1. Opening VCR
The video starts with a History-esque styling with Overdose motifs talking about mysterious objects and EXO origins and things, most of which I didn't understand. I'm too busy screaming and hyperventilating to bother with comprehension. I also couldn't see the subtitles nor hear the narrator over all the cheering, so that probably didn't help either. I did try to absorb the content of the material, but I'm mostly asking what the fuck is going on and also freaking out because the concert is starting it's fucking starting THE EXO CONCERT IS STARTING I’M GOING TO SEE THEM IN PERSON NOW AND THEY'RE GOING TO BE LESS THAN 20 FEET AWAY FROM ME AND OH MY GODDDDDD
And slowly, slowly, a closet obsessive hormonal teenager swallows the cool city girl.
And then the members started showing up in their 1985 uniforms in the video, and the first was Baekhyun and he appeared so suddenly I didn't recognize him, but I was warned by Goddess X beforehand that it was him, and I went lights out and screamed my head off for him. I kind of scared myself with how loud I was. And I cheered for my other favorites and at the closing shot with all of EXO. I had been waiting too long for this concert to start and at this point, I will scream at anything remotely related to EXO. It is strange expressing my adoration for them out loud because I've always had to keep it hidden within me. And knowing everyone else here is in the same boat as me, all my EXO feelings are finally released.
The video was a good four minutes long. Keep in mind that I never watched the entire concert list before nor had I memorized the setlist, so I had no idea when they were coming on stage. Every second, I was preparing for them to appear and time and time again they didn't, but my heart still raced with the hope they would in the next second. I was so hyped up by the thrill of the unknown, I thought I was going to explode, because the stage started filling with smoke and there were lights shining around and an operatic "Exo'luxion" chant in the background. And logically, it felt like a buildup to their opening. They were going to show up, right?
But then it devolves into some techo dubstep music thing with black and white psychedelic swirls that I suppose was to pump us up even more but DUDE I was already all spent by then. And that piece was around two minutes, but it felt like ten and it was so fucking long and I was just standing there asking what the fuck is going on (I did that a lot) and wondering if EXO was ever going to show up. I'm kind of glaring at the stage and hating SM for teasing us like this.
I was so fucking tired already and I could already feel my throat straining...and I'm not even 15 minutes into the concert lol. I was already maxed out with excitement and it kept on leaving me hanging, after so many rounds of intense buildup and no release and god, it was so frustrating!!!
And then the music ends with a bright white screen and then it goes black and there's a white glow between the screens and it slowly slides open and the cheers increase (and l ALMOST thought they were going to dupe us again)...
And the screens slide open and there they were standing there, as dark shadows and I couldn't breathe. Even as I saw them through arms holes and in between heads, they were absolutely magnificent. And then the lights came on. They were perched there like gods and the venue erupted.
*NEW YOOOOOOORKK!!!" (Baekhyun? yells).
There was barely a second to breathe before they started and fuck, I was not ready.
2. Overdose (Remix)
I went bananas. It was surreal. It's really happening. I'm really watching EXO perform live. Holy fuck. They are so shiny. They’re just so painfully real, it's almost like someone's making me watch something that's overly sharpened. And I can't realize this fast enough and they almost feel like they're moving in slow motion but at the same time they’re moving too quickly because I'm still trying so hard to study and process something they did ten seconds ago and now they’re already on their second chorus.
The noise during the performance though loud, was not deafening. I think most of us were still trying to recover from shock.
When the opening video started, there was still some elbow room between us pit dwellers, but now with the boys actually fucking on the stage, there's a sudden surge forward and we're now pressed together like sardines. No one near my area complained too much though because ain't nobody got time to complain when we're all feasting our eyes on these perfect men before us. We changed from civilized to absolutely insane in less than five seconds. I can't say it wasn't comedic.
I don't even know what the fuck EXO was singing about anymore, I was just screaming and jumping around for a view of my darling Baekhyun, while everyone else was doing the exact same for their favorites.
Honestly, the view wasn't that great, especially as a million phones sprouted up from the crowd, so I ended up watching through some screens of phones and taking peeks of the members whenever there was a gap.
They were performing at the back of the stage, so I could only vaguely identify people by their hair and silhouettes. I don't remember much from the performance other than being stunned that they were there. I don't think I recovered from this shock until around Playboy.
I was falling in love and blessing the heavens for Baekhyun's shiny black hair and watching it move from the glimpses I could grab. It took me a bit to realize it was him because he had brown hair even at the Gaon awards days earlier, but fuck, Baek with black hair is so fucking glorious. Baekhyun is living and breathing and moving in front of me. He's not a dream. He's real. He's real. He's fucking real.
My mind was black and white TV snow fuzzies the entire time because I was physically unable to compute anything flashing by before me. I barely blinked, barely breathed, and they were onto the next performance. Holy FUCKKKKK.
Watching people record, I couldn't help not tape either, so I whipped out my phone and wove myself into the mob of people. Once all the initial jostling stopped, I stood slightly to the right of center stage. When the Opening VCR started, everyone was still normal height, but when the performances started I swear to god everyone fucking grew six inches. And the crowd has suddenly gotten incredible cozy with each other; I can feel all the lumps and bumps of the people all four directions of me. The only way to see now was to stand on my tip toes.
I honestly don't remember much from the actual performance but I remember seeing Baek performing and thinking back to his baby debut performances and being so proud of how much he's grown (well, really everyone else as well). He's matured into an amazing, intelligent performer. The group has changed so much from four years ago :')))))
They're still so shiny and bright, and no, it's not just their tinsle-y yellow gold jackets. They must be magical.
I think by this time, more of the crowd had woken up from their shock and gradually, the screams got louder and more in unison.
I am disappointed that we didn't get to see the El Dorado performance. Probably because it is just way too much stuff to bring into the US and the arenas are much smaller compared to the Asian ones. I'm sad I don't get to see sexy Baekhyun take center stage and belt out those high notes. During the concert, I barely noticed this absence though because I was just overcome with anticipation for their next piece. I didn't care what it was. I just wanted to see them on the stage performing.
