This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.
(photo from SuperM’s official Twitter account)
TO THOSE ABOUT TO JOP:
This post is WAY too long, but I’m writing this for me, so I don’t even care (여긴 우릴 태울 stage).
Let the jopping begin.
On February 2, 2020, I jopped from Floor 1, Row 2 at the SuperM concert at SAP Center in San Jose. As the kids say, I had barricade. 😎
(That’s not actually saying much, since the floor had assigned seating, and my section of the floor was only 2 seats deep, so everyone who wanted barricade got barricade. Also, SAP Center has a fairly big gap between the barricade and the stage, wide enough for a cameraperson and dolly to pass through with room to spare, so we certainly weren’t close enough to, like, reach out to the members in a desperate plea for a brief hand touch (which I’m pretty sure I would’ve done if I thought there was any chance they could reach me). But anyway.)
My seat was in the second row, on the far right (stage left) side of the floor, right next to the walkway that led from the main stage to the extended stage. I genuinely could not believe how close I was. The members walked by so many times, and literally every time, I completely froze up, as I am wont to do around EXTREMELY HOT PEOPLE.
But let me back up.
BEFORE THE CONCERT:
When the SuperM tickets went on sale last October, I bought the best seat I could find after getting through the 10,000+ person queue, which turned out to be a single seat in the lower bowl, Section 102, Row 5, which had a nice view of the extended stage. Unfortunately, all the floor and lower bowl seats for the San Jose venue were VIP tickets, so the absolute minimum I could pay was $225 (plus about $45 in Ticketmaster’s extortionate fees), unless I wanted to settle for sitting up in the 200s.
My initial seat in Section 102, Row 5.
(Seating chart taken from SAP Center’s website.)
(I did not. I’d already seen Harry Styles at SAP Center before, from Section 109, in a lower bowl seat right in front of the B stage. Even though I had a great view of the B stage, I was disappointed by how far away I felt for the majority of the concert, so I really wanted to be closer to see SuperM.)
Even though the Section 102 seat was nice, I was disappointed because a lot of people online were saying they were able to buy non-VIP floor tickets for their shows. I figured the event coordinators had just priced SAP Center differently, but it got me thinking that Ticketmaster might release regular-priced floor seats later on.
(I didn’t know this was a normal Ticketmaster thing until I started talking to some older 1D fans who were very savvy concertgoers. Back in 2018, I considered joining them for an impromptu trip to see Harry Styles at The Forum because I would’ve been able to get floor seats priced at face value right in front of the B stage, which Ticketmaster released a week before the show. I didn’t end up doing it, but the trickiness of Ticketmaster pissed me off and I’ve kept it in mind ever since.)
So for nine days, I stalked the Ticketmaster website to see if any new tickets popped up, but all the available seats were Platinum, which is just Ticketmaster’s way of jacking up ticket prices without offering any additional benefits. At least the $225 seat I’d initially paid for came with VIP merch and access to a separate VIP shopping area.
Then, on a Tuesday morning 9 days after the initial sale, I saw that Ticketmaster had suddenly released a handful of additional VIP floor seats. I hesitated for about 10 minutes before buying the 2 seats closest to the stage. They were in Floor 1, Row 2.
My new seats, in Floor 1, Row 2.
(Seating chart taken from SAP Center’s website.)
I’d really only wanted one ticket, for myself, but Ticketmaster wouldn’t allow the seats to be split. I figured the extra seat was such a good one that I’d have no trouble reselling it, so hopefully it wouldn’t be an issue.
At that point, I had 3 tickets under my name, all of the them VIP, and all of them will-call only. Since you can’t sell will-call tickets on Ticketmaster or StubHub or any other legit resale site, I started trying to sell my Section 102 ticket on Twitter. (I wasn’t too worried about the extra floor seat, since I figured I’d either bring my younger cousin or find a last-minute buyer.)
Selling tickets on Twitter is really a mess, and I hope I’ll never have to do it again. I had maybe 15-25 people contact me about my seat, asking me to sell it for less than 50% of what I paid for it, or saying they were committed to buying, and then backing out when they realized that it didn’t include soundcheck (which was a separate $200+ add-on, even if you already had a VIP ticket). I also had 3 very, very irritating buyers who ended up flaking on me.
