Wonder Girls Toronto Concert – Fan Account (2009)
MY WACKY CASHEW BOARD
DATE: Sunday, August 30, 2009
TIME: 7:30 p.m.
VENUE: Rogers Centre – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
SEAT: Section 515, Row 31, Seat 101
This has been one of the most surreal experiences ever!!! I’m still finding it hard to believe everything that took place. *pinches self*😄 Here’s the lowdown… (I suggest sitting back and relaxing over a cup of hot cocoa or grabbing a snack as it’s quite long… =P)
I got to Rogers Centre at around 5:00 p.m. to pick up my ticket, which I had just ordered the day of the show after finalizing all the details I needed to know. (Rogers had stipulated some restrictions due to JB and I was worried about getting in, seeing it was my first time attending a concert there.) I just got the cheapest ticket ($15.50 + misc. charges = $32.25CAD) cuz I had only planned on catching the girls; plus, I’d already splurged on gifts. =P Heehee~ Then, I got in line at Gate 2. Doors were supposed to open at 6:00 p.m., but we weren’t let in till 6:35 p.m. or so. Security check went smoothly beyond belief for me!! Really have to thank God for this! As you can see from my previous posts, I had to bring in 7 gifts. So, what I did after taking pics of the gifts was to flatten the bags and separate the contents. Then, I stuffed everything in my giant backpack and a small shoulder bag. I even rolled up the sign, which was only 1/2 a bristol board, to tuck into my shoulder bag. The security guy only checked the shoulder bag and mentioned I should put the sign in the drop bin. (I didn’t bother to tell him it wasn’t for the Jonas Brothers. XD) He didn’t even notice my knapsack!! Unbelievable?!?! Whew! Yay for passing stage 1!! d^.^b After getting my ticket flashed with that laser thingy, I was let in with no problems whatsoever. I guess after security check, the ticket people don’t give you any hassle. *thumbs up*
So, I went in, having met up with a fellow Wonder Girls fan (Peony) while in line, who was selected as a FAN*TASTIC. She informed me of where they’d be meeting and I was gonna try my luck to see if I could become one, especially since I found out so many peeps were let in for the Montreal show. (I really wanted to hand over the gifts in person! =P I had applied to be one but wasn’t contacted.) We roamed around to see where the WG merchandise was located. I spotted a small sign that said pre-sale CDs for Jordin Sparks and Wonder Girls at a Jonas Brothers merchandise booth. That’s when I remembered something mentioned on soompi forums about pre-sales and autographs. So, we rushed to Section 525 to get our pre-sale stubs. Basically, you just fill in your name, address, phone #, and e-mail. Once the CD is released, they’ll ship you a copy. It was $20CAD and the first 1,000 pre-sales will get a limited edition gift (autographed CD + laptop case and I guess future Meet & Greet opportunities). Check http://www.wondercdpresale.com for details. Mine was already No. 446, so I’m not sure how many peeps got the pre-sale CD in Toronto and other locations already. You can only get an autograph from the girls at the Public Meet & Greet if you have this pink pre-sale stub. (Now, you can get the pre-sale online as well.)
Anyway, we were very excited and went to our respective seats. Since I was in the nosebleed section, I couldn’t see much. But the venue was nice and there was a huge crowd for JB obviously.😄 (Toronto loves them! If I were to choose, I personally like Nick the most cuz of his diabetes and I’m inspired by him. ^^) We saw some promo clips that they were playing on the screens. Wonder Girls came on and there were screams and cheers. So, I knew I was in the company of fellow fans nearby. ^^ A couple of girls (Stephanie & Jessica) as well as a couple of boys from Korea who were here for a few months (to study Business English?) sat near my area. (Steph recognized me from my FAN*TASTIC vid. Haha~ =P) We all decided to try our luck to be a FAN*TASTIC later on.
The show officially started at around 7:35 p.m. with Honor Society playing the first set, which was a good half hour. (Before the show started, JB were walking on the floor level towards the stage and so many fans ran over to shake their hands. =P) I used this time to unpack my knapsack and assemble my gifts. *lol* I had purposely asked for an aisle seat for an easy escape exit.😄 Since no one was sitting beside me, Steph & Jess came to join me. After HS, there was a short break, and then we spotted the girls walking on the floor towards the stage, shaking fans’ hands just like JB did. So, we knew they were gonna come on soon!! Eeeeeppp!!
