Remember those times we used to go to concerts? Remember those times before the most exciting thing we did was to strap on the mask and head to the market? This Stay At Home Saturday is about the time I threw caution to the air, chucked aside the budget, and decided to fly to LA to take my friend Molly to The Rose’s We Rose You concert tour. This post is the result of such frivolity.
We all have them, our biggest Kpop regrets. They’re there. Concerts we didn’t go to, the performances we missed. My biggest ones in no particular order:
- Not going to Block B when they were in New York. Sure they performed way the fuck out in Long Island, but should that have stopped me? NO.
- Not being able to make it to Zico. Ugh. That still smarts.
- Flying out to LA to the Korean Music Festival at the Hollywood bowl and missing the one group I was there to see…friendships were tested with that one.
- Missing the G-Dragon Tour. Unfortunately, as I was jobless after just having moved to Colorado, not buying a concert ticket and plane ticket was the right choice, it just wasn’t the easy one.
- Never being able to see Nell in concert. They’ve never been here, probably won’t ever, and that hurts part of my soul.
- Not going to see The Rose when they came to the US in 2018.
It’s not often you’re able to rectify these mistakes. Snippets of time and everything. But when you can, shouldn’t you try? At least that’s what I told myself when I was trying to convince myself I should let go of my death grip on the purse strings and fly out to see The Rose when they announced their 2019 We Rose You concert tour. They had tickets left in almost all of their cities. I had leftover Korea-fund (yes, I came back with savings intact.), but the question was, where would I go? Should I use the opportunity to go to a city I’d never been to before? Such exotic locals like Seattle or St. Paul MN? Since I was going to be making the trip on my own, the country was my oyster.
Then it hit me. Why did I have to do it on my own? My lovely friend Molly was just as big of a Rose fan as I was, she was just as bummed that she couldn’t go to the 2018 show. If I went to LA, what was one more ticket in the scheme of it all? (The scheme being I hadn’t seen my lovely Molly in way too long, and we’d get to do it while having an unforgettable experience.) I made the offer, the offer was accepted, tickets purchased and then it was just the waiting!
The other upside? Molly couldn’t actually make it until the day of the concert, and I had a whole knock-off AirB&B to myself, Cherry Cordial drove down from the mountains and joined me for the first part! One trip! Two friends! One amazing concert!
Here’s a little something-something you might not know about me. I’m a little bit of a seat-whore. I think it’s because I’m super competitive and hate the idea of anyone having a better seat than I do. I’m one of those people who, if I could convince my fellow go-ers, I’d be there first thing in the morning, camp out for the day, make sure I did everything I could to be close enough to the stage, I’m seeing right up their noses. Unfortunately, of my friends, I’m really the only one who feels this way. However, since this time it was just going to be Molly and me, and Molly loves me dearly, I made the plan to be there super early, snag us a place in line, and Molly would join me as soon as she arrived. While I didn’t get there as early as I’d wanted, I think the official total of people ahead of me was 158? Not bad!
I came prepared with water, an umbrella, and a cheerful attitude, ready to make friends with those around me. I mean, if we were going to be there all day, it only made sense to make bathroom buddies, right? I hit the line around 10:30, made my first friend around 1100, and was reunited with Molly shortly thereafter.
Though hot and uncomfortable, we had so much fun in line! We chatted, hugged, listened to The Rose, introduced people to Nell, and ate sandwiches. At one point, a nanny van pulled into the venue, and we watched The Rose waving and filming us. Squees were abounding.
The cool thing about this venue was they started the line moving at 2pm. The workers had us go through, get our bands, gave us our numbers, and sent us on our way. That’s right, they didn’t want to see us there again until it was time for the concert. It was hot, we were thirsty, and we still had a long show ahead of us, they certainly didn’t need to tell us twice!
We headed for a Coffee Bean down the street and hung there with our new friend, Althea, in their AC and bathroom, with our iced beverages until it was time to line back up. It was perfect!
After a quick stop off to Molly’s car to drop off all of the things we had with us that we didn’t want to take into the concert and we were back in line, the people we had been standing around actually flagging us down to let us know where we were. See? It does help to make friends!
Soon we were let into the venue, which wasn’t super huge, but not embarrassingly small, bolted for the front, and held the line. When I’m saying I’m serious about being close to the front, I’m not lying. I find a place, and I STICK there. Plant those feet, ladies! Don’t forget this is why god gave you elbows! Someone tries to horn in on you and your space? Take care of that shit! And if someone tries the “Oh, can you let me through? My friend is down there.” Don’t fall for it. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Molly and I were bosses. “There’s a lot of friends down there.”
It was time to wait for the concert! Unfortunately, we had to wait and wait and wait as, unlike most Korean shows, it was almost an hour late. For a lot of people who had been standing in line in the hot California summer sun? We felt those minutes. There was one great moment, though! One of the songs they played over the loudspeakers was Bohemian Rhapsody, and the entire venue began singing along.