Like History, I kept overlaying my memory of their 2012 stages with I'm seeing now and it's a completely different vibe. They're owning the stage now and I'm so fucking proud of them.
I also have special feelings towards this song because this is the vid that finally convinced me to stan Baek because of his eye makeup in the MV is so fucking pretty and there was that high note that highlights the beautiful veins in his neck.
All fanchant things just went out the window for me, not only for this song but pretty much the entire concert. I just sang every word with them or screamed irrationally when my I didn't know the words (the more often case).
5. Ment #1
They walk out towards us and fuckkkk they are so close to us. Holy fuckkkkkkk. At this point, we're all going nuts and they each introduce themselves. And we're pressed even further up the stage, tighter against each other, if it were even possible.
I just remember DO being so fucking squishy and smiling at us with his googly eyes. And Kai is standing there like a god and there's a beautiful sheen of sweat coating his face and fuckkkk it is absolutely divine.
Suho speaks so much in English during this part. It's really so endearing how hard he's trying. We're all screaming and in blissful disbelief and the mood feels so amazing, right? Ha.
Chanyeol picks up the mic to tell us to take one step back and that shut us up in two seconds and after much reluctance we take half a step back. They kind of watch us, waiting for us to move and we just wobbled in place and called it moving. Really there wasn't anywhere to go because the people behind us weren't moving. They stared at us encouragingly and the stands were chanting "one step back" and we just pretended to move before looking back up at them again. Maybe if we stared at each other for long enough they'd let us be. I think after a while, they gave up on us.
As soon as their ment ends and the music for the next piece plays and fling ourselves forward and squish together again, erasing all the progress we made before, all half-step of it. Because FUCK SAFETY, MY BABIESSSS I NEED TO BE SO CLOSE TO THE STAGE I CAN SEE THEIR STUBBLE. HOW DO YOU TELL US TO BACK UP WHEN WE'VE WAITED FOR YEARS TO SEE THEM? Please do not assume that any of us will act rationally in front of EXO. The security team hated us so hard because we pretty much ignored them baek percent of the time and I'm sure the seated folks were side-eyeing us for not listening and interrupting the concert with our behavior, but really, it's incredibly hard to fight that raw desire.
6. Don’t Go
One of my favorite songs! I was still pretty far back so I couldn't see clearly but from just reliving it through my phone video, Baekhyun is so absolutely beautiful. I wanted to see his beautiul butterfly fingers flutter away into the sky, but Xiumin, Suho, and DO were mostly in front of me. I didn't pay too much to them as I spent all my efforts trying to hunt down Baek. He was facing the right side, so I could only see his profile. He is so pretty. Even from the side, he is perfect.
Fuck, I love this song though. I was trying to film a steady shot and sing and wave my light stick and find Baek all at the same time. THE STRUGGLE WAS REAL
There were maybe three seconds to transition from the innocent Don't Go stage to this provocative Playboy stage, haha. Baekhyun's hips are so smooth omg. On the stage, eventually, they all receded except Sehun and Kai. I caught glimpses of Kai/Sehun dancing, but nothing steady enough to send anything spastic through me. No one pair was easily visible from where I was, so I was just listening to the much and envisioning their dance.
8. Baby Don't Cry
DO, Baekhyun, and Suho were singing in the back of the stage. Because I'm a shit fan, I didn't even know what song this setup was for. When I realized Baek was singing, I tried so hard to listen for his voice because I couldn't see shit from where I was. And then suddenly Chanyeol, from the middle of nowhere, starts walking towards us rapping. Ugh fuck his voice is so deep fuckkkkk
The song continues and suddenly Kai is stalking towards us with his draggy feet and he starts to dance in front of us and I am completely surprised because I didn't even know this was part of the song (see: "shit fan").
Fuck, seeing him dance is so fucking beautiful. There's emotion and expression coarsing through every inch of his body. Every gesture is meaningful and I thought I was going to melt. Fuckkkkkk you're playing with my heart I LOVE YOU JONGIN YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL AGHH FUCKKKKK
Sehun also danced but it was towards the back of the stage, so I couldn't see him all that well. I just blindly cheered because it was Sehun and also that his shirt was barely buttoned and his body mHMMMMMMmmmm yes ma'am.
9. My Answer
BAEKHYUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN ON PIANOOOOOOOOOO I about died—okay I did die—when I heard the first piano notes being played. Ugly sobbing, Baekhyun, you are so perfect. I was just standing there in awe watching him play and sing, even though I could only make out a head and arms and not any of the features on his face. Instead of focusing on getting a better view, I closed my eyes and drowned myself in Baek's smooth voice and his beautiful piano playing.
Everyone was singing along which was really nice and sweet. My answer is you, BAEKHYUNNNNNNN~ ㅠㅠㅠㅠ
I was also trying to film over the head of a guy with a sick coif—it was gelled and maybe 6 inches tall, so fuck, my arms were so sore trying to raise my phone over that guy's head and not squish his hair.
The performance was really satisfying though. I feel like I've waited my whole life to see this. Well, I have technically because every guy I know irl has too much pride to show emotion and sensitivity to bother with this. A cute boy serenading me (and thousands of others but shhh) on piano with a slightly husky voice so full of emotionnnn FUCKKKKKKKKKKKK FUCK YOU BAEKHYUNNN HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO DESTROY ME TODAY (plenty more, he says, plenty, plenty more)
10. VCR (My Turn to Cry) – boys fucking with our lives with all that eye contact
The arena darkens to pitch black and it's silent for a few seconds and everyone's waiting and then suddenly the translator's voice is overheard. She scolds us (pit people) for not leaving room for each other and tells us to give each other space and we all just kind of stand there and didn't move. Security then comes in and tells us to back up. But ha, like hell, we’re listening to them. It was dark so they couldn't see anything, and I think we just moved in place for a bit.
