KPOP meets Washington D.C.
Boy group GOT7 holds their first fanmeet in the nation's capital
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I went to the GOT7 Fanmeet at the Echostage in Washington D.C. GOT7 is a KPOP boyband made up of seven diverse members; Im Jaebum, Mark Tuan, Jackson Wang, Park Jinyoung, Choi Youngjae, BamBam, and Kim Yugyeom. This was GOT7’s first time in Washington D.C., so it was a special event not only for Washingtonian fans but for GOT7 as well. A fanmeet is an event that Korean artists typically hold to entertain fans; it’s a mix between entertainment and games and a concert. So the artists will usually hold a Q&A, play a game or two on stage, one with fans and one among members, perform a couple songs in between and end with speeches and an encore.
The first thing GOT7 did when they came on stage was greet the fans with their group greeting and express their excitement for the show. Jackson implored Yugyeom to show how he felt through dance which is a fan favorite because Yugyeom always chooses to dance sexily. As they each addressed the crowd my heart started to go ten thousand miles a minute and horrible, ugly screams left my mouth with reckless abandon. The MCs then had them start the Q&A with prepared questions on the cards.
This was a cute segment because they asked Youngjae, the group’s strongest vocalist, to sing a snippet of his self-produced song “Trauma” and he was so giggly and adorable, you’d think he was made of pure sunshine. They also asked Jaebum what inspired him to write his self produced songs like “Holic” and “Sin.” He replied that “Imagination, and experience inspired me,” later adding that “other things also inspired me but if I told you guys, it would make you sad,” which earned an empathetic ‘aww’ from the crowd.
Another fun aspect of the fanmeet is the interaction with the crowd. IGOT7s (the fandom name) or Agasaes (name for a GOT7 fan) know that BamBam excels when it comes to girl group dances. So before they played their games, Jackson asked the crowd which girl group dance BamBam should do and the crowd chose TWICE’s “TT” which he executed like a pro. BamBam also asked the crowd if we wanted to see him dance to “Juju on that Beat” and he was met with blood curdling screams, since that song is wildly popular not only in America but also in the D.C. area. And if I’m honest, he killed it! He did it better than some American kids, I was so proud of Bambam.
They then formed teams to play a random dance game where they danced to their past discography. After that, they called off numbers from raffle tickets to find game partners in the crowd for each member. Unfortunately, I did not get picked but it was funny to hear fans cheer as each number is called out and then shout expletives in unison when the next number deviated from their ticket’s number! I was kind of salty that I didn’t get picked so I tuned out this part of the performance.
They did perform a few songs in between the games and Q&A. They performed “Boom x3,” “Just Right,” “Fly” and “If You Do” before moving into ending speeches and the encore. The performances happily surprised me! Their live vocals are even better than their studio vocals which proves they do have actual talent. Being on the floor though, most of my experience with the performances was auditory. I couldn’t see the stage due to tall people around me and a bunch of phones in the air. But, when I did get a glimpse of a member or two I saw their unbelievable visuals. They are all so handsome it’s like they are dolls, it’s hard to believe their real. When they’re dancing it’s surreal because not only are they perfectly in sync, they look like they’re having fun performing.
While the songs were great, the ending speeches were the highlight of the event for me. I got to see the raw emotions and hard work from each of the members through their speeches. Jinyoung’s and Jackson’s really resonated with me.
Jinyoung, who is still learning English, talked about his experience with other fanmeets compared to this one in D.C. His speech made me more proud to be an IGOT7. Jinyoung worked so hard on his ending speech with Mark, a native english speaker, to make sure it was perfect for us English-speaking Agasaes. Jackson then started his speech.
They pulled it all together with an encore performance of “Homerun.” “Homerun” was the peak of the performance portion of the event for me because I love the song, and the venue was breathtaking during the song. The backing screens were dynamic with a big red baseball with blue rings around it that pulsed every time they said the title of the song.
The members were having fun while singing and blowing kisses to the crowd. Then, the icing on the cake: there was confetti which made everything so much more spectacular. The confetti was white, so it absorbed the stage lights making everything seem bright and whimsical, adding to the overall aesthetic and atmosphere of the encore. “Homerun” was a perfect song to end with, the lyrics “You and I, it feels like a dream, it feels perfect, I feel so fly” perfectly describing what an overall amazing experience it was to see my favorite KPOP group in my area.