After weeks of mental preparation (more like mental suffering and lost sleep) I drove myself, my mom, my little sister, and one of my friends to Texas. I had only about a month and a half of legitimate driving experience and we managed to make it three hours to our destination unscathed. Snaps for me (and for my mom for being our navigator, thanks mom).
What made me do such a crazy thing? Why, the thing in which I live and breathe, music. My newly acquainted friend and I got tickets to see Epik High in downtown Dallas.
My friend, Stacy, and I took an Uber car to the venue (because Texans are crazy drivers). Our driver was very professional. He wore a tie, vest, dress slacks and leather gloves. He even opened to car doors for us, which made me feel very fancy.
Stacey had purchased a VIP ticket (I had general admission), so we went to the venue early for the VIP meet and greet. After standing in line together for fifteen minutes, slightly confused as to what line we were supposed to be in; I was finally told I had to go with the rest of the commoners in a different line. Alas, we had to be separated.
I strode past a collection of people wearing converse, jean shorts, and heavy winged eyeliner and found my place in the commoner’s line. For June in Texas, surprisingly the heat wasn’t unbearable. I sat on the edge of a brick wall in the shade and waited…For over two hours I watched the humorous people working at a parking lot across the street, listened in on people’s conversations, and avoided cameras.
As the line inched forward I chatted with a few people next to me, but mostly I kept to myself.
The doors were finally open! *cue angel music* (no, not THAT type of AN.JELL music)
I shuffled along, got my bag checked and shuffled on into the venue. To my surprise it was a lot smaller than I expected. The stage small and only five feet from the ground. I was happy about this, though. It felt like my own private show (well, me and about a hundred plus other people).
Of course the first thing I did was pee. After that I stood almost center stage as people huddled all around. I had thought the VIPS would have been sectioned off, but they weren’t. So I made it a mission to find Stacy. I looked all around and finally caught a glimpse of her hair clips and maneuvered my way to her. When I got next to her a lady asked me if I just cut, and I just stared at her and asked if this was reserved for VIPS. She said she was just messing with me (…..).
I had to pee again, or at least I thought I did (curse you bladder!). I went through the crowd and back and received many dirty looks as I wiggled my way back to the center with Stacy.
There was a loud group of women around us, all friends, probably all drinking a lil bit. They were amusing. Half an hour later, after two roadies pumped us all up (i.e “I SAY HIGH, YOU SAY EPIK!”) the show finally started.
And it was surreal. Not “I can’t believe this is happening”, more like “is this even real life?”. The faces, the voices, were ones I registered as familiar. I heard the music, but the people preforming in front of me didn’t seem like the professional stars the world knew. Maybe it was the humble stage and the plain faces. There wasn’t an invisible separation between artist and fan. It felt like more like a party than a show. They weren’t entertaining us, they were jamming with us. We were equals. I guess that’s what I love about Epik High. *fist pump*
The speakers were not the best quality. I wasn’t sure if it was for that reason or all from all of the commotion that I had a hard time recognizing the songs (I also apologize for screaming broken Korean in people’s ears during fan chants…I think we’re both sorry you had to hear that). When one of my favorites, Kill This Love, started playing I made the ugliest cry face. My thoughts were “I don’t know what this is but I know I love it”. In that moment the experience did seem real, but that feeling faded when the song ended.
I screamed, I jumped, I pounded my fists in the air and I sang out. By the end I was ready to collapse in the mess of spilled beer and glow sticks. My spine felt like it was going to snap any minute. The encore song was Born Hater, during which the music stopped, Tablo gasped and put his hand over his mouth and said “Woooow” after he heard us yell out one of the expletives in the song. That moment, and the moment when DJ Tuktz danced to “One of a Kind” were my favorites of the night. Oh yes, I’d also like to point out that during one of their older songs (I can’t remember which one) all of them busted out some dance moves in formation; inducing a wave of insanity over all High Skoolers.
I was high during the concert, but afterward the only way I felt different was the thick layer of grim on my arms and legs. It wasn’t til a week later did I finally get excited over it.
And indeed, my high was Epik.