Posted on December 27 2018
Original Content: WHAT THE K-POP
The lights dim into darkness, the promo image on stage becomes brighter. The gentle hum of previous songs climbs up to room-shaking levels, stirring the crowd with a shot of adrenaline. Smoke blurs the stage, and five shadowy silhouettes appear.
For the final stop of their 2018 Teen Top Night In The USA tour, Teen Top landed into Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall on Saturday, December 15th, ready to steal hearts and set the night on fire — musically, of course. Kicking the night off with their latest title track “Seoul Night”, the five members of Teen Top proved that their lighting-speed footwork isn’t going anywhere and that there was definitely more to come.
Purple lights, flowers, outfits, and light-sticks sprinkled the crowd. VVIP and VIP stood closest to the stage, with GA ticket holders a few feet behind. With two overhead balconies and a gorgeous ceiling holding a stained glass window art piece and a disco ball, White Eagle Hall was a combination of intimate and classy. For the 21+ fans, there were two bars open for service on either side of the floor.
The track-list contained of a mix of old and new songs, easily warming the hearts of older fans and genuinely welcoming the newer ones. A few to name were Baby U, So Sweet, To You, Hot Like Fire, I’m Sorry, and more. The boys banged out energetic bops and smooth ballads seamlessly, asserting their well-earned control over the room’s mood.
As the cherry-on-top, half-way through the concert, the solo stages commenced. Each member came out on his own to perform a song most suited to their individual style: main vocalist Niel with a chill pop song, lead vocalist Chunji with a high-notes-belting ballad, lead dancer and vocalist Ricky with a softer and more heartfelt ballad, rapper-leader CAP with a head-bobbing hip-hop track, and main dancer and maknae Changjo with a hype dance-and-rap track.
Rather than winding down, the boys lit up the already-flaming energy with their most energetic songs to end the night. As per concert tradition, they completed one of their most popular songs, Crazy, adding brief ‘goodbyes’ and bows before disappearing. However, after several minutes of purple-cladded fans chanting “TEEN TOP! TEEN TOP!” in the dark hall, the boys returned to perform their actual final two tracks of the night: Rocking and Miss Right. With that, the night came to a close.
Prior to the concert, VVIP and VIP were granted their promised perks. After the concert, starstruck fans of all ticket standings were able to purchase ‘Snapshots’ with each member: a.k.a taking a polaroid with your bias! While still recovering from Teen Top’s stage enchantment, many fans raced back out into the cold – which was certainly needed after the series of hot performances – to line up and buy Snapshot tickets.
After purchasing the tickets, the fans were welcomed back into the hall with five separate lines leading to a ticket-collector and a polaroid-taker. The members of Teen Top returned soon after and planted themselves in front of their designated line. The hours following consisted of each member with their own line of excited fans waiting to ‘pick-a-pose’ that were pre-chosen by the members. The poses offered ranged from a couple heart-pose to a hug, leaving all giggling with excitement. It was a close, warm, and fun way to end the night.
Now that you’ve gotten a gist of how the night went down, here’s how I digested it all as an old Angel (Teen Top’s fandom official name). My high school and early college years were all about Teen Top: their posters decorated my bedroom walls, all my genre playlists had at least seven of their songs, they were my phone’s background, and I shelled out whatever I could to get the best experience with the members whenever they visited the U.S. However, my ultimate bias was L.Joe, who is now promoting as the actor Lee Byunghun, so his departure from the group truly broke my soul.
As with any fandom-based heartbreak, it took a while to return to Teen Top. I did not know what to think of the group I always regarded as real, authentic, goofy, and fun.
With as much courage as I could muster, I attended this concert in Jersey City and realized they laugh together, cry together, and get through hard times together. My personal affection towards Teen Top may have changed, but the boys themselves – as human beings that spend time with and deeply care for each other – have not. The same goes for how they treat their fans. It took some time, but I was able to re-witness the genuine love these five boys have for their craft, their stage, their Angels, and their group.
And honestly, being able to feel that as an audience member is what makes a concert truly memorable.