Tag Archives: Seoul

JYJ Countdown: D-21

For tonight’s countdown post, I need to leave Japan in 2010 for a moment, and take you to Seoul in 2014. To the Opera Theater in the Seoul Arts Center, to be exact.

Tonight I had the immense pleasure of seeing Junsu perform the role of Dracula in Dracula: The Musical. That man truly does have a talent for musical theatre. He was absolutely, positively, delightfully flawless. Phenomenal, even. I can’t actually believe how moved I was by his performance. It was all in Korean, and I don’t understand enough Korean to know what was being said and sung on stage tonight, but the emotion that Junsu infuses into every note told me all I needed to know. When Mina refused him and broke his heart, I felt his pain, and cried with him. When he became vengeful and predatory, stalking Lucy without mercy, he made my heart pound in my chest and my breath hitch. (And yes, I really, really wished I was Lucy in those moments.) Predatory Junsu is seriously the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life, hands down.  No wonder Lucy was powerless to resist and even Mina couldn’t deny how drawn she was to him. Junsu filled the stage with his charisma, and the chemistry he had with both female leads was palpable.

It was a fantastic production, one of the best I’ve ever seen, and, even though I’m not a musical theatre fan, I’ve actually seen quite a few of them. Even disregarding the Junsu factor, it was flawless. The sets were stunning. The cast was phenomenal. The music was SO GOOD! It took my breath away. I hope they release a soundtrack (with Junsu, of course) because I want to have those songs. What? Did I just say that I want to own a musical theatre soundtrack??? I think Junsu is turning me into a musical theatre lover.

Here’s a video of Junsu and Jung Sun-Ah performing Loving You Keeps Me Alive. Give it a listen. You won’t regret it.

We weren’t allowed to take pics during the performance, and my seats were super far away anyway, so I didn’t even bother to try during the curtain call either. I did, however take pics of the signs etc in the lobby of the theatre…

Cast

Dracula Cast

DraculaJunsu

Junsu as Dracula

Lobby

Lobby of Opera Hall-Seoul Arts Center

Junsu-pillar

Junsu on the pillar in the lobby

DracNMina

Dracula and Mina poster

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JYJ Countdown: D-23 part 2

This is an excellent time to be a JYJ fan. Today, they announced the name and release date for their full-length comeback album: comes out on July 29th. To say that I’m looking forward to it would be the understatement of the century.

Along with the announcement, CjeS released concept photos for the new album. There was  a really good one of the guys:

JYJ

Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu – concept photo

I didn’t realize until I saw the picture above, but it’s been ages since I’ve seen Yoochun in full K-pop makeup. And I’ve missed it. Jaejoong and Junsu have both released solo albums, so they’ve been in their K-pop idol personas quite often in the past few years, but Yoochun has been focusing on acting, and hasn’t sported guyliner in far too long. It also looks like he might be sporting some sexy highlights in his hair too. I approve. 🙂

The rest of the concept photos can be found at the JYJ Official Facebook page.

A post on the JYJ Official Facebook page said that the 3 members wish they can make people happy with JYJ music. Well, I, for one, am happy just at the sheer thought of them releasing an album together!

Another reason that it’s a good time to be a JYJ fan is that Junsu has just started his run in Dracula: The Musical. Two of my friends and I are going to see it on Saturday (and then I maaaaaaay have gone and bought myself tickets for another 2 performances in the first week of August), and I can’t wait! He is going to be fantastic in that role.

Aaaand, if all that good stuff isn’t enough, Jaejoong’s drama Triangle is doing well in ratings. And Yoochun’s big screen debut is also just around the corner! And August 9th is their concert in Seoul! And!!! Tickets for their Hong Kong show on August 16 go onsale tomorrow and I am going to try sooo hard to get one. All I need is one standing room floor ticket and I will be a happy camper. Wish me luck!!!

 

 

Counting Down to JYJ-28 days

From today, there’s exactly 4 weeks until I see JYJ in concert. Even though I’m still disappointed with my seats, I’ve decided to focus on the positive: I’M FINALLY GOING TO SEE JYJ IN CONCERT! So, to celebrate, I’m going to try posting something awesome and JYJ related every day until the concert.