The first one told me she was committed to buying and kept checking that I was holding it for her while she was “waiting to get paid at the end of the month.” Then she flaked after about a week because she realized she didn’t want to spend the money. (During the time that I was holding it for her, I turned down 4 or 5 people who were interested.)
The second one told me she was committed and could pay within a week, so I (stupidly) said I would hold it for her. She then told me that she didn’t receive her paycheck in the mail yet, and could I wait longer, and I said sure, and then waited longer. Then a few days after she said she’d get back to me, I messaged her and she suddenly stopped responding to me at all, so I put the ticket back up for sale. (During the 2 weeks that I was holding it for her, I turned down another 5 or so people who were interested.)
The third person started out great and then ended up being a huge butthole. She messaged me and told me she was committed to buying, for $200 (at this point I’d already lowered the price several times, as it seemed that nobody wanted to pay full price for the VIP tickets; I don’t really blame them, because the regular seats were something like $55). She PayPal’d me right away and agreed to pay half upfront, and half when we met up in person and I handed her the ticket. I was very pleased because she actually followed through on the first payment within 24 hours.
Then, on the morning of the concert, she messaged me to say she didn’t want the ticket anymore because she was going to sit with a friend instead.
I knew that she could open a dispute against me on PayPal if she really wanted to, so I opted to refund her the difference between what she promised to pay me ($200) and whatever I could sell the ticket for last-minute. I ended up finding a last-minute buyer who offered to pay in cash at the venue, and she was very sweet. I issued a partial refund for the first girl, and that was that. (Hopefully.)
I also sold my extra floor ticket two days before the concert. My cousin’s parents decided last minute that they didn’t want her to attend because of the newly announced coronavirus case in Santa Clara (and I don’t blame them; I was really worried too), so I posted about my floor ticket on Twitter. Luckily, as I predicted, I was able to sell it for just slightly under face value within 30 minutes. (The buyer paid half with PayPal Goods & Services upfront, and then half on the day of the concert. After I handed her the ticket, I had her message me to state that she had received the ticket and the VIP goods, to ensure that we had a written trail if a PayPal dispute ever came up.)
I also found someone on Twitter to purchase my extra EXO version 3 lightstick in cash at the venue. I’d bought 2 of them from 2 different stores when they were first released, because I was afraid that one of the stores would run out of stock (which was what happened with the version 2 Eribong, so it wasn’t that unreasonable a worry). Initially I’d intended to let my cousin use my extra lightstick, but since she was no longer allowed to attend, I had no use for it.
Prior to the concert, I’d also joined multiple fan support projects. Most of them were banner projects with goodies given to those who donated certain amounts. (As a basic explanation, groups of fans will organize fundraisers so they can print out paper banners, usually with a message to the group/band, to hand out to attendees to hold up during certain songs. It’s a labor of love, but when they manage to get the same banner distributed to the majority of the audience, it looks really cool and uniform.) Among the items I was supposed to pick up at the concert were a Kai banner, a Baekhyun banner, 3 group banners, stickers, photocards, a pin, a keychain, handfans, and temporary tattoos.
I also purchased a Baekhyun slogan from DaymareDoodles, and I placed a preorder with MPST for a Kai slogan to pick up at the venue. (A slogan is basically the fabric version of a banner. Usually the material is microsuede, and it’s printed with an image of the group or member on one side, and a name or message on the other. The really nice slogans will have glittery or reflective lettering so that the text reflects the light from camera flashes/stage lights and shows up well on film or in photos.)
The Baekhyun slogan arrived a few weeks before the concert, and I was very happy with it. (I also ordered a handfan, because I was worried it would get really hot and crowded at the venue, especially on the floor. It did not, and I don’t think I would’ve had a good way to hold it along with my lightstick, cell phone, and slogans anyway, but I sure could’ve used a handfan when I saw Pentagon at San Jose Civic or Day6 at The Warfield – both of those concerts were in the summer, and I got ridiculously sweaty and dehydrated.)
A few unnecessary notes:
1) See that little clear zip-top baggie? That’s the one I accidentally zipped a spider into, which I didn’t realize until the night before the concert. It must’ve been in there for days, which is fuckin gross. When I first noticed the spider, I thought I’d misremembered the promo pictures and forgotten that Baekhyun had a neck tattoo. HE DID NOT. (Well, he did, but it was fine line art, not a massive, skittering blob of terror.)
