Monday, May 7, 2012

[Article] Kim Hyun Joong | The Path Less Traveled


for the past few years, singapore has become sort of a magnet for kpop and kdrama stars.

i can’t even recall when hallyu (read: korean wave) has become mainstream. yup, it’s no longer just a small group of fanatics and maniacs liking all things korean, now the korean influence is evident in almost all aspects of our lifestyle.

i’ve lost count of the korean stars gracing our shores. since quite a few years ago, organizers too have started jumping onto the bandwagon to bring korean artists here for fan events. in fact for the past couple of years, hardly a month goes by that we do not see a korean artist in town. some months, we even see a handful.

even the recent MEN’s FASHION WEEK 2012 saw korean stars like SE7EN and daniel henney headlining the events.


that said, not many kpop artists are able to sell out big-scale concerts here, unless they’re mega stars. i think so far, we’ve seen super junior and girls’ generation hold successful concerts that sold out. the rest, they mostly take the safer route of organizing showcases.

the difference between concert and showcase?

well, it’s mainly about the scale. concerts are usually held at singapore indoor stadium or sometimes at the max pavilion (where capacity is smaller and venue rental is cheaper. but hor, the cheaper rental also means poorer sound quality… sighs…)

showcases are typically held at smaller venues; we’re talking about capacity of usually between 800-1,200 fans for showcases. showcases usually feature some 6-8 songs or sometimes 10 if the artists or agencies are feeling generous, keke! showcases would usually include a Q&A segment and sometimes, they even throw in some games or interactive activities with lucky fans.

and… sometimes, in order to generate more money, the organizers may also sell ‘add-on items’, like pay an additional amount on top of the ticket price for an autograph, a handshake, and sometimes, even photo opportunities. recently, there’s also a new trend of selling passes to attend the press conference.

yea, these days, everything’s getting so ‘modular’, tsk tsk…

what about kdrama stars, you wonder…

since they can’t exactly sing a handful of songs, they usually have what we call fan meetings. these usually last an hour or an hour and a half. the korean artist would usually show up and have Q&A session and then play some games with the fans. there may be a song or two, but usually no song since actors and actresses can’t necessarily sing.

and oh, yea, the organizers sometimes also sell autograph passes, photograph passes or press conference passes… as for scale, fan meetings are usually about the same as showcases, yup, about 1000 heads or thereabouts,

now as you all know, KIM HYUN JOONG was recently in town.

the fan event was sold as a fan meeting. and it actually happened last friday evening at the concert-worthy singapore indoor stadium.


fan or not, if i were to speak objectively, that was a very very very sincere showing.

here, check out the setlist:

1. Intro: Let Me Go
2. Break Down
3. Please
4. Thank You
5. Happiness Is
6. Kiss Kiss
7. I’m Your Man
8. Smile
9. Because I’m Stupid
=== Stage Activities ===
10. Marry You
11. Do You Like That
12. Lucky Guy (remix)
13. If You Are Like Me
=== Encore ===
14. One More Time
15. Lucky Guy

yup, practically 15 songs!

he called that a fan meeting?! that’s like a concert already!

yea, there were stage effects, dancers, specially prepared clips, etc etc etc. oh, he even let ‘money’ drop from the sky for us, keke! u:zoosin dollar notes!


and yup, there were stage activities too where he played games with fans and stuff.

seriously, he needn’t have.

he could have made the same amount of money with a lot less effort, honestly.

i mean he could have easily sold out a fan meeting of, say, 1,200-1,500 capacity and during the event, just stroll in, smile, answer some questions, smile, play games, smile, take some pics or shake some hands, smile.

no need for even change of outfits, or dancers, or stage effects… and yup, that also means no need for endless hours of concert planning, choreography, dance practices and even training up his stamina for the concert.

to be honest, it ain’t even his style to do fan-friendly stuff like those that he did onstage last friday night. yea, i know lots of fans liked that, but i cringed at more than the things they were trying during the stage activities. kindda cheesy and contrived, if you ask me. and oh, don’t get me started on how awkward the language barrier was…

but sure, i totally can see his effort and his earnest wish to want to up the fan service.

lotsa heart there, HJ.


on top of all that, it’s like he knows what fans want and he even threw in the high-five session.

it’s always difficult (especially for overseas) fans to get a chance to go up-close and personal with their fave korean stars, let alone having abit of skinship, keke! seems like he totally understands the heart of a fan! *squeals*

and we’re talking about high-fiving every single fan in the audience. the fan meet started slightly after 8pm and ended at almost 11pm. and i know that he was still onstage high-fiving and shaking fans’ hands after midnight. (hee, as expected, the high five session kindda turned into a handshaking session!)

there were some male fans whose turns were towards the end and they shared that his hand was already rather weak and near trembling by then. yea, i guess it was hard work. after the performance, he had to stand somemore and shake everyone’s hand and all the while, standing straight and smiling and saying ‘Thank You‘ to everyone.


HJ arh, why did you choose to do it this way?

this is indeed the path less traveled.

most korean artists would have taken the more comfortable way out and just do a fan meeting. and i mean a ‘normal’ fan meeting where he doesn’t need to sing and dance and sweat it out. quite easily done in under two hours, no sweat.

but what did he give us last friday night?

this man gave us the most sincere of sincere fan meetings.

i saw in last friday’s fan meeting – HJ’s heart. it was pure and pure wanting to give his fans something spectacular. he’d chosen not to take the easy way out and had chosen to sweat it out instead of just smile it out.


那一夜 星光非常灿烂

and… some of you may know that i love love love MURDERERQ’s pics and fancams of HJ. seems like she was here too! check out her photos from last friday HERE!

and here’s a sampling from last friday night, courtesy of THEMURDERERQ’s YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

2012.05.04 | Kim Hyun Joong @ Fan Meeting – Singapore

if you’re a fan and you didn’t catch his performance, i think it’s a real pity. especially if you haven’t yet had a chance to see him perform live. lotsa fans would vouch that HJ is a lovely to look at on posters and stuff, but he’s even lovelier when in motion! (and hey, he even gave us the long-missed jjitjoong! how could you have missed that one, ya?)

so now, if you can afford the time and money, do go support him in hong kong and taiwan. yes, tickets are still available, so go go go.

if you’re a fan, yes, i’d go so far as to say you’re letting him down if you don’t go see him. if you don’t go show support for all that he’s done for you. this is the guy who had given you free showcases in seoul, and this is the guy who had given you a concert-worth of fan meeting when he could have just sat there and breezed through it with no sweat.

and now, i leave the media pictures from RUNNING INTO THE SUN (RITS), the organizer for HJ’s fan meeting in singapore.

do note to credit RITS if you use or repost their pics. no watermark doesn’t mean you can steal pics, k? it’s shameful how picture stealing has been happening in the fandom. 62 handshake 9

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