To learn more about K-pop group UP10TION and check out my recommended songs, scroll down.
It was a boiling hot day for UP10TION’s second stop on their U.S. tour last Sunday in Chicago, but that didn’t deter excited UP10TION fans from showing up early to wait in line outside of the Copernicus Center.
VVIP ticket entry was set to begin at 4 p.m. but even lower tier ticket holders showed up hours before they were set to enter. This is typical of a K-pop concert, in my experience, because fans look forward to mingling with those of similar interests and making friends before the event.
The VVIP ticket holders were eventually lined up for the fan-sign event and shuffled up to where UP10TION sat behind a long table passing down albums and talking to fans. My hands were clammy from the heat while I high-fived and held hands with them as they asked my name (written in Hangul on my VVIP lanyard at check-in) and signed their new album INVITATION.
During events like the fansign they were talkative, friendly, and were gushing sweet words to woo their fans. For example, Hwanhee called me his girlfriend and most members called me pretty and/or complimented my hair. Based on fan accounts, it sounds like they were this outgoing and complimentary throughout the tour so far. It’s impressive how they used English as much as they could in order to communicate with fans, and they even maintained a fun and energetic attitude for the fans despite their hectic schedule.
There were a few technical difficulties during the concert; Wooshin’s microphone wasn’t working during a ballad and the sound cut out completely near the end of their title song “Candyland.” This was nothing to the fans and the group, though. Below, watch our video of the performance to see the fans join UP10TION in singing Candyland when the music stops, creating what ended up being a fun and special memory.
It seems like they weren’t able to get a translator for the concert, meaning UP10TION had a limited ability to express themselves. Despite this, they worked hard to communicate with the audience, and quite a few members showed off some amazing language skills. Wei is probably the best with English, and he made the fans laugh quite a bit with his sassy remarks.
#UP10TIONinCHI moments...— 1D4 (@channel1d4) June 19, 2018
Wei: It's so hot
Fans: "Take off your jacket!!" *hooting*
Wei: ... I see what you're doing! No no no@UP10TION #CANDYLAND #UP10TIONUSTour2018 #wei #웨이 @studio_pav pic.twitter.com/exurJZ2iHc
There is typically a translator on stage between songs for most fan-meeting style K-pop concerts, particularly if there is no native English speaker in the group. Studio PAV was looking for a translator pre-tour and must not have found someone suitable, so, if you know Korean maybe keep an eye out for openings in their next tour…
UP10TION has had barely any rest, with a tight schedule before the tour and now barely a break between long concerts with huge setlists (they performed all of their title songs and more, plus activities like charades and Q&A in between), lengthy fan engagements, and flying to the next city. Despite surely being exhausted, they made the final fan engagement a special experience for their fans, Honey10.
The final event after the concert was called “Pick-A-Pose,” and it allows you to get individual Polaroids taken with the members. This is a very rare and special experience for K-pop fans, and UP10TION made it doubly so. Only Studio PAV has ever brought this event to fans in the U.S. Check out my snapshots with UP10TION below!
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These boys are the sweetest💘 . I was already excited for #UP10TIONinCHI because I love every bop they’ve ever put out, but these boys... they are ridiculously precious irl. I somehow love them even more now 💕 . Check out @channel_1d4 to see my concert photos and article (particularly twitter: @ channel1d4). Website link in bio~ . @u10t_official @studio_pav @studiopav #up10tion #up10tioninchicago #up10tioninusa #candyland #invitation #jinhoo #kuhn #kogyeol #wei #bitto #wooshin #sunyoul #gyujin #hwanhee #xiao #업텐션 #honey10 #진후 #규진 #웨이 #고결 #쿤 #우신 #샤오 #횐희 #비토 #polaroid #폴라로이드 #chicago
I can’t emphasize enough how well UP10TION treated their fans and how open they were in their one-on-one interactions. In fact, I’ve participated in quite a lot of events like this with K-pop artists and they probably were among the best in that respect. So, in other words, stan UP10TION!
Check out UP10TION
UP10TION is a ten-member boy-group from South Korea with killer choreography and a long list of hits that I never get tired of. They are under the company TOP Media, home to some of my personal favorite groups, like legendary Teen Top, and 100% (백퍼센트). Teen Top is known for some of the best footwork in (relatively) early K-pop, and 100% has flawless live vocals that blow many groups out of the water. So, it’s no surprise that UP10TION’s choreography is top-notch and singers are so strong.
The agency that brought UP101TION, Studio PAV, is probably the most fan-friendly US K-pop tour agency out of the (about five) others that I’ve had experiences with. While some agencies will ignore, or even sometimes rudely respond to concerns, Studio PAV interacts personably and listens to fans. At the UP10TION concert, you could even notice the difference in small situations, such as when staff were sorting fans for the events like “High-Touch” or group photos; they make sure that you’re able to participate with your friends and are even very organized about the processes. I recommend keeping up with their tours, especially if you like underrated groups like I do. Let's hope that they bring a K-pop concert to Detroit soon!