In my last post, I talked a little about my experiences at Kcon as a convention. But of course, the number one thing people go to Kcon for are the concerts and music guests. This year there were ten music acts performing in the concerts, five for each day. Depending on which concert tickets you purchased, you received scratcher tickets with chances to see the different groups in a panel or even do a “hi-touch” (high-five) with them. The most expensive concert tickets also included a chance to win “red carpet” tickets, where you could go see all of the groups who were performing that day in their concert outfits.
I was unlucky and didn’t get any hi-touch or red carpet tickets, but I got two Shinhwa audience tickets, which was the group I was most excited to see. I traded one of my tickets with a friend who got two Block.B hi-touches, so we went to both of those events together. Neither of us are familiar with Block.B, but it was still cool to see them up close and hi-five all of them. At the Shinhwa panel we were in the back and couldn’t see much, but we enjoyed their answers to the questions. They showed their age when they mentioned liking celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Streisand. Shinhwa is apparently the longest-standing idol group, with 17 years and no member changes. That is truly incredible! And you can really tell they are true idols, with perfect idol responses to every question. I have to say, Korea really gets it right when it comes to fan engagements, and I feel this has played a large part in Kpop’s international success. Fans are one of the most important things to idols, and Kpop artists really make themselves available to fans all over the world, whether through live shows and concerts, fan engagements, or even Internet shows and social media.
For the concerts my friends and I had P2 Floor tickets, standing by the back side of the stage, which was kind of in the shape of a plus sign. We got a good view of whoever came to our side, but otherwise it was a little hard to see. Honestly at my age, and because dancing is my thing, I’d rather have seats that are a little farther back but at eye level with the stage so I can see everything. We had a good time though. We stood near the back so we had the freedom to move around if we wanted. One lucky thing that happened to us during the Sunday concert was that when AOA entered, they passed through the floor section on the back side… meaning right where we were standing! One of my friends is a huge AOA fan so he was very excited about that.
For me, the highlights of the concert were getting to see Super Junior and Shinhwa. I loved that Super Junior sang Donghae & Eunhyuk’s “Oppa Oppa”. The members of Super Junior are so funny and really put on a great show! Shinhwa of course was also super professional and really owned that stage. They even made sure go to each side of the stage and do their group intro so everyone could see them. They opened with “T.O.P”, and wow, that really brought me back. I wasn’t a Kpop fan back then, but I remember when that song was popular. When Shinhwa performed “This Love”, which is the song I was most looking forward to, they were facing the back of the stage, so I was really excited about that. I loved seeing all the Shinhwa fans at the concert. It was funny to see the slightly older ladies fangirling over them, but it was also refreshing to see that they had plenty of young fans as well. I brought both of my King Blade light sticks, set to orange for Shinhwa, and when the Shinwha performance started and I was waving my light sticks, an excited fan in an orange tshirt ran up to me and asked to borrow one of my light sticks. She was so happy, jumping and screaming at Shinhwa. Haha ♥
Kcon really is an experience like no other, especially for an American fan of Asian music. I had a great time both years that I attended. You can be sure I’ll be back next year! I’ve been into Asian pop music for 15+ years, and an event like this is something I never could have even dreamed of back in the day! Kpop fans these days are so lucky! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how Kcon continues to grow in the future.