Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Denver. I wouldn’t change it for anything. It was hands down, absolutely, positively the right life change for me. That being said, there are things that I miss about living New York City adjacent and those would hands down, absolutely, positively, be the ease of access to Korean entertainment. Not just Ktown, Korean products, or Kpop concerts, but the weird and wonderful K-related events that would spring up. So, when we heard Jun Curry Ahn was going to be performing at an event here in Colorado Springs? Well, it was a no-brainer.
If you’re not certain who Jun Curry Ahn is, to fill you in, he’s a YouTuber who broke out by doing Kpop covers on his violin. (Man, did I love telling my co-workers my plans for Friday night. “Oh me? I’m going down to the Springs with to a presentation of the Asian Pacific Islander Student Union to see a guy play Kpop covers on his violin.”). Alix would like for me to mention he’s a member of BGA and he’s performed at all of the Kcon’s both in LA and NY that I’ve been to where we’ve seen literally legions of fans squee over him. (And why wouldn’t they, he’s adorable.)
Even better? This thing was planned for a Friday night, which, if you read here with any regularity, you know is the night the Denver faction of the Kpop Nerd Herd gather for debauchery…and Kpop. We welcomed the chance to take ourselves out for a mini-road trip, especially if it meant we got to support even the idea of Kpop here, Jun Curry Ahn, and whatever Korean restaurant we managed to find ourselves at.
As promised, I worked from home that day so I could be ready for the meetup with, also as promised, snacks. I met up with LizC downtown and, with me as DJ on the phone (I went with forgotten Kpop favorites, FTIsland, Super Junior Devil, Yoon Mi Rae Get It In, B1A4 Solo Day, Epik High….ect.) until we met up with Alix and SaraG. Then, fortified with even more snacks and hooch in travel mugs (passengers only!) we were off to the Springs— an hour plus trip south.
This event was put on by the Asian Pacific Islander Student Union, so of course, it was at University of Colorado so, of course, again, we were the oldest people there—well, it was us and the parents of the various performers, so we did what any mature adult would do, we each fake adopted one of the performers and cheered them on, pitting our child against the others. (Mine was a boy named Gabe who played the guitar and who didn’t actually go to Colorado State but the nearby Air Force Academy. He performed spectacularly, doing his mother—both real and imagined—proud.)
The performances varied from Kpop inspired dances to belly and Bollywood dancing, to Taekwondo, to singing Korean and Vietnamese songs. Though we had to wait a while for them to get ready, my favorite performers (besides, of course, my son Gabe) were the Colorado Bhangra Team. Holy smokes, their performance was a lot of fun! How fun? Apparently, Jun Curry Ahn even kept peeking his head out from behind the curtain to see parts of their performance.
Once it was time for Jun Curry Ahn to come out, they put more chairs out, making our eh, okay seats, not very good at all. Luckily, (unluckily) just like at any student performances, spaces cleared out once the performer people were there to see were done, so we were able to jump up a few rows—because we’re ballsy and badass.
When he finally came out, he was, as expected, super sweet and adorable. He had pink hair and was wearing a sweatshirt from the merch line he’s now working with (as he said during the performances, parts of the proceeds go to support cancer research.) He played a few kpop heavy mashups and, as apparently he promised the organizers, some BTS. Unfortunately, we found out his father had passed this year (hence the donation of the merch earnings) and as a tribute, he played a song from the OST from Goblin. Yeah, it’s possible somebody got teary….LizC! No, not me, it was totally LizC!
Throughout the performance he chatted us up a bit, talking about how he was trying Vlogging again even though his first attempts were disastrous (losing 800 subscribers after a single video posted) where he got his stage name (Curry Ahn. Curry-Ahn. CurryAhn….Korean), and how he was pretty altitude sick from his first trip to Denver. Throughout it, he continuously apologized, which, I’m not sure why, but I just found endearing and I just wanted to fold him up and stick him in my pocket. (Not in a creepy way!)
With one last BTS song….
He was done but what we didn’t realize, was that they planned for him to do a meet and greet. Seriously! We get to hear him perform, meet him—and have a picture? What a great night! So we got in line, checked our hair, put on new lip gloss, and waited our turn. We, of course, were a package deal, so once it was our turn, it was little slip of a thing Jun Curry Ahn and THE KPOP NERD HERD. We all shook his hand (Sara and her monster-like grip almost ensuring he didn’t play the violin again) blurted out “WE’VE SEEN YOU AT ALL THE KCONS!” (Stephanie has no chill) and took what was probably the most embarrassing photo known to man. (Again, Stephanie.) Jun Curry Ahn said he planned to be at KCon NY and LA again this year and hoped to see us there. (Which, I’m sure at this point, he probably would actually remember us….)
Of course, as we left, we realized just how hilarious our photo was #isitazombie? #isitabear? and hysterically laughed our way out of the building.
Actually, Jun Curry Ahn, in April, is going to be performing in Colorado again, this time in Boulder. We decided on this event, even though it was further away (I actually work right outside of Boulder) because Alix will be traveling when he’s here next time and we decided it was more important for all of us to go together than ease of Boulder. Here’s the thing though, that night, we totally decided we’re just going to do both. Not only do K-Events need to be supported here but, though we joked about it first, we had a total blast and Jun Curry Ahn is just as adorable in person as he is at Kcon.
Not to mention, he’ll for sure recognize us at KCON NY if we stalk him all around Denver…but not in a creepy way.
And you wonder if we got the Korean food to complete the rest of the Friday night mission…