KCON LA 2015, Day 1

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Let me just get this out of the way... I cringe at the non-word "feelz". And to have these celebrities, especially Daniel Henney say it out loud? No. Just, no. But Daniel Henney is hot.

We meet again, Los Angeles Convention Center. This time, 안녕하세요? We're scheduled to see each other at least one more time this year. 

Having skipped last year's KCON, I was sort of not expecting much from this year. I didn't really know much about the featured acts (although I'm familiar with some of their songs). I don't have a particular fandom included in the lineup. And they're not really informative as to which vendors or booths are going to be there. 

My previous KCON was a hot mess. Literally and figuratively. It was an outdoors event. Even the panels were outdoors under tents in the sun and wind. The booths were under the baking sun and there was a lot of walking, almost hiking around the venue. I enjoyed it for the most part but not the sunburn on my neck thinking that it wasn't going to be that hot. Silly me... it was in the middle of summer. It felt more like a flea market than an actual convention. That was one of the reasons why I skipped KCON 2014. I already had an all-day outdoor event the Friday before KCON weekend and I just didn't have the energy to do another 2 days of concert. Even if G-Dragon was there. Sigh.

This year, GD wasn't in attendance. The only YG Entertainment people there were Danny Im and apparently, Masta Wu whom I totally missed. Grrrr. But you know me. I find YG in all places. My haul from Day 1 - from the rest of the weekend actually - you'd think that I went to YGcon instead of KCON. Not to mention that MAJORITY of the songs I heard over the weekend are from the YG playlist. From BIGBANG to Hi Suhyun. I'm not kidding. I heard Bang, Bang, Bang more times than when I play it for my own enjoyment. Dude, I even heard High High. The guy who looks like Crayon-era GD was there, saw him all 3 days; I spotted him within five minutes of getting to the venue for Day 1. And oh, I wore my Alive Tour shirt and a Song Minho '93 jersey on Saturday and Sunday. I guess I did good as a YG stan. ;-)

But at the end of the day, YG was a no-show at this concert. JYP and SM were there as well as other agencies. That's okay. I like Sistar and Block B. And if you don't know Super Junior, you must be living under a rock. I wanted to see Shinhwa live because they're like, one of the first ones. And oh, I'm curious to see if Roy Kim is as adorable in person as he is on screen. ^_^

So are you ready to "ignite your feelz"? (Ugh.) 가자!

So, KCON is now a 3-day INDOOR convention with a concert on the last two nights of the weekend. Indoor. Thank the lawd! Having said that I wasn't expecting a lot, I was kind of impressed at how it now looked like an actual convention rather than a Sunday morning flea market. They occupied the smaller side of the LACC, the place where panels are held during AnimeExpo.  I wasn't as familiar with this area as the bigger hall but at least I knew where the restrooms were. Those that weren't crowded hahaha.

Even though this was the smaller of the two wings, there was still a lot of space left over on the floor. I mean, they could've made the Main Stage bigger or put it somewhere less crowded. It was near the Tous Les Jours, TVN, and MNET booths and they're always crowded. Add to that the crowd that gathers waiting for the next Main Stage act... it becomes a congested area vs the rest of the floor which was mostly empty. I'm not expecting ala-AnimeExpo where the bigger expo hall is filled to the edges. Just a better spacing. Lesson learned for next year, hopefully?

There wasn't many vendors. I'm not talking about the Korean brand sponsors. Their area looked well-put together. The other booths, including the fanclubs... the layout was kind of all over the place. Not all of the spaces were occupied and each "block" was far apart so it made the floor feel kind of empty at times. Again, I'm not saying it sucks. It's just that coming from someone who's experienced bigger conventions, KCON could've tweaked things a bit to make the space work better for them. I hope they took notes for next year. I did like that they had LACC instead of the outdoor locations.

I was always at the right place at the right time when it came to the stuff I wanted to see. As you know, I absolutely love Korean makeup and when I was making my way through the Korean brands "street", the Get It Beauty booth was just starting their demo with Soyoung of Soyoung's Beauty Room from Youtube. I've been subscribed to her for quite a while. I love her skin care and eye makeup videos. 

