Date: 17th February, 2013
Venue: BITEC Event Hall
Here comes a review that I originally didn’t intend to write. I have to admit that I assumed I wouldn’t be writing this when I found out that I got a ticket. I usually prefer to write review on concerts, but this time it seems to lean heavily toward fan meeting-themed activities. Fan Meeting just isn’t my thing.
This is how the story went. My sisters were asking me if I would go to the event or not when the tickets were opened for sale. I replied off the top of my head that I probably won’t be going. I didn’t attending Joongie’s fan meeting last October, so I easily made my decision this time that I won’t be going either. The two main reasons are, first, I’m not too familiar with this type of event and second, I’m broke. The latter was a bigger deal.
Finally, one day before the event will be held, I was chatting with my friend on Facebook. She happens to be an Asian entertainment journalist (Korean, to be more specific). When she found out that I (who have been a fan of Jaejoong for a long time) is not going, she asked why. I explained the reason mentioned above and she offered me one of her press passes. I was reluctant at first, asking her whether it’ll be a bother or not. She insisted that I take it and I did. Thank you to my friend, Golf, who’s always thinking about me. We’ve been friends for over a decade. Even though we lead a different career path, we’re still kind of the same when it comes to how rough our paths had been.
I arrived at the BITEC event hall pretty early because a sister who was going with me had some sort of gift trading to attend to. We got there around 2.30 pm. I waited in front of the event hall where it was air-conditioned – just nice and chilly. While I was waiting, a familiar voice and music came from inside the hall, loud enough to penetrate through the doors. We understood that the artist was probably having a sound-check. Many were wondering… was it live singing or pre-recorded sound being played to tease us? From my experience, it seemed to be the actual artist having a sound-check.
During that time, many close friends and sisters were begging and pressuring me to write review (please, please, PLEASE). Umm, writing review is tiring, you know? Plus, this is a fan meeting. There will probably be an hour of singing with 9 to 10 songs at the most. However, they wouldn’t back down. I was too lazy to remember every detail… but, as you can see, here it is. Hence, I want to state right here that I might not remember every single detail. This is a review based solely on my memory and a little more scribbling that I wrote down during the live concert. Don’t scold me if I accidentally forgot something…
This is one of those times when I feel like I attend an event full of kids. Felt a bit old, but I didn’t care. Another thing I noticed was a lot of fans came from abroad. There were definitely Japanese fans, including Chinese and Korean. Some came from neighboring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. Even European fans were seen. Quite an international fan meeting we have here.
My sisters and I slowly made our way inside the hall around 4.30 pm. because the actual event was going to start at 5. Fans were pretty orderly. The facial expression of staff was bright and smiley, showing that not much was to be concerned even though there were like gazillions of fans who attended. At first, I heard that the tickets weren’t sold out, but I noticed that a lot of people were buying their tickets in front of the venue. I’m pleased for Jaejoong because I’ve been told of how demanding he was. He wanted this to be the next event after the Korean fan meeting. He didn’t care that it had been on such a short notice. He wanted it to be as close to Valentine’s Day as possible, too. I guess the artist got his wish.
My seat was in B2 zone, way back on the right side of the stage. I think it was good. I got to see a lot of things and clearly saw everything on screen because no one was blocking my view. The royal anthem was played at 5 pm. on the dot. There was a brief quiet moment after the song ended, but it wasn’t too long.
DJ Bo or Bo Thanakorn (Did I hear correctly that he’s changed his name?) was the MC of this event. Bo was funny. He was cracking tons of jokes. A little down-fall was Ms. June, the translator. She did her job quite well, but, at times, she simply decided not to translate. Some moments that could have been more fun or more playful just didn’t quite ‘peak’. Some of her translations were a bit choppy and her timings were somehow off. I hope there’s no hard feeling that I speak so frankly. Personally, I haven’t attended many fan meetings, but I work as a translator as well and couldn’t help taking notice.
Jaejoong walked out from the side of the stage with a huge smile. Our rocker wore his concept pants and black boots with coat over a white tank. I noticed he was fidgeting with his coat like he was going to take if off a lot of times. The heat was probably getting to him, but he hung in there. I guess it was good because even the fidgeting drew a lot of nosebleeds and screams. His hair color was quite flashy this time – red with blue highlights.
First segment of the event began. The first activity was Q&A – questions were from fans who wrote on post-it notes which were pasted onto two giant boards that staff wheeled up on stage. The artist was picking questions to answer. I’m not sure if I’d forgotten any of the questions. Let’s see..
