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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

The Legend Continues...

Photo credits

Warning: Complete fangirl mode turned on!!! 

This post will be entirely on 신화, a Korean boyband whom I've been a fan of for 13 years now so if you're anti-Kpop, you can BYE BYE now. 

So super sad they didn't include Singapore in their concert tour this time round, but it's totally understandable considering the hiccups throughout their last concert here in 2012. I saw the screw-ups happening right before me cos I was in the front row of the mosh pit. Stood about 10 feet away from the stage! (Pictures later!)

They were so bad that you could tell even being seasoned performers that they are, were distracted and annoyed during their performance. I don't know if it's our local backstage staff that couldn't handle the problem or they didn't have authority to decide, but they had to come onstage during the show and dragged Eric away to settle it. Since when did the artistes themselves have to solve technical issues on stage, poor them. I guess this is what happens when you're your own boss. T.T

But anyway, their Seoul concert in 2014 - "Shinhwa The Legend Continues" was made in 3D film and screened here in SG with Golden Village!
Find out more here at

I think it's their way of making it up to their fans across the globe for not bringing the show live to them this time.
And also, make a bit more money with a DVD, I guess. Haha in any case, still a win-win situation.

So one Sunday I watched it with my usual Shinhwa-gang, my sis/muriel/xuanzi and fiancé-who-gets-dragged-into-all-shinhwa-related-stuff. 

The show is actually just cuts from the concert of their more popular hits and some interviews. They didn't even show whole concert! 
$22 for one ticket, omg so expensive. X.X

It was in 3D but honestly, the 3D is quite redundant.
Certainly doesn't justify for the $22/tix but still, #supportshinhwaalltheway #mustshowsupport #shinhwachangjo

It was fun getting into fangirl mode once again but it was a bit odd maintaining theater etiquette when you're watching a Kpop boyband concert. 

I wanted to cheer loudly, sing along off-pitch, and take out an orange lightstick to wave in the air. 

I think everyone else in the theater were just like me! I could hear them suppressing their oooohs and aaaahhs and girly giggles each time a member appears on that MEGA huge screen. UPCLOSE SHOT somemore, you can even look into their nostrils! Even their nostrils look so charming, omg.

Wahaha Beauty in the eyes of the beholder.

Super teenager-like with no self-control, I know. But it's 신화! 15 years and they look not much different then and now, so why should a fangirl of 13 years behave any differently then and now too? ㅋㅋ

But it's an undeniable fact that years did go by.

Being in the pop industry is harsh and we've seen countless of other groups get torn apart. Even the money-making ones like H.O.T, TVXQ, SNSD, Wonder Girls, etc. It's a cruel reality where your worth diminishes when you're no longer fresh. Even if you've still got what it takes, or that you're still generating tons of money, you're not indispensable. (Look at poor barbie-face Jessica and multi-talented JYJ. T.T)

I think it's especially the fact that this industry they make a living out of is so constantly evolving, that highlights how amazing it is for 신화 to still remain strong today.

Sure they don't look like they've aged much. But we all know deep down how time has passed.

Fans that queued up overnight or chased them around in minivans are now watching them on TV at home, nursing babies or cooking for husbands.
I'm not at that stage yet though. I guess I'm at the not-aware-of-concert-schedules-cos-no-longer-stalking-forums-and-cyworlds stage now. Boy, do forums still exist?

But not being physically active doesn't mean you've changed emotionally as well. How should I put it...
OK, how about this.
Since we've accepted the fact that we will never marry them physically, doesn't mean that we are no longer attracted to them?

Emotions can be very powerful. I think the logical brain works in a way which is usually very intricately intertwined with our emotions, as much as we try hard to separate both. For example, if you are attracted to someone, you tend to attribute it to a logical reason like he's got nice eyes, cute smile or a hunky body, etc. Who will admit that they're just attracted because of lust?

Well I admit.
In my case, lust for this man lasted for 13 years. >.<

Kim Dong Wan from Shinhwa

Kim Dong Wan from Shinhwa

I think many a time, others are unable to understand the obsession with pop stars.

Actually, at this age now, I honestly find it a little hard to understand why people are obsessed with Justin Bieber or One Direction. But I guess they are what appeal to the young generation these days, so yeah. Gone are the days of Backstreet Boys, young men with sexy, trimmed mustache who sang soothing ballads. Now is the age of skinny, pretty looking boys who wear brightly summer-coloured jeans and dance to hip-hop.

Honestly speaking, many people take girls' obsession with celebrities as a laughing joke.
But I really beg to differ.

I know on the surface, when you look at media's coverage on how fans queue under the hot sun at fan-signing events, or even at the airport's arrival hall, these girls look damn silly screaming their lungs out. For god's sake, some even lose it and cry when the artistes appear! I think that at that young tender age as a poor student then, all the money spent on buying their CDs and attending their concerts is equivalent to what you'd earn in 1 to 3 months as a working adult.  

But let me tell you that I never regretted all the time and money invested in my obsession with these pop stars and here's why.

Positive Influence

In Primary school, I was listening to BSB, N'Sync, Britney Spears, who exposed me to American English and culture. Westlife, A1, Spice Girls, Atomic Kitten exposed me to British English and culture and I learnt the difference between these 2 accents at a young age.

