You know how I said I always try not to go into a concert with high expectations, so that no matter what happens, I won’t be disappointed? Yeah, well, apparently that rule gets thrown completely out the window when I’m at KCON 2016 LA presented by Toyota. After Saturday night’s epic concert, there was no way I was going into Sunday night’s with expectations anything but high.
Walking into the Staples Center, once again, I was more than ready to be blown away by the evening’s incredible lineup. With ASTRO, Monsta X and BTS all part of Sunday night’s lineup, I have to admit, not only were my expectations high but my excitement was as well. Having seen Monsta X perform last year, I was more than ready to see what these boys had in store this time around. And BTS… Well, there isn’t a time when I’m not ready to see them. Then there was ASTRO, the group I’d fallen in love with long before their debut… The group I’d been wanting to see since the moment they debuted… My cute little bunch of sunshine munchkins who just make my heart happy every time I see them… Okay, I’ll stop with the fangirling. (At least for now.)
Having to navigate through endlessly long lines, I got to my seat a bit later than I’d have liked and as such, I missed most of the first opening act’s performance. As such, I have no idea who they were or where they came from but I was still entertained for the 2 seconds I actually got to see them perform. After the mysterious duo wrapped up, a Taekwondo team took the stage and immediately I was in awe. This team’s acrobatics was mind-blowing, their ability to kick and flip and fly through the air was something you’d imagine happening in the movies, not on a stage in front of tens of thousands of people. It was a performance that sent my jaw to the floor and was a fantastic way to open up the evening’s main event.
With the opening acts out of the way, it was time, once again, for the lights to dim and for the massive screens flanking the stage to project a towering image of Lee Min Ho as the same opening video from last night played. Half expecting Lee Min Ho to make a second KCON appearance, I wasn’t really ready for the concert to start immediately after the video played. But it did. And way before I was mentally and emotionally prepared, Monsta X’s Wonho was dancing in the spotlight, right in front of me.
Being taken completely off-guard by the sudden appearance of one of my favorite groups, I kinda had a moment. A rather intense moment and one that was almost embarrassingly fangirly but you know what? I didn’t even care. I was watching Wonho and Shownu dance mere feet away and life was suddenly very, very good.
Of course that very surprising beginning to the concert pretty much set the stage for the entire rest of the evening. I was in a right fit throughout all of Monsta X’s heart-stopping performance. I honestly couldn’t have keep myself together if I’d tried but I figure it’s okay to have moments like that on occasion and well, KCON is a pretty darn good occasion! Watching their performance I couldn’t help but admire just how far these boys have come in a year. Where last year it seemed as if they were still trying to get used to the spotlight, this year, they thrived in it. Their performance was solid, their stage presence was commanding and they worked the crowd so well, the energy in the room went from “Oh yay, KCON” to “OMG THIS IS THE BEST PLACE TO BE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! I’VE DIED AND GONE TO K-POP HEAVEN!” It was definitely a performance to remember.
And then Monsta X disappeared and ASTRO showed up and my poor, overwhelmed, fangirl heart just couldn’t take this back-to-back onslaught. My whole fangirl meltdown moment when Monsta X first showed up only intensified as I watched ASTRO prove to me that I’ve chosen my favorite rookie group wisely. Oh gracious! The level of cuteness that ASTRO brought to KCON was fantastic but (at least for me) it was quickly overshadowed by the strength of their performance. The way they took the stage, the way the poured every ounce of themselves into their performance… You’d never suspect these guys have only been around a matter of months. They worked the crowd, keeping the energy high, they delivered ridiculously adorable fan service, and to top it all off, they have a couple of dancers who are painfully skilled at making your fangirl heart flutter, despite your best efforts to resist such ummm… dangerous charms.
TWICE was the next group to take the stage and honestly, these girls are just great. They had the entire crowd singing and dancing along throughout their entire performance, making their set so much fun. After fangirling so hard over the 2 acts before, it was nice to have a moment to still my heart, even if I couldn’t catch my breath. It’s very hard to breathe when you’re singing and dancing but at least I didn’t feel like I was going to fall over from one rogue smile given in my direction.
At least that’s how I felt until Eric Nam showed up. Oh gracious! I think that at this point we just need to accept the fact that when I’m not in “business” mode, I fall very easily into fangirl mode, especially when there’s a ridiculously charming crooner up on stage making every heart in the room melt. Seriously!?! I thought after seeing Eric Nam in New York, I’d be impervious to his charms. After all, I’d seen all his tricks first-hand. What could he possibly have left, in his arsenal of fangirl torture devices, to hurt me with? Apparently, a lot.
Between his sultry voice and his disarming smile and the fact that he oozes charm, I couldn’t help but swoon. And then ASTRO’s JinJin joined Eric Nam on stage and they did a duet and my poor heart just couldn’t take the overwhelming rush of emotions that came with such a surprise appearance. But the onslaught didn’t end there. Before I knew what was going on, KOLAJ was on-stage, performing their song, “Into You,” and right after that was Amber! With so many special appearances during that single set, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to survive the rest of the night. I mean, I could barely process everything I’d just experienced and I still had to get through BTS!
Of course before I got to BTS I had to get through DAVICHI and well… It’s just really hard to keep yourself pulled together when you’ve got 2 amazingly talented women, each with the voice of an angel, singing songs so beautiful your heart can’t help but break into a million pieces. Ugh! The tears at that moment were so real! I just couldn’t help myself! Beauty makes me emotional! (Of course that could have also been my fangirling getting the better of me but either way, there were tears!)
Girls’ Generation – TTS was the next group to perform and oh my word! I thought the crowd had been lively before but gracious! These girls took things to a whole new level! With a stellar performance which literally, had everyone on their feet, we, as the audience, got to experience a concert of a lifetime. What made the experience even more fun was getting to celebrate both Girls’ Generation’s 9th anniversary and Tiffany’s birthday all at the same time! Talk about having reasons to cut loose and celebrate! I don’t know who had more fun, us or TTS!
As excited as the crowd had been during TTS’ set, even that couldn’t compare to the level of excitement that came with the evening’s final act. As the lights dimmed one last time and BTS began to make their dramatic stage entrance, the roar of the crowd grew so loud, it was deafening. With the rumble of tens of thousands of excited fans rattling in my chest, there was no way for me to keep myself together as BTS took the stage. (Not that I really needed the energy in the room to prompt my fangirling in any way…)
Opening with “Fire,” BTS delivered a performance so lit, so hype, so beyond the expectations of anything anyone in that arena could have possibly hoped for, there really isn’t a way to describe it. It was a breath-taking, awe-inspiring, heart-palpitating, squee-inducing fan’s dream come true and all I can say is, I’m glad I was there to be a part of it in person because it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments that you can really only experience at something as epic as KCON.
With the finish of BTS’ set, the rest of the evening’s artists returned to the stage to wish their fans a final farewell. With smiles on everyone’s faces and the room full of flying confetti, it was a perfect ending not only to a fantastic concert, but an amazing weekend as well. It’s true no one that night was ready for the evening to end but even the magic of Cinderella’s godmother only lasted until midnight and there were no fairy creatures about to make this night last forever. The best any of us can do is countdown the days until KCON 2017. And believe me, I’m counting.