BigBang in Anaheim

I’m a little late with it, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to make a post here or not. Given that I need to use this thing more, I said why not?

If you’re not in the know, BigBang is a South Korean pop/hiphop group under YG Entertainment, and undoubtedly one of the most successful Korean acts out there right now.  When they decided to embark on a world tour, they planned on hitting up two places in the US, the West and East coast. With the high demand of tickets and both shows selling out, they scheduled 2 more shows.

From this point on, my writing will be catered toward an audience that is familiar with BB and K-pop in general.

I, and my good friend, ended up going to both shows in Anaheim. We originally planned for one, but we wanted to try and score VIP tickets to one of the shows and then sell the others. We got the VIP, but weren’t successful in selling the tickets for the other show, so there’s that.

The VIP experience was great, and would be for any fan. VIP wasn’t as crowded for Friday as it was for Saturday, so we lucked out. We got a wrist band at a booth and waited in line before being taken in for soundcheck. There was some messing around with G-Dragon’s voice coming over the speakers before we actually saw him. He went through ‘Crayon’ and his freestyle bit a couple of times before the rest of the guys joined him and they performed “Feeling” in full. It was relatively quick, but it was nice to see them in plain-clothes and interacting with the small audience.

Afterward, we went back outside and collected our VIP merch, which consisted of a tote bag, an official lightstick, a tshirt, and a VIP pass.

After that, it was back to the VIP line to wait for the show. It started a little later than planned and it was getting chilly out, but we preoccupied ourselves by chatting with other fans in line. Generally, everyone was incredibly nice and mature, which was a bit of a pleasant surprise. Being a somewhat older fan in comparison to the teenagers (mid-20s) I sometimes dread pop shows, but I didn’t have a problem with this one at all.

We were let in and found a great spot on the floor right at the barricade near the main stage on the left side. Again, Friday VIP wasn’t as packed so there was tons of room to move around. I could even leave my spot near the barricade and come right back to it if I wanted.

The concert intro was phenomenal and they launched right into “Tonight” after making their entrance. The show was incredibly well-designed and entertaining complete with pyrotechnics, confetti, lasers, and snow. The boys all sang live and sounded incredible, and I was extremely impressed. I always knew BB put on a good show, but it’s nothing in comparison to actually witnessing it in person.

They’re all very personable and seemed right at home with the fans, and weren’t afraid to interact. Seungri and Daesung seem to take on their English speaking head-first and will say as much as possible, even if they get a few things wrong. TOP and GD are more deliberate with their English, as if they spent a good amount of time really practicing what they wanted to say. Taeyang seemed comfortable with how he spoke, and usually had a bit of a slangy-drawl which I found amusing.

Setlist (as provided by ygfamilyy.tumblr.com):

  1. Still Alive (Intro)
  2. Tonight (KR Ver with English Raps from JP Ver)
  3. Hands Up
  4. Transition Random Medley (Basically just Taeyang doing “yeah yeah yeah”)
  5. Fantastic Baby
  6. How Gee
  7. Stupid Liar
  8. Talk [DS/VI/YB]
  9. One Of A Kind (BGM as GD enters) + Crayon + English Rap [GD]
  10. Knock Out [GD&TOP]
  11. High High [GD&TOP]
  12. Strong Baby [VI]
  13. What Can I Do [VI]
  14. Gara Gara Go (JP Ver)
  15. Number 1
  16. Cafe
  17. Talk
  18. Bad Boy
  19. Blue
  20. Love Song
  21. Monster
  22. Feeling
  23. Only Look At Me [YB]
  24. Wedding Dress [YB]
  25. Wings [DS]
  26. Haru Haru
  27. T.O.P’s Birthday Segment
  28. Lies
  29. Last Farewell
  30. My Heaven [ENCORE]
  31. Bad Boy [ENCORE]
  32. Fantastic Baby [ENCORE]
  33. Feeling [ENCORE]
  34. Hands Up [ENCORE]

As you can see, it was a long show, but not a second was wasted or boring. I also noted that some none K-pop fans who reviewed the show (journalists) made it seem like they re-performed their encores because they couldn’t fill the time, which is totally not true. BigBang has plenty of material. But, instead of focusing on choreography like they do the first time they perform it, they’re a lot more at-ease and usually take the time to really interact with the fans and I found that fantastic (baby).

The second night we had seats in the 200-section, and that had its own benefits. From this angle, I could really see the entire show and all the intricacies going on, as well as getting the full-effect of the choreography. They put a lot of effort into the visual representation of their songs and it comes across beautifully.

So that’s my little fan account of the show. Others go into far more detail than I do, but I wanted to throw my own experience into the mix. It was an amazing experience at that, and having been a fan since their debut in 2006, they definitely lived up to all my expectations.

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