Well, it was an experience. An amazingly wonderful, frustrating yet satisfying experience. I would do most of it again.
I mainly went because I wanted to see G-Dragon before he went to the military. I haven’t seen him perform since 2014 up in the nosebleeds at KCONLA and I wanted to make sure I saw him by himself at least once.
So lets’s start from Day 1 of my adventure. I’ve been working a hella lot of overtime at work. Superiors don’t really like that so they make you cut hours (am I right or what, people?) so I asked my manager if I could cut them by leaving early, she agreed.
This didn’t sit too well with the person that had to cover me but I didn’t let it bother me too much because it had to be done and I felt better knowing I had hours to prepare for my flight.
I ended up re-packing my luggage for the third time, taking a taxi and finally heading out to my flight. The trek to my hotel was from the train to train, but I forgot that Metra trains don’t take Venta cards (this happened to me twice on this trip) so I ended up paying cash fare but that was whatever.
I made it to my stop and walked to the HOLY GRAIL, AKA DUNKIN DONUTS. Like I said in my video (which I’ll post below) I hadn’t eaten since that morning (but actually I remember having a quick bowl of ramen noodles when I got home around 12), so I was starving.
At my hotel, finally. I took a shower because it’s just as hot, sticky and gross in Chicago as it is here where I live. Also, Lush is great. Just saying.
Anyway, After a restful…five-ish hour nap, I got up, got ready, spent two hours straightening my hair with two different irons, headed out to Starbucks…only to have it frizz out within the first 10 minutes.
Anyway, I got coffee, put my burrito in my purse and ran to the train to get to the Chicago Skydeck.
That’s where I met up with my friend Ashley, whom I had spent time with at KCONLA 2015.
We got to the building, got our tickets, pre-experience green-screen photos and sat down to the educational film just in time for the last, I’d say three minutes.
Which meant we went directly to the Sky Deck. We bypassed the merchandise table and went straight in line to the glass decks to get our pictures taken, and headed back out.
The experience alone is $23 for an adult, photos cost around $40 for all of them ($10 for your Sky Deck photo, $30 for your prints of your green-screen photos).
So after that we headed out to Chinatown and went to a store that sold Japanese/Chinese goods. That’s where I bought my friend her souvenirs and I got myself some really cute Rilakkuma and Hello Kitty chopsticks and an umbrella. I didn’t have time to think about grabbing my own, and everyone in the Facebook groups kept saying United didn’t allow umbrellas.
HOWEVER, ONCE I GOT THERE I FIGURED OUT I DID, BUT GUESS WHO DIDN’T BRING HER NEWLY BOUGHT UMBRELLA TO THE CONCERT, YEAH THAT’S RIGHT IT WAS MEEEE.
Anyway, back to what I was doing beforehand.
We went to the K-Pop shop, which is aptly named K-Pop of Chinatown (apparently they have a Facebook, but they haven’t updated it in awhile).
I spent more than I bargained for…and by ‘more’ I mean I thought I’d spend between $50-$80 and ended up spending a little over $113.
To be fair though, most of it was M.O.T.T.E merchandise. My shirt cost $19.99, the hat was $12.99 and the jacket was $39.99. Not to mention I bought an album that I’ll be reviewing soon.
Afterwards we went to T Baar, a milk tea store nearby. It smells really nice in there. It’s a nice, small setup but it’s neat and the service was great. We then headed to Dosirak, a Korean restaurant a little ways away. We met up with other people in our fandom region (Green US Nasties; EYK fandom). After that we headed to the United Center to line up for pre-concert benefits.
As a VIP you are entitled to early entry shopping for merchandise, soundcheck VIP goody bags. Pretty much the stuff listed below:
Okay, so we were let in early. A little before 5, somewhere around 4:30 if I remember correctly. I was at the front of the line with a group of other people.
But instead of us shopping beforehand, we were rushed into line. We did get our bags with our laminates. Then we stood in line until after 6. The email we all received stated a specific time that we were to be there or we would miss our benefits. For Bronze, it was to arrive before 5:30.
