ATY in San Francisco: Taeyang in Music Experiment 2.0 (131126)


Unlike previous Music Experiment events with only a brief 2 week promotion period, Taeyang fans had 2 months of anticipation leading to the Nov 26 concert in San Francisco.  Weeks of planning travel arrangements, meet-ups, outfits and the announcement of a new song all added to the excitement of seeing Taeyang up close in his first international solo performance outside of Asia.

Everyone was crazy excited and some came really early to wait in line. (Some hardcore fans even decided to camp out at the venue the day before.) While waiting, the line eventually became a big meet-up area for YB fans who were putting faces to some long-time internet friends. As part of a fandom that has developed largely online, one of the best parts of the whole experience in San Francisco was meeting all these friends who had become a big part of my life for the first time. Especially since it was a relatively small audience (made up of some of the most determined YB fans), there was more opportunity to find “familiar” names in the crowd.

Venue was gorgeous and perfect for him – a 1950’s supper club and prominent San Francisco music space. It was a rare opportunity to meet Taeyang in such an intimate venue. (And hopefully it won’t be the last time.) MTV and Intel had an interesting tech set-up in the back of the main room which allowed people to share photos on their social networks plus were offering some special bandanas to commemorate the event.   The sound system was great –  such a treat after years of less than stellar sound equipment and engineering on various music shows (fans will know the ones.) “Bigbang Band” rocked the house and looked amazing – it’s no wonder they’ve been winning hearts of their own all throughout last year’s Alive Tour. (Curious lack of backup singers though. YG couldn’t have splurged a bit to bring a couple of them along?) Bias aside, Taeyang sounded fantastic in person and looked even better than the videos. Completely not prepared for how good he looked up close and in his element. Even the best video can’t do him justice.

What everyone is wondering is why he only prepared for a 30 min set.  (The most likely reason though is the lack of time for the amazing Bigbang band to learn more of his backlist since they were also doing the Japan Tour. Also probably why he had to include 2 Bigbang songs as an encore since they were already part of the band repertoire.) You could tell he totally wanted to do more songs but lack of prep time or lack of song clearance for broadcast limited him to the prepared set list. Pity also that he seemingly doesn’t have more DJ-friendly songs since Choice37 did an  overlong 2 hours going through GD’s recent discography with a little Top and 2ne1 and BigBang mixed in.  It was a strange choice of songs considering it was supposed to be a warmup for Taeyang’s performance, which has nothing to do with club music. Not only did it set an odd sort of vibe and just sort of tired out the crowd, considering how short TY’s set was, it did seem that Choice 37 could have played more Taeyang songs especially the ones that weren’t part of TY’s set-list. All in all, there was way too little of Taeyang at the whole event given that it was supposed to be his solo. Then again, when is there ever enough Taeyang for his devoted fans?

But inspite of having way fewer songs than we would have liked, the show was a special milestone in his career and was a “can’t miss” opportunity as a fan.  While 2008’s HOT was more exciting for breaking new ground and kicking off so many future possibilities and Solar was a more emotional experience for fans and Taeyang alike, ME 2.0 is his first solo step outside of Asia – an acknowledgement of his international fans on the other side of the world. It would have been great if he could have more prep time, but as it is, it was a dream come true for him to even stand on that stage. And for us as fans, it was a milestone for us as well.  Aside from seeing him up close for the first time, I could really feel his great love for his fans and his desire to reach out to the whole audience in that moment. I know that it strengthened my own resolve to support him even more since you could see his whole heart out there trying to do the best he could for us. I know everyone who left the event certainly wanted to help him liberate all those songs YG is curiously keeping hostage for some unknown future release date.

Really grateful that MTV Iggy and Intel made this happen – especially since so many fans were able to share in the experience virtually through the livestream. Thankfully, MTV will also be sharing the livestream of the full show (along with photos)  on its musicexperiment.com channel (and on the special Windows 8 app) beginning Dec 2 so fans can relive the experience there, as well as in the many press and official photos and fancams.

Thank you to 518% for the photos! See more photos at YB-518%, soompi , YB Mania (1, 2, 3) and Koreaboo.

