It was 2010 when I was introduced to numerous other KPOP artists. But there was one group that caught not just my attention, but also my heart.: EPIK HIGH. It was their song “RUN” that captured me completely. After learning more about them, I swore they were always going to be one of my favorite acts ever. They were even the reason why I got hooked onto Korean Hiphop. So, me being at this concert would count as one of the most important events I’m going to be part of. I just couldn’t miss it.
That day started with me going home from work. I work nightshift, you see (explains why my posts are always at night, based on Philippine time). I was already giddy at the office. I was waiting for April 18 to strike because I was so excited. I kept on bothering my colleagues telling them stuff about Epik High even though they didn’t obviously knew about them. They just listened to me so I can get over it. When I got home, I told myself, I needed to sleep to store energy for later. I told my friends to call me or send me text messages at exactly 12pm so my phone would ring and it would wake me up. My alarm was activated, too.
When I did wake up, I prepared and went straight to the concert venue, SM North City Sky Dome. I was to meet with two friends before the show: Nina and Cheska. Nina kept my ticket. I wasn’t able to actually buy the ticket myself because of my schedule so she kept it for me. Once I got it, she and her mom and sister, took me to Sky Dome and went home after. A few minutes passed and I saw Cheska with her mom. Cheska is a friend I met over on Twitter and this is the first time I saw her in person. Since it was fairly too early to fall in line, we went to a Korean restaurant to eat first, another chance to store more energy for later. And I was so blessed to be treated by then. T^T Thank you!
When we came back, the people were already in line. Since my ticket was the 40th and Cheska’s were the 59th, I had to find my own place. But while waiting (according to the staff, the doors would open at 7pm), I sneaked to their places and spent time with them. They already made a lot of friends with the people in the line. I joined in, even without asking for their names! It was really fun to have spazzed with them about Epik High, YG and other Korean hiphop fans. But when the doors finally opened, I had to go back to my place.
However, there was this very disappointing moment that ruined my hype for the concert. Beside the line for VIP tickets (which was our line), were those who have Royalty tickets. They have much better perks than VIP ticket holders because they have chances for the hi-touch event and rehearsal passes. There were a group of Royalty people right beside me, 2 guys and 2 girls. I heard them talking about Epik High. They spoke in Filipino but I’ll roughly translate their conversation in English.
Guy1: What does Tukutz do in the group?
Guy2: He’s the DJ. He sometimes raps.
Guy1: that’s so boring.
Girl1: You’ll rarely hear him. Sometimes he does the adlibs in the song.
Girl2: Compare that to Tablo who only became popular because of Haru.
Girl1: not to mention Mithra who does nothing, too.
Honestly, when I heard them, I absolutely wanted to hit the living daylights out of them. FUCK IT.! You don’t talk about Epik High like that. The girl behind me seemed to have heard them, too, because I heard her mutter something like, “Fuck you.” I was just a very nice person that day that I managed to control my anger. And besides, I didn’t want to create a scene and risk being banned from the concert. No. I had to keep my cool.
So anyway, let’s forget about them. The time came and it was already our line going inside. Once I stepped on the concert floor, I felt my heart beat so fast especially when I saw the stage and the DJ table already set up. I waited for Cheska and her mom to enter before pulling them to the spot I chose which was right in front of the stage. They wanted to be at the sides but I said, it wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t see the whole action right up front. They stayed. I do my convincing so good. 😀
We waited for a good 30 minutes more before the place got dark. And you could hear all the people starting to cheer and shout, including me! Someone stepped out onto the stage and we instantly screamed our hearts out. It was Epik High! How happy I am that we got a good spot. I saw their awesomeness closely. And here is how I saw them:
DJ TUKUTZ : He always had his shades on. But who cares? He looked amazing. and you can just see through his smile how excited he was.
MITHRA JIN : You have to admit (sorry for his fans out there), Mithra is not the handsome oppa you’ll want to share your life with at only one glance. But trust me when I say you’ll now regret ever thinking about him like that before. He’s not that handsome but when we saw him we were star struck, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE SMILED! I don’t know how to explain it. All I know is that I kept screaming his name more. I guess all those non-Mithra fans before went to his side after that show. Cheska has actually and we call that syndrome being “Mithra Jin-ed”. XD
TABLO : He was glowing! Not in a literal sense. But you can just see the sincere joy and excitement in his eyes and his face. He really had that bright expression that lasted within the whole concert! He made me feel no regrets in going.
Now, back to the show. I’m going to do this in a ore summarized way. I don’t know how long I could go if I described to you every scene at that concert. XD
The first part of the show was the opening (of course) which consisted of “Encore/Raise The Curtain” and the all-time High Skool favorite, “FLY”. I was already high when I heard Raise The Curtain. But when the beats from FLY dropped, I literally gone wild! That song is like every High Skool’s favorite song and I FINALLY HEARD IT LIVE.! No smile and no words can describe how happy I was then. I was crying while jumping and singing along to the music. It was a dream come true. A very fine dream. After a few talk, they continued with more songs which included my favorites, “Bhurj Khalifa” and “Map The Soul”.
