There’s a saying that if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. This is one of those moments.
We didn’t plan to go to SM Clark for the U-KISS promo. For one thing, the venue is not in Manila. It’s not even in the suburbs of Manila. Those amongst us who had vehicles had things to do on Saturday and personally, I’m not that much of a fan yet to make the effort to commute all the way to Angeles City just for that. For me to make that effort, Rain must come to the Philippines for a promo tour. However, it was so tempting to go there. Since the venue is not in Manila, there is a big possibility that there won’t be as many people who will attend the event unlike in Megamall and especially at North EDSA. I know that a lot of students who missed the Megamall leg due to final exams are going to flock to SM North. So if we want to get an up-close experience with U-KISS, SM Clark is the best option. Also, Charity and Lou have missed the show last Friday because they got caught up at work (Lou caught the autograph signing; Charity arrived just minutes after U-KISS have left the building) so they haven’t had their U-KISS fix yet. Cha is willing to drive to Clark; however, Saturday was her father’s birthday. She said she’ll let us know if her father is in a good mood enough to allow her to leave after she treats him to lunch.
The following morning, I got a call from Cha. Clark is a ‘go’.
Cha, Lou and Jean left Manila at around 2:00pm and fetched me at the Bocaue exit of the NLEX. We arrived at SM Clark at a few minutes after 5:00pm. By that time, we really weren’t expecting much because I already read from Kairu’s Twitter that as of lunchtime, more than 100 CDs have already been sold. Although that’s still a small number compared to Megamall which already had more than 100 CDs sold a few minutes after the mall opened and the number swelled to about a thousand by the time the show has started. When we finally reached the Entertainment Center, we felt a glimmer of hope because this is what greeted us:
Yup, there’s still more than enough space to disco in there. Take note, this was already about an hour before showtime. Charity and Jean hurriedly went to the selling booth to check if it’s still possible to be included in the autograph signing. They were told that the first 300 CD buyers are guaranteed to be prioritized for the CD signing (note: this was an increase from the 200 at Megamall). And at that point, they’re at Number 297. Cha and Jean quickly said they will get the last three CDs but then suddenly No. 298 got sold, so they ended up getting Nos. 299 and 300. Talk about another photo finish. I Tweeted this to Kairu, who replied that we seem to be always getting the last copies (this stemmed from the fact that I bought the last copy of Rainism from Odyssey Megamall the night before).
We decided to let Cha and Lou get the CDs and the Not-So-Death Zone access since Jean and I were the ones who used the Inkigayo passes last February. Besides, if I will go in, then who will document the U-KISS Mission? I luckily was able to get a good spot at dead center right at the barriers and this time, I stuck myself like glue on it so that no one will be able to squeeze in front of me. However, it turns out that the said spot is not quite good, after all.
Allow me to reiterate my loathing for banners and other audience paraphernalia during concerts/shows. I hardly saw U-KISS because them banners were almost completely blocking the view. It became so much worse when the boys sang As Long As You Love Me (yup, the Backstreet Boys song) because they did that number sitting down. We at the back only contented ourselves watching them from the big screen because we can only see nothing but banners and LCD screens.
Charity has mentioned this to us and I agree: why does it seem that everyone gets taller whenever U-KISS comes out on stage? I mean, I saw this little girl who’s probably about 3 feet tall, and she was brandishing this banner that was enough to cover two or three U-KISS members. Mind you, the stage wasn’t exactly low. How the heck was she able to hold her banner that high for the entire duration of the show was beyond me.
It didn’t help that the SM Clark stage set-up didn’t have ample lighting. I don’t know if it’s because of Earth Hour or what, but the stage was really dark. As a result, it was quite difficult to take good photos. Even the commissioned photographers did not do a good job (that, or maybe they’re simply not good photographers). Most of the fans who participated in the CD signing complained about the bad photos that they had to pay for to get a copy of.
Another “palpak” with this show is that the sound people played the wrong song for their opening number. The U-KISS guys got majorly confused because they were ready to perform Bingeul Bingeul but an entirely different song was played. It screwed up their setlist. It’s a good thing these boys are seasoned performers. They did their thing as if nothing wrong has happened.
However, the great thing about this show is that the boys were in their element, fan service-wise. They were complaining about the heat – well, who wouldn’t? Even us Pinoys are complaining about the heat, how much more these people who came from a place where it’s still snowing? – but that didn’t dampen their spirits. Actually, it gave an excuse for Eli and the Fan Service Prince himself, Soo Hyeon, to remove their coats and perform Bingeul Bingeul with just their black singlets on. That certainly riled up the ladies, including the little girls (which elicited a WTH?? from the unnies Cha and Lou). And during the CD signing portion, they once again made it a point to include those who weren’t able to join the CD signing by standing up and acknowledging the fans who were calling their names every once in a while. They also graciously signed other things such as shirts and body parts even if it was specifically told that the boys will sign only their CD and nothing else.
But the real highlight of this blog entry is, of course, Charity and Lou’s U-KISS Mission. You see, in events like this, everyone will try to catch the boys’ attention and get their own special moment. Lou and especially Charity will not allow to let that moment pass without anything special happening to them. They had this idea of having their photos with the U-KISS fan club in Korea printed to show to U-KISS. They wrote a note behind the pics just in case they would be able to hand it over to the boys. The organizers had told everyone that if anyone has any gifts for U-KISS, they have to give it to their assigned staff before they proceed to get their CDs signed instead of handing it over to the boys. But the mission won’t work if the photos end up in the staff’s hands instead of them personally showing the photos to U-KISS, so Cha and Lou devised a plan on how to hide the photos from the prying eyes of the organizers. They also brought the autographed U-KISS banners that they got from the fan club in Korea. This plan would’ve worked better if the organizers did not decide to stretch the number of privileged CD buyers to 310 and Cha and Lou were the last two to get their CDs signed. They might’ve been able to chat with the guys a bit longer. But despite that small setback, the mission was still accomplished successfully.
And to show to you exactly how successful it was, here’s the subbed fancam from Charity’s point of view:
Aside from the photo mission, Lou also had her ‘special moment’ with Ki Bum. It’s at the 0:53 point in the video. This is her exchange with Ki Bum:
Lou: I know your brother. (of course, she meant she knows his brother because of SS501, but it sounded like she knows his brother from way back high school or something)
Ki Bum: Really? You know my hyung?
If you will look closely at Ki Bum’s reaction to Lou, it seems he really thought that Lou knew his brother personally. Now that I think about it, it seems Ki Bum was at the receiving end of so many “I know your brother from SS501” special moments. Kairu had that moment with Ki Bum at Megamall, too.
Anyway, as with the Megamall entry, I shall be posting a few photos in here and uploaded the rest at my Facebook photo album. Please give proper credits and DO NOT HOTLINK!!! if you’re going to post them anywhere else. Thank you!