After a harrowing journey through the airport from Minnesota to Washington D.C., I made it to the Block B Showcase on June 24th!
This was the first trip Block B took to the United States, and I wasn’t about to miss that. They had a showcase in NYC before this one, and one in Miami after D.C. I could only imagine how tiring the trip was for them. Traveling to the U.S. from Korea, which is about 13 hours, give or take… doing all that dancing and singing in NYC… traveling to DC… and doing it all over again before taking a plane to Miami.
Sure they get paid for it, but I’m so grateful to them for throwing so much energy into it for us when I’m sure they were still worn out. And since it was their first time here, I’m sure there was some uncertainty on their part of what to expect. I imagine they’re so used to people recognizing them in Korea, that they figured there was a chance they’d come here and be ignored until the showcase. In an interview from Koreaboo, U-Kwon said he was grateful that fans showed up to welcome them at the airport, and I feel that’s the truth. I’m sure it felt like a perfect amount after a long trip compared to the amount of fans in Korea. (I’m not saying anything negative about Korean fans here, I’m just saying some American fans are over-reacting about Block B/fan interactions in the States.)
If you go to a Kpop concert in the United States, I highly recommend joining a group for it on FB and staying as active and involved with it as possible. I guarantee it’ll make your experience so much better!
Prior to the DC showcase, there were horror stories going around of bad fan behavior and bad orgainization on the company’s end. Apparently at one of BAP’s concerts, the boys had to assist fans in breathing exercizes and the concert was ended early. Accounts of fans rushing to the stage when they had payed for cheaper tickets, fans harming fans by forming a “pit”, and just generally awful behavior made us wary. Stories of security guards leaping over seats to grab camera phones out of fans hands also scared us.
Soon, news of the NYC showcase made their way to the FB group. The hi-touch event had apparently ended early because fans kept going twice, and they ran out of time because of it.
Hmmm. We weren’t sure what to expect.
- Very Good
- Wanna B
- 100% in sync
- Be The Light
- Did You, Or Did You Not
- Mental Breaker
- Nice Day
- Very Good (rock version)
I was almost late getting to the showcase. It was about 5 minutes to start time when I got to Warner Theatre, but there was still a huge line that curved around the corner. I was assuming the showcase would start late because of it, but everyone at the end of the line was in their seats at exactly 7:30pm. The staff of the theatre were great at the door. Very friendly! As we walked in the door, we were greeted with a big smile and handed small fan signs that waid “I Love You!” on one side, and “사랑해요” on the other. There were many doors inside, and we were prompted to enter any that were open. One of the theater staff joked around and helped point us in the right direction. I felt very welcomed, especially since I was at the end of the line, which meant the staff had been dealing with a lot of people already.
We found our seats right away. I was in the orchestra section near the back, (row U), but since the theatre was pretty small, I could see the stage very clearly.
On the FB page, there was a lot of confusion about whether cameras were allowed or not. Apparently Jazzy was posting conflicting info about whether no cameras were allowed, or only camera phones were. I didn’t notice cameras, but a lot of people were using cellphones with no issues at all. A few people had tablets, but nobody seemed to complain.
The only time I saw security go down the aisles was when one specific fan kept trying to sneak onstage when they were calling seat numbers for the fan interaction events, (wow, that selfish, self-entitlement attitude astounds me).
So, the showcase started. The curtains went up and everyone leapt to their feet, screaming and waving their lightsticks. I know many fans tried to memorize the Korean fan chants, but those were pretty much thrown out the door and replaced by as much singing as we knew. As a result, the American fan chants turned out to be yelling the English lyrics! (Personally, I think it’s cool to have an American fan version.)
Dave Yoon was the MC, and I know a lot of girls thought he was almost as good as Block B, haha.