Today, I start with one of their music videos. This song is from their In Heaven album. It’s one of only 2 songs from that album that they made an MV for. The song and video is about discovering your girlfriend is cheating on you with one of your friends… I can’t imagine why anyone would want to cheat on any of the 3 of them. (Well, I mean, I could be tempted away from either of the other 2 by Junsu, but that’s just cuz Junsu is my ultimate, be-all and end-all perfect man, so that doesn’t count. 😉 )

Anyway, here it is:

Get Out

This video is one of my favourites, because all 3 guys look great in it. It’s definitely among my top 3 looks for all 3 of them.
I like Yoochun best with longer hair, but the short hair and a suit works really well for him too. And in the dancing scenes, when he’s not wearing the muscle shirt and vest combo, his arms look fantastic.

And speaking of arms: JUNSU! OMG JUNSU’S ARMS! Junsu looks amAAAAzing in this video. His arms are all toned and sexy and I love both the colour and style of his hair, which is something that doesn’t always happen. Junsu sometimes makes haircolour choices that aren’t my favourite, but in this MV, he’s right on target. And whether he’s sporting the muscle shirt and vest arm-bearing combo, or the sexy suit, or the silver jacket, he looks fantastic. And yes, I admit I’m a bit biased, but just look at him in this MV, he looks great. You can’t argue against that.

Not to be outdone by his dongsaengs, Jaejoong is in peak form in this MV. It’s perhaps my favourite look for Jaejoong – or at least tied with Mirotic era Jae… I always flip flop between those two looks. But anyway, I digress, he looks stunning here. The dark hair styled up off of his face is just perfect, and the scenes with him in a suit make melt just a little bit.

Get Out is one of my favourite songs to dance around to (at home, where nobody can see me!) I know when they play it at the concert I won’t be able to resist dancing and singing along, no matter how terribly I do it…

Ecstasy and Agony

Sooo… last night the 2nd round of JYJ ticket sales happened. Just like last Wednesday, my friend and I headed to the local PC 방 (faster internet than the crappy connections we get in our building), hoping this time we would be successful, since last week’s venture left us empty handed. I logged in to my Interpark account, and at 8:00 pm on the dot, I tried to pull tickets. SUCCESS! I got 3 tickets in the VIP section within the red oval:

seating map

JYJ concert seating map – Seoul August 2014

Yes! Seats in the area that is encircled by part of the stage! RIGHT NEAR THE ROTATING PLATFORM WHERE THEY WILL PROBABLY SING IN HEAVEN AND DO THAT THING WHERE THEY TURN TOWARD EACH OTHER AND FEED OFF OF EACH OTHER’S ENERGY AND CREATE THIS AMAZING SYNERGY THAT I WOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER GIVING A KIDNEY OR PART OF MY LIVER TO SEE UP CLOSE! Yes, those seats!

Life could not possibly get better! Those seats were literally a dream come true for me and I had them in my hot little virtual hands!

I proceeded through the ticket purchase process – something I’ve done at least a dozen times by now, so I can do it quite easily, even in Korean – and got all the way to the screen where you select the method of payment, but for some reason, the list of bank cards wasn’t coming up, and where the ‘Next’ button usually is, it said  잠시만 기다려주세요,  so I waited for a bit. But I also didn’t want to wait too long and lose my tickets, and there was that little ! in the status bar at the bottom of the window that indicated an error, so I had my friend on the computer next to me try to grab a single ticket elsewhere and see what happens if you hit the ‘previous screen’ button. She did and the tickets were still intact, so I decided to back one step and then try again, hoping that when I got to the payment screen, my tickets would still be there, and they were! I was successful!  Yay!

It allowed me to select the method of payment and move forward one step. Then… when it came time to input my card details, there was a notation of an Active X that needed to be allowed. So I allowed it, because otherwise I couldn’t proceed. AND THE DAMN PAGE REFRESHED BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND RELEASED MY TICKETS!!!!!!! And try as I might, I never got them back.

