[Fan Account] In the Presence of 9 Goddesses: My SMTOWN Experience – Part 1
I have seriously not woken up from the dream that was SMTOWN NYC. It is close to a week since the night of the concert, and I still can’t believe it even happened. I have been reading so many fanaccounts since then, keeping my memories alive. And mind you, I don’t just read the accounts of SONEs, but of all the fandoms who were in attendance. I have gained a deeper respect and appreciation for all the SM artists and fandoms after that night. I screamed like a banshee for every performer, whether I was able to sing along or not. And of course, not everything was sunshine and roses. There were things I didn’t like, and it’s only natural. I decided I needed to document the night myself, the good and the bad. And this will of course be a SONE’s perspective on the concert. Brace yourselves, this is going to be a long one.
My palms were sweaty and my legs tired from a day of exploring New York’s Central Park. I kept switching my pink light stick on and off and checking my pockets over and over to make sure the piece of paper with my ticket printed over it was still there. I ignored the taxi driver’s sharp turns and honking fueled by the rush hour road rage. Only negative scenarios of the show dominated my thoughts. “What if my seats really aren’t that great? What if I get in the wrong line? What if I lose my ticket on the way to the door? What if… what if…” The taxi driver turned his head to ask “Is this ok?” He would have to park on the other side of the street. My card was swiped before I could even answer, and with a quick thank you I dashed out onto the busy Manhattan streets, straight towards the long line trailing outside of the Madison Square Garden venue.
After about an hour of being squished amidst thousands of fans, our access was granted. I quickly ran up what seemed like 10 escalators to find my section, but got sidetracked by a chance to buy SM goods. I knew my funds were low, and decided against buying most of the overpriced items, but I could not pass the chance up to buy the official SMTOWN fans. Being a Seohyun bias, there was no question that her fan would’ve been purchased. But after looking at my second GG bias’ gorgeous face printed on the bin, I could not say no. It was difficult to turn away from the other 7, but it was necessary if I didn’t want to starve until my next pay check. I didn’t know how I would hold all of these things I needed to wave around during the concert, and I was wishing for more arms at that point.
I settled into my seat in section 107 and began to take in my surroundings. My seats weren’t bad at all. I waved to a fellow SONE who I had contacted prior to the concert, but sadly she was seated several rows behind me on the other side of the section. To my left were 2 Korean girls who were mostly speaking their native language with a phrase in English here and there. Judging by their SuJu fans and blue light sticks, I assumed they were K-Elfs. I had the paranoid feeling that they were giving my fans and pink balloon the evil eye, and from that moment on I vowed to give them a good impression of my fandom by the end of the night. The woman seated to my right was an older Caucasian lady who had traveled from Phoenix to see Super Junior. She said she considered herself too old to be called an ELF, but told me she wouldn’t be able to die without seeing Lee Hyukjae’s dancing in person. I was excited for her and happy to have someone to spazz with during the concert, even if it wasn’t about SNSD.
Soon the lights went down and the first scream that came out of me was so unexpected that I startled myself. Little did I know, by the end of the night my throat would be so sore from screaming that I wouldn’t even have the energy to share the story with my friends back at the hotel. F(x) was first up with Lachata, and I completely lost it. Although they’re not a bias, there in front of me were 5 girls that I have watched in mvs, variety and of course the reality TV show “We Got Married”. I sang along with the parts I knew from keeping my SMTOWN playlist on loop. There was Victoria… one half of Khuntoria, performing in front of me. Luna, who’s voice I admire very much, was also present. And of course, the infamous Amber even got a fangirly roar out of me. I did not pay much attention to the performance, as there was too much to pay attention to, if that makes any sense.
And next, before I even had time to process the fact that F(x) had appeared before me, there she was. My beautiful ice princess, Miss. Jessica Jung performing Tik Tok with her sister Krystal. I could not believe it. I was losing it. I waved my light stick even more frantically and spazzed out like a freak. Forget making a good impression for SONEs… my Sica is so kjrfoiejoajfciejoaje. Yes. kjfiaejaofijeopj. That about summarizes the entire night. Most of the performances are sadly a blur to me now, unless someone specifically brings up a song. I remember Kangta singing with Sulli, and I could not get over how incredibly good looking he was. He looked better than I remember him looking in his Breaka Shaka MV, and I forgave him for the fact that he wouldn’t be performing it that night (or so I thought).
Next came every noona’s favorite idol group, Shinee. There were so many SHAWOLS that night, the crowd just went insane. I was happy to see them start off with “Stand By Me”, since I was a total Boys Over Flowers fangirl, it being my first ever K-Drama. They sang a few more tracks, not my favorites, but still impressive. I had never found the members of Shinee all that attractive, until I saw them sing live. My bias Minho looked even more manly on stage and his presence was felt. Jonghyun and Onew looked extremely sexy when belting out their powerful vocals. But the ones who surprised me were Key and Taemin. That night, I finally knew what the Key love was all about, mostly during his duet stages. Taemin’s just a beast when he starts dancing. To summarize Shinee that night, very entertaining stages. My favorite had to be Ring Ding Dong. The fire effects that came out of the stage every time they did the RDD signature dance move was just…. awesome. That’s all I have to say about that.
