On March 20th, Krowdpop hosted the Unite the Mic concert in Toronto starring San E, Ailee and Jay Park. I was one of the few fortunate people that attended the concert and it was one of the best experiences in my life. Not only did I get to see three of my favourite artists on one stage but I also got to interact with them during the fan-signing and hi-touch events. This concert is a memory that will always hold close to me.
Firstly, I would like to commend Krowdpop and the Massey Hall staff for putting together this amazing show. This concert was a lot more organized than their first event with Teen Top. The instructions, concert guidelines and location details were clearly articulated and although the lines were fairly long, we were not left standing in the cold for too long.
Before the concert, I had the opportunity to attend a fan-singing event with all three artists. When the artists walked in, the room erupted into screams and cheers. I was so shocked when I saw San E and Jay Park. They were much shorter than I expected. I did not even see when they walked into the room.
All three artists were respectful and welcoming, especially San E and Ailee who wore large smiles while communicating with us. Ailee even stated that one of her previous roommates was from Trinidad (this made me die of happiness) and she stated how much she loved our accent. I was overly elated to know that they actually knew where Trinidad was! Although concert guidelines stated that the artists were only supposed to sign their names, San E wrote a nice comment on my poster stating, “I am the best”. I was dying on the inside but I still maintained my cool in front of them. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the poster at the moment, but I will upload one as soon as possible.
On the other hand, Jay Park was a little more reserved and said limited amount of words. I admit this initially disappointed me, especially since Jay is known for his outspoken and free-spirited demeanor and he was my favourite performer out of the three. But he explained his actions later on in the concert stating that he usually feels uncomfortable at fan events because of past bad experiences with fans. Don’t worry Jay! I still love you!
I had some time to kill in between the fan-signing event and the actual concert, so my friend and I took a stroll around Eaton Mall. Before the concert, we also visited a Korean Restaurant called Kimchi Korea House. It is located on Dundas Street West, near the intersection of Bay Street. This restaurant has amazing food. I had the Chicken Bibimbap and my friend had the Bulgogi Bibimbap, both tasted delicious. In addition to the awesome food this place serves, they also have really really good-looking servers. They made it really difficult to focus on my food. If you are in Toronto and in the mood for good Korean food (and eye candy) I definitely recommend this place!
Moving back to the concert, I was fortunate enough to get a second row seat, so I had a close view of the stage and the performers. Although I had a great seat, I do not have many pictures or videos of the concert. I paid a lot of money for the tickets and transportation, so I wanted to see the concert with my own eyes and not through the screen of my phone. Also, there was a no camera policy in effect. Unfortunately, this policy was not really enforced by the staff, but that is another issue I rather not discuss at the moment.
San E was the first performer for the night. His performance started with a DJ (whose name I cannot recall) playing some remixed EDM music to hype up the crowd. San E then came out and started the concert off with a BANG. He performed covers of songs from other artists and many of his hits such as “Love Sick”, “Tasty San E” “Where Did You Sleep” and gave us a preview of one of his latest songs “#LuvUHater”. He also brought on other trainees and guest singers such as Miss $’s Minhee that all helped him perform his songs.
It did not seem like much of the audience knew San E but that did not stop him from hyping up the crowd and constantly engaging with them. He was the only artist that brought an audience member onto the stage and serenaded them. He also gave away a lot of merchandise by throwing it into the audience.
On a side note: San E has terrible aim (LOL) but I was one of the few people to actually get one of the things he threw into the crowd. I got a yellow (my favourite color) wristband promoting his single “#LuvUHater”.
I am 100% sure my friend and I were the loudest people in that crowd. We jumped, danced, screamed and sang along to San E’s songs. He even looked at us and acknowledged us several times. I died of happiness and I am still spazzing a month after.
Ailee was the second performer for the night. I always knew that she was an excellent vocalist live and in the studio, but hearing her sing with my own ears was beyond magical. Her powerful voice left me speechless. I felt goosebumps all over my arms and shivers straight down my spine. How can someone so small contain such a melodic and powerful voice? Her amazing vocal talent and astounding beauty made her glow and rule the stage. I had to break my own rules and record a video of her performing. It was too incredible to let a moment like this pass me.
She also performed cover hits like Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and her own songs like “U&I”, “Singing Got Better”, “Heaven” and “I’ll Show You”. Every song she sang moved me. She had the best performances for the night. Even her back up dancers amazed me.
For her last few numbers Ailee performed some of her songs from the show “Immortal Song”. Those songs were so mesmerizing that tears began rushing down the face of my friend. Ailee actually saw my friend crying in the crowd and told her during the hi-touch session after the show. Ailee also interacted with the crowd a lot. I got several smiles and winks from her and of course I’m still spazzing a month after.
The final performer of the night was Jay Park. This is the artist that I was looking forward to the most. Not only is he a decent rapper and exceptional singer, but also his dancing skills are some of the best in the industry. I expected powerful and exciting performances from him. Fortunately, I was not disappointed in any way. Although I was tired from screaming, singing and dancing from Ailee’s and San E’s performances I found new energy while Jay was performing. My jumping and screaming tripled and yet again, I am sure my friend and I were the loudest (and most noticeable) people in that hall.
Jay had the crowd on their feet for most of the time. His amazing voice and sharp and flexible dance moves had my heart palpitating. He performed songs like “Joah”, “Star”, “Lotto”, “Taekwondo” and “So Good”. To my surprise, he also performed my favourite song “2013 Appetizer”. I screamed and nearly cried when he started the song and I sang it word for word. This was the best moment for me in the concert. I just wished that he sang “Metronome” and “Abandoned” as well.
Just like the other artists, Jay brought back up dancers. He also brought a very special guest rapper. That’s right, he brought Ugly Duck. When he came on stage I screamed my head off. It was really unexpected. Ugly Duck is one of the underground Korean rappers that I respect the most.
Jay interacted with the crowd a little less than the first two artists. He mainly interacted with the upper balconies. He did not even look at me once. My heart is still breaking. At one point, he even took off his shirt and went into the crowd. Unfortunately, it was on the opposite side of my section. My heart broke even more and it still has not healed.
The concert ended with Jay’s performance and a hi-touch session for the members of the V.I.P section. All artists had soft hands and San E and Ailee wore warm smiles. Jay was a bit cold as usual, but it is understandable. I strongly resisted the urge to hug him.
It was the best concert experience I had so far and I only hope to gain more memorable experiences like this. I would like to thank San E, Ailee and Jay Park, also the staff of Massey Hall and Krowdpop for putting on such a great show. My only regret is that all three artists did not have a collaboration stage. I am pretty sure that would have been epic.
For those in Toronto, NU’EST will be performing at the KCON tomorrow. I am not sure about the status of the tickets, but you can visit the Facebook event page for more information. Epik High will also be performing in Toronto in June. Unfortunately, all tickets are already sold out. I would not be attending either event because I am currently out of the country. It is killing me on the inside, especially since I am a huge fan of Epik High. Hopefully, there will be more opportunities for me with other concerts later this year.