Date: 2 & 3 April, 2011
Venue: Impact Arena
Thought it would have taken much longer for us fans to be able to see a full-fled JYJ (Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu) concert. How time flies. It was only a moment until the day of the three boys’ concert. I must admit that it caught me off guard because I was too engrossed with work – I even decided not to go to the fanmeeting which was held a day earlier than the concert. To tell you the truth, even if I didn’t have to work, I would still have chosen not to go. Admiring from a distance is probably more like my thing. The luck, then, fell onto my sister’s lap, [T/N: lucky winners are randomly picked from those who bought tickets to the concert for a chance to go to fanmeeting], she was the one who booked my ticket and she snatched the chance without even a single word of hesitation.
The only little disappointment was that the nice, chilly weather we had [in Thailand] a few days earlier had already passed. On both days of the boys’ concert, the weather was so warm – it left all of us sweating. Especially on Sunday the 3rd, we simply had to hurry inside the air-conditioned concert hall. First of all, I want to make it clear that I will describe the overall atmosphere on both days of the concert at the same time. If there’s anything in particular, I will specify which day it was. At first, I didn’t think that I’ll be writing this review, but I was begged (read “pressured”) by those who said “please write a review. We’ll be waiting to read”. Hence, it became a huge responsibility for me, as you can see.
On both days, the concert was held at the Impact Arena. We really had to fight with the horrible traffic because lots of events were held at that venue on the same day. Thinking about the Motor Show event alone was tiring – all the buzzes and commotions taken into account. Though our JYJ concert was not to be overlooked, with its ten of thousands audiences, certain numbers of fans already arrived several hours before the time the concert was scheduled to start (not counting the ones that slept at the venue the night before – in order to secure the best spots in the mosh pits – that’s just beyond real). Some arrived at the venue early to prepare for activities outside of the concert hall, some to sell JYJ goods and some to meet and gather with friends. It definitely was bustling with people.
I drove there myself and it took a while to find a parking spot. Once I got out of my car, the weather was so hot – it immediately made me feel worn out. My friend, the one who was holding on to all our tickets, hasn’t arrived because, as an out-of-towner, she had to check-in into a hotel. She called me with an unusually chirpy voice and said “you go ahead and meet with 3RebelAngels girls. They’ve been sitting in the cafeteria since 11 am.”, so I was walking (read “stomping”) alone when I accidentally ran into two of the 3RebelAngels girls whom I’m quite familiar with while they were about to walk inside as well. I blindly followed them and received a set of my pre-ordered [JYJ] wristbands. Thank you, girls, for saving me one of those wristbands.
I must confess that I didn’t walk around the outside of the concert hall [T/N: where activities were set up] all that much. The weather was extremely hot. I didn’t really know anyone and being in crowded places tends to give me a headache. On the first day of the concert, I simply sat in the cafeteria, waiting for my entire gang of friends to arrive before we moved to grab a bite to eat at DoiTung coffee shop. On another day, like I said earlier, we escaped the hot weather into the air-conditioned concert hall. 5.30 pm. was the perfect time to get into the line of people waiting to enter the Impact Arena. On a side note, the concert on Saturday was scheduled to start at 6.00 pm., but it actually started at 6.15 pm. which wasn’t really that late. Yet on Sunday, the starting time was delayed for almost an hour and the gate was opened later than usual, but we didn’t feel like it was a long wait or anything. Kudos to the staff for swiftly getting people into the concert hall.
Another confession I want to make on the behalf of several JYJ fans – this concert is the one that JYJ fans were looking forward to the most. It was probably the most intensely waited for. Controversies arose prior to the concert – whether if it was appropriate to shout ‘TVXQ’ at the concert, or even worse, to shout ‘Yunjae’. The name of the concert already clarified that it is a “JYJ” concert. JYJ fans tried to beg, reason and explain everything numerous times. However, on the press conference day, there were still fans that shouted ‘TVXQ’ and those who publicly fantasized about Yunjae coupling without considering the feelings’ of the boys or how people on the outside would look at this situation. This prompted 411 Entertainment to send a tweet asking for co-operation from fans. Yet, on concert day, some people still petulantly shouted ‘TVXQ’ and didn’t care that it was ill-mannered and very inappropriate. I see this as an act of self-serving. They did not mind how the artists would feel – not respecting the artists, the organizer and the audience members who intended to see JYJ concert. I want to scold them directly right here.
Back to the concert – on Saturday, the concert hall wasn’t as tightly packed as the second day. Frankly, there was a bit of tension going on from both the artists and the audiences because it was the first day of the first JYJ concert which was entirely directed by Jaejoong. Words from the concert staff were that, on the first day, all the three boys was very stressed out, especially Jaejoong. As for the audiences, aside from giving them support, we had to watch out for anyone who might shout something inappropriate. What a pressure.
