I had decided, from the moment the concert date was announced in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, that I was going to see Day6 for my birthday. To me, it was a necessary thing. As necessary as breathing. Okay, okay… maybe I am stretching the truth a bit… but it was something genuinely important to me and I was determined to make my first Kpop concert memorable, even if it meant driving for five hours. I never knew, when I decided on this trip, that it would turn into one for the best weekends of my life.
From the moment I left on Friday morning, I knew this trip would be amazing. The lengthy expedition was well worth it to begin with but with Kpop Kitsu in the car and Day6’s complete discography in hand, the drive was one of the great parts of the entire trip. Jamming loudly to music, we made the long haul to Pennsylvania to check in to our hotel and head to Upper Darby’s Tower Theater.
Despite the freezing temperatures, our hearts were warmed by the thought of seeing Day6 live. The long lines provided entertainment and conversation, and Kitsu and I were blessed to make some new friends as well as new followers. As we waited in line, people handed us goodies including a Day6 button, a sign for the concert, and stickers. We got inside the beautiful theater to find crowds of MyDay’s eagerly awaiting merchandise. Of course, I quickly became one of the line-goers, snatching up a sweater and poster to add to my collection.
The concert started with the sound of thousands of fans screams filling the hall. To say the show was amazing would be drawing away from the reality of it. The show was unforgettable, unimaginable, and undoubtedly something I will never forget. My favorite part, the moment I saw Jae (my bias) walk off stage and instantly knew he was coming to the second floor. Moments later he appeared before me and my evening was complete. God had granted my wish, that I could see Jae up close, and that, in and of itself, was enough.
We ended the evening at a Korean BBQ place nearby where we met dozens of the coolest people I’ve ever met, including the staff of the restaurant. Kitsu and I ate, drank suju, socialized, made friends, and even completed interviews for Kpop Kingdom, offering buttons to anyone who appeared in our video. It was an amazing time and I knew that my first Kpop concert had been well worth the wait. There was no telling, in that moment, that my Saturday would end up being a string of changes from the planned itinerary, ultimately resulting in another amazing night of music, fun, friends, and food… oh, and suju… lots and lots of suju.
I woke up on Saturday morning experiencing serious regret. It sounds foolish to say but I fell in love at first sight with a waiter from the restaurant. Confident Kpop Kitty had disappeared and left shy (literally hiding behind Kitsu) Jen who couldn’t manage to articulate a sentence to the handsome young man.
Trying to ignore my obnoxiously evident frustration, Kitsu and I made a detour north to a shop that had given us coupons the night before for free Kpop posters. Hook, line, and sinker. The hour and half detour resulted in a Kpop filled rental car and a glowing Kitty (me) sporting my new NCT hat. Score two points for my growing collection. Twenty six posters, two albums, sticker sets, two calendars, a folder, postcards, and my hat later… don’t judge… we headed to the famous Geno’s for Philly cheesesteaks and cheese fries.
Upon returning to the car, cold and full, I confessed to Kitsu my mounting regret and we proceeded to New Jersey to purchase an entire outfit… as I said, don’t judge… to impress a boy I hadn’t said two words to. Messaging a friend from the previous night to invite her out, we were shocked to hear she had made the last-minute decision to see B.A.P. I confessed we debated it but admitted that I couldn’t justify the added $330 for two tickets. The next message from her shook Kitsu’s and my world. “I think I can get y’all tickets.”
Flash forward to an hour later where I am standing inside Trocadero Theater looking up at the B.A.P logo in awe. What just happened? I was actually at my second Kpop concert, not only in my life but in the last twenty four hours. Huh?
The concert was beyond amazing and I realized quickly that, as amazing as they were in music videos, B.A.P was born to be seen live. They stunned and wowed, ending what could possibly be the most perfect weekend in existence. Kitsu, my new friend, and I headed to the Korean restaurant after and were greeted like family. After much liquid courage (suju for the win) I was finally able to confess to the manager that the only reason I had canceled my trip home was because I had wanted to see the waiter one more time to try and articulate an actual sentence. With the manager’s help, and a LOT more suju, I was able to talk like an almost sane person. Ignore that I was supposed to be home by that point. Ignore that I was supposed to be to work in less than twelve hours. Ignore everything other than the fact that I was genuinely having fun making friends. The night ended far too soon and, once our half hour good-byes were said, we headed back home.
When I walked in the door, sleep-deprived and car sick, at eight in the morning, the day after we were set to return, I did so with full hands and a full heart. The weekend was truly amazing and I will never forget it, or the friends that I made. With another trip to Philly already in the works, I can only look forward to the moment when I get to see all of those amazing people again. Let’s just hope there aren’t a bunch of concerts in town or I might never come home again.