(Breaking news that breaks my heart: Cleveland Cavaliers (I root for LeBron) just got its first loss since post-season from the Celtics after blowing out Celtics in previous two games, come on..)
So, last night I went to a mini-concert/talk show named “Seoul Talk Concert”. The event was intended to promote the sister city of Jakarta, which is Seoul and its top spots, foods, and the beauty of the Seoul itself. It was attended by two main guest stars: Eru and Red Velvet. To complete the Seoul promotion, several representatives of Seoul including its Vice Mayor.
Before we going to the main part of the show, I’d like to tell you some back stories before I got here.
After the sudden announcement from Eru’s official LINE account that he would attend a event along with mistyped “Read Velvet” (whom I thought was a cover-dance group), I got a bit nervous. Firstly, the event was completely FREE, and there were only 964 seats publicly available. Even though Red Velvet’s fanbase aren’t as big as that of EXO’s or SNSD’s, but Red Velvet has surely attracted many international fans with their talents, visual, and their personality. Plus, I have seen a bunch of Indonesian who comments on every Red Velvet music videos. Which adds to my nervousness.
The official ticket handler was Kiostix, whom already experienced in selling tickets to many events, its name also is quite as big as other ticket provider in Indonesia. Kiostix announced that they were going to start the ticketing on 10th May and 13th May. Starting from 1:00pm until sold out.
Completely FREE means everyone has the same chance to get the ticket, fans or not, cash or cashless.
So I predicted that the traffic would be outrageous, the website would be down for the entire sequence. At 10:00am on May 10th, simultaneously doing an interview, I started to refresh the webpage of Kiostix’s. From the phone. Which was not a wisest thing to do.
I couldn’t access the page from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Unfortunately I couldn’t reach for my laptop as well as I wasn’t in the room for the whole 5 hours. I was doing a back-to-back interview. Boy did I nervous.
Right when I could access the website, the banner showed “REGISTRATION CLOSED”. Damn. It means I should wait for another day for war. May 13th 2017. Luckily, May 13th was on Saturday, means I could go full berserk on getting the ticket.
So the day came, I woke up at early morning, did a registration on the website (I was a fool for not realizing I should’ve registered on the website first) and opened like 10 tabs from 3 different browsers, almost as if I was prepared for total war. The ticketing, as previously happened, was opened at 1:00pm.
The clock ticks at 1:00pm. I started to refresh like crazy.
The first 30 minutes. No luck.
The first 1 hour. Still no luck. Checked the twitter, people went batshit crazy because the website was fully inaccessible. All we got was this screen.
The first hour coming to two, I could still think positively and calmly hit refresh each of the tab I opened, like mother bird giving worm to each of her kids’ mouth.
“Okay… I got this, we got this, just let everyone raged, we have to hit refresh. refresh. And refresh.”
I thought the self-hypnosis would be effective but….. no.
Over the next 45 minutes, I got tired of trying. “Screw this”. I told myself.
But only then I remembered that when you’re tired of trying and feel like giving up, that’s when you’re closer to succeeding. This might be exaggerated for a mere ticket, but it was true!
Before I got tired, I made a mistake of clearing the browsers’ cookie. Which I thought would make me access faster, instead, I got logged out from Kiostix because the password I saved was wiped away.
However, after the tiring sequence, magically, in one attempt, I successfully relogged in and bought the ticket smooothly! Much like cutting through butter with hot knife.
I got excited but still cautious because there might be a mistake or anything.
But no! The E-Ticket was successfully sent to my e-mail, it looked like this:
THE STRUGGLE PART II
It all started with this clause:
That pretty much means: “if you’re late then screw you and go home”.
So, I planned to sleep early the night before and woke up early to prepare and depart early.
That’s the plan.
In reality, because I was a tad tired and got anxious, I couldn’t sleep until 1:00am. The thought of meeting Red Velvet in person made me giddy. But I managed to sleep.
I then woke up at 5:30am, did a Subuh prayer and foolishly slept afterwards and re-woke up at 6:40am. A shot of panic crept up my body. I swung myself from the bed and hastily took a short shower. Departed from home at 7:20am.
It took only 12 minutes from home to the venue, plus, Jakarta at Sunday morning has a blissful traffic which I enjoyed while jamming to Red Velvet’s songs.