Instead, the venue forced us to wait for the stragglers, whom the people in the front of the line directed to the back because there was no way we were letting those people cut us when we had actually bothered to show up on time.
So we’re waiting and we hear what sounds like soundcheck, so we get super pissed. The nice security lady went with another guy who was in front of the line with us to go ask about that stuff several times. The first time she thanked us for our patience and informed us that it was going to be late. The next time she came she said the show was going to start late and that there was no set time as to when soundcheck would begin because they were waiting for all VIP concert goers to show up.
That was bullshit. The email stated a specific time to show up by OR YOU WOULD MISS IT. You should have let those people in late or maybe not at all, because literally every tier was stuck waiting for people, and Gold and Bronze had to wait for the rest of Silver to show up because Silver was the biggest group with the most amount of late people.
However, thanks to the people I was in line with for keeping me company. I know it was crazy, but we made it.
During soundcheck, G-Dragon came out in what looked like velvet pajama pants, a large green coat and a black beanie. He looked super tired, half asleep even. He ended up poking himself in the eye with the end of his microphone at one point. He also seemed really irritated, and his microphone and ear piece weren’t working properly during soundcheck. He was pretty toned down for soundcheck.
During the time between the end of soundcheck and the concert, I managed to lose my concert ticket.
THAT’S RIGHT, I HAD HELD ON TO THAT PIECE OF SHIT THE ENTIRE TIME, ONLY TO LOSE IT AFTER SOUND CHECK. I looked everywhere. In the end, I had to go to the box office. Luckily, they printed off a copy for me and I headed back.
I went over to the merch booth and asked a lady about lightsticks. I had heard in line outside that they had been sold out and didn’t come with batteries. “Well, it says $35,” and when I asked about batteries, she rudely and loudly said, “NO, you’ll have to leave and go buy them yourself.” Like damn, bitch. I was just making sure.
I ended up not buying any merchandise. I did look around a little more to make sure I wasn’t going to buy anything.
I ended up getting some pizza and soda before the concert. I got a lot of compliments on my outfit too. People even asked where I got my shirt. That made me blush a little bit.
Come time for the concert though, the entire thing went wonderfully. There was a time during one of his monologues where he got really emotional and we started chanting his name. He smiled and began jamming and nodding along going “aaaay, aaay, aaay,” it was so cute.
We had like, three encores and it was amazing. The concert was great. I had a great seated section, we were all pretty respectful, we were dancing, laughing, chatting, it was great.
Near the end of the concert, during the last encore, he came down and around the stage. I remember a moment specifically where I laughed because people were reaching out for him. He came kinda close and then just SWERVED. He swerved so hard y’all it was hilarious.
Afterwards we all drove back to my friend’s hotel and I had to get all my stuff from her room.
Problem was, I missed the last train by 10 minutes. so I spent almost an hour trying to get an Uber. I was talking with my friend and she came down and helped me figure out an alternative (Lyft) and it went pretty smoothly. I was out of there three minutes later.
I then used Lyft this morning after my four hour nap (I got back to the hotel a little before 2 AM) to get to the airport. It felt hectic because when I got to the airport I hadn’t eaten yet so I went straight to Starbucks. I waited half an hour in line and then 20+ minutes for my one drink after I was immediately given my pound cake (the lemon kind, just in case I couldn’t get food in time). Luckily for myself, a McDonalds was right next to my terminal so I grabbed some food with some more waiting.
I ate my food so fast I surprised myself, but I hadn’t eaten anything since that one slice of pizza the night before so I was STARVING.
After that it was just a nerve-wracking wait to get on the plane. I took a two hour nap, got off the plane, waited for my taxi and finally came home. I’ve been in the state for a little over six hours now.
I can’t wait for my next adventure…next week! I’m heading to California. Until next time!
Follow this link to take a look at my G-Dragon M.O.T.T.E gallery, and look below for the closest I will possibly ever be to G-Dragon: