Monthly Archives: February 2010

SS501 Persona Concert: Sunday Encore

I’ve been in Seoul for about a week now and have been very busy with a lot of stuff. There were no internet access for several days either so I haven’t been keeping up with stuff online, let alone writing.

Anyways, today was the day of SS501 Persona Concert, one of the days. The concert was located in Olympic Park which is pretty far away in the south east part of Seoul. The reason I went to the one on Sunday too was because it was from 5-7, instead of 7-9 like the one on Saturday. It would’ve been more manageable to get out early, in case Subway was too crowded with people going back from the concert. It took a little effort to get the ticket as I missed the first round of ticket sale. There’s also this thing called money, and lack of it, so I opted for the cheapest ticket, hehehe.

I like SS501 a lot but I’m not familiar with all their songs, only the popular ones and the recent ones. So I can’t claim to be a huge fan of them or anything. Plus, I’m pretty much going by memory here, so some things might be off. Plus, the security was annoying, I couldn’t take lots of pictures.

The concert today wasn’t a full house. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be like that, but there were so many empty seats. My friend told me that those seats might have been emptied on purpose because the view was blocked, but even among the open seats, I saw there were some empty seats. To top it off, the arena wasn’t very big either. It’s such a shame if tickets didn’t really sell out.

The concert started around 5 ish. The opening was really cool. I loved the music they used and the lighting. It got you excited and pumped. I also like the mask they used as a symbol of this concert. Tho it reminds me of Wicked, I thought it was cool and mysterious. So, anyways, the concert was opened with the boys coming out in the black with gold front suits, singing Dejavu. The crowd went wild, as expected.

After Dejavu, I can’t remember if they went right away to another song or they changed first. I think they changed first because I remember being disappointed that they only sang 1 song in the opening. The song after Dejavu was unfamiliar. A quick listen on my ipod on the ride back identified the song as Unlock?? Correct me if I’m wrong. After Unlock was finally the intro.

They introduced themselves as usual, Hyunjoong as Leader, Jungmin as Sexy Charisma Representative, etc. The sad thing is that there’s language barrier, so I couldn’t understand everything they talked about. They were getting the audience excited and communicated with us, asking us to scream and stuff. They also talked about this concert being the last concert in their Asia Tour.

After Unlock, I think was Obsess from their Rebirth Album. At least I knew of this one. But just as I think Obsess is a forgettable song in their album, this performance was also forgettable. After this was another unfamiliar song which was identified as Four Chance. I liked this song and the performance was so much fun as well.

I think there was a bit of a break and then they sang A Song For You, a song I never liked, but one that is so so addictive. This performance was really fun! They were talking a little after this song and Hyungjoon was missing. The remaining guys told us to yell for Hyungjoon to come out, this was a cue for his Solo.

Hyungjoon sang 2 songs for his solo, unfortunately, none of which I knew. I don’t even know if the songs came from his Collection or not. I just knew that in the first one, he was singing a ballad with a blue suit, but the second one totally escaped my memory. Was there a girl or something?? Ugh, I can’t remember.

Hyungjoon’s solo was followed right away with Kyujong’s. Kyujong came in a white outfit. At first I thought he was Hyunjoong. Considering the distance between my seat and the stage, and the fact that his face was half obscured, I couldn’t be sure of who it was. But yeah, Kyujong sang an unfamiliar song. After that was Wuss Up. At least I knew this song!! Kekekeke, out of all the Solo Collection, Kyujong’s What’s Up is my favourite one, so I cheered for him.

After their solo bits, there was this little photo montage of whoever was doing Solo. The pictures come from their Rebirth album, methinks, but someone correct me. After Kyujong, the 5 of them came out singing two songs I don’t know T_____T. See, I only know like less than half of all the songs being sung. This sucks. I think these two songs come from their first album or something. Forgive me, I tried surfing my ipod if I can remember what songs and I came across some I thought were familiar, but in the end, I had no idea if they were it or not.

There was a little talking after this. What I could catch was they were saying that they were thankful of the fans and they would continue to work hard. Or something like that.

Now, finally, a song I and everyone else should know. Because I’m Stupid. I got excited because I finally recognized a song, hahaha.

Then came Jungmin’s solo. His solo was preceded by a really really really corny video. I’m sorry, I love Mal Jungmin, but dude, that video made me and my friend rolled our eyes. The video was about Jungmin making sexy faces and eyeing a girl. The next thing we know, that girl is dead with a bite mark. And Jungmin, hair styled and all, was looking with tears in his eyes and disappointment written across his face. OMG. And his solo was only so so. He sang 2 songs, none of which I was familiar with.