2) This pic is from the official SuperM album photoshoot. Here’s the behind the scenes video, because Baekhyun is hot. His exposed knee in those ripped jeans? Delicious.
3) The handfan arrived slightly damaged. The print is peeling off at the top, which was a little disappointing.
4) The SuperM logo sticker is really cool.
5) I was hoping to purchase a Kai slogan from the same seller, but I didn’t like the picture they used 🙁 Their Taemin and Taeyong slogans looked really nice, though.
Other concert preparation included buying an AlmostBlue Twinkle Passport Wallet in clear/hologram via group order, and then decorating it. Normally I just stick everything into a fanny pack for concerts, but I wanted a hands-free way to keep my ID, credit card, and cash close to my body because I wasn’t sure how much I would be pushed around on the floor. From what people said about the first leg of the tour, it seemed like people on the floor swarmed both toward the barricade and toward the main stage (so they moved along their own rows but also crossed over to different rows), so I was worried I’d be crushed.
I’ve seen other people put photocards and stickers and whatnot in/on their AlmostBlue wallets, but I wanted something more temporary that I could redecorate (and that I wouldn’t miss too much if it fell out). I ended up cutting out pieces of paper and slapping some EXO stickers on ’em, because I have too many stickers, and I love EXO. Also I made sure to put a giant Chen sticker on one side, because I support his decision to get married and have a baby, and I think fans who don’t are delusional.
I actually hadn’t intended to decorate the wallet at all, but then I realized you could see my ID and credit card number through the PVC material (obviously; it’s transparent), so I made these inserts last minute. I didn’t spend too much time planning a nice layout for the stickers, so it’s a little haphazard, but the EXOs are cute, so my wallet was cute.
Also, peep my neon BBH phone case from happy9delights!
My big ol’ Chen sticker, because he’s a cutie. Also I’m wearing Hello Kitty bandaids because the cat scratched me the day before. 🙁
The passport wallet comes with a lanyard so you can wear it around your neck, but honestly the PVC material is really stiff and uncomfortable, and I wish I’d swapped it out for a fabric lanyard instead.
I also bought a clear fanny pack from Amazon in order to comply with SAP Center’s clear bag policy. IMO it’s a pretty ugly bag, but I’d seen tweets from people who were turned away for having tinted or holographic clear bags, or whose bags had Velcro or zipper areas that were deemed too large and obstructed the view of the contents of the bag… I think the policy is pretty stupid, but whatever.
I brought my Chenvocado drink strap with me, too 🙂
This fanny pack did the job, but the buckles for adjusting the length of the strap really suck. I tried to make it tighter so I could wear it around my waist (after my shoulder got tired from wearing it as a crossbody), and the strap just wouldn’t stay in place after I’d tightened it. But whatever.
Because my seat was on the side of the floor, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to see the main stage over the raised walkway, so (as I mentioned in a previous post) I bought platform boots from SHEIN to give me a couple extra inches of height. The shoes themselves did feel a little unstable at first because I’m not used to wearing such chunky platforms, and they’re REALLY awful on inclines, but I practiced walking around in them beforehand, and once I put my orthotics in, they felt really secure. I think I would’ve been fine without them, but for certain portions when the members were doing choreo formations deeper into the stage (the beginning of “Jopping” comes to mind, though that might actually be the only instance from the whole concert), I could only see their upper bodies or heads, so I’m glad I had my platform shoes.
I also bought a neon pink crop top from SHEIN, because pink is the SuperM fandom color. (I briefly considered wearing something gray or silver for EXO, but it didn’t seem exciting enough.)
And for my hair, I bought two massive faux fur pompoms (meant to be used for making hats and beanies). I considered hot pink, but ultimately I thought white with pink tips would show up better on my hair. Initially, I meant to do double buns and attach the pompoms to hair ties to wrap around the buns, but they looked ridiculously oversized. What I ended up doing was two Dutch braids to the nape of my neck, ending in pigtails, with the pompoms bobby pinned to my head so they were positioned like bear ears.
The pompoms are 4″ across and I got them from Fffabuknits on Etsy. As recommended, I gave them a quick blast with a hairdryer after they arrived to achieve maximum fluffiness.
They came with strings attached at the base, meant for tying off on the top of a handmade hat or beanie. For each pompom, I passed the strings through the base of a bobby pin and tied a knot + bow to hide the loose ends. To secure them on my head, I slid the pompom bobby pin in place, and then crossed it with another bobby pin perpendicularly to lock it in place.