The 1st question that he picked was written in Thai. It’s pretty risky because he could have accidentally got a weird question. The artist was careful enough to say that he wouldn’t answer a question he’s uncomfortable with. The first one asked him to do three animals dance. Jaejoong acted like he wanted to die because he couldn’t even act out his favorite animal like an elephant. He tried to slide out of it by saying that he used to make a promise about singing elephant song during the last JYJ concert. He did keep his promise. ‘Can I go back and practice first? I’ll show it to you next time’. I seriously want to applaud him for his sly wit. Another question I remember is a one written in English that read ‘Will you marry me?’. He was just standing there, laughing, before he finally said ‘well, I’ve never seen her. How can I say yes?’. After that, he turned toward the audience and said “Looks matter!”. Cue another fan scream.
Another question was picked by the MC. The question was ‘Do you have a Furby?’ (T/N: getting a Furby is kind of a new fad right now in Thailand). Jaejoong didn’t know what it was and we had a good laugh. Jaejoong picked the last question that was written in Korean… it said ‘Can I kiss you?’ or something similar. He’s really embarrassed, but still kept the playboy-ish charm by saying “It might be difficult to get married, but a kiss on the cheek… why not?”. He walked over to the cameraman before taking a long while to brace himself to kiss the camera. He seemed totally embarrassed and after he pressed his lips onto the camera… the hall almost burst into pieces. Jaejoong was so shy – he resorted to clawing at the post-it filled boards and running to hide at the back with embarrassment. The MC was running all over the stage, trying to find him. The nice cameraman captured the moment of him, playing hide and seek, being all bashful in the back. Before he managed to calm himself down, it was one embarrassment after another. The first activity was really funny.
cr: Bang Channel
The next segment relied a bit on fans’ honesty. Everyone had to stand up, answered a right-or-wrong question or picked the right answer. All of the questions were extremely personally. Basically, it took pure luck to get it right. As far as I remember, the questions were the date when Jaejoong changed his twitter ID, Did he wear a white undie yesterday… that sort of thing. The MC saw that a lot of fans still got it right, so he decided to eliminate people by telling those who wore watches on their right hands to keep standing up. I was one of those people, but I eventually got the ‘favorite food’ question wrong. For those who didn’t know, Jaejoong loves eating Pad Thai. I answered ‘Tomyum Kung’ because I know he likes spicy food, but it was a wrong answer.
The next question was ‘where does Jaejoong like to go on vacation in Thailand?’ This question eliminated tons of people who mostly got it wrong. Those who answered Chiang Mai, Wat Pho, Seasides etc. all got eliminated because Jaejoong actually wanted to go to Siam square the most. He’s usually cooped up in the hotel when he comes to Thailand. The hotel he stays is located near Siam square, but he’s only driven by – never actually walked the place. Hence, Siam square became his dream destination spot.
There were about ten people left standing. They all got to up on stage and received presents. The present was a cute headband with horns on top that he put on them himself. The last few people got a cheer from the MC for a handshake and the last one got a full-on hug! The little girl seems happy. The artist just stood there being all embarrassed. What a shy boy you are!
The third activity was rock-paper-scissors. Staffs were looking on to see if anyone was cheating. Those who lost to Jaejoong had to sit down. It was more fun than I thought because the artist was pretty conniving. He kept giving out rocks and then suddenly switched to scissors – tons of people started losing. The funny part was Jaejoong spoke on stage that some actually raised her hands with an ‘I Love You’ sign language toward him instead of actually playing rock-paper-scissors. LOL
There were 5 people left standing. Not only did they get a gift from the artist, they got to arm wrestle with him as well. The artist was obviously not trying. He let the girls use both of their hands to wrestle with his one arm. We know full well he’s actually quite muscular because he weight-lifts to stay in shape. If it was played fair and square, they all would have lost. Jaejoong faked defeat to everyone, but even when the fans were using both hands, they were sweating and shaking all over. While Jaejoong was laughing and picked up a mic with a relaxed posture to say ‘oh… you girls are stronger than I thought’. He just sat there all calm while fans looked like they were about to die trying to beat him.
The funny part was the last fan who tried to get all touchy-feely with him. She stared at him with a knowing look and Jaejoong stared back. She seemed to be really strong while arm wrestling compared to the others before her. After she beat him, she kissed his wrist! The MC had to come to rescue. It was funny. The artist was so embarrassed – he buried his face in his arm on the table. All five fans managed to win over Jaejoong (without him breaking a single sweat) and received heart-shaped pillows as gifts.
