Fall Comes to Fukuoka, Japan

Fall Comes to Fukuoka, Japan

I had to make a visa run to Fukuoka this week, so I was in Japan for the first time. In Seoul it’s colder, but the leaves aren’t really changing yet. This is the first real autumn photography I’ve been able to get in Asia.

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Catching the Korean Wave: Gangnam Hallyu Festival

I know, I know. I disappeared and you were worried. I’m alright. I do have plenty of adventures to catch you up on though. First on the list: the Gangnam Hallyu Festival.

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An enviable line up of some of the biggest Korean idol groups played a free show about 3 weeks ago. The groups were: EXO, Girl’s Day, Infinite, and finally, SHINee. A friend of mine back home is a huge SHINee fan, so I was most familiar with them. i enjoyed their mini album, “Sherlock” very much. So I met up with a friend on Sunday afternoon to take in the show.

Unfortunately, I didn’t wait for 24 hours in advance to get the good seats, but there were screens to enable those who like my friend and me arrived 2 hours before the show, to still see what was going on.

I was actually impressed by Infinite. They were pretty good. I like their style. I also confirmed the rumor that EXO fans are kind of crazy. They all had homemade banners with the faces of all the band members slung across their shoulders. They also kept pushing to try and get a few centimeters closer to the stage. Not really sure what they hoped to achieve there. Another highlight of the night was being photographed by strangers (look a foreigner at this k-pop festival?) and also having a Korean tell me I have a small face. It’s important to know that this is a compliment– a small face is attractive in Korea, but don’t ask me to explain why. We were about a kilometer back from the stage.

Anyway, SHINee was the last act and they were pretty awesome, however, there was not as much performing time as I had hoped. There was an awful lot of talking and filler while the band change costumes. My lord did they change costumes a lot. It was all about the trappings– the actual music came second. To be fair though, that is the way it is with manufactured pop music. It’s good fun, but not really about artistic integrity.

I took a video from across the street of SHINee performing their new single “Everybody” and popped it onto YouTube. The video is pretty bad, but the audio actually turned out, so if you want to hear the first public performance of the song, here it is: