2016 1st USA SHINee Fanmeet in Chicago: Admin FanAccount
(Photo Source: Hello Asia!)
So Chicago was a really good trip for me. Just overall, good company, good food, new friends, & SHINee! I got to eat legit deep dish pizza for the first time and it was soooo crazy good! Must be because of all that Wisconsin cheese nearby! Anyhow, about the fanmeet… We arrived to the venue early in the day some time before noon. I was staying at a hotel within walking distance so we popped over early to scope out the situation. One Shawol was there already blasting SHINee music and the song I walked up on was “Drip Drop”. So my first experience that day at the venue was shouting “Drip Drop” fanchants as I walked up to the venue – which was the cutest thing possible? I couldn’t have planned a better start to the day if I tried!
I met up with some volunteers and we spent the entire day passing out balloons, banners and MyMusicTaste cards. We were collaborating with MyMusicTaste at the time in hopes of getting a full SHINee World Concert (which DID end up happening but not through MyMusicTaste). I also had a t-shirt pick up scheduled for everyone who pre-ordered one. We met up with Shawols International for the first time that day as well as @SHINeeUSFanmeet. Together our fangroups passed out glowsticks, banners, & balloons.
The first banner project (Chicago’s) was @SHINeeUSFanmeet’s and our SHINee USA volunteers helped her with passing them out. Truth be told, we were so short on volunteers during that first fanmeet. I ran around like crazy the whole afternoon without getting a chance to catch my breath until the show started. Because our volunteer group was so small, those of us who were volunteering really got a chance to bond. I met so many Shawols – including an admin at SHINee World Canada – and I got a fan from Keys Note (that I ended up giving away to a Locket because I knew she’d love it more).
We saw SHINee arrive – well.. I saw their backsides for half a second. Does that count? The line that had been forming since the beginning of the day completely dispersed when SHINee arrived because we all wanted to see them!
So about the event – it was amazing! And everything was so new and exciting. I know for Dallas the setlist was the same so there weren’t any surprises. But I recorded audio of the whole show and relistening to “Hello” always makes cry now. It was just such an emotional moment because SHINee hadn’t performed that song in so long! I was hoping but not expecting them to perform it.
The performance setlist was: “Everybody”, “Hello”, “Replay”, “Lucifer”, “Sherlock”, & “View”. Honestly, my seat that day was not the best. I was at the middle/back of P2 on the floor and the elevation of the venue just wasn’t that great. I had a few empty seats in front of me so I didn’t have to worry about tall people, but SHINee was still very hard for me to see over everyone’s heads and sign boards (please don’t hold large signs above your head!). The opening song, “Everybody”, was really a blur for me. It was my favorite song and I didn’t even realize they were wearing their military style outfits until after the fanmeet because of the excitement and the fact that the black uniforms blended in with the black stage. And then of course they changed outfits directly after the opening so I really didn’t get a good look at it.
(Source: SubKulture Ent.)
At the start of the question segment, Jonghyun mentioned that he was thankful seeing everyone sing along – especially since this was SHINee’s first US fanmeet. Onew was asked about his thoughts on filming his recent drama “Descendants of the Sun” – to which he said that the challenge was new for him and he was quite nervous about it. But he was grateful for the amount of love the project received and hoped he would get to do more in the future. Minho was asked which American actor he would be the most interested in filming with and his response “Brad Pitt” was met with many cheers. He said if it ever happened, it would be a great honor for him. The MC then said, “You know Brad Pitt’s like the US sex icon. Who’s more handsome: Minho or Brad Pitt?” MINHO!!! Taemin then was asked to choose his favorite choreography between “Drip Dop” & “Press Your Number” – “I like Drip Drop more!”. Jonghyun was asked which member he would like to form a subunit with. Since he had performed with other members in the past, he chose Minho saying a performance together would be amusing. Key was asked about his perfect skincare routine: “You know we’re shooting cosmetic commercials right? Use that one!” And of course the cameraman took that perfect opportunity to zoom in on Key’s handsome face.
The question segment was good with the most amusing moment for me being when the boys were asked about memories from their rookie days. Jonghyun said their first broadcast stage was the most memorable – “seeing tears in the members’ eyes” – which was met with much arguing over who cried. Key: “I cry a lot but I didn’t cry that day!” Taemin said that they argued and fought a lot because they lived in one room and had no personal space – “Don’t put your clothes here, don’t lie down there!” – with their phone alarms going off all the time! But also in hindsight, Onew’s “So Amazing” comment was a true highlight for US fans because SHINee themselves speak so little English that we hang on to every English word they say. We quoted “So Amazing” for practically a month after the fanmeet only to turn around and have it be a reference to one of the songs Onew wrote on their 1 of 1 album! You can see SHINee’s amused smiles after he says that in fancams. Super cute! And then the charades – Jonghyun’s movie theme was the best! His Lion King, Matrix, and Jurassic Park (Girl, how’d you not get that one??) pantomimes were standouts. They were just too cute!
However, I will never forget for the rest of my life that moment when “View” started. It was the final song of the event. The lights were completely out. It was black and then slowly a backlight came on and just before SHINee appeared, Taemin tossed his hat perfectly timed into the crowd and started singing. That whole moment just gave me CHILLS! It’s not something that can be replicated on camera, but that moment… it was just so perfect! That mood and atmosphere I’ll never forget.
(Source: SubKulture Ent.)
One thing that everyone comments on during their first SHINee concert (or k-pop concert for that matter – this was my first of both) was just being in a crowd of Shawols. The fanlights… there’s seriously nothing like it! It’s probably one of the most beautiful and unique things about attending a k-pop event – being a part of the fanlight ocean. It’s so emotionally overwhelming the first time you see it. I felt like “Ah, I’ve found my people!” The Shawol I sat next to arrived late and didn’t have a lightstick so I lent her an extra of mine. I meant to use it for a giveaway anyways so I ended up letting her keep it. I kind of felt like the lightstick had already lived a life of its own with a new owner so I shouldn’t keep it. (Is that weird?)
(Source: Key Instagram – “chicago!!!!!! love you!!! miss you guys already”)
And the banner event of course… was awesome. We spent all day handing them out. People used our balloons the whole show… the venue was just very aqua and very full of love that day! Some lovely Shawols came and added more balloon bags to our pile throughout the day (maybe 4 or 5 extra bags?). In total I think we passed out close to 2800 balloons. And there were maybe a few hundred banners left in the box at the end out of the 4400 that were ordered. I’m so thankful to all the fans who supported our projects! We worked so hard passing everything out for you but you guys were really the ones who made it happen. We couldn’t have done it without you! ❤ ❤ ❤
Jonghyun took the banner (which used a quote from Selene 6.23, a song he wrote) back with him. So I was just… very touched that day. It was a seriously wonderful experience. SubK & the MC Martin Kim did a great job too! Just a lot of love in that venue and I’m so proud that I could have been a part of SHINee’s first US fanmeet! It was seriously magical!
Thank you SHINee, Shawols, & SubK! ^^
Banner: “You held out your hand and finally we reached you.”