Going to the Galaxy of 2PM Arena Tour was originally not in my plan of concerts to attend this year. Before 2PM go on hiatus as some of them will enlist in the military soon, my priority was to attend events that I haven’t attended before, such as their concert in Seoul, or maybe the highly rumored Tokyo Dome concert. However, since those concerts’ dates were yet to be confirmed (at that time), plus I am basically weak to temptation, I decided to just go with what was already confirmed, and that was the Galaxy Tour concert. The first decision was in which city I will attend the concert. Osaka, the concert finale, was out of the question since it is held during the fasting month. I actually wanted to experience the concert in Yoyogi Gymansium again but words were going around that tickets in Yoyogi were harder to get, and that Sapporo provides a bigger chance of getting tickets (since this tour is touted as 2PM’s ‘last’ arena tour in Japan before they enter the military, getting tickets for some cities, especially Osaka – the last stop – was rather a challenge). Plus, a Japanese Hottest friend said that watching the concert in Sapporo is actually satisfying because the venue is not as big as others, thus we can see the boys more clearly. To make the story short, I got the tickets for both days in Sapporo and decided to go through with the plan (Oh, I also looked for Yoyogi tickets but didn’t get them so I guess Sapporo it was). There were also three other friends going on the concert trip with me, so it was going to be a very exciting trip.
We arrived in Sapporo in the morning of D-1. Before I share about the concert itself, I want to share about another thing that I got to tick off my bucket list: going to see 2PM at the airport when they arrive in Japan! To be honest, we did consider this when choosing our flight arrival time in Sapporo, making sure we get there early so that if we want we can see them when they arrive. There were two possibilities of their arrival, at noon or at night. We were actually in doubt whether we would go to such extent to go back to the airport (since it’s far), but we got so excited when we got information from a very nice Japanese hottest that they’ll arrive at night on D-1. So that night, after cutting short our trip to Otaru (where Chansung once had his photoshoot for his photobook), we went all the way back to the airport. Around half an hour before their expected arrival time we went down to the international arrival hall and we didn’t expect to see so many Hottests already lined up there! They were very organised and all the fans were standing inside an area that was enclosed or barricaded, and the entrance to that area was guarded. We hesitantly approached and asked “2PM?” to the guard and he gestured us to go inside the barricade. I later realised the function of this barricade and the guard. My friend and I positioned ourselves in the third row, nearer to one end of the long walkway. I originally thought that they would come from the other end, so that we can watch them walk for quite a while.
However, after waiting around for some time, officials and guards started to focus their attention to the other end, and . . . there they were: 2PM boys getting out one by one. They hung around on that end for quite a while waiting for one another, so fans on that end were very lucky; and too bad we were clueless about getting the best position lol. Then they started to walk down the walkway one by one, starting with Junho, followed by Jun K, Wooyoung, and Nichkhun (I may have mixed up the order), and the two last ones were Taecyeon and Chansung. They all walked quite slowly and waved to fans. By the way, the security during that time was also quite strict. Just like in a concert, before 2PM came out officials constantly warned fans not to get their phones out, take pictures, etc. And this was the function of the barricade and the guard: After 2PM passed by, we could not go out immediately from the enclosed area where we were standing since the barricade was still closed and guarded. We had to wait for some time. Anyway, it was a really nice experience and got us hyped up for the concert the next day.
On the first day of the concert, we decided to go early to the venue because we had to line up for concert goods, to make sure we can buy everything on that first day so that we can relax on the second day. We arrived around an hour before the stalls opened and there was already a queueing line formed. When we arrived in Sapporo the day before, the weather was quite chilly, but on that day the sun decided to come out so it was very hot standing in line. From time to time when standing in line we could hear bells ringing and fans squealing, signaling that some lucky fans got the meet and greet tickets to see 2PM members after the concert. After getting our goods and storing them at the station lockers (which we made sure to book on our way to the venue since there weren’t many) we took pictures in front of the concert truck. On the second day we also took pictures using the Instagram boards; there was one board for each member.
On both days of the concert we entered the concert hall around an hour before it started. There was almost no queue going inside. We went through the process of getting our bags checked (only opening and showing the contents) and there was no body checking. The layout of the hall consisted of a main stage and a walkway with a substage at the end. This substage had transparent floor. On both days my friend and I got seats on the second floor. On the first day, we were positioned to the left side of the hall and very close to the main stage. This gave quite a good view of the main stage but we could not see clearly what happened on the substage and had to rely on the big screens. Luckily, for the second day we got seats on the opposite side of the hall that provided a good view of the substage. So it was a good combination. At approximately six o’clock (five o’clock on the second day), the concert started with an opening video and countdown. I was especially curious to see the opening because Wooyoung apparently was in charge of designing and producing it. He also designed 2PM’s costumes for this Arena Tour.
The opening definitely did not disappoint. The sounds and lights play were amazing and just got you really in the mood for the concert. The concert hall was literally filled with colorful laser lights shooting here and there, making the hall look like a big club. And then Souzou Shite Mite which is composed by Wooyoung and taken from their Galaxy of 2PM album started playing. For this, the members appeared one by one according to their parts. The song, with its ‘jungle sounds’, was very appropriate as an opening song and was really much better watching it performed live compared to just listening to it on the CD. 2PM’s costumes for this opening part was white pants, sleeveless T-shirt, and covered by white jackets. The jackets had patches of patterns on them. They then proceeded to perform Higher and the Japanese version of Go Crazy, Midaretemina. After pumping up the atmosphere with those three upbeat songs, they went into their first talk session, which they began by introducing themselves. Those that have attended or listened to 2PM’s Japan concerts must know that their talk sessions are as entertaining as their song performances. Going through the years performing in Japan, they have gotten more and more comfortable speaking Japanese on stage, though some members are more fluent than others due to having more activities in Japan. During the talk sessions they made jokes, threw around comments, twisted each others’ words, teased each other, and just generally had fun themselves. And it seemed to me that on this tour their talk sessions were longer than their usual ones. Unfortunately, my friend and I did not understand Japanese so we were just entertained by their gestures and laughters, later on referring to fanaccounts on Twitter.
Teaser and Set Me Free were up next after the talk session, both songs composed by members, Taecyeon and Junho, respectively. At around this time they have moved up to the substage. The mood for this session was still upbeat, and it was followed by Everybody. During the last part of Everybody I noticed Khun sneaking off first, and it turned out that the next performance was his unit song with Wooyoung, titled Kanojo, which Wooyoung composed. True enough, he appeared high on the mainstage with the spotlight shining on him, covering his face with an LP. When fans called out his name he revealed his face with a cute expression. When it was about Wooyoung’s turn to sing, the spotlight turned to Wooyoung who was sitting on a couch and hid his face behind a newspaper. The concept for the stage performance of this song was interesting as each of them showed their skills, Khun with his piano playing and Wooyoung with his DJ-ing. Personally, it took me some time to “get used” to the song when listening to the CD because of the different sounds incorporated on it, but on stage the performance was seamless. And it was nice to see that the stage included things that showed the two members’ interests, such as having a gramophone and LP (Wooyoung has been known to collect LPs). The stage ended with Wooyoung covering his face with the LP and Khun covering his face with the newspaper. For this stage Wooyoung and Khun wore a pants, long-sleeved shirt, tie, vest and blazer combination.
Afterwards they were joined by the other members, who wore the same concept outfit, minus the blazer. It was the style that I liked best in 2PM, showing their masculine yet sophisticated style. Khun was in green, Woo in red, Junho in orange, Taec in purple, Jun K in yellow and Chansung in blue. They appeared in line on the main stage, singing Wasurenaide, also a song composed by Taecyeon. This marked the next session of the concert that consisted of the more slow jam, easy listening songs. This song performance must be one of the most touching and maybe heartbreaking moments for Hottests in the concert because while they were singing the backdrop of the stage showed a video of photo collages from all their Japanese tours so far, as if taking everyone down memory lane. Combined with the song, which means “don’t forget”, it created an atmosphere that once again reminded Hottests it will probably take some time before they can see the group as six again. However, as if not wanting to create a sad atmosphere for their Hottests and wanting the fans to smile, the members performed So Wonderful next, a sweet song originally sang solo by Nichkhun. The song sounded fresh when performed by the six members (well it would feel different being sweet-talked by six handsome men compared to only one, right?). During the performance of this song they were on the substage, and the substage moved up towards the other end of the hall, going over the audience in the middle section. This provided opportunity for them to interact with the fans closer, not only those beneath them (since the floor was transparent) but also with those sitting further back on the first and second floors.
The next song still performed on the substage was Shining Star, a Chansung-composed song, which was a bright song where the members serenaded “you are my shining star, you are my shining moon” to the fans. Again, during this song they just danced freely and interacted with fans, waving, etc., thus the atmosphere was really happy and fun. At the end of this song, the substage was back to its original position, and it was time for their second talk session. Since Sapporo was Chansung’s day the focus of the second talk session was on him (each city stop was assigned to a different member where the member would answer a question from fans and sing a snippet of a song by himself live/acapella). On the first day of the concert Chansung sang a part of Sam Smith’s song titled Drowning Shadows, while on the second day he sang Forget Me Not, a Japanese song that he once sang during the Six Beautiful Days tour. The whole concert hall fell totally silent when Chansung sang, making his voice sounded very clear. I had to admit that I felt goosebumps (in a good way) listening to him sing with no music, by himself. It’s amazing how very much Chansung has improved from his first days in 2PM. During this talk session, again 2PM showed their class as all-around entertainers as they made audiences laugh with their comments and antics. One of the things I remember and could catch from this session was that Nichkhun had difficulties reading the question from the fan for Chansung as it was in Japanese but in Korean writing. However, he was being cute about it. There were a lot of interactions and exchanges between members during this session.
When it was time for the talk session to end some asssistants got up on stage carrying blazers and helped the members put them on. The next session of the concert would be the more “sexy” songs, started off by My House. A personal favorite, Merry-Go-Round was next, and there was a different formation of the choreography compared to the one I saw during Genesis of 2PM tour. Back then the dance with the dancers was in a round formation, while this time it was more in a line formation. I’m Your Man was next, complete with the tie dance and shirt ripping part, of course. Slender Man followed, performed on the main stage with dancers and with a rather dark concept, lights only focusing here and there when the members were singing. Before this song ended we could see Chansung sneaking off first, giving us a clue that Versus, his unit song with Junho, was next. As soon as the song ended we could also see Junho quickly running off to the backstage. Versus started with a short video, showing Junho and Chansung looking troubled and getting into fights with their girlfriends, basically giving a background story to the song. It is said that while Junho composed the song, Chansung was in charge of the short video and stage performance. For this performance each of them paired up with a female dancer, and the dance of both pairs became the main point of this performance. Their outfit was also suitable for the dance as they both wore loose fitting black pants paired with white shirts. They both started on the substage, but at some point during the song, while the spotlight was on Junho and his dance partner, Chansung was suddenly already at the main stage, followed not long after by Junho. The performance ended with them throwing looks at each other and each exiting the stage through doors that were lighted with their respective colors, Junho yellow, Chansung purple.
Taecyeon appearing high on the main stage carrying a NO LOVE X Ok Cat flag marked the beginning of their medley performance. The intro to Jun K’s Everest played, pumping up the atmosphere once more. The medley performance in this concert is different from their usual ones, where the members each just sang one song. This time, each member will sing bits of two songs – another member’s solo song and his own solo song. Thus, Taecyeon was joined by Jun K in singing Everest, then later Wooyoung replaced Taec. After finished singing Everest, Wooyoung and Jun K continued with Wooyoung’s Blue Light. Jun K exchanged places with Nichkhun still singing Blue Light, then Nichkhun and Wooyoung sang another one of Khun’s sweet song, Miss Wonderful. By this time they have moved to the substage already. After a while Wooyoung got off stage and was replaced by Junho. Junho and Khun wonderfully sang Miss Wonderful, followed by Junho’s Japanese solo title song this year, So Good. Chansung replaced Khun and both him and Junho finished off So Good with its signature dance. There was one point during So Good when each of them showed off their dancing. Then Junho was back again on the main stage, the spotlight on him while dancing to the intro music of Chansung’s Oh. This was one of my favorite moments in the medley. After singing some of the first verses he got off stage and Chansung was joined by Taecyeon, the first performer, making the whole performance a full circle.
After Oh ended, both Taecyeon and Chansung just froze on stage with silly faces, each waiting for the other to start singing I Love You You Love Me. Later on they were joined by the other members and dancers, creating a fun and cheerful atmosphere. It was really cute seeing all the members dancing to the choreography of I Love You You Love Me. They ended the song by belting out ‘Meow Meow’ sounds with their hands doing cat paw gestures, still continuing even after the music stopped. What’s funny was that not all members seem to be amused doing this and showed a forced expression hahaha (on purpose, of course). Another talk session followed, where among other things they talked and explained about their unit songs. Junho and Chansung played rock paper scissors to decide who would explain their unit song, and I was not clear whether Chansung really lost or not, but it was him that finally explained the song. Junho was standing to his side imitating him and translating what he said using body language, as if that was necessary lol. Also at one point during this session, while Chansung was speaking to the audience Taecyeon and Junho made it look like they were sticking their fingers in Chansung’s ears on the big screen. The members also made Chansung do a line from Everest with an “old man” style.