They did some talk after. I honestly love Tablo’s English voice. Mithra barely talked though. There were numerous times that Tablo spoke in Filipino (Tagalog) which sounded really cute. They continued with the music that. “It’s Cold” was already playing when the music stopped. I don’t know if they meant it to happen or if it was an accident, but Tukutz said it was his fault. He was so cute when he said, “Sorry. It is my fault”. If I could only pinch his cheeks! ;~; They continued with “Rain” and that was just so amazing!
The next part consisted of more of their all-time favorites “Light It Up” (GDragon), “Up”, “Happen Ending”, “Love Love Love”, “Eyes, Nose, Lips”, “Kill This Love”, “High Technology” and “One”. Starting with “Happen Ending”, I was already crying. You know that feeling? I just can’t believe I was really hearing Epik High live. I just can’t believe I already saw them in person. All those tears just kept streaming down my face. I sounded like a kid whose lollipop was stolen. HONESTLY! But after that song, I forgot all about the tears and just danced and sang along. If you read in some articles that Epik High was touched when the fans sang “Eyes, Nose, Lips” along with them, I’m telling you, in the Philippines, I couldn’t hear Epik High rapping. All I heard were all the people around me singing it. And that was something I didn’t expect to happen. It was a majestic moment seeing the three smiling while we were all singing. But I was crazy especially during “Kill This Love”, “High Technology” and “One”. At this part, Tukutz finally showed us his hidden dance talent. He was crazy on stage and I loved how he kept on smiling and running all over the stage. Since these songs were part of my favorite list, I danced along wildly. Tukutz gave me so much energy. I even felt the spotlights pointing directly at me three times within all those songs. I’m not sounding too proud or something, but I know they did! I wonder if they noticed how high I was within the show. XD
The last songs were “The New Beautiful” and “Fan”. Tablo started “The New Beautiful” making us shout “I.AM.BEAUTIFUL”. Tablo even mentioned the FIlipino words “Maganda” and “Gwapo” which means “Beautiful” and “Handsome” in English. Epik High really knows how to make the audience stay with them. And those lines were so epik. I cried while singing along with them. I always found this song inspiring. “We’re the new beautiful”. When “Fan” played, I felt extreme happiness especially when the three did the choreography to the song! THEY REALLY DANCED! I mean, there isn’t much dance to it but still, they danced. And Tablo really looked serious while doing it. XD I only saw them do the choreography in music shows. Never have I thought I’d see them dance it live but it happened.
They said the concert was already over and they went backstage. of course, we didn’t believe them. We kept on shouting for them to come back out. And they did! This time, they performed the new favorite “Born Hater”. People thought Mino and B.I would jump out of nowhere and join the show. But nah. Didn’t happen. Instead, at this point, Epik High did a lot of fan service, like tossing shirts to crowd, signing albums, going down the stage to the audience, spraying water EVERYWHERE. We were all getting wet, it was like getting a shower. Honestly, the shirt I wore hasn’t been washed yet. A little gross, I know, but what can I do? Their saliva all over there. XD
The last song they performed was “Don’t Hate Me” which was really perfect for an ending. And just at that moment, me and my friends were already pushed back from our original spot but we didn’t care. No one cared. We were all just bouncing everywhere, going wild and having fun. Epik High did not make us feel sad the show was already ending. It was fun even to the last second.
Before the show ended, Epik High said, that if we continue to support them, they might come back and do another show, or even better, come back with the whole of YG Family, which was more exciting!
Honestly, their concert here in the Philippines was a dream come true to me. I waited for them for 5 years. And everything that I hoped, wished and envision for it, happened. SM Sky Dome was a bit bigger than the other venues they’ve been to in other countries. We didn’t manage to actually fill it up but the number of High Skools who went was overwhelming. And even though I thought the fans who would come would only be those who were attracted to them because of YG, there were still a bigger number of those long-time High Skools who came, those who, just like me, have dreamed of this magical moment. There was no regrets in going.
I will never forget this day. Every inch of my body after the concert was sore and painful. But my mind and heart was still so full of energy. I managed to sleep after the concert around 4 the next morning! April 18, 2015 was the day my dreams came true. One of my main fandoms, the reason I’m a KHOP fan, one of my inspirations, have finally come here and did a show, a very EPIK show. With everything that happened to me, I hope that wouldn’t be the last KHOP show I’ll witness or be part of here in the Philippines. I wouldn’t want to miss any at all!
Thank you to my concert buddies! Thank you EPIK HIGH! Our HIGH is EPIK! Proud and forever HIGH SKOOL!
To all Filipino High Skools reading this and have seen the show themselves, HIGH FIVE for all of you! Comment down what your experiences were and let’s talk about it.
For those who were not able to see it, I hope you get the picture of what happened that night to us. It was totally fun! Next time they come, make sure to join us!
To all of those from other countries where Epik High has been to, do we all have the same EPIK feelings about their show? Share it to us!