So, now, I’m stuck sitting in the seats within the navy triangle on the map above. It’s a far cry from what I had been in reach of just moments before. Now, unless you’re a  huge, devoted fan of something, the way I am of JYJ, you might not understand how I feel, but let me tell you that my heart literally hurts and tears well up in my eyes when I think of it. So I am doing my best to try not to think of it, and just focus on the fact that we got tickets, which is much better than our attempt last week, and that I will finally, after years of waiting, get to see JYJ together. Live. In concert. Making magic like only they can.

But I needed to get it all out of my system in order to move on, hence the post.

I’ve also decided that I’m going to try to get a ticket for their Hong Kong concert the following week and change my flight for my trip to Japan to accommodate a side trip to Hong Kong… They have general admission floor tickets, and that’s what I’m aiming for. Wish me luck! Maybe third time’s a charm?

Oh, and just in case you want to see what I mean about JYJ’s synergy as they perform In Heaven, you can watch a fancam here. It’s a great performance, and the synergy part really kicks into high gear around the 3:37 mark.

 

New Year’s Eve thinky thoughts

2014

With a little less than 5 hours left in 2013 for me, I feel the need to reflect for a moment or two.

This has been an interesting year. The first half was uncomfortable for me. I felt isolated a lot, both at home and at work. Ahh… work… yeah… Work made me really unhappy a lot of the time. Not as unhappy as my first year managing the training team, cuz that was disastrously stressful, but it definitely wasn’t making me feel fulfilled. Or useful. And I think that feeling seeped into my non-work life as well.

Fortunately, I  have some good friends near and far (especially my KDKP fam) who helped prop me up when I needed some extra TLC. And I had Kpop. Roll your eyes if you want. Shake your head and judge me as a weirdo and crazy fangirl if you need to, but the truth is, Kpop is my happy place, and has been for a few years now. It’s my escape from all manner of stressful emotions: whether I feel sad, angry, frustrated, worthless, overwhelmed… whatever negative emotion I feel, if I immerse myself in Kpop for a while, that feeling dissipates. I don’t know why it works that way for me, but I’m not gonna question it.

Kpop also played a part in my decision to quit my job and move to Korea to teach English. It wasn’t the REASON I came to Korea to teach – my interest in Korean culture goes beyond pop culture, and my desire to teach English overseas goes back many years – but the idea that living in Korea could mean more opportunities to see Kpop shows, and specifically to see JYJ live in their own country, gave me the courage to cast aside my fear of rejection and ignore the large part of my brain that kept screaming “No, you don’t like change! Change is scary! Change is bad! Don’t do that!!!”

So, despite 2013’s rocky first half, today I sit here on New Year’s Eve happier and more content than I’ve been on any NYE in recent memory. I love my job to the point that I didn’t mind working until 4:40 today, because it meant hanging out with my rural school students watching Star Wars, decorating cupcakes to look like Princess Leia, having battles with lightsabres made of animal balloons and laughing my butt off on more than one occasion. I’m going on about 4 hours of sleep, because yesterday, I booked it to the bus terminal after school, hopped on a bus to Seoul, met my friend at the subway and headed to Jamsil Sports Complex to see Junsu (yes, JUNSU!!!) in concert. Afterward, we stayed up talking until way too late, then I woke up a good 2 hours before sunrise, hopped on the subway, headed to the bus terminal, then got on a bus back home to Chungju so I could get washed up and ready for my afternoon at school running English Camp. Yet, despite being tired, I’m happy. And I’m going to head upstairs to one of the other English teacher’s apartments where a bunch of us are going to enjoy a Mexican themed evening filled with games, yummy food, sangria, and, I’m sure lots and lots of laughs. Yeah, not a bad way to welcome in 2014. 🙂

Happy New Year, everyone! If 2013 was good to you, I hope that trend continues. If it’s a year you’re happy to see the end of, I hope 2014 is much more to your liking.