Wednesday, 6 February 2013

121213-16 London for Big Bang

note: this was supposed to be a fanaccount of sorts, but in the end it just became me rambling about tons of other stuff, too, so if you're bored or meh just scroll to the bottom for cams and pics

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once upon a time me and Tia got to talking on twitter about Big Bang.
more specifically Big Bang in Europe, and since their Alive World Tour was in full swing, and they had actually included parts all over the world (not like certain other groups who claim world tour, but then stays in Asia -.-) I had long thought about how great it would be if they came to somewhere in Europe cos this is another group both me and hubs like, so less guilt about forcing him to spend a lot of money and come along if they ever set a date here.

so when Tia told me they'd have a show in London I was all jaghjdhfjkf!!! apparently it had been confirmed for a while but since I only have a couple of VIPs on tlist, and I don't talk much Big Bang with them, I was clueless.
but Tia linked me to their Facebook page with all the necessary info, bless her heart.
tickets would be going up for sale "soon" so there was a lovely agonizing waiting period ahead orz

the day did come around and yet another frustrating ticket session with hubs over Skype. not that he was being frustrating, just..
but as all other times so far *knock on wood* we ended up with tickets!!!! hbvgahcdjfhbvasdj \o/
it wasn't the tickets we set out for because before we could get through they were sold out -.- Ticketmaster has this motherly annoying system where you, 1) have to type in CAPTCHA every time you want to try a new search, which is often, cos, B) you can't chose seats or sections or anything, only price, so every time you're not happy with what's been selected for you WHICH IS OFTEN you have to start the whole process with CAPTCHA all over orz

so it took forever to try a million times on 2 pcs to get tickets we wanted, and in the end we just couldn't keep trying cos hubs had to get back to work.

and that's how we ended up taking the easy, but expensive, way out and bought Hot Tickets.
tickets which included a t-shirt, a lightstick, a "backstage pass", and most importantly - the option to choose your own seat!
in the end those tickets cost us quite a bit more than the tickets we originally wanted, but later when we saw the merchandise prices it actually wasn't that expensive at all. sure, if we had gotten the tickets we wanted at first, we wouldn't have bought the same merchandise, but value-wise it wasn't that bad of a deal, and today I'm glad we got t-shirts.

that day after we got the tickets I noticed Ree (I call her Miranda, don't ask) was going all jsdhfjshf on tlist about Big Bang, too, and since she lives in Scotland I of course asked her if she was going and she said yes!!! WHICH MEANT WE COULD MEET!!!!!!

long story short on that one: things looked shady right up until a few days before BUT ALL PANNED OUT.
we were going for the concert on Friday, she was going on Saturday (they had added an extra concert date due to high demand), but we could meet by the arena for lunch on Saturday before she had to queue.

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come travelling day we actually remembered to bring our concert tickets (praise shisus) AND I managed to survive yet another air plane ride (praise shisus times two).
despite speaking the language and me having been to London before, the thing we barely didn't survive was navigating the way from Heathrow to our hotel because omg it was so complicated?????
we got lost and went the wrong way, and more than once did we dream ourselves back to the ease of Seoul's metro where we never got lost, not once not eVER.

on their website it said that the hotel was about a 10 min walk from the tube, but in reality it was more like 20.. which was still doable, it's just.. there was so much dog poo on the sidewalks that 10 mins had been nicer..!

but we just kept walking, hoping we had gone the right way towards the hotel, and eventually we did reach the place. it looked really nice and..British??, whatever that means, on the outside, and the breakfast "room" was a proper restaurant that was part of the place.

aaaaaand then we got up to the room...
let's just say that they apparently had a special room used for the pictures on the website cos oh my god our room looked nowhere near that! LOL
sure, it was a good size with high ceilings, and the bed was firm like I like, but.. there were cracks in the walls, the faux fire place was literally crumbling while we were there, the bathroom was a "box" built in to the corner of the room, which of course meant it was tiny, like, almost backing-up-to-the-toilet tiny!
there were cracked tiles, a huge hole in the door that looked like it had been spackled with a butter knife, just..
I'm not high maintenance, I'm really not, but if you're gonna charge people money for something there should be a minimum standard higher than this.

but we just dropped our bags off anyway and headed back to the tube cos I was dying to go to Wembley and check out the area for the next day!

the weather was really beautiful. icy cold but there wasn't any wind so with proper clothes that wasn't a problem.
the thing that was a problem was the price to drive 5 stops, like, what the hell, that's not how you make people wanna use public transportation and help the environment fyi.