Jungmin’s last song featured the girl group from DSP, Rainbow. He introduced Rainbow and it was pretty funny because Jungmin was being the strict sunbae, hahaha. He told the group to bow to every single direction, lols. And when they were walking to the back, he told the girls to let him walk first! LOLs..

But anywyas, I was told that on the Saturday show, Kara came. I like Kara a lot more than Rainbow, so I was disappointed that Kara didn’t come to the Sunday show as well. Huhuhuhu. Rainbow sang 2 songs, their song Gossip Girl and Spice Girls’s song Wannabe. I have a sneaking suspicion that Rainbow was lipsynching, especially during Wannabe, but I don’t know. They just sounded too perfect.

After Rainbow was another corny video. OMG, I wish they stop with this trying to be tough/gangster stuff. The video featured Hyunjoong and Jungmin. I thought it was a prelude to Hyunjoong’s solo, but apparently it was a prelude to the Triple S’s UR Man. If you must know, the video was about Jungmin and Hyunjoong being sexy and holding a gun. At the end, Hyunjoong pointed his gun to us (no pervy thoughts, please!) and bang, I died from all the cheese.

But I loved UR Man’s performance. It was energetic and I felt proud that the group had a great 2009 last year. I think after 5 years, they deserved it. I was talking to a couple of random korean girls while waiting before the concert. They weren’t huge fans either, they only came because they were given free tickets. I asked them about the popularity of SS501 in Korea. They said at first, SS501 was similar with DBSK, but DBSK went all explosive and SS501 was left on the ground. I think it’s kinda similar to how Shinhwa was never the most popular but had lots of loyal fans instead. I wish that like Shinhwa, SS501 would be one of the longest lasting groups.

But anyways, after this was Youngsaeng’s solo. It was preceded by a video of him walking around the park with a camera (Youngsaeng was cute in it). Again, I wasn’t familiar with the 2 songs he was singing. But I so loved his second performance!! If I can pick, this is definitely my favourite performance of the night! It was a rock performance, really high energy, and I was pretty wowed by it. Absolutely, my favourite part of the night!

After Youngsaeng’s solo came my Hyunjoong’s. If you’re wondering, yeap, he had a corny video before the song. But it’s okay because there was a shower scene in it, hahaha. It was totally an excuse to parade Hyunjoong’s yummy assets! He came out with a motorcycle and sang his song from the solo collection, Please Be Nice to Me. I think PBNtM is a pretty sexy song, very RnB and cool. I liked it. The highlight of the song was of course, the undressing, hahaha. Hyunjoong showed his abs, I started screaming, he showed his abs more, I died a happy girl. I was screaming for him to take off his entire suit, but too bad he didn’t T_____T.

A funny thing came up about Hyunjoong when I was talking to the 2 korean girls. There was a SNSD concert that day too and we were talking that if you see guys coming, they were for SNSD, girls for SS501. One of the girls said that during their debut performance of Warning, a camera showed Hyunjoong singing and suddenly his eyes widened in surprise. Apparently, in front of him was a bunch of guys screaming and professing their undying love to him as a hyung, lols. I did hear that Hyunjoong was popular with guys, but I was totally laughing when I heard this. Oh, and these 2 girls loved We Got Married as well! SSangchu FTW!

There was talking after this. They were watching this video of how far they’ve come from their debut in 2005. It was a little sad. Hyunjoong was fighting back tears when he was talking. Again, I was sitting way too far to fully confirm this, but if he really was crying, wow, this seems to be one of the very rare moments of him crying. The others were hitting his back for being a crybaby, hahaha. They also sang such a beautiful song with this slideshow. I searched my ipod for this earnestly because it wasn’t familiar to me. The song seems to be Wings of the World. It was a great song.

After this song was one song I knew, Green Peas. Heeeee, loved this song. I think this song was the 2nd to last, if I’m not mistaken. The last song was Love Like This.

Then fans were screaming for an encore. After several minutes, they guys came out. From the audience’s seats!! They sang Snow Prince and I thought out of the other performances (except for Youngsaeng’s 2nd solo), this was my favourite part. The guys were running everywhere and just did whatever they liked. Jungmin started wearing this cute hat. Hyunjoong and Kyujong started spraying the audience with water. They even had a little watergun war. By the end, the stage was a fucker mess with water sprayed everywhere.

Keep in mind that it was pretty cold outside, lols. I can only imagine how the wet fans would be going home, haha.

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Alright, I will be perfectly honest. I was a little disappointed. Part of it is my fault because I wasn’t familiar with many of the songs. They sang so many songs from the 1st album and even though I listen to them, I sort of don’t recognize them as an individual song. So okay, that’s my fault.

But the other part of it is that I felt the performed songs were flat. I wanted them to tweak the songs a little, remix them or something. Just be creative a little with the songs. But it seems like they were more concerned about fanservice, with dancing, the videos, etc. The singing part was good, but like I said, it was just flat. It was like in the album, only with the little addition of short breath and stuff. It would’ve been awesome if they remixed one song or probably did a medley of a few songs together or even remade other people’s songs into their own.

Also, this is my personal opinion only. I’m not big on solo parts. I know they’re supposed to showcase each member’s talents, but really, group work is so much better than one member only. Today’s biggest mistake, IMHO, is that their first few songs did not manage to really pump my energy. And there were too much intermezzo. The opening did a great job to up my spirit, but the performance thereafter failed to maintain my excitement. It was only during Youngsaeng’s 2nd perf that I became excited again.

On the other hand, I thought the ambience of the concert was electrifying. The whole arena was filled with green light sticks and for almost 3 hours, fans were waving their hand. It was an amazing sight. It was also fun to see the real Korean fangirlism with my own eyes. The girls around us were so fierce. When Jungmin took a while to come out, they literally yelled at him. My friend and I were just watching and clapping and humming along, and I almost feared that the girls would eat us because we seemed less than enthusiastic, lols..

BTW, is it just me or does Leader seems a little out of it today?? It’s like he’s thinking of something else the whole time. Hmmm? But damn, he’s so hot today. No, in fact, all the five boys look so darn awesome today. They had this sleeveless outfit and even from the distance, they all look so fair. Very nice skin. Don’t you just wish you can take a pinch of their skin? Or at least the number of their skin specialist?

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Lettuce Love, part 4b

So I’m doing this really really slowly. But fear not, even if it takes 5 years to complete all of this, I really do have the intention to finish. Like I said, I treat this as my own keepsake of the Ssangchu obsession I had for quite a while. Everything’s in good fun and I’m enjoying this.

Onto episode 17:

We start the episode with Hyunjoong and Hwangbo having jajjang ramyeon lunch (unhealthy!). Hwangbo is down with a cold yet they couldn’t buy anything remotely healthier?

And I nitpick.

They proceed to do some a little chore around the house, mopping. But it isn’t Ssangchu if things don’t get quirky in the process. Today is probably the first time that someone (or something) comes between our favourite couple. Both Hyunjoong and Hwangbo are mopping the floor, but they are joined by Automatic Vaccuum extraordinaire. Hwangbo tells him to trust her and follow her lead. But Hyunjoong strays!! He lets it slip that it might be better to follow the machine instead.

Now this gets Hwangbo disappointed. She claims that it hurts her pride that the machine is better than her. Hyunjoong, who obviously hasn’t mastered the art of Pacifying the Wife, informs her that OF COURSE human can’t beat machine. Not to be outwitted, said wife counters that machine itself is made by human. Stupid Husband doesn’t back down because he says that the reason human invents machine is because they can’t do the job themselves. Wife sticks to her argument that because machine is made by human, human is of course better. But now comes the unbeatable argument of the century.

And I quote Husband, “But human used to be monkeys…”

In fits of laughter, Wife chooses not to challenge that absurd but yet hitting argument.

Seriously, in the Ssangchu household, you need to invent all sorts of absurdness to win arguments! (and if you can’t tell, this is a fun poke to the fandom as well, hehehe)

But in the Ssangchu household, everyone gets along again after, so it’s okay. As you can see, Hwangbo and Hyunjoong are peacefully enjoying their time in the new house, already forgetting about their opposing views with regards to machine and human. When Hwangbo says she wants to make curtain, Hyunjoong decides he too wants to get domestic and artistic (psst, Hwangbo, do NOT ever let him get close to your handbag!!). He will help by making a table cloth.

So Hwangbo gives him a portion of a cloth and he’s set to do the works. But as he was working, everyone notices Hyunjoong’s unconventional way of making table cloth. He uses bowl to mark the fabric and cut them in circular form. He also fiddles with ramyeon packet and even excuses himself to go to the convenience store to buy some food. This makes everyone wonder what exactly he is doing. Does he know he’s supposed to make a PRETTY table cloth??

So after all the anticipation, husband reveals his masterpiece. He reasons that the purpose behind this unique table cloth is that it gives the feeling of being full when sitting around the table.

And if you get full, you can change the picture according to the season. Cold noodle for the hot summer and hot bun for the chilly Korean winter.

