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I’m not sure how coherent I can be, but here it goes. I just got home from After School’s encore concert.
My brother and I arrived at the venue around four hours early, but we didn’t need to look around too hard for other fans. Almost immediately we spotted a giant banner that people were writing messages to Kahi on. When we got over there, we met one of our Japanese friends and talked with him for awhile. We also spotted a ton of people from the Shibuya 109 Fashion Show event, including the creepy uncle fans (and some of the not creepy ones.) Eventually the line to buy things opened up, and I ended up buying a shirt, a light stick, and a towel because it was hot outside. Also if you bought over 3000 yen worth of CDs, you got a free signed poster, but the trick was that who you got was random. Our Japanese friend did this and got Nana (my love!) and his friend got E-young (my brother’s love!) The coincidence was painful. I congratulated them, but I wish I had been able to get one.
The next few hours were spent kind of hanging around and talking to people we have met at various other Kpop events. We were also greeted by a TON of people that saw us at the Shibuya 109 event, most of whom I did not remember. There were a lot. At one point one of these people just gave my brother and I cards with Nana and E-young on them. Now I have Nana in my wallet. Also, I wrote a message to Kahi on the aforementioned banner. I can write in Japanese, but I used English so that she knows just how many people around the world love her.
Finally it was time to be let in. My brother and I thought we had really good seats, but we didn’t know that the fanclub got first choice. The seating went fanclub, section A, then section B. My brother and I were in section B, and I was a little worried about not getting a good spot. When it was finally my turn to go in (my brother was able to go ahead of me because he had a lower seat number) I rushed to the standing section as fast as I could. Fortunately, my brother had run into one of the people we know that had fan club seats, so we were able to stand relatively close off to the right side. Oh, and I was closer than the picture makes it look.
As for the concert, I’m sure I don’t have to say how amazing it was. I’ll try, though. Every song was a visual and auditory experience, and I cheered way too hard. Luckily I am tall, so it was easy to see over the people in front of me. Unfortunately for me, Nana spent most of her time on the left side of the stage, and when she did come to our side, she was usually too busy dancing to look anywhere. That’s okay, of course. I was happy to cheer for her. I think that she and a few other members may have seen me a few times, but I’m not sure. However, during Orange Caramel’s performance, I found my screaming voice and said “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” and held up rock fingers along with my fan and light stick at just the right moment for Nana to hear and see. She returned my rock fingers. It helped that my brother was doing them too. They announced their Japanese debut and told us what time the official site would go online, so that was cool. I would like to give details about what happened during every song, but I’m terrible at remembering things in order.
Eventually it was time for an encore, as is the custom at Japanese concerts. However, part of this encore was Kahi. Just Kahi. It was incredible. She did Come Back You Bad Person and Gift, and both were incredible. I’ve always liked Kahi, but I’m usually too into Nana to stop paying attention to Nana, but when Kahi was up there I don’t think I blinked at all. At one point, everyone put these blue wrappers over their light sticks and held up signs that fans handed out to everyone before the concert that said something like “We will always be with you, Kahi” in Korean. It was all very moving. Kahi mentioned that her family was in attendance and pointed them out. The members rejoined her on stage and thanked her and talked about what she meant to them and such. Everyone cried. I kept holding up hand-hearts for Kahi, although when Nana was talking she was crying so much that I held up my Nana fan to cheer her up. Everyone hugged, and it was a very special moment. They sang another song, and after that as they were leaving the stage people on the left side presented Kahi with flowers, various gifts, and the banner that everyone had written on. The members left the stage.
Everyone thought that this meant the concert was over, but as everyone was walking out, After School came back out to say thank you again. I think Nana saw my fan. Still not sure.
This time after they exited the stage, they didn’t come back on, so we began to leave. On the way out, my brother was talking about what we should say if we were to see Kahi’s parents. We laughed about it and went to the snack bar to get some soda because we had screamed all the water out of our bodies. Then we saw an older woman in a doorway nearby and realized that IT WAS KAHI’S MOM. We approached and my brother said “America loves Kahi!” She replied with “arigatou gozaimasu” for some reason. Also, Kahi’s mother looks exactly like an older version of Kahi. We bowed then went and sat down in the hallway to drink our soda. My brother went to look at a displayed of signed CDs, but I kept sitting. Then Kahi’s entire family came out and went right past me, led by a security guard. I wasn’t sure what to say (plus one of them was on the phone) so I just bowed to each of them individually. Kahi’s mom smiled at me.
After that, we left the building and talked with friends outside. Then we went home. I can’t believe I’ve been lucky enough to see After School TWICE now, although this might have been my last chance. Also, Nana. Nana is so pretty. NANAAAAAAA