Friday night GOT7 graced the stage of Chicago’s Riveria Theater, the second of three stops in their first U.S. Fan Meeting, and I had the enormous pleasure of being one of the nearly two-thousand fans who flocked to the venue to spend an evening with JYP’s adorable rookie group.
Having fallen in love with GOT7 the moment they debuted, I’ve always considered myself to be a most devoted fan but when I got to the Riveria that afternoon, I quickly realized I seriously need to step up my fangirl game. Four hours before the show, the line of I☆GOT7s waiting for their chance to meet their beloved biases encompassed an entire city block. Admiring my fellow I☆GOT7s’ dedication (and in desperate need of some serious fangirl training) I decided to spend some time sitting at the feet of the devoted, soaking in all I could of their vast knowledge, hoping that some day I too will be able to join the ranks of the elite, dedicated, front-row scoring Fangirl Masters. My time with the Masters was not wasted as I picked up some valuable tips but more importantly, I made some wonderful new friends.
The hours spent in line passed quickly enough, as everyone knows friendly fangirls will never lack for conversation, and as the hour of awesomness approached, so did the storm clouds. After successfully dodging the rain that had been predicted all week, the eleventh hour proved to be a soggy one and more than one I☆GOT7 spent the rest of the evening with soggy shoes and drippy hair. Despite the dampening of the shoes, the spirits of the crowd, as they were finally allowed to file into the theater, soared. Excited and soaked, I☆GOT7s filled the theater to near capacity, the electric energy in the room filling everyone with an excitement that only escalated as the minutes to showtime slowly ticked by.
By the time the house lights dimmed and the intro video began to play, the energy of the crowd reached breaking point, the electricity palpable as the moment we’d all been waiting for finally arrived. The moment GOT7 set foot on stage, the energy that had been building among fans for hours erupted, the roar of two thousand fans so powerful it very nearly knocked me over. Encouraged by this most enthusiastic greeting, GOT7 kicked the evening off with a performance of “Stop, Stop It” so amazing, I had to pinch myself to make sure I was really seeing all those glorious wiggles firsthand. Oh gracious, help me! It’s one thing to watch GOT7 wiggle their way through music videos and dance practices and stage performance but to see those wonderful wiggles in real life and the smiles and winks that went with them… Well… Let’s just say GOT7 made a lot of fangirl dreams come true that night and it all started with those wiggles. *siiiigggghhhh*
Moving from “Stop, Stop It” into “Forever Young” GOT7 proceeded to melt the hearts of their fans with their sultry voices and killer fanservice before disappearing into the dark for a quick set change. When the stage lights went up, the evening’s adorably wonderful emcee, Dave Yoon, took the stage, introducing himself and the evening’s events, while at the same time, keeping the energy of the crowd at a level bordering very near frenzied. Satisfied the audience was adequately stoked to meet the boys, Dave called them out and once again GOT7 took the stage to the wildly excited screams of their adoring fans. (And yes, I was one of them.)
Before settling in for a little Q&A time, GOT7 made their signature introduction, setting the already excited audience into a tizzy. With waves, smiles and a bit of excited laughter, the boys took their seats, looking pleasantly surprised to be greeted so warmly. To kick things off, Dave asked the boys about their impression of Chicago, to which Yugyeom replied with an “OH MY GOD!” so enthusiastic, he set the entire crowd into a riot of laughter. From there the boys answered questions from the audience, choosing them from a board which had been plastered with question bearing post-its prior to the show. The first question asked was from “Amy Noona” who requested a song sung by Jr. In response, Jr. found “Amy Noona” in the front row of the audience, knelt right in front of her, took her hand and sang her the sweetest little tune you could ever wish to hear. I’m not really sure how well “Amy Noona” fared but I can tell you my heart completely melted at that moment.
Jackson was up next and being asked to choose between demonstrating his agyeo and sexy dance, he left the decision up to the audience. The response to this question was overwhelmingly in favor of the sexy dance and Jackson was only too willing to comply. Asking members for a beat he could dance to, Jackson took center stage ready to wow us all with his sexy dance but none of the other members seemed interested in helping him out. Completely undeterred, Jackson provided his own beat and danced to his heart’s content while every Jackson-stan in the audience died a thousand times over. Jr. seemed to think Jackson was getting a little carried away with his hip thrusts so he stepped up to cover Jackson with a towel but that only sent the audience into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. I’m not gonna lie, I laughed so hard I cried.
Mark was the next to answer a question, though really it was more of a request for a dance battle between him and JB. Unafraid of the challenge, JB accepted and the battle that ensued was really more of a tumbling demonstration than a dance battle but it was still totally amazing. Both JB and Mark are incredible acrobats and their tumbling, while impressive on video, is absolutely mind-blowing in person, especially when you’re close enough to see those arm muscles in person… Holy flip! I think I had a couple of moments there when I forgot how to breathe!
Yugyeom was asked to shoot a heart at someone, which he did with an adorable smile. Youngjae was asked to sing his favorite song and when broke into “I Believe I Can Fly” the audience enthusiastically sang along. JB was asked to sing as well and OH HOLY BUCKETS! My heart was not prepared for his little solo! Clutching at my wildly beating heart, I melted into a puddle of fangirl goo while JB’s glorious voice was amplified by the addition of every other member’s microphone to his own as he sang. I think there was a very good chance I would have remained a puddle on the floor of the theater had it not been for BamBam and his sexy “Touch My Body” dance which successfully revived me and then sent me right back to the floor, rolling with laughter.