There was a little greeting section, where the MCs asked Block B to introduce themselves and talk a bit. As soon as the MCs asked Block B to sit down for it, all the audience sat down too, without any prompting. It was great. Throughout the whole showcase, Kyung tried to speak as much English as possible… and it was pretty fluent and charming! They asked the boys if they preferred NYC or DC, and Zico did a little, “Why are you doing this to me…?” kind of laugh, paused, and said DC hahaha! I feel like he enjoyed being in NYC more, but didn’t want to say it in front of us. But they added on that they’d definitely like DC more if we cheer enough, so nice save~! LOL
Eventually, they started the fan interaction events by calling up 7 lucky fans. Each member read a seat number, and that fan was assigned to them. “Romantically” played and each boy sang their part to the girl before handing her a rose. It was great to see their individual styles of fan service here! Even though I was a little jealous, it was still somehow great to see. P.O. was the best at this, in my opinion. He kept snuggling right up to the girl… putting his head on hers! I don’t know how she didn’t faint on the spot. One of the girls almost cried during it, which was adorable. Zico was a tease! He pretended to hand the rose to the girl, and when she reached for it, he twirled it away! He did hand it to her nicely in the end. [Watch it here]
The next fan event was Charades.
Zico, of course, was the referee. The boys picked teams by rock, paper, scissors. They made a big deal about how one team was made up of the “losers” (P.O., Jaehyo, and B-Bomb), and the other, “winners,” (U-Kwon, Taeil, and Kyung). P.O. kept repeating “Losers!” in English after Zico pointed it out, laughing at them. Three fans for each group were called up to play with them. Then, each group picked out a team name. One team was called “Turnup,” and the other team was “Bumblebee.” When P.O. announced their team name, he acted like a bee, buzzing across the stage, making Zico laugh. Team Turnup had a fan with Zico’s bun hairstyle from “Very Good” and when she came onstage, P.O. exclaimed, “Ah! Zico… Zico…!”
A few fans tried to lie and say their seat was called, but if there was an incident, they checked tickets for proof. One girl was sent back. I’m not sure if she lied, or if they were confused and called two numbers because the first person didn’t get up there quick enough. In any case, the MC tried to avoid hard feelings by making the audience cheer for her as she was sent back.
The first subject was “Harry Potter”. Zico dramatically flipped over the paper and showed it to the audience and first in line for the Bumblebee group. It was hilarious to watch. They figured it out pretty easy, with no incident. Jaeyho was adorable when he had his “aha” moment. [Watch it here]
The second group got “Esla from Frozen”. They kind of struggled with that one LOL (B-Bomb kept making sound effects for the actions whenever Turnup would try to act out their clue.) The fan at the end of the line, kept looking back. Zico caught her doing it and told her to stop, but she didn’t listen, haha. However, U-Kwon was helping them cheat too, by humming “Let It Go” until P.O. pulled his microphone headset off (info via Fluff Sully Wazowski on FB), and Kyung started saying, “Let it go” when Taeil had been struggling for awhile. [Watch it here]
Near the end, we were informed that there was supposed to be a Q&A section, but the fans that had joined the FB group early on had prepared a video for the boys to watch instead, (I was a part of that~! Hehe). An amazing fan came up with the idea. We sent her short clips of a message for the boys, and she put it together. Jazzy gave her the go-ahead to include it in the concert. It was embarassing, but worth it! The only thing we wish, is that they would have recorded the boys’ reaction to it! Opportunity lost… We couldn’t see their faces, since they were facing the screen. Then again, they probably didn’t really understand what a lot of us were saying LOL… U-Kwon mentioned afterward that he liked to see us trying to speak Korean. So! If Jazzy allows us to do something like this again, let’s all try to only speak in Korean LOL Hopefully our accents won’t make it difficult to understand either…
After performing another song, the MCs asked Block B what they thought of the video. P.O. commented that we were sexy, haha. The intepreter MC wasn’t translating everything though, and so the boys started making fun of her LOL
[Here is a more accurate translation of what they said.]
Their performances were great! The fans screamed so much… I almost went deaf and hoarse. I mean, the air around me was vibrating with the sound of the fans! Even so, we could hear the boys well enough. Though, sometimes the staff turned their sound up a little too much… lol.
The showcase section was an hour and a half long. It felt short, though.
At the end, they all left the stage, but U-Kwon kept popping in and out to tease us! Finally, he stopped coming back… so we all started chanting for the encore. The camera kept zooming in over the lights in the audience, until finally, the boys came back and performed two more songs! We all freaked out. The boys kept taking camera phones from the audience and playing with them! I was so jealous of that… Haha.
