That title is no lie. The first two CDs I bought at a preteen were Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. I still swear to this day that Justin Timberlake made eye contact with me at the “No Strings Attached” concert I went to in Albany back in 2000.

My obsession with K-pop has been much-chronicled by this blog in recent weeks. Suffice it to say that K-pop is my current drug of choice. And like coke, acid, heroin or crack, there are ups and downs and highs and lows and everything in between. Above all else, there’s that longing, aching feeling for more. I need something that will amp me up more than blasting SS501 and Ashily as I get ready for work in the morning. I need a bigger hit of Girl’s Generation than I get at the SEV Talent Show. (Have I blogged about that yet? I might need to do that soon…)

If K-pop is truly a drug, then I found my dealer in the form of a Korean newspaper advert. More appropriately, Mimsie found it. I already told you about the ad for the Korean Wave Festival in Incheon, showcasing Korea’s brightest young stars. (When I say young, I’m not kidding. Some of the performers were younger than the boys we had at SEV last week.) Even though my beloved SS501 was off the line-up because the guys are touring in Japan this month, I was still pumped to go.

The concert was just one part of the Global Fair and Festival 2009, held in Incheon, a two-hour subway ride from Suyu. In an effort to beef up tourism to the area, exhibitions, conferences and special events are being held until the end of October. A few coworkers went last weekend and spent an afternoon playing with robots. The South Korean government aims to have every home serviced by a robot by 2020. As I said to Erin, I’m personally opposed to that one, but only because robots weird me out. I saw Blade Runner for the first time a few months ago–I do not want something like that happening to me.

I keep getting way off-track, don’t I? So right, on Saturday afternoon, six of us schleped out to Incheon for the concert. Before we could enter the stadium, we (and every one of the many thousands of people in line) had to have a thermometer shoved in our ears. Not sure what would have happened had one of us given a feverish reading, but at the time it was no laughing matter. Mimsie had been sick with tonsillitis all week, and Bex had been ill just two days prior to the concert.

DSC03460We managed to make it past these guys without too much fuss, surprising considering the fact that we’re foreigners and obviously have H1N1. Once we entered the building we were stopped again, forced to put our hands in a machine that dispensed antibacterial hand gel and then had our bodies sprayed with a gassy disinfectant. I’m not even kidding.

Then came the showers.

OK, just kidding about that last one. Once we were tested, slathered and sprayed we were allowed to take our seats. 


Mims and I, eager for the concert to start


Nicky and Jeanette, also eagerly waiting in anticipation of great things to come

Nicky and Jeanette, also eagerly waiting in anticipation of great things to come.


There was a separate section up front for foreigners, but we didn’t realize that those seats had to be specially booked. No amount of sweet talking or hair flipping could convince those damn teenage ushers to help us out. Nosebleed section, represent.

The concert itself was pretty awesome. I knew most of the bands performing and even got down a little bit during SuperJunior’s “Sorry, Sorry.” Note: The dance the guys do in the video is what all of my students attempt to do, and therefore what I stumble through every time I hear the damn song.

Rain and F.T. Island were the biggest hits of the night, according to the screams and shrieks of the 14-year-old girls behind us. When Rain rolled up his sleeves, I thought I’d go deaf from the cheers. And when he adjusted his sunglasses, giving the eye to the camera, my God, I finally understood Beatlemania.

I only recorded one video on my camera before the batteries died, and I couldn’t tell you who sings the song. Just know that it’s one of the most popular songs in Korea at the moment.

In the next few days, I’ll try and post some of Mimsie’s clips from the show. Her camera has a better zoom than mine and she took a ton of videos.

The concert was just what I needed to quell my K-pop urges. No telling when the next craving will occur, but let’s hope SS501 is nearby when it does.