It’s been over a week since I travelled to Paris to see VIXX at La Comedia, an experience that was both WORTH every minute and also every bit of money spent. I have now seen a fair few KPop artists live and I have not seen any that match up with the professionalism, perfection ad light-hearted nature of VIXX. They were born to be on stage.
So I paid a small fortune to travel to Paris to see VIXX, but not only did I see them live, I saw their soundcheck and got to meet them. It was all a bit of a whirlwind experience for me – I wasn’t even prepared for what I experienced. I knew they were phenomenal, but not quite THIS phenomenal.
**We were not allowed to take pictures, film or record audio throughout the concert or the soundcheck so I have no original footage. There are some press cams from the first three songs which I will link in**
Soundcheck: Approximately 100 of us filtered into the venue at approximately 4pm and up to the mezzanine level of the venue. The venue is quite small in depth, so actually we ended up being very close, despite being further up. The boys filtered out on stage in their own clothes, to be met with sheer shock and surprise (what we were expecting??? Of course we were going to see them). My first impressions = N is wearing his pink denim jacket – I am in love, Ravi’s hair is perfect and his voice is DEEEEP, Ken is looking squishy, Hongbin is the most handsome guy of all time, Hyuk is wearing a top with a huge split down the side and is looking lost, and Leo is just the trendiest guy I’ve ever seen?! They were very gracious and interacted with us a bit in between songs. They performed ‘Hot Enough’ and ‘Light Up The Darkness’. My memory fails me somewhat but I am certain I don’t take my eyes of Hakyeon for the entire ‘Hot Enough’ choreography (if you have seen it, I’m sure you’ll know why). As the boys are leaving the stage, Hyuk pretends to get lost and not know where he is heading and wanders the stage aimlessly which brings out a roar of ‘awwww’s and laughter.
The soundcheck was EVEN BETTER than I could have imagined and I was feeling shaken after my brief exposure to VIXX live. Absolutely effortless in their delivery of vocals and choreography (which extends through to their main show concert aswell). Every movement and note is deliberate and precise – they are perfect.
The concert itself was like a dream. Watching VIXX live in their stage outfits no least, feels surreal. As mentioned, every note and movement is delivered with such precision and synchronicity that it feels like a film, like a music video, except, it most definitely is not. I was sat in Row O of the Stalls section – very close indeed. This was my view of the stage, without any zoom.
Press were allowed to film the first three songs, so I know that these included ‘Spider’, ‘Chained Up’ (that line choreography!) and ‘Voodoo Doll’. The rest of the order of the concert is a complete mystery to me – I was in a daze, but I have fond memories of the choreography in ‘On and On’, ‘Hot Enough’ (of course – Hakyeon), ‘LOVE ME DO’ AKA one of my favourite songs at the moment (Hakyeon x Ken, that floor point choreo, Hongbin’s legs and Hongbin almost falling over on the closing step) ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Fantasy’.
I was completely impressed with how fluid Hakyeon is in his movements (don’t judge – yes he is my bias), how much energy Hyuk and Hongbin put into their performances, Ken and Leo’s voices – which both blew me away, and Ravi’s tone when rapping – it remains unchanged and completely recognisable. As the boys were greeting us and communicating with the crowd, Hakyeon was lurking around in the background of the stage and hiding in various places, being a cheeky little leader. There was a lot of touching and fiddling with each others’ hair, clothes, faces etc – typical boy group.
