[personal profile] vash_chan
Xposted here.

London was the final stop on Block B's European tour. Sadly P.O wasn't able to attend due to health issues. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

So what of Block B then? Did they dazzle BBCs?** It was my first time seeing them live and coming as a slight outsider who didn't know the group too well I wasn't sure what to expect...

But wow I really did enjoy myself. The frustrating 2-3 hour wait in the heavy rain outside Troxy vanished the minute the guys started the show. It was a long wait but worth it prior to the approximate starting time of 7:30pm. Two MyMusicTaste staff were entertaining the fans in the queue. One was called Jin and he had a megaphone, joking with the fans and giving away prizes for those who had a code and registered on MyMusicTaste as one of the Taste Makers for Block B's concert.

After having my bag checked, making sure my blue wristband was intact as a VIP ticket holder, I took a gamble and stayed in the main part of the pit during the night's event. My view wasn't perfect as always and I was near the back but I often remembered that people would move to try to get a better view - for better or worse in the manner department. With fans moving from the front to the back because of overexcited fans around them, watching what was happening on stage naturally proved to be a challenge. Mobile phone cameras were always out along with banners and slogans.

Block B spoke a great deal in English for most of the talking sessions, with the Korean interpreter hidden in the background for one segment near the end of the show. Park Kyung, like many visitors to London, insisted on speaking in a RP accent (or the standard British accent).
They discussed the common sightseeing attractions they went to, as well as what food they ate - aside from the fish and chips. Was not expecting Burger and Lobster (thanks U-Kwon) or cottage pie. Everyone seemed enthusiastic with being in the city, or perhaps in general they were delighted to have visited different European cities on their tour.

With P.O absent, the other members covered his lines in most of the songs on the setlist. For example, sub-unit BASTARZ's debut Zero For Conduct. Zico did extremely well with P.O's lines and keeping up with B-Bomb and U-Kwon while dancing alongside them. He must have practised hard for this. It's also one of my favourite BASTARZ tracks. When the siren at the beginning of the song played, there was enormous screams from the pit and the balcony seats. There was no doubt P.O's absence was highlighted amongst the fans during the concert. Each time the slideshows in the background showed his photo, the crowd went wild, clearly to show he was missed from the remaining two stops of this European tour.

"Very Good" was performed twice - both the normal and rock/rough version which was in the encore. This is one of those tracks that is utterly perfect for live performances. It hypes you up a lot and you just want to party or rock out (for me I'd definitely headbang if there was an opportunity). Another concert-appropriate song is Jackpot. Anyone who has seen the MV will know the song has a circus/clown feel and the bizarrely fun feel of the music is brought to life when you hear and see the performance.

The setlist overall had a good mix of Block B songs that ranged from slower ballads (Toy is a must-hear) to dance/club-friendly tunes that were hard-hitting hip-hop or simply cute like Yesterday. What made my experience quite intriguing was how the pit was carpeted and you could feel the vibration and heat come out from below you. In my previous gig treks, the pit was often hard floored. Classic song NalinA has been on my list of Kpop songs that I want to hear live with my own eyes. There is something catchy about the beat.

Block B themselves knew how to put on a show. In addition to dancing well and singing at the same time, they offered a great deal of fan-service to front row BBCs and splashed whoever was lucky with their holy water. As someone who had never really paid a lot of attention to Block B -being aware of the scandals of the past- and doing a rapid marathon of their discography, I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the concert. Yes even Zico's rapping was fierce. B-Bomb and U-Kwon danced with charisma, Park Kyung rapped and sang well with Jaehyo and Taeil. The entire night was a fun concert.

I really went out of my way to make sure I genuinely soaked in this experience, especially since I wanted to see what Troxy was like as a venue and because I had been deprived of a (Kpop) concert since MYNAME last September. The concert finished at 9:30pm so the organisers could set up the hi-touch and photo session. This took a while to manage but I have to give credit to MyMusicTaste and the crew because they wanted to make this work without too much fuss. Twenty people in a group to hi-touch the guys and then a group of ten for the photo with a barrier separating group and fans.

The VIP purchase was a decision I had to think about for some time before the ticket sales started in January. Was it worth spending extra money when I didn't know this group as well as my other favourites? Did I want to meet Kpop idols briefly because I never got that opportunity anyway? I just thought why not in the end.

For the photo session, all the fans had to kneel or sit down on the floor as one of the crew took the photo with a small camera and then we had to leave straight after. It was just one photo rather than two takes in most photo sessions I had previously attended. Hi-touch went by very quickly and it was understandable when you had probably two hundred fans to go through. B-Bomb was the first person, followed by U-Kwon, Kyung, Zico, Taeil and Jaehyo. You then had to go back to your place in the queue for photo session time. Everything was done in the pit with a curtain behind Block B - just in front of the sound box section.

I can't remember the hi-touch as well as I should due to being distracted. We were all ushered to move as fast as possible so I only smiled and said thank you to everyone as I quickly touched their palms. Zico appeared to be tired and/or uninterested (someone actually mentioned this nearby and I wondered if they were tired from touring or they were favouring certain fans for how they looked due to skin colour - who knows?). Taeil looked the most adorable and quietly courteous. U-Kwon and Kyung were also polite. Jaehyo had to lower himself a little further down when I high-fived him.

Thank you for coming to London, Block B. You got here eventually since the postponement last October. Also a big thank you for making this work, MyMusicTaste. Will I see Block B again? Who knows?

**this is going to cause personal confusion as a British Born Chinese myself. An ongoing inside joke with regards to the abbreviation**

Photos can be seen here or over at Imgur.
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