Twilight drops her curtain down, and pins it with a star.
It has now been two months since I have seen G.O. Two months since I watched his emotion erupt and his heart spill out all over the Curtain Call stage. Now, a new year has begun and I still have not been able to adequately sum up my experience in words and transfer them here to my blog. There are far too many emotions…..still. Frankly, I don’t think I am able to sum it all up. But, I will try. I will try to explain those bittersweet moments watching G.O perform alongside his MBLAQ brothers on those two emotional evenings in late November. I will attempt to describe what it felt like to watch him offer up to us his remarkable talent. I will share how excited I am about his future. And finally, I want to tell you why I am grateful he chose me to be his fan.
Admittedly, I am a bit of a late bloomer in way of becoming a fan of MBLAQ and, specifically, G.O. It was actually around November of 2013 when I discovered him. I guess I should rephrase that. It was around late November 2013, when G.O, quietly and without warning, planned a fangirl abduction. He was the swoony perpetrator and I, the innocent fangirl going about my days supporting one of his mentors, Rain. I was completely blindsided. However, after I got to know a little more about him, it was clear to me why he has often been called a bias-wrecker. He should take that as a supreme compliment, by the way. I wonder how he would feel knowing he completely wrecked my bias. I mean, complete annihilation. However, it seems that once he chose me, he was not going to let anyone take me away…nor was he going to return me to my previous bias, for that matter.
In the beginning, I knew nothing about his character. It is one thing to read about the type of man a man is, it is another to experience that man’s character real-time. I was fortunate he gave me some clues in those early days when I was learning more about him by way of watching videos of his many performances, variety shows, even drama.
Watching G.O on the screen is one thing; seeing him in person, however, is an entirely different experience all together.
In The Moment
After I saw G.O in his last two musicals and had the wonderful opportunity to experience his warm fan service, I questioned whether I would even need to make a trip outside of the US to see MBLAQ perform live in concert (I was certain we most likely were not going to get them here on US shores) – I mean, I did not want to be greedy in that I was already so very fortunate to have been able to see him perform on the musical stage. For all intents and purposes, I was satisfied. But, he is MBLAQ’s main vocal and his love, loyalty and commitment to the group is perhaps as deep and profound as his love, loyalty and commitment to the love of his life, music.
Additionally, he has given so much of his heart and soul to the success of the group. I think his love for MBLAQ and each of its members is so much deeper than any of us could possibly comprehend. For these past five years, everything he has done has been done with the group in mind. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wanted to see the five of them perform together because the group means so very much to him. But, admittedly, I really wanted to save up for his next musical performance. Then, Busan happened and I had to make a decision.
I love a man who is able to genuinely show emotion without forethought or fear.
I told myself that it was probably very important to go see the concerts scheduled for late November in Seoul and to go for many reasons, the least of which was the potential departure of Lee Joon and Thunder from the group. However, that was hovering over me (and the entire A+ nation) in the wake of rumors flying around about the departure of them both. I was gently (but urgently) being nudged to go. Apart from that, I was sure that if I could see the five of them take the stage together live, the energy and play between each of them would be electric and memorable. If I did not go, I felt I would risk the opportunity of ever seeing the five of them perform together. I was so right.
I bought my tickets and departed for Seoul on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.
A Little A+-ing
I think the uncertainty of how these two shows would play out as well as what the future held following them was somewhat eased and cushioned by the fact that I was not experiencing the unknown alone. While there were many A+ (both domestic and international) who converged upon Olympic Park those two chilly autumn evenings, I had the opportunity to meet a few truly special ones who made this adventure even more rich.
My travel cohort for the duration of my stay was a lovely (and fiercely dedicated) A+ from Poland, Marlena. I think the reason Marlena and I get along so well is that my bias is G.O and hers is Mir. Right? Marlena adores Mir just as much as I adore G.O.^^ She missed not one, not two….not three, but six opportunities to see MBLAQ when all of their European shows were canceled in late August and September. She had no other option but to come to Seoul and I know for her, it was magical. We both had the opportunity to see our respective biases at the Lotte Department Store Tate Event on the Friday before the first show where both Marlena and I stood face to face with our ideal men. All I can say is dreams do come true.^^
Friday turned out to be pretty special for a couple of reasons, actually. First, there was the Lotte Department Store event (where I also met German A+ Nadine and Marina along with Brazilian A+, Clara), followed by ‘scope the venue out’ later that night where we were able to hear the men rehearsing. It was then that we discovered they were going to perform Run because, well….we heard it! We were completely stoked about the fact that we shared the same wish that they would perform it because apart from being explosive musically, it has some really fantastic choreography. Here is a look back at a M Countdown performance from 2012:
We were standing behind the venue near a backstage door, near a black van which most assuredly was the vehicle that was going to transport some or perhaps all of the men safely back home after rehearsal. It was rainy and cold. Without warning, two figures walk out and pass right in front of us. Because my radar is tuned exclusively to the Byung Hee frequency, I was oblivious to the fact that Seung Ho and Cheondung walked out of the venue and yes, right past us. Hey….don’t judge!! I don’t feel bad that I missed a photo op, by the way. It happened so fast that I think most everyone missed it although I did see some A+ following after them.
We were caught off guard but since that was only 2/5 of the group, we figured G.O, Mir and Joon were still inside. So we waited. And we waited. And waited some more. We saw an assistant come out and grab the Run ninja swords from the van. Cool, right? We saw food being delivered. A JTC staff came out one of the backstage doors at one point and yelled back inside that there were ‘foreigners out here.’ We were freezing cold and wet so we ultimately gave up. Besides, we still had one more stop that evening.
