone is on her feet screaming and waving. My seat is quite close to the speakers and the sound is quite loud. Finally, a figure emerged, wuri star stands on the raised platform, dressed in a black military suit. He walked down the stairs to the main stage while singing, this is the first time I watch him performing this song, even though I have watched the videos many times. To watch him performing live is always so much better, he is a very good dancer. His hair yellow and curly, kind of long too. He dances with full energy and sings most of the lyrics live. This is a short song though.

Next is “Breakdown”. I have watched it live several times in Seoul and enjoyed it tremendously. His moves are precise and smooth, but somehow I am used to the costume and hairstyle back then, so it is a little strange to see him dance with yellow hair and that costume. I have to say I like the image in June better. He has lost some weight, his face is smaller and his legs are getting skinnier, his black pant look quite loose on him especially the thigh part. Oh, how I wish to watch the 20’s choice performance, those arms, abs, legs, drool. Having to perform so many concerts in such a short time has taken a toll on his body I think. Anyway, his performance is still excellent, the whole concert hall is on fire, fans sing along and chant “break down break down”. This one always gets my heart pumping faster.

After Breakdown, Hyun Joong gets off the stage to change, “Please” MV behind the scene is showing on the screen. This is the first time I see the part where they shoot on the rooftop at night, he was so focused during the shoot. When the MV finishes, Hyun Joong is on stage again, he is in a different outfit, white shirt, black jacket and black sparkling pants. As usual, the dance is good, to watch him perform is truly enjoyment to the eyes. I glue my eyes to him and don’t even think about taking any pictures. The fans remain standing and wave lightsticks. I look around, half of the lightsticks are the green U:zoosin with the alien, and half are the multi-color one for the tour, it’s quite a scene to see thousands of green and white lightsticks waving at unison.

Next song is Thank You. He has sang this song many times over the years, and his singing has improved loads. After several dance songs, he is sweating profusely, I can actually see sweats dripping from his face. He signs with his whole body and you can feel his passion. Again, the fans sing along as well.

It’s talk time after Thank You. The MC and translator (2 ladies) come on stage, it’s about 1:55pm. They bring 3 white triangle stools for them to sit. Hyun Joong uses an orange towel to wipe his face. I notice his handsome bodyguard standing on the side of the stage the whole time, is he still scanning the crowd and looking for any signs of troubles? No rest for him either, he is indeed a good bodyguard.

First part of the talk is questions about Tokyo (questions are slightly different between afternoon and evening sessions). There are translations about the talk and I won’t repeat here. I am glad I could understand a little more what he was saying thanks to all the Korean news and Korean dramas I have been watching. There are several funny parts:
- He was asked about dog, he imitated different dog barking sound (US, Japan and Korea), cutest to the max
- He asked about how cat meow in Japan, also imitated cow, sheep
- One question, he had to think and count with his fingers for a while, but ended up holding only 2 fingers.
- He is coming to play a soccer game in Japan next year.
His answers seem witty and funny, draw many laughter from fans, he knows how to please the crowd. He is definitely more confident and more matured than last year’s fan meeting. While he is listening, he constantly scans the audience and you can see how happy he is that every seat is filled and all the fans are cheering for him.

At 2:25pm, he picks 3 names from the drawing box, he is very playful and teases us before he reads out the seat number in Japanese, fans are like “Ahhh, Ohhh”. The lucky 3 are 2 women and one little girl. His face lights up when he sees the little girl, saying “Ibuda” (pretty in Korean), he also lifts up the little girl and carries her at fans’ request, so cute. The lucky 3 receive a gift from him, he shakes their hands and gives them a hug (which draw some protests from the audience).

At 2:43pm, the talking part is finished. He leaves the stage to change. His Japanese song “Smile” is playing and the screen is showing behind the scene for his 2012 calendar shooting. They show his many smiles, his smile is so beautiful and bright, lights up the whole city and makes you smile in your heart too. I love the part he patting the little cat, I just imagine him patting my cat, that would be a nice picture, ^.^

He comes out to sing a ballad song, I am embarrassed to say I don’t know the name of the song, but it is a beautiful love song, his voice is getting better and better. Someone help me, is it from the new Lucky Album? Again, I was so busy working watering my money tree before the trip I haven’t even listened to the whole album yet.

He did Kiss Kiss next, this is a light hearted one, kind of cute. But I prefer the breakdown, manly type more. He changed costume again for “Do you like it” and “Lucky”. He is very lively, has some fancy footstep and leg shakes. The whole place is on fire, everyone is on her feet (or his, I saw a couple guys). At one point, he bumped into a female dancer and almost tripped. It will not be good if falls on stage.

He talks briefly after “Lucky” and says he would sing “One more Time” from Playful kiss OST. He walks up to the raised platform while singing and goes under when the song is finished.

Fans start to chant his name loudly for encore, 2 minutes later, he and all the dancers come out on stage, they dance Kiss Kiss and Lucky, he runs around like a little kid, he asks fans to jump, OMG, I can feel the ground shaking. So many otherwise properly behaved jumping singing, the power of our star. At one point, Hyun Joong picks up a towel and Ms. Now slimed down Thunderous Thigh wipes his face using the towel, it’s sort of motherly or sisterly action, but draw daggers from my eyes (I am sure many other pairs). Hyun Joong has a goofy colorful hat (you can see in the last picture from MurderQ posted by Nanet), and he tosses it to the audience, 3 ladies are on the floor fighting for it. For details, please read my previous post.

(PS: Nanet, even though I want it very much, but I don’t think I am brave enough to join the fight, plus, it is in public, and most important thing, it’s right under Hyun Joong’s eyes, I want to keep my “good” “proper” image)

The concert ends at 3:18pm.

I am so happy, it’s good to see him performing on stage again and also get the sense that he has made it to be a successful solo singer. I am sure the load he carries on his shoulders was heavy, but at least some can be lifted now.

I look around, everyone is smiling, and I am too.



  2. WOW! I can feel his concert tickets would also be expensive in our country. Waiting for his Asian Tour! :D