[Osaka Fan Account] A Valentine’s Day with Hyun Joong in Osaka – 2015.02.14 + HD Photos – Osaka
Author: @soopaprincess of LKHJ
Can mere words convey adequately all that was seen and felt at last night’s concert?
I know this isn’t possible, but for those who were not there, I write this account. So that you will be able to vicariously experience how special Valentine’s Day with Hyun Joong was in Osaka. My hope is that as you read this, watch fancams, and look at pictures, you too will have another memory to store into your memory banks. It was truly an unforgettable night.
The house lights go down, and the hall is awash with green lights.
I always watch this scene with awe and wonder. It’s mesmerizing.
The music starts and the lights wave in tandem to the beat, beating in rhythmic anticipation.
The thumping bass of Breakdown thumps so loud that it feels like it’s thumping right through my body as the excitement builds. This is a show opener that never fails to get my heartbeat going no matter how many times I watch HJ perform. The lights are thumping more powerfully too, the visual matching the feelings. Fireballs shoot in the air, full stage effects tonight!
HJ appears, and kicks the show off with a powerful vocal. If he was feeling sick in the last week, either he was all better, or not sick at all from the sounds of it. The energy was in his voice and his movements. The band sounded much tighter this time too. After almost a dozen performances together, the cohesion of sound was apparent. Proved once again in Unbreakable and directly moving on to Tonight. The crowd is fully fired up, and I start to break a sweat from waving my light stick too hard. I remind myself mentally to take it easy, and change hands from time to time. At Yokohama, I ended up with one aching arm the day after!
As he greets the fans, his voice is a little hoarse. Clearly, he had spared no vocal effort for the first 3 songs. I’m silently hoping it won’t get worse. HJ you have more than 15,000 fans here! My worries dissipate quickly as he launched into laying out a challenge for fans tonight. A surprise present, provided the fans are able to cheer louder than 110 decibels matching the JAL flight to Osaka. A decibel measuring device is brought out. I’m thinking – are you seriously trying to measure this? Lol- HJ, where do you get these ideas from?
The first try by fans doesn’t prove satisfactory, because it was not done in unison. In the end he suggests everyone shout “Leader” and at the second attempt, he goes over to read the machine, but apparently it isn’t working. Saying we beat the target, with a satisfied smile on his face he moves into singing Timing, Hot Sun, and Love Like This, complete with dance at the chorus. Why oh why…. Are cameras not allowed?.. I so wanted to capture his dancing, and his expression of utter joy.
At the end of this sequence, he paused to speak again, saying he so wants to leave the stage and move down to the audience but the hall regulations won’t allow him to. For a moment we don’t know know whether we should believe him, and are silent. He says this with a straight face- completely serious. He finally says he is kidding…. How cheeky! HJ’s mischievous sense of humor Is clearly coming out tonight!
Next song, Bingo – gets everyone jumping! To me, it is like a short but intense aerobics work out; HJ the instructor, conducting us waving of our lightsticks from right to left. He gestures for us to jump..! My cardio workout this week, with possibly the most handsome instructor I’ve ever seen.. Haha!
To let us catch our breath, he asks the Osaka resident fans to wave, and starts speaking to them. He says he was there last year for a concert, and took a video of the fans from stage. This is the only video of fans that he has on his phone. He, however, remembered the location wrongly, and was corrected by fans that it was not in Osaka but in Yokohama that he did this, he laughs sheepishly, clearly embarassed and apologized saying that he will kneel down to sing in apology, but it would be too hard to get up again. So naughty! He waves to fans in the furthest distance of the hall, saying he can’t see them and needs binoculars. He really wished he could see every single fan. Our warm hearted HJ!
The way HJ was conducting his conversation with fans made me forget that he was talking to some 15,000 other people. A candid conversation; like a conversation friends would have sitting around in a cafe. This is his trademark style, his ability to shrink the distance between himself and his audience, and there is more candid conversation to come.
Can’t Erase You – one of his favourite songs is delivered with aplomb. It’s funny, as cool as HJ is, his favorite songs to sing are ballads. Tonight, a lift takes him high above the stage. He finishes the song, and just as the lift puts him down, he mutters- “I went all the way up there and I still couldn’t see you all..” It was so funny, because he was acting slightly frustrated. LOL!
