04/24/2015

Getting my cherry K-popped

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My journey towards legit fan status reached its pinnacle last April 12 and I’ve got to say, it was one hell of a ride to the top. Literally. The car trip up north to Bulacan felt symbolic, like it was my own personal pilgrimage towards K-Pop Mecca. There was a lot of shrieking and flailing during the car ride with my friends, and copious amounts of shade being thrown at each other for having poor taste in bands. The half-a-mile walk from the parking lot was quite a trek, and the suffering didn’t end until we were all corralled into the gloriously air-conditioned Staples Center-esque Philippine Arena.

It was all a blur after the lights turned off—a blur of light sticks and fireworks, sweaty bodies, syllables that rhymed but did not make sense, toned bare thighs, perfectly coiffed hair, and lots of glitter. I felt spent. Hoarse. Exhausted. Hopped up on dopamine. And all because of four bands I don’t even actively follow.

Red Velvet were the first to take the stage and are solely responsible for bumping me up a notch higher on the Kinsey Scale. Despite how pedestrian their outfits were (it’s K-Pop— I want my snap, crackle, and pop, okay?), all four girls were bursting with energy and were cutely awed at how the crowd kept chanting their names.

We wear pink: Girls’ Generation came and slayed the Philippine Arena audience.

BtoB brought something different to the table: a little bit of hip-hop, a little bit of classic ’90s-sounding boyband realness, and a whole lot of fan service. The boys kept shooting little hearts with their hands and smiling at the camera. I swear, the girl a few seats away from me was so close to vibrating out of her clothes.

Clad in matching cutesy pink dresses, Girls’ Generation were a sight to behold. They had the entire crowd wrapped around all eight of their dainty little fingers as they traipsed and twirled their way all across the stage. Their set was fun while it lasted although the chorus of Gee will continue to haunt me for what looks like the remainder of 2015.

I’ve been warned of Super Junior’s stage antics, and let me tell you it was more than I was prepared for. These guys are clearly veterans and it was evident in their sharp, choreographed dance numbers and their penchant for banter with the crowd. They’re a hilarious bunch and it’s no wonder that this decade-old group has stayed relevant through the years.

My first time, like most first times, wasn’t perfect. All in all there were no regrets and, thankfully, no pitiful morning-after walk of shame. I walked away with my heart intact and waiting for the next time I can do it again.

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