Everyone in the concert hall immediately rose to their feet once the Royal Anthem was played. Every voice within the hall, singing the Royal Anthem harmoniously, was very beautiful in my opinion. After the respect was paid, the light in hall was dimmed while fans who were anxiously waiting the three boys screamed their lungs out. The gigantic screen on stage showed exciting graphic animation, followed by series of photos of each boy. The sound within the concert hall reverberated everywhere. On stage, there were three transparent boxes that could fit an entire man in there. Three figures suddenly appeared in those boxes along with an explosive set of special effects. Before fans mistook those figures for the boys, they appeared through [hydraulic lifts] stage floor. On the first day of the concert, the smoke from all the special effects was as like if a house had been burned down – nothing on stage could be seen for a while. This problem was probably fixed on the second day because we could clearly see when the boys coolly appeared on stage and the smoke faded quite quickly. I noticed a lot of other things, especially lighting on stage. I really love those green laser beams which were projected towards the audience. They were marvelous.
On Saturday, my seat was in the SF zone which was a very good seat. I was sitting on the first row of SI zone on Sunday – this time, it was even better. I could see everything without having to worry if anyone would block my view. I like the areas I was sitting at the most because it was right at the corner of the U-shaped seating arrangements, so I could conveniently observe the overall feel of the concert.
The first up-beat song to start the concert off was “Empty”. Fans were screaming so loud – we couldn’t tell for which boys they were screaming for the most because all three were just equally radiant! The “Let it go!” line was the best part of this song. Not only was Jaejoong energetically belting this line from the top of his lungs, fans were shouting back just as loud. It was very engaging from the get-go. I like the part where the boys walked into those transparent boxes, struck a pose and that came up to powerfully finished off the song – causing fans to scream the roof off of the concert hall.
The stage was darkened again while 8 (or was it 10?) silver figurines were wheeled on stage. The music began and we immediately recognized its intro as “I.D.S” – which was composed by our very own Director Kim Jaejoong. Listening to the song live, I have to say, was much more amazing than listening to the CD. They segued without pausing into “NINE” – another touching ballad that had the three boys walking out onto the stage in suits. Let’s talk a bit about their outfits. The suits were astonishing. Jaejoong was in a crimson one, Yoochun was wearing a navy blue one while Junsu was pulling off the beetle green suit. They were made out of velvet with a semi-metallic sheen and the cutting was tightly fitted which looked great on them. Once sung half way through, Junsu walked to the left side of the stage while Yoochun walked to the right. Then they all walked back to the main stage towards the end of the song. The close-up of our boys shown on screen – though they all looked ravishing, it was very noticeable that Jaejoong seemed pretty tired. He might have been quite exhausted with all the preparations for this concert.
The light on stage went out when “NINE” ended. The three boys then appeared on the raised platform on stage before intro to “Pierrot” took off. One by one, dancers with faces hidden behind white masks walked lifelessly on stage. It was a strange sight. After “Pierrot” ended, the bright spotlight focused solely on the boys and they greeted us fans while saying “Sawaddeekrub” [T/N: which means ‘hello’ in Thai]. It was very accurately pronounced when they officially welcomed fans to the concert. They had a pretty lengthy talk in Korean. Frankly, this kind of live performance is very difficult to arrange a Thai subtitle in time because the artists could have talked outside of the prepared script (especially when one of the artists himself was the director). At least, we had few short sentences of Thai subtitles to get the gist of what the boys were saying. It’s actually more natural for them to talk freely in Korean. It felt spontaneous and heart-warming at the same time even if we didn’t understand a single word they said.
The hi-light of concert is right here. With Jaejoong being a man that values a promise like his own life, he promised Thai fans during the last showcase [in Thailand] that he would learn how to sing Chang (elephant) song. There was even a fan-made MV of Chang song sent to him (that MV came from 3RebelsAngels’ blog – I’m a witness because its creator had sent me a copy). This created a pressure that, back to Thailand this time, he would have to sing Chang song to Thai fans. I guess both Jaejoong and the fans must be excited because the entire concert hall went completely silent with anticipation. The original version of Chang song that Jaejoong learnt from was very high-pitched because it was sung by a little kid, but Jaejoong could sing along perfectly without having to lower the keys at all. I swear – this is the sweetest, most wonderful version of Chang song [I’ve ever heard]. He concentrated hard on singing. Pronunciation was spot-on for every word – there were even vibratos thrown in here and there. After finishing the song once, he gestured the microphone towards the audience, implying fans to sing Chang song for him one more time. It was probably the most fun I had singing Chang song ever. The other two boys were paying close attention the entire time. On Sunday, I saw Yoochun clapping along and looking absolutely amused [with Jaejoong]. He might have thought he was glad he didn’t make any promise to Thai fans because fans have reminded [Jaejoong] relentlessly about this.
