On Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, GOT7 was in Houston for the very first time.
The process of buying tickets on its own proved to be a small taste what the fanmeet would be like. After a night out with friends in December, we all set our alarms in preparation to buy our tickets. The first tries only got us to up to P2, and afraid that we would not get better tickets, we decided to stay with those. Afterward, my friend cried: we had been close to not getting any VIP tickets at all. Just how she cried over almost not getting VIP tickets, I myself cried after I got home from the fanmeet in January.
After waiting for many hours outside in the cold — something very foreign for Houston — P1 ticket holders were called inside the venue. It took about an hour or so for P2s to be called in as well. My friends and I took turns holding the spot in line while the others went to get their wristbands and snacks. There were some girls with blankets, and food was also dropped off for a couple of people. Banners were handed out too. Everything felt like it was out of a movie.
Once inside, fans waited for the boys to appear as they listened to songs by GOT7; some even danced in their seats. It was incredible to hear so many people singing along to songs in Korean outside of South Korea. It showed the love fans feel toward not only GOT7 but also other K-pop groups. Once most the fans were inside the venue, “Hard Carry” started playing and the boys walked on the stage. They started out by singing “Let Me” and “Prove It,” and I had not heard so many screaming girls since I was in middle school going to pop-rock concerts. They then moved on to questions from fans: each member picked out a question from the question board. Not only are the members of GOT7 amazing performers, they are also great entertainers.
Seven lucky girls were picked to go on stage through a ticket raffle for the games with fans. The boys began reading out the numbers from the tickets they had each picked. After every two numbers read, you could hear a sea of disappointed fans that hadn’t been selected. Before the lucky ones went up to the stage, the boys played random play dance. They divided themselves between the three oldest members against the four youngest, and with a bit of begging from Jinyoung, the three oldest members won by a landslide. With a game of rock, paper, scissors, BamBam was chosen to receive the punishment for his team. He had to sing the classic song “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” but instead of singing, BamBam did his own rap version. Afterward, the seven fans went on stage for a paired game of jegi, or hacky sack; Jinyoung’s team won. After giving his partner a gift and walking her off stage, the fan games ended.
The fans were touched by Jinyoung speaking English toward the end of the fanmeet. He opened up to the them about feeling bad that he couldn’t communicate well with all of his international fans, and the crowd often replied with “aw” after every couple of words. With pinky fingers in the air, BamBam made ahgases promise to wait only for GOT7 and lock ourselves in our rooms until their return. The fanmeet ended with an encore of “Home Run.”
Once P1 and P2 ticket holders were the only ones left in the venue, we were ushered into lines to get on stage for the VIP benefits. At this point, I was already faint from screaming and not having had any water for hours. But before I knew it, I was already walking up the steps to the stage. I was caught off guard by a simple “hi” from Jinyoung, and the rest of the hi-touch was already over. It felt rushed; we only had a few seconds with each member. I was too dumbfounded to even say “hi,” and it wasn’t until the following morning that all of the emotions and memories became more vivid. It felt like a dream. Even after having watched the videos I took of the event all over again, I still cannot believe it really happened. I had been waiting for what seemed years to meet them, and it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Featured image from SubKulture Entertainment.