He continues- taking a sip of a drink saying that a Korean fan brought this herbal drink for him. He didn’t know who brought it but he is really grateful because he thinks drinking it helped him today, and that he has felt better and better as he continues singing each song. HJ then points out some funny placards that have caught his attention. He said there are a couple of very unusual ones, and the one that caught his attention first was “I want to be your mother’s daughter-in-law”. He says it is a 19 year old fan whose mother loves him, but apologized that he cannot marry her now as she is too young, and she will become an adult when he is in MS. The other placard he spotted was – ” we will support you forever- so pray that we will have a long life!” I think HJ’s fans are as witty as he is.
Imademo is up next, I have come to love this song because of the way it stretches HJ’s vocals in the high, drawn out notes. The intensity of feelings expressed is etched all over his face as he sings. When he ends the number, he asks fans why we haven’t memorized the lyrics to sing along with him? As if chastising us….! Quick, go learn the lyrics before the encore concerts!
HJ received some chocolates this Valentine’s Day. He took the opportunity to say he has worked with an amazing team these last few years. Took the time to appreciate them. He then told us who gave him chocolates, but he didn’t just thank them, he highlighted them so he could tease them for giving him chocolates. Clearly tonight he was out to tease everyone, his fans and his crew and staff. He tells us he had a dream a couple of nights ago that he won a lot of prize money in a lottery. He memorized the numbers and called his friend up to buy them for him. He told his friend that if he wins, he will split the winnings with him 50/50. If he wins the lottery he will give a free concert. Hahahaha. HJ takes the stairs off the stage and looks for the girl that he wants to sing I’m Your Man to. He finds her, and she is wearing a floral head garland. He says it is very pretty. She is at first quite overwhelmed, but finally gets it together to follow him. the fans screamed when he takes her hand to lead her up on stage, sits her down, and then he says- her skirt is a little short, he moves to take off his jacket and puts it on her lap. Everyone is screaming, he picks up his water and gives it to her. As she takes a sip he says- you dripped some water on my jacket! Lol – HJ you really make me laugh! Classic push/pull maneuver!
I’m Your Man- the way he has been singing this song this tour has enthralled me. I watch him in silent rapture, unable to wave my lightstick. But, at the end, he pauses without finishing the last line, takes several steps backwards away from her, counting a few beats in his head, and launches smoothly, pitch perfect, into The Reason I Live. I am completely mesmerized, frozen to the spot, just listening to the beauty of these 2 ballads so artfully put together. He finishes the last line switching back to the last line of I’m Your Man kneeling down. It took us by surprise, and it was a beautiful. The lucky fan….lucky, lucky fan. Over 6 minutes of utter bliss, and she is visibly moved.
He stands, and takes a picture with her, the perfect gentleman puts on his jacket before taking the picture. HJ then continues with Tonight- ever so suave, ever the perfect gentleman.
After the short interval, he emerges singing Lucky Guy standing on top of a moving carriage that is moving very slowly in a circumference of the arena. Of course, as he approaches, we get higher and higher helped along by the music. High, high, high, high! This song is pure exhilaration. Followed directly by Beauty Beauty, it gives HJ enough time to make the entire round in order to see as many fans as possible in this huge venue. We jump and wave excitedly when he approached us, almost pitching forward down the steep stands for a moment- whoa!
When HJ finally gets on stage he immediately says he needs to change shoes. I’m wondering if I heard him correctly..?. He explains that he wanted to get off the trolley but couldn’t cos he had gum stuck to his shoe. He asked -who on earth spat out the gum? He sounds like he wanted to scold the culprit! He asks for a shoe change again, and even put his mike to his foot trying to let us hear the “tak tak ” sound of his shoes sticking to the stage. He goes off quickly and changes shoes. I bet backstage they were scrambling to get him another pair of shoes- Pali!!! He comes back onstage skipping, like a happy kid, jumping, saying he can now fly! Hj starts singing a Korean children’s song about new shoes. Impromptu. The band picks up and plays the tune.. Tonight he is springing surprises everywhere and we and his team are all just trying to keep up! He even tried to sing a Japanese translation, trying to translate the lyrics from Korean to Japanese himself. The childlike sincerity- one of his many charms,
Ready to charm us all over again, he sings Kiss Kiss dancing to the chorus, in quick succession he follows with Please. His dancing is really poetry in motion. It is little wonder why fans call for him to dance. Let Me Be The One follows as I remember that when this song was released, I was a very new fan in 2010. Words I want to Say – I am singing along… And I can hear the audience singing along too- loud and clear.
