Dean. Dean. Dean. Oh where do I begin? How fitting that I’m listening to his song “Pour Up” right now. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you would know that Dean is hands down my all-time favorite artist/musician/musical genius. To be honest, this blog seems like it’s dedicated to my Dean fangirl stories, but I swear that I’ll try to start posting some music recommendations and other content soon (especially when I go to Korea – whoow!).
If you read my previous post, you would know that I spent the weekend of midterm week to watch Dean perform live in LA. Pretty crazy right? Okay so maybe that doesn’t sound too crazy, but get this. I WENT TO SEE HIM AGAIN 2 DAYS LATER. ON A MONDAY. Yup! I know what you’re thinking. You probably think I’m crazy but I call that dedication. Hahaha.
It’s been taking me quite awhile to write a recap of that event because 1) I had a midterm and other obligations—can’t forget that I’m still in college! 2) I still can’t believe it happened 3) I was scared I wouldn’t be able to tell this precious memory as perfect as I wanted to. No worries, I wrote down notes right after I got back from the concert so I wouldn’t forget the small details while I gave myself time to process everything. Let’s get to it!
If you haven’t gone to a concert on Monday, let me tell you—it’s quite stressful. On top of trying to recuperate from my LA adventure, I now had to figure out the logistics to get to and from the concert. Bless because my friend Niki was also going to be coming to the concert with me. Yay for adventure buddies! Weirdly enough my schedule for that Monday (May 8) was pretty packed. I had a photoshoot with my a cappella group and I was supposed to have a meeting with someone from my workplace. I also had an oral skit that i had to perform in my Korean class that day, so that was also stressful. Photoshoot went well. My meeting was cancelled so I was able to grab lunch, and the oral skit went well. WHOOW! Now time for the concert. Oh yeahhhhhhh.
Since Korean class ended at 1:20pm and the bus we were trying to catch left at 1:50pm. I had about 30 minutes to bike back to my dorm, change clothes, and grab my stuff, and then bike back to the bus stop that was actually outside of Korean class. My friend and I ended up rushing and came to the bus stop just as the bus pulled in. What perfect timing! That was Blessing #1. Thank goodness I remembered to grab some coins the day before because we needed exact change for our bus fare. Blessing #2. We breathed such a sigh relief as we completed the first step of taking public transit to The UC Theatre in Berkeley which is about 1 hour and half to 2 hours away.
Step 2 was to get on the BART which should take us straight to Downtown Berkeley. Pretty easy right? Turns out our bus arrived a little late to the transit station but thank goodness there happened to be another train that came in time. Second perfect timing of the day! Blessing #3. Once we arrived in Downtown Berkeley, we safely navigated our way to The UC Theatre and was surprised to see so many people in line already!
Niki and I walked over to the meet and greet line and we split off from there since she got general admission tickets. To clarify, having meet and greet tickets meant that I would be able to take a photo with Dean and offonoff. Exciting! Because of this, I figured I make him a gift so I crochet him some sushi and wrote him a letter in Korean.
As I was waiting in line, I got the pleasure to get to know Angela, Karen, Vivianne pretty well. We introduced ourselves and got to know each other quite a bit as we waited for about 3 hours in line. It was so great to meet such nice people and make new friends in just a short amount of time. I think that’s also another reason why I enjoy going to Korean music concerts. In my experiences, other people have been generally friendly and down to have conversation about the artists or just about life. We took some cute selfie togethers and got hyped once the line to go into to see Dean started to move.
Once we were in the venue, I started to freak out. I couldn’t believe it. I was going to be THIS close to Dean. The musician I love and admire the most. It felt too surreal. In the midst of my excitement and anxiousness to finally meet Dean, I was a bit bummed out since we were told that we couldn’t give gifts directly to Dean. We would have to pass it onto staff. I was sad but I guess I understand there were probably safety concerns. Here’s me praying that it got to him. CROSSING FINGERS.
Once we were about a group away from meeting him, I started to freak out again. It was at this point that I also realized that all 6 artists were actually there to take the picture aka there was less chance to be able to stand next to Dean. Bummer! I tried to be at the front of the line so I can get first picks but I ended up landing somewhere in the middle of the line. This was in actuality a blessing in disguise (Blessing #4 to be exact) because after we lined up in front of the artists for the photo (BTW I said hi tin Korean to Dean and he acknowledged me—internal fangirling!) I ended up being to the right of Dean with some space in between us. Bless Danakadan for telling us to shift to the left because then I ended up right next to Dean and OUR ARMS WERE TOUCHING. MORE INTERNAL FANGIRLING. MY HEART FLUTTERED SO MUCH. I was supposed to crouch but I didn’t want to lose physical contact with Dean. When I got the photo a few days alter, I had to confirm that I was indeed touching and I WAS RIGHT. WHOOW! I felt sorry for channel from offonoff since I basically blocked him. My bad. All I could think about was Dean. It was also pretty cool that I ended up being in the smack dab center of the photo. Hehehe. Added bonus was that Dean (in his cute English) thanked us for coming to his concert. EVEN MORE INTERNAL FANGIRLING. I swear I was going to get a heart attack by the end of the night because I wasn’t going to be handle Dean’s cuteness and loveliness.
