July 20, 2013. 7:00PM. Taipei Arena, Taipei, Taiwan.
Just two months after the Happy 4KPop Concert in Nangang, Taipei, I was blessed once again to see Girls' Generation. But this time, it was going to be a more engaging and a more wonderful experience.
The 2013 Girls and Peace World Tour.
My second Girls' Generation solo concert.
My fifth time to see them.
My first time to see them with a bunch of my friends whom I've been sharing my days in Taiwan.
Some people have been calling me extremely crazy, grabbing every opportunity to see Girls' Generation. They thought that I would get sick and tired of seeing them. They thought that I was crazy busting my wallet, expending my energies, putting in a lot of time and effort, to keep on seeing them live and alive.
What they don't know and don't realize is that each and every experience was, is, and will always be different. Girls and Peace World Tour was no exception. Even though that this was the third time this year alone and the fifth time overall for me to be with Girls' Generation, this time sure was different in so many ways.
Anyways, like I said, I was with a bunch of friends of mine. We were a mixed bunch: three Indonesians, a couple of Thais, one Malaysian, one Czech, one American, and me, one Filipino. It was pretty exciting to go to a Girls' Generation concert this time with some friends, unlike the previous experiences where I was either alone or with just one more companion. Sharing this wonderful experience with other people that I knew brought something new to the table.
The organizers let us in an hour before the concert actually started. Since this was a solo concert, I was obviously more excited than usual. I was imagining the three whole hours only devoted to the Girls' performances, making me recall the first time I experienced a solo concert back in Bangkok for the 2012 Girls' Generation Tour. The moment I saw the stage, I was already hyperventilating and almost crying. I really couldn't believe that I was inside Taipei Arena, minutes away from my second Girls' Generation solo concert.
Fastforward to 7:00PM. The lights went out, and once again the fabled Pink Ocean filled the Arena, all the way up to the rafters. Seeing the Pink Ocean once again filled me with so much excitement and euphoria that it felt that I was transported to a different place altogether, to a place where I can forget about all my anxieties and worries, even if it was just for a few hours.
The Girls started with Hoot. I spoiled myself a bit here, watching the Japan Tour videos beforehand. The hologram performance was pretty impressive, but the place literally exploded when the Girls themselves appeared in the middle of the extension stage. The screams were so loud that I could barely hear the music as Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun made their appearance, rising from the elevator platform amidst the smoke and lights. They were all resplendent in their pink outfits.
As they performed one song after another, like "Animal", "The Boys" and "I Got A Boy", a huge multitude of feelings and emotions swept over me. On the one hand, this was indeed going to be a different experience. The Girls have grown up so much that they give off a more mature feeling. Although they were still acting like dorks at times, they really are more like grown up ladies now. On the other hand, there were still a lot of similarities. The fanchants, for one, were totally awesome. Being there, right smack in the middle of the Pink Ocean, right smack in the middle of the fanchanting where every single person was going, "Jigemeun So Nyeo Shi Dae, Apuroudo So Nyeo Shi Dae, Yongwonhi So Nyeo Shi Dae!" during "The Boys" and "I Got A Boy", for example, was totally uplifting to say the least. I was so damn proud to be a SONE that night.
And then the introductions came. As always, hearing them go, "1, 2, 3, Anneyeong Hasayo, So Nyeo Shi Dae Imnida!" was music to my ears, all by itself. It's a good thing this time around that they were complete, all nine of them. Sooyoung missed the last time out Girls' Generation was in Taiwan, and she said that she missed us. Aww, so sweet. Taeyeon was such a bright and happy dork while Tiffany was being so hyperactive that I really couldn't see her eyes because she was eyesmiling like crazy.
They continued with "Say Yes". It was quite amusing to see them play around with those oversized makeup props and whatnot, and then tickling Sunny and Jessica with those huge feathered props towards the end.
One of the performances that impressed me a lot was "Paparazzi". Holy cow, the entire concept and production of that performance was pretty good, from the Girls dancing in their respective boxes to the video being showed in the central big screen. It was amazing to watch that performance, even if Yuri wasn't able to wear her black gloves like everyone else.
And then came the part where it really got me right there and then. It was that segment of the concert when they all came out in white dresses. Oh man, they were so beautiful that I melted, especially when they started singing "Promise". It lulled me to a state wherein I really couldn't understand and I really couldn't help myself from falling in love all over again with them.
And then came the moment of the night for me. If during the Bangkok concert "Complete" made me cry my eyes out, this time "Baby Baby" did me in. I listened to this one before when somebody posted the "Baby Baby" performance in Seoul, which resulted in me getting teary-eyed that time and having goosebumps. But now that I was there, and then I heard the first few bars of the intro to the song, that did me in. I was literally crying my eyes out that my friends told me later on that my tears were like waterfalls streaming down my cheeks. Oh my God, this ballad version of "Baby Baby" really did me in.
What made this part with "Baby Baby" even more special and heart-rendering was the fan event. Us on the 2nd floor of the Arena had huge colored papers hidden under our seats, with instructions to lift them all up during this performance. What we ended with was a beautiful row of Korean letters, starting and ending with a heart. There were nine letters, spelling out the first syllable of each of the Girls' names. Needless to say, seeing that made me cry even harder.