Curtain Call – The First Bow
November 29, 2014
Nothing could have prepared me (or my heart) for the moment when I saw the five beautiful members of MBLAQ slowly come up through the floor, silhouetted against a blazing backdrop bearing the acronym of their name, an acronym that suits them, and will continue do so: Music Boys Live In Absolute Quality:
It was ridiculously awesome. In that moment, everything froze. My breath, my eyes, my heart. Everything came to a dead halt. There they were – all five, together. Perhaps they were also filled with their own anxious anticipation. So much had happened prior to that moment. And, inasmuch as they know in their hearts that the fans are forever with them, I have to wonder if there was some concern (or perhaps worry) on their part as to how the audience would respond, react and receive. G.O and Mir, specifically, seem to be so genuinely sensitive that way.
But A+ love is strong and true. If the men of MBLAQ had any worry or concern, I am sure it vanished the moment they all began walking down those stairs towards us preparing to open the concert with the explosive Oh Yeah.
Look at my bias, people!!! Look how gorgeous he is – so striking and handsome in that red military-inspired jacket. The black pants just the right amount of tight to hug his fine physique. He took my breath away. That is, when I was able to catch it.
MBLAQ came at us with Oh Yeah, Y and Stay, immediately. There was no time to think, prepare or adjust, so I did not even try. It was exhilarating. It was magical. And it was all moving too fast.
As the night progressed, there was an ever-present sadness. After singing This Is War, they paused to speak to us and this is when the emotions seemed to have taken a hold of each one of them, especially leader Seung Ho. He was the first to speak and as he did, he could not hold back his tears and, in fact, had to pause and turn away a number of times in order to compose himself. I have not been with MBLAQ as a fan for very long, but in the time I have been, I have not known Seung Ho to exhibit that kind of deep emotion, at least publicly. It seemed once he opened up (or as he put it, crumbled), became vulnerable and could not hold back, the others (namely Mir and G.O) followed suit. Once composed, the beautiful leader man said, “There were many theories about withdrawal and discord within the group. If I were to speak as a representative, I would say that there’s nothing decided (yet) and we hope you would trust our words and don’t hear what others say.”
His tears and that moment were unscripted, honest, genuine, and pure.
Throughout the show, when there were moments of just the five of them talking to us, I thought one of them would tell us what was really going on. But they all held back. The only indication G.O himself gave us was his quiet thought of how, at the moment he was speaking to us, he was very happy but did not want tomorrow to come. The tomorrow G.O spoke of was the last time the five members of MBLAQ would be performing together. Of course, we did not know that at the time but in retrospect I can say now that is exactly what G.O was alluding to without explicitly saying it outright.
Perhaps he and the others were prohibited from saying anything. Perhaps he was allowed but simply could not find the words (odd for the man known to be a wordsmith of sorts) that would make it seem less of a shock or less sad, for that matter. Whatever the reason, we all left that night cautiously hopeful.
Inasmuch there were many (MANY) memorable moments, filled with every imaginable emotion throughout the two hours MBLAQ was with us, these are some (in no particular order) that really stood out for me that evening:
Experiencing Spring, Summer, Autumn and. . .
When MBLAQ’s 7th (and now final album as a five member group) was released on November 25th, I could not wait to hear this song. Beautifully written, composed and arranged by G.O and Mir, Spring, Summer, Autumn and… is elegant, melodic, moving, and simply wonderful. I fell in love with it upon first listen. Because Winter was essentially part of MBLAQ’s first chapter, they included this amazing composition in their set list for Curtain Call and watching G.O sing the words he wrote to the music he composed and arranged was a gift from the musical gods.
I was captivated and mesmerized. As the song slowly progressed, my heart began shattering with every note he sang. Shattering like fragile glass. I thought to myself, we are not even half way through the evening and my heart is breaking into a million pieces. How will I make it to the end of the show?!! G.O sang (as usual) with every ounce of his being, pouring his heart and soul into every note. He has always been the most demonstrative when performing and I think it is simply the way music moves through him. It is a force that pulsates through every nerve in his body. In order to power through it he either must hold on to his chest and heart, or grab onto the microphone with two hands lest he himself be blown apart from the emotion (and passion) surging through him. I love this man, I love the way he sings and I absolutely love this song.
Here is a bit of that moment from the stage. Now that I think of it, this was actually the first time they performed this song live…ever and the last time performed with all five of them together. It has now become a rare and bittersweet moment of their history.
Mir’s Video Message
The group’s littlest brother, maknae Mir has such a gentle and pure heart, one that matches G.O’s beat for beat with equal tenderness. His video message wherein he talks about each of his hyungs, one by one, is a sweet homage to his MBLAQ brothers and, ultimately, to A+ as well. It was such a sweet display of his love.
G.O and Mir seem close and Mir seems to truly look up to his G.O hyung. I love that Mir recognizes G.O’s genius when it comes to music yet is quick to point out his playful nature.
G.O is such an amazing mix of all that is attractive in a man. I also give props to Mir for fan-boying along with us by agreeing that both G.O’s neck tendon and facial hair are pretty sexy! Mir understands fans so very well.
Still, there was a tinge of sadness in the message. Mir says that this is what/who he sees every day and although sometimes he loses sight of that (or takes it for granted) he wants to continue to see his brothers…and A+, every day. We feel ya, Mireu……oh my, how we feel ya.♥
Mir has a genuinely kind heart and his sweetness made the video message to his brothers that was so generously shared with the fans, touching and poignant.
G.O Bombing Joon During This Is War
There are many iconic moments in music history and I think the pivotal choreographed moment in This Is War when G.O “shoots” Joon and Joon falls to the ground is one of those moments (at least for the MBLAQ fan).^^ In MBLAQ’s various performances prior to Curtain Call, they had to manage that moment without Joon quite often as he was busy filming dramas and his schedule would not allow him to be with the rest of the group from late summer up until Curtain Call. G.O was left to improvise that moment but for Curtain Call, Joon was there and as a result, G.O was a little more creative in his attack.