The three boys continued talking for bit before starting to sing “Be My Girl”. The few first verses were the normal version which they comfortably sang. Once sung half way through, the song was switched to a remix version. Without having to say, now most of the [hard] work lied with the fans. The boys had already given us fans homework to practice the dance routine to this song, so we could have fun together in the concert. Director [Jaejoong] himself even emphasized/promoted this on the variety talk show, the Tonight Show. Personally, as this age, I sort of stumbled through the routine along with everyone else. When it came to the chorus part, it wasn’t that hard to learn the dance moves. Anyone could do it if one watches the moves a few times through. I love the ‘baby, baby, baby’ part – that move was tres hot, but no one could beat Kim Junsu. He moved his entire body with every arm-twirl, especially his S-line which is his perpetual selling point. On the first day that I sat in the SF zone, I got to see Junsu dancing this move really up-close with a 360-degree full body turn, eliciting ear-deafening screams and nosebleeds from fans. I must say – this song was really a lot of fun.
The three boys disappeared backstage. The gigantic screen now showed behind-the-scene footage from the shooting of ‘The Beginning’ photo book. Fans could scream as much as they like to the photos of their loved ones – the footage ended with a word that read “The Evolution”. Then, a little more up-beat dance number, “Be the One” burst forth. Fans shouted the cheer code resoundingly. I have to say that the boys’ line was great and hard-hitting, particularly Jaejoong who was strongly hitting every beat on his moves. On that day, all three boys were equally spectacular in dancing. When fans yelled ‘Be the One’ cheer code, it was easily observable that the boys become even more energetic, especially on the second day of the concert. I swear it was not all in my head. All the tension and stress flew out the windows. The boys seemed more relaxed while really enjoying themselves. Yoochunnie, I must say, was being so playful – he had effortlessly stolen all our hearts.
Intro to “Ayyy Girl” began right on the moment that its MV was shown on screen. The fans didn’t miss their chances to sing loudly along, especially on the cheer code [T/N: that was prepared beforehand] during the song. I, who usually sits still during concerts, couldn’t help having fun as well. Let me tell you another thing – I don’t know what Park Yoochun had done to himself. What do his charms suddenly have gone into overdrive? Whether it was when he was singing, looking around, smiling – it sent fangirls into a screaming frenzy. After done with “Ayyy Girl”, the three boys walking down the runway, Jaejoong asked us fans “Are you guys having fun?”. Gosh, we were practically falling off of our seats, how could we not have fun? The boys talked for a bit before Junsu said [what in our hearts] to Yoochun “You haven’t been all that sexy lately”. Ever the confident, Yoochun proclaimed that he would definitely show Junsu what ‘sexy’ really meant in this next song.
Sound of raindrops played in the background before intro to our sunny boy’s solo “I Love you” began. On stage, there were two make-believe cages with two female dancers within each one – hmm, it must have been a dream stage-setting for Yoochun. The charismatic boy sang with his deep, romantic voice while gliding back and forth between two cages – lethally charming those female dancers. His moves and the sound of his voice had all the fangirls in the concert breathlessly screaming. We almost had heart attacks when those female dancers broke out of the cages and danced sexily around him. What’s more, our Park Yoochun walked over and started caressing each dancer! They were dancing and grinding with skin-on-skin contact! Fans might literally die that time. I was amused though – I have this little OCD of loving to see other fans’ reactions. Too bad that deep blue glow sticks for the project for this song weren’t bright enough, so the light was not as it should have been. When people saw that it was too dimly lit, they switched back to their own red light sticks instead.
Every time Yoochun sang that little line of ‘I love you’, it cut deep into my emotions. He knew what is alluring to the fans and didn’t hold back on seduction. At the end, when he walked to the middle of the runway, all the 4 female dancers followed suit to frustrate the fans. There were even more body-to-body dance moves going on. Those dancers groped and grinded their bodies into our dear boy and he showed no sign of resistance whatsoever! He seemed to be extremely pleased. Three dancers went off the stage and we’re left with one who was still dancing sexily next to him – drawing more screams from the fans. Yoochun finally let go of her hand when the light on stage went out. All the fans in the concert hall completely lost their voices from too much screaming.
[To be continued]