I’ve been doing a lot of running from event to events lately, that’s a good thing because I needed to work off the Orange Caramel fix I just had. You see, I knew of the OC fan event but it was postponed. On a Sunday afternoon, I checked my twitter and read the basic Korean off of Lizzy’s twitter. It basically says, off to our very first fan meet today! Oh snap! I researched like a mad man and made out the decrypted words on Pledis website, with my limited Korean. Unfortunately it’s pretty far and I had exactly an hour until the tickets started selling.
Arrival: As I was saying, I was running. I sprinted down to the subway to the train and hailed a taxi to Sangmyeong Art Center—get this; it was deep into the woods. GET IT? I love that 70 degree hill, what a workout, especially when I’m in a rush.
Inside: The staff was especially helpful. The OC staff had 2 people who spoke a combination of Japanese, English and Korean of course. These two people helped me every step of the way, since I didn’t have time to research the event procedures. Every time I made some error they would just smile and lead me the way. I really thought these people were really lighthearted and friendly. A recognizable fan staff that runs Music Core meetings barely bumped me but apologized and bowed. I was very appreciative of that! If you didn’t know, people will bump you, painfully or even cause you to bruise and bleed in Korea and won’t even acknowledge it.
Pay: This was a big event, so the cost was 20,000 won or around $18 bucks. Typically for any fan signing you need to buy a CD and that’s it. However, this was no ordinary fan signing, though..keep reading.
The fans: What did you expect? Fan boys only? Well, almost. Out of the 300 people there were around 20 girls and about that many who flew in from Japan. Orange Caramel is definitely a group designed to appeal to Japan! Unlike Son Dam Bi and T-ara, OC actually has more than 1 or 2 fan girls who show up.
Merchandise: There was no actual “meeting” of Orange Caramel but I got an autographed poster/double sided calendar. Actually this cost 5k won, or around $4.25. There was other nice stuff but I didn’t bring that much physical cash with me.
Start: And we’re in at 5:30! No photography allowed! Fortunately for us, I’m a reporter.
INTRO: An intro video with many of the most famous artists such as Park Jung Min, T-ara, ShinEE, Seungri, Mblaq were cheering on Orange Caramel. Nice vid to watch! Did you take notice? Kpop groups support other groups. BOLD. I don’t know why people can only like and support one group.
A~ING! The girls kicked off with A~Ing, displaying a highly energetic entrance. This really got the crowd excited to be here! I had predicted that they would be wearing red Minnie mouse outfits and I was right.
Gameshow time! Afterwards, they started off a game of Bingo. The girls would pick a number and we would circle our bingo card. Each of us had to write numbers randomly from 1-16 on an orange card. For each number that was selected, a member would do a silly, cute or sexy solo dance. Oh my goddess!, I was fond of Nana’s Beyonce “Single ladies.” That’s not to say that Lizzy’s sexy dance on stage was anything to scoff at. In fact, I was so mesmerized; I did NOT hear the music, so I forgot what she did. Oh my, I’ve never seen the girls so sexy! Some guys won the bingo! Lucky fans got to go up on the stage and then play a little game show. For the three guys who won, each of them was assigned to one singer, as a team. The game was HOT SEAT! I felt like I was teaching high school, since these were high school kids while bingo and hot seat are used as English games!
The Winners: Each of these 3 kids were also given a cool and colorful backpack. It definitely was an Orange Caramel style, but I couldn’t make out the logo. Ha, tell you what It was downright girly looking. In Korea though, no one is gonna beat you up for showing off your Orange Caramel backup. It could have rainbows and unicorns on it and you will still be the coolest guy out here! Yeah, that’s how Korea works. You proudly wear your fan material to your heart. It was Raina’s boy who won and was given a prize pack. During this time, boxes of candy were distributed to pass around to the fans (free chocolate woo).
Still music video: Following this was STILL music video on the projector which was long overdue. The screen was pulled up and…
Cover Performances: Raina was solo on the Piano playing and singing for Because of You by Kelly Clarkson. Let me tell you that her performance was no short of amazing. QUICK AUDIO NOTE: This concert hall was designed for orchestra so there was nothing to stop her room filling vocals as she reached higher and higher while the pianos chords moved us into a whole other world. I was getting rather emotional here. The impact of Raina’s voice left chills in my spine, I couldn’t help it.
And off for a cute duet by Nana and Lizzy! I honestly do not know the song they were doing, but It did sound cool!
Special: A fan was reciting some essayish poetry to the girls about how he felt about them..
Back to another Music Video: A video of One Love was shown, which was similar to their other black and white ballads. I don’t think this was official for broadcast.
BTW, the girls did a lot of random talking in between pieces to the fans as well as the cutest and sexiest poses any time a fan would make a simple request for it. Want Aegyo? Which combo do you want, Lizzy asks!? To go or for here? Fan service is their specialty!!!
During the cake celebration (they didn’t actually eat it) Nana was seen getting her tears wiped by Raina. :'(
The road to success is a bumpy and painful road. To have finally made it, I can really sympathsize.
~ONE LOVE** I believe this was the first time One Love was performed. Luckily, I have a short video of it. Although there was only partial choreography, no one cared. The performance was fun and everyone was totally in love with this song (OK fine, in love with them <33). For this perf they used casual collegiate clothes.
Magic Girl! The crowd roar accelerated to another level. Do you get it yet? The presentation this evening was composed like a song. This indeed was the 2nd chorus. Yes, they were out in their polka dot outfits.
Love does not wait: Right after Magic Girl, the went right into another great ballad, I was really not expecting them to perform so many songs. Again, I was moved by their vocals and the songs superior composition, they didn’t lose any impact even compared to “Still/Not yet.”
Ah, it was time for OC to leave but no one moved an inch. WE WANTED MORE. The crowd cheered and out they came out for..
DIVA! DIVA DIVA!! The crowd got out of their seats for standing participation. This was the climax of the presentation, the end of “composition.” The only bad part was the crowd blocking my view for video, but dang I was having so much fun!
Overall, they performed about 8 songs and did lots of mini covers during Bingo. I left out some details and I could write more but my blog would turn into a couple volumes. I have to give the staff and overall presentation an A grade. This was the best composed fan meeting I’ve been to. Another note on audio, I know a lot of you don’t care, but this IS THE MUSIC industry and in this one case, the audio was much closer to my standards. Being that it was in an orchestra hall helped, but it was just a bit low in volume. I would take this over the event the night before where the bass kick drowned out IU’s vocals.
If you get a chance to go to any fan meeting like this, GO. You will not regret it. I love Orange Caramel even more now and enjoyed sharing my experience with you all. I’m sorry to say, but I didn’t think I’d get this obsessed.