Following a brief moment of dismay towards the announcement of a domestic in-person concert came the realization of a livestream opportunity for global fans. Ahgases have waited patiently for the members to regroup again, and the comeback announcement had brought nothing short of delirious excitement.
The term "homecoming" was especially fitting, for it implied a grand return: GOT7's return to a scene where they rightfully belonged. Whether it be performing on stage in front of screaming ahgases or broadcast channels via YouTube content, they would, after this long, grueling period, be seen together - seven as one unit - once more.
True ahgases will remain for certain and, what's more, support the members' individual pursuits to foster a stronger sense of awareness in the global music market.
I was terrified of being unable to fall asleep.
I was terrified of not being able to login to the KAVECON portal.
I was terrified of internet lag and laptop memory issues impacting the stream.
I was terrified of being unable to fall back asleep to lug myself to pilates class, which was too late to reschedule without a fee.
Though the sleepy polar bear delivered me back to my point of residence later than desired, then tacked on additional time for a sluggish farewell, I didn't end up eating any earlier than a normal day. The last third of the Green Apple Soju assisted in setting a tranquil tone before bed. Around 10:20 PM, I set my alarm for 2:55 AM and crawled underneath the covers, dreading what four hours would do to me.
I managed to wake up on time. Brushing away crusty eyes with water, I dragged myself to the login page and readied myself beside Larry, ahgabong in hand. At 3:05 AM, the event commenced.
The setlist would be as follows:
Ahgases had the opportunity to hear about alcohol tolerances and funny side stories. We learned that Jinyoung now likes soju and whiskey with chicken feet, Youngjae the classic Korean combo of samgyeopsal + soju, Yugyeom's indifference toward soju and recent interest whiskey, Mark's Asian flush, Jay B's memorable Suntory experience, Jackson on Hennessy + 고령주, and BamBam on beer and ambiance.
Particularly memorable from the setlist was Playground, which had persisted as my ringtone from the moment I had entered the fandom to my inevitable phone retirement in 2019. The track brought back memories of their older tracks and albums - all of which I have collected, minus the repackaged editions. For those inquisitive about the current ringtone, it is none other than FACE (for there is never a single moment I do not miss GOT7 and their faces.)
Impressive to me was the ceaseless appeal and dynamism of Jay B's and Youngjae's voices. Their vocals were as clear and robust as ever. Similarly, Jinyoung exhibited no shortage of skills, gleefully showing off choreography from their debut days and hitting falsettos with a smile. Despite his time away from Korean, Mark's recollection of the language and old choreography was also very impressive. Needless to say, BamBam was flawless in the execution of every department - reasonably so, given his frequent schedule performance and MC activities in both Korea and Thailand. I will note Jackson and Yugyeom's loss of vocal capabilities during the concert. While Yugyeom was experiencing hoarseness from vocal strain, Jackson seemed to require a longer period for familiarization of the Korean language and reaching the key demanded by group tracks.
Needless to say, the most impressive aspect to note was the group's growth over the past 2.5 years. Whether operating solo or together as seven, their progression as artists is undeniable. Their sound has matured, and so have their outlooks in tackling the future. Ahgases have also grown with them: a commenter noted that they had become a fan in their last year of elementary school (age 12 in Korea) and that they were now graduating high school (age 20 in Korea).
FANCON, a brand new logo, and the release of GOT7 the album signifies a new start to the group as artists in their own right. Welcome home, GOT7. (I wonder why you didn't sing My Home after all.)
And don't worry Youngjae, we aren't going anywhere. This love is for you guys and you guys only.
The class would, once again, be led by the studio owner. My go-to instructor was nowhere to be seen!
As with the previous week, we would commence with a warm-up of stretches: hamstring stretches with the heel placed at the edge of the Bosu and child's pose on the Carriage.
Countering each exercise was a stretch for release, primarily focusing on the back and chest. Lower body exercises were near-nonexistent. Most of the routines were also executed at surprisingly low spring levels, which meant little challenge for any part of the body beyond the arms.
I was later informed of our regular instructor's illness-induced absence. I relayed my hope for the instructor's speedy recovery, partially for herself and partially for me.
This visit saw the acquisition of Rice Financiers, a rice flour twist on the French pastry, and two styles of traditional Korean rice cakes.
While the difference in construction is unknown to me, 찰떡 appears as a softer, stickier rice cake with properties normally associated with glutinous rice flour, albeit less sweet than Chinese desserts involving the ingredient. In contrast, 설기 is fluffier and less dense, boasting cake-like qualities with the chewiness of rice flour. More investigation is needed to deduce definitive differences.
That said, we enjoyed these to a greater degree than the rice cakes. The Yuzu was refreshing, while the Coffee was decadent with bits of chocolate folder within. Neither were particularly satiating, allowing sampling of the rice cakes in the same sitting.
The portion was gargantuan for its price, so I reserved half for a later meal. Supper saw sauce seepage rectified via reheating in a toaster oven. It was much better.