Aftermath Report: Super Junior Super Show 2, Araneta Coliseum, 10 April 2010.
Notice that I used “Aftermath” instead of “Review”. This is because I may not be able to give a truthful review of this concert because I actually don’t consider this show as a ‘concert’. (Interestingly enough, I started writing this entry with SuJu’s Sorry Sorry – Answer blaring on my computer speakers. I blame the media player’s random play for this.)
To explain the ‘Mt. Everest’ bit: we got seated – well no, “stood up” is the more appropriate term because I never even got seated at all – at the last row of General Admission, literally just a few feet away from the Big Dome’s ceiling. So this is what Araneta Coliseum’s ceiling looks like up close. Scary! Anyway, we got GenAd tickets because as much as we are all out in supporting any K-pop artist who comes here in our country for whatever reason, we – well, I – am not a big fan enough to spend a lot of money on Super Junior. Their tickets are so pricey, although look at me talking about pricey tickets when I spent something like USD250 for tickets of a glorified mall show featuring Rain. We would’ve taken more expensive seats if the pricing isn’t as insane as charging almost USD100 for Upper Box which is literally just a few steps away from General Admission which costs a little over USD20. SVIP is relatively cheap for me, I mean comparing it to Rain’s ticket prices it’s basically the same, but as I’ve said, I’m not a fan. I even despise one of their members (you know, the guy who hates fat girls when he’s fat himself ). I just went there to have something to blog about. Hence, you are now reading the most expensive blog entry I’ve ever written.
Also, as much as we should’ve gone to Araneta early to get better seats at GenAd (the section is free seating so you have to come early in order to get good seats), we are not crazy enough for SuJu to spend hours in that summer heat just to get good seats. This group is not worth getting hospitalized for hypertension. So while most of Kpopland have started lining up as early as dawn, we went to Araneta less than one hour before the show. We ended up not getting any seats at all, which is actually a bad idea because it means we’ll have to stand up for the entire duration of the 3-hour show. We did not think this through. Well, at least we avoided heat stroke…
I’ll just do the rest of this write-up in bulleted form since it’s simpler that way:
(1) Despite what press releases and Tweets would say, no, it is not full house. It’s so far from full house. I’d say it’s about 80% full, not counting the dead spots. The only full sections were SVIP and GenAd. I really blame the insane pricing scheme for that. However, per Charity’s assessment, she thinks the producers still made money even if it wasn’t sold out.
(2) The stage was so high, I really pity those at SVIP Standing because of the stiff neck they might’ve suffered from watching the show from that area. I think the ones who got the best deal were those at SVIP Seated and Lower Box. They even got more attention from the boys than those at Standing. But the best thing about the stage set-up is that it was so high, even us at Mt. Everest got a clear view of the members’ faces. That, or Ella’s camera has the most awesome zoom lens ever.
(3) I initially did not intend to bring a camera since I read the promoter’s notice beforehand that cameras, even cellphone cams, will not be allowed inside the venue. Even fan clubs warned their members to bring their cameras at their own risk. Eventually I decided to bring my Canon SX200 since it’s small but has a powerful zoom lens. At least, I didn’t have to suffer carrying a large and heavy camera with me. I was not expecting to take a lot of pics given the kind of tickets we have; my original plan was just to take some wide angle shots of the stage and the crowd. However, Ella brought her new camera, a Canon SX20IS which has a – get this – 20x optical zoom. She let me use it and I basically spent the entire night trying to familiarize myself with the camera’s controls and testing how far would the camera’s zoom abilities go. Needless to say, and you will see on the pics themselves, that I was impressed with the zoom ability. But I was not impressed with the slow focusing and the difficulty with maneuvering the zoom lever, so that means I ain’t parting away with my S5IS just yet.
(4) Still, I’d have to thank Ella for giving me something to amuse myself with. Sorry to say this, SuJu fans, but show? What show? They even had the nerve to call this concert a Super Show and yet I did not see anything particularly ‘super’ about it. The more appropriate title for this should be Super Fan Meeting. My overall assessment of the concert would be: this show was conceptualized with just the fans in mind. If their aim is to please their fans, then yes, they certainly achieved it. But if they intend to entice non-fans or people who are familiar with them but are not exactly fans to become actual fans, I don’t think it worked. I mean, I paid a ton of money for a concert. Therefore, I was expecting actual song and dance numbers that will blow me away. That’s what a concert is all about, right? However, SJ’s Super Show was nothing but one hour of song/dance numbers that aren’t even ‘concert-worthy’ (nothing special about them, IMO) and two hours of fan service. Yes, I do take it too seriously, but I paid good money for this so I should take it seriously, yes?
(5) The first three or four numbers of the show – see, I can’t even call it a concert anymore – looked more like encore numbers because the boys barely performed. They just did some singing, some dancing and lots of cutesy stuff. I began to wonder if the show’s unique feature would be to do it backwards, that is, do away with the encore numbers first and then do the mind-blowing opening number last. Thankfully, the show turned into something resembling a real concert somewhere in the middle. The only parts that impressed me, performance-wise, were Don’t Don and the number after that. Some of the solo and mini-group numbers are also okay.
(6) On the plus side, the stage production is fabulous. I think this is the first time we have fully realized that it IS possible to stage an indoor concert here with that kind of production values. It’s just too bad that the performances did not quite live up to the fabulousness of the stage.
(7) The one thing that kept me interested in the show was waiting for whatever Heechul will do, wear or bring to the stage next. I think the entire coliseum was waiting in bated breath every time he would approach a co-member and make like he’s going to kiss him, but he never did. I guess the boys were told not to do it here, else get an even nastier comment not just from Mo Twister but from all conservative groups in this country. If they don’t want Kpop groups banned here, better not do something that will upset the elders.
(8) I haven’t watched enough concerts of international acts lately to know this, but has there ever been a time in the past where fans threw undies and condoms at the stage? To be honest, I’m surprised that Pinoy SuJu fans did that. I remember during Menudo times, Robi Rosa specifically said that the one thing they like about Filipino fans is that we don’t throw undies at them. But then, that was almost 25 years ago. We are already at an era where little girls who are barely in their puberty stage are spazzing like crazy whenever their Kpop idols show off their abs.
(9) As much as I despise Shindong, I must commend him for making the effort to learn how to count in Tagalog and say, “anubayan!”
(10) Because of the sheer number of members Super Junior has, it was quite difficult to follow what exactly was happening at times. Each member was doing something different all at the same time and I guess, unless you’re a fan of a particular member and is following him and him only, it would be impossible to really monitor what’s going on. The entire show was full of randomness, which might be good for some but personally, I got bored with it. By the two hour mark when my hips started to hurt because I’ve been standing all this time, I started wishing I was at home monitoring the events in Taiwan instead.
As usual, I will just upload a few photos here and you can check out the rest at my Facebook photo album, that is, as soon as my internet cooperates and uploads all 180+ of them. It’s actually about 500+ (it’s really quite a wonder how we were able to accumulate that many when we were at GenAd; I guess that means I was really bored and just amused myself by taking pics) but I had to narrow it down to the more interesting ones. I’ll update this entry with the link once the photos have been uploaded.
Edit: The rest of the photos can already be seen here.