It’s taken me a month to post this, but oh man, where do I even begin??
I guess with a statement I can finally say — I HAVE SEEN B.A.P IN CONCERT!
I have waited since they debuted to be able to say that, definitely made worse by the fact that I couldn’t go to their Live On Earth tour last year in association with Verizon Wireless for the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. That tour didn’t come close enough to me and at the time I was still paying off my trip to see Big Bang in LA.
But not this time. Live on Earth 2014 made a stop in Chicago (technically Merillville, Indiana) and you bet your tush I went and had a blast!!
The concert was Saturday, April 19th, I posted before about my adventure down and so I drove to Merrillville on the Friday before in order to get to the hotel and hang out with my friend Chelsea! We stayed at the Radisson that is directly connected to the venue and let me tell you…that was convenient!
Anyway the concert day itself…even though we were right next to the venue and it was seated we got there early because we wanted to get in line in order to get fansigns as well as I wanted to get in the doors quick to buy merch! Both of which were successful ideas. It’s not a K-Pop concert without a lightstick and I ended up getting a Himchan fan picket too! Fangirl life right~?
As we waited in line Chelsea and I would talk to the people around us and it seemed we all had the same general consensus.
Thank God B.A.P came somewhere so close to us! There were girls around us that had driven from Wisconsin and North Carolina and others like Chelsea and I who had come from Michigan and Minnesota. I think that may be one of my favorite things about K-Pop concerts…we are a big family across the world and we come together for events like this! Being a part of the internet fandom is great, but until you are actually surrounded by others just like you, you wont have that true sense of family and belonging. Truly, it’s breathtaking!
One thing that stunned me though was that this concert was a lot of people’s first live K-Pop concert experience. They were amazed when I would tell them that I went to SMTown 2012 or Big Bang in LA and Taeyang’s Music Experiment show. I’ve always known I was lucky to be able to take all those trips but I guess never realized just how lucky I was…all of these fellow BABYz put that into perspective for me. I’ve had a lot of wonderful K-Pop experiences that a lot of Midwestern fans don’t have and for that I’m grateful!
But enough about that…let’s talk about the actual concert, yeah?
Chelsea and I had seats in the center of the balcony so I think I was able to be a bit more objective for once and not a total fangirl. Crazy right? Yes I had my fangirl moments like when they first appeared on stage. There was screams and lots of them, when the screen rose and they were there I think we all had a “OMG they’re real” moment! I know I had that moment at least…it was amazing to see them on a stage in the same room as me instead of just as people in a computer screen.
Then there were screams throughout the first few songs as well as just lots of singing along, mostly in poor/broken Korean.
From all of my recollections, the set list was as follows:
- One Shot
- Love Sick
- Coffee Shop
- Body & Soul
- No Mercy
- Bang x2
- ~~Jongup Solo Dance Stage
- Save Me
- Check On
- Excuse Me
- Dancing in the Rain
- Stop It
I purposely avoided learning the setlist in advance (as I do with most concerts) because I like to be surprised by what song is next. Well, they kept me on my toes with each change in song, literally too – I paid for a seat and as expected never sat in it. For instance I didn’t expect them to do Dancing in the Rain but the second it started I was pleased as punch! Dancing in the Rain is my all time favorite B.A.P song but it isn’t a single so I didn’t expect it in the setlist. Then followed by Stop It, as that is one of Chelsea’s favorite songs. It was perfect. I remember Chelsea looking over at me after Stop It and saying, “They did your favorite song and then mine!” We were both in awe and so happy!
I also have to say I was so surprised at how good each member’s English was. When I love a group I love them as they are so worrying about their language abilities isn’t something that prevalent in my mind, but I do want to say that I was honestly surprised and impressed at the level of English proficiency they each possess. I think that is one thing I will never forget, as well as when they were asking the audience who their favorite member was. That entire talking bit I can’t ever forget, but Zelo’s adorable voice asking the audience, “Do you love me?” Then followed by him saying “I love you too!” is burned in my brain…in a good way.
But perhaps my favorite part that I will honestly never forget is that the night of the concert also happened to be Himchan’s birthday and a couple fansites had organized for everyone to hold up signs for him. During Crash everyone held up signs that either said “I love you Kim Himchan” or “Himchan, Happy Birthday” in Korean. Himchan looked around the front and was smiling at the signs, but when he looked up to the balcony and saw that everyone up there had them too he stopped singing and said “Woah” before his jaw dropped. I will never forget the look on his face right then, it was as if he couldn’t believe that all of it was for him – that we all loved and adored him. I wanted to run onstage and grab him and squeal “Yes Channie! This is for you. We love you! Happy Birthday!” But alas, I was in the balcony and too far away to give him a Birthday hug. …Nor did I want to get trampled by security…
All in all, I am beyond thankful I was finally able see B.A.P in concert. I count them in my Top 5 Favorite K-Pop groups and that I was able to see them on their second US tour is just mind-boggling to me. As a fan I am so proud of everything they have accomplished so far and I simply can’t wait to see what else they do in the near future! As a whole, I will simply never forget this concert. It was amazing! I know one day I will see them in a stadium, like how I saw Big Bang in 2012. I have full faith they are going to reach that level internationally.
B.A.P ended the concert with Thank You’s and 90-degree bows to the audience before running off stage. However instead of just accepting their thank you I instead want to say …Thank You B.A.P!!!