Soyoung did a demo for puppy eyes and I think it was for glowing skin...? I can't recall now. And no, I did not volunteer hahaha. She's so pretty! It's nice to see makeup demos in person. A video is the next best thing but you can't see the transformation in full because of editing and other stuff. 

After that, I went to the one panel that I wanted to check out. The one about Korean skincare hosted by Charlotte Cho of Sokoglam.com. I'm a huge advocate for Korean skincare. It saved me from that horrid Maybelline Baby Skin primer. I believe that skin care is a larger investment than makeup so I encourage you to try out this multi-step regimen.  

I wanted to do more shopping after this panel so I went back down to the expo hall and there was a wave of people running and snapping pictures. I then heard that Roy Kim was making an appearance on the floor. Okay, I had 2 passes to his artist engagement but I didn't go. I kind of regret that now but I still got to see his adorable self at the Main Stage the next day. But guys... I had a moment. XD

So I got pushed towards the direction that the crowd was going. I honestly had no idea what was going on. Then a space cleared up behind me. So I turned around and whoa... Roy Kim was heading straight towards me. I didn't move fast enough to let him pass so he kinda bumped into me. Hee! I did like him before but seeing him in person, guys... I'm smitten! (And no, he's not my oppa, unfortunately lol. The only person I can call "oppa" in BIGBANG is TOP. Let that sink in for a sec.)

I went back to shopping after that fairly exciting moment lol. I don't think I mentioned it in my Epik High recap but I saw someone wearing a Seoul Olympics hoodie at the meet and greet. I happened to be born on the exact same date as the Opening Ceremonies. Yup. The company that sells these Seoul 1988 items, Korelimited.com, was sponsoring KCON and they had a booth. I saw that hoodie for and other 1988 stuff. (I wanted to represent my birth year but I also didn't want to be mistaken as an EXO fan. Go figure.) I just gotta have it. I even told the guy at the booth that they're basically broadcasting my exact birthdate on their hoodies. He gave me a high-five and told the other people manning the booth. Heh! I felt kinda special, yakno. ;-) Going into this whole Hallyu thing must've been in the card since birth.

I didn't get Klub KCON tickets. I had a lot of stuff with me from the jacket to a GD YG Bear from Japan. I have the TOP bear straight from Korea. I wanted a set but hey, I gotta keep some semblance of self-control. GD&TOP came back today, by the way. If this is the closest that we can get to Volume 2, I'll take it. But anyway, Day 1 ended early for me. It was fun. But if not for the panels that I planned for the next day, I would've been at a loss. I went through the whole expo floor in two hours-ish? Browsing. Shopping took longer. I didn't buy everything in one run. I went around a couple of times, taking free soda from the Coca-cola booth and frozen lemonade from the McDonald's booth. And the free samples from Tous les Jours. It was like Costco!

One complaint though... there was no Superman Is Back representation? What gives? I bet you, if there were, people would even take pictures with a Daehan, Minguk, Manse standee. I totally would!

But before I spam pics, here's the most important discovery of the month:

Seeing Tablo twice in one year? Uh... I'm not in Seoul, right? \o/ Not to mention Verbal Jint, Jinusean, and quite possibly... Song Minho. A girl can dream. (And pay for her ticket lol.)

I'll eventually get to the concert nights. The last time, I totally skipped the concert part of my KCON experience. I had quite violent reactions towards the fans and the other artists themselves. I admit, I went for GD and Missy Elliott but that didn't mean that I didn't care of the other artists. The fandom is one of the reason why I don't call myself a "K-pop fan". I'm totally fine with them going crazy but I can't stand it if they become rude... not just towards my bias, but to the other acts.

That is it for Day 1. Stay tuned for Days 2 and 3.

soundlyawake on Youtube

Somehow, I ended up with 2 water bottles. There's my 1988 hoodie. I finally completed my BIGBANG sock collection. The YG Bears from Japan are bigger than the Korea releases. It made me want to get TOP bear as well but ultimately, I didn't. And yes, I gave in and bought Mix and Match. I still don't know all the names of the iKON members but hey, gotta support YG somehow. If WINNER loves them, I will too. Dude, that thing is the size of a shoe box. Literally.

I think I made just one more purchase after this that I'll get to in the next posts but there you go. And oh, I got a free Gale Hawthorne poster. Random!