I was really thankful to have the chance to attend a Tokyo Dome concert again (in the span 2 years). Having visited the same Dome last year, I was a lot less panicky and excited as I kind of knew what to expect. There were several surprises and disappointments which I will share in the points below and I hope to be as objective as possible (I’ll try). I don’t have much photos of this concert as I know I can depend on the DVDs and fancams so if you’re planning to read this, be prepared that it is gonna be like 90% text.
1.Buying Tickets to Tokyo Dome Concerts
Unlike the previous concert (which was their first Tokyo Dome performance), the tickets for their second performance were not as popular. There were 4 shows (2 in Osaka Kyocera Dome & 2 in Tokyo Dome on Weekday[Wed,Thu] nights). Furthermore, SHINee has just completed their 4th Japan Arena Tour consisting of 16 shows all over Japan. Prior to this May concert, they had 3-sold out nights in Tokyo Yoyogi Gymnasium less than 2 months ago. As much as you want to watch their every performance, I’m sure there’s a limit to the amount of money you set aside for such expenses.
As a result, I was able to get my own tickets from the public sales at the official Ticketbo website. Although the news articles back in Nov/Dec 2015 announced that the tickets were fully sold during the fanclub priorty purchase, there was an announcement of public sales somewhere in February. My assumption is that if you are Japanese, you are able to make offline payment after you win the ballot, thus you can ballot the tickets in the first launch but not pay for the ticket. As a result, there’s a pseudo “sold out” situation (similar to the ticketing system in Korea and Thailand) where leftover tickets will be released back into the pool at a later date. In Japan, they practice this somewhat annoying but “fair” method where you have to ballot for tickets and in the case of demand exceeding supply, you may not get a ticket. Furthermore, ticket seats are only announced 2 days or sometimes 1 day before the concert. This method is definitely less profitable for the company (as people are willing to pay a premium to get better seats) but it reduces the chance profiteers from black market.
Anyway, to summarise, we chanced upon the information that public sales were available and we each balloted a pair of tickets for both nights in order to increase our chances of getting the tickets. Our favourite nightmare happened – we had 4 tickets for each night (8 in total) but we were initially only needing 2 tickets for 1 night. I was very lucky to sell my 4 tickets away to a Argentinian girl and we ended up going for 2 nights as we couldn’t sell the other pair away. To be honest, I didn’t expect the difficult in selling as it was almost impossible to find tickets for their first concert but I guess the extra conditions made it not favourable (weekday night, existing Kyocera dome concert, too close to arena tour).
Another thing is.. I’m sorry to announce that the truth behind public sales is that your ticket is likely to end up in the Balcony. My first Dome concert was in the Balcony, the both nights of my second Dome concert was in the balcony too. To date, I have not found anyone who has gotten a Level 1/2 ticket with public sales purchase. BUT, that being said, you may end up in the Balcony even with fan club ticket. The balloting is biased against public sales ticket. Raah. If there’s a next time (though I hope I graduate soon), I will just buy fan club tickets from people who can’t make it at the eleventh hour. Otherwise, I’ll just ballot for the tickets that I need, no more extra tickets. The fact that there are leftover tickets for public sales means that the sales isn’t as good as it appears to be.. right? Although being inside the Dome is already a dream come true, I would love it if I can get a better view.. 3 times of Balcony view – I can do a lot better next time.
Sorry for the long rant on the ticketing.
My balcony view – Night 1
Balcony view – Night 2
Day 1 was more central but slightly lower. Day 2 was slightly towards the right but I was nearer to the extended stage.
2. Keep your items in a locker before entering
From my past experience, the seats inside the Dome is very cramp. We did the smart thing and left our shopping loot and the useless items in our bag at the station lockers at Korakuen Station (Tokyo Metro Line). It was 300Y for a small locker. We were lucky to even get a locker – there were only 2 left when we arrived like 3 hours before the concert.
3. Merchandise Queue is as insane as ever
As we didn’t have much time in Tokyo, we decide to skip queuing for merchandises and left it to fate on whether we were able to get it or not. Thankfully, the one that bought the tickets from me was planning to queue up and she helped us purchase 2 simple items for our memento. She queued close to 2-3 hours before it was her turn!! She managed to get everything that she wanted but when we arrived, there were some sold-out items like the wall stickers. Anyway, I ended buying the random capsule toy at 500Y where you will receive 1 out of 25/30 choices. There was an unofficial trading zone at the exit of the merchandise area with people holding out their extras, wanting to trade the items. There were people standing around with their album photo card too, wanting to trade for their bias. It was pretty effective way for many but I wasn’t able to get what I wanted; maybe I was too late.