The last game was charades. I hate to say it was unbelievably hard. I was sitting there, thinking how I would have acted out the word. Even if it was played among Thai people, how could anyone would have guessed such a difficult word? Three fans were randomly picked from seat numbers. The first girl got lucky with the first word ‘elephant’… but after that were ‘Chaing Mai’, ‘Sukhothai’ and ‘RajPruk’. How could anyone guess? The second girl was pretty good. Kudos to the artist who actually got the word ‘Thai gazebo’ right. He actually spoke in Thai! Studied beforehand, haven’t you?
Things got complicated with the third girl. She was from Malaysia and couldn’t read or speak Thai. The MC helped out by translating. She got the word ‘Suvarnabhumi’ right. The funny thing is Jaejoong clearly couldn’t remember the actual name of the airport. He kept going “Suvarn… Suvarn.. Suvarna..” several times until he got it right. The girl who won got a necklace that Jaejoong put on her himself.
The artist was given a short break after long hours. Mine MV was shown on screen with a little behind-the scene video. After that, the MC came back out for the second part of the fan meeting. The artist came out in a new outfit, a vest over a short-sleeved T-shirt. He’s going to be cooking for us. Kim Jaejoong has always been famous for his culinary skills, having always been the only one who cooks for his members. He said that this might not taste like a 100-percent Jaejoong’s dish because staff pre-made the ingredients.
Looking at the rocker image of the artist, I had wanted to ask who’s the one responsible for picking out the apron. It had bright pink flowery print on it. Even the MC spoke out loud… ‘Who in the world picked this apron?’. Did Jaejoong care? Nope. He professionally put it on in a manner of someone who likes to cook. He didn’t care what it looked like.
I’m not too sure if the translator didn’t tell us the name of the dish or I didn’t quite catch it. I didn’t know much about Korean food, but I got an idea of what it was from watching all those variety shows. Gochujang was added to boiling water, followed by vegetables, rick cakes (Teokbokki), hard-boiled eggs, sausages, fish cakes and finish it off with the lastly added ramyon noodles. It was that easy, but I didn’t know what it was called.
Two fans were randomly picked again to taste the artist’s food. Two girls got up on stage during the cooking process. Jaejoong opened up the lid and saw that the broth was too thickened. After a quick taste, he added a lot of water to the pot. When it was boiling hot, he added the vegetables. I guess standing in front of the stove was pretty hot. Jaejoong turned to the cameraman and began chatting with him… ‘oh… do you feel hot as well? You’re sweating a lot. Are you tired?’ and played with the camera. It was adorable… like he was cooking in his own home.
When Jaejoong was adding the meat, the MC spoke out loud ‘next step, adding Jaejoong’s egg and sausage’. When the translator translated, the artist burst out laughing. He seemed embarrassed… showing how internationally understood the joke was. Jaejoong turned toward the MC and told him not to say such thing because one of the fans who got up on stage is a 16 year-old. Jaejoong was laughing the whole time, though. At one point, Jaejoong looked to the two fans on stage and said ‘one girl was staring at me with this look’… and demonstrated an unconvinced stare. He said he didn’t know how to respond to that.
The artist and the cameraman broke a lot of sweats until the food is done. The MC cutely wiped the sweat off of the cameraman’s face with a handkerchief while Jaejoong swiftly took off his apron and wiped the sweat with the back of his hand LOL. He started putting the food into a small bowl and ready to feed the lucky fans. However, he was trolling them by a non-stop feeding with chopsticks. The first girl was honest enough to say that it was too sweet. Jaejoong seemed to lose a bit of confidence. The second girl got a non-stop feeding as well until she had to raise her for him to stop. He sulked ‘It wasn’t good?’. She answered ‘It was burning hottt~’. They walked over to the side of the stage. Jaejoong asked if the food was delicious or not and why were they acting all weird XD. The second girl said that it was delicious – just too hot for tasting. The cooking segment was fun. We got to see Jaejoong losing his cool. It was adorable.
Here comes the last activity for the fan meeting. This activity was called ‘Paparazzi’. Jaejoong will show us unrevealed photos. The first one was him on a plane when he was flying to Thailand. The second one…. he forgot when it was taken, but I noticed that it was at the immigration counter in Suvarnabhumi airport because I used to attend to VIP guests there for 6 days straight without sleep.
The third photo was nosebleed-worthy because it was taken during his filming of Dr. Jin in Korea. It was a photo of Jaejoong lying in a bathtub at a hotel. The MC asked him who took that photo. Jaejoong quickly replied that it was a fellow actor who sneaked in. The MC teasingly added ‘Darn, it could get R-rated if the photo was taken a little to the left’ and Jaejoong was like ‘Uh huh’ and told him to change the photo already because it was getting pretty racy and embarrassing. The fourth photo wasn’t much different. It was a sexy photo taken before he went to bed. Fans were screaming uncontrollably and the artist was busy being bashful… even though he picked out the photos himself.
