I was one of the few noonass trapped in a sea of shrieking, screaming, near-epileptic girls during the one-night concert of Korean band, CNBlue last Saturday, June 15 at the Araneta Coliseum.
I couldn’t blame them — I almost passed out due to the sheer talent of this band — well, make that good looks, charisma and talent. Like I told my good friend F, these guys–especially Jung Yong-hwa (lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist) must have been in the front when God decided to shower his people with talent. Hearing them shred their instruments to pieces, you wouldn’t think you are actually listening to guys with ages ranging from 21 to 25. They are that good.
I arrived at the venue a quarter before 7PM and a full hour before the concert began. At first, I was worried seeing there were only a few people in front of the Araneta Coliseum grounds. I was expecting the same level of chaos I experienced during the concert of another well-known Korean boy group, but it was a lot different last Saturday: there was no long lines of people inching to go inside the venue, no mass of people milling around or harried-looking people who seemed to be in line in the last three hours. Apparently, the organizers allowed people to go inside earlier, hence there was no choke point in any of the entrances. Apparently, the lack of chaos should be credited to the organizers who seemed to have avoided a lot of the aggravation usually associated with concerts concerning gorgeous Korean boys mixed with the pheromones of their fandom.
I got the second to the cheapest tickets, the most which my measly budget can afford. While I would have loved to be front row and center and bask on the charms of Yong-hwa, however, as a married noona — bills and the responsibilities of married life usually come ahead of fandom. Nonetheless, I am elated to have the chance to hear the boys live, especially Yong-hwa whom I have been fan after his turn as Kang Shin Woo in “He’s Beautiful.” Even if I was so high up, it was clear from the beginning that the concert would be one hell of a good time.
The boys opened the concert greeting the enthusiastic Filipino audience in Tagalog. In fact, the boys went beyond the tried-and-tested “Mabuhay”, “Mahal ko Kayo” and “Salamat Po.” They were speaking in the sentences, winning the hearts of the audience in the process. Aside from Yong-hwa, Lee Jong-hyun, Kang Min-hyuk and Lee Jung-shin peppered their set with tagalog words and expressions which the audience really appreciated. (The 17-ish girl beside me wheezed, “He’s sooooooo kyoooooot! Haylaaaaaaaaab you Yong-hwa!!!)
Araneta Coliseum was only 80% full but you wouldn’t notice that it’s not a sold-out concert on the way the guys played and their fans responded. Every song was met with varying levels and octaves of shrieks and undying declaration of love and fandom. The boys, meanwhile, played as if it was the Grammy’s and they were up for Band of the Year. Believe me, they were that great. Jong-hyun, the vocalist and lead guitarist exuded a mysterious charisma that only intensified when he is doing wonders with the guitar. Him and Yong-hwa played flawlessly, you wouldn’t think they were a band that debuted only four short years ago. Ming-hyuk, the drummer, displayed promise and an endearing personality that was made obvious on how the girls cheered for him. Honestly, he seemed to have the most number of fans (or maybe it’s a toss up with Yong-hwa) due to the deafening shrieks that filled the stadium each time he was shown on the screen. Jung-shin, meanwhile, was the cool one who seemed to be wrapped in his own world as he played the bass. And finally, Yong-hwa…I may be biased but how can I describe this guy without sounding like a noona with a favorite brother? He dances, sings really well, plays the rhythm really good, provides fan service like no other…what else? He was just that good. In fact, his sheer talent managed to sway a lot of my beloved “K-Popper girls” who used to ship other members.
NOTE: Band member photos are not my property. Sources include Yahoo OMG PH, Oh-KPop and CNBlue Manila.
What further enhanced the experience was the good lighting effects and lasers which filled Araneta as the boys played. The introduction video as well as the supplementing video presentations was also nicely-done and added to the experience.
In summary, it was truly a magnificent concert experience. It was so worth it–braving Manila’s weird weather and a bout with slight fever just to hear these guys play. In fact, I told F that CNBlue will definitely go places, with the talent and dedication that they have in their craft. These guys are more than a pre-packaged, bubblegum pop sensation with good looks, with sheer determination, these guys has the makings of a long-term pop rock group that can rule the airwaves for years to come.