FLASHBACK: SMTown NYC In Review

My ears are still ringing. My throat is completely raw. But it was worth it, I tell you. So beyond worth it.

I managed to score alright photos of at least some of the members of all of the groups except f(x) and Kangta -- I sincerely thought I nabbed photos of everyone, but I guess not. I have a few rough fancams too, mostly of the artists' introductions, as well as bits and bobs of Super Junior and TVXQ (for obvious reasons), but none of good enough quality to share, I'm afraid. So my meager offering of photos will have to do. I have plenty of friends who took high quality pics and will add links once I receive them...

Before we get to that, here are some little bits and pieces to help you all feel like you were there with me. If you're looking for an intense review, I suggest you look elsewhere. All photos are Property of Melismatic. Feel free to use so long as you link back to MelismaticBlog.com. :) Thanks!


F(x)
-The Cutest In Person: I've always thought Victoria was the prettiest, but Sulli is really adorable in person.
-The Crowd Was Loving: Amber. Every single time she was even SHOWN on the large screen, there was a tangible roar.
-Stage Presence: f(x) in general remains the greenest of all of the SM acts as they are the "youngest" and it really showed to me. In this vein, the girls in general seemed the least comfortable on stage.
-Their Introductions: They all introduced themselves in English, but all of the speaking was left to Amber and Krystal.
-Fave Performance: They performed all of their singles (literally), and none really stood out. I still quite like "Nu A.B.O".
-Sulli did a cutesy little duet with Kangta which included lots of misplaced microphones (randomness) and SHINee's Onew as a pizza delivery boy. It was adorable in its own way.
-Luna's high note during "Danger" is THE STUFF live.

KANGTA
I don't know much about him other than he was in H.O.T. but he's one foxy ahjusshi. He sang three songs: a soulful ballad, a midtempo love duet with f(x)'s Sulli (um, age difference much?) and a high energy dance cut.
They were all enjoyable, but let's be real -- very few were there to see him, right? 

SHINee's Key.

SHINee's Taemin.

SHINee
(to the left: from left to right, leader Onew, Taemin, Jonghyun, Minho and Key)
-The Cutest In Person: Key. It was all about Key. He was the only member of SHINee to have a solo in the "My First Kiss" extra from the SHINee World concert with f(x)'s Krystal. He was super prominent in his rap solo in the nonsensical "A-Yo" rap with Minho and Hyuk & Shindong (they even ran in through the back of the crowd). ANNNND -- get ready for this -- he did the English rapping bits of BoA's "I Did It For Love"! I have no bias in SHINee, but if I did, it would be Key. In terms of looks alone, however, I think Onew comes in a close second. But let's be real -- they are all very cute in person.
-The Crowd Was Loving: Taemin. Unsurprising. A lot of shrieking SHINee fangirls around us too. I usually find looking at Taemin in a sexy way kind of unbearable, but I started to see what noonas found so intriguing with his sex glares and tousled hair. Then I remembered he's about four days old and reverted my attention back to Changmin & Donghae.
-Stage Presence: SHINee was killing it. Every single stage they had, they blew it out of the water.
-Their Introductions: They all said "hi" in English, then Key did a lot of the talking, mentioning their recent New Jersey show, stating, "So happy to be back in New York, did you miss us?" (Haha!) After that, Onew took over in Korean.
-Fave Performance: You'd think I'd say "Lucifer" (they did fly with the laser claws like they did in Paris), but my fave was a tie between the super hi-energy "A.Mi.Go" or the supped-up, rock version of "Ring Ding Dong" (complete with headbanging).
-I was expecting to be really wowed with Jonghyun's voice but in comparison to Yesung and Changmin, homeboy got lost in the shuffle. ::shrugs:: Sorry, bb. Better luck next time.
-Onew did perform his little opera bit, and while I was a bit bored with it when watching it during the Paris show (sorry!), it was something else entirely to hear it in person!

Girls' Generation (left to right: Seohyun, Jessica, Hyoyeon, Yoona, SooYoung, Tiffany, Sunny, Taeyeon and Yuri...I think)

GIRLS' GENERATION
-I've never see so many slack-jawed Asian men in pink in my life. Holy Soshified, indeed.
-For the Sone Boys: They are all gorgeous in person. I may not be SNSD's biggest heralded, but let's be frank. They really are all very, very pretty. In terms of who was most striking, I think Sunny looks really hot with her new short hair. If I was a dude, I would for sure think she was hottest. But in terms of who was working it the most, let's give it to Jessica and Tiffany, who seemed to really be in their element. Those two and Taeyeon seemed to be the ones I saw the most fan material for as well. Lots of Jessica fans floating around in my vicinity.
-The Cutest In Person: Baby Seohyun. All of the girls introduced themselves in English and it went something like, "Hello! I am ____. Nice to meet you! Let's have fun!" (or as SooYoung said, "It is Party Time!"). It was literally a snowball effect of "OMG SHE IS SO CUTE". But little Seohyun was like:

Seohyun: "Hello, my name is Seohyun from Girls' Generation! Thank you so much for being...being...{stutters}"
Tiffany: "Here."
Seohyun: "{awkward pause} Huh-Huh-Here."