We were ushered to the standing area and I ended up standing about 10ish rows from the stage with is pretty darn close in my opinion. The lighting was pretty dark and my new friends and I joked that Club Eskimo was defiantly trying to go for that club aesthetic hahaha. When Niki finally entered as general admission, she was luckily able to find me because I held up my hand. She told me that it was great that I was so tall since people could tell she wasn’t lying when she said she was trying to get to me. Hahaha. Plus my relatively-tall-for-an-Asian-girl height came in handy since I could see over people. Blessing #5.
The lineup for the concert was pretty similar to the one in LA with the exception that there was segments in the show for the artists to hang out and interact with fans. Yay! Dean Miso, Stay, offonoff (colde and channel) were all on stage as they grooved to music that was being DJ’ed. It was cute to see Dean groove on stage. Hehehe. The official show started at about 7pm when Saay got on stage and told us to have fun and get rid of all of worries. I was super enthusiastic to do that. And that was what I did. She also blew a kiss at us during the performance which was cute.
Offonoff was absolutely fabulous live. They perform “Photograph” and I was soooooo happy. That’s probably my favorite song for them and I just loved how the yellow lights just really help with setting the mood. The lyrics “remember this moment” really rang true as I kept thinking to myself that this happy experience is something I’ll be remembering for the rest of my life. It was nice to be in the moment and just focus on soaking up all of the talent and happiness in the room. This realization = Blessing #6. I was also happy to see colde take off his bucket hat to reveal his blonde hair and good looking face. What a cutie! Hahaha.
Photograph (filmed on my phone)
Miso was up next and I was happy that I finally got to see her this time without speakers obstructing my view. She has such a cool and humble vibe about her that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed how she was confident in her amazing work but also had a slight shy feel about the way she spoke with the audience. It was also super cute to see Dean watching her performance from the side like an oppa (older brother) who was proud of his dongsaeng (younger sibling). I definitely need to check out more of her stuff.
Lost (filmed on my phone)
When Dean finally came on stage for his performance, you could tell that the king has arrived. Everyone rushed up to the stage and I somehow ended up about 6ish rows from the front with the help of Vivianne. I was so touched that she wanted to help me get closer and be more close to the stage. Blessing #7. Yay for new friendships and getting closer to Dean! If you didn’t know this already, Dean definitely knows how to work the stage. Once again, his vocals were phenomenal and the way he interacted with the fans made the show that much better. It was ute how during the what2do he was so flabbergasted and grateful that we knew the lyrics that he couldn’t stop smiling and brings his arms to his chest and bow to us. Soooooooo adorable. He kept saying that her loved us and that he wanted to thank us for coming. His humbleness warms my heart. “Half Moon” was once again one of my favorite episodes in the simplicity of the single spotlight that shone on Dean as he did his thing—impress in his raw talent. At one of point of the song, he held the microphone on the stand to the fans so we could sing.
what2do (filmed on my phone)
Bonnie & Clyde (filmed by Niki on her phone)
Once Dean was done with his solo performances, clubbing with Dean and Club Eskimo crew began. We jammed out to popular America songs like “Bad and Boujee” and “No Problem.” They threw water at us about 3 times (BTW I am in possession of one of the water bottles they used to throw water at us—I picked it up after the show was over hahaha). Thank goodness my glasses didn’t get too wet so I was still able to see everything clearly. Blessing #8. At one point, Dean was grooving and partially took off his outer shirt and did a mini body roll. NO ONE IN THE ROOM COULD HANDLE HIM. We all screamed and freaked out. Next think you know, Saay puts cute cat ears on Dean and he’s parading around the stage with cute cat ears. MY HEART ONCE AGAIN COULD NOT HANDLE THE CUTENESS THAT IS DEAN. I only got a few clips since I wanted to be immersed in the moment and I figured there would be a lot of videos from other fans in the room. More videos Niki and I recorded can be found here.