I also wore high-waisted skinny jeans with a slightly loose and completely unnecessary belt, for the sole purpose of threading my fabric slogans through my belt for hands-free storage and quick access. It’s basically impossible to hold up a phone/camera, a lightstick, and a slogan or banner at the same time, so I really only held up my slogan when they were taking the group photo with the audience.
This is the part where I show you my outfit!!!
White pompoms with neon pink tips: Fffabuknits on Etsy. Black & white star print faux fur coat: ASOS. Neon pink mock neck crop top with ruffle/lettuce trim: SHEIN. Black leather belt: childhood closet. Black high waisted skinny jeans: Uniqlo. Black platform Chelsea boots: SHEIN.
This is a fake outfit photo because I didn’t actually wear the coat. I was worried I’d have nowhere safe to leave it (and that it’d either be trampled on or stolen), so I switched to a Forever21 cardigan and American Apparel hoodie right before I left.
This probably isn’t interesting to anyone else (oh hey, that’s my whole blog!), but I opted to just wear clear lip balm since I knew I’d be wearing a mask the whole time. Normally I would’ve gone for a sparkly lip gloss or at least a little more color.
More gratuitous pictures in the same poses as the previous photos, because I looked great and I’m not getting any younger!! (Note to self: Buy more high-waisted pants so I can look Long™.)
And a very large photo of me where you can see how tall and chunky these platform booties are. They’re absolute units, and I love them so much.
The last things I acquired to prepare for the concert were hand sanitizer, surgical gloves, and surgical masks. It was definitely overkill, but I was worried about the coronavirus (and the flu, and regular colds). I saw a lot of other concertgoers wearing masks and using hand sanitizer, and I know some of the people passing out freebies/merch were careful to wear gloves. We were probably being overcautious, but I appreciated how many people were trying to be conscientious, given the number of people I saw on Twitter having to back out of the concert last minute because of the coronavirus scare.
(It was very, very unwieldy to wear gloves and a mask the entire time, but I’m thankful that the worst thing I got from the concert was a scratchy voice for a couple days, especially because I didn’t realize until afterward that I was wearing my mask wrong side out. :/ I hope everyone affected by the coronavirus recovers quickly. ☹️)
THE DAY OF THE CONCERT:
So, on the day of the concert, I had to meet up with 2 different ticket buyers and 1 lightstick buyer. I was also supposed to meet up with 3 different fan project organizers, as well as MPST for the Kai slogan. I ran around frantically messaging people for a good 45 minutes before I managed to wrangle all my buyers, and while I’m glad to have made back a lot of my money by selling my tickets and merch, it was SUPER hectic trying to locate people, so I’d definitely try to avoid doing that again.
Because it was so hard to find people (the venue is large, they didn’t allow people to distribute goods at the venue if any money was changing hands, people kept moving around, the only way to locate people was by trying to figure out where they took their “I’m here” photos from), I ended up unable to meet up with anybody passing out freebies I’d had my eye on, or even the people running fansupport projects that I’d donated to and was supposed to receive goodies for, like the aforementioned paper banners, stickers, handfans, etc.
I did receive a fanmade paper banner while I was walking around (which was from one of the fan projects I had donated to, but I did not get to pick up my stickers, keychain, goodie bag, or handfan), but I put it in my VIP tote bag and it ended up super wrinkled. One of my buyers also offered me her extra Taemin banner, and someone inside the venue offered me a Lucas banner, but I turned both of them down because 1) I knew I was going to ruin it in my bag, and 2) I knew I wouldn’t have free hands to hold them up. This is the paper banner (plus a couple of stickers I received inside the venue):
The only person I had time to locate (aside from my buyers) was MPST, and she was very sweet. The Kai slogan I purchased from her is SO FUCKING CUTE, and the reflective lettering really showed up in the stage photo.
Here’s the front of the slogan, and the handfan that came as a gift:
LOOK HOW GODDAMN CUTE HE IS. LOOK AT HIM!!! THE FAN ON THE LEFT MAY SAY KAI BUT THE GLASSES AND THE OUTFIT ON THE RIGHT SCREAM NINI-BEAR!!!