Also, it was thanks to Britney and BoA who inspired me to pick up dance. Watching them dance on screen gave me motivation to move like them. And so I turned that inspiration into reality.
Today, dance to me, isn't just moving my body to pop songs. It's a form of expression using my body and music. It's a kind of liberation for my emotions.
It is also through dance that I learnt perseverance through body sweat, as well as mental strength.

Learning a foreign language

In Secondary school, the F4 and 5566 Taiwanese pop culture came and left but my Mandarin language never improved. It was probably due to the fact that I was quickly influenced by Korean Pop in upper secondary. I was watching Korean variety shows (without subtitles, mind you) and sang along at the top of my lungs by randomly making out what the lyrics sounded like to me. At 16, I already picked up basic Korean language phrases and could watch Korean dramas without subtitles!

For some reason, Korean drama never uses complicated language so it was always easy to learn Korean language while watching them.

Sidetrack: Favourite Drama in 2004. Bawled like a baby even though it was so cheesy. Fell in love with Kim Tae Hee here!

Image Credits: Wikipedia

That was in 2004 when nobody here in Singapore was into Korean culture yet, so I'd like to think of myself as rather clever to have picked up a foreign language on my own without much exposure to it in my everyday life. :)

In 2015 now, my Korean language abilities has definitely improved to more than just understanding Korean dramas. It is still a far cry from being proficient, but I'm glad I've picked up a foreign language.

I also manged to pick up minimal Japanese language thanks to BoA's songs. Some J-pop Ayumi Hamasaki Fan used to blast her music throughout the neighbourhood and I'd blast BoA's music back. Poor neighbourhood. Hahaha. Stopped listening to her songs on replay mode now, but play me any of her songs and I'm pretty sure I can still sing them.

Made friends with similar interests

I also spent all my time downloading musicbank performances on IRC chat groups (boy, those existed back then!) and made friends quickly with fellow kpop fans over the internet. Some of these friendships are still rock solid up to this day. :)
*shout-out to Muriel & Sophia*

As of today, I'm no longer a die-hard fan but I think I've retired along with most other fans of my era. Fellow Shinhwa fans around my age have gotten married with kids. I've even heard Shinhwa themselves joked about how fans would write to them and ask if it was okay for them to marry now since they've already chased them for 10 years. I think it's amazing time has passed and yet, nothing has changed much? I'm not quite good at putting this in words but it's how time has gone by and we've seen so many bands fall apart, yet Shinhwa's friendship and bond remain strong. I know it seems really silly, but it is through watching them and their strong ties, that constantly reminds me of how friendships are possible through effort. Sometimes, external factors may cause people drift away, doubt themselves, or even believe that they'd shine better alone. But at the end of the day, support for one another is the strong power for one to shine.

Okay, enough talk for now. This is one hell of a lengthy post just to talk about my idols of 13 years.

Pictures from their "THE RETURN" concert in 2012, Singapore where Muriel, Sophia and I stood front row at the moshpit!
It was thanks to Muriel and Sophia who queued up early in the morning while I went to work that day. Thanks girls!

When the doors opened and security personnel were checking their bags, I made a smart move and maneuvered myself out of sight. RAN FOR MY LIFE FOR THE FRONT MOST CORNER OF THE MOSHPIT! Never ran so fast before I think.

Their first concert in 2006, I remember Ee Keng and I queued up overnight at Singapore Indoor Stadium. The security guard told us to go home because we weren't supposed to spend the night there but we begged him because it was so important to us. He pitifully agreed to allow us to be at the front of the queue when morning comes but we had to go home for the night. We went back unwillingly but when we returned the next morning, there were already a few lines since no proper fence were set up yet and the security guard was nowhere to be seen!

We had no choice but to join the line but a couple of hours later, the same security guard showed up, looked for us and pulled us out of the line. PLACED US IN FRONT and announced that the queue starts from here.

Uncle, I don't know where you are now but I'm sure a kind and fair soul like you will be blessed for the rest of your life. UNCLE I LOVE YOU!

Okay, pictures now. "THE RETURN" concert in 2012, Singapore.

I told you, front row! This was how close we were to the stage. Can you imagine the excitement I was when I secured this spot?! I almost peed in my pants.

Speaking of which, I really wanted to pee like just before the show was about to start. Muriel told me to hold it but I knew there was no way that I could.

So i literally squeezed my way out of the crowd by shouting "SORRY I HAVE TO PEE, I WILL COME BACK!" and then announcing loudly "SORRY I WAS IN FRONT JUST NOW, I WENT TO PEE!" as I shamelessly made my way back through. >.<

The gang at the concert! Me, Sophia's sister, Muriel, Sophia and her friend. (From left to right)

My dongsaeng who re-used her banner from the Euphoria concert in 2004? Simple, but served its purpose well!

This girl is my favourite concert-goer of all time. I remember how at both concerts, 전진 would so coincidentally stand in front of us and at both concerts, respond to our constant screaming for his name by waving to us. We'd give up on cheering for 민우 and 동완 because 전진 responded much better to us.

Disclaimer: Please do not redistribute without permission

Disclaimer: Please do not redistribute without permission

Disclaimer: Please do not redistribute without permission

Disclaimer: Please do not redistribute without permission

Disclaimer: Please do not redistribute without permission

Disclaimer: Please do not redistribute without permission

Disclaimer: Please do not redistribute without permission

Pictures all taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 with absolutely NO editing done. SO SHARP, SO CLEAR AND SO NEAR RIGHT!


I have some videos too, a bit lazy to upload them now. But I'd be most willing to share should anyone be keen on them. :D