It did get slightly stuffy/hot and Security sprayed water on us by sprinkling bottles of water across the crowd to cool us down. Sometimes the spray wasn't even, so some people got the full force of the water, which was shocking because it's in the dark and suddenly you've been splashed. It was a weird sensation to live with because every once in a while, there's randomly wetness on your face and can only assume that it's water and pretend like it's not even there because you can't even move to wipe your face, everyone's so jammed together. They also shined flashlights into our eyes to catch anyone with signs of overheating and fainting. This happened throughout the concert.
I was so glad the VCR played because FUCKING FINALLY a break. The performances up to this point had been back to back to back and my mouth and brain was already firing on overdrive and I thought I was going to short circuit. This finally gave me a chance to gather myself and stop my head from swirling for a bit, and also to rest my arms which were getting a hefty workout. Not only was I exhausted just from the sheer hype and my emotions alone, but watching them perform also felt physically exhausting. We’re not even a third way in and I’m already feeling this. Does this mean I’m getting old...
Even though I was so tired at this point, I screamed my heart out at Baek and Kai’s part in the VCR. Baek, YOU CAN HAVE A MILLION DO-OVERS WHEN WE PLAY JENGA JUST DON’T LEAVE ME FOR FUCKS SAKE DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE THAT FUCKING TABLE WE’RE PLAYING WITH THESE WOODEN BLOCKS UNTIL FOREVER
11. The Star
They’re in the back of the stage in those sexy crimson suits, so I couldn’t see them that well (how many times have I repeated this).
But I think during this point, Security came into the crowd to grab someone, so I was distracted by that commotion and didn’t really pay attention to the performance. A girl a few people ahead of me was literally lifted out of the crowd and then dragged away on the side. She wasn’t responsive, but not because she was unconscious, but because it all happened to quickly, she couldn't even react. She could have either needed medical help or was a fs noona, but I have a strong inkling it was the latter.
Again, WHY are they at the back of the stage WHYYYYY?!!? I wanted so desperately to see Baek’s sexy finger wagging and hip thrusts but I could barely make out where he was. So, I think I just watched one of the monitors and sang along, dying a little inside that I couldn’t see him.
YESSSS this song. They moved slightly closer from before, but I could only barely find Baek from behind the walls of camera phones and light sticks. Eventually, they walk out to the extended stage and I think I saw Baek’s body waves because his stage placement was near me according to video footage, but I don’t recall witnessing any of it. I probably blacked out from lust overdose during that time.
He was also standing there when he hit the high note for the song. I’m always so proud when he gets to showcase his vocals like that. BABYYYYYY YOU ARE A SUPERSTAR
14. VCR – Coffee Elf Workshop
I didn't watch much of this, other than Baekhyun's part in bed because Security came at us again...
We had to split into blocks of around ten people deep and keep a separation between the group in front of us so that there was a walkway. Instead, we hesitated and feigned ignorance, kind of looking at each other, daring each other to be the first to actually follow directions. I think we were also scared that they would start taking away our camera phones if we didn’t listen to them, so eventually, we had to move.
We took tiny microscopic baby steps back, just to show that there was movement so they would stop telling us to keep stepping back. They gave up on us after a while because we were moving so begrudgingly and also that the VCR was ending and you know as soon as the boys come out, we’re all rushing towards the front again. Shoo, I'm not sacrificing once cm for EXO.
It was ironic having the really chipper VCR music playing in the background while Security is yelling at us and we’re all just really pissed and shooting them death glares at each other.
Security aside, during the VCRs and momentary breaks, water people would come through the pit crowd with a pack of water bottles raised above their heads, selling it for $5 (!w!t!f!). Where the fuck did they even come from and how the fuck did they even make it through the crowd?
15. Peter Pan
The music started and we’re screaming at their adorable antics and the anticipation of the strip tease behind a paper wall.
At this point, there's a fs noona who gets dragged out of the crowd. She was maybe two to three heads away from me. Like the person before, he yanks her up from the crowd without a word and she has this bewildered look on her face because one minute she's staring through camera lens at handsome men and the next moment she's airborne and staring down at plebian female heads. It was really shocking. I was honestly almost waiting for my phone to be snatched too because it's so obvious with smartphones that are filming but everyone was doing it. It seemed like they were only targeting pro cameras that day.
So THAT aside, for the fan service part, Chanyeol picked at Xiumin’s shirt to pretend to lift it up before walking to Suho and forcibly loosening a few buttons at the collar of the leader’s shirt and then we walked back to Chen and forced Xiumin to kiss Chen’s cheek.
The crowd kind of went nuts but I have no feelings towards any of the parties involved so I just stood there unamused waiting for the moment where I could be graced by Baek’s presence again lol
At this point, I swear my head was about to fall off, I had spent more than an hour, straining my neck from tilting my head upwards to look over heads of others on my tip toes. My neck muscles had started to spazz and I couldn’t even lift up my head anymore. I had to lean it against one of my shoulders to even see any fraction of the stage. I wanted so much to let my head drop to rest it but why the fuck would I ever do that and miss EXO, so I alternated balancing my head back and forth between my shoulders. I’m sure the person behind me thought I was nuts.
I could tell that the shots for my vids were becoming increasingly shaky as my arms and neck behind to tire. I tried to stand on my tip toes again to get a better look and compensate for the shakiness, but my calves were really sore and I couldn’t stay up for more than a few seconds at a time.
I didn’t know what the next piece was but I was really hoping for a break. For a split second, I wondered if my neck would start hurting so much that I'd faint and/or would be lifted up Security. I also wondered if I was going to have to listen to the rest of the concert with my head down if my neck couldn’t hold it up anymore. Needless to say, I don’t remember too much detail from the music because I was tending to my neck that felt like it was going to break in half any second.
We sucked at most fanchants and any cohesive actions up to this point, but the audience definitely got the “XOXO” and “L-O-V-E” part right for this one haha
At the conclusion of the previous song, the screams reached a whole ‘nother level because they were heading towards the paper screens to strip and we’re all a bunch of shameless pervs. There were some backstage crew lined up on either side to prevent any mishaps and overexposure NO WHY ARE YOU THERE WHY CAN’T WE ALL HAVE A LITTLE FUN HERE A LITTLE NIP SLIP NEVER HURT ANYONE
They were much too far away for me to see any detail of anything. I couldn’t make out where Baek was </3 and I didn't bother trying to perv on anyone else
After EXO breaks out of their dressing panels and rush to the front of the stage, it's Kai and Chanyeol standing in front of me OH MY GOD they are tall and lean and majestic and so beautiful. I know I say that pretty much every other line but seriously, they are exactly how they look in photos. And they’re so close. It's unbelievable.
They are also jumping around with so much energy and I’m trying to fight through the pain and jump with them but I honestly thought my head was going to roll off very, very soon.
SO MANY HAPPY SONGS BUT I FEEL LIKE DEATH ATM FUCKKKKKKKKK I’M SO SORRY EXO BABIES THAT I CAN’T GO ALL OUT FOR YOU RIGHT NOW
Everyone is really hyped up at this point and super happy. It's like spring has come after winter (the previous set of dark Overdose era music).
Suho comes to the area and sings to us through a big smile and warm eyes, and he’s waving his arm as he performs. I swear to god I made eye contact with him like a passing 0.01 second I KNOW SUCH A DEEP CONNECTION MUST WRITE HOME ABOUT IT
Chanyeol also performs in front of my area, and I can see the different shades of his gray/platinum hair and it is surreal how close I am. He’s so charismatic when he’s rapping and he keeps returning to my side and it’s crazy that he’s moving and breathing in front of me. I feel like I could have reached out and touched him.
19. Ment #2
They line up by the edge of the stage and holy fuck they are so close to us. Baekhyun is right in front of my eyes OMGGGGGGGGGG. The members start talking but the people around me are loud as fuck so I could only catch smatterings of Korean and English here and there. I had no idea what they were saying and I don’t think the people around me planned to either because they kept calling out members' names and screaming.
They talked a bit about the places they visited. Suho and Chanyeol kept caling Soho, “Soho Street” haha aww very cuuute. Chanyeol also said he tried a hot dog at Times Square and said it was pretty good. I kinda side-eyed him because I'm positive he was just being nice. There is no way in hell that thing was good.
Suho spoke really, really fantastic English. I really appreciate that he did that for us because I’m sure it wasn’t easy. Chanyeol also spoke in English, though it was more stuttered, but very adorable nonetheless.
And of course, Suho ended with another cry for safety, to which at least us pit people chuckled at because at this point, it’s like talking to a brick wall. Baekhyun stepped forward and gestured with his hand to push us back YES BABY I WANT TO LISTEN TO YOU BUT I AM SO CONFLICTED RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I DON'T REALLY WANT TO MOVE FURTHER AWAY FROM YOU
Later, something flew into Baek’s mouth while Suho was beginning to mention the next set of MiD songs, so he was picking at his mouth and playing with his lips and there is probably spit on his beautiful little fingers and FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK BAEK YOU CAN WIPE THOSE FINGERS ON ME IF YOU NEED HELP DRYING THEM
Suho asked us what we did for Christmas and we all stared back at him blankly because it was so fucking random and no one knew how to answer. It was awkwardly funny in typical Suho fashion. There was a pregnant pause while Suho waited for us to answer and we waited for him to move on because clearly that remark didn't resound and instead, died painfully.
Baek didn’t say much during this time but you can bet I was burning holes into him with how hard I was staring, trying to tattoo him into my memory—his beautiful fingers, his fluffy hair, his flawless skin, his honey thighs, his adorable antics, his bright smile...
20. Christmas Day
Chen, DO, and Chanyeol sang in front of my section, which was interspliced with Kai’s dancing.
Watching Kai dance is like having a thousand orgasms at once, like dripping sin across your skin and watching it slide around your curves and edges. It is so ugh fuck idk JUST EVERYTHING. Even when he moved further away, you can bet your life savings that my eyes were trained on him.
21. First Snow
Xiumin faced my side for most of the stage and it was freaky how closely I could see him--his eyebrows and his feline eyes and styled hair. We're more than halfway through the concert but I still can't believe how close I am to them.
Sehun was also standing by us at one point and you know I was shamelessly ogling the fuck out of him. His features are so sharp as if he walked straight out of a magazine--his brows, his eyes, his nose, his jaw, and his beautiful slinky body--FUCKKKK YOU ARE SO FINEEEEE FUCK LET ME CLIMB ALL OVER YOU OH SEHUN
At one point, Baekhyun comes to my side and waves his arm back and forth to the beat of the song and the sway of our light sticks. And then that fucker starts waving only to the right side, messing me up (and I’m sure others) who were waving our sticks from left to right. Now, instead of a steady bobbing wave, there’s a collision of lights and it’s heavily lopsided towards the right. By the time I had reoriented myself to only go to the right, he started waving only to the left. I glared at him so hard for fucking with me like that, but then I HADDDD to follow him (BECAUSE YOU KNOW I WILL FOLLOW HIM TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH), before he decided to actually be normal and wave from left to right again. I won’t forget Baek's satisfied smirk and glittering eyes though. He was standing right there in front of me. BAEKHYUN YOU ARE AN ANGEL, PROBABLY THE MOST ANNOYING ANGEL OF THEM ALL, but angel and otherworldly nonetheless.
22. Miracles in December
When the music started playing, the crowd suddenly erupted, having woken up from hibernation by a long-awaited mainstream song.
This was the song that got me into EXO and I can’t even count how many hundreds of times I’ve played it, so listening to the song in person was extra, extra special for me.
