November 2: Soundcheck

10:09 PM 1 Comments A+ a-

Here I am.  I'm alive.  I'm still alive!

I made it through two fantastic nights of music, dancing, lights, screams, and so much talent.  I survived my BIGBANG weekend!!!

Words can't even begin to describe the experience.  I've never been in the presence of such talent.  It was such a treat to watch them in action, doing what they do best.  I met many new friends with the same interests, who understand the appeal of these boys and their art.  I am still in awe.  The talent, the music, the visuals... this whole experience is definitely one of a kind.

If you've been following my blog over the past month or so, you'd know that I bought tickets to both BIGBANG shows in California, November 2 and 3.  November 2 is VIP night, meaning I scored VIP tickets.  If you've seen videos of BIGBANG concerts, the VIP area is the one on the floor around the stage.  General admission, standing room.  Mosh pit.  CHAOS.

VIP is a first come-first serve situation.  You have to line up early to get a good spot.  I caught a ride with fellow VIPs to Honda Center and we bonded over our shared ~obsession of the boys.  When we got there, the line was still short and our group was pretty big.  We were to pass out some stuff to other people.  I helped a bit but I still had to pick up my tickets from will call so I was pre-occupied with that.

From the waiting in line, it was BIGBANG overload.  When we got there, they were still setting up the Samsung Galaxy booth complete with the space capsule photowall.  I recently switched phones from a Solstice to an S3 so I was giddy to find out what the booth was about.  BIGBANG was all over the place!  The booth was playing Fantastic Baby non-stop, among other songs from their Alive EP.  Also, there were posters everywhere!

The Samsung booth was pretty cool.  They demo'd both the S3 and the Galaxy Note II.  I was still getting used to the S3 but after that night, I was completely in love with it.  They also gave out freebies such as a blue glowing bangle, a free photo on the photowall "with" the boys, and a "special guest" badge/pin using the BIGBANG Galaxy Alive Tour app available on Android.

I was tempted to do a different pose but I felt silly.  LOL!  I do have the app and I love the Snapshot function.  Can I have this wall on my wall?  ^^,  They also had official merchandise -- sweatshirt, shirts, wristband, official crown light stick, tour light stick, pins, keychains, towels.  I was surprised that there were no posters. 

The whole VIP thing is 50% waiting and 110% standing.  And the time line was a bit off because it left no time for dinner.  I think for Friday, I only had a slice of pizza, a bottle of water, and a piece of gum.  Nothing started (and ended) on time.  It was waiting and chatting and pushing and waiting and... waiting.

While in line to go into soundcheck, they announced that NO CAMERAS OR ANY KIND OF PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED INSIDE THE STADIUM.  As per Honda Center and YG Entertainment rules.  And if they catch you taking pictures and/or video, they will kick you out and will not be allowed to enter the venue again.  Not to mention delete your photos/video.  Man, I paid a good chunk of money for VIP and I was not going to spend my night outside the stadium while BIGBANG tears the place apart.  I was scared of not being able to watch the concert so I left both my cameras at a fellow VIP's car.  I was bummed.  I think all of us were.  I mean, you get VIP, being so close to the stage and then you won't have anything to show for it.  But they were pretty strict so whatever.  At least I still had my phone.  Although I wasn't brave enough to try for pics during soundcheck.

I was lucky to be early because they group the VIPs per 250.  I was part of the first 250, with the purple wristband, so we had a good chance for better spots.  It was a mad dash to the barricades surrounding the stage.  I ended up at the original spot that I wanted to be when I was planning for VIP night.  It wasn't half bad because it was right where the dancers enter the stage from under the platform.  But yeah, you get to see their behinds more than the front side.  I was still so bitter about the "no cameras" rule that I couldn't even smile to my eyes.  I was thrilled to be at the soundcheck... but I wanted pictures!

See that yellow dot? My spot for soundcheck.

TAEYANG was the first one to show himself.  He did a drum bit up at the band area.  I couldn't see very well because it was right behind me and I couldn't exactly move all that much because people were squishing me against the barricades.  It still wasn't hitting me that BIGBANG is nearby and I was about to see them in the flesh.

Suddenly... the intro for One of a Kind began to play on the video wall.  Everyone started screaming because that meant G-DRAGON was coming up next!  But why were they playing One of a Kind?  And then Crayon?

WARNING: Excessive fangirling ahead.
And then THE G-Dragon came out singing Crayon.  G-Dragon in all his glory... no makeup, white shirt, jeans, sunglasses, and a cap.  Omigod, I could not believe that he was right there.  He is confidence personified.  I never really was attracted to him from pictures and video and whatnot but when I saw him in person... he has so much appeal!  He was oozing with confidence and I just cannot help but stare at him.  I don't remember screaming all that much but I did remember a lot of staring.  Man, he's... I have no words.  I could not take my eyes off of him.  Especially when he got to my favorite part of Crayon -- after the "slow down" line and then he speeds up his rap.  OMG.

It was like a party down there!  Everyone was singing along, jumping, dancing, and enjoying the performance.  He then ended the song lying on the floor.  And then he sat up and did this dope freestyle rap:
I'm wild and I'm young. They old and obsolete. Why so damn serious? Get yo girl delirious. I'm only 25 and got the world so curious. Is it 'cos of my style or my flow is mysterious? King with them aces. I'm the best. Period.
It was so damn hot.  Then he went on to do a somewhat extended version of Crayon.  I... need that as a studio recording.  Oh man, it was so awesome.  I didn't know what to do with myself; I was so awed.  And then he went on and talked to the tech guys, totally ignoring the fans lol.  Damn, everything he does is hot.  Even simply speaking in Korean; I may not understand anything but I found it hot.

At first, we thought we were privy to a secret show of sorts.  But then he asked the tech guys if he could do it again.  And then it dawned to everyone... they've included Crayon to the setlist!  He was going to properly perform the song in a concert and California has first dibs!  And we, at the November 2 soundcheck, were the first ones to see it!  \o/  He didn't look too happy with the first run and when he did it again, you can see his concentration and focus.  Right there was a glimpse of the famed (or notorious lol) Kown Jiyong, the Perfectionist.

In between Crayon performances, I noticed that one of the female dancers was complaining of a headache.  I think she bumped her head on something while she was coming out from under the platform.  The dancers were hanging out no more than two feet in front of me.  I saw GD was walking towards our area and immediately, my side of the stage went wild as fck.  I was thinking, "Oh maybe he'll check out what was going on with her, etc."  Then he sat down... on the steps... directly in front of me.  As in no more than three feet away.  I didn't even have to turn or move because he was literally right in front of me.  He was messing with his mic and earpiece, clearly deep in thought but there he was.  I couldn't even form words.  I'm very sure that the people around me were screaming themselves hoarse because he was so close but I couldn't hear anything.  I was completely in awe of his presence.  He may not be my sole bias but I have so much respect for his talent.  I couldn't grasp that he was really there just hanging out in front of me.  I've met my fair share of celebrities but only a small handful had rendered me speechless like that, with such an excess of talent.  Awe.  Just pure awe.

After the second Crayon, he started the intro for Knock Out.  The crowd exploded.  It meant only one thing: TOP.  If I hadn't lost my mind when GD decided to grace me with his presence, I completely lost it when I saw TOP for the first time.  As you know, my true bias is GD&TOP as a subunit.  Not just GD or TOP, but GD and TOP together.  I was about to see them on one stage and it was just... I wasn't sure if I was prepared.  When TOP walked out... OH. MY. GOD.  How is one person even allowed to be that effortlessly attractive?!  He was wearing the same brown dinosaur sweater he had on when they first landed in Manila.  So cute!  He was waving and smiling at everyone.  Guuuh... this man is too adorkable for his own good.  And if that wasn't enough, the rest of BIGBANG came out.  Taeyang and his swag, SEUNGRI looking all grown up and HOT as hell in white, and Daesung.  Aaaaah... DAESUNG!  <3

All of them were waving at us, all smiles.  I actually forgot about GD for a bit; I was too busy making eyes at Daesung and shamelessly checking TOP out.  I definitely had a Daesung moment.  I'm sure all of us there did at some point.  I was observing the dancers again, I really was concerned about that one girl, and when I looked up, Daesung-ssi was looking straight at me.  Eye contact with the "Killer Smile of Oryudong"?  Yes, please.  His smile is so contagious that I gave him a genuine smile and waved.  He waved back!  *hearts in eyes*  I've always liked Daesung but after tonight, he's definitely my own bias-ruiner.

And on top of that, the first song they did as a group was my jam, Fantastic Baby!  Needless to say, I jumped around with no shame in the world.  I never - ever - thought that I would ever see that performed live in front of my very eyes.  I've seen every single Fantastic Baby fancam from every city and now, they were right there in person.  It was all too much.  TOO MANY FEELZ!  It was too perfect.  Plus, TOP was all out chooming.  He was doing the the old Fantastic Baby choreography and it was too funny.  I seem to remember a ToDae moment in there as well.  I loved seeing that side of TOP.  Seeing it in person makes it more special.  Seungri did that marching dance move that is usually done bu GD and TOP during their parts in the second verse.  He was right in front of me when he did and I could literally reach out and grab his ankles.  It was that close!  It's the little fan service-y things, man.

The last song that they did was Hands Up.  But before that, I had a TOP moment.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was shamelessly checking him out.  And one time, I looked up and he was looking directly at me with that dorky smile of his.  I figured that if he weren't wearing sunglasses, I'd probably be dead right now.  Or pregnant.  LOL!  I was struck dumb.  It took all of my remaining sanity to give him a small smile and wave.  He smiled back.  Ahhhh... TOP-oppa!  <3

It was so much fun doing the "Hey! Ho!" part of Hands Up.  Taeyang was interacting with the crowd, a preview of the night still to come, teasing us by going down and around the stage.  Clothed, mind you lol.  He was so energetic and engaging!  After that though, he went, "We love you all but you have to get out!  Get out!"  Hahaha, it was out cue that the soundcheck party was over.  I honestly had a hard time remembering everything.  It was so surreal to have all five guys right there in person, so close.  GD, TOP, Taeyang, Daesung, and my bb Seungri!  <3

I was so happy that I completely forgot all about the "no cameras" rule.  The memories of that too short hour will stay with me forever.  I was so happy and thrilled and it hadn't really sunk in that I saw them in person.  To me, they are so talented and I have no words to describe my appreciation for that.  I was so ready to watch the concert without a camera... I gave it all to the wind.  (But then again, I still had my phone... LOL.)

After all that, I noticed that I lost my red scarf.  Oh well.  Whoever has that now, take good care of it.  It was back to lining up after the soundcheck.  Free stuff, FTW!  The first light stick they gave me was a dud so I had it replaced only to find out that that one didn't come with a strap.  Aish... whatever.  And also, I don't get the point of giving out the VIP badge after the main VIP event, which is the sound check party.  But it's a great souvenir.  I love the drawstring bag and the shirt fits me perfectly.

Swag?  Check.
Whoo!  This soundcheck post is entirely too long.  The concert will be in another post and trust me, that'll be pic heavy.

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