K-pop in Chicago!

This weekend was a fun excursion into the world of K-pop! After a week of work in DC, I stopped off in Chicago and met up with Amanda and Rachel to see NCT Dream in concert.

My last brush with K-pop was a bunch of years ago on a trip to Seoul. But this time we had the benefit of Rachel’s enormous enthusiasm for all things K-pop to help us prepare. In the weeks leading up to the concert, she shared bios of each of the singers (called idols), essays on the k-pop industry, detailed analysis of their dance and fashion, and a bunch of other things from Korean culture to language gaffes to comparative takes on vampire tropes.

We prepped ourselves by applying gold foil “tattoos” to our faces…

…before joining the long line snaking through the arena paining lot, waiting for the doors to open. Fortunately the weather was only mildly freezing.

We had good seats and the energy of the audience was really fun and positive—they were all so excited to be there! At 8pm the show began with lights and music videos and, when the idols finally emerged, ear splitting screams from tens of thousands of happy girls. I revealed myself to be aperture pooper by shoving ear plugs into the old noggin. And then it was three houses of fun! Great dance, fun fashion, catchy songs, and interludes of awkward improvised conversations between the idols and the audience.

This is the intimate end-of-concert photo with the band and audience. You can see us in the green circle just left of center 😆

Naturally we had a fun post-concert debrief where we analysed all the things until way too late. And then slept in and regrouped for more the next morning. Around lunch time we decided we might as well go into the city to take advantage of the great weather.

We had lunch at Nando’s (tasty food but a bit of a cluster in terms of service), saw the Bean and some new floating glass sculptures, and spent the rest of the afternoon at the Art Institute enjoying the more obscure collections while the masses peered at the Impressionists.

Our original evening plans had been to see the play Villette at Lookingglass Theatre—but alas they ended the run early and left us no choice but to eat lots of delicious food. First a delicious Armenian feast…

…then Italian patisserie for dessert.

And that was it. A fun excursion with good people, a good spectacle and new experiences. Here’s to next time!

One comment

  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    This sounds like a fabulous weekend! -Lady


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