Juckdo’s fancams:

I’m going to add my voice in a quick roundup to what many fans have already said before: YB is an absolute sweetheart, generous with fans, so charming in person, tremendously good looking, super sexy, sounds better live. 1am gets better every time I listen to it. Big hugs to all the Korean fansite members at the concert – I am forever grateful for what you do for Taeyang and us international fans.  (Special thanks to the lovely ladies of  YB Mania for gifting us with Taeyang magazines and memorabilia in what must have been the heaviest luggage ever for a 2 day trip.) And I’m already saving up for his next solo concert wherever in the world that is going to be (hopefully with all the rest of the ATY team!)

17 thoughts on “ATY in San Francisco: Taeyang in Music Experiment 2.0 (131126)”

  1. I’m so happy for everyone that got to experience this. I get excited to hear about people’s experiences so that I can live vicariously through them 😉

    I was thankful that they streamed it live and it was actually pretty good quality. I was so afraid it would be pixelated or all I would hear are screams. But YB sounded great and now I hear he sounds even better live. I don’t know how that’s possible haha. Anyways, I can’t wait for the 2nd so I can relive it over and over again 🙂

    Btw, I don’t know who was holding it up, but I saw an Always Taeyang sign on the livestream. Got me excited haha.

    1. That was us of course, haha. We staked out our own little corner near the band on a raised area and had a great view. All the better so YB could see the light-up “Encore” sign we had ready – we kind of had a feeling we were going to need it lol. (And thankfully, YB stretched out the encores as best he could.)

      Having actually been there screaming my head off with everyone else, I got a kick out of hearing our cries for “encore” along with the “Taeyang-Youngbae” chants in the livestream footage. I honestly believe if it weren’t for the sustained requests of the crowd, we wouldn’t have gotten as many encores. YB really does listen to fans 🙂

  2. Have general mixed feelings about this performance and I’m fully aware that it’s because I had high expectations.

    For one the set list was so short! Yeah, the concert was free, but he did fly all the way from Korea for the performance, might as well make the best of it. It was an unfortunate miscalculation by the production and YB. And what’s with him singing only 80% of the lyrics? Was this on purpose or did he not have enough rehearsal?

    With that being said, I found Youngbae so endearing and lovable because it was really obvious he wanted to just be on stage for as long as possible. I’m sure he broke a bunch of rules by having such a long encore. Producers were probably scrambling to accommodate this man. I can’t help but forgive him for the rest of the mishaps because YB was so lovely, so ernest and honest. I can see that “greed” coming out. He just wanted to interact with his fans.,.hang out with them. It was all so sweet and such a shame that he wasn’t scheduled for a longer performance or prepared for it.

    I don’t understand why he needs to say such cliche Drake-like lines between songs, when I know he’s so capable with his English. LOL. And his “What do you want?” is so hilarious. It’s classic YB, I will never forget it. So great.

    1. AND DAMN did he look good. He looked so good it hurts. I don’t even know how you fangirls dealt with it in person.

  3. It’s great reading about everyone’s reviews on the night, and I can just imagine how amazing it was to see him up close. I did tune into the live stream but I don’t think I was able to fully appreciate how good he sounded from the sound quality of the stream. Checking out juckdo’s video made it so much better. The sound is so much clearer and you can really hear YB’s sweet smooth voice and the LOUD chants lol. He looked and sounded amazing from the videos. It seemed like a really great experience, I can only wish to one day encounter ^^

    Thanks so much for the review! I’m truly happy for everyone who got to see YB live in action ♥

  4. Omg. Juckdos were the first fancams tht I ogled n still do! Keep replaying 1am n the band intro lol! Only Taeyang can make a brand intro tht sexy! Mad respect of him n mad love for him. One day hopefully I’ll be able to experience the bliss of seeing him so near too.. u are so blessed!!! And must be losing sleep eversince! 😀 ♥

  5. My fanaccount is super late. I pretty much echo exactly what BM said. I got the venue around 4pm and there was already a line. Door didn’t open till like 8pm so I was a bit shocked by the long line. I prepared myself for a long 4hr wait in the cold. Thankfully, Taeyang fans are just as nice as he is and they were super amazing. Around 6pm, the MTV cameras started coming around the lines and trying to hype us up. They wanted to talk to fans and get them hyped up. I happened to be carrying a large Taeyang light up fansign, it said his name in Korean. If you see a black girl carrying that, it was me. I also had my BB crown light stick.I also had my light up fansign up during the show. I also just want to be clear I’m not the girl who had my large fansign up like 1/2 the show, I kept mines up only briefly – mostly because I was hella tired by the time Taeyang showed up.