If you’re wondering, this is wife’s reaction:

Ahh, wife gets to flex her laughing muscle a lot these days.

But no oh no, husband still has more odd trick up his sleeves. He suddenly stands up with the white fabric and declares that he would like to make a gown.

HUH? For who? For wife? For himself?

After further interrogation, husband admits that it’s not Gown that he wants to make, but a Gahun (family motto on the wall) but he has been thinking of Gahun for hours that for some unexplained reason, that word transformed into Gown in his head.

But by know we know enough not to ask questions about the odd workings of Husband’s head.

So the couple work on the Family Motto right away and coined their own phrase: My Life’s Events (Events Come to Me)

But it’s cloudy today. Hyunjoong is going to Japan for a while to stay there and record/promote the SS501’s album. Hwangbo, the Awesome Wife, helps him packing and she’s obviously a little emo because Hyunjoong seems more excited at the prospect of going to Japan rather than sad that he was leaving his wife. But whatever he feels, she still helps him packing his clothes. She even packs him multivitamin and ramen. But Hyunjoong doesn’t help because he just teases her that he’s more interested in going to Japan.

Sigh, this couple has a long way to go.

Hyunjoong, in his effort to appease Wife’s loneliness, gives him his only passport picture and tells her that if she misses him, she should look at the picture 3 times a day.

Hwangbo has another plan. She’s got a surprise! Because Hyunjoong mentioned that he missed the little pool they had in their first home, Hwangbo decides that she will relive that memory and surprise him with a rubber pool and filling it with water so they can play with it. Hyunjoong ends up taking the task to fill up the pool while Hwangbo sits in the living room…writing a short letter for Hyunjoong! She wishes him well in Japan and tells him to come back safely.

I love that Hwangbo writes that letter. It’s a brief letter, but it’s a supportive letter that lets Hyunjoong know that she does think about his wellbeing. You may argue that she does it for the show, but even then I find it sweet still.

Trouble is brewing tho. The first real disappointment and disatisfaction was voiced by Hwangbo. The first real tension! Dundundundundundun…

So Hyunjoong excuses himself to the bedroom to fold one paper crane. But that’s not all, if you remember, he tried to serenade a song to Hwangbo, but he kept on forgetting the lyrics. As Hyunjoong is folding the crane, he is memorizing the lyrics to this song called Dahengida (It’s a Relief). Hyunjoong spends quite some time in the room. On the other hand, Hwangbo who doesn’t know this, gets irritated that Hyunjoong would rather shack up in the room than spending time with her especially since they won’t be seeing each other often due to his work in Japan.

I think it’s the first time Hwangbo shows her temper. Hyunjoong, in the backroom interview, views this little ‘fight’ as a sign that they have slightly gotten closer and therefore can reveal their other, not so peachy side. I like this take.

I’ve always wanted to see Hwangbo actually getting pissed off angry on the show like Seo Inyoung. But Ms Hwangbo always keeps her temper in check. Throughout the show, she has visibly been upset, but even then she never gets passionate about it. I kinda wish she would just whip out her taekwondo moves and spinkick Hyunjoong or something, lols.. That would SO much fun to see. Hehehe..

After a very brief rough patch, they make up easily. Hyunjoong tells Hwangbo to think of 3 things that she wants from Japan and he’ll bring it for her when he gets back. So, Hwangbo asks for a shower cap, a shampoo bottle, and a disposable underwear (lols, asking your fake husband to give you fake undies?).

My question at the time is whether or not Hyunjoong will fulfil this promise, given his less than stellar track records.

The last few days, I’ve been going on a Ssangchu marathon yet again. Yes, yes, I caved in and went on goo goo gaga over every single Ssangchu moment. To be honest, one of the reason this part of the Lettuce Love is so slow is because episode 16-17 are not exactly my favourite episodes. I appreciate them because we get a glimpse of conflict and things progress because of it. The progress can be seen in the next episode. I like these episodes because they’re not just flowers and candies but I will be honest and say that I prefer OTHER episodes.

Mirroring this is episode 22-23, the Wedding Picture shoot. They are some sort of turning point episodes and they’re awesome because of it, but yes I watch other episodes more. These episodes trigger progress that can be seen in the next episode. Episode 24 is one of my favourite, if not my favourite episode, which was an aftermath of what happened in the Wedding Picture shoot. Parallel to this is that I love episode 18 a lot more than 16 or 17.

BTW, this is old news or whatever, but Hyunjoong dated a celebrity for 5 months? Oh hell yeah, that spells Ssangchu right there!!