It was too bad that Baekhyun was singing to the right side of the stage, so I couldn’t watch him perform. Maybe this was for the better because I probably would have died right then and there if he was singing in my direction instead.
Chen sang in front of me, which was not bad, but I couldn’t help but yearn for Bucheon and hope that somehow he’d turn and walk towards me...he didn’t :(
I sang every word of the damn song and it was so therapeutic and surreal to hear it live. Something I had always watched over the internet has now been somehow materialized in front of me. It's a little freaky.
23. Full Moon
Xiumin and Chanyeol came out to warm us up. Chanyeol shouts passionately into his mic “kkok aranaegesseo (꼭 알아내겠어)! ” and expectantly, turns the mic over to us for the response. He’s met with dead silence and it’s fucking hilarious because I don’t think too many people knew what was going on. He tried it again and there was a very, very faint proper response of “wanbyeokhan areumdaum (완벽한 아름다움)”.
To be honest, I couldn’t even place where that line was from either and it wasn’t until Machine began playing later on that I realized that’s where it originated from ㅠㅠ
After realizing that we were all shit fans, they tried to teach us and it was so failtastic. Xiumin and Chanyeol demonstrated once (quite quickly because Korean is obviously sooooo easy duh) and then practiced with us. Our response came out mostly sounding like “WANBYEOKHAN Arumdumdmumfmfpggmgmfgmgg” the first time. The duo repeated the interchange again but we still didn’t catch the pronunciation, and it barely improved, so it ended up being much the same, “WANBYEOKHAN ARUM dabcedfghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz12345678910ilovebaekhyun5ever”. I think they gave up trying to correct our mumbly jumbly mess and needed to move on, so they just said “good job” to be nice. We sounded terrible.
And of course, they had to remark about safety... YES OKAY I GOT IT BUT THAT’S NOT GOING TO CHANGE ANYTHING YOU KNOW YOU'RE SPEAKING TO DEAF EARS RIGHT NOW
Chanyeol talks about needing to introduce ourselves to those around us and greeting each other for the next section of songs and the translator says “for this next part you need some intimacy with each other” (!). We had always looked ahead to the stage this entire time and never spared a second glance towards the fellow attendees beside us, but we sure did now, as our eyes bugged out and we laughed at each other like "haha, as if I'm going to fuck you". Good one, translator noona. Good one.
And then the rave starts which by kicks off by far, the best section of the concert. PARTY WAS DOOOOOOOOOPE
It took me a while to realize what they were singing was a rift of Two Moons but it was so fucking good. Chanyeol rapping is fucking hot lemme tell ya. I was also impressed by how much Xiumin could command the stage.
I am jamming so hard at this point, the pain in my neck faded a bit, but oh would it come roaring back afterwards (more on that later).
We finally get to repeat the phrase that we had to so painfully learn earlier and when those lines came up, I don’t think we even realized it was our cue, so nearly all of us missed it the first time and it was only lukewarm the second. I think they were a little disappointed in us and thought we were duncecaps or suffered from short-term memory loss.
Sehun was dancing in front of my area (FUCKKKKKK) for a bit before Chanyeol raps to my part of the crowd. I know I’ve repeated this to death but Chanyeol is so close. If I climbed over a few people and leaped, I could have grabbed him.
25. Drop That
How do they have so much energy though!?!?! They’ve been going non-stop and are still bouncing around with smiles. It was such a happy go-lucky time jumping around with them and shouting “E-X-O” in unison. It was so freeing. It was so unexpected for me. All their previous performances (minus Full Moon) had been so choreographed and this one was so loose. The beat was amazing and it gently coaxed everyone out of their shells. By the end, we were all jumping around and screaming and rubbing up against each other as if we hadn't been lectured about safety and space a billion times before.
26. Let Out the Beast (Remix)
The song starts out standard but HOLY SHIT THE BUILD UP IN THE SECOND PART OF THIS SONG TO THE RAVE WAS SO BOMB. FUCKKKKK, THAT PART WAS SO GOOD. I DON’T THINK I’VE PARTIED THIS HARD IN MY LIFE. EXO, LET’S GO OUT SOMETIME AND PLAY, PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ
The blue and green neon lights, the awesome techno and the buildup were so, so great. I felt so high during this part and the energy was off the hizzzzzies (am I dating myself...) !!! Everyone was all so deliriously happy together.
Chen performed in front of me and he was rockin' it so hard. He pulled out all those guttural yells and it was great. He makes me laugh so hard.
27. Run Remix
RUN!!!! This song never fails to make me smile no matter what mood I’m in, and I was already so pumped from before, I couldn’t wait to sing and bop along with them on sugary clouds to this one.
The members prance around like kids as they sing, and then we get to the second half of the song, which was easily the highlight of the concert for me.
The EDM bass buildup combined with the tension mounting since Drop That and the reality of just being there with these darling boys, singing and dancing together in happiness and sharing our love, all of that culminated and released into an explosion of gold streamers and white confetti over my head.
If there was ever a perfect manifestation of pure ecstasy, this was it.
Because sometimes I feel like I love them so much that I could just explode and if I did, that’s exactly what my insides would look like—organs of shiny gold film and blood of white paper squares.
It was such a euphoric experience standing beneath the clouds of decoration and watching it rain all over me. Fuck, it was so beautiful. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting that moment, that spectacular climax, for a very, very long time.
I snatched two streamers as they floated downwards, but damn they were really fucking long, I had to reel it in like fish off the shoulders and through the hair of the person in front of me lol
The energy in the arena was amazing at this point. It took a while, but I think the audience finally woke up now. We were finally screaming our souls out, finally being as loud as I had hoped we would have been all this time.
28. VCR - Futuristic Parkour
To be quite frank, I'm still very confused with the purpose of this VCR with them in Overdose era styling and gray uniforms. It wasn't terribly exciting (especially compared to the hype from before), so I didn't watch most of it.