Right when I arrived, I thought I would be on the 50th in line or so, but life gave a powerful slap and laughed hard while saying “you’re 300th, dumbass. Don’t dream like you’re the first to arrive”.
Suddenly I remembered early bird gets the worm.
I walked towards the end of the line while not believing what had just happened. Couldn’t digest the reality.
“Alright…..” I sat down.
It was 8:00am. The E-Voucher exchanging with wristbands would start at 11:00am. Means I have 3 hours of doing anything.
There wasn’t much to do, frankly. I tried to make friend with people queuing beside me, but they weren’t people of my age. In fact, we probably have a double-digit age difference. So, a small-talk attempt ended in awkward pause.
Fortunately, I brought my N3DS and a book with me. Played Monster Hunter and killed some dragons, and read a quite hefty page. But there were something that distracted me the most:
Hunger and weary.
Both gave me a serious deal of pain. Although it wasn’t that painful, but boy did I became fidgety and finicky.
N3DS and book help me got through roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes, there was 45 minutes left and I feel uneasy, changing position became frequent, my stomach screamed, and my body felt like giving up.
This was actually my first Korean concert experience, unlike my sister, I wasn’t that much of a concert goer. She had gone to like 7 different concerts, while I only 2; Taylor Swift and Red Velvet. Taylor’s concert didn’t involve a lot of queuing, we got the ticket after we bought it, then just get in and enjoy. Whilst I have to get through battles in order to get there. So, tiredness was inevitable.
After barely made it to 11:00am, the committee finally spoken and everyone rushed to stand, the queue started to move line-by-line, there were approximately 200 people lining in front of me. It was such a tedious waiting and I was getting agitated, both because I was worried that the seat would suddenly ran out and I hadn’t eat anything yet.
Fortunately, it didn’t feel so tough after I opened Reddit and read comments from NBA thread, it was legitimately funny. Call me anything, but Reddit people are always good at making me laugh. During the queuing, I laughed silently but too obvious; people were staring confusedly.
12:00pm, I finally made it to the end of the line, and got the wristband. My seat number was BG 32. Located on the top part of the theater.
THE (PRE) SHOW
There was a 3 hour gap from the wristband exchange to the open gate, it was 1:00pm, I’m totally worn out and knowing that my home isn’t far away from the location, I went back home and spent like 2 hours of resting before the actual show.
At 4:00pm, I darted back to the venue and found that there were a bunch of people waiting outside the venue, mixed between those with wristband, and those who were still hoping to get the ticket (the ticket provider promised to give extra tickets on the venue). The faces showed grimace of hopelessness and at the same time, happiness.
When the securities allowed people with wristband in for (another) queuing, the scene got even saddening. You know the scene from disaster movies, where people with privilege could hop in the safety vehicles while those without privilege just wait outside, silently cursing and being judgmental, giving the “I’ll see you in hell” face? That’s exactly what happened. Worse, people with wristband and those who were starving for tickets were only separated by a glass. So we could see these people’s disheartened expression.
Sadness aside, I successfully entered the venue front side for (another) queuing. This time, we were told by the staffs to write some sort of questionnaire that would be randomly picked and read by performing guests and the vice mayor himself, with a gift from those people as the award.
There’s usually a fan union in Korean concerts. The purpose? In order to appreciate our idol, the fan union usually gave something called freebies. The freebies are usually banner, a fan, or photo card. ReVeluvs (Red Velvet fandom name) were given a banner, a photo card, and a sheet of lyric with emphasized parts inside it.
We were told indirectly by the lyric sheet that Red Velvet will only sing two songs: their current hit Rookie, and a ballad First Time. I personally was a bit disappointed, firstly, two songs? After all this pain? Secondly, I was hoping to sing Red Velvet’s One of These Nights. That song was subjectively amazing and all-time great. But I had to be grateful to even able to watch them live.
The time then came, 6:30pm. The committee told us to queue (again) and sequentially enter the main venue. At this point, I envied those who were located on the bottom part of the stage, you know, I thought they could see them closer.
As I entered the door that led me to seat number BG 32, I started to realize that this was a freaking theater. A theater’s seat must be stage-focused, the design must allow even the farthest seat to see the stage with ease.
This was my view:
Better yet, there were nobody sitting behind me, so I could dance all I want and just let the hell out.
The show then started shortly after.
An old man in his fifties started to emerge, after the emcee introduced him. He was the Vice Mayor of Seoul, spoken some diplomatic words to solidify the sisterly relation between Jakarta and Seoul. Then proceed to introduce the Ambassador of Seoul, which was Gita Gutawa.
I never once doubted Gita Gutawa and turned out, it was right. Gita was a classy performer with good attitude, classified as top performers (subjectively) along with Afgan, Raisa, Tulus, and more. Her signature high-note is always her identity.
After a symbolic ceremony between the Vice Mayor and Gita Gutawa, Gita Gutawa then started to sing 3 of her songs: Harmoni, Sempurna, AYO (Come on). I must say these 3 songs were perfect for the moment and with her high note ability, the crowd couldn’t do anything but clap in awe. Great choice!
RED VELVET STAGE
With Gita Gutawa’s last song finished, and back to the backstage, the emcee again emerge. At this point, almost 90% of the audience forgot that the main performer was ERU. Not Red Velvet. So we didn’t anticipate their appearance until the last hour.
The emcee teased us about calling out Red Velvet to the stage. We took the bait but he laughed.
The emcee again teased us.
But this time, Red Velvet really came to the stage.
With some introductory video, the girls started to walk to the stage. The whole venue exploded with excited scream, I screamed to the top of my lungs.
Without hesitation and giving us fans a moment, they started to dance and here comes the first song…
The decibel level went from 90 to 140 in just a second. We didn’t thought they would sing this song.
If you watched Descendants of The Sun before, on episode 16, Red Velvet attend the armies’ event and sing this song as well. The armies’ chanting were sounded like mine, here’s the scene:
The only difference was I screamed with passion. Ha.
Right after Dumb Dumb finished, they still didn’t give us a moment to sit.
Aaaand…. Little Little
I couldn’t scream much because this song is a Ballad. But I sang along with this enjoyable Ballad. (I actually waited for Last Love or Body Talk, but…)
Along with singing, I realized that it was the first time I saw them live. No intermediary objects, no select resolution, no, this wasn’t 720p or 1080p or even 4K, this was real.
When they were singing, I kinda realized that I was in the Twilight Zone. You know, the moment you couldn’t exactly believe.
Anyway, after singing Little Little, came the talkshow about hot spots in Seoul. Each member spoke about their favorite spots in Seoul. Hongdae, Itaewon, Common Ground, and more. The funniest thing happened when Joy were introducing nightclub as a spot to relax, the audience went “nooo Joy!” and she was embarrassed, along with this smile
This is the live version:
Long story short, we didn’t expect that they would continue singing….
But they did.
Russian freaking Roulette.
Please excuse my overly hyped scream. That was intentional.
I couldn’t tell much here as I was into the moment.
Again, no break.
Then Rookie happened.
Eru took the stage right after Red Velvet, performing his own hit songs from 2011 and proceed with cooking on stage and introduce South Korean cuisines such as Samgyetang, Bibimbap, and others.
To describe the atmosphere post-Red Velvet, it was like a stock crash. The voice that was previously 140 decibel plummeted to 70 or 80, no argument there. I deducted that the committee and the Seoul people thought that Eru has a large fanbase in Indonesia, but sadly no. I personally didn’t know him much either, the best that I know from him was his duet with local comedian, Sule. That’s that.
After Eru performed with the Vice Mayor, Red Velvet reappeared! The crowd again rose from their seats and wave hands at the girls, they waved back and doing cutesy things… you know what happened after.
My Take on the Concert
The whole talk show was amazing! Besides the main gem, Red Velvet, the shows were carefully designed (I noticed the intro videos) and in my opinion, successfully attract us fans of South Korea to visit Seoul. It’s just a bit sad that there were a lot of fans who couldn’t attend the concert.
I’d like to recommend some of great Red Velvet songs (besides their hit), with deep meaning and enjoyable tune, my top 10 rank:
- One of These Nights (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xWiro_tS1k)
- Last Love (Wendy solo) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46AuqaVnG1Q)
- Because I Love You (Wendy solo) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDMLANstgGI)
- Body Talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM0AwoKzZTg)
- Would U (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu7OmSqHVng)
- Automatic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px2Q47O0_eE)
- Be Natural (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpAn9ryoB4Y)
- Little Little (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mskdzoFF4o)
- First Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HchJVfmSG5w)
- Day 1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uasFLFB4UI)