On 23rd of September I had the huge honor to attend GDragon‘s concert “Act III: M.O.T.T.E ‘Moment of Truth The End’ World Tour in Birmingham, UK. It was a big surprise for me since I have been trying to get a ticket for ages, and 2 days before the concert I managed to get it. GDragon is definitely my favourite artists, not only from the Korean music industry, but from all the performers that I have ever had the chance to listen. Saying Gdragon is only a singer/rapper is a totally understatement. He is a producer, director, songwriter, fashion icon and a role model to people all over the world. So seeing him perform live could be the greatest honor I have had so far.
I got a standing ticket so I went there extremely early with my friends who got the same ticket as me. We queued up from 11 in the morning, as we always do for concerts. The good thing was that, because we were one of the first people to start lining up, we had the chance to get inside before the others, and had the front row designated just for us. The organisation skills at the Genting Arena, where the concert was held was amazing, and I was super impressed by the fact that they actually cared about the people who lined up so early, and did not accept anyone skipping the queue as it usually happens.
There was loads of merch to buy and I got myself a T-shirt because why not? I wanted to keep something as a memory, to know later on that this moment actually happened. The venue filled up pretty slow, the arena was huge, but at the end it ended up being sold out. We had to wait about an hour after the actual schedule for the concert to actually start, but this is how it usually happens anyway.
Gdragon has to be by far the best Entertainer and performer I have seen so far. His energy is unbelievable, the way he turns up a whole arena and makes everyone stand up and scream and dance. He performed all of his solo songs, new and old ones, it was a beautiful mix of GDragon and Kwon Ji Yong.
His voice, his rapping, his outfits, his looks, the backup dancers, the band, the lights, the fire, the fans, his dancing moves, everything was better than I imagined. Everything matched perfectly. I used to watch all his live performances, but experiencing it in real life is a totally different level.
What impressed me the most (besides the amazing songs and choreographies) were the clips played during the breaks between the ACTS. They were designated to show us a story, about who GDragon really is. The public found out, the different between GD and Kwon Ji Yong. It showed a shy and simple, but still mysterious young boy, living the life of his dreams. Or maybe not? In one of the clips there was his friends and fellow artists like Taeyang, PSY or CL and also his sister mother and father. They were asked who is Gdragon to them, and they all said incredibly good words about him, about how talented he is. When they were asked about who Kwon Ji Yong was, almost all of them replied (mostly joking) “who? Who is Kwon Ji Yong?” It made me extremely emotional when his father replied “A good son”.
He also had a monologue talking to the public about how grateful he is for all the support he has received during all these years. He knows he is now representing the whole group BigBang in front of us and he knows the responsibility he has. He was also talking about “going somewhere” (most probably army) and not being able to “meet” us pretty soon. But he said he will come back soon with new songs and he will keep working hard. He had tears in his eyes the whole time he spoke to us, and it felt so real and emotional, most of us started tearing up as well. The whole arena started screaming “Saranghae” in Korean and he was so surprised by the fact that we said “I love you” in Korean. He confessed to us he loves that word and he feels touched that we said this word to him even though he has never been to Birmingham before and it is such a far away place from South Korea.
The whole concert I could not feel any pain even though my whole body was hurting. I was so into the concert I could not care about anything else. He has such a strong scene presence, it is mesmerizing. I loved the fact that he played his super old songs like “Heartbreaker” or “Crooked” and his newest ones like “Super Star” or “Untitled“. When he finished singing, everyone started calling his name, not Gdragon, but his real name, and everyone was waiting for a comeback. After about 10 minutes of waiting for him to come back on stage, he finally showed up singing 2 more songs and also introducing his band and dancers. During the actual last song he went down the stage in front of the public and sang walking around the crowd (with loads of security, of course) but it was so touching and such a beautiful moment. You could see him with the fans screaming on the huge screens in the arena.
I did not want that moment to end, I wish it could have lasted forever. This concert was not only a fun and entertaining concert, but also a way of knowing Kwon Ji Yong a little bit better than before. It was a way of expressing himself, who he really is, what he really likes. He is in reality, such a shy and kind perfect besides his “celebrity” image.
After the concert, I attended the after party which was next to the arena where the concert was held. Me and my friends, we didn’t stay for too late, and when we exit the resort where the after party was, we noticed a lot of vans and security waiting outside the hotel next to the resort. We immediately thought that has to be GDragon so we rushed to the door. There were only a few fans waiting, but a lot of staff and security. We agreed to wait for a bit to see if something was happening and after about 10 minutes we saw loads of people with suitcases coming out and also the van door open. Gdragon came out, all covered up, you could not see his face at the beginning and the few fans started screaming “Thank you” and “have a safe trip”. He stayed with his door opened for a few minutes until the staff put all his luggage in the car and we could see his face, he was wearing sunglasses and smiled at us for a bit, then the car left.
I never thought I would be so close to GDragon and that was perfect timing, or just fate, I don’t know, but I was happy I left the party earlier.
Review by Andreea C.