Finally? It was time. SWOON.
If I were to tell you why I liked The Rose, or why I needed so badly to go to this concert, all I can say is that their music just gets to me. I can feel it right in my heart hole. I think I spent most of the concert with my hands over my heart, a goofy expression on my face.
Our position was right in front of Dojoon, the pianist and vocalist, and let me just say, he was terrific. Super personable with the music, his facial expressions, and interactions with the crowd. The Rose is one of those groups where I love their music so much; however, I didn’t really know who they were individually before this. I came out of there with Dojoon on the brain though!
They did apologize for being late. After the first couple of songs, one of the strings of Woosung’s guitar broke, and he had to hand it back to get restrung. This is when we learned the name of his guitar is Brittany. HAHAHA. To cover for the time, they decided to do an English cover song, however, adorably, one they didn’t know very well, and the members pleaded with the guy restringing Brittany to bring her back out as soon as he was done, even if they were doing the song.
They played so many favorites of mine, and I swooned my way through a lot of the concert. Of course, though, I did have an epiphany mid-concert. I love these guys so much, and I don’t own a single physical album. I shouted at Molly that we were going to have to stop by Ktown in the morning to take care of this heinous error in judgment.
Dojoon and Woosung had their own, solo stages. Woosung performing Face from his recent solo album. Gah! He was so delightful during this performance! The word that comes to mind is impish. Which makes sense considering the song. (The words sexy as hell also comes to mind.) Hajoon and Jaehyeong performed together, one of them tripping over the stool and knocking over the guitar that sat there. Funny? Turns out, it was not his guitar, and he had to apologize to Dojoon when the other two joined them back on the stage.
A couple of water stories for you?
- There was a time when Dojoon pretended to throw water on the crowd, you know, like every concert does know, and when the crowd screamed in anticipation, he was shocked (or at least pretended to be shocked) that we actually wanted him to throw water at us. Ummm… It’s hot, and you’re hot. THROW THE WATER. He looked perplexed… “Really? You want me to throw this on you?” He’d look at the band for confirmation before heaving a stream of water at us. The crowd would not be happy until every single member of the group chucked water at us, even forcing Hajoon to get out from behind his drum kit. It was super cute.
- This part actually horrifies me now to think back at it. As I said, it was hot, and as we know from concerts, people don’t take care of themselves, so there were several times where people began passing out. The band became really concerned for us and started passing out waterbottles FOR EVERYONE TO DRINK FROM. Sure, it started out with their own water bottles, but soon the venue was handing back others. We all drank from the same water bottle as it was passed to us and handed it back for others to do the same. WHAT WERE WE THINKING??? Obs, we were thinking, “If Dojoon tells you to drink, you mother fucking drank.” I think it’s like kpop law or something. I shudder now to think about it. Ugh.
This was one of those concerts where I loved every single moment of it. Looking over to see Molly singing along with me, waving at the stage, swearing I could see Dojoon looking back at me, every single jab to the heart I got from hearing their songs in person. It was amazing.
Here’s a fancam playlist (if you like playlists, check out her youtube channel she’s got a lot!) of what appears to be all the songs from the night:
And the night wasn’t over! As there were P1 tickets left, I had purchased P1 tickets. This means one thing. Okay, two. A good view and a high touch. That’s right, once the concert was over, we busily prepped ourselves to meet/hi-five all the members of The Rose. The venue was confused as they tried to set up the location, the barricades, organize us into lines. It gave us plenty of time to blot the sweat away and reapply lipstick to our smiling faces.
Somehow we managed on the side which is closest to the front, which is both a blessing and a curse. We get to see the members sooner, but this is so nerve-wracking! It’s like a rollercoaster of emotions. What do you say? What do you do? Will you remember it at all? (Answer to that last one is barely, its all a happy blur.) I can tell you that Woosung was first, and Dojoon was last. I “Hi, thanks, good job”ed everyone until Dojoon. Guys. An embarrassing/proud moment is about to happen. I stood there, despite the security and their “hurry up, keep moving,” I stopped in front of Dojoon and said. “Hey. Seriously. You did a really good job tonight.” Like I’m an adult teacher telling my student I’m proud of them. He cocked his head, put his hand over his heart, and said, “Really? Thank you.” But like, in a serious, he totally got it tone.
I HAD A MOMENT I’M NEVER GOING TO FORGET.
Anyway. The concert was amazing. Over way too fast. My times with Molly and Cherry were so nice and again, over way too soon. With everything that’s going on with us, with everything that’s going on with The Rose, I hope I’m able to do this again sometime. It has to happen, right?
You did a really good job, guys.
Check out the podcast Molly and I recorded while in LA: EPISODE 209: THE ROSE CONCERT SPECIAL WITH MOLLYINKDRAMALAND
Check Out Our Other Stay At Home Saturday Posts!