Clubbing with Dean (filmed on my phone)
After the jam out session went on a while, Dean thanked everyone for coming and left the stage. Other people made the mistake of leaving while I knew very well that he would come back on once the crowd started chanting for the encore. Question was what song he was going to sing. Because people started leaving, I ended up being the 3rd row from the stage when he came back on to perform “I Love It.” Blessing #9. He freaking played that performance. You could tell he had so much fun and it was nice to see him finally take off the scarf thing he had on his head. Hahaha. He also totally slayed the rap that was originally done by Dok2. He sings, raps, produces music, can be sexy, can be cute, and is good looking. Gosh he has the whole package. When the show finally ended, couldn’t help but feel so happy and think that it was a dream. IT WAS JUST SO GOOD AND I WANTED IT TO NEVER END.
I Love It (filmed on my phone)
I reconvened outside with all of my friends as we took more group photos and decided what to do next. Here are more pictures from after the show!
We all agreed to stay behind in order to see Dean off so that the first order of business. We all went over to the car we thought was his although mini crowd had gathered. Security was giving the crowd a tough time so we walked away and stayed at a distance before running back once we realized that Dean was coming out to get onto the car. We were able to say bye to him and sing him what2do. It was super cute. He waved to all of us so vigorously like a little boy and got shy so he held up a Club Eskimo sign to his face. HE IS SO CUTE. I was super glad we were able to send him off with a song. I hope he realizes how much we love him. Hehehe.
Saying Goodbye to Dean (filmed by Niki on her phone)
Dean Waving Goodbye (filmed by Niki on her phone)
After this was all over, it was about 10pm which TBH I thought it was quite early that all hat happen an it was still 10pm. I guess as a college student who is a night owl, 10pm is early hahaha. Did you think the adventure ended there? Well, YOU ARE WRONG. We ended up saying bye to Vivianne as Niki, Angela, Karen, Maria (new friend who is friends with Angela and Karen), and I went out to dinner. They kindly offered to drive us to the a Thai noodle restaurant. Niki and I ordered Beef Pad See Ew (I was eating some leftovers I’m writing this—still so yummy!) and a Salmon rice dish to split and I got Thai iced coffee which is my fave. We had a super delicious dinner as we talked about school and life. Maria encouraged me to make the most of my youth—extend my time in Korea and take time off of school—just do whatever I want to do. It was reassuring and super nice to hear these other girls telling s to live our live and make the most of the things that will bring us happiness. Great dinner and great conversations. Blessing #10. Maria and I also bonded over the fact that we both liked Totoro since she had Totoro stickers on her car and I had a Totoro wallet. She said we could be Soul Sisters (dare I spell it Seoul Sisters). Hehehe.
Mixing Thai Iced Coffee (filmed on my phone)
(FYI the following portion had to be rewritten because WordPress deleted the original text. UGH IT WAS SO GOOD. I hope my rewrite does my previous text justice.)
As if they were angels from the sky, Angela, Karen, and Maria offered to drive us home since our school would be on the way to their home. Niki and I were pretty worried about taking public transit back home since it was late so we breathed a sigh of relief. All they needed from us was $5 since they needed it for the toll. WHAT ANGELS. Blessing #11. As someone who finds it very important to show people that I appreciate and care about them, I had no other to repay their kindness by thanking them profusely. It seems that as we go on in life, we sometimes get too focused on our own happiness and getting things right that we forget to look at the people around us—our family, friends, supporters—and show them that we care and are grateful for them. Sometimes when I’m at my darkest and lowest points, a simple “thank you” or “I care about you” is what I need to help me get out of that slump. All in all, be sure to let people know that you appreciate/love/care/are grateful for the people around you in whatever way that is understood and works for you and the other person!
Jamming out to Korean music on the way home as we talked about Korean dramas and shows was the absolute best. I felt that I fit right in. It is sometimes hard for me to go on road trips since most people don’t listen to the kind of songs I listen to. Super grateful we were able to jam out to my favorite Korean artist (especially Dean). Blessing #12.
Jamming Out to Dean in the Car (filmed on my phone)
At the end of the day, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
- I am so blessed for the opportunities to see Dean, for friends old and new (just kind people in general— my faith in humanity has been restored), and for freedom to seek out things out happiness.
- I need to learn to have more fun/take care of my happiness and not feel guilty about that.
- I need to be courageous in going after what I want/new opportunities even if it seems scary and overwhelming. I have people who will support me. I can do this!
- I am not as socially awkward as I think I am. I can start and keep up with conversations and people do enjoy my presence and thoughts. Karen and Angela said they were so happy I said hi to them first. I was also the first one to say hi to Vivianne!
- I’ll have these beautiful memories I can keep close to my heart and share as a cool story. Here’s to many, many, many more fun and lovely memories and adventures (whether or not they include Dean —bonus points if it does. CROSSING FINGERS.