And here’s the slogan without flash (and the back of the paper banner from above):
And here’s how shiny it is with flash:
SUPER visible. I’m so glad I bought this slogan, because I actually showed up in the photo they took with the audience! 😭😭😭
That’s me!! For the record, I checked behind me and tried to position myself so I wouldn’t block anyone else on the floor before I raised my slogan as high as possible above my head for this photo, but it looks like I may’ve cut someone off (although it looks like they would’ve been covered by someone’s peace sign anyway). It was hard to tell what angle the camera was going to capture, so I’m sorry if I blocked anyone.
Also, Mark’s eyeliner reminds me of 2013 Baekhyun. Hell to the fuck yeah.
So anyway, after all the running around, I finally got my paper ticket as well as my VIP merch. The merch included a tote bag that felt surprisingly sturdy (none of that paper thin conference swag nonsense), a VIP lanyard with a surprisingly thick VIP card attached to it (like at least credit card thickness; I was expecting a piece of paper in a plastic holder), a surprisingly thick exclusive tour poster (they’re hand-numbered; I was expecting thin glossy paper, but it was more like very heavy cardstock), a SuperM baseball cap (embroidered), and a bandana with the members’ handwriting all over it. (I’d actually been thinking of buying the bandana to wear in my hair anyway, so I’m glad it was included in the merch pack. The logo part is glittery silver, so I think it’ll look pretty cool.) Overall, while I wouldn’t’ve bought most of the VIP merch items myself and I still think the VIP tickets were overpriced, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the items.
I am particularly fond of whoever wrote “2 Fast” on the bandana using the 2 as an F.
After getting through security and inside the venue (but outside the actual arena – they let us in the doors so we could get food and use the bathroom, but they didn’t allow us into the seated area until an hour before the show), I pretty much just sat around and ate overpriced hot dogs and drank overpriced water and went to the bathroom a bunch of times.
I also got yelled at for having my phone out! I assume it’s because soundcheck was happening inside, but 1) I was reading fic on my phone, not trying to surreptitiously record soundcheck, 2) they never actually told us we had to put our phones away before soundcheck started, 3) they never told us when soundcheck was starting, and 4) when they yelled at us, they didn’t give the reason for why we had to put our phones away. I’m still only assuming that it was because of soundcheck; none of the staff ever clarified, so I felt like they were being unnecessarily pushy.
On the bright side, I got to talk to a few people who were in the same situation as me – waiting around but unable to use their phones. I met a Shawol who, like me, first got into K-Pop because of SHINee, though she started a little earlier, around when “Sherlock” came out, so 2012. (I started around the time of “Dream Girl” in 2013.) Like me, she was also a slightly older fan (25), and like me, she bought tickets to see Day6 last year as a birthday present to herself (the same show I attended). It turns out our birthdays are 2 days apart. Small world 🙂
I also talked to a couple of girls who I assume were high school seniors because they mentioned taking the SuperM tote bag to college next year. Like me, they were enthusiastic fans of all 4 groups, even though we all still had our own personal ult groups. Also, for some reason I really love when younger fans love Taemin. It’s what he deserves!!
The highlight of our conversation was when I said “I’ve had a crush on Kai since I was 22,” and they were like “Wait… how old are you?!” and then they told me they thought I was 18, and then cursed my genes.
I really feel like the SuperM fandom is more wholesome than most K-Pop fandoms, because by nature you have to be a multi-group fan in order to enjoy SuperM. I also think the worst “fans” are the ones who think their one idol or their one group is superior to everyone else. Why must a group be “the best”? Is it not enough to be talented, skilled, and extremely hot, in Korean?
I was also approached (I assume because I had my Eribong out) and given little Kai and Baekhyun stickers (from that earlier photo), made by @EXOLUSA_Global with @KaiUsaFanUnion and @BaekhyunUsa, which brought me a disproportionate amount of glee.
After a long wait, we were finally allowed to make our way inside. It felt completely ridiculous to walk the entire length of the arena to get to my seat, and when I got there I just kind of fell silent in disbelief. I must’ve had a really concerned look on my face, because one of the staff members asked if I was alright, and I said, “I just can’t believe how close I am,” and he laughed and told me I’d have a great time.
I had to walk down these stairs very, very slowly in my platform boots…
To the reporter at Riff Magazine whose photo I downloaded and marked up so I could point out where I was sitting, I’m sorry and thank you. I am glad to see that my giant pompoms were visible from quite a distance.
