Notice: Some photos were not taken on that day. Some pics were borrowed from the Internet.
I’m still thinking where to start my fan account this time. I attended the 2nd day (middle day) of his Zepp Tokyo tour, December 11th. And this show was surely so special and unforgettable for both of us, Jang Keun Suk and eels. I was lucky enough to be there and have a chance to share my experience with you directly here. But in fact, sadly I couldn’t see him well even I was in the same venue. I was too short to see him directly on the flat floor of Zepp venue. As you know, I was so lucky to get the place, 2nd rows from the front when I attended Zepp Sapporo. This time I was too far from the stage. Despite wearing heels, I couldn’t even recognize when he stood on the stage. Poor me, even I was wearing heels, I was trying to stand on my toes to glimpse him… but I gave up during the first two songs. I had a feeling of numbness in the toes, and I was about to have a cramp in my foot. Then, I changed my mind to concentrate on feeling him; his singing, talking and breathing. Sometimes I was lucky to have a glimpse of him between the crowds. While not seeing him directly, I had a strange feeling that this my experience describes our real relationship between us…
Oh, maybe I skipped why I thought so. OK, then, I will start from the beginning how I was feeling during the show.
First of all, I think imagining what kind of view I had on that day helps you to feel the same as me. This picture was shared by media on the first day. If I use this pic to show where my seat was, mine was the last row. But there are more people behind me. So I have to thank my luck to get even such a seat.
My ticket number was B 527. I heard A continues till A 1200. Then, of course, there is C numbers. So, that means about 1,800 eels were already in front of me when I entered the venue. Before the show started, I expected that I would be able to manage to see him, but the fact was worse than expected.. T_T
Although the curtain hanging on the stage dropped when he started to sing the first song, I couldn’t see him at all on the stage. Thanks to his hat, I glimpsed the top. But that’s all… I couldn’t even know where he was right now. “Is he walking to the right-hand area or still standing in the center?” I had to use a small monitor to check where he was now. But the monitor was too small, that I couldn’t see his facial expression through it. After a couple of songs, a big screen on the stage started to show his close-up face. Thanks to that setting, I finally could see him.
“Are you ready, Tokyo?” Sukkie shouted to the audience. “Yes~!” I shouted back to him, but as I couldn’t see him, he must have not been able to see me, either. At least, however, I was there, in the same venue. That’s why I wanted to cheer him up as much as I could, shouting loud back even though my voice vanished into the dim soon.
At the beginning of his talk on the stage, he told us how much he was in good condition on that day. I was lucky to attend the 2nd day that he could take a rest more than when he was shooting ‘Beautiful Man’ in Korea. On the first day, he posted this pic on his official LINE before his departure for Japan, saying “I won’t take off my sunglasses~. I have bloodshot eyes from fatigue…” On the stage, he revealed that after working till 5:30 am, he went back home and packed. It means he got little sleep before the first stage.
On the other hand, after the first show, he slept and slept. After having breakfast, he went to bed again. Actually he slept 12 hours! That’s why he said with confidence, “I’m full of energy today!” Yes, really he was full of energy. In addition, I felt 100% Jang Keun Suk on the stage maybe because I attended the 2nd (middle) day. In my opinion, on the first day he was shifting from Mate to JKS, and on the last day he needed to be back to Mate after the stage. So I suppose that I was lucky to see more real JKS… even I couldn’t see him literally… *sob sob again
At the earlier part of the show, he sang rousing songs. So even though I couldn’t see him, I could feel the beat, dancing and jumping. (Actually I couldn’t move well because of my foot pain… :'( ) After a while, the atmosphere changed when he started to sing ‘Serenade’, a mellow ballad. I had to admit my misfortune tuned out to be a blessing this time. When I was listening to his song in darkness, I was totally taken away by him to the place where only he and I existed. I couldn’t move. His clear voice washed away my daily worries… I was just all ears for his singing and shed tears… I thought I knew how well he could sing, but I was wrong. I’ve listened to this song over and over, but this very song on that day was hard to beat. Whenever he sings, he puts all his feelings into songs. This ballad is no exception. As I couldn’t see him directly, I could focus on his power of singing. I was so moved to tears. After his singing, Sukkie received thunderous applause from the audience.
