SHINee Concert Review: Post-Concert Stress Disorder (PCSD) Defined
Author: Leigh Draper (www.whatwouldleighdo.com)
The SHINee World V North American tour literally made dreams come true. International K-Pop fans are well-versed in our unrequited love for our oppas. Some of us have been dreaming for years (some of those dreams still unfulfilled to this day) about what it would be like to see our favorite Korean group breathing the same air that we are breathing. Hopes of even one little finger of ours being graced by one of theirs. Eyes meeting. An acknowledgement of our existence in their world. Hell, an acknowledgment of the chunks of our paychecks we’ve seen fly out the window countless times on internationally-shipped albums and merch. For Shawols, it finally happened.
It wasn’t the first time SHINee had been to America. Just last year they showed-up and showed-out at the Korea Times Music Festival, KCon LA, and even held a fan-meet in Dallas directly afterward. This time, however, we got what only Korean and Japanese fans had been blessed with up to this point: about 2-hours of some of the greatest music on wax. Live and in glorious color. Well, sort of. I did have to come to grips with the fact that the Shrine Auditorium was not, in fact, the Tokyo Dome. There were not going to be explosions, over-the-top sets…the five were not going to mount little carts and throw mementos into the audience as they traversed the space. They were just on a stage. Lights, backgrounds, VCRs. We knew what we weren’t getting. But still, we had the music. We had the choreography. We had a Taemin solo stage. We even had the ments! Plus, my friend and I were blessed to be in the 7th row so we had a much greater chance of at least getting that eye-contact than those in the back or the balcony. No shade on my back/balcony Shawols, I’m just stating facts.
I and four companions took in the show that evening, though our seats were scattered. I was next to one of my besties who’s been a Shawol longer than I have, so it was great. We arrived in style in a limousine (because how much fun is it to watch people watch you arrive–aristocratic chuckle) about an hour before the show was to start. At this point I must say big-ups to our fandom. We were extremely respectable and orderly. We all handled ourselves well, got into the venue, and we even had time for restrooms and refreshments. Excitement was in the air, but not reckless abandon. I’m proud of us.
It was just a really nice atmosphere. There were also some fan projects at our seats upon arrival. I think the feeling toward them was confused optimism. We did what we could with the printed directions, but everyone singing Selene 6.23 in Korean was simply not going to happen. We were able to do a nice 1 of 1 color paper/banner project as well as a nearly-missed early birthday banner project for Jonghyun. As the curtain came down. I’ll never forget Minho saying just before the curtain hit the floor “Oh, your birthday IS soon!” in his great English. More on that later… The show started late, as had all of the previous shows, so there was no surprise. Once it did start, we were all ready to scream, dance, and marvel at the beauty and talent of our shining five. Their performances were exemplary, they kept energy high for the entire show, the VCRs were adorable, and the ments-I have to talk about Key and Minho’s ment. I had known Key was basically fluent in English for quite some time so I was really looking forward to his hosting, but I had NO IDEA how good Minho’s English was! He spoke very confidently (albeit in shorter sentences than our diva-Key) about seeing a Clippers basketball game before the show (the Lakers played during the concert or else he surely would’ve gone to see them instead) and the fact that the members went to and continue to love In-N-Out burger, a California staple. Being an In-N-Out aficionado myself, this only reminded me of one of the hundred reasons why these guys are my guys. Key went on to discuss his love for LaLa Land, sang a bit for us (when he could finally remember some lyrics on the spot) and he and Minho did some Jazz/Power Ranger posing for us as the other members returned to the stage.
I couldn’t hold back the tears during the last song, An Encore (재연). Once that curtain dropped, PCSD immediately set in. The lights came up and still I sat. In my chair, eyes open, just staring. It was over. All the anticipation, all the longing fulfilled yet not fully. And I couldn’t do anything about it. So I just sat. In a strange mixture of delight, relief, and heavy, heavy sorrow. I still didn’t get to meet any of them. I think Minho looked at me once, maybe? Nah, they still don’t know I exist. In their world. A world that’s now gone again back to Korea/Japan. And I miss them. I want more, even though what I just received was amazing. For four days I couldn’t do anything but talk about/read about/listen to SHINee. I had a BTS concert coming and I couldn’t even gear-up properly. PCSD hit me like a missile to the brain. I’m driving to work blasting their music while pushing lumps in my throat back down into my chest. I have to go back to adulting, now. But my hearteu. My heart is-oh my gosh. I just want them to know how much they meant to me. How much American Shawols love them and hope to see them again much sooner than 9 years from now. I just want them to know. Still.