When my plane touched down in Chicago on February 15, 2016, I was not prepared for the barrage of tweets and messages I received upon powering up my phone with news of G.O’s enlistment. I went numb and initially had a difficult time watching all of the fan cams from the I.Callist show, specifically G.O’s performance of his opening song, 너를 위해 [For You]. In fact, it is only recently that I have been able to watch and/or listen to G.O sing this achingly beautiful song. At last, I am ready to revisit all three of his 너를 위해 [For You] performances and as such, I anticipate this to be a longer post in comparison to the others in this Countdown series mostly because I am so completely enamored with G.O’s love and respect for this song and the way in which he performs it.
When I read the lyrics to this song I cannot help but ponder G.O’s decision to sing it at both the King of Masked Singer and I.Callist shows, two of his last performances prior to enlistment. Given the arduous year he and MBLAQ had following Joon and Cheondung’s departures, and the difficulties he expressed gaining back his confidence as a singer as well as just generally putting the pieces of his artistic soul back together, I am not sure this song helps heal him or creates more suffering.
In the lyrics, G.O could have easily been speaking of the break up in the group or, even directly to his A+, especially at the I.Callist show which was on the eve of his announcement to enlist. The lyrics are especially deep and meaningful (although probably far more powerful in their native Hangul):
If I want to go on living without regrets
I probably have to hold onto you, but
with my rough thoughts and the insecure light in my eyes and
the you that has to keep watch over this,
that is probably a war-like love.
Because I’m dangerous, because I love you
I’m going to depart from you.
For you, I’m going to leave.
Goodness…THIS song!! I do not know for certain, because I cannot possibly know G.O’s heart or the cacophony of emotions stirring through him on a daily basis, but I do believe that the lyrics and the song itself resonate with him on a very intense and visceral level.
My research seems to indicate that G.O has performed 너를 위해 [For You] on three different occasions (however, if I have missed any, I am certain the G.O police will bring me up to speed): the SBS Network’s Strong Heart in August 2011; the MBC Network’s King of Masked Singer in December 2015; and the I.Callist Idol Vocal Concert show this past February 14, 2016. All three were perfect and special, and all three varied from each other. Isn’t is a wonder how G.O is able to gauge an audience (or performance situation) and structure how he will present a song. Mmmmm…this magnificent artist of a man.
Strong Heart (August 2011)
In the Strong Heart performance, G.O was essentially singing off the cuff to one of the female cast who, prior to the serenade, indicated that G.O was her ideal type. Girlfriend has exquisite taste.^^ Apparently, G.O was extremely pleased, albeit shocked, with this revelation as he mentioned that it was the first time anyone had ever declared him an ideal type on a public broadcast. Awwwwwww, I just wanna squeeze him!!
His voice lithe and clear, G.O sang For You tenderly, yet reserved. That is to say, he did not unleash the passion and emotion present in the KOMS [King of Masked Singer] performance, by a long shot.
Still, it was sweet and tender and beautiful. Just like him.
King of Masked Singer (December 2015)
I honestly do not know where to begin to adequately describe the magnificence of this performance. First of all, the song makes me fall apart based on its somber melody and heart wrenching lyrics. Add G.O’s incredibly passionate vocals and the visuals of him getting completely consumed by the song (literally from head to toe) like a live wire unable or unwilling to be grounded, and this entire performance becomes more than just a man with a microphone on a stage singing a song. It is a seismic event of the heart and soul.
How G.O is able to speak or function after singing this song is beyond anything I can wrap my brain around mainly because I am a complete emotional mess each time I watch this performance, without fail. Inasmuch as one of the judges said that it was a bad choice of song to get votes, G.O was nevertheless praised greatly for his performance and courage to sing a difficult song and to do it so masterfully.
I.Callist Idol Vocal Concert (February 2016)
Lastly, the I.Callist Idol Vocal Concert. It wasn’t enough that he was the first to take the stage that evening and after five songs be gone. He had to start with 너를 위해 [For You]. He walked out onto the stage slowly. A vision of elegance and sophistication. Calm. Beautiful. Perfect. I cannot imagine the mixture of emotions going through him at that moment. He opened the song gently with quiet and controlled tenderness.
Around the 2:08 mark in the song (the musical interlude following the chorus), I honestly feel he began to struggle a bit to hold his emotions while waiting for song to continue its course to the next verse. I cannot imagine what this song would have been like had we all known he would be leaving in four short days, for him or for us.
You know that moment when you are about to cry and you swallow to help prevent the tears from falling? I don’t think I have ever wanted to hug someone as much as I want to hug him at that moment in the song. He may have been able to ultimately hold back his tears, but I certainly was not able to and still cannot when I watch this performance, especially now knowing it was his last stage before enlistment.
Silly me. I decided to do these posts on my blog to help myself. You know, to not miss him as much as he completes his military service. Yet, I find that I am missing him even more than ever. Maybe it is just this one post that is wreaking havoc on my heart. This powerful song that he sings with such genuine and passionate conviction. It overwhelms me.
With 669 more posts to go, I am certain I will have many more of these moments. It is inevitable.