I think this photo illustrates what I mean about not quite being able to see over the raised walkway. I was super, super, super close to the main stage, but some of the audio/visual equipment did partially obstruct my view. (Only a small part, luckily.)
In preparation for the actual concert, I took off my outer layers, strung my slogans through my belt, charged up my phone, and looped the Eribong strap around my wrist. I was kind of worried my stuff would get stolen or knocked over and trampled on if I left it on my seat, but my section was so sparse that it wasn’t really a problem. (Sparse in the sense that there weren’t that many seats in total, not that there weren’t that many people; it was full up.)
The security staff was really good at keeping people in their sections and making sure the crowd was orderly, without being rude or condescending, which I really appreciated. Since Floor 1 was narrow and only ran 2 seats deep for the first 5 or 6 rows (except for Row 1, which was just 1 lone seat), everyone was able to get to the barricade without any shoving or overcrowding, which was a huge relief.
THE ACTUAL SHOW:
This final section is mostly just me screaming incoherently about how much I love SuperM, so have fun:
Honestly, my brain was basically just EXO Chen’s “I can’t believe” on loop for the entire show because I was just in SHOCK that, like, Baekhyun and Kai and Taemin are ACTUAL PEOPLE.
They started with “I Can’t Stand the Rain” (not my fancam), which is my favorite song from their album, and holy fuck, their mics were ON. I saw someone else saying this on Twitter too, but it seems like they turned down the backing tracks and turned up their mics for the entire second leg of the tour, and I am SO thankful for that. They sounded sssso damn good. (And I don’t mean they sounded perfect. I just mean they sounded like actual voices, with texture and charming imperfections.)
There was that one inane review of one of their earlier concerts where the reviewer said they were lip synching the whole time(?!), and I’m just like… buddy… it’s called a backing track. They have crazy impressive control over their vocals, but you can hear the shakiness in their voices when they hit a dance move too hard, and the noisiness of the mic when they overenunciate a plosive.
I can’t remember what interview it was, but I think it was SHINee who, when asked how they sound so good live when they’re dancing so hard, said it was very simple – they just don’t sing every lyric. The backing track takes care of parts that aren’t crucial to the live experience of the song, but you can hear when they’re singing over it vs. when they’re not. A really obvious example is this 170101 EXO-CBX stage when Baekhyun starts singing too early.
(Baekhyun and Taemin, in particular, sounded really, ridiculously good at this concert.)
After ICSTR, Taemin did two solo stages (“Danger”, with a brief mashup of SHINee’s “Sherlock” in there that was really cool, and “Goodbye” (the Korean version of “Sayonara Hitori”), which were both MESMERIZING. He dances like a man possessed, and it is truly unbelievable to watch. I still can’t believe that I saw THE Lee Taemin with my own two eyes.
Taeyong’s solo “GTA” was next, and HOLY FUCKING HELL IT WAS SO GOOD. He wears a mask for the beginning of his stage, and the one for the San Jose show was SIIICK. This is a good fancam where you can see the mask lit up in the dark during the introduction and hear how absolutely fuckin WILDLY GOOD Taeyong’s rapping was.
Here’s my own clip of the first time he walked by my section, which is awful because of the laser effects they were doing with the lights, and also I was still trying to figure out how to jop and record at the same time:
Witness my absolute inability to take good videos in this clip of… Taeyong’s crotch and butt, mostly.
But holy shit, the ENDING. When that part happened, he was, like, maybe ten feet away from me, and I absolutely LOST it:
I’m sorry for the massive watermark, but it took a lot more effort than I thought it would to slap my name on a video, so I’m also not sorry? Anyway, TAEYONG.
Next was “Super Car”, which they mostly performed on the main stage, though for the end of the song, they ran over to the extended stage, which took me by so much surprise that 1) I didn’t even try to record them, and 2) I’m pretty sure I just let out one long, horrified shriek as they ran past. The whole audience screamed along to “움직여 VROOM, LIKE A BLACK CAR” and it was glorious. Toward the end, I mostly had a view of their backs, but that was not… necessarily a bad thing…
I was really impressed by Ten’s solos for “Dream in a Dream” and “New Heroes”, which are both GORGEOUS. I’ve already said this before, but he is just so FULL OF GRACE. I legit was tearing up watching him dance, and when he danced up the walkway to return to the main stage, I’m pretty sure I saw the face of god???