Before he shifted to next lively songs, he asked us to practice chorus parts of ‘Tomorrow’ and chasing parts of ‘Nature Boy’ that he himself made. Actually he asked us to practice that chasing parts on [03.10.2013] Jang Keun Suk LINE. He explained that since he was young, watching SMAP (Japanese idol group) concert DVD, he had had a dream to do the same like this with fans. As we had the practice time for about 2 months, we did quite well. He looked so happy singing together and feeling a oneness with the audience, eels.
Also he spoke like this, “You know Zepp tour is the final dream for all artists. After experiencing various venues, the stage that we all want to stand on is Zeep. Zepp has such charms. Because I can meet eyes at the same level as the audience and create the stage together. That’s why I’m so happy to be here!”
Thanks to such a closeness, Sukkie sang ‘I Will Promise You’, holding one lucky eel’s hand who was standing in the front row. At first I didn’t know what happened. Usually we call his name ‘Jang Keun Suk’ like chasing parts of this song, but this time the call gradually vanished. So I realized something happened. Looking carefully on the monitor, and I found the lucky eel. He sang almost the whole song holding her hand. I heard many eels went blank, not because feeling jealous, but because forgetting breathing and just staring at the scene… I gave up seeing this as I couldn’t see it directly. Seeing such a romantic scene with pain in the foot was tough for me. Then, I just focused on his singing, thinking today’s Sukkie was entertaining eels too much… During the show, he often told us that he knew there are many graduated eels or Kabayaki (cheating eels). He said, “I don’t blame you. You can leave. But I’m here all the time. If you want to return, you can anytime.” I don’t know because he’s trying to show he’s always caring for his eels, then he did so…? Anyway, this production was not popular among eels. I think singing for only one eel during the whole song is not a good way to entertain all audience because the rest felt left behind. So I think he won’t do it again… but for that lucky eel, it must be literally an unforgettable event in her eel’s life. She won’t graduate from him, I hope…
Like this, we had a great time, feeling united since the beginning of the show. Maybe because he was really feeling good, he became in a talkative mood. But not like jokingly, he started to speak tentatively and seriously. At first, it seemed that he hesitated to reveal it, saying “Is it acceptable to say this in public?” His voice sounded very nervous… That made me nervous, too. I was feeling the tension in the air, thinking “What is he going to tell us?” When he was about to speak, we heard eels’ cheer for him. “Speak out anything to us~!!!” Then, he said,,,, “Actually I’m a gay.” We didn’t expect it at all, so we didn’t know what to react… Then, Sukkie said, “Just kidding!!! hahaha!!” Probably the fact he really wanted to speak needed a lot of energy, so he had to break the ice, making a joke. (Not sure this was the best joke to break the ice… anyway, I assume it happened to occur in his mind.) After he found the tension relieved, he finally started talking as follows.
To tell the truth, I can tell what kind of dramas and movies will be a big hit, just reading the scripts. Think about it. I’ve been working in the entertainment industry for 22 years. I only know this world. I know each character TV stations have. Needless to say, each script has the character, too. So I can tell chances of success, seeing the combination of the TV station and the script. Even so, I don’t want to select it just because of the reason. Because if I take a safer road, there will be just a plain and boring life. I don’t like it. Because if I could foresee the future direction, it wouldn’t be fun. To be honest, I got offers that are now big hits. After ‘Love Rain’, I actually got about 100 offers. My managers suggest that I should accept this and that, saying it’ll be a big hit if you appear on the drama. However, I don’t want to follow their suggestion blindly. I myself want to select what I act. Because I don’t want to regret. Needless to say, I admit having a hit is a great career for an actor. Of course, I have a wish that my works will be popular. But it doesn’t mean I will select dramas that chances of success are high. Seeing my way of the future clear means not exciting for me. I don’t want to lead such a settled life. Even if I fail, I won’t regret as long as I decided it by myself. I can accept any results. Say, I am a perverse kind of person.
The most important thing in my life is having no regrets. I’ve been always living like this. Looking back on my life, there have been many ups and downs. When I was born, I can say it was the peak. Then, it gradually went down and then up repeatedly.
tenshi_akuma’s note: He showed us the ups and downs, describing the chart with his hand like Mate of ‘Beautiful Man’. This Mate’s scene was very timely for eels, so when he gestured this, we smiled ^^
tenshi_akuma’s note: Officially you can refer to the article, [article] [STARCAST] Star’s Life Curve – Jang Keun-suk.
After I appeared on sitcom ‘NONSTOP4’, I suffered from not erasing the image of a child star. At that time, I was only 20 years old though. I didn’t get even one script for two years. After that, I managed to go up a little, but soon I was attacked by calling me ‘ho-sei (bluff)’ on SNS in Korea. I’m not sure here in Japan too, but at least in Korea people like showing a humble attitude. But as I’m too honest, I said that I had confidence, then people started to attack me. After that, when I came to think that I should stop being honest, suddenly in 2011 Keun-chan boom took place in Japan. Not gradually, but suddenly it occurred. My life chart reached the peak all of a sudden. At that time, I was not frightened of anything. I didn’t think I had changed, but actually my surroundings had changed. For example, the number of my bodyguards changed from two to six. Even when I ate out for ramen, they followed me. Just my visiting Japan was on the news. I remember seeing the news four times an hour. I can say it was a sort of social phenomenon. Thanks to that, I could realize my childhood dream to perform at Tokyo Dome. I still can’t believe it.
At that time, some said to me, “I envy you. You’re getting in a lot of commercials and earn money for them.” But they don’t know anything. Getting paid means to have responsibility for showing the sponsor my value more than they paid. Such a huge pressure is always hanging around me. At that time, I cracked under pressure. That was kind of rough. But these experiences have become my treasure…
[Then, he posed briefly. He looked nervous again…]
I think you’ve already known, and I’m not sure why it happened but, I fell into my first and biggest slump in life. It was December in 2012. Around that time, I couldn’t find anything I want. I couldn’t feel anything wherever I go. I didn’t want to see anyone. I didn’t want to step out of even my room. I didn’t want anything. I didn’t want to do anything. Not knowing my feelings, everyone; eels, parents and Tree-J cheered me up. Honestly, there were times when I had a death wish…
But… [he stated emphatically]
The point is what I’m going to say from now.
I’ve experienced both the peak and the bedrock of life. The peak was the year of 2011. The bedrock was when I had a death wish. I experienced all, good times and bad times. That’s why I can say I’m OK about everything. I don’t know where I’m now in the chart of life, but wherever I am, I’m confident about anything I will try to do. I don’t want to lead just a flat and plain life. It’s not an exciting and meaningful for me. Even I fall down, I won’t regret because I choose my own route. This is the way to lead my life. I think I will never change it. But it might lead some eels to graduate from me that I do whatever I want to do, not hearing some safe advice. Even so, it can’t be helped. This is Jang Keun Suk. This is my life… Anyway, I’m trying hard to become a more perfect man, so will you continue to stay with me?
Quietly I was was standing still and listening to his story, thinking what he feels now. He is always trying to show his real self to us. But this time it seemed different. Probably because Zeep venue made an intimate feel and encouraged him to speak. Probably because he knows many eels supporting his new drama ‘Beautiful Man’ and also knows many feeling sad about the low rating. This Zepp Tokyo was the first tour after BM started airing. That’s why he wanted to talk about it as Actor Jang, I suppose. During the show, he said some stories related to BM several times. For example, “I know eels are supporting BM. I always check your supports on twitters, comments for ZIKZIN Radio and so on. I read all ‘mentions’ on twitter. During a shooting break, I always read them. Even if I sleep only for 3 hours, that gives me energy to enjoy shooting.” Another example, he had his hair cut short for the role, Mate. At Zepp Tokyo, it was the first time to show his new hairdo. He asked eels, “How do you like my new hairstyle?” Personally I really love his short hairdo. But he knows many love long-haired him like Kang Moo Kyul of ‘Mary Stayed Out All Night’. Eels raised their hand to show what kind of his hairdo they love. Seeing the audience, he added, “I know many love Keun-chan’s androgynous look with long hair. Keeping the same image is safe, but it’s not improving. I want to show you my various sides.” Looking back, these stories might have been the introduction to pour out his heart. I don’t think he himself originally planned to do so on the stage, but he unexpectedly did it. I think that is the key.
After he declared how he wants to lead his life and how he defines successful and happy life for him in public, he continued the stage. He introduced the next song ‘STAY’, saying “I will sing the next song with this feeling.”
And, this song unexpectedly made us witnesses to unusual him. He became unable to sing on the way. He was crying on the stage… We’ve witnessed he was about to cry while singing before because he was so moved by the audience, but usually he tried not to cry and managed to complete singing anyway. But, this time… he couldn’t sing. He stopped singing on the way. Then, he turned around not to show his crying face to us. But he was actually crying… As I couldn’t see his singing, I noticed soon his change. He was trying to keep singing, but his voice became shaking with emotion… and stopped. Only the melody was playing. The big screen hanging on the stage showed his shaking back shot.
Usually when he’s moved to tears by eels, he always says, “Men don’t cry” and tries not to cry on the stage even it’s from happiness. But, on that day, in front of me, that Jang Keun Suk was crying… What made him cry? I believe his tears were ones of relief. After spilling his heart, he must have felt a sudden rush of relief. In front of him, there were eels whom he can trust. All were listening closely to his story. I suppose the fact overwhelmed him. Finally he could open up his heart to others.
Eventually, he managed to finish singing after stopping several times. While he couldn’t sing, eels were singing instead. He was crying. Eels were crying, too… We shared the moment. But soon after that, he left the stage to the wing. We were worried if he was able to be back soon. Much to our unease, he was back with a big smile. He sang bouncy numbers such as ‘Always close to you’, ‘Beautiful Change’ and ‘Poison’.
When I attended Zepp Sapporo, the last two songs ‘Save Me’ and ‘Turn Off’ meant a lot. He shared the BTS about these songs with the audience. But this time after his honest and open remark, and his reset after crying, he looked so refreshed and happy singing them in front of eels. His tone of singing was totally different from before. I saw a new-born Jang Keun Suk there.
tenshi_akuma’s note: If you don’t know the BTS of these two songs, please check [ENG-SUB] JKS comments on each track of NB_0130528. From 09:02, ‘Save Me’. From 17:26, ‘Turn Off’.
And the final encore song, ‘Like a Movie’. Before he started to sing, he gave us a word again. “I’ve talked a lot of topics in front of my fans, but I’ve never been this honest before. Thanks for supporting me always. Thank you, eels. You’re my energy source. I may fall into another slump in the future. In past days, when I faced unbearable difficulties, I was afraid to tell anyone about the fact and I even had a death wish to escape… but from now on, when I feel too tired or sad, I will tell you honestly. Because I can trust my eels.”
tenshi_akuma’s note: He chose this ‘Like a Movie’ as an encore song for Zeep tour. This song is also meaningful for him. You can hear his comment in the same video above. But if you haven’t read this [Fan Account] Live viewing of Zikzin fes. Osaka JKS stage on August 4th yet, it’ll be more helpful to understand the reason. I shared what he said about the lyrics in the FA. Reading this again now, I think I could understand him more than before.
