Having seen the boys of B1A4 at KCON, I already knew this show was going to be a treat but the five song teaser I got in L.A. was nothing compared to the two hours of sheer delight I enjoyed last night. From the moment Baro, Gongchan, Sandeul, Jinyoung and CNU stepped on stage, opening the show with “O.K.” I was transported to fangirl heaven and I stayed there for the next two hours, wishing I had someone around to pinch me, just to make sure it wasn’t all a dream.
Moving from “O.K.” to “Beautiful Target” all my fangirl feels went through the roof, especially when, towards the end of the song, the boys decided to throw a mini version of their sprout dance into the choreography. Having only seen the adorable sprout dance via YouTube videos, the chance to see it in person was this BANA’s dream come true and I know I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat the moment they put their hands up and started that little hip wiggle. In short, I died. (And it was only the second song!)
After introducing themselves and telling us about their new-found love for Chicago, the boys slowed things down a bit with “I Won’t Do Bad Things”, “Oh My God”, “Because of You”, “Seoul”, “Tried to Walk” and “This Time is Over” which is a really mean song to end a set with, especially when the boys walked off stage at the end, leaving us in the dark. There was a brief moment of panic as at least half the crowd feared that our time with B1A4 was really over but in reality, it was really nothing more than a quick break for the boys. Keeping us entertained with a hilarious video of the boys goofing off backstage which they’d obviously shot earlier in the day, the fear of the concert ending way too soon vanished and before we knew it, the boys were back and ready for more.
Returning to the stage, the boys seated themselves around Jinyoung as he pulled out a guitar and delighted us all with a beautiful rendition of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”. OH. MY. WORD. That song was the highlight of my evening and I swear, I could sit and listen to Jinyoung serenade me for the rest of forever, his voice is just so amazing. Woo! (Sorry, fangirl moment. Though seriously, watch this fancam video of mine and you’ll understand why I’m finding it hard to breathe at the moment. Gracious that boy can sing!)
That little taste of amazing was followed up by “Wonderful Tonight” and “You Make Me a Fool” which just happens to be one of my favorite songs. *sigh* I don’t know if you know what it’s like to watch one of your favorite bands sing one of your favorite songs while standing mere feet in front of you but I can tell you, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. I felt like I was floating on a fluffy cloud as I watched the boys sing my favorite song just for me. (Okay, so it was really for an entire theater full of equally happy BANAs but still… At that moment, for that song, it was really just for me. I know it.)
“Amazing” was next (and yes, the title pretty much sums up the entire night) followed by “Lonely” which may have brought out more than one excited squee from this fangirl. Having fallen in love with “Lonely” from the moment it was released, I died when I saw B1A4 perform it at KCON but not even that moment of bliss could compare to seeing them perform that song last night. Waaah! I died. Again. And then the boys performed “Solo Day” and I died all over again as all the feels that song invokes hit me like a ton of bricks. Someone should really have a word with those boys, killing BANAs as often as they do… Shouldn’t that be illegal??? I suppose, to be fair, the feels I get from listening to “Solo Day” have less to do with the boys themselves and more to do with the fact it was the theme song for my week in L.A. and well, I’m still suffering post-convention depression from that so the feels are still a bit intense. (Anyone have a cure for that? Anyone?)
After another video intermission (aka costume change) the boys were back, dressed much more casual and ready to party but first, one ridiculously lucky girl was pulled from the audience and taken on-stage, to be serenaded and flirted with by every. single. member. of. the. band while they sang “Chu Chu Chu”. AUGH! (Sorry, fangirl moment again…) While every other BANA in the theater died of jealousy, this lucky girl seemed to be dying of shock. Poor thing! I couldn’t tell if she was happy or sad or terrified or elated because she just sat there, staring at Jinyoung mostly, while the rest of the band tried to woo her and I suddenly found myself wondering if a person really could die of an overload of feels. When the song ended, she was given an entire armload of merch from the boys and escorted back to her seat and I really hope someone checked on her afterwards, just to make sure her heart was still beating. I’m pretty sure mine would have stopped, had I been in her shoes.
“Pretty” was up next and Baro spent a lot of time leading up to that song asking who was the prettiest one at the show before declaring we were all pretty (which was the answer one would expect from a band of boys who had just spend the better part of two hours wooing an entire theater full of squealy fangirls) but then he went on to declare himself the prettiest one of all and I just laughed. Oh Baro! It’s a good thing the entire theater seemed to be full of Baro fans, otherwise they might not have been as gracious with his declaration/semi-quasi-dis.
Next on the set-list was “What’s Happening” which has been my jam since I saw B1A4 perform it back in August, so I was over-the-moon about the chance to see them perform it again. (How can one zombie be so lucky?) “A Glass of Water” followed and “Who Am I” came next, along with an attempt to teach us a dance to go along with the chorus but I failed at that so I went back to taking pictures. I figured it was better to hide behind my phone than embarrass myself in front of the boys. I mean, I was close enough to make eye contact with both Gongchan (who smiled so brightly) and Sandeul (and he gave me that little crinkled up nose smile he does so well, Eeek!) during the course of the evening so yeah… They could have easily seen me failing at the dance and that would have been so not cool!
They “ended” the evening with a super fun version of “Baby Goodnight” that left the entire audience wanting more so back they came for an encore that included “You Are My Girl” and “In the Air” and it was during these last few songs that the boys really let loose and had fun. And when I say fun, I mean they really had fun! They were joking around on-stage and laughing and running around like crazy people and the fanservice, which had been great throughout the entire concert, was absolutely through the roof! OH MY GOSH! With the way the theater was set up, I suddenly found myself within inches (I.N.C.H.E.S.) of Baro and CNU and I very nearly flipped my cheese. (Apparently having biases suddenly appear within a foot of me kinda makes my brain shut down. Who knew?) Of course I kinda got my cheese back when I got hit by the water Baro was throwing on the crowd but I’ll forgive him for that, even if I did have to look through water spots on my glasses for the rest of the night. (And yes, I realize I could have taken off my glasses and cleaned them but that would mean missing out on whatever was happening on stage and there wasn’t a chance I was going to do that! The water dried. It was all good. He’s still one of my favorites.)
Not gonna lie, I was super jealous of the girls in the pit who got to be inches from B1A4 the entire night (especially since I could have been in that pit, had I known it even existed. *ahem* I’m Leo-death-staring at you Powerhouse! *ahem*) especially when the boys started taking phones from fans and taking selcas with them. (That always makes me jealous. *grumble grumble*) But, I can’t be too jealous because I still got to see B1A4 and I was close enough to have an amazing view of the stage (At least when poster girl’s arms got tired and she finally put down that dang sign… Watch my fancam of “Beautiful Target” you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Grrr!) AND I got to be a part of the high-touch after the show so really, I have no right to complain.
For those of you wondering about the high-touch, it was wonderful. The boys were waiting for us with warm hands and brilliant smiles and while the line was kept moving at a steady pace, we weren’t herded through like cattle. We had moments to linger, I had one right in front of Baro because someone ahead of me was hugging a different member and we just kinda looked at each other and smiled. I got to tell both Baro and Sandeul how much I love them, in Korean, no less, which seemed to take them a bit by surprise. (Either that or they were just plain freaked out by the fact that a rather tall, ridiculously happy, purple-haired, noona zombie was as happy to see them as the all the fangirls there who could actually call them “oppa”… Hmmm…) Freaked out or not, they both smiled back and semi-sorta held my hand for a second before I had to move on and then my brain went fuzzy and I can’t remember a whole lot else. I know Gongchan was next and then Jinyoung and I know that they both interlaced fingers with me when our hands met and they smiled but I can’t remember much else. (See what happens when a zombie is confronted by idols? Her brain falls out!) I’d like to think I told both Gongchan and Jinyoung how much I loved them but I really don’t remember what I said, or if I said anything at all. By the time I got to CNU all I can remember is that he he held my hand in both of his and smiled and I looked him in the eyes and my mind went completely blank. Too many idols, too many smiles, too many feels. I left the high-touch in a daze and stepped back out into the dark, cold world (and I’m not just being poetic here, it was late by the time the high-touch was over and it was really cold) trying to remember who I was, where I was and more importantly, where I’d parked my car. Good thing I had a couple of friends with me or I might still be standing in that parking lot, dazzled by B1A4’s wonderfulness!
Shaking like a leaf (and not just because of the cold) my friends and I decided it would be worth it to wait around and see the boys pile into their van after the high-touch, so we hung out with a bunch of other BANAs, waiting to send B1A4 off with all our love. I’m sure we waited for almost an hour or so, cheering the staff, crew, and band as they passed by, thanking them for all they did to make this night possible. Eventually the boys themselves appeared and with many smiles, waves, and a couple of hearts made for us, they drove off and it was really time for us to head home. *sigh* It’s never fun to leave a concert, especially when you know the chances of you ever seeing that band again are slim to none (and for the zillionth time I ask myself why I’m not living on the other side of the world) but B1A4 left me with such happy memories, my heart only broke a little. Ah, such is the life of the international K-Pop fangirl. You take what you can get, enjoy every single second of it and treasure the memories for the rest of your life.
If I had a chance to meet B1A4 again (with my brain still intact) I’d love to tell them thank you. Thank you for making Chicago one of your stops. Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into your music. Thank you for all the sacrifices you’ve made. Thank you for giving us a night to remember. Thank you for being so lovely. You are wonderful and I sincerely wish you all the best. B1A4, FIGHTING!