Instead of just a shot, G.O played out a little scene wherein he pulled out an imaginary mock hand grenade (or some kind of imaginary explosive device), and placed it inside Joon’s jacket, stood back and awaited detonation. When the ‘pop’ of the hit sounded, Joon reacted, pyrotechnics exploded, and a release of confetti and streamers released into the air from small stage cannons. It wasn’t as dramatic as the original, but it was just as entertaining. I loved how Joon patiently waited for G.O to place the mock bomb in his suit jacket. I have to wonder if this moment in the song for these performances was completely unrehearsed and they just decided to wing it. Byung Hee made the decision….and Joonie played right along. It was a light moment during an otherwise tense and serious song. It was perfect.
The second night it was even better, but I will get to that.^^
If You Come Into My Heart….For Real
This was truly unexpected and absolutely beautiful. I introduced MBLAQ to my mother with this song because I thought it was expertly arranged and showcased each member of the group wonderfully. Here, the men performed it in its Immortal Song 2 version. There is something about this song that is so intrinsically good from the opening strains of Seung Ho’s classically potent piano to G.O’s closing notes. If this song were a house, then G.O’s voice would be its foundation and the other members, each a room in that house, each with its own decor, each adding to the beauty of the sanctuary.
My absolute favorite part of the song is when Seung Ho steps away from the piano and brings himself and his falsetto voice in line with the rest of the men trading off vocally with G.O………oh my. The ache in Seung Ho’s voice is countered by G.O’s rich response. The 87-Line so very organic and visceral.
What made this song especially beautiful at the Curtain Call shows was the fact that it was one of the songs they performed with the live band backing them complete with Seung Ho on the piano.
Here is a little taste of that amazing moment.
Seeing Lee Joon
It has been well-established that I am G.O-biased, and mightily so. But, I could not help settle my curiosity for once and for all: I needed to see Lee Joon with my own eyes to confirm that he really existed. You see, I had my doubts.^^ Even though I have seen Joon in music shows, fancams, film and drama, there has always been a part of me that believed he was some celestial being that was a figment of our collective imaginations. Finally, seeing Joon on the stage, watching him dance (especially during Oh Yeah and Run), and hearing him sing was confirmation and proof that he is indeed real. Even though I believe that G.O is the most handsome man on the face of this earth (intense bias-rising over here), I will admit with complete honesty that Lee Joon is indeed a special kind of handsome, one that is wrapped around a mysterious and gently charismatic man.
This is the kind of handsome that makes you pause. The jawline and bone structure of this man is exquisite. And his creamy complexion against that jet black hair is simply gorgeous. I give credit where credit is due. And although he cannot break through and wreck my bias, I concur that Lee Joon is one fine looking man with an exceptionally bright future ahead of him as a serious actor. Seeing him was bittersweet. I feel very fortunate I saw him, but it came with the knowledge that it could very well be the last time I (and everyone else at the shows) would see him perform as a member of MBLAQ. And, it most likely was. Sigh……
I know I will miss his deep resonant voice and effervescent smile on the stage but also know he made the best decision for himself and his career. I will miss how gorgeous the scenery became when he stood next to G.O – seriously, these two standing next to one another is akin to looking at fine art.
I will also miss the way Joon was always a patient and willing recipient of G.O’s incessant and playful trolling.
Yes….the G.Oon will be missed. It is a good thing that leader Seung Ho is immune from the nonsense G.O and Mir will no doubt bring to the dynamic of the trio. Yes, I am certain G.O and Mir will provide hours upon hours of entertainment for both leader-nim and us because those two emotional water signs, although loving, gentle and sincere, are probably a couple of the most playful goofs ever. Given the situation of losing Joon and Cheondung, we (along with Seung Ho) are going to need many bouts of nonsense as we work through the change.
Curtain Call – The Final Bow
November 30, 2014
I don’t consider myself the kind of person that gets wracked with anxiety often, but I will say that when the morning of November 30, 2014 arrived, I woke with the feeling that it would be a day filled with probably too many emotions. I admit that seeing G.O in person makes my heart grow even fonder for the man (if that is even possible at this point) and the last thing I wanted to do was leave. As E.M Forster so rightly said, “It isn’t possible to love and to part.” Knowing it was the second (and final) show and the day before I was scheduled to leave Seoul, I was filled with anxiety and lots of premature sadness.
Still, I was looking forward to the events yet to come, even if I was worried.
The Sunday night show had an early start time: 5:00 PM. This meant that if you had a standing ticket, which I did, you had to begin assembling in line (in the order of your ticket number) beginning at 3:30 PM. The doors to the venue were set to open at 4:00 PM. It was a crisp fall day with some intermittent rain. The good part about that was the amazing rainbow that arched over the venue at one point. I think we all saw that as a sign of hope.
For some reason, I was not overly excited about getting concert goods. I think it was the poor way in which it was all set up and then the incessant wait time to get into the tent where they were selling items. I also heard many stories about the ill-fated lightstick and how it easily broke apart. That there really wasn’t much in way of goods, etc. I did however hear people chattering about some crystal key chains. That sounded interesting so I went to have a look.
The crystal keychain is lovely, isn’t it? It actually lights up! There was one for each member of MBLAQ. Of course, when I went to buy one, there were no G.O keychains to be had. Seriously? I don’t know if they sold out or if they never made it onto the truck to get over there but I was told they would be available in two hours. I returned in two hours and promptly got in line. Directly behind me in line were G.O’s mother, sister, twin nephews and adorable niece. OH YES….Byung Hee’s mother was right behind me and I did the unthinkable. (No….I did not ask for her son’s hand in marriage!!! Now that I think about it, I probably should have thrown all caution to the wind and went for it…I mean, when will I have that opportunity again?!)
I gave the clerk my order: four G.O keychains, please. Much to my disappointment, there only two left. I paused and thought for a moment. And I thought for a moment and I paused. Do I buy the remaining two leaving none for his mother? I wrestled with my decision. Went back and forth in my head: should I – shouldn’t I? In the end I bought them both. I admit I walked away feeling a bit guilty and somewhat ashamed; however, I convinced myself that there would be more to be had and that surely the makers of the keychains would certainly accommodate G.O’s mother!! I mean…she’s his mom after all!
At least I hope they would. >.<
For the Sunday night show, I was in a different section, standing Section C. I had no idea how vicarious and dangerous that section was going to be and, furthermore, I had no idea my view would be as obstructed as it was. But it was. In looking back now, I am so happy I was inches from the stage on the first night for I was able to see the amazing opening and everything that took place on the stage. When they moved out to the walkways however, I had to rely on the big screens to see everything.
On Sunday, I saw nothing (for the better part of the first half of the show) – in fact, I even had trouble seeing the screens. But when I moved away from the crush of the crowd to the more open areas near the walkways….not only was my view better, I became considerably closer to whoever strolled down or performed from that particular walkway I was standing near.
Case in point:
Gratuitous shot for the Panda-lovers!!^^
For that, the second night will always hold very special meaning.
As it was for the first show, it held true for the second. The night was filled with profound and varied emotions running rampant throughout the evening and many, many memorable moments. These are but a few that really stood out for me:
I Shouldn’t Speak – It Left Me Speechless
Having had my heart shatter into a million pieces after hearing G.O sing his heart out during Spring, Summer, Autumn and…, at the first show, I barely had it put back in place when I watched him (from a better vantage point) sing I Shouldn’t Speak – one of my absolute all-time favorite ballads from MBLAQ’s ballad catalog.
Not that it wasn’t memorable or great the first night…it was. My vantage point, however, was indeed better on the evening of the 30th as I had full view, with him only a few feet in front of me – clad in black, sparkling under the lights. It was heaven, but it came at a cost. I was being crushed by the crowd. We were sealed so tightly against one another at this point because the gorgeous men of MBLAQ moved closer to us creating a collective shift of everyone to push closer to the stage. It made maintaining a static position even more challenging.
Nevertheless, watching the pathos and emotion pour from G.O during this song live was almost more than I could bear. It was as heartbreaking as it was magnificent. This song rips me apart in its studio version. To watch it live was nearly my undoing. But I just did not care. To witness that kind of emotion live from your bias, is a memento, a gift, and a treasure all rolled into one. G.O has this energy that just invades. It tears down all of your defenses, draws you in, then conquers your heart and soul.
I let the song and all of its emotion pour over me. I embraced all of the intense longing and pain G.O was feeling when he sang it, and I absorbed all of it. I will go on record right here and say that although he was every bit as powerful, emotional and demonstrative during the first show, he was filled with a bigger and burning fire the second. Every note that came out of him was overflowing with the kind of passion and intensity that is at the core of his being. During the second show, G.O ripped his heart from his chest, his beautiful and passionate heart, and handed it to us.
I don’t know if was because his family was there or if it was because it was the last time MBLAQ would all be on the same stage together, or a combination of both, but he sang the living daylights out of every song, and this one was no exception.
I was getting pushed and shoved and crushed and everything else, but still managed a very choppy fancam of a portion of this incredible song. Keep in mind that even though we were all filming and taking pictures, security was still randomly pulling people out of the crowd and throwing them out. And for you Panda lovers, I took my camera briefly off of my bias to capture a moment of Seung Ho because well…that Panda was looking right down at me and was so damn close!! Once I came to my senses and got that camera pointed back in the direction of G.O, however, I kept him in my frame for the remainder of the song.
I won’t soon forget seeing G.O sing this incredibly powerful song and doing it so very close in front of me. Seriously, it has been two months now and I still do not feel as if I have sufficiently recovered.
This Is War – Lee Joon’s Revenge
At the first show, G.O had a mock imaginary explosive detonate inside of Joon’s jacket. On the second night, however, the tables were turned and Joon had his revenge. I managed to see all this via the large screen and thankfully so because Joon brought the laughs with his fastidious and intricate prep and placement of the imaginary mock explosive (of some kind) which he managed to get strategically placed inside of G.O’s jacket (turnabout is fair play after all) and G.O ‘exploded’ complete with a little animated jump into the air as the pyrotechnics lit up the venue. The video below chronicles both nights.
I think the reason why the Sunday night version (brief as it is) entertains me so very much is due to how serious Joon looks while G.O patiently awaits the punishment, even assisting Joon in getting the placement of this imaginary explosive device situated. And then, Joon just shoves G.O forward to “explode.”
Not his heart, Joonie….please!!!
When you come right down to it, these are five very playful boys, right? The interplay and camaraderie they have always shared has been a part of their dynamic since the very start and has been something that has endeared each of them to us. This is probably why we are all feeling the pang of sadness over Joon and Cheondung’s departure.
Key – In the Round
All was dark and the opening strains of Key starts. On Saturday night I held my breath when I heard those first notes because this is one of those killer ballads that goes straight to the heart and one that G.O sings with a combination of sweetness and intensity. This is the kind of song G.O was simply born to sing. And even though each member of MBLAQ has his own say in this song, I have to be honest, I only hear G.O.
On the first night when I saw this one, I was completely spazzing out because I could not experience the smoky jazz club feel with the five of them seated in the round (so casual and sexy). But when that stage started rotating, I lost it. All I kept thinking was, if I was along one of those walkways, G.O would pass by me not once, not twice, but a few times. On Sunday night, I got my wish as I was directly in the center at the end of the middle walkway.
The staging of this song was beautiful. The men so close to their fans. Singing, waving and interacting. And this came right after I Shouldn’t Speak. Two beautiful ballads in a row. I was getting annihilated by the crowd at this point, and equally annihilated by the depth and emotion of the song. Barely able to maintain my position after Key started, I tried hard to get video but failed miserably which disappointed me greatly because I absolutely love this song. Still, I had a decent enough vantage point to see my bias slowly pass by and sing this gorgeous song.
The video below is from the Saturday night performance. It was staged and performed exactly the same on Sunday night.
I love the quiet beauty of Key. It is a song that will forever remind me of the day G.O broke down in tears in Busan shortly after the Curtain Call shows were announced.
Turn On Your Heart Light – My Dream
This moment……sigh. Remember way back in the A+-ing section I talked about stumbling upon the rehearsal (well, the sounds of the rehearsal) outside of the Olympic Hall late in the evening on Friday, November 28th? I mentioned that we decided to give up the wait to see the guys exit the venue following rehearsal due to the cold, rain and because we had one more stop. That final stop happened to be a small apartment in Gangnam-gu whereupon Marlena and I met a room full of the most charming and dedicated A+. And for the record, the majority of the A+ in that room were G.O-biased…just sayin’! ^^
When we arrived, they were all busy working, putting these small red finger lights into miniature plastic bags and gently sealing each one of them. At the time, we had no idea what they were for, but we were asked to join in on the work. We were happy to help….and now looking back, I am even more pleased at having been able to assist in this amazing (and beautiful) project.
As a fan, I have seen various projects and beautiful creations the amazing K A+ have instituted during my short time as fan. Seeing them in action was solid confirmation of their love and dedication to the five amazing men of MBLAQ. This fandom may be smaller in size compared to others, but it is fierce, dedicated, and strong.
I was so happy to have met these hard-working, loyal and loving fans, and equally pleased to have assisted them, albeit in a small measure, for the particular project at hand.
On Sunday as we were lining up to enter the venue, various A+ were making their way through all of the lines, handing out a banner. Attached to the banner was the little red light, in that little sealed plastic bag along with very explicit instructions about what was going to happen that evening during the show.
It was a surprise. The men of MBLAQ had no idea a special tribute and gift from their dedicated fans would happen that evening. At a certain point in the show, the stage would go black and a fanmade video would begin to play. A video showing messages from fans. Flashing moments of the past five years MBLAQ shared with each other as a group, as friends….as brothers.
We did not know when it would happen, we were just told to be prepared to (1) turn on our red finger lights when the video began; (2) hold up the banner displaying the message: 함께하자, 우리 (which I believe means we are together with you); (3) follow the instruction in the video to begin singing the first verse of MBLAQ’s My Dream (when cued); and finally (4) call out each of their names, also when cued on the screen ending with a final MBLAQ, we love you.
Yang Seung Ho.
Jung Byung Hee.
Lee Chang Sun.
Park Sang Hyun.
Bang Cheol Yong.
I was unable to find full video of the entire message complete with us singing My Dream, but the edited video I did find can kind of sum of the feeling very well. It was a very special moment for them and for us.
For me, it was unimaginably emotional. I cried through the entire video. Through it all. And as the video screen went black and the stage lights came up, all we saw were the five of them, their backs turned, unable to face us. It was heart-wrenching and it seemed like hours (instead of just minutes) before they were able to face us and speak.
I recall reading that the first thing G.O said when he spoke following the video was, “Why did you make that?” Sigh……because we love you, Byung Hee, because we love you~~~that’s why.♥
Beautiful – Showered With His Love
It must be a tradition at the close of every MBLAQ concert. That moment when someone puts a water gun (or some reasonable facsimile thereof) into G.O’s gorgeous hands and lets him play. I have to admit, given the moments of tears and sadness during both of the shows, this moment of levity was perhaps the perfect medicine for both him and us.
To the sounds of the wispy love song, Beautiful, G.O sprayed a good lot of us at the close of the show on Sunday night. He was not handed an ordinary water gun, however. No. He was given some kind of elaborate watering backpack/pouch apparatus that held more than just a mere cup of water. This was a serious water weapon and Byung Hee was loving this latest addition to an already burgeoning water gun collection.
(Dear lord…this man!)
Even though this was the last song on the last night of the last time we were to see MBLAQ together as five, the imminence of that reality escaped even his mind as he playfully doused us, smiling through it all. The joy in G.O’s eyes and the smile on his face were all the comfort I needed to walk away with confidence that he would be okay. It was no doubt that he probably needed those final moments to be filled with levity as well. I like to think he was simply showering us with his love. Lucky were those who were so lovingly anointed.♥
Here are two of my edited fancams from this very moment on Sunday. First, his brief assault on my area – yes I was in the line of fire and got hit with water that evening.
Hehehehehe….love him! And, second the full video inclusive of that moment with real time audio. ^^
Considering all of the moments of deep feels and sadness during the show, the finale which was literally the finale, was light, happy and fun.
The Curtain Falls
I realize I have not made mention of Cheondung yet in this post. So before I close out my thoughts about the Curtain Call shows, I want to share a couple of things about him from these two shows.
On the first night, after the intense opening of the show with three quick songs in a row, he came over to the right side of the stage, exactly in front of where I was standing (Standing Section B, for those of you who were there). There was only one fan in front of me who was at the stage barrier (we were very close to him) and she was wearing all kinds of placards and signs around her neck that bore various messages to MBLAQ. After Cheondung positioned himself on the stage for the song coming up, he looked at her, read the signs, and gave her the warmest and sweetest smile…ever. I was stunned by his incredible smile. I remember thinking, if only I could take a picture right now…..it would be perfect.
Although I did not include this in the moments from each of the shows, I would be remiss if I did not mention the performance of his song from the Winter album, Saying It’s Alright which is my second favorite song on the album. I love the way it is arranged and I love the way G.O (in particular) sings it and I loved the way it was staged for these two shows.
G.O…………..♥ Just too much.
These were only small slices of the two nights I spent with MBLAQ and I know I left out a lot. There were so many more memorable moments, but I would be writing for days (hell, I have been writing for days) if I were to try to remember and share it all. There were (and still are) far too many feels swirling around in my tempestuous heart. I am still trying to navigate them all. Yes…even two months later. Let’s just say it was the best of times and the worst of times…but it was time. Time with five of the loveliest young men in Korean popular music today. Time I will never get back. But I can relive the moments of those nights as they are forever be etched in my heart. And although I may never see the five of them together, I will still see them. It will be different, yes….but I will still see them.
The Promise of Three
On December 16, 2014, a little over three weeks after the curtain fell and closed the first era of MBLAQ, an official statement announcing the departure of Lee Joon and Park Sang Hyun (Cheondung) was released. Joon would continue to move forward in his acting career and Cheondung decided to advance in his study of music. When this information was unofficially leaked back in October, it was devastating but since neither Joon nor Thunder were confirming by way of either the agency or their attorneys, there was still this shred of hope that the information was incorrect.
It wasn’t. In looking back I think it was valid information leaked in a selfish and unprofessional manner by someone close enough to them to know. For some unknown reason (perhaps monetary or even jealousy) this source disclosed it much to the detriment to all involved. I have no theories. I have no concrete suspicions – I just have a sad heart because I believe this affected the three remaining members deeply.
When I saw Seung Ho, G.O and Mir at the Tate Event on the November 28th, they were friendly but there was something not complete in them. You could feel it. Their smiles, although not forced, were less than full, but soft; their movements through the area gentle and deliberate. G.O and Mir were the two who engaged with the fans the most, which was not surprising. We all know the Panda is just too cool sometimes, but my goodness did he surprise me the first night of Curtain Call.
There was still this quiet apprehension that surrounded them. I think back to when I saw G.O after each of his musical performances. You could not pry the smile off of that man’s face. You could literally feel his happiness. It had an energy all of its own. He radiated. He sparkled. He glowed.
What was evident at the Tate Event and then at both of the Curtain Call shows, was a sense of uncertainty. And what is so remarkably beautiful is that it was collectively shared (we were uncertain, they were uncertain). I think the apprehension I felt from Seung Ho, G.O and Mir at the Tate Event may have been because they were unsure as to whether the fans would ask about Joon, Thunder and/or the future of MBLAQ. I’d be nervous too. Especially if I did not know myself what the future held for me or my bandmates. But I have learned something so rare and beautiful about A+, especially KA+. Their first thought is for the welfare of these men. Their first thought is whether they are safe. Their first thought is always….love.
What then about that future? I am hopeful, to be honest. I think the number 3 is a powerful number. ^^ In the world of numerology, the number three has many good attributes. It is associated with imagination, expression, communication, creativity, intelligence, sensitivity, passion and enthusiasm. It connotes tolerance, joy, optimism, inspiration, and talent. I see all of these attributes in that handsome trilogy above! I would venture to say that MBLAQ moving forward into the future as a triad is going to prove to be successful. I am ready to see what they will do collectively as well as individually, and will be there to support them every step of the way.
Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.
Since I published my post on G.O back in January of 2014, each day has been an adventure. I have stopped trying to understand the hows and the whys I feel so compelled, so engaged and, for lack of a better term, so obsessed with him. It even baffles me. In my eyes, he is perhaps the most unique and special person I have had the pleasure of obsessing over!^^
He is special. Very special.
The connect was immediate. And it seems that as soon as my fangirl heart was fastened to him, he not only lured me deeper, he (or the universe or some unknown force) made things fall into place for me to actually be in the same place, at the same time as he was….more than once.
More and more, I am beginning to believe that I did not choose G.O as my bias but rather, he chose me as his fan. No, I am not suggesting he is the great and powerful Oz or anything.^^ We are drawn to people and things for a reason. For people, perhaps it is something as simple as their smile or something deeper on a subconscious level that speaks to us without really revealing what it is. I am drawn to G.O for many reasons, the least of all being his good looks. There is something so intrinsically honest about him. And you feel that immediately when you meet him. It is perhaps this that draws me most to him. His honesty.
I am so grateful he has allowed me to become his fan. I am grateful for the lessons he is teaching me about perseverance, loyalty and believing in yourself. About patience, kindness and just being nice. These are all simple things that he seems to make a priority. He probably doesn’t even realize how much he teaches…at least what he has taught me. And for that, I am grateful.
I believe we are meant to cross the paths of certain people in our lives for a reason. And I think Joon said it best at the Saturday night Curtain Call show when, in his speech to all of us he said, “There’s an old saying that says even brushing past a person is one’s karma…”
If brushing past G.O and becoming his devoted fan was my karma, then he must have chosen me well before he instituted that fangirl abduction back in November 2013. Well….that’s how I am going to believe it played out any way.^^
Thanks You so much for sharing your experience although it’s still sad and I get teary eyes, reading this I somehow imagine myself there watching the concert through your eyes, and even when Joon is my baby G.O does have that ability to move something inside of me and say ahhh this GORGEOUS MAN and his BEAUTIFUL eyes, always in the fan pictures I saw Seungho’s glossy eyes that would take your breath away but seeing them face to face, yes Seungho’s eyes are pretty but G.O’s eyes just drag you to the deeps of his soul the moment you make eye contact then he smiles and waves you are just lost to him.
Ahh my beautiful blaqies even when this is really sad and we are still uncertain of the future I am so grateful to have find them ^ ^
That is EXACTLY what happens. I try to tell people who have other biases to be careful of Byung Hee!!! The force is strong with him!^^ And yes, he has the deepest eyes ever and so, so, so dark. You can drown in them so easily (and I have…and often). Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by to read the post. I left so much out but admit this was very difficult for me to write as is. I will slowly supplement this post with other tidbits from the show. As we move further away from those nights, I do not want to lose the memories (not that I could) but if I can memorialize them here, then I have a place to return to relive all of the wonderful moments of those two incredible nights. Good and bad. Happy and sad. Everything. Thank you, again….❤
No no no, Thanks to you really, I don’t know if I could be able to do it if a were you, I actually manage to record the 2013 Concert (it actually looks like crap and I was faraway) and the 2014 MParty (I had perfect center place but I need to convert the videos can’t even see them in my computer, I hate myself for that) and I did it because I knew I was going to forget things important and little things, but I do admit that I did lost sight of some moments I would have loved to see with my own eyes because I was trying to capture everything.
So reading your post with such detail is wonderful, like we say in my country “Recordar es vivir”, so I get to relive it through your experience THANK YOU 🙂
(if I ever get to convert those videos I would let you know, I have some good moments with G.O in them)
It sounds like you had some wonderful experiences yourself – good moments with G.O??? Yes, I am intrigued by that!! Looking back now, whoever had the opportunity to see them perform live really was given a special gift in light of the situation of Joon and CD leaving. I feel extremely fortunate and I am happy I made the decision to go. Because we weren’t allowed to film or take pictures, I took advantage of that during the first show by just drinking everything in. Seeing all five of them together in person was so amazing. I did not think it would make a difference. I didn’t think I would be missing out if I did not see them. But it was wonderful. I wish I would have taken more chances at getting pictures of video but people were getting thrown out of the venue for taking pictures or video taping…even when everyone was doing it. It became random on who they were going to grab and throw out! I did not want to risk it too much and that is why the video I did get is choppy and disjointed. When I saw a guard looking my way, I dropped my camera down!!^^ Still, I am happy I was able to capture some of it.
Thank you for your kind words and encouraging thoughts. And, by the way, I have converting software that might work with your videos. What format are your videos in – maybe I can help.
I don’t see the reply button in your last comment so I will post it here.
Yes, I did have the chance to see them 2 times, the last time was wonderful since I got to see them up close and do high touch (there were some things I didn’t like, like how it was organized and why Seungho and Joon looked so serious) but at the end of the day that didn’t matter it was GREAT ^ ^.
The bad part is that I already started to forget things u.u that is why I recorded the event (I knew it would happen), the format is AVCHD Video (.MTS) when I try to edit them the programs can’t recognize the archives so I need to convert them.
Thank for the beautiful writing… I need to go to my corner and cry a little…
Waaaahhhhh……hugs!!! It took me so long to write this. I don’t know, maybe two months – which is really quite ridiculous given that I left so much out. But I do plan to supplement with little blurb posts about other moments from the shows mostly so I can go back and relive the moments!
I cried a lot too writing this…a lot so I share your tears. But I thank you so much for stopping by the blog and for leaving a comment.♥
Thank you….and, I am sorry. I pretty much cried through writing it because it brought back a flood of memories. Initially, I was not going to write about it at all. I didn’t think I could. But then as time went on and I moved further and further away from those two nights, I thought to myself, I really should try to put some thoughts to paper about it…even just a little. Thank you for stopping by and for the comment. Big hugs to you!!❤
its such an amazing account.
thanq for sharing ur experience with us who could not attend the concert
Thank you so much….I left so much out but will begin supplementing with other moments as I still want to share more. I wasn’t going to write about it…but then decided I really should so that even I could go back and relive the events of those two shows and the trip in general. Sigh…..
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog.♥
good luck for ur writing
Thank you ♡♡♡♡sobeautiful ♡just emotions and memories….. ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ ♡♡♡ miss so much..
It was so special and I am so happy you were able to go and equally pleased that I made the decision to go since…well, you know how focused I am on that main vocal man….I am impatiently waiting for him to return to the musical stage!!!
But, I am so happy I gave into my gut instinct to go and see him perform along side his brothers. It was perfect. Sad at times, but perfect.
And, they are five of the most loveliest men that have ever come out of Korean popular music with an equally wonderful fandom.
Just perfect. And that perfection makes me miss G.O so much. SO MUCH. I also miss the other four….but you know how it is.^^
Thank you for sharing those amazing moments with me.❤~❤
Yes, I know what it is >___< kkkkk *crying*
That's right,that was the besr choice…to see them together,cos G.O's love for them and MBLAQ for him is just so powerful and beautful as his love for music ❤❤❤ Always❤
Evertyhing must be good!!! Figthing❤❤❤
it’s cutting my message :<
Yes, I know what it is… Ahhh I'm waiting too,and I know you can't wait also soo much! And we can do nothing but wait… But it's for sure that they will be back with great music again, and G.O with his talents too ❤❤❤
No,Thank YOU for making memories for me…. !!!!!from the deepest of my heart~~ I mean… I'm not good with words, but I'm beyond happy that cos of these 5 perfect men I got to know such amazig person as You!!! ❤ it's real miracle,everything… kkkkk *crying*
That's right,that was the besr choice…to see them together,cos G.O's love for them and MBLAQ for him is just so powerful and beautful as his love for music ❤❤❤ Always❤
Evertyhing must be good!!! Figthing❤❤❤
Hi Michelle! I love the way you described those two beautiful and memorable nights! I totally agree with everything you wrote! Thanks God I managed to attend the concerts too but well I looked at and enjoyed the most my Joon ^^ my bias ♡ I still close my eyes play MBLAQ songs and I feel like I’m there again, looking at them, enjoying their songs and being happy with them… I miss them so much, but I’ve always believed that everything has always a good reason to be, so I pray God for them and I’m positive on everythig about them ^^ I could write thousands of words… kekeke… I just want to say thank you for sharing with us your beautiful memories You’re an awesome fangirl Continue loving and supporting Byunghee ^^ I will always love and support my Joon^^ By the way, I totally agree with all you write about him, and yes he is real ^^ my bias since the beginning and my ultimate bias for sure… Thank you for such beautiful and kind words for Joon ♡
Rosemary…thank you so much! I did not write nearly enough but I admit it was difficult for me to actually get it together to write anything at all. I am so happy to hear you were able to attend the concerts as well. I know how precious Joon is to you and I know it had to be bittersweet for you as well.
But, Joon has a great career ahead of him, of this I am sure. I absolutely loved him in Mr. Baek. LOVED! He has such a natural way of taking an otherwise not so likable character and making him so very likable. Think Tae Oh in Gapdong!! I fought the urge to like him….because his character was, well a murderer after all!^^ That is the power of a good actor. I will so miss Joon’s voice as part of MBLAQ but look forward to watching him on the screen.
I admit to being in awe when I saw Joon at Curtain Call. On the second night I was in Section C and off to the left and towards the end of the show, Joon came over to the edge of that walk way and pretended to almost fall off. He was so close but I did not act quick enough to get his picture…one of my regrets. But, I admit that I was mostly focused on Byung Hee!
I relive a lot of the moments from those shows often and I plan to publish small posts of those moments here. I left a lot out of my post and there were so many other moments that I definitely want to share.
Thank you again for stopping by the blog and your kind words. I don’t need to tell you to continue loving and supporting Joon…..you have that covered!
Thank you, again~~~~❤️
I have read your post over and over again, and it made me cry every time. I just recently (early 2015) discovered this group (yep, waaaaay too late of me) only to know that some members have already left. I was never really into kpop before them and I don’t think I’d be able to fall in love with any other group as I have fallen in love with them. I finished watching all their past shows and for wanting to find some more, I stumbled upon articles confirming other members’ departures. Looking through fan videos of the curtain call concert, breaks my heart every time. Sometimes, watching their past shows brings that deep sadness I can never explain. I mean, I wasn’t a fan long enough to have actually journeyed with them but I am most certain that they had shared a special bond. I can feel that what they have shown to the public through countless shows was honest and true; and that is what I commend of them the most. I have mentally kicked myself over and over about not discovering them soon enough. I was only 2 months late! I could’ve seen them perform as the complete MBLAQ, (even though I don’t understand a word of korean) but sadly that’s not the case. Reading your account of their last concert together is truly something to be grateful for. It was as if I went to their show through your shoes. Thank you for sparing the time writing your experiences, it really means so much to me.
With MBLAQ as a trio, I can’t help but still be heartbroken every single time I listen to their songs. I can imagine how it even a lot harder for Seungho, G.O., and Mir. My heart goes with them and the hope that they continue to experience happiness. Recently, they’ve decided to cut the promotions earlier than expected, therefore, another heartbreak for me. They seem to always find a way to crush my heart into tiny little pieces. But anyway, they had a pretty good reason so I had to let go of that one.
Going through this post almost 7 months after curtain call still stings my heart. But I know that I can look forward to the future that the 5 men of MBLAQ we know will reunite. And until that time would come, I will hold on to every thread of hope to see them in one stage. It’ll give me time to learn Korean as well. Again, thank you for a wonderfully written post. I hope you keep on continuing to do what you do and show your love for them. You are a true A+…. MBLAQ, fighting!
With the heart of a true fan,
I am sorry for taking so long to respond to your lovely and very thoughtful comments. I can actually feel your pain in many ways because I came MBLAQ late in the game also. Fortunately (and it was brief), I fell while they were still five and had the opportunity to see them all together, even if was for the last time. I did struggle with even wanting to make the trip to Seoul for Curtain Call, but now looking back, it was the best decision I could have made as a fan.
Since those two very emotional nights, so much has changed, but after seeing them in Japan last month and then with the promotions (although cut short) gives me hope that there is much more music in them……there is still so much more of THEM for us to enjoy and support. Mirror was proof of that. I think it is perhaps one of their finest albums, beautifully written, composed, produced and packaged. Not sure what the next album will bring, but what is true of MBLAQ, whether they are 5 or 3 is that they embrace change and evolution, individually and collectively. This is what puts the levels above their counterparts, in my opinion.
I am very happy you came to know them – even it was late. There is so much there to love, past,present and future. And, now is the time that they (all 5) need the continued love and support of their A+.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel your emotion and heart in your words. This is the beauty of MBLAQ – they touch their fans so incredibly deeply. Once you are lured…..there is no escape!!
My situation is similar to that of Maureen’s. I was looking for korean dramas to pass time when i came across the cute baby Yoogeun and Shinee’s Hello Baby ( I love babies as long as i don’t have to be responsible for them). Mblaq’s Hello Baby was naturally next. GO was the first person that caught my eye and I happen to like his moustache! But he looks quite handsome even without it. By the end of the show, I was a full-fledged fan of Seungho ( It’s quite possible that I harbour an interest in people that are slightly aloof in general). And then I started looking for more shows only to find out about the split. It was Mblaq that introduced me to Kpop. When I first heard Stay, I was blown away. And then I heard Cry which left me speechless. Every new song that I heard lifted me off the earth a little by little. It also gave me this realisation: Ballads = Chicken soup for my soul.
Gah! Life is so disheartening at times. It was like being handed this amazing and delicious new candy only to have to snatched away after a single touch. It didn’t matter that I’ve known them for a very short period. Mblaq has the ability to draw you in sweetly with all the subtlety, and before you know it, you are shedding litres of tears, your heart is bursting with sadness and the world doesn’t make sense anymore.
I do not understand why JTune chose not to release the Curtain Call DVD. It could have the last present from the original 5. Yours was the only account of the event I came across that is close to being satisfactory. Because satisfaction would be living in the moment by being in the moment. You’ve done a great job of it. Thank you. 🙂
Mirror could not have been a more perfect song for their comeback. Change is hard. But life goes on, yeah?
P.S. I say that but I’m still upset that my school days are history and I’m watching Mblaq5 videos on repeat.