October 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
Why in the world do people go to shows if they’re just going to talk the whole time?!
At the end of July, I attended SummerStage at Central Park. It’s fun because it’s outdoors, and you can bring blankets and food and have a nice picnic along with the music. Dawes and First Aid Kit were billed equally as headliners, but First Aid Kit ended up performing before Dawes; I suppose the latter is more well-known, but I was there for the Swedish ladies.
We weren’t sitting that close to the stage (as you can see, that area up front is standing room only), but still close enough to ostensibly be there to hear the music. On the outer edges of the makeshift venue were stands where you could buy food or drinks.
People around us talked the whole time, and using their outdoor voices. The din of everyone’s conversation relegated the opening act to background music. It didn’t help that the volume of the music wasn’t nearly loud enough throughout the whole show.
I didn’t mind so much at first, but once First Aid Kit came on stage, a group of young adults (not pictured) came and sat down at an open spot in front of us. And boy were they having the time of their lives! Just talking and laughing noisily like they were at a bar.
I’m not a confrontational person by any stretch of the imagination, but occasionally I can get going when filled with righteous anger. And no assholes were going to keep me from giving First Aid Kit my full attention. So I stepped over and said to the loudest guy, “Can you guys talk quieter please?!”
It was not my most grammatically proud moment. But at least they finally realized other people were actually trying to hear the music.
It was also — and still is — baffling to me that people would pay money ($37.50 per ticket, not super expensive but not that cheap either!) to go somewhere and just talk over the performers. I get that maybe most of the people were there for Dawes and not First Aid Kit, but what about common courtesy to the musicians as well as the rest of the audience?!
Alas, the same thing happened to me last night at a concert for MS MR. It was a great show with two amazing opening acts (Vérité and Jack Garratt). I was perched at a prime spot on Terminal 5’s second floor balcony.
Just as Vérité finished their set, this white couple about my age came and stood next to me at the railing. And oh my god they would not stop talking!!!!! They blabbered through Jack Garratt’s entire performance, and I could barely concentrate on how awesome he was due to their loud, inane chatter. Eventually, the guy on the other side of them told them to hush.
Before MS MR came on, the people on the other side of me left, so I moved down the railing to get away from the two loudmouths…but they ended up moving right along with me! And continued their inebriated banalities through MS MR’s first few songs.
Seriously, why were they even there?! There are places where you can go and order drinks and talk loudly and it’s called a fucking bar!
I got so fed up that after a few songs, I leaned over and yelled, “Can you two stop talking for ONE SONG?!?”
The guy was like, “Whooaaaa” but neither of them actually acknowledged me. They quieted down some but continued talking, and at that point I had to conclude that they were just drunk. How else can you be so obtuse?
I can put up with a lot at a concert. Invasion of personal space, like when the woman’s long flowing hair fell into her beer and then somehow wiped that beer on the back of my hand, I won’t make a big fuss about if you’re contributing to the atmosphere of the show by actually enjoying the music. If you’re dancing and bump into me, I don’t care.
BUT WHY WITH THE TALKING??? WHY??
I don’t know if this is a NYC thing, or a young people thing, or a cheap-ish concerts thing, but oblivious assholes like these should just stay away from live shows. I would posit, however, that it does have something to do with age (and booze).
When I went to see Todrick Hall’s Twerk du Soleil show last year, his opening acts were a couple of aspiring pop stars who were basically mediocrely talented teenagers singing covers. But the audience, comprising also mostly teenagers (yes I felt out of place and old), were respectfully quiet during these performances! Or they weren’t drunk enough to not care.
It pains me that my peers see fit to talk over artists with actual talent, like First Aid Kit and Jack Garratt. They deserve better, and so do I.
February 5, 2015 § 2 Comments
1. You sometimes get a Britney Spears song stuck in your head and it actually makes your day better.
2. You’re willing to spend hundreds of dollars (or get someone to spend hundreds of dollars for you) to see your childhood/teenage idol dance to all her biggest hits.
