Thoughts on SHINee World V in Dallas

Only a week ago- but it almost seems forever ago. In the frenzy of randomized ticket-buying, my friend and I were lucky enough to score (slightly off center) front row tickets to SHINee World V in Dallas, happening on March 24, 2017.

IMG_20170324_222330_203

Some thoughts (things may be added as I think of more)-

  1. SHINee really looks as good up close as they do on the screen. That’s surreal.
  2. Sitting on the sides isn’t bad actually- when members are doing their solos or want to show a little extra love to people who aren’t in the good seats, they’ll do it on the sides. I got to see a lot of up-close Jonghyun.
  3. Minho is an incredibly happy character, and he was continually making eye contact with fans and acknowledging it (he made eye contact with me twice). I may have forgiven Minho a little for being the useless member- at least he loves concerts and literally basks in the cheers.
  4. Key hasn’t aged a day.
  5. Key’s English is getting better and better, and the most entertaining talking moments were his. Everyone else said what was proper- Taemin was the most dour-mouthed. They all stood awkwardly around a few times after they exhausted Key’s funny talking bits and the bits they rehearsed when they were trainees in SM. Unfortunately, it’s all too apparently that they’re still not really comfortable with energetic and enthusiastic audiences like you’ll see in America.
  6. Jonghyun (and SHINee) was all right live, but I wasn’t really paying attention to the singing at all, even in such a small venue as the Verizon Theatre. It’s really the vibe of the concert and the visual (of which there is a lot to be sated by!). Also, American fans tend to be quite raucous even during ballads, so it’s not really possible to concentrate so much on the sound. I am not knocking on American fans- I’m one of them- but it definitely would be a nice experience to be able to go a Japanese concert and listen to the ballads in earnest.
  7. SHINee are undoubtedly veterans, but I felt that especially Onew and Taemin are getting tired of the grind. No doubt they’re all disillusioned to different degrees, but that night wasn’t their night. Onew’s only real spontaneous spark of emotion was when they sang the encore song and the entire audience held up signs containing lyrics that Onew had penned. A dead fish had more personality than Taemin.
  8. Apparently Jonghyun read my sign about economics PhDs loving him.
  9. It’s disappointing that the show was shortened for the tour in America. It was blamed on the venues, but it just feels cheated to me. I’d happily pay for the difference ($30 per person?) to hear the entire SHINee World V setlist- SHINee never comes to the US so having higher ticket prices won’t price out many people.
  10. The show was not completely full. There were a good 100 seats in the upper balcony on the sides that were not filled- with good reason- I have seen photos taken from the sides, and the stage can be up to 1/3 obstructed. SHINee chose the right venue for the area, but I feel that if SHINee had done a stop on the East Coast, they would have been able to fill a larger venue with a larger number of people. The amount of people who would casually buy a SHINee ticket to attend are more concentrated in the East Coast and West Coast. There were very few locals around this concert- most had driven their cars, taken buses, flights (like me) to be there.
  11. I had the biggest, stupidest grin for 90% of the show, and I had this low-key horrified refrain running through my mind: “Oh my god, I hope it’s not a creepy one.”
  12. Other nagging thoughts I had-  “Wow. This is capitalism. Paying $230 to stare at five men’s faces. And they’re okay with that.” I had to remind myself that it was okay to stare, because that is the career that they chose.
  13. It was simply beautiful to be in a concert venue with all the lightsticks alight.

adulting no. 1: could I love this supermarket?

adulting is a series on ilam that talks about doing new “adult” things, and what I’ve learned, which hopefully, may help you navigate adulting as well.

Now that I’ve been a city-liver for a little over a year, I’ve realized the one thing most important to me: the proximity of a well-stocked supermarket. I’ve put together an internal list of what I look for in a supermarket, and I’m never happier than visiting a new supermarket for the first time.

  • How is the quality and selection size of the produce? Is it arranged nicely, reasonably stocked, and is it fresh at least 6 days out of 7?
  • What does its international section look like? Does it carry mirin, rice vinegar, and Golden Curry? Do they have bok choy, sugar snap peas, and daikon? Do they stock green tea ice cream? For a supermarket in a large metropolitan area, these should be all standard.
  • Does it sell arugula separately (i.e. not within a salad mix)?
  • Does it have a pharmacy with convenient hours?
  • Do they bake in-house? How much is a French baguette and how large is it?
  • Is the overall feel clean, modern, and pleasant?
  • When ordering from the deli, do they look you in the eye when you order?
  • What is the supermarket’s brand? Do they focus on organics? Sustainability? Cheap prices?
  • How do the prices and quality compare to other supermarkets in the area? How much are the dozen eggs (organic and free-range)? How much are cucumbers? How much are tomatoes?

Lessons Learned:

  1. Always check out the neighborhood supermarkets before moving into a neighborhood.

[review] SHINee’s Your Number

Overall, I was not thrilled with this release. Two more cutesy-mildly-catchy songs.. which SHINee doesn’t already have enough of. The amount of sarcasm in this post: high.

your num

Your Number

This sounds like a younger-brother cast-off from a TVXQ album, brassy and smooth with those finger snaps and clapping in the background. This kind of song straddles the border between fun-and-hip and old-and-corny, and guess where SHINee lands. No one shines in this song; it’s enough that they are all non-offensive, though Minho skirts the line with his over-emphasized rap. I’ve come to realize recently that Minho has quite little flow, no natural sense of where to put the accents.

While the choreography is likewise smooth, it is not memorable. The storyline the music video follows has SHINee all following one (Caucasian) girl– something we all haven’t seen before, so incredibly novel I can’t fight back the tears. SHINee is truly a beacon of innovation within the glorious space of Korean pop and Japanese pop.

LOVE

Marginally better than Your NumberLOVE adds to SHINee’s repertoire of “feel-good” songs designed to make fans feel happy about themselves. So, why should I be complaining? I mean, can SHINee really do anything wrong? I’ll go out on a limb and conjecture no.