The original video is much higher quality than YouTube seems to allow for vertical videos, so I’m sorry for this 480p video of a 4K man. Also all my videos are clipped awkwardly because my camerawork was so shoddy I didn’t want to include all the footage.
After that was Lucas’ solo, “Bass Go Boom,” which features a meme-worthy video backdrop with giant clips of his extremely very good face and, like, Windows 95 screensaver-style animations. Lucas is only a bébé, but he is stupidly handsome and adorably flirty in a way that makes me want to crush him with my bare hands, like a ball of aluminum foil. Honestly, he should be arrested. “Bass Go Boom” is definitely the most fun solo stage in the whole setlist, and I feel like it’s a great representation of Lucas’ stage persona – cute, fun, cheeky, a little wacky, and full of puppylike energy.
Baekhyun was next, with “Betcha” and “UN Village”, and my GOD. I’ve loved Baekhyun’s voice for as long as I’ve been aware of EXO (so… coming up on 7 years now), and hearing him perform live was completely unreal. I know I’ve already mentioned that I was basically in shock the whole time, but when Baekhyun was performing, I was legit just frozen. His voice is just really, really, really fucking good, and he is so skilled and so controlled, and “Betcha” is really fun and dance-y, and “UN Village” is so SMOOTH and SEXY and SO technically impressive, and he looked SO DAMN COOL and I want to BE him and HE WAS FIVE FEET AWAY FROM ME.
After that, they all came out to perform “Dangerous Woman”, which is an unreleased song they recently performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Baekhyun sounded incredible, as did Taemin, especially during the intro, but I actually noticed Kai’s vocals the most for this song. They walked past my section SO many times, but I was genuinely so shaken that I couldn’t record very well on my phone. Most of my videos are accidental closeups of their torsos because I forgot to zoom out, or it’s, like, a shot of their feet or the ceiling because I was too busy looking at them to see if I had my camera positioned correctly, but this clip of Lucas being tall and aggressively handsome was alright:
I tried to GIF this (and the next) moment, but I couldn’t figure out where to host massive GIFs that I can keep unlisted, so instead I uploaded like a dozen 3-second videos to YouTube. 🤷🏻♀️
I adore this song, and at one point Taemin crouched down RIGHT next to my section to strike a pose and I died.
Also, Kai really has no ass, and that’s valid.
After “Dangerous Woman”, Kai walked by again, and continued to have no ass:
(For the record, the girl who’s screaming is saying “TY” not some butchered version of “Taeyong” which was what I thought when I first played this video back.)
Then they performed “2 Fast” which was FINE and Baekhyun ran past our section looking like a joyous blueberry fluff,
and even though I saw Mark dancing down the walkway toward the end,
I was not expecting to be knocked out cold by the double whammy of the front view of Lucas and the back view of Mark doing THIS, which was a LOT:
lucas has his belt set to w for wumbo
Ten and Taeyong’s stage for “Baby Don’t Stop” was next and it was very good and I wish I’d been able to see it more clearly, but I’m also glad they did it on the extended stage because if I had to watch this from up close, I probably would have perished on the spot.
Mark’s solo stage, “Talk About,” came after that, and I am always impressed by how much goddamn swag Certified Good Boy™ Mark Lee has when he performs. (I would punch a bear in the face for Mark Lee. JUST LOOK AT HIM.) The last 30 seconds of this stage are my favorite part.
After that was Kai/Jongin’s solo, “Confession.” He sometimes does this stage shirtless or finds some other way to have his abs out, so I was both disappointed and relieved that he wore a 3-piece suit for the San Jose show, especially because partway through, he stripped off his jacket, which was already WAYYY too much for me. (I’ve had a crush on him since 2013, so give me a break. It was horrible. I used to watch his pre-debut teaser video, like, ten times a day.) His mic was very much on, and his body is absolutely fucking ridiculously perfect. He is ART. That is all. (#kaisolo2020)
Next up was “No Manners,” which features Taeyong’s infamous floor grinding move. (Baekhyun did indeed drop to the ground to imitate it right after he did his “rolling rolling” body rolls during the last ment, and I blacked out.) It was great.
They did ending ments at this point, and I just want to note that Taemin’s English is crazy good now. When he did an Instagram live back in October, his pronunciation was already really good, but his grammar was a little shaky. In only a few months, he’s improved SO MUCH. He is SO ambitious about his career, and it is intimidating and inspiring how hard he works. (There’s a reason people chant “Lee Taemin” for good luck.)
