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[personal profile] mec
Dear Psycho Fangirls Who Slammed Me into a Door and Tried to Crush My Right Hand,

Thank you for making what should've been a fantastic night into an extremely painful one. It is not acceptable to try to kill people at a concert, no matter how much you like the performer you're there to see. Please learn to be aware of your surroundings, and of people other than yourselves. I hope you all suffer a slow, painful death in the middle of your worst nightmare, you immature, inconsiderate hellcats.

No love, but a whole lot of hate,

A tiny English girl with very sore arms and shoulders


I know the above won't apply to anyone reading this, but I feel better for venting. Pain aside, I had a great final show! :-)

My company for this con was initially just Aya, Becs and Rin, but Amy and Lisa had very kindly offered to split queue shifts with us, as they wanted to start early. It had been pouring with rain in San Francisco pretty much since we arrived on Friday, but Saturday just looked gloomy and Aya and I headed out to take over after breakfast. The Regency Ballroom seemed fairly nondescript - you'd have been hardpressed to tell anyone was doing a show there, no doubt why so many people wanted to know what we were lining up for. One of the more entertaining suggestions was for the iPad, but what with it being St. Patrick's Day and the city full of drunk people in green, a lot of them thought we were there for that. Rin desperately wanted to tell people we were there to see Justin Bieber.

There were a dozen or so people ahead of us in the queue, though they also had people coming later, but it was still a really good position. The staff at the venue managed to screw us over royally later, though. I sincerely hope not to go to a show there again, because "shambolic" doesn't even begin to cover it.

Over the course of the day we took turns in the queue, watching with interest as they unloaded equipment - as did a guy with a camera, not sure where he was from. There was an unfortunate downpour in the afternoon, while we were out sightseeing, so when we returned to the queue it was with umbrellas.

I waited with Amy and Lisa while the others popped across the road to Starbucks, but this was when staff started putting the barriers in place around the queue. They moved those of us with GA tickets to the outside of the barrier, and had the relatively small number of seated ticketholders remain inside - rather illogical. They did eventually let us get our VIP passes, and then a chap came around with wristbands for people who were over 21 and wanted to drink.

A Japanese camera crew also came around the queue, and unfortunately latched on to us. (Becs, Aya and I were the whitest people on that side of the building, so we didn't exactly blend in. The crowd in SF seemed to be a lot more biased towards Asians than in NYC.) They asked us what we liked best about Jin, and the four of us burst out laughing. I answered that I liked his voice best, that I thought he had a beautiful singing voice. Becs and Aya concurred, and Rin opted for his dancing, I think. It was just one of those horrible moments where you have nowhere to hide and hope the footage never sees the light of day.

At around 6:30ish they started letting people in. The bag check was okay, but then you had people running up against a set of double doors inside, which were closed and blocked by the staff. I'd managed to keep more or less with my friends at this point, but we were all getting crushed. Then they said there was another door round the side, so some of the people rushed there. We could hear people being let in, which got the fans riled up even more, and there was a massive stampede when our door finally opened. It took me a few minutes to get through it, being crushed against the closed one, and it was a choice between dropping my umbrella or breaking my hand. (Amazingly, I was able to recover the umbrella after the show.)

You can see where this is going. People who'd only arrived half an hour ago ended up at the front; people early in the queue landed up at the back, it was chaos and people just wouldn't stop pushing. The older fans weren't so bad, but some of the younger ones... Becs, Amy and Lisa landed up near the front on the far left, Aya and Rin ended up pretty much parallel on the far right, and I landed up by myself in the middle, about 5 rows back. The only person I could see was Becs, and only then because of the blue hair! Luckily, once I'd managed to manoeuvre myself out from behind the girl who suddenly put on high heels after getting into position, I actually had a pretty decent view. Wonder of wonders, the people in front of me were short, so with the occasional bit of weaving I had an unobstructed view - just not as close as I had planned on being. The lady in front of me was also doing the M&G and we got chatting for a bit, otherwise it would've been rather lonely! The girl two rows ahead of me was filming what looked like some amazing fancams, so I hope those show up online!

There were cameras filming the front and sides of the stage, not sure what for, and a lot of smoke on the stage. Our first opening act, Jeremy Passion, performed from 7:30 to 7:50, and he was very nice, similar to Joseph Vincent in that it was just him and an acoustic guitar, smooth and sweet. About all I recall is that he sang an extremely cute song about his mum.

