Recap and review (sort of): Jay Park Fan Meets Tour 2010 – Manila
SMX Convention Center – October 3, 2010
This is one of those things that wasn’t really on my schedule but it did happen. Some of my friends love Jay Park (aka. Park Jaebum) even during his 2PM days. I can’t say I love Jay (or 2PM, for that matter), but since I’m ready to plunge into any Kpop event in Manila, I joined them on this adventure. It’s always nice to have something to blog about other than my boring life and Rain, anyway.
After the overloading of senses that was the Double O-nite we had over the weekend (more on that at a latter blog entry), Charity, Chie, Lou and I went straight to SMX to check out Jay Park’s fanmeet. We didn’t have tickets yet so it was a ‘let’s see what we can find’ sort of thing. Which, it turned out, wasn’t so difficult to find. We didn’t even have to line up that long and we ended up getting a fairly good spot despite being at the Silver section. My position at U-KISS’ SM Clark mall tour was even further to the stage than our spot at Jay Park’s fan meet. Since I’m not a Jay-walker, I’m perfectly fine with that spot.
Here’s an amusing incident: while Charity and Lou were chatting with some of our ‘dongsaengs’ from other FCs and Chie and I were saving our spot at the Silver section, I saw someone familiar at the railings. It was Susanna, the 2AM fan whom we’ve met and has tried to help us (along with Saebum of UKISSme Korea) at SBS Inkigayo last February. I wasn’t sure at first, so I called Lou to confirm. She wasn’t sure, too, because this girl didn’t have the smiling eyes that we remember (which we later on found out that the culprit was her eyeliner ). Later on, Charity had the guts to approach the girl to ask and yes, it IS Susanna. Apparently, unlike our earlier suspicion that she flew all the way from Korea just for the fanmeet (we remember her declaring, albeit secretly, that she supports Jaebum in that whole Jaebum vs 2PM fiasco) she’s here for her college education (she has studied English here before) and will be staying here for four years. She was so surprised that we still remember her. How could we forget such a sweet girl?
And speaking of Koreans at the audience, unlike the other Kpop events that I have attended, I seem to have noticed that there were a lot of Koreans who attended this event. As in they could rival the Pinoys in number at the audience. Although maybe it’s because this venue is smaller compared to the other events that I have attended, so I was able to scan the audience more thoroughly. And I also noticed – though I expected this already – that I’m seeing the same old faces that I saw in practically all the Kpop events that I have attended (with the notable exception of the Intensity concert). I wonder when will the corporations get the clue that the Pinoy Kpop community isn’t really as big as they think it is? I feel that it’s getting closer. Anyway, I’m glad that Rain has already done a show in Manila before that realization happens.
About the show: I really can’t review this as a ‘show’ because it’s essentially a fanmeet with special numbers. To review it in terms of reviewing a concert would be really unfair. So I’ll just comment on the performances themselves.
There are two things I would like to commend Jay Park with:
(1) The boy can really sing. I mean, there was this one number (please don’t ask me the title of the song because the only Jay Park song that I know is Nothing On You and no, I’m not talking about this one) where he sang and danced and his voice never changed. He’s spot on with the notes and he didn’t have breathing problems even with the complicated dance moves;
(2) He knows how to work the Pinoy crowd, and that was mainly because his first language is English. Notice that I specifically said, “Pinoy crowd”. This would be different if his audience is of the non-English-speaking kind, and if the audience is not as demanding with using English in spiels as we Pinoys are. I’m sure there will be – or there are already – a lot of “compared to Rain who spoke in Korean” comparisons thrown around. Which is downright stupid, because Rain is a Korean who is born and raised in Korea and admits to being not fluent in English (sometimes I want to those who really believe that Rain is already fluent in English) while Jay is a Korean who is born and raised in America and admits to being not fluent in Korean. So to compare them solely for their ability to communicate in English is simply dumb.
Anyway, I digress. I did notice, though, that by the time the host asked, “do you want to hear Jay Park sing?”, the audience’s energy seem to have been decimated. Even the host noticed this; he asked the audience three times, saying he’s not satisfied with the answer. I’m sure we’re both expecting the screams to become louder and longer, given that we’re in a room full of about 95% young fangirls. It didn’t happen. I could hear the screams literally fade out just as quickly as it started. I don’t know if it’s because the audience was already tired after standing up for hours (I noticed the same thing at Super Junior’s PH concert; at the 2.5 hour mark, the general audience already lost all the energy to scream continuously) or maybe just like some people who were at Intensity, I was standing at the wrong area which didn’t have the same energy as the VIP section (though that couldn’t be the same case because SMX is nowhere as big as MOA Concert Grounds; the VIP section at SMX was literally just a few yards away from the Silver area). It did perk up the moment Jay ripped off his shirt, though.
Side note: When I got home from the fanmeet, I Tweeted that the only thing I remember from this show is Jay’s pink underpants. Someone commented about that Tweet at the forums, saying that maybe I was just shocked at Jay’s strip act. Err… duh? I’m a Rain fan. Six-packs are nothing new to me.
And speaking of underpants, really, what a huge difference a Korean production that doesn’t directly involve native Koreans make. At the ‘fanmeet’ portion of the show, Jay was asked a host of borderline ‘personal’ questions, including a remark about giving away his underwear. I’m sure, if Jay was brought here by Sidus instead of AOM, his Korean managers would’ve been frothing in the mouth as soon as that subject was brought up. He was also asked about having a girlfriend, specifically, what would he do if ever he was asked by the fans not to have a girlfriend. He said it’s not gonna happen in the near future, but if ever it does happen no one will be able to stop him from having one. For not giving a standard Korean idol answer that is obviously BS but will be given just to please the fans, I already love Jay Park.
One part that sparked my interest was the impromptu showdown between Jay and his AOM buddies and local B-boy group Solstice Crew. It was fun, to say the least. To be honest, I think Solstice Crew were better at straight-up dancing, but AOM were the better B-boys. But the level of respect between the two groups on stage was such a nice sight to behold.
As for the performances, specifically by Jay: I’m a bit torn on this one. Let me put this out of the way: Jay and AOM are good performers. However, watching them was just like watching my nephews hanging out with their buddies at the Barangay Hall beside our house. They’re good, but why should I pay good money for that when I can just peek through my bedroom window to see the same thing? And it didn’t help that Jay has a strong resemblance to two of my nephews. On one hand, it’s good that there’s this air of humbleness in the way Jay performs. But, as David Foster would tell Charice, there’s a good performance, and there’s an AWESOME performance. On-stage modesty is not the way to do it. Awesome performers have to be larger than life on stage. Sadly, Jay wasn’t like that, and I don’t mean literally.
(For 190++ photos of Jay Park and AOM, please visit my Facebook album. PLEASE DO NOT HOTLINK AND CREDIT PROPERLY WHEN SHARING/RE-POSTING ALL THE IMAGES TAKEN FROM THIS SITE AND MY FB ALBUM. THANK YOU!)