She got so flustered but kept going and Tiffany concluded that she practiced for a really long time trying to memorize her little speech in English and she tried really hard so everyone should clap for her. Too cute. There is an excellent fancam here. All props goes to the owner.
-Can I Just Say: I think SNSD's "thing" is winking. Everytime the camera focused in on a member singing solo, she winked directly at the camera. Hmmm.
-Fave Performance: They did a slowed down version of "Genie" that was pretty bad ass. During Tiffany's "DJ, turn it back on" bit, she said "Madison Square Garden, turn it back on." But my fave perf -- undoubtedly,was their new song "The Boys" (separate post on that soon). They performed (read: mimed) the song in English and I have to say, it's kind of the business, okay.

My secondary KPOP Bias: Lee Donghae of Super Junior. My only non-derpy picture of him and it looks like this. FML. I swear he's very attractive in person.

SUPER JUNIOR
Alright...where do I begin?
-First off, Siwon wasn't there, so sorry -- no topless pics. :( In fact, they didn't even perform "A Man In Love". (Sad face once again.) Ditto to "A-Cha", which I realize is not many people's favorite song but still -- it's their most recent single and it was left off the list! "A-Cha" I could live without, but "Superman" also was not performed. That's probably my biggest grievance for SuJu, but what can you do?
-Their first appearance was via KRY's performance of "Sorry Sorry - Answer" = a very Happy Mel. Kyuhyun's voice is wicked live and impressed me at several different points, but let's be real, fam. It's all about Yesung's vocals. All. About. It. I had goosebumps at several different points. When he belts, angels get their wings or something. I'm sure of it. How I love you, my little Awkward Turtle.
-Their Introductions: Were all in English...I think. Sometimes they talked so fast, I wasn't quite sure. (Like Yesung's "Hihoargu?") Again, excellent fancam here.
-The Crowd Was Loving: Ryeowook. I know, right? And Kyuhyun. I think New York has a thing for maknaes.
-I Found Myself Strangely Attracted To: Leeteuk. I know, right? Totally out of character for me. But he'sone good looking ahjusshi and is very handsome in person. He was also videotaping the crowd toward the end for his own personal purposes. Awww...
-Kings of FanService: If SNSD are the Queens, SuJu are totally the kings. Between various members bumping in to each other or kicking each other, Sungmin throwing a stuffed Nemo plushie at Shindong, and Eunhae generally flirting and almost kissing each other, Super Junior is incredibly playful and know how to play right into their fans hands. And I ate up every second of their cuteness. It's hard not to.
-15-Loving ELFS Rejoice: Henry and Zhou Mi were there! They performed their interstitial bit during "Don't Don", and rather than performing the Korean Version of "Super Girl" with all of the SJ members present, Super Junior M (in its actual sense, currently) performed "Perfection!". It's one of those songs that bitterly divides fans -- you either love it or you hate it. Fortunately for me, I love it, so HAH. They performed it in Chinese as well. :)
-Let's Be Honest: Hyuk is kinda hot. If you judge from early Super Junior material, like I have, I find it hard to believe I would find myself so honestly attracted to Junsu's dorky BFF, but dude. Things have changed. I almost don't even mind the retina-blinding white-blonde hair. He just looks good. So much so that my eyes were typically drawn to him a lot of the time. Sure, he was the one working the crowd the most, between his jocular raps and his own Dance Battle breakdown (which also featured cutie Hyoyeon of SNSD, Luna from F(x), and Taemin from SHINee amongst a few others -- but not Yunho, so it's almost irrelevant...almost), Eunhyuk was full of life and was all smiles. When SuJu came out for their latest stage before the group performance, he was the only one who wore a tank top (curse you, stylist noonas!), and at the end, he donned a pair of Angel Wings. Friends, I fear I might have been converted...I tried to take a picture, fam -- but the Dance Machine that is Hyukjae moves too fast.
-But Fear Not: I won't get carried away. When it comes to SuJu, I was there to see Donghae, and see him I did. He flew during "Don't Don" on our side (score!), and was often singing to the audience on our stage, but I've never truly noticed how much he covers up his (luscious) mouth with his hand/microphone when he performs. He's either on or he's not, and while he sounded good and was hitting all his dance moves, a part of me was a little let down that he wasn't giving it his all. Perhaps he was tired. I don't want to make it seem like I was dissapointed -- he looked incredible, sounded good, and was in front of my eyeballs in person. It's already a win. I was just hoping for a little more adorable five-year-old smiling from my favorite Fishy. That's all.