Before Jaejoong took a break and went backstage to prepare for a live concert, staff wheeled out a cart with lollipops arranged as a giant heart on stage. Jaejoong said that Valentine’s Day went by recently and he wanted to surprised fans by giving them one lollipop each. Fans can pick those up after the concert ended. Oh my, how thoughtful. When the artist disappeared backstage, the MC and translator has done all their work and said goodbye to fans as well.
While we were waiting for the final part of this event, a funny VTR was shown. After I had seen it, I was thinking.. ‘Am I really about to watch a live concert of a rocker?’ because the VTR was so hilarious. The entire story was narrated by Yuchun, one of the members of JYJ and Jaejoong’s best friends. Yuchun was narrating how Jaejoong was so concentrated on composing, making his album and his MV with all his heart. After a while, he began praising the genius that is Kim Jaejoong. Everything he does is amazing. Great lyrics, Superb outfits and looks – so cool in every imaginable dimension. Jaejoong hyung finally developed a craze for Kim Jaejoong.
During the narration, we got to see Jaejoong being anxious, whiny, getting out of control the entire time. Things got mental when Yuchun’s Jaejoong hyung was trying to book a ticket to Kim Jaejoong’s concert. When he failed to log in to the ticketing site, he was screaming crazily. He tried to offer ideas on Kim Jaejoong’s concert, but before he actually managed to make a post, some other fans already did. He was complaining about these fans who do nothing but obsess about Kim Jaejoong all day long. It was so amusing. I love Jaejoong being all crazy like this. He seriously did not care about looking cool or maintaining his image at all.
The skit VTR was pretty long, but very enjoyable. Before the actual concert began, a message written in both Korean and Thai popped up on screen. It seemed to be a message written by the artist himself, telling us to have fun at his concert.
The opening for the first song was marvelous. The sight is permanently seared into my brain. A white screen in the back slid opened and Jaejoong appeared behind it like a sliding doors. He looked cool. I noticed that he probably knew his angles. He knew the rhythm, how to move, stand and express his emotions in a manner that still makes him look cool and draw screams from fans. He truly knew his things.
He picked ‘One Kiss’ as the first song to sing. I’m impressed by the amazing sound system. I like how a live band was brought in to play. Jaejoong gave it all out since the first song. His voice projected everywhere. He had absolute control over the vocal and his own emotions – not to mention the epically beautiful lighting system. It was a great visual and had the audience hooked.
Next up was ‘Comfort of Mine’ with the energy level still running high. Even though this song has a acoustic sound to it and seemed a little lighter than the first song, his voice cut through our hearts. His neck veins were noticeably bulging when he sang. I love the lighting effects for this song. The blue light streams were shown over all, creating such a nice atmosphere. The ending of the song had my heart thumping so loudly.
The artist took a break to talk to the audience. It was probably scripted because a Thai subtitle was already made to be shown on screen. He began singing the third song. Jaejoong said he personally likes this song and has re-arranged to add a rock feel to it. I would say this song is a blend of rock, ballad and acoustic all mixed together. This song was called ‘Though I Love You’. The screen on the back of the stage not only showed nice graphic images that fitted perfectly with the emotion of the song, but also Hangul letters that I guess was probably the lyrics. It all created an excellent atmosphere for the song.
Jaejoong talked with the audience for a little while before singing his three favorite songs that he personally picked out to sing in his own style. It was ‘For You’ that touched everybody’s heart. We can clearly see how much emotion Jaejoong put into the song. He gave a long sigh after finishing the song. He seemed to be really into it. Another song was ‘Can’t Let You Go’ which had a sweet ballad tone with a hint of sadness. Ending with ‘I Always’, he turned his back to us before coolly putting on his shades. I don’t know how to describe the style of this song. It was a rock song with rhythm and blues feel to it… was it a bit jazzy? I don’t think so. However, the background on stage made it look like a Jazz club. He didn’t abandon the concept because a hint of rock was still in the air. The song finished with fireworks shooting out on stage to excite us all.
Another pause to talk with the audience. I liked how I said that the songs he picked are his favorites which he often sings. He said “It would be great if my fans knew the meaning of these songs, but you guys still had fun, right?” I think Jaejoong is a person who feels great about every single word he sings. The emotions are always fully expressed and delivered. Most importantly, he always wants the audience to feel what he feels. This personally impressed me.