To lend weight to this song, HJ launches into more talking, saying because he was distracted by the gum stuck on his shoe, he didn’t get to speak so much. He says that he is glad and feels that it is fortunate that Osaka is not the last concert as it was initially meant to be. He will be away for 2 years, and it was clear to me that HJ wants to see as many fans, as much as he can before he enlists. As he goes off to do what every Korean man has the responsibility to do, he knows that he will not be lonely over this period because he has so many memories from his 20s to keep him going. It’s like he was saying to us, the memories that he has/we have; will keep him going for 2 years. He has so much more of these than other men, and counts himself lucky; an indirect tribute to his fans for giving him these memories. He light-heartedly explains that he wants to enlist in secret without public scrutiny because he thinks he will drink a lot the night before, and doesn’t want his picture taken. To me, what HJ is saying here is- enlisting will be as emotionally difficult for him as it will for us- because of the separation from his fans.
His move to assure us that he looks forward to his return in 2/3 years, doesn’t help some hold back the tears. He says finally, “The words I Really want to say – Don’t get sick (take care of yourselves). Stay strong and endure the 2 years, ” like he is chiding us gently he says, “I WILL COME BACK.”.
At this point.., I can barely hold back the tears. But I succeed only because the conversation turns to Gwiyomi, quickly lifting the emotional atmosphere. HJ feigns resignation asking us why we keep asking for Gwiyomi. He then strong arms the backup singer to do it first saying he will only do it if he does. Clearly none of his crew are going to disappoint the fans, and the backup singer gamely does it first. Hj cracks up on stage, completely thrilled. Laughing the laugh that we have seen in Barefoot Friends- you know, that no holds barred, hands on his gut laugh, almost doubling over.
He then feigns reluctance as the fans insist it is his turn, and he delivers the cute much to our glee. As if to redeem his self-esteem, he then starts a Gwiyomi lesson from stage, teaching us all the actions, and stops to point at a fan… Going off stage again impromptu to get her to do Gwiyomi with him. He crosses to the other side to the fan wearing the floral garland and gets her to do Gwiyomi with her too. As you know, from here, HJ made a suggestion, and he will pick 5 fans at Makuhari to do this with. The cutest person will be rewarded with a kiss on the cheek!
When he gets back on stage, he says he has delayed the show by 15 mins doing Gwiyomi. It is then that I realize that HJ, like me- did not want this night to end. He was so clearly buying time. Saying all the things he wants to say, showing us all the different sides to him, all in one night. This was his intention for tonight all along. He packed it all in, showing us the best of himself. The singing, the dancing, the humor, the cute, the gentleman , the wit, the charm, the romance, the candor, and the sincere thoughtfulness. It was all there – intact.
Save Today and 2 more songs (boy, is this fan account long or what.,?!)
HJ turns up the Heat, and the heat literally emanates from the stage with the fireballs. Even HJ comments on this, checking his fringe to make sure it didn’t get burnt. How apt. I can never stop myself from dancing to Heat.. .. It’s hot and intense tonight.
Cooling us off, and before singing Hoshizora, HJ tells us why he chose to sing this song.
To him, each green light is like a star – and even when we are separated, we are still together – One heart.
He will always remember this moment, so wait for him to come back.
Everything at this point comes rushing at me. Hearing these words, and knowing why he named this concert “Gemini”.
To me, HJ you are my Star – forever in my heart.
To him – we are his stars. Each and every one of us.
I am ever so proud to be part of the constellation of Henecia, to have watched HJ overcome all obstacles and get to this point.
To see him so happy – was just overwhelming.
The tears finally fall.
His rendition of Hoshizora is poignant and beautiful, and I lose the battle to keep from crying through the whole song.
My glasses are flooded, and I cannot translate anymore.
Thankfully, we are at the encore, and I spend the next 3 songs trying to get it all together.
The high energy encore of Love Like This, Lucky Guy and Goodbye help me to come up for air and smile again.
HJ ran through the entire arena, as I firmly etched in my memory bank a picture of his exhilaration.
The last bow, the final thank you, all done with great reluctance.
I will never forget this Valentine’s Day, and I bet neither will Hyun Joong and his fans.
What a truly wonderful night.
Thank you, Hyun Joong, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.
Photos Credit: Malaysia KHJ FC @MY_KHJ
I posted 23 photos on Facebook in the album “[14.2.2015] KHJ @ Osaka ‘Gemini’ Tour by MY_KHJ” http://fb.me/1F20xLO27
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