once at the Wembley station you can't miss the stadium, it's HUGE!

as we walked towards it we couldn't help to notice all the many hotels and openly wish we'd been able to book one of those instead.

first thing we did was to go see how easy it would be to find the restaurant where we had set up the date with Miranda, and it was really easy.

so we then went over to check out the concert area.

it was easy to find Wembley Arena as well cos it's right next to the stadium, and, maybe it was because of the cold, but I was still a little surprised to see that there weren't anyone queueing.
in fact the only thing happening were some Samsung crew members working hard to set up a Samsung Galaxy promo booth thingy.

we walked around to get a better look, and I wasn't so much surprised as I was oddly annoyed that on all of the Arena there wasn't a single poster for the concert?! the only one we saw was a tiny poster inside the lobby of the arena, but that's it. nothing on the outside anywhere, like, what the hell??
of course the Samsung display had a few posters cos sponsors, but still.. I dunno I just found it odd that Wembley had posters and banners or whatever it was of others when they weren't the one on the program for the following two nights...
ok, butthurt moment over.

we also went in and asked the box office lady about when and where we were gonna pick up our tickets and the goods, and then we just wandered around for a while until we went back to the hotel.

of course we were pretty hungry by now and just across the street from the hotel was this pub so we just went there. it was a really local clientele, and a little awkward with everyone turning and looking when you walk through the door, but there was room in the corner, and the food was good and maybe best of all reeeeeeally cheap!
only glitch was Mads ordering a drink with a name he thought was a fun name for a beer. turned out it was a cider and he cursed until I kicked his ass about just going up and buying another real beer this time. and then all was well in the kingdom.
especially well since my burger came with a cheese sauce!!?! it was soooo yummy, and I'm kinda pressed DK burgers are never like this :(

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concert day usually means getting up early and queuing for hours and either sweating or freezing your ass off, so because we had seats this was a very different experience.
we did go down to have toast and yoghurt in the restaurant in the morning, but then we just went back up to the room, and while hubs slept in I streamed MelOn Music Awards on YouTube. is was a really good stream and the show lasted for, like, 3 hours or something and there was a lot of my fave groups performing and winning.

in the end we did end up leaving the hotel a little later than we had planned, but once we arrived at Wembley there weren't even that many people queuing yet.

we picked up our tickets and merch vouchers, which were for pick-up once inside the venue, and since queues were short we decided to use some of the wait and go to the regular merch booth before we lined up.
there were a lot of really nice and knowledgeable helpers walking around, and after a quick inspection we asked one where we could find a cash machine cos of course it was cash only at the merch booth.

so there we are at the cash machine talking about how £50 had to be more than enough cos we only needed 3 big lightsticks... famous last words -.-
so in the end hubs didn't get a big lightstick cos they cost £20 and the second one was for Rayna. cut to the concert and he was too busy taking pictures of everything to wave a lightstick around anyways so it was all good.
besides the lightsticks that came with our tickets were official and fine, too, so there was no shortage.

in the merch queue ^^

we found our queue, and even though it wasn't even that cold and we only ended up waiting for a couple of hours (there was a slight delay before they opened the doors) it was one of the longest waits I've ever done oH MY GAAAAWD so boredasdgfhgjsfg

look how short it is! this was the entire queue an hour before the doors was supposed to open.
hubs had borrowed my green hat ^^

only plus was these two girls passing out glowsticks cos we didn't have any yellow ones /bad VIPs

once inside we got our cameras passed by inspection, we picked up the merch, and then headed for the bathroom cos I had, like, tears in my eyes, okay, I hadn't peed for hours at this point!

but I was bursting with anticipation, too, so when hubs went to the bathroom and left me with all the bags and coats and stuff I couldn't help but lug it all and take a sneak peak into the arena and my heart just wanted to leap out of my chest from excitement!
it was so much smaller than we had expected, and although I didn't go find our seats specifically I could already tell from the overall view that we would have a great view!

although we did end up having people of Asian descent (though none looked Korean) as our immediate neighbours I was really.. uh, happy(?) to see how many, um, non-Asians were there /sucks at being pc. not sure why, though..

look at ma Big Bang nail polish 8D not really it's just yellow but

hubs wore his home made Gangnam Style t-shirt from last summer, but since it was yellow and in the YG fam we figured it was all good :P

we bought some pasta salads and water, and we just barely had time to eat and get organized with cameras and glowsticks before it was showtime!

the concert itself is a blur in the sense that I won't be able to give you an accurate play-by-play.
first of all I was in my usual omg-it's-kpop-before-my-eyes-asdfghjklasjdhsg mode, and also, since I don't know a lot of Big Bang songs on a deeper level than "wow I like you, lemme listen to you on repeat and not care about what you're called" it's all a big hot mess in my head.
the cams do include pretty much every song except a few solos, I think? sawwy but my arms needed a break once in a while and I chose solo moments from members who.. weren't Jiyong.

