Wow, where do I even start. Toronto K-Pop Convention was a hit with the fans of K-Pop and also a hit with Nu’est, feeling loved by Canadian fans. The con started off with various panels for the choosing, as well as dance lesson section set up. I made my way to the main panel area where Clinton, Henry Lau older brother, shed some light on his brother’s way to stardom. He started talking about how Henry told him he made it into SM Entertainment, but he didn’t realize just how far his brother made it till he was on the red carpet with Jackie Chan. It was that moment Clinton explained to fans that he knew that his brother was really a star.
Cj Kim also had time at the main panel area, she got K-Pop fans attention by asking “Do you want to see Big Bang, EXO and BTS…?” she paused a bit and then continued to say “then sit down”. Several fans sat down wanting to hear what she could possibly be hinting at. She talked about working with Block B and how come Toronto is not asking for a Block B concert. She went on to talk about stories of her making her way into the kpop industry. She asked the people in the crowd what artist do they want to see and 3 groups stood out; Bangtan Boys, EXO, and SHINee. Cj Kim said that she will speak to her bosses in regards about those 3 groups, and that if fans really want to see them, to make they go on MyMusicTaste.com and make a post about it.
At another section in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, there was another set up of panels, filled with YouTube guests. Fans lined up to take turns speaking with various YouTuber’s, as they gave eager fans their autographs, took selfie’s and sent them off with hugs. Now that is what you call a meet and greet! Some fans couldn’t even believe that they were able to experience that much interaction with them, but each guest speaker made sure to make their fans feel comfortable and interact with fans as if they are friends from long time and are seeing each other after a long time, even making jokes with each other.
TKC15 was off to a great start. People from all over came together to share a common interest in Kpop music. There were various tables set up where fans could buy CD’s, fanart, hats and clothing of their kpop groups. A lot of fans were gathered around Sarah & Tom set up, where they were selling Kpop cd’s, posters and calendars. There was even cosplay as well at the con, as expected.
With so much going on already with panels, dance classes and various vendors where you can spend your money on kpop related items to your heart’s content, fans were still in store for major treat. Although it started a little behind schedule the Canada Dream concert was definitely worth the wait. Whether it was singing, dancing, or rapping, each performer gave it their all out there on the stage. EAST2WEST really stood out for me, 1 because they had a lot of members and, 2 their dancing was on point as they tackled hard choreography from EXO and BTS.
There was a great mix of girl group dance covers as well as guys. I really loved Something by Girl’s Day, performed by OHDT Ft. KKD’s Tony and ‘The It Girls’ Sophie and so did the crowd. All these dance group came out on the stage and laid it all out there, and was rewarded as the crowd screamed for them, as if they were actually the group of the cover they were dancing to. Ottawa Hallyu dance team in collaboration with Kapital K-Dance, finished off the ongoing intense dance cover that livened the crowd with BTS Intro Performance Trailer. All performers came back out on stage to sing Pop GoesTheWorld theme song together as the first concert of the night came to an end.
The moment fans have been waiting for, fanmeet with their group Nu’est. Due to a little delay in schedule the Hi Touch session would happen after the concert rather than before. That didn’t bother the fans at all, they just wanted to see their group on the stage. For what seemed like forever which was probably 3 long minutes in reality, fans screamed their lungs out and waved their light sticks, chanting for their group to finally to take the stage. As if it wasn’t already deafening from the screams, it got even louder once Nu’est hit the stage!
The screams were loud throughout the whole entire concert, it was so much that sometimes Nu’est teased the fans to be quiet for a bit, and then for the crowd to get louder moments after. You could tell that they were having fun and putting on the best show possible for Toronto fans, despite the 13 hours plane ride and barely 2 hours worth of sleep. The boys hit every dance move, and sang great and remained professional even when there was technical difficulties with the mic.
Cj Kim did translation for the boys as they spoke to their fans. Nu’est expressed that they were disappointed that none of the performers covered any of their songs, but they forgave them, for the immense love they have shown them since they stepped foot on the stage. Aaron even joked that he told the members they can’t go on the stage after seeing how great Toronto dancers covers are.
With the show winding down, Nu’est performed Faces, their debut song, which fans loved and they even had a surprise for the group, especially for Baekho, who was really touched by the notion. JR expressed that although it was a long travel, he would definitely like it if Toronto fans were to invite them back again, so that they can have another chance to have this feeling with the fans again, soon. Afterwards the boys said thank you and good night to the fans, but the fans weren’t having it. They started chanting “one more song” “encore” and “Nu’est” and the boys answered their calling by performing a few more songs for the fans while telling them to get on their feet. The concert ended on a high note, for everyone involved, staffs, fans and Nu’est alike.
With all that being said, BRING ON TKC16!!! It can only get better from here on out.
Special thanks to the Toronto Kpop Con Team, for providing us access to cover TKC15.