leave your inhibitions at the door
Recently, I did two things that I haven’t done in wayyyyyy too long – I went back to Chicago and went to a concert. The last time I was in Chicago was 7 months ago and that was to re-tile my mom’s floor. While I love my mom to pieces and strangely like installing tile, it’s probably not on anyone’s list for reasons to visit the Windy City. I didn’t get to eat great food, see old friends, shop, or even walk around – heck, I barely even went outside.
Going to a concert is an opportunity that would normally have me jumping for joy, but this was a little off. You see, it wasn’t like I was going to see Radiohead, Beyonce, or even The Biebs. It was a band that not many people have heard of here in the United States, but they have monstrous following overseas. That in itself would be ultra cool. Yet…
The reason why it was a little off was it was B.A.P., which stands for “Best Always Perfect”
They’re a K-Pop band. For those of you who have been living under a rock, the “K” in K-Pop stands for Korea and it’s the country’s modern music genre that’s wildly popular all over the world. (OK, I’m kidding about the rock thing. If everyone who didn’t know what K-Pop was were actually under rocks, that would be…. Well, it’d be a lot of fucking rocks)
K-Pop acts are mostly boy bands who, like our N’Sync and Backstreet Boys, are young, good-looking, and terrific dancers. The music blends all kinds of different Western music genres like pop, ballads, dance, and rap. Sometimes the songs are hard rocking ones like this one, which has a Fall Out Boy vibe to it –
The songs seem to be 90% in Korean so a typical one goes like “Korean word, Korean word, Korean word, PUT YOUR HANDS UP, Korean word, Korean word, Korean word, I LIKE IT, Korean Word….” Although my daughter says it’s more like 60% Korean, 40% really, really bad English.
This daughter got heavily into K-Pop and B.A.P. is her very favorite band. Being the all-time awesomest father I am, I took her to the show.
But first thing’s first, both at the night of the concert and in this here post…. A proper meal consisting of Al’s Italian Beef, extra large, hot peppers, the whole thing dipped in juices..
OK, maybe that wasn’t the best filter to use… Anyway, now we can go on.
When we got there, I was really shocked at the crowd. I knew it would be mostly high school girls, since B.A.P. is a boy band. But that’s about the only thing that was predictable. At many concerts, fans dress similar, – lots of black to a emo concert, tie-dyes for Phish. At this one, it was like a Cosplay convention where they looked like they jumped from the pages of some Japanese comic book.
Except half-assed because these are all high school girls and there was only so much that their parents would let them do costume-wise.
Since the band was from Korea, I would’ve expected the audience to be filled with enough Asians to film a war movie. But, like in everyday life, we were definitely in the minority here. I’m guessing we’ll see more Asians televised at the GOP National Convention than we saw at the concert.
There were a quite a few adults who were chaperoning like I was. But I was the only one who DIDN’T know the songs. All of the others there were going apeshit – dancing, singing along, shouting out band members’ names. And there were two women a couple rows in front of us in their mid-to-late 30s. WHO WEREN’T THERE WITH KIDS.
All this confusion led me to go get a beer.
When I went to the concessions stand, the person back there was actually shocked someone ordered a beer. I’m pretty sure I was the first to order one that night.
The concert itself was pretty entertaining, even if I had zero clue what was going on. The music itself was good – some cool beats, really catchy melodies. The dancing and light show was also a lot of fun to watch. It was very much my daughter’s Beatles moment, so I was really happy for her.
But I found myself getting jealous, too. Where was stuff like this when I was a teenager? It would have been great if there were some Asian guys that all the high school girls were going nuts over. Then I could’ve modeled my looks after them and maybe – and this is a big maybe – I could’ve had some success with the opposite sex.
Way back then, the only semi-famous Asian guys were Long Duck Dong from “16 Candles”…
Or Dustin Nguyen, that dude from 21 Jump Street.
And he had a mullet! Even then I knew it was not a good look…
Have you heard any K-Pop? Were there any other 80s Asian guys I missed?