With Q&A time out of the way, it was time for some serious fan interaction, in the form of a rousing (and surprisingly competitive) game of Musical Chairs. Fourteen lucky winners from the audience were brought on-stage to compete with the boys for the title of Musical Chairs Champion and I’m sorry to say, the boys didn’t last long. BamBam, Jr., Mark, Yugyeom and Jackson were all out after the first round. Youngjae was quite literally knocked out of the second round by one fiercely competitive young lady and JB was out in the third. In the end two very happy fangirls were declared winners but no girl on that stage could have left disappointed as the boys made sure each participant walked away with a smile and a hug.
From there the boys were asked to draw a number from a box and the winners were granted a picture with the band after the show. While this could have been a slower part of the evening, the boys kept us entertained with their adorable antics and their never-ending fanservice. With the winners drawn and announced it was time for more music and I have to say, “Forever Young” is a wonderful song to die to when you’re being slain by the likes of JB and his heart-stopping winks o’ death. Gasping for breath, I tried to recover from JB’s noona killing assault but “Magnetic” (or “Neoran Girl” if you prefer) was next on the set list and Yugyeom’s dancing, paired with his sunshine smiles, sent me back to the floor, a quivering puddle of fangirl goo.
On a quest to kill more than just me, Jr. was quick to point out Chicago was so hot because of the I☆GOT7s that filled the theater. With much banter between the boys and Dave, it was suggested the boys of GOT7 release an English album, much to the delight of the audience. Jackson was quick to point out such an undertaking would require the permission of JYP which immediately prompted Jr. to point out he was JYP and he gave his wholehearted consent. Unfortunately I don’t think the word of Jr. counts for much when it comes to albums… Dang it!
As the boys were preparing for the next game of the evening, they were met with a little surprise. Knowing BamBam had celebrated his birthday the week prior to the fan meeting, Chicago I☆GOT7s decided to throw him a little belated birthday party. Presenting a very shocked BamBam with a three-tiered cake, the entire theater rang with a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” that left the poor boy speechless. To repay his fans for their kindness, BamBam performed his “7th Heaven” rap and I think he was a little bit shocked when he held his microphone out to the audience to fill in the blank and we did, though, I have to admit, not very well. Hey, at least we tried!
The next game of the evening was probably the funniest as seven members of the audience were brought on-stage, blindfolded and then forced to “Identify” one member of the group by his voice only. As the boys were allowed to do whatever they wanted with their voices, they decided to let their more mischievous side loose, whispering, breathing heavily, making bizarre noises, animal sounds and a rather impressive JB impression of Smeagol. With only one winner out of the bunch, the boys were once again quick to console their disappointed partners with lots of smiles and hugs, while the winner found herself surrounded by seven adorable boys as they all posed for a picture.
With the evening’s entertainment quickly drawing to a close, Dave asked the boys how they would rate their time with Chicago I☆GOT7s, on a scale of one to ten. Jackson was the first to answer, giving us a generous 3,000. BamBam gave us an adorable “10점 만점에 10점” and Yugyeom answered sweetly, “GOT7, ten points. I☆GOT7s, infinite points,” as he made the infinity symbol with his hands. After giving their final thoughts on the evening, GOT7 said their goodbyes and wrapped things up with a performance of “A” that had the entire audience singing along.
Of course everyone knows no self-respecting I☆GOT7 in the audience would let their boys go without an encore and GOT7 was more than happy to oblige. Appearing once more, the boys delighted us all with a performance of “Girls, Girls, Girls” every bit as glorious as I had ever dreamed it would be. As if the evening hadn’t been lethal enough for this poor zombie fangirl, GOT7 decided to go ahead and kill whatever little piece of me was still grasping onto life by performing JJ Project’s “Bounce”. Yup, that one song was the head-shot that did this zombie in and I’m blaming it all on JB and his frickin’ smile and his little booty shakes. Dang it boy! Why must you kill me so. many. times!?! By the time GOT7 started in on their remix of “A” I could no longer keep myself together and I gave into the overwhelming rush of feels, singing and dancing and jumping and squeeing as my beloved boys poured their heart and soul into their final number. As the stage lights dimmed and the boys disappeared into the darkness, I was so overcome with emotion I wanted to cry, not because I was sad the boys were gone but because they had filled my heart with so much joy.
In all my years and all the concerts I’ve attended, I honestly can’t remember an evening more enjoyably spent. The boys of GOT7 were nothing short of perfect. Their performances were on-point, their fanservice was both generous and lethal, their smiles were pure sunshine, their laughter was contagious, their happiness was obvious and therefore heartwarming and this evening proved to me that the love these boys have for their fans is undeniably real. I know it is because I’ve experienced it first-hand. I’ve seen it in their eyes and in their smiles, I’ve heard it in their hearty laughter and their sweet voices, and most importantly of all, I’ve felt in in my heart. Yes, I know, I sound like a silly fangirl spouting sonnets over one of her bias groups but I don’t care. These boys made a very strong impression on me and I’m not sure I’ll ever recover. Honestly, I don’t want to recover. GOT7 has stolen my heart and I’m perfectly happy to let them keep it. Forever.
If you’d like to know more about my evening with GOT7, say how BamBam made me feel like the most special person in the world, or how beautiful Yugyeom’s smile is in person, or about my uhh… rather flustering moment with JB… *heh heh* don’t be afraid to ask. I’m always ready to relive the glorious moments of this evening! Of course if you’d rather hear about the heartbreak of having your camera go on the fritz on concert day and being forced to make due as best as you can, I could tell you that too. *sobs* Maybe you have some amazing stories to tell as well. Whatever the case may be, I’d love to hear from you so be sure to leave me a comment below. On second thought, don’t ask about the camera. That wound is still too fresh.