BIGBANG MADE Tour in Los Angeles, 20151003Who takes more than a week to recover from a concert? This girl.
But cut me some slack. I went to two BIGBANG concerts in two days. Not to mention the live tweets, videos, updates on social media for the following concerts in Mexico and New Jersey. I had more than 1000 photos to comb through, a couple of surprisingly good videos, and screencapping said videos for more pictures. And oh, uploading them to FB and Youtube.
This was the farthest I've ever sat for a YG artist concert. I've always been pit or the seated area right next to GA Floor. I could've done better seats for the same price but dang, we were right across from the stage. Center!
Really, I could've gone VIP here also. But I had my rockstars with me. I mean, who goes to a K-pop concert with their mother but not as chaperon? My brother, who is a non-K-pop fan, went with me too. I was happy that they were game to experience this insanity with me - and see my total K-pop fangirl side as well. My wallet wept for a minute but it was all worth it, seeing how they enjoyed it and hearing their feedback on the whole show.
tl;dr My mom is a fan of Taeyang and her favorite BIGBANG songs are Fantastic Baby and Haru Haru. And she thinks, as everyone in this good earth does, that TOP is excessively good-looking. My brother loved the staging and lights. He liked Sober and Daesung's voice. It warmed my heart to see that he made an effort to remember their names and match it to their faces. I have the best family ever!
Honestly though... my VIP ticket for the Anaheim concert could've paid for all three of our seated tickets. No regrets, though. Absolutely none.
If you go back to the ALIVE TOUR concerts, I was in absolute overwhelmed fangirl mode. I would kiss the ground that they walked on. And my preparation started about a week before that concert weekend. This time around, I was calmer... older... wiser. Yes, I was still excited to see them in concert but having seen them twice before (3 times for G-Dragon), I was able to keep my head on straight. With the exception of some crazy screaming and jumping, of course. ;-)
I'm especially excited to see this tour because of their new songs. I love all of them. Bang, Bang, Bang is the song of 2015. Then there's Eyes, Nose, Lips. I've seen this twice live from Tablo and now, I'm going to see this live from the original artist himself, Taeyang. Twice! And of course, I would not miss another live performance of YG's national anthem... Fantastic Baby. I have so many feelings for this tour/set list. Also, this could be the last one for a while with them starting to go into military service. Sigh.
Like last time, I bought two separate light sticks to commemorate this event. (One was free the last time but I bought another one that looks exactly the same for night 2.) It's the new version so one was white and the other was black. The light reacts to the beat of the music but I still had it one solid. The "anytone" mode looked so dim.
I love that they play MVs to pass the time. Perfect for people watchers like me... the crowd screams even at music videos. There was this teenager in the row behind ours who screamed bloody murder every time GD comes on. She was a silent, crying mess for the rest of the actual concert.
YG even prepared an event for the song Blue. Show a blue screen on your phone when the song comes on. Nope, not gonna happen. Especially with screaming fans trying to record and take pictures of everything. I brought a blue light stick with me instead. The same one from 3 years ago (which was taken from me at the Anaheim concert. Sadness.)
Staples Center is a great place to hold concerts. BIGBANG concerts are explosive and high-energy. But you know what, the Staples Center crowd... felt so lukewarm. Sure, it was loud and it looked like the place was packed but compared to the Anaheim crowd, the LA crowd was quiet. A well-behaved K-pop concert crowd. The screams didn't bring the house down, unfortunately. And the sea of yellow wasn't too impressive. I honestly don't know what to make of that. (Then again, I was GA PIT for Anaheim and that's a whole other story.)
What impressed me were the video inserts and the major improvement in their English-speaking skills. Yes, it's scripted to the last syllable but compared to last time, this was heaps better! The intro video was awesome. It was like a movie and all of them were fcking badass. Some of them did drag a bit but hey, it was still pretty.
What's more badass was Bang, Bang, Bang. It was everything I expected and more. Try not singing and dancing along to this jam when it comes on. And seeing it live? AMAZING. They might not have the most difficult choreography but the music carries everything else. This song's choreography was like what Fantastic Baby did when it first came out. Everyone can dance along to it.
They opened the last tour with Tonight. It's still a jam. I'll love that song forever. I would've loved to see that in Las Vegas because... well, the MV was filmed in Vegas with Agents of SHIELD star, Chloe Bennet. I once asked her about that and she confirmed what I already knew lol.
Their next song was Stupid Liar. They used the part of the stage which will be called the "bridge thing" on this blog. And it moves! It moves to the middle. over the heads of GA PIT, to form one platform that connects the main stage to the extended stage. I'll enjoy this more at the Anaheim show, together with that bridge thing.
I was kind of bummed that they did Haru Haru so early in the show. It's a crowd favorite and it's a slower song since they've done away with the original mix in favor of the acoustic version. I do kind of miss the original release. That would've kept the momentum up before they had to change costumes then change the mood. The crowd still sang along. At least, my Korean is better now than three years ago LOL.
Then we move on to Blue. On paper, the Blue Event is a fantastic idea. Turn off your crown light stick and hold up either a blue lightstick or that phone screen thing that YG prepared. I'm pretty sure Korean and Japanese fans could do it and do it well. But here? First of all, some venues confiscate glow sticks. They took away mine at Anaheim. I managed to bring it at the Los Angeles show but even with the repeated reminder during the pre-show, I don't think anyone actually did it. I waved my blue light stick but that was about it. I used my phone to take pictures instead of displaying some blue screen.