Of course we had Q&A time with the group which provided much fun and entertainment for all, including the boys. First question was selected by Hyuk who randomly began to moonwalk across the stage to Jaehwan’s beatboxing skills – as you do. The question was asking which animal he is most like. Of course, 4D Ken sat there mimicking a dog and panting and Hyuk admitted he would be likely to be a golden retriever kind of dog. Hakyeon agreed and then bizarrely called Leo a cow ahaha! Leo went up to choose his question next and took a LONG time to select, despite the entire crowd chanting his name, much to Hakyeon’s pleasure. During this time Jaehwan decided to imitate Leo’s internal pondering over which question to choose, and bizarrely his impression was somewhat on point! Leo was struggling because most of the questions were either in English or French, neither of which he could speak so Hyuk when to help him and searched the board with his hyung. He selected one question and passed it to the translator who announced that the question was for him to do aegyo, upon which Leo’s face transformed into shock and he approached the translator, taking the question back of him and saying “Jinjja?!?” (Really?). Yes really Leo. When he looked at the question and was satisfied he wasn’t being lied to, he went for Hyuk – the person who dropped him in it! Leo made Ken choose an aegyo for him to demonstrate, and of course Ken chose one of the most embarrassing ones, which involved lifting one leg up so that it is at a 90 degree angle to the hip and then slapping the butt three times. Ken demonstrated twice and then Leo suffered a good few minutes as he shyly copied Ken. Ravi was adamant that Leo was getting it wrong so even he went up and showed him how it was done. Eventually Leo did it properly, much to his dismay but the pleasure of all the other members and the crowd. When will Leo be allowed to live?
Hongbin chose a question next and whilst he walked up to the board to select, the entire crowd burst into song singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him in Korean, which brought out the biggest smile on his face. He was stunned. Ken proceeded to sing Happy Birthday to him in English, Marilyn Monroe style. I believe that Hongbin’s question was directed at Ravi to sing some of ‘Damn Ra’ which was UNREAL hearing it live – as I’ve mentioned, his tone is unreal, but in ‘Damn Ra’ he really lets loose. Hakyeon’s question was a request for Ken to sing part of a Park Hyo Shin song – I believe he sang ‘Wild Flower’ and it was STUNNING. Sadly I don’t remember Ken’s question, but I do remember that he read it out in English, recall him imitating all of our screams on several occasions and I recall him spinning in his chair so his back is facing the audience and Ravi spinning him back around again. We have to keep the child in check. Finally, Ravi went up to select his question, and like Leo he took his time, despite the fan chanting again. Hyuk stood up to help him choose but Leo didn’t want Ravi to suffer the same fate so stood up to drag Hyuk back to his seat. Ravi selected a question requesting him to say something in French, so he asked how to say “I love you Starlights” (Je t’aime Starlights). He said this quickly and ran back to his seat, which Hakyeon was displeased with, making him do the overhead heart symbol. Ravi did this with one arm, which Hongbin fluffed up his own hair in protest and forced him to do it again. Ravi then did the symbol with the other arm – again Hongbin was not best pleased with the outcome and forced him once more to go for it with both arms. Ravi said Je t’aime Starlights one more time and then used both arms to create the overhead heart, then shyly scurried back to his seat, probably rueing Lee Hongbin and plotting his revenge. Finally, Ravi announced his comeback before the end of the year with rapper Superbee, which we now know is true, as this was released the other day.
The concert ended with ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Love Equation’, in which the boys bounced up and down freely and Leo filmed the crowd for his unmistakeable Instagram posts (below). This was the perfect way to end the show, with the entire crowd bouncing on their feet and waving their lightsticks in unison with the beat. The boys seemed to be having lots of fun and as they filtered off stage, Ken and Hongbin stayed behind to bounce around and wave at the entire crowd. They hugged and both rapped to Ravi’s part in ‘Love Equation’ in his absence which was hysterical. Ken stood to make half an overhead heart, waiting for Hongbin to complete the other side, however, Hongbin had already made his move to exit the stage! The crowd yelled his name and Hongbin looked back, finding Ken stood in the centre awaiting his participation. Hongbin ran back towards Ken and completed the other half of the heart before they embraced again and left the stage. What cuties.
The Meet and Greet was a whirwind moment. We were ushered up to the M&G room in stages, but we were pushed through the line at lightning speed – much faster than any other event I’ve been to before. Of course for some members, it felt like everything had slowed down somewhat – I’ll try to account for it here.