Mostly though, it was because my neck started hurting like hell again now that the adrenaline from the party stage had faded, so I rested it for most of the VCR by keeping my head down. For once, I’m not complaining about how incredibly long the VCR was. God, I really needed the break.
Also at this point, my camera started running out of memory so I'm scrambling to delete vids, photos, files, pretty much every folder in my phone that didn’t contain EXO. Everything else in life was secondary to EXO at that moment. I probably would have deleted some "baby's first walk" vids if I had any.
29. Call Me Baby
When the video footage of Kai’s beautiful legs appeared, we went wild, riding off our high from the previous performances. We were roaring and the loudness was so, so satisfying. EXO gets a deafening welcome at last.
Reinvigorated, we finally felt like a cohesive group that actually got our fanchants right and on time (although my mind completely blanked on fanchants when I saw them in front of me. Yeah, I know I'm a hypocrite shuddup). We were most definitely a different group of fans compared to before the party hype section. We were transformed.
I wanted so badly to see Baek’s bridge part because it is fucking sexy but they were performing at the back of the stage, so I could only spot glimpses of him :(
Never don’t mind about a thing! We shouted that part so loudly with Sehun. Oh maknae, I love you.
30. Growl Remix
YESSSSS THE SEXY DUBSTEP INTRO I was dying to see this live. It’s one of my favorite EXO arrangements. Once again, they performed in the back, so I saw very little of it (subsequently, very limited Baek spottings), which was quite unfortunate. I couldn't make out the detail, but witnessing their body forms moving to the music made me breathless. Why can’t they turn this into a full song? I’d listen the shit out of that.
Now, onto Growl...
Watching EXO perform this song was so surreal because it's what shot them to fame and what’s been showcased a million times, and I’ve also only experienced it from behind a screen, so watching this live was absolutely amazing. It was on a completely different level watching them dance and sing in front of me.
Motherbird thoughts again, I remember their stages from when the song first came out and they were still school boys but now, they perform it like men and goddd it’s so hot PLEASE EURUREONG EURUREONG EURUREONG ALL OVER ME. IT IS ALWAYS SO OEDIPUS-Y WITH THEM
I know I just called them all men, but I will always see Growl!Baek dancing with his red cap backwards as a cute mischievous boy dancing his little heart out to impress his school crush and SOB YOU ARE SO ADORABLE WITH YOUR FLUFFY MUSHROOM HAIR AND YOUR CUTE BUTT IN THOSE TIGHT BLACK PANTS AND THE WHITE SOCKS THAT PEEK THROUGH BELOW AND YOU LOOK LIKE A FUCKING FIRST GRADER DO YOU KNOW THAT? I WANT TO GIVE YOU A LOLLIPOP AND TAKE YOU HOME WITH ME AND HELP YOU WITH YOUR MATH HOMEWORK AND SCIENCE PROJECTS AND I WILL MAKE YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF FRIED RICE EVERYDAY HOW DOES THAT SOUND DO YOU WANT TO COME HOME WITH NOONA? PLEASE COME HOME WITH NOONA I'M BEGGING YOU ON MY KNEES
They perform at the front of the stage (thank you!!). Kai is smirking at us and playing with his hair and pointing at us and stripping off his jacket and YOU KNOW WHAT FUCK YOU. NO ONE ASKED YOU NO ONE FUCKING ASKED YOU. FUCK YOU KIM JONGIN
We’re cheering so loudly for them and it finally feels like we, the fans, have united. We were maybe ten before, but WE ARE ONE now. Fanchant was awesome!!!
When the song ends, the lights go nearly out. EXO is kneeling or crouched except Kai and he opens his arms before taking a very gracious bow. The light is faint but his elegant movements are unmistakable. His crisp white shirt glows against the black background.
Kai’s bow also reminds me that the end is coming and that we'll all have to scatter and go our own ways soon, even when it feels like we’ve only started coming together now.
Though they were still so energetic, it was noticeable that they were already beyond exhausted (especially Jongin) ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ MY BABIESSSS <3333
At this point, my phone's memory is nearly gone. There’s not much more I could erase apart from concert footage to clear up enough storage. It was at this point that I end up accidentally deleting some of the hype footage from Run and the streamers party that I had just died over. I fucking hate myself.
31. Ment #3
EXO comes back towards the front of the stage again and it begins to feel more familiar. Like we made a connection during the last two songs and everyone’s a bit more comfortable with each other now.
Baek thanks us for attending and exceeding their expectations of turnout. He also makes (empty...ㅠㅠ) promises to return again. He’s in front of me, but I’m not really paying attention to what he’s saying. Instead, I’m just watching him, trying to commit everything to my mind, because I still can’t comprehend how he could even be there in person right now, and I want to have something to live off of for when I wake up from this dream. The concert’s almost over, but it still hasn’t sunk in. I still think he’s a hologram.
Xiumin asks for shouts from male fans and there’s a really low, barely audible roar that washes over the arena. It’s hilarious. Xiumin is shocked and I am too. Chanyeol comments that it’s like the military.
Suho says that it’s the last song and they’re all waving goodbye at us with smiles. NO STOP, IT’S NOT THE LAST ONE, DON’T LEAVE YET. WE’RE ONLY JUST GETTING STARTED!!! NOOOOOOOO
32. Love Me Right
Our fanchants in this one were fiercely ON POINT. Maybe because it was their last performance, we gave it our all to send them off with everything we had. The cheer and support could be heard from all three sides of the venue and surrounded EXO. It felt like we were all giving them a big warm group hug :’)
We all shouted Sehun’s “Shawty, Imma party til the sun down!” and then laughed at it with each other. Sehun, your one-liners are GOLD.
They looked so tired but they were still going at it lights out. Baek was up there dancing and singing his precious little heart out. He absolutely owned the stage during this song. His energy was infectious and even if you didn’t know anything about Baek’s personality, you could easily tell that this was one of his favorite songs from the line-up. He was radiating with joy.
