It’s one thing to see a group you like on the television or to hear their song on the radio. It’s another thing to meet them personally. Yet this past month, some Toronto Kpop fans got to meet, hi-five and take photographs with Rookie Group ASTRO, at their first Canadian Fanmeet.
After appearing in web-drama “To Be Continued” (which just so happens to be on Netflix) in August 2015, curious fans were ready to meet and fall for these six flower boys; Mj, Jinjin, Cha Eunwoo, Moonbin, