Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sechskies 20th Anniversary Concert at Gocheok Sky Dome

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This was the first time i attended a concert in Korea and i was very excited to watch Sechskies 20th anniversary concert. Sechskies was the first generation Kpop idols that was very active between year 1997-2000 and they were supposedly the rival group to another popular boyband - Hot. To the disappointed to their fans, they disbanded shortly within three years after rising to stardom. Sechskies had the opportunity to regroup again through a popular variety program - Infinity Challenge. Since then, the veteran group had succeeded in gathering fans for their yellow note projects in year 2016. The legendary Sechskies members includes Eun Ji Won, Kang Sung Hoon, Jung Su Won, Kim Jae Duc and Lee Jae Jin. 

If you are going to to Gocheok Sky Dome, please alight at Guro Station and the stadium is within 10 minutes walking distance. I attended their Sechskies Fan Meet which was written in my previous post before heading to their concert which begins at 6pm. Prior to the concert, i brought a 99,000 won ticket from Koreanbuddy which was about $120 Singapore dollars. Although i was seated at the third level, thankfully the view was still quite visible. When i looked down, the ground floor were flooded with Sechskies yellow light sticks and the stage was really huge. Even before the concert start, the fans who were known as yellowskies were screaming ' Jekki Jang' which means Sechskies is the best! I may not have the brought the VIP tickets since only their fanclub have the privilege of getting the nearest ticket to the stage, but i totally enjoyed the atmosphere of the concert.  I look forward to see Sechskies live performances and to participate in the birthday celebration. 

Sechskies live concert at Gocheok Sky Dome

I was pretty impressed with the stage design and the sound system of Gocheok Sky Dome was fabulous too. Although i can only see Sechskies small figures on stage, i can still watch their performance on the big screen. The fans were spontaneous and Sechskies were energized during the concert. I was literally swept away by the atmosphere and the fan chant too. Overall, I like and the arrangement of the songs with different backgrounds and props. During the concert, they screened a few short videos of themselves in various roles and images which was a great fan service. One of the short film showed Sechskies in different occupations which were nicely filmed for their supportive fans. In my opinion, the dancers were enthusiastic onstage and the whole concert was in a celebration mood, as 23 September 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of this first generation boy band. 

Among Sechskies, the only active member that maintain popularity after they disbanded is Sechskies leader Eun Ji Won. He is famous for his emcee skills in variety shows such as New Journey to the West and 2 Days and 1 Night. Eun Ji Won is a successful entertainer and he was given the nickname 'Eun Choding' which literally means 'little kid' by Kang Ho Dong. Eun Ji Won is also a CEO of Gym Entertainment and he had a successful hip hop career with his group mate Clover. I was impressed with Eun leader and i think he is the most charismatic on stage. The way he sings and raps is full of swag. I hope people will look past his "Choding" image and take him seriously as a singer. He performed really well with his band mates and i was really entertained during the two and a half hour concert.

At the beginning, sechskies member Jang Su Won did went off pitch a little when he sings. Being a veteran boy band, Sechskies were able to cover their tiny mistakes and continue to give a marvelous performance. I love Sechskies classic oldies and their dance energy. At the same time i love their new image, music direction and trendy dance move too. I think in order to survive in Kpop industry, the idols need to work hard in all aspect. In particular, i like the song back hug from their new album Another light which was jointly written by Eun Jiwon and Winners. It was a sad song which was presented in a semi light-hearted manner. The other song which i enjoyed is drinking problem. It was a fun filled song with good rhythm and i like the way Sechskies kept on jumping onstage till they laid on the floor grasping for breath which was really hilarious.

Label mate Winners were the guests of Sechskies 20th Anniversary concert and they performed my favorite song - Really, Really. 

I am pleased to comment that Sechskies looked very young despite them in their thirties and i can't believe that they were approaching forties too. Eun Ji Won in particular look so good after losing some weight and learning to take better care of himself. Talk about being a vampire in Korea, i suspect Sechskies were eating preservative all these years. I have to give credits to YG Entertainment as they are really good in managing their artistes. There were some similarity between Sechskies and Big Bang styling. However, i would say that stylists really nailed it with Sechskies. Each of them have unique personalities and their clothes, hairstyle and accessories were very trendy and fashionable. Although i like Sechskies new songs such as ' Something special' and ' Smile', their classic oldies such as 'Couple' and 'Comeback' were amazing too. In conclusion, i was very impressed with Sechskies performance. They tried their best to sing and dance, although it was obvious that they were very tired. They celebrated their anniversary with a huge cake and took pictures onstage with a winsome smile. The oppas are really cute and mischievous. Happy 20th Anniversary Sechskies!

It was an amazing day filled with fun and laughter with Sechskies. By the time i stepped out of the concert venue, the sky was already dark. However, i had a fruitful day spend with Sechskies and the yellowskies. Armed with great memories, it was time to head back home after a tiring day. Goodbye Sechskies, hope to see you again in years to come... :)

Movie Gala Premiere: Return of the cuckoo

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As a child, Man Cho (Julian Cheung) was rendered mute as a result of the cruel actions of his mother and was adopted by the kind-hearted Ah Kiu (Nancy Sit). Man Cho grew up with Ah Kiu's daughter Kwan-Ho (Charmaine Sheh), and the two eventually develop romantic feelings for one another. Man Cho is extremely self-sacrificing, has an inferiority complex due to his disability, and therefore feels unworthy for Kwan-Ho. Ah Kiu is also against their relationship and things are further complicated when Szto Lai-Sun (Steven Ma) enters the picture after falling for Kwan-Ho too.

Movie review

I was disappointed with the movie because the story plot leads to an open ending which left a bitter aftertaste when the movie run towards the ending. The actors and actresses were fabulous in their acting skills but the storytelling was draggy and at times it was senseless. If the script writer decided to write the story without a clear direction, i would rather they did not produce the movie after so many years. The whole movie was in a mess and we can probably guess what happens in the end. 

Julian Cheung and Charmaine Sheh lead the movie pretty well through their great acting skills. It really feels like they were brother and sister that had a crush on each other. Other than that, we are not really interested in the life of the other characters which were just distracting for the movie. Even the cameo of Joe Chen and other character was redundant and its not necessary for the development of the story. We wanted to see the growth of each individual main character but it was disappointing that they seem to be struck in the past. Hopefully, the actors will be able to choose a better project next time instead of being "forced" to work on a project that was successful in the past.  

Movie premiere

Free ticket to the movie at Sentosa 

Drama Queen's pick: Goblin

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In ancient times, Kim Shin (Gong Yoo) is an unbeatable general in wars, but the young King (Kim Min-Jae) is jealous of Kim Shin and kills him. Kim Shin becomes Dokkaebi (Goblin), possessing an immortal life. At first he thinks that he is blessed, but he realizes that he is cursed.

Closer to the present day, Kim Shin has waited 900 years for a human bride to end his immortal life. One night, he saves a dying pregnant woman (Park Hee-Von) who is destined to die. Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper (Lee Dong-Wook) is unable to find the dead pregnant woman. The woman gives birth to a baby girl named Ji Eun-Tak (later played by Kim Go-Eun). 9 years later, Ji Eun-Tak lives with her mother and is able to see ghosts. One night, her mother suddenly dies. On that night, she meets the Grim Reaper.

In the present day, Ji Eun-Tak is a high school student. She still sees ghosts and hears their whisper of “Dokkaebi’s bride.” She now lives with her aunt’s family, but she is mistreated by them. On her birthday, Ji Eun-Tak sits by the sea with a lighted birthday cake. At that time, Kim Shin suddenly appears in front of her. Kim Shin does not know why, but he can hear her voice and appears in front of her against his will. Coincidentally, Kim Shin lives with the Grim Reaper at the same house.

Now, Kim Shin appears in front of her against his will, whenever she turns off the lights. One day, Ji Eun-Tak tells him that he is Dokkaebi and she is his bride. - (taken from Asiawiki)

Drama Queen thoughts

I was watching the highly anticipated Korean drama Hwarang until the broadcast of Goblin. The talented cast of Goblin swept me away with their amazing acting skills. The lead actor Gong Yoo continued his success after the box office movie - Train to Busan. I have a liking for both Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Woo respectively ever since i watched Coffee prince and My girl. 

Goblin Trailer 1

Goblin teaser

First script reading

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sechskies 20th Anniversary Awards at Gocheok Skydome

I had the chance to attend Sechskies 20th Anniversary concert at Gocheok Skydome on 23 September 2017. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me since this concert coincide with my Korean trip, i am excited for this solo trip. Therefore, i decided to purchase the concert ticket online at ticketbay on the day of opening sale. However i failed to get a ticket due to the overwhelming responses online and the system crashed. I was a little upset with Koreanbuddy due to the inefficiency in purchasing the ticket and the fact that they did not inform me that they did not manage to get a good ticket for the concert, which they mentioned in the email message that they would get back to me once they purchase the concert ticket. 

To cut the long story short, in the end i still managed to get a ticket on the third level which is further away from the stage but i am happy to just enjoy the atmosphere of the concert. Since i am not a Korean fan club members so it is understandable that the yellowkies would have brought all the VIP seats beforehand which i know only know about this privilege much later. Anyway, a few weeks after i brought the ticket to the concert, Sechskies suddenly posted a poster in the facebook about the additional fan meeting in the afternoon at 1pm before the concert at 6pm. Therefore, i had to purchase the ticket online again. The cost of the fan meet is around 33,000 won which is around $46 and the concert ticket cost 99,000 won which is around $127 which is pretty reasonably priced. Since i will be attending the concert, i am happy to attend their fan meeting too despite the late notice. 

This is the signboard upon entrance. I was in awe of the enormous space and the beautiful structure of the Sky dome. I love the way they arrange the posters and the festive atmosphere which set a good mood with Sechskies classic songs playing at the background. There were a few decorations, banners and official booths on my way in and also the staffs that wore yellow raincoat.

It was a long entrance from the Subway station, and i have to collect the ticket at the ticket auction booth which was a waste of time. I should have been there earlier but i missed a stop while using the subway. Fortunately, i managed to reach the destination despite all the drama that happened on the way to the fanmeet.

I was fascinated by the structure of  Gocheok Sky Dome. The place is huge and the long walkway is pretty tiring to walk down, but i still managed to find the path through the directory and the staff members were pretty helpful too. I was very excited to see Sechskies life on stage for the first time. 

There were many declaration of love and support from the Yellowskies fandom all around the world. I was truly amazed and can't help but to take lots of picture due to my excitement. 

This is my ticket to Sechskies Award Show 2017 and i am ready to spend the entire day to celebrate Sechskies 20th Anniversary with the Yellowkies. 

I was actually late for a couple of minutes but i still managed to went in and seat through the two hours Sechskies Award Show. This was my view from the audience seat which was relatively good. The veteran idols were already seated down and answering some Q&A questions when i reached. It was a little boring for me as i really do not understand Korean that much and there were no subtitle to follow. Sechskies were making jokes and interacting with the fans onstage which were endearing. 

Sechskies Leader Eun Ji Won

Sechskies played some interesting games onstage and the fans went gaga and scream 'Jekki Jang' which means Jekki is the best whenever their favorite idol appeared onscreen.

Eun Choding being childish onstage. 

Among the Sechskies members i am most familiar with Eun Ji Won due to his frequent appearance in variety show, notably the popular program 2 days and 1 night. He even acted in drama and formed a hip hop group called Clover. He presented different personalities and images to his fans onstage and during his variety show which was a striking contrast.

Sechskies played games onstage to see who is the smartest and now they were having a competition to see who has the greatest strength or endurance in Sechskies.  It was pretty interesting to see them playing and teasing each other like kids.

Sechkies had a test on their courage when they were required to put their hands inside the mysterious box. I love Eun Ji Won cute expression when he got scared. 

The speed game which Eun Ji Won came in first place and was given the king of games title. Yes, you deserve this award!

This was a singing competition between the Sechskies members. It was hilarious that Eun Ji Won forgotten the lyrics to the oldies and was laughing awkwardly. I was also pleasantly surprised that Jae-duck and Lee Jae Jin can sing pretty well among blackskies. 

This is my favorite song from their early days titled Dear love. I love Eun Ji Won vocal especially when he rap and sings the song beautifully. 

Sechskies speech to their fans before the fan meet ends.

Group photo of Sechskies as they celebrate their 20th anniversary with their fans.

Once i stepped out of the venue, i was amazed by these banners and posters. Sechskies fandom really put in a lot of effort to show their support. 

My bias Eun Ji Won giant poster

The yellowskies were queuing up to purchase merchandise.  I joined in and brought a t-shirt, a light stick and a mask which were on discount at the booth. In consideration for the fans, YG Entertainment even set up a booth for the fans to change the batteries or repair their Sechskies light stick. 

This is a special door gift for the fan meet. It contained photographs of the members and a moon shot cosmetic. It was a day worth celebrating indeed.

A friendly Korean Yellowskies gave me a photograph of Eun Ji Won while i was queuing up for the merchandise. I was deeply moved and blessed by the kind gesture. 

In conclusion, i enjoyed Sechskies performance onstage despite my limited understanding of the Korean language. Sechskies members look very young for their age with all the good styling from YG Entertainment.  Especially Eun Ji Won who lost ton of weight and look so handsome. Kang Sung Hoon the frozen man who looked like a "Vampire". Kim Jae Duck, Lee Jae Jin and Jang Su Won look adorable and cute. Sechskies really found the fountain of youth and age gracefully. During the Award shoe, Sechskies members made some cute expressions  and gestures occasionally and they were naturally entertaining throughout the fan meet. As an international fan that do not have the chance to attend their fan meet or concert regularly, i really cherished this opportunity to watch their performance and it was more meaningful since it was Sechskies 20th anniversary. I was feeling nostalgic and was touched at times. This fan meet became part of my fond memories during this Korea trip. Now i am really looking forward to their concert in the evening.