Chen was jamming so hard during the song in front of me. He was hollering and overextending all his moves that it looked flaily and it was so adorable and hilarious. Bless his heart.
We were so into this song, I’m proud of how engaged we actually were with this piece and Growl.
They say goodbye and thank us and the lights go dark and the concert title screen appears on the panels again. It looks exactly like how it was when we first entered. After they disappear, there’s a good five seconds of silence. I think people were trying to recover, trying to realize that the concert was over. Well at least ignorant me thought it was. I was beginning to wonder if I should start heading out, but looking around, everyone else looked reluctant to leave.
The cleanup crew, shadows lit up by the white of the concert text on the panel, appeared with big brooms to sweep away the confetti in silence. I just watched them in confusion because didn’t they just say goodbye? Why are we still standing here? Some others begin to shout "Encore!", and soon the entire arena was echoing with this chant. I wondered if it was actually going to coax them back.
33. VCR - Promise
And then the video plays and I’m first overcome with relief, that at least the concert isn’t over just yet, that I can still say with them for a few minutes longer.
But it’s short-lived because Promise plays with captions of heartfelt messages to us, fans, and I want to cry because we are so undeserving of them. We treat them like shit but they still show us love and patience and why why why are they so good to us?
The black and white practice footage tears at my heart and from the slow, somber piano accompaniment emerges our unified chant of “WE ARE ONE!” echoing through the arena.
I’m so proud of them; I’m so blessed. Damn, I’m crying typing this up right now.
34. Sing For You
Purple and blue lights flicker on. There are big circular pink lanterns in the background and EXO and their perfect little selves are on stage. Whew, they’re still there. Fuck you very much for playing with me like that >:(
It’s like a farewell song. Each member who picks up the mic is greeted with loud, loud cheers of gratitude. We all sing together with the boys while waving our light sticks. I wonder how it looks from the stage. The sea of silver must be exquisite.
Singing together was a beautiful feeling. Especially because the song was so calming, I suddenly felt so warm and together with everyone else. It was like we were all swimming in our love for each other.
Chen stood in front of me for the song, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of Baekhyun to my right. He was meticulously studying all of the faces to his side, with his arms behind is back, carefully taking us in. Thanks for recognizing us, Baekhyun, you beautiful soul.
Baek slowly walks towards the front stage and nears my spot. I could see how his eyes dart across our faces. He looks at us in so much detail, it feels like he’s searching for something. His eyes are sparkling and loving. He is so precious. I want to protect him in my bosom forever.
Baek finishes off the song in front of me with a tiny ad-lib. The notes flow out so effortlessly. There is an angel, and he is singing to me.
The way you cry, the way you smile~
Baekhyun-ah, you make me cry, you make me smile ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ
35. Ment #4
They all lined up at the front of the stage and I could see them so clearly. At the start of the concert, I was pretty far back (15 heads deep), through all the shuffling and partitioning by Security, I had managed to make my way up to around 5 heads from the stage. It was crazy how closely I could see them. It was as if I was watching them through binoculars, only I wasn't.
The boys looked so, so tired, which breaks my heart but I'm so grateful that they're here with us today.
The feeling was rewarding as they looked out at us. It's crazy how quickly we came together over the course of the last five to six songs.
Fans started throwing gifts to the stage. Many of them didn’t make it there and we, people near the stage, got pummeled on our heads with stuffed animals before they fell to our feet. Somehow Baek picks up a pair of Rilakumma ears and puts them on his forehand (and not his head, that little fucker) and I swear it is the cutest thing I have ever seen. And he’s not even looking at the audience for our reaction. He acts so innocent and stands there with doe eyes watching the other members when he KNOWS completely that we’re cooing and dying a few feet away with hearts in our eyes.
Baek is pretty far down the line in terms speaking order, so while the others were talking, you KNOW I wasn't listening to anyone else and just watching Baek's shenanigans, like putting his mic into Xiumin’s pocket instead of holding it. Xiumin doesn't spare him a second glance, ha.
Baekhyun's eyes kept scanning the crowd while he was waiting for his turn, and his eyes swept over my area a few times. And I almost feel like if I fucking brought a sign or something he would've seen it and we would've made eye contact and that would've validated my entire existence. But I didn't and instead I stood there helplessly, regretfully, smiling at him with the biggest, brighest one I could muster and waving my puny light stick, as if he would spot me out of thousands doing exactly the same thing.
Even if our eyes didn't meet, if I made a sign, he would have most assuredly seen it and known that there was another person out there in the crowd supporting him (there weren’t too many Baek signs out there). And I never got the chance to show him that and I hate myself so much for not bringing one. The eye contact would have been a bonus, but I just wanted him to know that another anonymous out there loves him so, so much...
I wasn't about to scream out his name for attention while another member was talking, which many did beside me (rude!) as they called out for Suho and Chanyeol. So, I just stayed silent and tried to remember him as much as he was trying to remember us. I felt blessed but also heartbroken.
Baek's eyes bounce from one face to another, like rocks skipping across water, taking us all in, before he looks even further out, over my head and into the crowd. Even as he looks far, far away from me, I’m still following him desperately with my eyes, as if it’ll reel him back to me.
But god, he is so stunning. He absolutely glows. His skin is so milky smooth and his hair is so black and glossy and his eyes are so beautiful and loving and his little pouty lips and his cute button nose and the socks pulled up to his calves that make his legs look so long. I can't believe he's right there in front of me. We’re breathing the same air. He's so, so close to me, but it also feels so incredibly far, even further than the distance from behind my computer screen.
It’s finally Baek’s turn to speak. He begins with the typical notes of gratitude. Meanwhile, Chanyeol off to the side, attempts to blow out a handful of confetti he’s collected from the stage but as he’s inhaling for a breath, he ends up sucking the paper in and has to furiously spit out the paper. Oh, you silly boy.
Then we get to the part where Baek says that he had a lot of fun today with us and the translator says instead, “YOU ROCKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!”. Baek’s head jerks to her in surprise. Even he knows that’s not what he said, and we all have a good laugh as he mocks her. He ends his little speech with singing “And a happy New York!” to the tune of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas…(and a Happy New Year)”. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE YOU LITTLE FUCKER, BUT WHEN HAVE YOU EVER
At one point, Baekhyun ruffles his sweaty black hair and looks up at Sehun playfully. The maknae plays with the wannabe maknae's hair by picking up strands off the top of Baek's head and pulling it straight up and Baek looks out at others with his cute furry brows as if he's annoyed by it but ohhh is he enjoying it. It's like getting his little puppy tummy rubbed BUBUUUUUUUU
Baekhyun and really all the other members are so sincere and polite in their closing comments and treated us so respectfully as an audience when we’re just screaming their names without end over their own voices and without heeding any of their comments of safety. I couldn't hear shit during the ment and people around me are cussing at them (similar to all the capslock profanities in this entry). I think the left side of the pit was much more civilized, so from the stage, I doubt EXO could have heard all that I did, but it was a clusterfuck here on the right side, and they’re still looking back at all of us us as if we're angels.
Overall, Baek didn’t really speak much during the ment apart from the required. There weren’t too many other crazy antics either. I could tell he was really tired. Suho and Jongdae, though, were still relatively energetic out of the whole crew.
Sehun pulled out all his greasy stops we he spoke and spit out a slew of feminine pleasantries to describe us (beautiful, lovely, etc.). We cheered on the surface, but I think inside we all want to give him a hard slap on the back and reply “Ha, good one. Very funny”.
Suho’s English is really so lovely. I'm always so impressed every time I hear him speak. He deserves so much more credit for all that he does.
They close it out with a photo of them posing with us. But at first, I didn’t hear them (as with the majority of their talks), so I kind of flipped out when I saw the lights diming and them walking away from us.
As we prepare for the photo, I’m sticking my tiny ass light stick way up there and on my tip toes and climbing all over everybody. Chanyeol tells us to pose “cutie sexy”... ummm how do you do that? Is that the thing that Baekhyun is naturally born with, that soft sexy aura that is my kryptonite? From where I stood, I thought I seemed to be pretty conspicuous, but as you can see from the photo, it's all a blur. I can’t even find myself. I may actually even be hiding behind Sehun.
They thank us and give a final bow before the music starts for their (actual) last piece...
At this point, I have no memory left in my camera, and there is nothing more I could possibly delete. I wasn’t going to risk deleting any more of the previous vids from the concert. So I stand there and watch and enjoy the performance like I'm supposed to. I still fumble around with my phone though, itching to search for possible space to free up. It’s not long after I first begin that my phone also dies. I am BEYOND upset.
The mood was a little sad but still celebratory, like appreciating the end of a beautiful experience.
We scrapped together a shaky chorus chant, but one thing we did get right was Sehun’s “eomma-ya!” We all have a thing for Sehun. Can ya tell?
Baek had some amazing ad-libs in the song, and it was so obvious when he was and wasn’t singing. The texture of the song immediately changed when he was. His voice is so, so special. FUCKKK, I need a Baek solo concert asap.
The song ended much too quickly and they almost (hurriedly?) transitioned to the last set.
37. Ending Ment
Waving happily back to us, they thanked us as they briskly walked back towards the stage panels. (Are they going to miss a ride or something because it definitely looked they were rushed.)
Suho was dashing back and forth to different sides of the stage with a panda stuffed animal in his arms, while everyone else was walking very orderly to the back. I suppose he was giving some extra love to the fans? But it’s funny because usually, I’d think he would be the most orderly while everyone is all scrambling all over the place.
Whilst standing in a line in front of the panels for last words, Baekhyun kept honking to us into his mic, “toot toooooot!”, whilst moving his arm like a train horn. He continued this non-stop until the screens closed over him, which was for a good two minutes. WHAT ARE YOU DOING BUCHEON WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. YOU’RE FUCKING CUTE AND I’M TRASH FOR YOU BUT WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING HALF THE TIME???
Everything flew by. I barely realized what was happening, that they were leaving, that they were already at the back of the stage and sending us final goodbyes. It felt like all their actions were being fast forwarded. One second they were in front of me, and the next, the panels were closing in front of them and they disappeared.
It took the whole concert and I still hadn't completely come to terms with the fact that they were in front of me and now, they were gone again.
And the lights came on. And we saw all the faces we had shared this moment with, all the paper and trash on the ground, all the stuffed animals and toys that fell short of making the stage (l took one home hehe). This was the aftermath of a spectacular dream.
The clock struck midnight. The spell is over.
It was drizzling when I left the arena but I was still on a high. There was an extra bounce in my step. My phone was dead and its memory was full and probably missing some crucial files I deleted during the heat of the concert and my hair was soaked in sweat and water and a frizzy mess from the humidity and my neck felt broken and my calves were so sore and my voice was shot, but still, I felt invincible. I thought I could fly.
I saw some people waiting around what was supposed to be the exit area for the bus to send off EXO. I also considered waiting with them for a bit and meeting up with someone from tlist but I couldn't use my phone anymore and couldn't contact them. Plus it was around 9:30pm and I was so tired and had work the next day. Reality doesn't miss a step to catch up.
I walked back to the PATH train (thought I was going to get mugged for a certain section of the trek back). I waited on the platform behind a timetable that said it was going to arrive in 5 minutes. The 5 minutes actually turned more into 20, and then it took around an hour to get home. Lmao supposed 25-minute ride my ass. I got home and it was around 11pm. What's the point of a time table if no one follows it..
I walk to my apartment and my world feels completely different, but I look around and everything is just as I left it eight hours ago.