Moral of the story, fan chants and events don't work. Sometimes they do, like singing along to Haru Haru. But that's with the guys leading the crowd. Leave the crowd to our own devices, everything goes to shit LOL. I've been to enough of these things to know. Let us sing with you. Anything more than that, you're on your own.
They did Bad Boy next. I mean, that's how it goes. They do Blue then for sure Bad Boy is coming next. Or vice versa.
Let me comment on their English for a bit. It's been three years. You can tell that they've been studying and practicing. It might not seem much when they tweet or Instagram. They are reading off a script but you can 100% understand them now. I remember last time, it was TOP's birthday and I couldn't get anything from his spiel apart from "Thank you" and "I love you". Heh. Now, even Taeyang has done away with the fake hip-hop talk and Seungri actually made sense.
Daesung had the best script ever. He was funny and charming... I mean, he's always that but this is in a language that they don't really speak. Even then, he was able to make it funny. He wouldn't curse like Seungri (Give me some fucking noise) and G-Dragon (Fantastic Muthafuckin' Baby). He didn't speak into the microphone when he said the f-word. He wanted the crowd to make some noise because... I can't see you so I need to hear you. Whoever wrote this for Daesung, saranghae. Also, he asked us Do you want to see my OOO eyes? Hah, duh. So he put his hair aside and showed the camera - that projects to the big screens - his eyes. Funny.
Their last song before the solo stages was If You. What can I say? It's beautiful. People might see BIGBANG as a pop/hip-hop group but then they go and do songs like this. Thank you. It's not just to the composer... it's to all of them, interpreting this song this way.
Seungri went first, as usual. I expected stuff from his latest release. Gotta Talk to U is one HAWT song. But he does Strong Baby... his first solo hit. You bet that I went crazy. This is an awesome example that maknae Seungri can write awesome songs. It boggles the mind why he never does this on BIGBANG releases. Why, Ji?!
Daesung's Wings always gets to me. The song, his voice, the dancing... I took the best photo ever last time. I teared up then and I did the same now. I was especially taken with the dancers. I appreciated them more the next night but already, I was so into this whole stage.
TOP brought the house down with Doom Dada. While the other guys brought in the pop... TOP was like no other. The lights, his Mondrian wardrobe... hell, he could've been the only one on that stage and he still would've owned it. Super different from the BIGBANG!TOP that we came to know. On his own, he's a totally different character.
And now, for the song that paid for my ticket. Eyes, Nose, Lips part 3. I say 3 because this was the 3rd time seeing it live. And finally, from the original artist himself... Taeyang. And it's as beautiful as I expected it. It's tough when recording a performance. I couldn't sing along. I mean, yeah I was mouthing the words but I had to be silent so I won't ruin my recording LOL. But this song does things to me. THINGS.
Jumping from that very emotional song - in which the crowd was once again invited to sing along - was Zutter. I've waited YEARS for a legit GDTOP interaction. The lighting made it tough to take a photo during this show but you betcha I have some from the Anaheim show. It was so disappointing to not see GDTOP interaction from the last concert. But I was determined to remedy that. And I did.
GDYB rocked it with Good Boy. I loooooove the choreography for this song. I've almost learned it and almost did it while I was at GA PIT. Heh. I'm glad that they got to do this project. They are lifetime BFFs and for so long, they wanted to do something just with the two of them. I still don't care for the MV but the dance practice and this live performance... hawt.
GD closed out the solo stages with Crooked. I lost my shit. I love this song. My brother looked at me like I'm a crazy person when I started screaming and jumping. Yep, you don't see that side of me everyday.
I do wish that the others had more solo songs to perform but after all, this is a BIGBANG concert. At least we got Daesung to do a drum solo as intro to Sober. I've seen him play the drums from their earlier days; I'm glad that they actually showcased that now. And if you don't already know, I love this song too. ;-)
I admit, I didn't like Bae Bae the first time I heard it. It gradually grew on me thanks to the vocal line. Never mind the MV but the chorus and Seungri's part were beautiful. GD announced that they were closing the show with Fantastic Baby. Of course. How can this be a BIGBANG concert without the MAMA national anthem.
Really though... will this be a YG concert without at least 2 encore songs? We got three in LA and four in Anaheim. For the LA show, we got We Like 2 Party, Bang Bang Bang, and Bae Bae. Oh boy, and it was definitely a party. I was bummed that Let's Not Fall in Love was left out but I guess they needed to change things up. I still would've wanted to see it.
Over all, it was everything you'd expect from a BIGBANG concert. It's a party and the talent, visuals, and music... just off the charts! I knew I made the right choice when I became their fan. All the effort and expenses were worth it.
I feel like it's going to be a long while before I see these guys again. I might see them in parts but as 5... oh well. They have to be good Korean citizens and serve their country. I'm just glad that they're still going strong after 9-10 years of being together. VIP til whenever indeed.
PS: I would like to give a special shout out to my beloved Samsung Note 4. You're a champ!
Haru Haru https://www.youtube.com/
Bad Boy (Interlude) https://www.youtube.com/
Bad Boy https://www.youtube.com/
If You https://www.youtube.com/
Doom Dada https://www.youtube.com/
Eyes Nose Lips https://www.youtube.com/
Fantastic Baby https://www.youtube.com/
We Like 2 Party https://www.youtube.com/
Bang Bang Bang (encore) https://www.youtube.com/
Bae Bae (encore) https://www.youtube.com/