    The wait was long but gave fans time to meet up with lots of online buddies. I met so many people from my tlist. Then it was 8pm and time to head inside the building. Around 8:30 Choice came on. First, I love Choice and he was a great DJ. He mostly played songs from GD’s last 2 albums with some solo stuff from the other BB members and 2NE1. I personally liked a lot of his remixes better than the original. That being said, his set was like 1.5hrs long. By the end, I was exhausted and Taeyang hadn’t even gotten on yet. I do’t know who’s decision it was to have Choice’s set be so long, but that was a poor decision. And then for him to play almost no Taeyang songs?!? Urgh!

    Around 10pm, Taeyang finally came up on stage. 1) He is gorgeous!! 2) He sounded great 3) He danced great. It’s all kind of a blur right now but I remember shedding some tears. He was perfection. His English was really good and he interacted well with the fans. It was seriously magical. And then ~20min later he said that was the end of the show and he left the stage. Everyone around me was confused.

    All his fans know he has a very strange sense of humor and so I think we were all hoping he was playing some kind of joke. Fans were not leaving and everyone was screaming his name or encore. I think we spent a good 5-10 minutes just shouting his name and then he came back. He started taking requests, did some a Capella versions of Wedding Dress and LOAM and did encores of his previous performances and some BB songs. Honestly I had no idea what to think or what was going on. I kept wondering why he wasn’t performing some of my fav songs from Solar or Hot. I kept screaming for Just A Feeling. He said something about it having to be from the set list. I could tell that he really wanted to perform the songs his fans were requesting but couldn’t.

    He managed to somehow extend what was suppose to be a 20-30min performance to like 50min before I think he really had to leave. Overall, I was satisfied with the show. However, there was some serious planning issues. Why was Choice given 1.5hrs to perform and Taeyang, the headliner, barely 30min? Why was he so limited in the songs he could perform? I’m really hoping that this leads the way to Taeyang performing in the states again and for a longer period that what we got here. Seeing him this one time ignited a passion in me to see him perform once more. This was a night I will never forget.

    1. I would have screamed for Just a Feeling too. That’s a good song for performing. I hope he performs that song live at a later solo concert.

  6. Urghhh~~~~ I was so bummed I missed out the live stream, I had to travel on the 27th early morning so had to tuck in before the event even began on my end of the world. From the videos and what everyone has said it sounds like an amazing and magical experience. From everyone’s reviews I’m definitely going to job hunt as soon as I graduate and start saving up for his next solo concert (whenever that will be)!!!

    He looks and sounds amazing, he really was in his element there! So much interaction with fans and many, many adorable moments… Asking the fans what they want but having to go with the set list, he really looked like he wanted to stay a while longer… >.<

  7. It was lovely meeting you and all the other YB fans. This was my first KPop concert and it was a pretty awesome introduction. I did think it was odd that the headliner had less stage time than the opening act but in all honestly I was just happy to have won tickets & to be there. BTW, It was my friends who started the Youngbae part of the chants. 🙂

    1. Oh that chant came out so nice with the “Taeyang – Youngbae” answering each other 🙂 (Though it was really fortunate all the random screaming was able to morph into something understandable in the end.) And meeting everybody was a real highlight for me too!

      1. It did especially since it was one side of the room answering the other side of the room. I can only hope YB has another stateside concert soon.

    1. Thank you, I love fancams like this. Almost feels like we’re there.and he’s singing for us. I’d still like it if he’d bring back Just A Feeling though, I hope I’m not the only one who thinks this haha. Thanks again.

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