3. You’re thrilled at the prospect of seeing other celebrities in the audience, such as J.Lo (yes, this actually happened to me):
4. You know all the words to “Perfume.”
5. You want to see Britney Spears swinging from a giant tree/prancing through a ring of fire.
6. You relish the thought of seeing your Twitter/Instagram post projected next to the stage where the Princess of Pop is going to perform:
July 14, 2010 § 7 Comments
This is my temporary home, it’s not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I’m passing through
This is just a stop on the way to where I’m going
I’m not afraid because I know this is my temporary home
February 23, 2010 § 5 Comments
On Saturday, I woke up at 130PM after sleeping at dawn due to a night of 3AM dim sum. I would have slept even longer if I hadn’t planned to go see 4Minute that afternoon. By no means am I a big fan of theirs — I never even bothered to learn their names — but their songs are pretty good, and why not go see them for free while I can?
Kathy, Kaiti & I roused ourselves and headed to the MTR station. There was only one problem: the mall, apparently called Emax [though the signs were labeled as something else] was located in Kowloon Bay. In Hong Kong, there is a place called Kowloon Bay, and then there is one called Kowloon, which is actually by the water.
By the time we realized we were in the wrong district, it was already half an hour before the show was supposed to start. Another 30 minutes were eaten up by the MTR, on which the three of us discussed our common love for Kpop. Both Kathy & Kaiti had been in China during Chinese New Year, meaning they were completely unreachable, and Kaiti was especially distraught at having missed her favorite group.
Upon reaching Kowloon Bay, we walked as quickly as we could in the direction of the mall, which looked relatively close to the MTR station:
ACTUALLY, we squandered an hour wandering around the city. None of us spoke Cantonese, which limited our confidence in asking for directions [we could barely communicate with the one guard we talked to]. I felt guilty about leading my friends on such a hopeless journey; we finally arrived at Emax just at the end of the fansigning — 4Minute & guest stars Mr. had already performed [the latter were nowhere to be seen at all].
The venue was pretty much the same as where I saw SHINee. We watched from the sidelines as ticket-holders filed to the stage and had their belongings autographed. I noticed a multitude of fanboys and was saddened that I had missed seeing them in action. Slightly disappointed, we headed over to the elevators behind the stage, where a crowd had already formed to wait for 4Minute’s exit.
Kathy & Kaiti went somewhere else [for a better view, I presumed] while I stayed behind, camera in hand, standing under the tense gaze of the security guards for the celebrities to appear. After a few minutes of waiting expectantly, we were pushed farther back from the elevators by the barriers that the guards put up. The crowd wasn’t huge, but we were packed rather tightly, which didn’t faze me because I had long since lost any sense of personal space.
I felt some movement from the guy directly behind me but didn’t think much of it until his hands suddenly gripped my hips and he started to grind on me. HOLY COW WHAT THE SICK NASTY.
My mind froze.
Is this really happening?!
It’s times like these when I wish I were more brazen. Instead, I have this stupid aversion to embarrassing anyone, and apparently this consideration extends to creepers, of all people. I should have yelled at him to CALM YOURSELF DOWN BACK THERE, but instead I stiffly moved to the side and placed my elbow between us until he stopped and went somewhere else [to terrorize someone else with his crotch?! I don’t know].
I could hardly think straight afterward and still don’t know what to make of it. I haven’t actually told anybody about this because it’s more than slightly embarrassing, but I wanted to share it here IN CASE THIS EVER HAPPENS TO YOU, GIVE THAT DIRTY PERVERT A BEATING or at least take his picture & put it on the internet so we can all troll him.
February 14, 2010 § 1 Comment
My mind is still trying to process today’s events, because there’s simply too much to handle.
It started like this.
I came home from having a late dim sum lunch with some other exchange students with the intent to take a nap, but decided to spend some time online first. This habit proved rather fortunate this time because LC asked me over Gchat whether I saw SHINee when they arrived in Hong Kong on Friday. It is probably important to note here that SHINee has been my favorite group for a while, and for me, seeing them in person would basically be the equivalent of a hardcore Bulls fan shaking Michael Jordan’s hand.