It's BoA, b*tches.
BOA
-She is beautiful in person, and spoke in English the entire time.
-She performed a smattering of songs from her English album ("I Did It For Love", "Eat You Up", "Look Who's Talking", "Energetic") but bizarrely chose to perform "Copy and Paste" instead of "Girls on Top". (insert Mel's annoyed face here.)
-At one point during her little talking bit, she tugged on her shorts and said, "I just realize my {costume?} is really, really short. I can't focus on clothes when I am dancing and singing but..." Heh. So they realize it too, eh?
-She really is a phenomenal dancer -- and it was very obvious she was singing live through all of her performances. Not an easy thing to do. Get it, girl.

Forgive me, but it's difficult to take photos when you're hyperventilating. Presenting: Changmin and Yunho of TVXQ!

Try to ignore the derp and focus on Changmin's epic afterglow pose with deep v-neck.

TVXQ! 
What you've waited for, no? Me too. In fact we waited for what felt like forever. Only when you've seen every other member of SMTown multiple times and you feel like there are no more hit songs to belt out, do the lights go dark and that creepy announcer voice whisper "We are: Dong Bang Shin Ki." And then the shaking and the crying and the screaming (oh my, my shameful screaming) begins.
-Just Saying: Minnie was on our side during their flying intro (score!). And for the majority of their set, he had the clevage bearing outfit over Yunho (double score!).
-Every Cassie's Main Grievance: The only person who's setlist was shorter than HoMin's was Kangta. Seriously. F(X) had more stage time than they did. They came out, did their Medley of TVXQ! Hits ("The Way U Are"/"Mirotic"), a sizzingly version of "Maximum" (OT5 Version Obviously Not Included), and "Why (Keep Your Head Down)". They introduced themselves in English (don't get too shaky -- just as with the rest of the boys, with the exception of Key, they kept it very short), before launching into "Before U Go". Then they were out. The returned later with flagship "Rising Sun", and before you know it, it was the group perf and time to go home. Given that SuJu performed in Chinese, and SNSD performed in English, I was hoping they could go for the gold and let TVXQ perform at least one song in Japanese off TONE ("I Don't Care", "Superstar", "B.U.T."...any one would have done me fine), but alas, that was not the case.
-The Introductions: They briefly spoke English. And by brief I mean:

Yunho: Hi, New York! I'm Yunho!
Changmin: (gasping for breath) And I'm Changmin. (leans over)
Yunho mentioned (in Korean, via a translator) that he was deeply moved to be performing on the same stage where some of his idols have already performed, including Michael Jackson. Also reflecting his personality, (Voldamin) Changmin held a finger up to his lips when fans were screaming too loud to quiet everyone down before overly enunciating in English: "The next. Song. Is. "Before. U. Go." (Insert me shrieking at a decibel where only a Justin Bieber's fan's dog could hear.)
-Let Me Just Say: "Keep Your Head Down" was predictably epic (I'm convinced I have not lived prior to singing along to an epic Min!Scream with a packed-to-capacity stadium of people), but it was all about "Before U Go". From the hip swivels to the incredible live vocals, I was a melted pile of goo that the two of them could mold with and do with as they pleased by the end. Literally. I literally stood there, with my red lightstick to my chest, the red light blinking maniacally, as I stared at Changmin with my mouth agape. It was just...magical.
-Obligatory OT5 Reference: More so than the TVXQ! "medley" at the beginning, "Rising Sun" was the potential moment to get emotional for most of us involved, I think. I've obviously seen the two attempt the feat that is "Rising Sun" with two members before, but to see it in front of you is a whole new level of awe. Because we are Cassies, we read into things too much, like the cold set in Yunho and Changmin's faces as they sing solo bits that were never theirs originally. It must be like breaking a bone and resetting it -- it must be terribly painful to re-arrange such a powerful song at this point in your careers. It's nothing like Super Junior's revolving door of members (with the exception, I suppose of Han Geng and Kibum). What started as the handy five has whittled down to two, and to not talk about the elephant in the room will always be slightly awkward because very few who were there with red lightsticks were there because they became fans after HoMin "debuted" as HoMin.

FROM A VOCAL STANDPOINT:
Here are the Idols that shined the brightest to yours truly.

F(x) - Luna
SHINee - Onew
Girl's Generation - Taeyeon
Super Junior - Yesung
BoA - obviously
TVXQ! - my future husband, Shim Changmin

GOODIES FROM SMTOWN:
Via SMTOWN's YouTube Channel, they have several live videos taken from the concert including:

Normal Melismatic Madness will continue...once I full recover.

1 comment

JayNoonaYeppo said...

Hey there! Just recently followed you on Twitter thanks to your tweet re Donghae's Christmas tree (it's only November Donggie... so cute). Love your review of SMTown NYC!

I was there too (and I'm a NYer too - Manhattan!)! And I wrote a review for it for a blog (and I didn't edit out most of my fangirling... oops).

Looking forward to more of your posts!

Looking forward

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