We sat and waited, as instructed in the emails sent to the high-touch participants. Apparently, the lower priced ticket-holders in the balcony were asked if they wanted to upgrade for $40, so they had a chance to hop on the high-five train. We all waited while the 20 lucky fans who purchased the photo package got to go up and get their picture taken with Block B. Some of them tried to get an autograph after, but were pushed off the stage by staff. I feel like if they had paid that much, they should’ve been able to do that right then and there, but….
Then VIP ticket holders got in line for the hi-touch. One of them went through wearing a furry costume. The audience cheered when they saw it. B-Bomb had a “wtf” face, and Jaehyo looked bewildered. Zico cracked up. [Watch it here]
Kyung high-fived alternating hands for awhile, haha.
After that it was announced that the $110 ticket holders should get in line… and that was the only mess in the event that I witnessed. We got up and had no idea where to go. We walked towards the lobby, but were told to go back… but when we tried to go back, one of the Korean-speaking staff, a loud, smaller woman, kept shouting at us to go to the lobby. We went back and forth like that for a while, before another staff came up and talked to her. They argued a bit, before a third staff member came up and told us to follow him. So we followed him through the back seating, and were on our way up the stage!
The hi-touch event went by so fast.. I hardly knew what to feel! It was a quick high-five down the line, and that was it. No time to talk, and I’m sure it was difficult for them to keep up with each fan, since they went by so fast in an endless stream. All I remember is that they had stage make-up caked on (LOL), Taeil looked right at me in the eyes, and Zico acted happy, but somehow seemed distant and avoided eye-contact with most fans in my section. Zico was right at the end, though, and I feel that he didn’t want to encourage any fans to get too excited and hold up the line. There was also an account of a fan unexpectedly hugging Zico, and it looked like it surprised him, and staff had to get involved. So it’s probably a combination of being over-tired/grumpy, and trying not to get fans overly excited. Other accounts claim the way the staff treated him got on his nerves and subdued him.
Once we were done with that, we were ushered right out the door. I approved of that, given the NYC problem. This way, it was harder for fans to sneak back around. It was sad to be outside hearing screams and cheers though. I really envy those who had enough money for the VIP package… but most of my money went to plane tickets!
I couldn’t go to the signing since I didn’t get a VIP ticket. But here’s a quick summary of some notable events:
Staff was rude to both Block B and fans (may or may not be true):
- Zico thought a fan was giving him a gift, but staff told him “No” when he moved to take it, and they dragged the fan away.
- Staff told Zico to sit down and be quiet during the signing.
Overall, fans behaved well. Not at all like the horror stories previously mentioned. Fans didn’t shove each other, and I really didn’t see many rushing/sneaking to the VIP sections. People were allowed to use camera phones, but the view was obstructed by them at all, (at least where I was, way in the back). Some fans went up to the stage, but I think the majority of them were people who paid for the closer tickets. I’m pretty sure a few from my row snuck up there, but they only did it towards the end, and came back after a little bit.
I feel very proud to be an international BBC right now!
On the other hand, it seems staff was a little too rushed… a bit unorganized… but I feel it could be a lack of experience and communication issues. I heard that the fansigns were rushed, and supposedly Zico didn’t agree with that. If people paid those high prices for VVIP and VIP tickets, they should have been handled with more respect. I can understand the hi-touch event going fast since there were so many fans, but the autographs should have gone slower, especially since BBCs were on their best behavior when running into Block B in public.
However, it’s important to note, that there’s a conflict about whether it was theatre staff or Jazzy staff that was rude. So it’s not wise to just blame all bad occurances on Jazzy. Without Jazzy, we would’ve have seen the boys.
I think it was definitely worth the money and travel troubles, and I wish I could re-live this event. It didn’t feel real!
And the whole experience turned my husband into a BBC! Since we got home, he won’t stop looking up photos, videos, and articles of the boys LOL (Seems like his bias is Kyung~)
Next time, I’m going to try to get more involved with fellow fans. I had troubles with travel, so I didn’t have energy this time around, but I know the FB page planned a pre-meeting at the Honey Pig for the night before the showcase, and an after party arranged on FB at Muzette and such… both were arranged way back in March, but many fans were still unable to go in the end. I think time and distance played the biggest factor in that.
Thank you so much to everyone involved with making this showcase happen!
I hope to make another post featuring fan accounts outside the showcase soon, so stay tuned!