Naturally, I completely freaked out. I had heard that they were coming to HK but didn’t know when or why. At the time, I was also on the phone with Cebu Pacific Air trying to book a flight to the Philippines; I started cursing audibly at my computer. Rosaline, who was attempting to take a nap, glanced over at me and popped out of bed when I told her why I was so agitated. My call failed shortly afterward and I didn’t bother calling back because I was too busy looking up information online. Thankfully, I was able to find this:
I immediately ran next door with my laptop to ask my friend from mainland China to read it to me. SHINee was performing in a mall for Chinese New Year in SIX HOURS?! [So much for having dinner with Nadia and meeting her boyfriend.] I HAD TO GO. There was one slight inconvenience:
Getting to Tuen Mun wouldn’t be a problem, but the last train to leave would be at 12:04AM, whereas the show was supposed to go until midnight, according to the customer service lady I called. She also told me that the show’s tickets were given to certain customers of the mall and were all gone. Annoying, but I could work around it. This is the schedule I crafted for my evening:
6PM paint nails [yes, this is important & indeed took an hour]
7PM get $ from bank in case I need to bribe someone to get in
8PM go to subway station
9PM arrive in Teun Mun
1030 SHINee OMFG
[Note that nowhere in there is “dinner,” because at the time I still wasn’t hungry, and before & after the show I was too stressed traveling to a strange place, so I basically had Mountain Dew & Coke Zero for supper.]
Rosaline couldn’t come with me because she was spending time with her family, which is what normal people do on Chinese New Year’s Eve unless you’re an orphan like me. No matter; after a month of being in Hong Kong, I finally feel comfortable enough to travel by myself. I followed my schedule exactly, except I didn’t go to the bank because I spent an extra hour trying to research how I would get home. There really were no other viable options, so I figured I’d pull a Cinderella and get out of there before midnight, since being homelessly stranded is really not a good way to spend a holiday.
Tonight’s weather was some of the worst that I’ve experienced so far in HK. The clouds drizzled heavily and the wind blew so hard that it was actually better to close my umbrella than have it get blown inside out. Luckily, the sky was clear in Tuen Mun, where I wandered around for half an hour trying to locate the mall. I finally found the right building after calling the rather unhelpful customer service guy twice. Even then, I couldn’t find a feasible concert venue amongst the crowded shops, but the cheering voices led me to the correct spot in the heart of the shopping plaza.
Despite my time squandered while lost, I arrived an hour early. A great crowd of teenagers had already gathered on the sidelines of the stage and the balconies of the two upper levels. It was just like being in Korea: screaming fangirls waving SHINee balloons and black cardboard signs splashed with the names of their favorite members. It’s a good thing I look young, because I was pretty sure I was the oldest one there. The girls in front of me were shorter, and I was doing fine blending in until the one whose butt I kept accidentally touching turned around and asked me a question [perhaps related to that, but it sounded like she was asking if she was blocking my view]. I was thus outed as a non-Cantonese speaker, and the young girl next to me actually asked if I was a SHINee fan [LOL].
It hurt to watch the lucky people with tickets settle into their seats, but getting to watch this kind of event for free is a pretty rare occasion. The stage was a tiny one in the middle of the mall in the middle of nowhere — this is where SHINee is spending their New Year’s Eve? They deserve better. I felt dazed just thinking of being in the same square kilometer as SHINee…or perhaps it was from lack of sleep. At some point before the performance, Rosaline told me via text that the MTR would run all night because of Chinese New Year, so I was free to stay as late as I wanted.
I was utterly surprised to see guys sitting and standing among the fangirls. Were they actually fans or were they just taking up space unnecessarily? My question was answered when I heard the guy behind me screaming along with SHINee’s lyrics. I stood there contentedly until the emcee went on stage and I was quickly reminded that the program would be in Cantonese, and I wouldn’t understand anything. This is why I recorded video of most of it, which I will later show to Rosaline so she can translate for me, hehe.
The first performances were by Hong Kong artists, with games in between songs like telephone charades to give certain ticket-holders a chance to be on stage. The whole not-speaking-Canto and not-knowing-the-artists thing made it rather boring, but it gave me adequate time to take down my thoughts on my Blackberry. I thought about how I would tell other people about my experience and could only picture myself babbling like an incoherent idiot.
When SHINee finally appeared, I literally could not stop myself from screaming from excitement despite my best attempts to keep my composure. It was unreal, like seeing gods [which reveals my spiritual illness..]. After my short bout of shrieking, I hyperventilated a bit from the reality of seeing them in front of me. They are incredible in real life.
Like good little fans, the crowd chanted along with SHINee’s songs; the three they performed were “Replay,” “Jojo” and “Ring Ding Dong.” I actually wanted to listen to them sing, but it didn’t really happen. My position was close enough to take video, but not enough to take good pictures or faint from sheer proximity. The boys performed well, of course, and had a translator for the extra bits. I can’t describe how amazing it was to see them with my own eyes when they had previously only existed on my laptop screen. It was also interesting to see the little things that happen onstage that are not usually broadcasted, like Jonghyun wiping the sweat off Taemin‘s face with a tissue, or Onew being his usual dorky self, or the fact that all of the photographers get onstage after the performers leave and take pictures of the audience [I have no idea why].
I didn’t stick around very long afterward because my back hurt from standing. There was a disproportionate number of females on the MTR, and I sat across from four girls who had clearly just departed from the show as well — they were all looking through the pictures they had taken on their fancy cameras. They looked even older than me, which made me laugh because SHINee is known for having a lot of “noona” fans; that is, female fans who are older than the members of the group. I was glad not to be the only one present…
When I got back to Causeway Bay an hour later, I spent 35 minutes wandering around looking for the correct bus stop. Then, after I successfully boarded it, the bus completely SKIPPED my stop [because I didn’t understand when the driver asked if anyone needed to get off there]. I got off at the next one, half a mile away in the middle of nowhere. I crossed the street to take a taxi back, but the taxi driver took me around on the longest possible route to get back to my dorm — I might not know enough Cantonese to tell him he’s being a jerkface, but I knew enough to recognize the scenic route. I didn’t really care, though, as long as I wasn’t being abducted.
No matter how many pictures you take, you realize on the way home that it’ll only ever be a fantasy.
November 13, 2009 § 2 Comments
A Chinese boy band that has relatively good music, good vocals, a non-dreadful music video AND is actually…attractive? This kind of anomaly must be documented!
Anybody who reads my blog would probably surmise that I hate all Chinese music, which is not true — my standards are low because of how much the music industry of the motherland has disappointed me. I’m not absolutely in love with A-ONE, but I am pleasantly surprised enough to learn more about them and perhaps download some songs.
One complaint I have is that they all have the same hairstyle, which is detrimental to anybody trying to learn their individual identities. Seriously, a basic element of having a group of less than six is making it possible for the consumer to differentiate between members. I’m mostly irked because I couldn’t figure out the names of the cuter ones. Also, said hairstyle has so much product in it that it doesn’t move, which is unpleasantly reminiscent of the ’50s beehive.
One of the members caught my eye when I browsed other sites in an effort to learn more about them:
Oh my gosh. He — 于洪军 — is absolutely beautiful. I am captivated. Unfortunately, I still had a difficult time discerning which one was him in their group pictures; they need new stylists. The Chinese name of the group basically amounts to “Insect Band,” and they all have insect nicknames. I think his is Butterfly Prince, ha ha ha.
I wish I knew where to find stalker forums for Chinese musicians so I could find out his age [and favorite foods, address, etc etc…kidding].
[For a miserable failure of a music video, click here. I actually kind of like the song apart from the male voiceover, but the video is completely irrelevant and reprehensible. It’s like Pussycat Dolls dancing to High School Musical.]