The next song was “I’ll Take Care of You” (or the so-called ‘I’ll Protect You’, I wrote the name of the song according to the set list). Fans prepared the project to be done during this song. You have to raise banners that read ‘a rose from you’ with picture of a rose and ‘because I love you’ that was written on the back. It was cute. I think I would be happy if I were the artist. I have to admit that I didn’t participate in the project (my apology) because I was too busy observing the artist’s reaction. I saw Jaejoong’s smile with a glint in his eyes. He must have been touched.
There are actually karaoke words on screen for fans to sing along during this song. Jaejoong asked fans to sing for him – without the music at first and with a piano afterwards. I listened and felt happy for him. He never stopped smiling during this song. At the end, paper shoots came flying out like fireworks. It was a beautiful ending.
Jaejoong said goodbye and disappeared backstage. We all know it’s for an encore. The live show was tantalizingly close to ending. The sound of ‘Kim Jaejoong’ being chanted truly echoed throughout the hall. After a while, another message popped up on screen ‘oh, fans haven’t left? Can you scream a little louder then?’ and Jaejoong came out as we chanted his name.
Jaejoong was adorable. Whatever we said, he always replied with a ‘Kob khun krub (thank you)’. The next song that he sung was ‘All Alone’. I personally like this song a lot. It sounded extravagant as if I was floating in the air. I love how they made his voice more echoic than usual. The song expressed a lonely feeling, but it was epic at the same time. The lighting on stage added to the atmosphere. At first, streams of purple light bathed the stage and yellow lighting was projected in contrast later. It was absolutely beautiful.
Then, it was time for the last song which is the title for this concert. I’ve got to admit that I desperately wanted to see this song being sung at a live concert. The emotion peaked as soon as the intro started. Jaejoong looked like a real-life rocker; there was no holding back when he struck poses with the lighting effects on stage that was mainly red. The entire hall was screaming. When the song ended, I said to myself “wow, that was orgasmic”. It was more fun than I had imagined. Too bad the concert ended when the energy and adrenaline-rush were still running high.
Personally, I’m not familiar with Jaejoong’s rocker image with a live band, but Jaejoong had cleanly stripped off his old image. He always had a wide vocal range and a raspy tone that fitted the rock genre. The show came out great. A strange-to-see visual, but I’m not surprised by the artist’s capabilities. It was definitely a concert worth paying for. Jaejoong truly put everything on the table. If he could come down from the stage and talked to each fan one-by-one, I believe he would have.
It was extremely crowded when we got out of the hall. I hate being in such a cramped up space. I almost died trying to get outside. I made a quick bathroom break and came back to see my friends and sisters who was still gathering in front of the hall. Some were hungrily cueing up to get snacks because it’s already past 8 pm. The event was over 3 hour-long. Some traded in their ticket stubs to get those lollipops (the Valentine’s gifts). It was jam-packed with people.
I noticed a group of police officers and staff huddling over something. I took a good look and saw that they caught some people who were taking videos of the event. I couldn’t clearly remember how many people were caught, but I saw them seriously being escorted out from the hall. It was no joke.
This has been a spur-of-the-moment fan meeting and mini-concert. Not only was it last minute, I was pressured to write this review by my friends and sisters as well. However, it was worth it; worth the traveling-fee, worth the long wait. When I was inside the hall and soaked in the atmosphere, I saw how dedicated the artist and the staff were. I got to see a great live concert and said to myself that it was a good thing that I came… it was enjoyable and very impressive.
Even though, these days, Jaejoong had been teased by Junsu that he’s old enough to be a great-grandfather of all idols (which is kind of true). However, he has shown that he’s the kind of artist who truly loves his work and gives it everything he’s got. Moreover, he’s constantly trying to improve himself. I think we will be seeing this man shine in the music industry for a long time.
I want to say thank you, again, to my friend who had given me the ticket so eagerly. We’ve really been through everything together. Thank you to Piya who was entertaining me along the ride to the venue (though you didn’t help one bit on the direction of how to actually get there). Glad to have met Yokie, Nat, Big, Ying and many others whose names I was too reticent to ask. I was happy I got to talk to everyone. Thank you to 411 Entertainment and all the sponsors right here.
Next time, if Jaejoong or JYJ come to hold an event and I get to attend, I’ll write more reviews for you to read.
Thank you for reading
1: This review did not focus on photos. Please forgive me if the photos weren’t perfectly spot-on.
2. Glad to see that a lot of Jaejoong’s fanboys attended the event
3. Felt horrible about a certain inappropriately planned-out project
4. Glad to have unbelievably finished writing this review
Lastly, thanks to songs from Epik High and Infinite which I’ve been listening to throughout my writing of this lengthy review ^^
English Translation Credit: Lookkaew_SK