4. Disappointment of the night – where is my intelligent light?
So basically, the first concert made me very impressed and a huge factor was because of the intelligent wristband which was given to every audience. The wrist light colour could be controlled by a centralized system and the entire audience can be segmented to flash different colours. Each member has their own colour and the synchronization was amazing (back then). This time round, we only had received somewhat regular light
sticksting. It is not really a kind of stick. Don’t get me wrong, I love the colour but I was just hoping to see the intelligent wrist light again..
Pear Aqua Ocean~~ I love it when the members (usually Minho since he sings the least) start synchronizing the crowd to wave in a certain direction. You can really see the waving effect in the audience which is really cool. Imagine 50,000 people waving in harmony.
5. The Performance
There were no surprises throughout the night as the set list was exactly the same as Kyocera Dome 3 days prior. I could understand slightly better as I took Japanese Elementary 1 and well, at least I could understand the greetings and common words like “mina” which means everybody. There were also japanese lyrics on the screen for songs that don’t have a Japanese version. The best song for me that night was “Jojo”. They have not performed this song since SWC1 days and it was one of their first few songs which I really really like.
The laser lights were amazing and the extended stage which opens up as a star was awesome too! They have this elevated platform thing which brings the middle stage down to the front! I’ve seen this technology in Big Bang Concert before and it’s really cool if you’re sitting at the arena as they might be bouncing right above you! I guess you will have to watch the DVD to understand the effect. Can’t seem to describe it in words.
There was a special heart shape project for Key which was really lovely. You can tell that he put in a lot of effort for his Lookbook Performance and that song is totally stuck in my head at times! Minho’s singing improved a lot and he is now confident enough to sing a full song all by himself! I can imagine the amount of effort he had put in just for that song. I was a little less excited for Onew (my bias) as he repeated his performance from SWC2 where he sang the French Opera. It was a good performance and it was probably difficult to put through but I was hoping to see something new and different. In the first concert, he did a really cool tap dance performance together with a perfect rendition of “Rainy Blue” which is to date my favourite ballad of his. I guess this concert schedule was a little too tight for them or perhaps he was busy filming. Well, I know I should stop whining and be glad that I was there.
Oh, and for the first night, there was no fan project and I’m like.. seriously? I remember walking out of the concert hall feeling confused with the missing fan project (which made them cry last year). They didn’t cry on the first night, probably feeling more tired than to have any emotion. However, on the second night, I was so touched when I saw that slip of paper on my seat when I entered. The instructions was all in Japanese but it doesn’t matter – you just take it out when you see everyone doing it. Not sure if you can see in the photo below but even the staff contributed to the fan project by filling up the spaces for the Heart Shape. The people in this bright blue jacket are staff.
1st Tokyo Dome – Day 1 – THANK U SHINee
1st Tokyo Dome – Day 2 – WE LOVE SHINee
2nd Tokyo Dome – Day 2 – ALWAYS WITH YOU
I think there were tears in Jjong’s eyes but I’m not sure if he squeezed it out. In the first concert, all of them except Taemin cried as it was kind of like a dream come true for them to have a full standalone concert in Tokyo Dome for 2 nights. It is definitely not an easy feat for anyone at all. I guess the second concert does not have that dream come true effect which resulted in no tears but it was fine. I know that deep down in their hearts they are tired, but glad to have achieved Tokyo Dome once again.
Japan concerts are definitely the most organized ones in the world and its amazing to see people of all ages (like 60 to 70 years old), all connections (couples, mother and daughter) attending the concert together. Oh and in case you didn’t read my previous entry, the norm of Japanese concerts is that you stand whenever they are standing and you usually only sit during the VCR performances. That’s like standing for 3.5 hours. We were so so so very tired the next day (could be due to our Disneysea visit the previous day) and my feet was totally sore. It was slightly better than the previous year as I wore shoes instead of boots.
Also, I noticed that the camera restrictions and security was significantly less strict as compared to the first concert. In the first concert, they had staff walking up and down to comb the lanes to prevent photo/video-taking. I did not see such individuals this time round. Maybe it was a week day and they were running low on manpower.. I don’t know but a good gauge would be the number of videos on YouTube. Seems like quite a healthy number so far – which explains that it was not very strict that night.
That’s all I have to share and thanks for reading till the end! Hope you find your answers in my blog post and feel free to leave a comment if you don’t!