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random thoughts about this and that.

HOL.Y. FUCK. close-ups for these guys were just freaking horrible cos unlike other fave groups, who are all about choreographed dance routines and line-ups so you can learn it all by heart and know when they're gonna make a sharp right and still be able to follow with your cam, Big Bang is all about running wild and going crazy.
same for pics cos they hardly ever stood still so, um, sharp pictures..? yeah no.

when they did do choreography I couldn't help but chuckle cos it was just so relaxed and half-assed compared to what I'm used to seeing LOL
not that I'm judging them for it, it's kinda perfect for them cos a super sharp high tech routine would have been completely out of character. it just amused me.

another thing that amused me was Seungri's English - or should I say British! I have no clue why I found it that funny, but I did! as you can hear and just generally I found him really fun and easy/outgoing.

I was so enthralled in filming and, just, everything that it wasn't until we came back home, days later, and were editing the pics that I suddenly realized Taeyang had gotten a nosebleed. hubs judged me orz
it's not like I didn't notice him running around with a huge piece of paper sticking out of his nose, I just- ..yeah, I dunno, like I said, asdjhsjgdjh mode was on.

Daeseong's a sweetheart.

because there was so little choreography they were free to move around, and they really took advantage of that and were all over the place so no part of the stage felt empty.

I had wondered before if I would be a bit bored with a full concert with a group I relatively speaking don't know that well, but 1) I knew almost all their songs except 1 group song and 1 or 2 solos, I think? and B) TIME FLEW it was over all too quickly :(

although I would never want them to do their songs in English it did obviously create a less awkward atmosphere that they were able to communicate with the audience directly cos jokes and puns just loses point in translation time.

I'll never be drawn to big muscles no matter how shirtless they are..

they seemed really pro but in a relaxed kinda way. when Daeseong, Taeyang and Seungri had to stall they did it perfectly in English without any serious awkwardness.

Jiyong just oozes goddamn S E X and I just wanted to throw him down on that stage and mess up his Tintin hair uGH

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but that's pretty much it, I think.. the house lights came back up far too soon, but I don't know what amount of concert time would have felt sufficient at that time.

we got some random snacks from the convenience store across the road, and back at the hotel we immediately started going through our pictures. there were like 500 or something so we didn't get through them all before hubby passed out.

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the next day we went down for a full English before we continued editing until we had to go meet Miranda. I WAS ASDFGHJKLSKDKJ!!! if the day before had been bad this was worse oMG
we tweeted and everything was on schedule, but when we were walking from the station towards Wembley the poor girl still called us cos she was lost LOL
and indeed she wasn't on the right way to the restaurant cos suddenly we spotted each other, her coming toward us in direction of the station orz


yep it was all very dignified ahem

it was one of those really surreal experiences of meeting someone you feel like you know so well, yet when you see them in person it's obviously a stranger. but not in a stranger-stranger way, and not in a bad way, and maybe it's mostly just me cos I'm so awkward with socializing in real life in general, but..
it was like the first time I met hubs. even though we had talked on ends pretty much for more than 6 months it was just weird to finally see that person in front of you.

anyway, same with Miranda, and I really tried to be normal and unfazed, but in the end I don't think I succeeded very well. I think I looked away too much cos all I wanted to do was just sit and hold her hand and stare at her face for two hours and burn her image into my brain, so I'd never forget that moment. does that make me sound greasy? I. DON'T. CARE.
maybe next time?
oh, and we went to the loo and I think she touched my hair? jsdhgfsjdk ;A;

much sooner than to my liking, but not the restaurant's who casually mentioned to us that they were gonna set up for dinner soon so no more lunch, we had to leave so she could go queue.
hubs wanted to walk around Wembley it's a guy thing?? so we walked Miranda back to the Arena, and, MAN, did I wish we were going for the second concert, too! /sobs and even more so when I found out Jiyong dyed his hair bright red for the second show fu 

pictures and tight hugs and "see you again"s instead of "goodbye" and she was gone :\

Miranda had talked about how she and the girls she stayed with had gone to Chinatown at some point, and since we didn't have any plans for the rest of the day, and since we're obviously suckers for stuff like that, we went there after having circled Wembley.

