The stage set up.
K-pop Conventions/Events are some of the highly anticipated events to attend for avid k-pop fans and culture enthusiasts. Kfest ( known as K-Pop and Culture Fest ) held their first concert series last October 5, 2014. When I say concert series, I mean it was a concert with in-the-flesh K-Pop Idols from South Korea, and their roster had U-Kiss, M.Pire, 4L, Bigstar, and Winner’s Crew.
I was really looking forward to Winner’s Crew and Bigstar. I heard that Bigstar came to the Philippines last year, but I had no idea so I took the opportunity to see them this time.
On October 4, 2014, a fansign event was held for M.Pire, Bigstar and 4L.
How the event area looked like at SM Manila.
What is a fansign event?
This is an intimate event between the artist and their fans. Here they will be able to get autographs, see performances, or even hear exclusive news that haven’t been made public yet.
I arrived at the venue early because I had to help my friend, Paolo, with his make up. He was the host of the event, and I also had some items for his outfit. The venue was in the event area of SM Manila, there was a stage, rows of chairs set up, and also a barricade with security.
Selca + outfit of the day.
The screams of excitement filled the air as the anticipation for the groups kept building up. Even if you aren’t huge fans of the artists there is a jittery, butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling that you get when they’re close. I have to admit, I got that feeling every time we thought they were already at the venue.
We were asked to empty the backstage area so that the artists will be able to enter. I was tiptoeing, and craning my neck just to see what was going on outside. A silver van stopped at the entrance and the security in the area double almost instantly, they had arrived. Next thing I know, there were screams everywhere and I was just an arms length away from M.Pire when they entered the mall entrance.
The M.Pire members saying their goodbyes.
M.Pire, all dressed very casually, gave their greetings to the anticipating fans and answered a few questions before heading on to the fan sign proper. All the boys: Taehee, Lumin, Yooseung, Haru, Red, T.O. and Jerry, sat at a table with their seats set up side by side. Those who wanted to meet and get items autographed by the boys had to line up, and were given post-it sticky notes to write their name. This makes it easier for the artists to write down the names of the fans.
Many fans were particularly excited to see one M.Pire member, Red, as he was unable to attend Kfest 5 with his other members. I wasn’t able to get a good look at Red so I didn’t really know what the whole fuss was about. I was more focused on another member, Jerry.
After M.Pire came the rookie girl group, 4L. This group got a lot of bashing because of their over-sexualized music video where they were scantily clad and danced suggestively. Despite the initial hate from kpop fans, there was also a lot of support. I actually really like their song, but the way it was presented was questionable to me. They’re obviously talented girls, and have mind blowing sex appeal. I wish they promoted with a stronger dance, which I know they are capable of doing, but then again I think of how saturated the kpop idol market is and I just brush it off. They make good and catchy music, and that’s good enough for me.
Before the girls went onstage, there was a cover group who performed 4L’s debut single “Move”.
4L in the middle of their autographing.
My guy friends were spazzing like crazy when the 4 girls stepped onto the stage. It’s quite rare to see girl groups invited to the Philippines. There were quite a number of boy groups who have performed here, but the girl groups who have visited the country can be counted on my two hands
The 4 girls: Chany, Yeseul, Ja Young, and J-Na were all so bubbly and gave a lot of fan service. I wasn’t a big fan of theirs, but seeing them in person made me more open to them. They looked like dolls on the stage, Chany and Yeseul stood out the most for me. My friends were such fanboys, calling out the girls’ name to get a response. They were satisfied though, the girls were very generous in giving their fans attention. Although they really wished they could get hugs from them, the female fans were very lucky.
Another cover group performed before Bigstar went onstage. I was getting all excited because I’m a fan of one of the members. I’ve watched Feeldog on variety shows and he’s such a great dancer, I was really looking forward to see how he was like in person.
Bigstar during their fansigning.
When Bigstar made it to the stage, the cheers from the crowd was almost deafening. Baram, Jude, Feeldog, Larry/Rae Hwan, and Sung Hak cheerfully greeted the crowd before taking their seats. I was really impressed, especially with Larry and Jude, because of the amount of english that they spoke and understood. In fact, Larry used to live in the Philippines to study english in Baguio City. He actually would really love to live here, and who knows he actually might!
Their segment was very relaxing because the members were quite talkative, as compared to M.Pire’s very formal atmosphere. The importance of being a little fluent in english was evident here. Since, Bigstar knew how to speak English, they were much more engaged and enthusiastic when speaking.
They were the only group I lined up for, I knew of them since their debut. They’re all really good dancers and that was a definite plus for me when I first saw them. It was only then when I realized the foreign fans who came to the Philippines just to see the boys. The host told me that there were fans from Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia, and they wanted to come here because tickets were more affordable here.
I shall numerate how my experience with each of the members were, since it was so amusing how they were like. Apart from getting their autographs, it was fun to experience a little bit of how their personalities are really like.
Jude was really nice, he was very eager to talk in English and would be very accommodating. He was the first one, and he was particularly interested in my name. I complimented him on his english and he was very flattered but admitted that he still needed to learn more.
I had the least amount of interaction with Baram, he was quite intimidating to me. I smiled to make him more comfortable, but I couldn’t really say anything to him. I just wished him luck on his performance on the concert day and he said thank you.
Sung Hak shot a smile as I approached him. He didn’t really know a lot of english, but I asked him about how he liked the Philippines so far. He said it was nice, and that it was their second time here. I was taken aback and told him that if they come next time, I’ll be sure to see them again.
Larry became my second bias right then and there. He greeted me in English and I also complimented him on how well he spoke. He said he lacked practice but that was mainly because he only gets to use english when he travels overseas. We talked about Baguio and the weather there, we talked about a lot in such a short amount of time.
Lastly was Feeldog, I really composed myself when I met him. He smiled and signed the poster my friend gave me, I made him sign at the back because he already signed the front of the poster when my friend gave me his extra poster. I told him how big of a fan I was of him and his dancing, and he just kept saying thank you.
When I got off the stage I was jumping for joy, my feels as a fan just exploded and I was so satisfied. I even got interaction from him while Feeldog was waiting at the table, he was doing a “raising the roof” gesture while music was playing, and I just so happened to be playing around doing the same thing. We had eye contact and then he gave me a nod acknowledging my cool “raise the roof” gesture. I spazzed quietly and had to calm myself down.
All the were very friendly and they all gave me a hug except for Baram. I was really intimidated by him so I didn’t really bother to ask, even though he became a bias later on. Hugs were allowed, there are usually strict rules on this but for this fan sign, they had allowed it. I thought, “This might be the only opportunity I’ll ever get to see them”, so I got friendly hugs from Bigstar.
I was completely exhausted at the end of the event, and I was really happy. Kfest really did a good job in handling the fan sign event, and it went really smoothly. Seeing how well the fansign event went, I was really looking forward to how the concert was going to be like.
I’ll post on the KNATION5 Showcase and Event as soon as I can.
Thank you for stopping by!