Also, as a secondary note, Kai/Jongin is somehow even hotter when he’s sweat off half his makeup and you can see his eyebags and five o’clock shadow. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just the reminder that he’s human and not some untouchable god.
The second to last song was their unreleased track “With You”, which is suuuch an earworm. The members walked by about a billion times, and Kai continued to have no ass:
This is the stage where they go around throwing signed frisbees into the audience. (They used to throw balls, but I think they switched to frisbees so they’d travel farther. That, or Taemin brained too many people.) They were mostly aiming for the lower bowl, I think, although I saw Baekhyun flinch after he threw one at a pretty high angle (I’m not sure if he hit someone or if it flew backwards or something),
and at one point near the end, Lucas ran by like a gleeful puppy and very deliberately threw a frisbee toward the back of my floor section, and people went DIVING for it. It was kind of scary.
Finally, they ended with “Jopping,” which was craaazy high energy. I swear the entire arena was rapping along to Mark’s verse, and I definitely lost my voice screaming along to it.
I know some people were annoyed that the concert was on the short side, but I for one appreciated getting home by 10:30 on a Sunday night. Overall, the experience was definitely worth the price of the ticket: My seat was amazing, the VIP merch was surprisingly nice quality, and their performances were on point.
Also, I got to see 3 Korean men (Baekhyun and Kai from EXO, and Taemin from SHINee) who, before this concert, just felt like people I’d made up in my head. (They felt… legendary? Which I guess they are??) They more than lived up to the 7 years’ worth of hype I’d drummed up in my imagination. They’re all incredible performers, and I’m really, really grateful that I got to see them in their element.
Baekhyun’s voice is, like, soul-achingly delicious, and it’s SO satisfying to hear him belt and do runs and high notes with such control. He’s also REALLY HOT and UNREASONABLY CUTE, and his dancing is SEXY and I love how much he loves the stage. He reminds me a bit of Harry Styles in the sense that you can tell how hungry he is for an audience’s love, which could easily come off as sleazy or desperate, but he himself radiates so much love that you can’t help being charmed.
Taemin is an absolutely magnetic dancer. His style is inimitable and he’s just thrilling to watch. He also has really strong, stable vocals, especially considering how his timbre doesn’t lend itself to, say, Baekhyun’s loud-ass belts. He’s just really, really skilled, and I think in a lot of ways that’s even more impressive than raw talent.
And Kai is stupidly, ridiculously, unbelievably hot. He’s a gorgeous dancer, of course, and he uses his body like fine art (which it is), but he also has a sweet singing voice, and he’s heart-meltingly cute when he interacts with fans and speaks English.
It was also a joy to see the younger members from NCT 127 and WayV perform.
Taeyong is an unbelievable all-rounder – his dancing is really satisfying to watch, his rapping is mind-blowing, and his visuals are, like, straight up otherworldly. Also his English is really dang good.
Ten is just gorgeous. He’s a truly beautiful dancer, and I find his accent when he speaks English extremely charming, not to mention his Korean, Thai, and Mandarin skills, and his sweet singing voice. I desperately want to be his friend.
Lucas is so handsome it’s like being slapped in the face. He’s also 6 feet tall and has giant-ass hands and long-ass legs and a deep-ass voice, and he’s so playful and cheeky with fans. He really is like an enormous puppy who happens to be able to rap and dance, and you can’t help being delighted whenever he smiles, which is often.
And Mark is devastatingly cute. There’s something about how often he says “um” and “like” that makes him seem pocket-sized, but he’s actually 5’9″, and when he raps, I swear to god he’s got so much swagger that he seems, like, 6’4″.
(I know some people think 5’9″ is still short, but 1) Mark could easily put his chin on top of my head, and 2) I care a lot less about height and a lot more about proportions, and all of the SuperM members have high waists and long AF legs, which is 100% my jam lmao.)
I don’t know if the main purpose of SuperM was to bring SM’s boy group fandoms together, but it sure as hell worked for me, because I’m definitely an enthusiastic NCT/WayV fan now, and I’ve had a lot of fun interacting with other fans and, like, hyping up each other’s biases. Alt er love, etc.
To conclude, I’d rank this SuperM concert up there with seeing Niall at Red Rocks as one of my favorite concert experiences ever, and I am so, so glad I got to jop with all these very good boys from so close to the stage.