Before long, the MC introduced the girls and before they came on stage, they showed a clip. (I think they showed a short JB clip just before that for introduction.) It basically showed how they’re international superstars and listed the various countries. I was fiddling with the camera and didn’t see everything clearly, but I spotted Philippines and Thailand amongst those listed. =) They all introduced themselves, then taught the audience the Nobody dance. They asked who the audience’s favourite JB was: Kevin, Joe, or Nick? ^^ I thought they were really great in hyping the crowd. (I took a fancam up to this point.) Then, we were asked to stand up to do the dance as they performed the song. (That’s why I have no fancams of the perf. I was busy singing along and dancing though I suck. XD) The girls did an awesome job and I really enjoyed their perf., considering it was the first time I watched them singing live in person as opposed to my computer monitor. =P Steph, Jess, and I all kept screaming and yelling, “Wonder Girls!!” as we sang and danced along. After that, they waved good-bye to the audience, getting the crowd riled up again by asking, “Are you ready for the Jonas Brothers?!?!” =D (All this while, some little girl behind me kept screaming, “I love you!” every now and then. I wasn’t sure if it was to show love for the girls or just yelling at random due to her excitement for JB or even HS. *lol*)
With gifts in tow plus the assistance of Steph & Jess, we nimbly went down the steps against the traffic of JB fans. *rolleyes* We went outside and I waited for Peony by Section 516 as Steph & Jess as well as the Korean boys went to get WG posters ($15CAD each). I spotted some other WG fans and we chatted for a bit. They were all amazed at how I managed to sneak in my gifts. XDDD Haha~ Peony soon appeared and we briskly ran to Gate 3, which was the designated spot for the FAN*TASTICS to meet at 8:45 p.m. (Peony had to leave her gift by the gate when we entered cuz it was a box, which wasn’t allowed into the show. Thankfully, she was able to retrieve it.) Hana, one of the organizers, was there to call out names and put wristbands on those who were already chosen. When that was done, she turned to the rest of us and asked, “Who are you guys?” *lol* So, obviously, there was still a number of us who were standing there, hoping to become a FAN*TASTIC. She told us that she could only choose two. I went up and showed her my gifts and everything, telling her I’ve got one for each member, a group gift, as well as one for Mr. JYP. But a lot of other peeps rushed forward as well. So, I kinda got mobbed as people ran towards Hana and she couldn’t really see me. =0 Peony said I should tell her I have gifts. So, I ran off to the left to try to catch her attention. I showed her the gifts again and asked to be let in. (I think at this point she had asked who had gifts in order to determine who she’d allow in.) She pored over all the gifts I had and decided to give me a wristband. I was ever so thankful!!! V^^V It really felt like a miracle!! If Peony hadn’t tweeted me by chance on twitter and I hadn’t met up with her, I might have totally missed this opportunity!! So, I’m very thankful for God’s hand in all this as well as for Peony. ^^
OK, so I got chosen and there was one more spot left. I went to the back of the line and didn’t catch all the action going on around Hana. Eventually, one of the Korean boys (JK) got selected cuz he’s Korean. I guess he convinced her somehow.😄 We lined up and got ready to go back in. The others were told to line up for the Public Meet & Greet to see the girls, which will take place after the show. As we re-entered the building, we were all extremely excited. Peony and JK as well as myself were going OMG! and jumping around, hardly believing our luck. We even conversed a bit using simple Korean phrases cuz JK’s English isn’t that fluent. So, the group of us–24 FAN*TASTICS in total–headed up the elevator in two batches and waited for the girls. We were asked to stand against the wall in single file and I ended up being the first one in line. While waiting, I got out my sign from my backpack. My arms were pretty tired from lugging the gifts, so I put them down while we waited. *lol* Sunye and Yeeun appeared all of a sudden from around the corner. We were all very excited and screamed!! =D Yeeun said Hi and waved to us and I said, “Hi Yenny!” back. ^^ I immediately whipped out my camera but didn’t catch Yeeun in time to snap a shot cuz she had already turned away. So, I got Sunye instead cuz she walked towards us and stayed a lil’ while whereas Yeeun was closer to the “outside” where there’s a passage for vehicles to drive by (refer to my golf cart pic from the Pics post to know what I mean ^^). They soon hopped on a golf cart and was driven back (to the right of the passage), but not long after, they returned and went the other way (to the left of the passage). So, we all laughed and waved and they laughed and waved back!! =P
We waited a bit longer and were then led by Hana to an area around the corner. We waited in the corridor in single file again (refer to pic with the blue curtains in my Pics post). I was gonna go second and let Peony go first so I could get my gifts organized once I figured out the order the girls were standing in. But I think she was really excited and a bit nervous at the same time, so she asked me to go first. (She said my gifts pwned everybody’s. *lol* Actually, I’m not too sure who else brought gifts. I saw someone who had 5 white bags; someone brought a guitar to play for the girls, I guess; one group had a huge red heart with a gigantic JYP pic on it, which you’ve probably seen on JYP’s twitpic… We were a great bunch!! ^^V) Before long, we saw some movement behind the curtains and saw the girls walking in and lining up to get ready for the pics. WOOT!! =D (I think it was around 9:20 p.m. or so.) Hana came out and asked if I was by myself. So, I said yes, then quickly gathered my gifts and my sign together and rushed after her.😄 I put my gifts and sign down, passed my camera to the guy taking pics, then picked up the gifts again to give them to the girls. ^_____^ The girls were standing (left to right) Sohee, Yeeun, Sunye, Yubin, Sunmi. Since I didn’t have time to organize the order, I gave the group gift to Sunye first, telling the girls it’s for the whole group. (That’s why she’s holding two gifts in the pic I posted.) Then, I gave Yubin hers, then Sunye (I only passed one handle to her amidst the chaos of all the bags, but she didn’t mind gathering the other one to hold the bag properly <3). After that, it was Yeeun, Sohee, and Sunmi. Someone said, “Wow!” but I wasn’t paying enough attention to catch who it was while getting the gifts all sorted out (maybe it was Yubin since it came from my right); I guess she had taken a quick peek inside the bag. =P Then, we got ready to pose for a pic. I suddenly remembered my sign lying on the floor and scrambled for it. XDDD I showed it to them briefly and Yeeun said, “Wow!” (The cameraman read it and smiled, too! Someone was filming off to the side all this while.) So, I was all smiles as we snapped the pic. ^^V After that, I turned around and hugged each of them in turn. (We were allowed one group pic & hugs, no individual shots or autographs since there were so many of us.) As I went down the line, I told them thank you, kamsa hamnida, you guys did great tonight, I was doing the Nobody dance, etc. They were all really sweet. <333 I think Sohee looked a little tired. After the picture-taking, the staff took the gifts and set them aside.
Anyway, sometime before I took my pic, JYP came out! So, of course, I was super excited!! =P (I have been following him and the girls on twitter and he has direct messaged me a few times. So, I was pretty sure that he was expecting to meet me sometime today. ^^) So, after I was done with the girls, I got JYP’s gift and handed it to him. He was drinking Canada Dry ginger ale, holding the can in his left hand. (Don’t mistaken it for beer. *lol* =P) Then, I showed him my sign. He smiled and said, “I know you, Wacky Cashew!” =D I couldn’t believe my ears!!!!! I was jumping up and down (inside cuz I didn’t wanna look like an idiot right there). I asked for a pic and he was really friendly and approachable. So, we took one with my camera. Then, he took out his cell cuz he wanted one for his iPhone. He got one of the assistants (?) to take it. It came out blurry, so he asked her to take it again. So, we took another one. It still looked shaky (as you can attest from his post on twitpic, which I only saw this morning before I headed off to work since it was too late to check last night XD). So, I showed him the (fabulous) shot I had on my camera and told him I would message him with it later. d^.^b Bwehehe~ I had wanted a hug from him, but he was busy checking the quality of the pics on his iPhone, so I didn’t get to hug him. =0 (I think he wanted to take another one in order to get a clear shot, but maybe didn’t want to ask that girl again. =X) In any case, I was sooooo happy to see the girls, but JYP totally made my day by remembering me!! So, I was grinning ear to ear at this point. (I only realized when I got home that the dot of the exclamation mark on my sign had fallen off at some point before I took the pics. DOH! *lol*)
I went back out and lined up on the opposite side of the corridor as the other FAN*TASTICS had their turns. Peony and JK came out (she had to take pics for him with her camera cuz he didn’t bring one) and we were all incredibly excited and dumbfounded at what we had just experienced!! XDDD I was skipping up and down (literally, this time =P) and we were going OMG! OMG! OMG! Peony’s hand was shaking as she tweeted on her cell. Heehee~ We hugged in victory and continued to celebrate. Then, some cameralady came by and interviewed the group with the giant red heart & JYP face. *lol* I think she interviewed the guy with the guitar as well, or was it some other tall guy? (I wasn’t paying close attention. =P) Then, she asked us to do the Nobody dance. So, some of us went to do it. I scurried to the back since I suck at dancing and really didn’t know the moves all that well. >.< When everyone was done, we headed back upstairs. We saw some peeps lining up at Section 108 for the Public Meet & Greet already. We were handed some flyers, which are actually really pretty glossy cards with the girls’ Nobody pic on one side and some info about them on the other side. I took a few to keep for friends and distributed the rest of them as I roamed around the venue with Peony. Those who know me know that I’m not particularly fond of distributing flyers because I find it hard to approach strangers randomly to promote something–I can never be a salesperson.😄 But for the girls, I got out of my comfort zone and tried to do my best. (I don’t think I would do this just for anybody. Doing the FAN*TASTIC vid was a huge leap for me. =P) Eventually, I got rid of all the cards. Some people couldn’t care less, but some were quite nice and responsive. ^^ I picked up a poster along the way to keep as a souvenir. The shirts were too expensive for me ($40CAD each), so I decided to opt out.
Since both Peony and I had finished our stacks, we got in line for the Public Meet & Greet. While waiting, we peeked around the curtains to catch some JB & Jordin Sparks action. (They had a collab for “Battlefield”, I think.) Then, the girls came on to bow as the show ended. So, I tried to snap a quick pic. (I seriously think cameras should have a setting for “concerts”; I can never figure out what’s the best setting to take a clear pic in such a dark place. *lol*) After a while, I heard some screams from the end of the line. So, I knew the girls were coming. I had my camera ready and filmed a short fancam as the girls walked by one by one. ^^V The first three were Yeeun, Sunmi, and Yubin. Yeeun and Yubin smiled and waved, and Sunmi just walked by. Sunye was looking the other way. DOH! And Sohee rounded up the back. (This was around 11:00 p.m.) As we waited, JYP walked by. Some peeps ahead of me who had their turns already surrounded JYP to get pics and autographs. So, I couldn’t really get any pics or vids since he was being blocked. Then, the mob dissipated and he was standing alone for a bit. So, I caught his attention and waved him over with my black Sharpie marker and Nobody album, calling out, “Oppa, can I get your autograph?” =D He was really nice and came over to sign for me. He even added “Wacky Cashew” without my request!! So, I was super happy!! JYP knows me!! JYP REMEMBERS ME!! *twirling inside again* XDDD Keke~ I didn’t get to take pics of him here since he was standing right in front of me and I didn’t wanna blind him with my flash.😄 Plus, other peeps wanted pics with him and siggies as well, so I decided not to be so greedy. Haha~ =P He used my marker to sign for some other fans nearby. While he was signing, I told him that my friend from Indonesia sings his songs at karaoke. (I did it for you, Lieke!! <333 But I didn’t mention your name. XD) He smiled, finished signing, and then passed the marker back to me. During the line-up, a staff with a megaphone (I think the same guy who took pics for us during the Private Meet & Greet) went up and down the line with a Nobody album, saying that whoever screams the loudest will get it. So, we all started screaming VEEEEERY LOUDLY!! I’m not sure who eventually got it. I didn’t mind really since I had my own copy already. ^^ He was also filming us on his cell while walking back and forth. Actually, the girls’ manager (dressed in the WG black tee) also filmed us with his cell. =) By now, the JB fans were trickling out, so some FAN*TASTICS who had cards remaining passed them out. ^^
Soon, it was my turn. I can see they were standing in the same order as the Private Meet & Greet, except Yubin and Sunye switched spots. (When the girls weren’t signing or posing for pics, I saw Yeeun singing and dancing to Nobody. =D) I went up to the girls with my Nobody album and got each to sign on her thank-you page. Then we took a group shot. (I realized afterwards that I had the Nobody album backwards.😄 And I hope I didn’t poke Yubin with my poster, which was tucked in my knapsack, when I leaned back.) After the pic, I bowed and thanked them. They smiled back. These girls are truly wonderful!! =D I got my camera back and checked the shots. Then, I organized my backpack to put everything back. I stuck around to take another pic and a short fancam of the girls. (Raymon, another FAN*TASTIC, just happened to be having his turn. Hope he doesn’t mind! XD) I knew I wouldn’t be able to get more siggies from the girls since the line-up was so long. So, I tried my luck with JYP. I got out three of those WG promo cards and asked him to sign. I told him that I have friends in Indonesia, Singapore, and New Jersey. (Lieke, Joyce, and Amanda, these are for you!! <333 Sorry, I couldn’t get the girls’ for you. =( Below’s a sneak peek of the signed card. Thanks for being such awesome friends, and of course, your continuous help with CB and now MU, making “cashewmania” such a huge success!! V^^V) JYP was happy to oblige. (I would’ve asked for more if I could, but then I think I would seem like I was some ungrateful fan who was leeching siggies or something. T_T But I still hope to send the cards out to some friends just as a souvenir. ^^) I really wanted a hug from JYP, but knew it would be awkward at this point considering he was signing for other fans. So, I just thanked him. Then, it was time to leave. (Security people wanted fans to exit the venue as soon as the picture-taking was done.) I saw some fellow fans and chatted a bit. It was nearing midnight, so we headed to the subway and had some nice convos while trekking through the SkyWalk. Finally, we said our good-byes since I was heading west whilst they were heading east. ^^
I hopped on the subway and waited for the bus home (it was the last one! and not the one I’d usually take since it’s further from home, but the other one had stopped running), trying to absorb everything that had spanned the past several hours. It was a totally exhilarating experience!! I kept replaying all the scenes in my head “again & again.”😄 I was just sooo grateful for everything and the fans I got to talk to were all awesome. =D When I got home, it was already 1:30 a.m. But I was still feeling very giddy. Heehee~ I flipped through my Nobody album to examine the siggies and went through the pics on my camera. Then, I had to head to bed because I have to wake up early for work on Monday, which is usually the longest day for me since I work at night as well. Anyway, it was the best fan experience I’ve had thus far. d^.^b The only thing that would come close would be my Korea trip when I got to see Sungie oppa and Brian as well as DBSK from a close distance. Heehee~ But this was definitely much more interactive and one-on-one. So, I loved every bit of it!!! =P
Thanks so much for reading my exhaustive essay!! *lol* <333 I wanna give a shout-out to all the fans who were at the Toronto concert, especially Peony (and her two cousins), JK (and his friend), Steph, Jess, Raymon, Adrian, Miguel, another guy with whom I was chatting about my Korea trip Will, another tall guy in a grey T-shirt who was nice and friendly, another Lisa, and a Korean girl (sorry, I didn’t catch some of your names or if I’d missed anyone; if you’re a soompier, please PM me [dreamweaver] so I can replace your description with a proper name XD). It was great to meet you all!! ^^ I also wanna thank Klaudine, Brady, and MissBoAngel (sorry, don’t know your real name) from soompi who answered my questions about the show and being a FAN*TASTIC, which eventually helped me decide to go to the show and try to be a FAN*TASTIC. You guys rock!! *hugs* And lastly, I must thank the girls and JYP for making this such a memorable experience for me (and fellow fans). You are all amazinggg!!! *hearts y’all*
That concludes my spazzy moment-to-moment account. XDDD
<333 Lisa a.k.a. Wacky Cashew ^_____^
P.S. My arms and legs and just my whole body is sore from dragging the gifts around and waiting in line to get inside the venue. =P Teehee~ I think if I had more time to chat with the girls individually, I would’ve asked some questions and talked more. For instance, I would wish Sunye “Happy belated birthday” and tell Yeeun that I like the song she wrote on the Nobody album. And also, other things such as what are their plans in the near future besides preparing for their U.S. debut album, what life on the road is like, and more. Heehee~ And I would’ve probably introduced myself properly and tried to have a convo with Sunye in Mandarin and chat about going to Korea. ^^ Maybe some other time in the future.
(Written Monday, August 31, 2009)
Yeeun posted a thank-you to me on twitter sometime around 12:00 a.m. on 2009-09-08!! I’m overjoyed!! ^_____^ Heehee~