This encore was also very memorable. During the encore, he himself poured water over his head. The water seemed to wash away the past when he was agonizing alone. Shaking his wet head, he looked so refreshed and happy. I saw the scene through the big screen, but luckily this happy face was shared on [11.12.2013] Tree-J twitter. He looked so innocent and fresh. Even though people didn’t know the BTS of this picture, once they see it, soon they’ll find something happy happened to him. I think this Jang Keun Suk can tell us a lot.
On December 11th, the 2nd day of 2013 Jang Keun Suk ZikZin Live Tour in Zepp DiverCity Tokyo started at 19:07 and finished at 21:41. About 30 minutes longer than usual. The 30 minutes must be unforgettable in his life as well as eels’. We finished this memorable stage, saying together “Jyo~! ZIKZIN!!!” We were one.
tenshi_akuma’s epilogue: Well, how should I wrap up…? Looking back on this December 11th again, it was really an important day for us. I can’t thank my luck enough that I directly experienced the moment. And I’m sure the reason why I was there on that day is God gave me a role to convey his words to you. And I think there is another reason, too. The reason why I was there in spite of my bad eyesight… At the beginning of this FA, I wrote ‘While not seeing him directly, I had a strange feeling that this my experience describes our real relationship between us…’ I think this is the answer.
As I’m living in Japan, I’m fortunate to have many opportunities to attend his shows. Even though I didn’t get a good seat in the venue, I would be just happy to see him. I had not used this ‘seeing him’ with a literal meaning, but this time I reconsidered this meaning, standing in Zepp DiverCity Tokyo. Usually even my seat was on the 4th floor, very top of the venue I could manage to see him. Of course, more precisely I couldn’t see him as a person, but just like a small piece. Even so, I could recognize the small piece is Jang Keun Suk. But this time, I couldn’t see him at all. I could see only heads of the crowd. It was really a strange experience. Although my beloved Jang Keun Suk was on the stage in the same venue, I couldn’t see him literally. But after a while, my positiveness brought me another funny feeling. ‘Hey, Kaori. Are you coming here to see his face?’ ‘No. I’m already happy enough to be here around him.’ ‘That’s surely true. Why don’t you enjoy this atmosphere, not seeing him directly? Just feel him. You have a lot of eel friends who can’t see him in person. But they keep supporting him even they can’t see him directly. You were just too lucky so far. This is a good chance to think over again what is important for you and how much he is special for you, Kaori. Enjoy this chance…’ I thought I heard someone whispered to me. Then, I stopped trying to stand on my toes to glimpse him and took a deep breath. And I started to look at him with my heart. On that day, I saw new Jang Keun Suk. Now I can see him anytime in my mind.
Thank you, Sukkie for having brought me there. To be honest, your story, your way of life is really familiar with me. When I hear your story, I find many similarities between you and me. I’m always living to think that no one knows when I die, so I also want to live without having regrets. And I think ‘self-responsibility’ based on my own decision is a simple solution as you said. Now as you said, you fear nothing. You’re always ready to fail. For you, failure is not a bad meaning. Rather, it’s a proof that you did try a unknown and challenging project. Challenge is the spice of life for sure. Sukkie, let’s see a new world where no one has ever been and share your life’s ups and downs. You have eels. Eels have you. Who can beat us? ZIKZIN! 🙂
*supplement 1: According to twitter, Sukkie talked about Team H US tour on the first day of Zepp Tokyo. The summary I read is as follows. “The only thing I promised but couldn’t realize this year is Team H US tour. But I promised, so I will realize it eventually. Maybe, next year…??? Anyway, Team H US tour was not cancelled, just postponed. I’ll prepare well, for example, collaborative work with someone. I don’t think it’s good to see the venue is full of Asians.”
*supplement 2: According to twitter, he looked so happy on the final day from the beginning. On the 2nd day, he spilled out his heart to eels and reset. Then, on the final (3rd) day, he and eels seemed to step into a new world. The relationship (we can say bond; kizuna) seemed stronger.Share on Facebook