Saturday afternoon in December and oh my gOD the whole of downtown London was just horribly packed with people everywhere. inevitable, I know, but I just really can't stand sidewalks where you can't walk.
and there were such a huge amount of people drunk and dressed in Santa costumes, like this was some sort of classic Christmas office party date or something.
once we got to actual Chinatown it got a little better cos people spread out more, but still.
but I do love those kinds of neighbourhoods and we just wandered for a while, looking at small shops (I wanted to get magenta hair dye but no luck) and restaurant menus for later.

when it was time we went in to this little Korean restaurant (asdgsfjhgfh they have Korean restaurantS!) cos they had both haemul pajeon and samgyeopsal.
it turned out to be a bad decision, though.. we ordered haemul pajeon and some sort of wang mandoo for starters, and then samgyeopsal, but there was so much waiting, room temperature water after we asked for it twice, and despite what it may look like portions were small.

but the real kicker was that "samgyeopsal" was literally just that, just a few thin strips of pork belly. and since there were only the tiniest amount of only two (is that amount even legal?) side dishes we would have gotten a bigger amount of food if we had eaten barbecued meat skewers from the street stall next door. we laughed through the tears of hunger.
oh, and we didn't have any cash and we couldn't find a cash machine which is why we didn't just go and buy those skewers after we quickly left the restaurant - of course not until after we paid the sizeable bill! -.-

I had talked about us going to watch The Hobbit cos this was premier weekend, so we set out to find a movie theater to see if it was even possible to get decent tickets without reservations - plus at this point I was kinda dreaming about buckets of popcorn.
we did find several, but all were 3D and since I have a.. that condition where your brain can have trouble interpreting the 3D images so it just makes you nauseous? yeah, it's actually a legit condition despite my feeble attempt at explaining it.
tl;dr: I can't watch 3D, but one of the places was a chain of theaters, and the nice man gave us directions to a theater with 2D screenings, so off we went.

when we got there they actually did have tickets left, but only if front row if we wanted to sit together, and since the next showing wasn't until, like, 10pm or something and now was only 8:30-ish, we decided to just drop the idea and instead go back to our own quiet neighbourhood and get some more food cos, well, hungry..!

we got some chicken take-out and we also hunted some ethnic supermarkets for different seeds for the ryebread hubs bakes at home, but they didn't really have anything we can't buy here so we just bought a huge bag of cashews cos they were cheap.

back at the hotel there was a private party at the restaurant, and since we were directly above it we had a decent background audio going until 3am. it didn't bother me, but hubs grumbled a bit even though he of course had no problems sleeping.

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Paddington station

going home day always has that returning-to-pumpkin feel to it, and a delayed plane didn't exactly help that, though we found a random outlet for the pc, and I watched more of our cams while we waited, and hubs napped. seems like he sleeps a lot xD he really doesn't on a daily basis so maybe that's why he feel the need when he's got nothing else to do aka no pc or Internet connection? idk dun ask me, the man's an enigma.

but, yeah, despite a flight information board that didn't get updated with our delay until the very last minute the end of the weekend was fairly uneventful.

my first kpop solo concert.. it's amazing, really. when I got into kpop 2 years ago it seemed impossible to attend a solo concert unless I flew to Asia, but now..

and in 2 days we'll even be flying to Paris for a solo concert with a bias group somebody hold me *weeps a river*

I can't wait~♥

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this is somewhat Jiyong biased, consider yourself warned

as far as pictures and cams are concerned, it's the usual drill.

please, DO NOT RE-UPLOAD my cams without my permission, but feel free to spread my youtube links around, preferably with a "do not re-up" note.
and DO NOT crop, edit, gif, vine, or whatever else you can think of that would alter my original material.

as far as the pictures are concerned, feel free to share if you find them good enough for that, but DO NOT crop my watermark, DO NOT edit, and please re-up in full size. please credit.

other than that I hope you enjoy, and as usual, thank you if you actually read through this entire post 

3. Taeyang, Seungri, Daeseong - ment + Taeyang's improv solo
solo cover: Chris Brown - Don't Judge Me

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funky glasses

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