Obviously, the Girls were visibly stunned with what we did. Through my tears, I managed to catch a glimpse of Yoona, Tiffany, Sooyoung, and Sunny looking around the Arena with a surprised, stunned, but happy look on their faces. All in all, words simply couldn't describe what was the feeling and the atmosphere inside during "Baby Baby". In fact, as I write this down, I was beginning to get all teary-eyed again recalling this very precious and beautiful moment.
After "Diamond" and "Express 999", the latter which I really found myself liking a lot, came the epic song, "Tell Me Your Wish". It was epic because it made everybody go fanchanting thunderously like crazy again. At that point, I could barely speak, having lost my voice a few songs back that I couldn't even remember when. But, despite the fact that my throat was hurting like hell, I pushed on, fanchanting like hell.
Another fun moment was that mix of "The Great Escape" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". Watching them perform the latter was so much fun to watch, especially when Yuri got herself purposely all tangled up with the confetti and ribbons and then trying in vain to get untangled, making Tiffany and Hyoyeon laugh at her while they helped. It was such an enjoyable part.
Through the next part with "My J", "Himnae", and "Gee", their cuteness took over once again. At least this part was pretty nostalgic, watching them perform and horse around to "Himnae" and "Gee". And speaking of "Gee", tired and exhausted that I was at this point, the fanchanting poured on so much energy that once again I told myself, what the heck, let's just take this all the way. I was so exhausted at this point, with my throat hurting so much that I really couldn't speak a word, but I kept on pushing. This was, after all, living a dream of a SONE.
And then came "Forever" to close the main act. Oh man, that song always gets me as well. I ended up crying again while singing and fanchanting with whatever strength and energy I had left.
The encore kicked off with one of the most surprising things I've ever seen and heard: An a capella remix intro for "Into the New World". Rising up from the central platform in the extension stage, the Girls made an a capella intro that would make all of those who say that Girls' Generation can't sing shut up completely once and for all. Holy cow, that sent goosebumps all over my body, and more so when they started performing the entire song.
And in the end, after "Oh!", "Love and Girls", and "How Great Is Your Love", the show ended with "Twinkle". It was so random at this point it was so entertaining. The fans arranged another event, sending to the stage huge, round, plastic bags filled with balloons that it looked like something out of a beach party or something. The fans were tossing it around the mosh pits and onto the stage. Taeyeon and Jessica went around like silly, chasing and kicking some of the bags. Yoona tried to carry one in her arms and tossed it back to the audience. It was so funny and hilarious.
In the end, there was a silly moment when Taeyeon tried to pop a balloon by squeezing it between herself and Sooyoung, hugging her tightly from the back. She failed, big time, much to the delight of the fans. Taeyeon then tried to do it with Tiffany, and failed too. She finally gave up and simply tossed the balloon to the fans. Oh wow, imagine all the sweat on that balloon from Taeyeon, Sooyoung, and Tiffany.
As always, at the end of it all, I was feeling all beat, all worn out, tired and exhausted. As always, I ended up leaving it all out on the stage for them. This solo concert for me felt like going one more step further and deeper towards myself going to another phase of me being a SONE. But right now, I can't even begin to describe what I was feeling. It was like a dream, only I was wide awake and experiencing every single minute of it. I was sad that three hours went by so fast, that's for sure, no question about it.
But now, a little over 24 hours has passed as of this writing, part of me still couldn't believe 100% that I was there. Waking up this morning after the concert, I woke up to the feeling that I couldn't believe I was there. I was there once more. I was part of the Pink Ocean, fanchanting, singing, and cheering my body, heart, and soul out for Girls' Generation.
At this point, even though it still makes me sad whenever I think about it, living through with the fact that I am just another nameless and faceless SONE filling up the Pink Ocean somehow didn't hurt as much, at least as far as this concert experience was concerned. I thought that as long as I give my all to the Girls, which I did, then I should not have any regrets whatsoever.
I also felt very thankful. I honestly don't know what I did to deserve such multiple opportunities to be in a Girls' Generation concert, solo or otherwise. I just felt so thankful and so grateful for all the chances that I got so far to be a part of the Pink Ocean. And for this particular concert, I'm also thankful to all of my friends who came with me and shared this very wonderful experience that I would obviously carry in my heart.
Just like the previous concert experiences, Taipei would go down as yet another chapter as to how much I do love Kim Taeyeon, Jung Sooyeon, Lee Sunkyu, Hwang Miyoung, Kim Hyoyeon, Kwon Yuri, Choi Sooyoung, Im Yoona, and Seo Juhyun. Being there yet again, seeing Girls' Generation for the fifth time in this lifetime, it didn't feel old. Just different. I feel that a part of me being a SONE has grown more mature, that for sure that part of me will always love Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun, in that special corner of my mind and my heart. In my own little way, I love them.
As always, with great confidence, I can say, "I love you, Girls' Generation... and I always will... 'till the day I die."
That's me before the start of the show. Against my better judgement, I bought a pair of of pink eyeglasses frames, making me look stupid.
With my friends whom I've met while living and studying here in Taiwan. It's their first time to see Girls' Generation as well. Sadly, our whole group got split up because we weren't able to buy our tickets together all at the same time.
Edited by RickLovesSNSD, 21 July 2013 - 07:37 AM.