After losing some life, and then sleeping it off in the 16-hours-of-dead-REM fashion (and a lot of real life distractions), I am back to blog!
This concert was insane. This post is also going to be long. I’d suggest making a nice ol’ cuppa tea and making yourself comfortable. That’s all I have to say in summation.
I actually didn’t intend to go to this concert originally because 1) I’m an old lady, and 2) I figure there was going to be a crowd, and 3) did I mention that I was an old lady?
My sister was rather excited to go, because her and thousands/tens of thousands/a million/billion of her peers are obsessed with the rising Kpop (Korean Pop) group 2NE1 (pronounced “two-ANY-one”, “21”?). 2NE1 apparently won some contest by popular votes for the Best New Band in the World (link opens up to the saved webstream that aired live Monday) award that MTV IGGY was hosting. I just ended up going and being her photographer/videographer with my little HTC Evo 4G. They said “no cameras” and I wasn’t going to haul my poor S5 to have it die after taking 3 pictures (note to self: purchase new rechargeable batteries). By the by, if any venue ever really says “no cameras” they usually mean no flash photography… because with the sea of cameras I encountered in my view, I’ll just leave it at that. Plus I wanted to test out the camcorder mode on the Cyanogenmod 7.1 rom and this was pretty much the event to do it (cut to me praying that it didn’t stutter and lag like it did with some other roms).
We got there around 10AM and waited on the line. At first when we got there we were surprised that the line was so short. Silly us! We were quickly informed by the people on the line that the rest of the line wrapped around the block on Broadway onto the next. Yes… this was looking to be great fun alright! Quickly hustling past the slow out-of-towners who hasn’t seen sky in New York City, we made it to the end of the line. Not too shabby, we weren’t that far away, and it didn’t look like a lot of people ahead of us… maybe a good 300? I don’t know, people in crowds usually seem much larger than they are individually. Fact. As we slowly started to freeze on the line, I started to subtly sidle up to the people ahead of me in line, trying to suckle off some body heat to stay alive until we move to the part 2 of the line. Yes at that moment I started to envision the entire line in levels. We were currently at level 3. Hell. Of course when the time passed by, and more people joined the line, our position didn’t seem quite so bad. Moving a few inches per 10 or 15 mins or so, in what I’d like to call then the deluge, we all bumrushed into… level 2 of the line. Level 2 was filled with sunlight, glimpses of the outer world, and sights of tourists gawking at us gawking back at them as they passed. It was close, we could taste the kpop in the air… or whatever funk lingered around Times Square (kind of a mix between car fumes and the occasional scent of horse poop). With great sunlight came great wind however. And the area since it wasn’t really contained to half the sidewalk, it was more opened and as a result, sidling up to strangers was a lot harder. To console myself and utilize my imagination, we all stared at the Aeropostale store at the clothes that were on sale at 50% off. How tempting! Winds be damned! We were just one level away and it wasn’t going to end me. That huge teddy bear at their front door display was rather nice though, we all envisioned ourselves disemboweling it and then wearing it like some twisted robe at some point. I did get some nice sightings, especially of the new Prevost express buses the MTA are using on the X1 route. They were so shiny and brand new. Oooh! In true foaming fashion, I was taking pictures to pass the time.
Coming from level 3 to level 2 was a blessing and a curse. We waited at level 2 for about 4 hours before we got to level 1 and subsequently inside the Best Buy Theater. It only took 5 hours in total line waiting to get inside for a what would be a 2 hour concert. Fun! I did feel for some who were waiting there since 12AM. I… enjoyed my warm bed a lot more. Plus we all ended up getting a pretty good spot anyway considering, not a bad deal to get some extra zzz’s and waiting. Inside we were pretty much on the floor of the stage just about (albeit maybe ~50 rows deep). I think I probably lost a year of my life being in the middle of the “flesh fest”. Again, I’m an old lady, you’ll have to forgive my curmudgeonly ways. After what seemed a bit of yakking up on the MTV studios (the interviews and whatnot drumming up 2NE1‘s arrival), we were treated to the other highlighted artists.
[Just wanted to apologize if I whacked anyone inadvertently while trying to get these videos… 5’1″ surrounded by people taller than me does not make a good video-making scenario. Below are some videos I made on my EVO 4G with Cyanogenmod 7.1. Just wanted to also test out the camcorder on this rom. It performed a lot better than I expected compared to Sense roms.]
La Vida Bohème. A group hailing from Venezuela, they got some great beats going on. I think I found my new favorite band.
Yuna was a very good singer as well. Coming from Malaysia, she had such a lithe and at the same time, sultry voice. I kind of almost fell asleep at one point before realizing that the body I was nuzzling against wasn’t someone I loved. Stranger Danger! (By theonlyrin)
Gyptian wasn’t quite new to me although some of this other chunes were. I think if you turned on the radio, you’d hear his music- that’s how popular he is.
I would’ve loved to hear this artist play live, however they only highlighted her: Ximena Sarinana. Her music sounded a little of Nellie McKay and Zooey Deschanel’s. I love it, it’s so upbeat and hearty at the same time. I guess that’ll be quite a few albums to keep an eye out for!
Last but not least, we had the artists of honor, 2NE1! I’m not a huge fan of them, but watching them perform, I’m inclined to give their album a listen to. If you thought people were crazy before in the crowds, when these ladies made their way from the street to the stage, the people went WILD. Yes, in CAPS. WILD. I mean, I’m surprised they didn’t have people in front of the barricades on the first row to keep these folks back. They lived up to their win though, they put up a very nice performance. It was minimal with just them dancing and at some point they had some backup dancers as well. Sometimes less is more and they pulled it off. They made a lot of Kpop fans very happy that night. I’m surprised the floor wasn’t wet with all the tearing some must’ve done seeing their idols.
After that, the magic was over. With a “cleavage” full of confetti from the canons that went off after they got crowned Best New Band, we made our way back home. Overall I really enjoyed myself. It was worth standing out in the cold just to experience these outstanding acts live.