After a 10min interval, Joseph Vincent came on for about 25mins. I'm really starting to like him! So much audience interaction and so quick to improvise - Jin could learn a lot. When he threw the t-shirt for the serenade it actually went to a girl who'd caught it at a previous show (must've been either Vancouver or Hawaii, I guess), and the audience accused him of aiming it at her. He got us to wave our cell phones during the song, comenting that someone had actually had an iPad at a previous show! A bit bulky for casual waving, surely?

Another break, and Jin came out about 8:35. Now, I couldn't take notes during the show this time, but to be honest, there isn't much I could've said. No bras this time - from the crowd, not Jin. I imagine everyone already knows about the surprise at the end, but here are a few things I recall:

That's What She Said - after Jin was done drinking, he attempted to feed one of his female dancers with the cup too, but evidently his aim was a little off. Don't ask me how he manages to juggle filming the audience on his phone while not spilling the drink all over himself.

Aphrodisiac - He makes the cutest little stoned expressions on "feel so damned high". I do hope that's not from experience, Jin.

Oowah - Jin threw his white Hoolum band to the audience. So many smiles, so much adorable laughter...and so many random crotch grabs.

California Rock - Jin and two of the dancers started throwing water put over the crowd. Being in the middle, I ended up getting splashed by water from Jin's bottle. Is now a good time for an inappropriate 'Make U Wet' joke? He threw the empty bottle afterwards, which went just a little to my left. I'm told it came down to two girls in the end, who were deadly serious about getting their hands on it.

Seasons - once again, Jin was very concerned that we might not understand his Japanese single. Half of it's in English anyway! Still, he was sweet, addressing the crowd a lot with the lyrics, and we all sang along.

After he left the stage again people were still calling for an encore, and the venue staff looked so freaked out by it! They were already stripping the stage, but then one of them started talking into a radio, and eventually the familiar beat of Bass Go Boom started!

I think there's a fancam of this somewhere, but my god, it was hilarious. Jin wasn't alone, you see. He came out with a bottle of whisky and Sky Hoffman! Jin alternated drinking with randomly singing along to the track and trying to dance. Neither he nor Sky remembered all the choreography perfectly, though I have to say they did a damned good job! So entertaining. Sky had some of the whisky too (fans screamed, probably because of the indirect kiss), and they were just a wonderful pair of dorks together, showing off their wedding rings along with their dance moves.

They were joined by, if I'm not mistaken, Sky's wife Carrie. The three of them danced together, and I'm finding it very amusing that Jin has no issue with grinding up against other men now he's married. Lovely encore, all. Not terribly musical, but a lot of fun.

I can't remember if it was after this one or Seasons where he thanked us properly in Japanese, and then said it again in a sterotypical gaijin accent. It was definitely after this one that he told us to get drunk, though, and that he was out. Um, Jin, you do realise that "out" has other connotations, right? And hey, this is San Francisco...

After the show I caught up with Becs, Rin and Aya for the M&G. It wasn't completely clear where to go, but we found the others who were doing it (including a guy!) and waited. This time they made us line up in alphabetical order, and there were next to no Western names called out. Seriously, I have never felt so much like a sore thumb in my life. I don't know how many of the Asians actually lived in the US and how many had flown in, but there was not a great deal of diversity in the line.

I'm not recounting anyone else's experience here but Rin's was by far the most adorable (long live Tokyo Banana!) and Jin sent her off with a cute little "ganbarimasu!", while Becs deeply regrets having so much class and not trolling him enough. As for me, I was getting the poster signed for a friend, and explained the situation to him carefully - too bad it was in the tone I would use for a little kid. #facepalm Oops. Sorry, Jin. I did not mean to treat you like a little boy. He did look terribly cute and fluffy, though. I still don't like his hairstyle but it does make me want to pet him. Couldn't do that, and I somehow didn't have an opportunity to ask a question, but I did kneel down next to him for a photo, and had a gentle handshake. He has nice, soft hands. :-)

So that was my Japonicana experience, and if you've been reading these reports, I hope you've enjoyed despite the lack of actual content! Not the best tour he's ever done, but a lot of fun, and some great moments, such as Aphrodisiac. Thank you very much to all the wonderful people with whom I've had the pleasure of spending time on this trip - it's been one hell of a holiday. And of course, thank you to Jin, who has been the cause of so much entertainment in my life. See you next time. ;-)


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May 2017

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