During this time of course the audience knew that only a few songs were left in the concert. After the talk, they performed 10 out of 10, 2PM’s debut song that is never absent on a 2PM concert. The twist for this tour’s 10 out of 10 performance was that they would imitate a sport at some points during the song. In Sapporo, at one point they imitated fishing, where one of the members looked like he was pulling a fishing line, and Junho (if I’m not mistaken) pretended he got hooked by his hoodie. At the end of the song they imitated bowling. Wooyoung was the bowling ball on both days and the other members and dancers stood around as pins. On the first concert day, Nichkhun tried to avoid Wooyoung but one of the dancers tried to hold him. While on the second day, everybody just avoided Wooyoung and he rolled and rolled until he went to the backstage area and couldn’t be seen. The audience broke into a laugh seeing him rolling back again to the stage. Another song that has become a staple song in a 2PM concert, Hands Up, was next. During the climax of the song, there were explosions of silver tapes containing the members’ messages, raining on the audience sitting on the arena area. After Hands Up ended the members waited before going on to the next song, as they saw fans still busy collecting the silver tapes. They also used this opportunity to catch their breath and introduce their next song, their Japanese debut song, Take Off. (On the second day, a concert official brought some of the silver tapes to the second floor audience. Also, when we were queueing to enter the train station after the concert there was a Japanese hottest waiting on the side distributing some of the extra silver tapes that she had)
There was one unit song left to be performed, which was Taecyeon and Jun K’s 50:50 so after Take Off ended we could see the prologue video for the song. This was actually one of my favorite performance of the concert because the performance gave you a more complete and different experience, compared to just listening to the CD. The concept of the performance was that Jun K and Taecyeon had their own style and entourage of dancers, Jun K and his dancers with hip hop style while Taecyeon and his entourage wore suits (on the second day Taec wore a fur lined long coat over his suit). At the part where the song went “Do you wanna play the game?” Taecyeon and Jun K played rock paper scissors to decide who was going to do the next rap part. Jun K won on the first day, so naturally Taecyeon won on the second day, allowing the fans to see both members doing the part.
After 50:50 ended, there was a brief pause before fans were given a video on screen, showing the behind-the-scene preparation for this tour. Ah, this concert was really going to end already. After the video ended, the members silently appeared on stage again, already wearing their tour concert T-shirts. It was time for The Time We Spent Together, composed by Junho, another heart-breaking song for Hottests, as it reminded them of bidding farewell to 2PM for a while. The members sang this song while just standing up on the main stage and all this while their name initial logos lighted and rotated above them, making the audience just focused on the members and the moment. After the song ended it was time for the final talk session. Hottests may have noticed that the final talk sessions on this tour were more emotional and meaningful than previous tours. On previous stops before Sapporo some members were emotionally moved, and in Sapporo it was Chansung that could not hold back his tears. One of the reasons for this was that his parents attended the concert on both days. As it was Chansung’s day he was the last one to give his farewell talk, and he got more emotional when speaking of his parents. Finally, when giving a message to his parents (in Korean) he could not hold back his tears and he had to stop and stepped back. Seeing this, the other members took over, with Taecyeon and Junho continuing the talk and Jun K comforting Chansung. On the second day, though, Chansung managed to control his emotions better, as he said that his parents said he shouldn’t cry on stage again lol. 2PM’s final speech contained the message that even though it will take some time before they will be back again, they promised to be back as six, and asked fans to wait for them. After the teary session, though, they pumped up the atmosphere again with Talk about Your Love. The encore session then ended with Next Generation, where they were joined by fans in raising up and twirling their muffler towels.
After the song ended the members did not directly go backstage. They took their time going around to the various corners of the stages, bowing, waving and saying good bye to fans. The members did as much as they could to wave goodbye to fans in every section and floor. Members like Taecyeon and Jun K tried to read some of the banners that the fans carried. At one point I saw Junho kissing his penpen stuffed key chain merchandise and threw it to the fans. Nichkhun also threw one of his merchandise (I could not see clearly what it was) to the crowd. And of course, the ending of a 2PM concert would not be complete without Chansung throwing his signed T-shirt to the crowd.
2PM showed how much they have grown and matured, both as musicians and performers. They have more and more member-composed songs in their repertoire and their talk sessions are as entertaining as their performances. Their performances were fresh because they made some changes and twists to how they performed some of the songs. The unit songs also showed the different musical colors of the members. Their live singing was also something to be proud of. Although we left the concert feeling sad not knowing when we’ll see them again, it was a very satisfying and fitting “good bye” – hopefully not for long – to 2PM until we can see them again as a group, hopefully even more matured and fresh.
- Souzou Shite Mite
Talk session 1
- Set Me Free
- Wasurenaide/Don’t Forget
- So Wonderful
- Shining Star
Talk Session 2
- My House (Japanese version)
- I’m Your Man
- Slender Man
- Medley (Everest, Blue Light, Miss Wonderful, So Good, Oh, I Love You You Love Me)
- 10 out of 10
- Hands Up
- Take Off
- The Time We Spent Together
- Talk About Your Love
- Next Generation
Written by @kunti_rini, photos by @kunti_rini and @cindydira