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In the Middle of the North American Tour

Saturday, 5 July, 2014
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The show was not altered in any way for the much larger venues. The lighting people don’t know what to do with this show, and clearly have not been informed in any way. It is surprising just how much the lighting and effects are critical to the show. It is more curious how minutes of the official show pass with the girls standing around drinking water. The performances are mostly synchronised, “lip sync” to most of you, which may be a culture-based error. The girls are far less curious about the continent they are visiting than one might suspect. They are spending their days sitting around far better hotels than I would have imagined and are getting stir crazy. Once back home, they may never complain of the usual manic schedule ever again.

The show includes their Christmas song, without which the show would be four-minutes short. My solution would have been to produce and introduce a cover of a well known hit following the usual rules for such things, but this may be more trouble than it is worth. Doing a Christmas song out of season is perceived as a “wacky Asian” thing and enhances the weird-and-cute appeal.

Although my assumption may be in error, it appears this golden opportunity to generate original video content for the internet is largely being missed. Presumably the group is using their pads to, at least, entertain themselves and this has produced viable product in the past. Their usual cinematographer is meeting up with them when they arrive in Las Vegas and will journey with them to Los Angeles, these being the final two cities on the tour.

The stir crazy is leading to some charming and original content. They have pads and are said to be keeping non-public diaries. One of the group is exploiting an Instagram account started in April. Another is posting to their formal fan forum unfiltered but very gracious. The other three are posting through the filtered, official Twitter or Facebook accounts. Presumably the issue here is security rather than the potential for obscenity.

This tour has received exactly zero coverage in American media. No curiosity. No mention, outside of merely listing the billing of the concert tour itself. I shall repeat, whoever is handling the publicity for this unique opportunity may never work again.

The reception in Milwaukee was especially bad, as I have noted. They flew into Philadelphia to meet up with their silver eagle. This was a welcome surprise to this observer who honestly assumed their people would have them “jamming Econo” just like back home in spite of the distance issues. Atlantic City seemed to have a high proportion of people in the audience who knew who they were, or who were otherwise welcoming. They visited what may be the only Korean restaurant in that city and were very polite.

The next stop was Boston. I anticipated a blood bath. If you don’t know, Boston crowds are notoriously brutal under the best of circumstances. Boston crowds are prone to reflexive, racist sentiment of a kind that would make the stereotypical Alabamian blush. Contrary to expectations the Boston crowd was enthusiastic, and post show Twits were largely positive. The most harsh critique coming from those who dislike that they are obviously lip synching.

One of the members posted that she was surprised to learn of a part of North America where French is the predominant language. This serves primarily to remind your correspondent how little he knows about Korea. Their warmest welcome so far was in Montreal. From what footage has been made available, the lighting guys are working out what to do even in the absence of anything but improvisation. Montreal was also the site of something, so far, unique on the tour. Three fans succeeded in finding the path from the venue out into the world of the tour-support vehicles and flagged them down. It was helpful that one of them was wearing a common fan costume and they were carrying a banner of support.

This story has been related by two of these fans, and also relayed by the member on the official fan forum who claims to have spotted them then had trouble remembering how to communicate “Stop the bus!” in English to their driver.

Although the tour continues, for reasons which are unclear, this group is not part of several dates and is taking an apparently unwelcome five-day break. I know which city they are were in as of yesterday, and suspect I know which hotel but it seems like a security breach to say anything. They are roaming at least part of the city largely unmolested, and have not at all so much as mentioned the potential of being approached by fans or having much contact with an adoring public. Then again, even at home they are curiously unrecognizable in civilian drag. Media stories have been written noting the absence of attention they receive when not at an event. Two of the members are presently enrolled in University and no one ever so much as says anything.

Upcoming: Buffalo, Toronto, Chicago then off to Texas. The cameras should be rolling on the stretch between Chicago and San Antonio. They have 43 hours between shows and at least 20 of those they will need to be moving, unless sense prevails again and they fly.

If they don’t fly, they will actually pass within 150 m of my home. I feel like I should do something about it.

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