Weeks have passed in contemplation of the correct method of presenting my woes in a manner not to be incorrectly perceived as haughtiness, or worse, ungratefulness.
In reality, there is no inaccurate way of expressing my frustrations; my observations are subjective, but my intentions pure and unbiased.
The Toronto leg of B.A.P's Live On Earth Awake, organized by KpopMe, was a disgusting mess of unruly, undisciplined Tumblr addicts wallowing amongst the highest level of disorganization. There, I said it.
While tickets for the Vancouver show had been sold from Ticketmaster, one of the most reliable ticket retailers, the Toronto show was sold exclusively utilizing a laggy, inefficient system set up by Massey Hall / Roy Thomson Hall. Not only did the website crash several times on different browsers, majority of the time, the page wasn't even capable of loading.
While frequenting the downtown core, I knew that Roy Thomson was only a five minute walk from where I would be. Yet, as luck would have it, the only type of tickets that were not sold in physical form were for Elite Baby seats. As the highest tier available, these ticket holders would have access to General Admission seating and a High Touch session with the six group members following the show.
Needless to say, all of the above claims regarding the ticket "perks" were proven false come showtime.
I boarded my train sometime after 6 pm, camera-less and sporting my B.A.P wristbands with a considerable amount of pride.
"The doors won't be open until 6:30 pm" was a statement that had been declared by KpopMe prior to the concert. Thus, I headed to the Eaton Centre for dinner first, regrettably losing one of my much-adored wristbands along the way.
But lineups aren't always horrible. Some move particularly swiftly, while others are, unfortunately, not so speedy.
I was able to catch the wandering glance of a friend, who had already been hovering outside for a solid twenty minutes. "I'm going in now!" she called out to me as she neared the door. "But I have a normal ticket though, so you might need to join the other lineup!"
Puzzled, I asked one of the nametag-donning middle-aged men, "Where is the Elite Baby line?".
He gestured to proceed around the corner. Not even five steps past this corner was the longest, most poorly arranged lineup I had ever witnessed. It twisted and turned beneath temporary pillars and through construction barriers, trailing onwards past St. Michael's hospital, until it finally ended some hundreds of wide-eyed adolescents later at a dreary section of Victoria St.
The line eventually divided into two smaller lineups, and ticket holders were rudely shoved into the venue after a hostile bag check. While I had two members of security threatening to toss me out of the venue over the mere possession of an unopened water bottle, they had casually permitted those with small-format cameras to pass, despite having full knowledge of the imposed photography and videography pan. Why was this happening??
The show did not commence at 8 pm as advertised though. However, that was the least of my concerns - I was seated in the spot I had rightfully purchased and had not missed a second of the performance.
I, along with several other girls in my row, stood up in confusion. The group had not entered, nor had they demanded anyone to stand. And before I knew it, the entire General Admission floor was standing, for reasons beyond me as it had been completely clear that we had paid for seated spots.
But the first few rows refused to regain their seated position. As if on cue, several girls from the rows behind us ran up the front of the stage, while others hopped over the seats and stood in front of our row. The show soon commenced with the members confidently striding onto the stage in single file.
At this point, the sole security guard situated at the front of the stage showed absolute disconcert for any of the girls' actions. He enforced one point and one point only: "Don't block the cameraman."
The unruly pre-teens were certainly alright with that. One by one, they pulled out their phones, each lifting higher than the other for the purpose of obtaining the "best" footage of their idols. It was a repulsive sight.
I fumed. This was not fair play.
While I had specifically shelled out a few hundred to sit in the fifth row for this concert, I could not comprehend why I had been forced to remain standing behind rows upon rows of rambunctious, ill-mannered citizens simply to gape at the group's performances between bobbling heads, shaky hands, and a sea of low quality LED screens.
WHY HAD SECURITY NOT ENFORCED THIS TREACHERY?!?!?
I missed out the solo performances.
I couldn't see what happened on the stage.
I wasn't able to make out the members expressions through the few gaps I was peering through.
Instead, I found myself standing in a rundown theatre, with a solid, screaming barrier of electronic recording devices that had no place in a concert hall.
I had paid to see one of my favourite groups perform in front of my very eyes, not to witness the barricading of the stage for the sake of obtaining fancams to post on the Internet.
This was a concert, an experience only capable to be fully enjoyed upon interaction between the audience and the performer.
For the first time in my endless history of concert participation, I questioned why I had even bothered to attend.
The concert itself was breathtaking. It was unreal to witness the boys of B.A.P sing and dance in such close proximity. Since their performance at The Warfield in San Francisco, the group has matured significantly. Their performances this time had been shifted to fan interaction; through the selection of their newer, more carefree songs, as well as reduced intensity of dance segments, the six members were able to reserve energy to put towards maintaining smiles and cheerful dispositions as the show progressed.
Of course, I was nowhere thrilled when I discovered that Zelo's dance solo involved interactions with the floor of the stage, as the phone camera-barrier had shielded it completely from view. Even those from the more economically-priced balcony levels were capable of seeing the segment without obstructions, yet my viewing rights had been forcefully removed by the other attendees.
Lo and behold, the boys of B.A.P were standing right there! In one of the narrowest hallways I've ever sauntered through so confused, they were there, giving out high-fives to fans while being separated by, for lack of better terminology, lineup poles.
It could have undeniably been one of the most wonderfully fleeting moments of my life, yet I had been utterly confused to the point where I can't even recall the members' faces. Likewise, they had probably been equally confused.
I mean, wide-eyed teenage girls were being rushed by them in a blur of high fives - who wouldn't be?
The moment had concluded before I even became aware of my surroundings, and all I could remember was someone trying to snatch my phone and thrust me forward for hand-shaking instead of high-fives.
Talk about some lovely organizational skills.
As a concluding statement, I can truthfully declare the following:
I have never attended a concert so poorly planned as such. From the ticket sales to seating arrangements to enforcing discipline among fans, to organizing a simple high-touch event, KpopMe's supposed hard work and much-endured efforts resulted in nothing more than a repulsively disorganized meetup.
The lack of properly executed planning was an exhibit of utter disgrace to a group of insurmountable popularity such as B.A.P, and an even bigger disappointment to those that purchased tickets in hopes of being able to properly enjoy their performance without interference.
I'm not complaining; I'm simply stating the facts.