First it was Leo. I was stunned by just how tall he is, stood there, leaning his weight casually on the entirety of one leg. He looked nonplussed and tired but he was there to meet my hand and he looked satisfied behind his steely facade. I was nervous and a little terrified of Leo’s appearance at first, but I was proven wrong – there was nothing to be scared of. Next was Ken. My time with Ken passed awfully slowly. I had time to assess his features and recognise his expression. His eyes crinkled up as he touched his fingertips to mine. I beamed as broadly as I could at him and said ‘Hi’ and he grinned cheekily back, responding in the same way. I cocked my head to the side slightly and smiled at him again before moving on to Ravi. Meeting Ravi went by EVEN SLOWER. My head was still slightly cocked from speaking to Ken, but Ravi met my angle by turning his head too. He smiled and said ‘Hi’ in the deepest voice and took my hand in his. I felt like I gazed into his eyes for an awfully long time, which can’t possibly be true but out of the three members I had just met, I really SAW Ravi. His beautiful grey hair and kind eyes will stick in my memory. Hyuk was next and he was stooping forwards slightly with a mischievous look on his face – that smile where he doesn’t open his mouth is painted across his face. He high-fived me and I grinned back. I have no fear meeting Hyuk, he feels as familiar as a younger brother. It felt like a meeting between long-lost relatives so as we smiled at each other, I was lulled into a false sense of security. I cast my eyes to Hongbin who is smiling handsomely, his chin chiselled and defined and his smile uniform and broad. I am lost for a moment. He is honestly the most handsome human I have met in my life. It feels like he is glowing – is radiant. He is smiling so much as our hands meet, I feel like I’m crumbling and I don’t even think about whats to come.
I see him before I even think about moving away from Hongbin. I’m already speechless. I say nothing as I walk up to him. My mouth is more or less hanging open as I gaze upon Hakyeon’s face, making sure to take in every detail, assessing his skin tone. He touches his fingertips to mine and then eventually pushes his palm against mine. I glance at our hands touching and notice the similarity in skin tone and for a moment I feel completely calm and at peace. He is watching me as I assess every part of him, the time seeming to drag, and eventually I manage to blurt out ‘Hi?!’. His expression softens and he says ‘Hi’ back and our hands slip away slightly from each other and thats it… I have to leave. Except of course, I can’t do it. I’m backing away but I’m still staring at him – trying to take in every memory of him – the person that makes me feel ok about being dark skin tone – a pretty important guy in my life. I’m still staring and then I see it. He looks back at me, likely because I’m boring a hole into the side of his head with my eyes. He gazes at me and smiles through tired eyes, before turning his attention back to the meet and greet. I’m stood there thinking, did Cha Hakyeon really just double take me?
On this scale of 0 to N, I would say that his first expression towards me was a combination of Stressed X Curious, changing into Sad X Strssed.
I was dumbfounded when I spilled out into the open air, completely awestruck. I have loved VIXX for years and here it is, my dream come true. As we were stood outside, Hyuk snatched up a video camera and filmed us from one of the venue windows, and the Ravi and Ken consistently made sure they were waving at us. A large number of the crowd waited by the back exit for the boys to leave, but of course, they took precautionary measures and slipped out of a side entrance. The bus brought them around to our waiting place so we could have one final goodbye and I concentrated my efforts on Hyuk and Ken who were at the nearest side to me and more or less right in front of me. Hyuk was waving tiredly, but Ken looked upset to not be able to interact with the fans. He waved languidly and looked downtrodden but we smiled and cheered them on as they drove away and I hope they know that we appreciate all that they did for the show and all that we managed to see. It was a long day for them, so we understand.
I just want to say a massive shout out to VIXXEunion and some of the other fansites that worked hard for us before and after the concert, giving out free goodies to the fans. You guys rule and it was lovely to meet each and every one of you.
GO AND SEE VIXX – I’m sure I don’t need to tell you twice – if you’ve seen any footage of them performing live, you will know that you don’t even need a reason.