It’s been a little over two since I saw Eric Nam in Atlanta and I am finally posting about it.
For tonight, I’ll share with you all my concert experience in Atlanta, Georgia. It is ridiculously wordy and random. This is the result of me writing at past midnight while everyone is asleep.
I rode down with my wonderful friend Dia (we’ve known each other since high school and lived and went to the same university together before I withdrew) to Atlanta the day of the concert. We decided to go because it’s the closest a kpop concert to us and it would be super nice to watch Eric Nam perform in his hometown.
This was the first time we’ve ever bought VIP tickets to anything much less to a kpop concert so we had no idea what to expect. We chatted about what we would happen at the concert. I made a comment how it was weird Eric Nam hadn’t released any new music recently and was doing three shows in the US. I predicted he had a new song to sing at the concert and was right (recently released: Like You).
Since we were VIP ticket holders, we were able to take a picture with Eric at the end of the concert and received a signed poster (which is 12inx15in and they don’t make those size frames). We talked about what we would say to him while our pictures were taken. I started stressing out because I didn’t know what to say (what I ended up saying was not that great. I’ll elaborate later).
Another friend of mine, Chaia, and her sister, Machelle, drove down the day before we did. We were excitedly texting each other. Then Chaia told me she was waiting in the VIP line for quite a while. Dia and I just checked into our hotel around two in the afternoon after eating at Iron Age and Kremo Ice Cream. It took us about an hour (well technically it took me at least an hour. Dia got ready in half that time) and we were on our way to the venue.
Up until the day before the concert, I didn’t know it was a standing room only concert. The thought never crossed my mind that people would wait outside the theater doors hours before the show. On the drive there, Chaia texted me the VIP line was getting quite long and I shamelessly asked her to hold two spots for us (I didn’t realize Chaia and Machelle were the first two there. I thought they were towards the front). So Dia and I arrived two hours before the doors opened, the line was definitely long and I made the decision that we needed to cut people to get to where Chaia and Machelle were.
I know what some of you are thinking. How terrible it was of me to cut all those people who had been waiting. Well I didn’t really care. I did not have a good experience at the last standing room only impromptu.
So here’s a side story. When I was still attending UNCC, Dia and I and another friend of ours went to this bar in uptown Charlotte to see Hunter Hayes perform. Worst experience ever. All of us stand roughly around 5’2 and we were several rows away from the stage. Our view was constantly blocked and we overheard too many Asian slurs for one night. I vowed never again will I be in the back.
The funny thing is as we got closer to the line, I told Dia repeatedly for her to go in front of me because I lost my courage to cut the line. Eventually I led the way as politely as I could though. We were not given kind looks obviously. Especially by the girl who was technically third but became fifth in line. I couldn’t understand what she was saying but from the tone of voice I knew she was not happy with us.
Those two hours of waiting before the doors opened were ridiculous. I can only imagine how it was to be there at seven in the morning. They did bring out water to everyone which was incredibly thoughtful.
Anyway we were let into the doors ten minutes before the door were supposed to open and I kid you not Dia immediately went “Wahhh!” as soon as we got in to the venue. She was taking pictures of everything. Of course I was being loud and said, “I’m so excited for you!”. I mean this was Dia’s first kpop concert so I wanted her to get the most out of it. We quickly secured our places directly in the middle. If I was any shorter, I’m sure I would not have been seen behind the tv screen.
Since I decided we cut the line, we didn’t get a balloon or a banner so I decided we download the automated text scroller app on our phones to write our own messages. It was a challenge because I wanted to take videos, take pictures, and hold up my scrolling banner. At some point, I gave up and concentrated on taking videos and pictures.
Anyway, Eric’s opening act was this adorable guy name Alec Benjamin (Twitter YouTube Instagram). Incredibly talented and such a great personality. He introduced himself to all of us before we were let in the doors which I thought was so nice. He also sang his own rendition of BTS’s “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” which was amazing!
So after almost two pages in on my Word doc, I’m finally getting to the part with Eric Nam. He came out on stage singing “Heaven’s Door” from his first mini album and then “Interview” from his latest mini album.
I guess since we were in a smaller venue, the volume of the screams were much louder. I don’t really remember what happened after the first two songs because things started blurring together. Thank goodness for the set list because I forgot what he sang (Thanks to Chaia for sending me a picture of the set list).
Third song into the concert, I was about to switch over from my scrolling text banner to take pictures when Eric knelt down in front of me and started singing to me. I held a hand over the lower half of my face and started laughing because that’s my go-to reaction when I’m flustered. My heart rate went up. I couldn’t even look him in the eyes. Then the volume of the screams increased. Then he winked at me and went to the other side of the stage. Throughout the whole ordeal I didn’t get a single picture or video clip. Thankfully Dia did.
She told me later when this situation went down she pushed me over to get in his line of sight. I didn’t even realize it at the time because I was so flustered! (link to my insta of the vid)
I was being pushed by people behind me because they wanted to hold his hand (Dia did by the way! Look how happy she was!). That night I got to know some people a little too well. I still would have appreciated an apology or at least dinner.
Since that happened to me, I started withdrawing. Dia noticed it too. We talked about it on our drive back to the hotel. She said I started retreating and became less enthusiastic. The amount of people around me was getting to be a bit much and the stress of all those people brushing up against was building up. Whenever Eric reached out to the crowd, I actually ducked and covered.
After the concert wrapped up, all of us VIP ticketholders lined up to take our picture with Eric. Ummm, it was very quick. I understand there was a time limit but I would have liked to exchange a few intelligent words with him (Here’s the part where I tell you what I said to him). I was up next to take my picture with Eric (I made Dia go first because I was still mustering what courage I had left. Here’s her picture if you guys are curious). He recognized me right away and said, “Oh, you were right in the middle!” (Y’all, oppa noticed me from the crowd!!!)
You guys would never guess what I said. I mentally facepalmed myself as soon as I said it. Wait for it………….
“I was a bit too close.”
That’s what I said you guys. Me and my wonderful eloquence in the English language said that! I made him laugh. Sure it might have been an awkward laugh but I made him laugh.
My brain was referring to how close I was to everyone but he might have taken it as being too close to him. I mean I was. Bro did kneel in front of me. The picture turned out nicely and my face wasn’t overly shiny which is always a plus (for those who didn’t see it).
Aside from that, the other part I really want to get to was how adorable Dia was through this entire night!!! I’ve never seen her zoom by people so quickly before. I know all of us can tell from looking at her picture, she was super excited to meet Eric Nam. We were still running off post-concert adrenaline. I’m glad her first kpop concert was Eric’s.
He’s a remarkably kind person, incredibly funny, flirty and charming (that’s a dangerous combo), gives amazing fanservice, much more handsome in real life, and sounds so much better live.
I want to thank the dancers, the coordinators, the Nam brothers, Kathryn Wray Rogers Photography, CJ E&M, and especially Eric Nam for a memorable evening.