Super Junior made a memorable entrance singing none other than Sorry Sorry Answer. Can I just say I LOVE that freakin song?! And KRY did pretty damn well for not having Yoo Young Jin with them on the track, bc their composer’s voice made that song for me. I love all three of the main SuJu vocalists, and it was an impressive performance.
Of course, one of the most memorable performances of the night was by my SuJu and SNSD biases. As soon as I recognized the tune for “Way Back Into Love”, I went absolutely insane. It was almost too much to take in. Seohyun, who I had been admiring for almost a year now, was here in front of me. The performance I watched on fancams so many times before was being peformed. I took a few shaky fancams but they only lasted about 30 seconds, because I needed the time to soak it all in. Their voices went perfect together, just heavenly. And being a crazy Goguma Couple shipper, I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous of their skinship at the end. I didn’t know what to think, I was between “Omg so cute!!” and “Get off of my Seobaby, you!!” Ahhh… the fate of a Seomate… we are too protective sometimes.
Fast forward to SNSD’s first performance of the night, which happened to be my favorite SNSD song, Run Devil Run. There they were… all 9 before me. I was waving my balloon, light stick and fans around like a madwoman. All the boyband fans around me were much calmer and looked at me as if I was crazy, and as if they weren’t acting the same exact way about 10 minutes earlier! Just getting to see them in the same outfits I saw in all the fancams, to see their perfectly executed dancemoves and their adorable fanservice. It was unbelievable. Kissing you and Oh soon followed. I fanchanted ALONE through all 3 performances, but I didn’t feel stupid. There was no stopping me.
In order for this post not to turn into a 10 page essay, I am going to summarize the rest of the performances briefly. Super Junior had just as much energy as they do in their MVs and look just as good in person. Apart from Sorry Sorry Answer, Mr. Simple had to be my favorite of theirs for the night. I had even learned the fanchant for it, and although I was again chanting alone, it was fun. I really hope the ELFs next to me realized that although my heart belongs to SNSD, I fully support Super Junior and did not stop waving my pink light stick just because my favorites were not on stage. Kangta did end up singing Breaka Shaka in Korean, and again everyone was looking at me since I started out yelling “It’s the love its the love, its the pain its the pain” haha I’m very happy that many people were impressed with this stage. BoA, BoA, BoA. What can I say? She’s got it. I’m new to K-pop so don’t know much about her prior to her English album and Korean comeback. The woman can dance. She’s talented, sexy and also has an adorable personality. Ah … and the “Kings of SMTOWN”… to tell you the truth I enjoyed DBSK’s performance much more than I thought I would. And of course the song “Before You Go”… oooh it just gives me chills!! I can honestly see why Cassies go insane over them. The Cassie love was overwhelming. I think the only thing that disappointed me about the fandom was the fact that a lot of the red lightsticks had been turned off for the majority of the night until their oppars starting performing. And they all sat back down as soon as their idols got off the stage, which I didn’t notice with the ELFs around me.
Now, although this wasn’t the final performance of the night, I’m going to finish it off with “The Boys”. To be honest, I was fangirling a little too hard to give a thorough analysis. But I was happy to see the K-Elfs beside me had stood up for the song and that I could hear people singing along. The dance was a hit and the outfits were HOT. Although I understand the circumstances now, I can’t say I wasn’t more than a little disappointed that they were lipsynching, but they weren’t the only ones guilty of it that night. But overall, it was my favorite performance of the night. The girls brought us all out.
The night had to end at some time and as soon as the glittering confetti began to fall, my heart sank down to my stomach. I was tired but I wanted more. I still enjoyed the fanservice during the final song. I would like to commend Sunny for giving amazing fanservice all over the place. She was waving like crazy anywhere she could, I felt as if she was waving directly at me when she saw my pink light stick, but then I realized I was just being delusional. And Seohyun of course was doing her cute little waves to everyone in the GA sections. My envy of those lucky SONEs in the GA sections grew tenfold during those moments. When they finally got off the stage, I realized how grateful I really was to have just experienced an SMTOWN. The artists gave us their all even when some were feeling under the weather. The fanservice was amazing. I don’t know how these idols manage to keep that smile going, as exhausted as they must be. And although I may not agree with other K-Pop fans at times, I was happy to be around them and finally experience the fan culture at a concert. It was a night that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Umm… yeah that ended up being a LOT longer than I first intended it to be, so I ended it a bit abruptly towards the end. Please look out for Part 2, the Soshified fanmeet!
- Official Pictures: SMTOWN Facebook
- SeoKyu Edit: Raisinism (Original Picture – Soshified)