Act III: M.O.T.T.E (Moment Of Truth The End) in Seoul June 10, 2017
I got my ticket online. I embarked on a journey to finally see “The Korean Phenomenal Idol”, G-Dragon. He clearly stated during the concert that he came back not as GD or G Dragon but as KWON JI YONG.
I arrived in Seoul World Cup Stadium. I was so excited I reserved the day entirely for the concert. Before noon, I took the subway train wondering which exit is near the ticket booth. Luckily, the subway was filled with fans heading for the concert (you can distinguish from their shoes -Vans, the shirts and bags are BIGBANG merchandise, plus the light stick). I just followed where they were headed and alas, I am at my destination.
The area was bustling with fans and businessmen selling all types of GD and BIGBANG merchandise, food and even ticket scalpers. Big tents were scattered in the area housing YG official merchandise for M.O.T.T.E., a separate tent for M.O.T.T.E DVD, album (USB), YG Auction tent for those claiming online merchandise orders, another row of tents housed the sellers of M.O.T.T.E package ticket which includes rehearsal, and the tent at the end for onsite ticket buyers. GD’s posters and music adorned the area.
Fans were lining up to have their selfies with GD backdrops. YG was raking in money based on how fans were lining up and buying everything on display. International fans came in droves to support GD. At around 2 p.m., those who bought package tickets patiently lined up in rows depending on who organized the event.
A great mixture of crowd: Young and old, males and females, and LGBT came in full support. International fans came in droves too. They carried luggage bags and boxes for the merchandise stash. GD cosplayers were scene stealers. Colored hair and GD’s fashion was the theme outfit of most V.I.P.s.
Stadium entrance was done in a very orderly way. Fans lined up on their respective gates as early as 3 p.m. Fans were streaming GD’s new releases, singing and dancing while waiting. The concert started past 8 p.m.
M.O.T.T.E. in Seoul’s theme color is RED. The stage was simple, no grand set-up. Huge screens were on both sides of the stage and another set were poised on the top center-most part of the 2nd floor seats. VIP guests were housed in separate viewing rooms on the west side of the stadium. You can hear cheers once celebrity guests come in (I only saw Taeyang and Lee Soo Hyuk using my binoculars. Too sad I was not able to catch a glimpse on my other favorite BIGBANG member, Daesung, sigh).
While waiting for the concert proper, music videos were shown and fans were singing along. When the stage light came in, fans screamed and stood up to welcome GD! “Heartbreaker” was the opening salvo. Light sticks were on, everybody was dancing and screaming. It was a big party scene as GD and the fans came as one. I thought the whole stadium was literally shaking. The staff and ushers were not strict and a lot of people were recording using their phones and cameras.
I could not believe GD could fill the stadium up to the rafters. GD was as big as my hand from my 2nd floor seat, yet people paid to fill up the 3rd floor seats. I guess, they too watched the entire concert via the big screens.
I had been to several concerts in the Philippines, but Seoul concerts left me dumbfounded. The crowd was LIT! A group of male fans a few seats behind me knew all the lyrics of GD’s songs, and my seatmate was literally blasting my ear with her screams. We were all jumping to the beat and singing our hearts out. GD was too shy and awkward when he is not singing. His voice was barely audible during MC time.
He was so thin and so small, but he owned the stage when he performs. When the music starts, he struts and gyrates with gusto. He started with old songs like Breathe, A Boy, But I Love You, Obsession (here a fan sneaked up on stage and hugged GD), Michigo, etc. CL of 2NE1 made a surprise appearance towards the last part of the R.O.D. song. People were cheering loudly as they started their next song “We the Leaders”. GD’s entire wardrobe were all in red, literally garbed from head to toe. CL was also in red, wearing a red spaghetti strapped leather dress with a high cut slit baring her leg, topped with a red Kimono-like robe.
The next guest was a great surprise. When the song intro came in, fans were all astounded when they recognized “Palette” and started screaming IU’s name before she came on stage. The petite singer was wearing a purple dress in contrast to GD’s red suede suit. After the song, GD and IU talked for a bit and they introduced each other. GD corrected IU when she said G-Dragon. He stated, “But I came back as Kwon Ji Yong.”
GD also revealed the gift IU sent him after he featured in her album. She said she filled the refrigerator with enough soju. GD asked her if it was the soju she was endorsing, she said yes. However, instead of her photo, she replaced each bottle with GD’s picture (cute!). IU told her to enjoy the drink before he enlists and GD answered her, “I will drink it all after the concert.” They sang another song this time, “Missing You”.
Fans really missed seeing GD dance. He used to dance a lot during his younger years and we all know how supple his body is. When “Who You” came in and GD danced, the fans went wild. A video message from family and friends followed and GD was on stage seated on a chair facing the screen.
During the last part of the concert, GD was perched atop a descending stage singing his new released song “Superstar” ending with spectacular fireworks display. “Middle Fingers Up” and “Bullshit” followed and GD was literally on fire! MC time followed with GD saying this might be the last time he would be on stage because after this tour, he will enlist to serve. He said, “I will be 32-33 years old by then.” Fans ranted 괜찮아 (It’s okay).
Encore stage followed when fans shouted KWON JI YONG! He performed “This Love” and “Crooked”. GD introduced his band and the dancers. He thanked the staffs, the stylist, YG family, BIGBANG members, his father, mother, sister, and finally VIPs. He announced that M.O.T.T.E in Seoul was officially over. He was cutely saying goodnight to everybody and gave his signature 90-degree bow with the dancers. While he was in this position, the others silently moved backwards.
The crowd then asked for another encore. After a few words, GD sang “Untitled, 2014”. GD was singing a very emotional song and the fans sang along during the chorus. He was clearly holding back his tears when he ended the song. He then bowed down and left the stage. M.O.T.T.E in Seoul was finished before 10 p.m. (KST).
Celebrities gave up their privacy the moment they decided to put themselves in the limelight, in the process of gaining success and fame as well as unrelenting support and devotion from fans. It could have been overwhelming to some and getting back to their roots and knowing who they really are is a challenging and difficult process.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get to know both the legendary artist G-Dragon and the real Kwon-Ji Yong. It cannot be denied that you would shine whatever path you take. We will anticipate your return and rest assured we will wholeheartedly welcome you back both as G-Dragon and Kwon-JiYong!
Contributor: Golden Days