JYJ The Beginning New Album Showcase Tour 2010 managed to melt hearts and earn deafening screams from the audience but issues such as ticketing and cancellation of a photo session received equally passionate and angry criticisms from fans (with around 600 comments on Facebook within 24 hours).
Here’s a breakdown of the event (click to read):
1. The JYJ Showcase
Here in Singapore for the first time, K-Pop trio, JYJ – Jaejoong, Yoochun (Micky) and Junsu, dazzled the audience with 6 songs from their new English debut album, The Beginning, at Singapore Expo Hall Oct 16.
The K-Pop trio are bouncing back from the suspension of their band, Dong Bang Shin Ki (DBSK), in April – a result of a long and ongoing feud with their agency, SM Entertainment, over an unreasonably long 13-year contract as well as unfair distribution of pay.
Controversy or not, the boy band made a solid performance and managed to get the fans screaming at their slick dance moves with songs like “Empty” or “Ayyy Girl” while melting their hearts as they serenaded them to “Be My Girl”.
Hordes of fans were decked in red, the official colour of DBSK fan clubs, or holding red light sticks.
An anonymous undergrad from SIM University was pleasantly surprised, as she hadn’t listened to the album beforehand, wanting to hear everything live for the first time.
Priscilla Tay, 19, from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, who has over 1,000 pictures of Jae-joong, told UrbanWire, “The boys were better live than in the album.” She should know, she had listened to it on repeat, countless times.
Ng Lin Li, a 15 year old from Fuhua Secondary said, “My favourite part of the concert was the ‘Empty (Remix)’ because it was so high when they made us stand up and jump!”
The audience went wild and screamed every chance they got even when they were simply playing video clips of the boys doodling hearts and loving messages, clips already shown on their webpage, or a behind-the-scenes look from the making of the album, which features top-notch producers like Kanye West and Rodney Jerkins.
The showcase also consisted of an interview session with JYJ and was hosted by DJ Ken who asked questions such as “Who is their ideal type?”.
2. Be The One
3. Be My Girl
5. Ayyy Girl (Feat. Kanye West and Malik Yusef)
6. Empty (Remix)
Despite only singing 6 songs, JYJ more than made up for the short showcase which lasted around an hour, when Yoochun, who had moved to the United States in the 6th grade, announced in fluent English, “I had a really great time. I know it’s really short but we will be here next year and thank you for all your love”.
Yoochun also shouted to fans to “Always keep the faith”, a slogan fans understand to mean they should never give up hope that DBSK will reunite once more.
2. Long Wait
Despite announcing that the doors to the EXPO hall will open at 6:30 pm, concert organizers prevented fans from entering and it was only until around 9 pm that everyone managed to be seated.
No signs or crew members from Quest ID Management, the company in charge of the event, were available to direct the fans.
When UrbanWire first arrived, several people were confused and overheard asking questions like “Is this the queue for Category A or B?”
Everyone ended up merging to form a thick and snaky queue we couldn’t see the start and end of.
A comment in reply to angry fans on Facebook from QUEST after the event, stated that the delay was due to JYJ’s late arrival, rehearsals and soundchecks.
3. Ticketing issues
QUEST updated their Facebook to say, “[UPDATE LIVE FROM SINGAPORE EXPO HALL 3] It’s full house!” only to receive mostly criticism from fans.
Diehard fans who had gone to the airport to welcome JYJ, revealed that the tickets were given out to the public earlier in the day.
QUEST also opened up new seats for Category AA (on the sides of the stage) on Oct 9 when the first round of ticket sales were already over, which means loyal fans who bought tickets earlier were disadvantaged.
4. Poor hosting and translations
When Yoochun introduced himself as Micky during the interview, the host introduced himself as Minnie almost immediately, receiving forced laughter from the crowd. The host seems to fluctuate from being high to strangely sarcastic to fans, inviting and tempting a girl who could sing “Ayyy Girl” to come up onstage, inviting loud screams, then abruptly saying “You think long, long”, which is a Singlish expression for “to keep dreaming”. He suggested that the fans singing sounded “like Indians” then quickly added that he was just joking and “don’t be too sensitive.”
Fans also noted that the translations for the interview session were a little off.
Xinying Lim, 17, from Republic Polytechnic said, “I don’t think that he should have put his arm around Micky Yoochun and invade their personal space. Then again, he can learn from this experience. Even though I’m not exactly pleased with his usage of Singlish [and] his actions, I have to say that I did enjoy the showcase while it lasted – he made me laugh a few times.”
The DJ has also apologized and thanked JYJ fans for their comments on his Facebook fanpage.
The photo session promised to holders of VIP tickets was cancelled at the last minute without prior warning.
The news were only broken to the fans by the security guards and VIP ticket holders received a handshake before being ushered out hurriedly.
As his recent work attachment does not pay, a 20 year old who is now in National Service had used up all his savings on the $248 ticket.
Preferring to be kept anonymous as well, he told UrbanWire, “Missing the photo session is an inexcusable act in my books. It is the moment when everyone was looking forward to. I spent the whole day making a drawing of JYJ, which I wanted to present to them, but because everything happened so fast and so last minute that I forgot to give it to them. I feel unappreciated as a fan, a customer and as a human being. This is because of the ill treatments dished out by the mediocre security.”
Xinying also saw a VIP ticket holder in tears at the exit while 5 to 6 guards yelled at everyone to leave.
Miscommunication between the company and fans seemed to be one of the biggest issues in the event.
A 16-year-old from Raffles Girls’ School, who wanted to remain anonymous, told UrbanWire, “Yes, I am grateful someone bothered to bring JYJ in, and I know that doing a good job within a short period of time is definitely not easy. However, they screwed up… They did not bother with proper publicity, and used Facebook as the only way of publicity and announcement method.”
She also revealed that QUEST staff was curt in replying fans and one of them also contacted her “regarding my behaviour which he deemed was rude because I criticized their decision to add mosh pits” – an idea quickly rejected afterwards.
On the morning of Oct 17, QUEST put out a few statements on Facebook to state that the fans’ responses were “disheartening” and asserted that “[o]ur conscience is clear and we know what we are doing. We felt that the entire showcase was well executed” as well as to wait for an official announcement[published Oct 18, 11:05pm] that will explain the showcase’s shortcomings.
With so much drama in just one night, it’s easy to imagine many K-Pop fans keeping their fingers crossed for Korean Pop Night Concert 2010, which will feature 7 bands including SHINee and Girls’ Generation, also to be held at the Singapore Expo next Saturday. It will however, be organized by concert organizer, Proof Label.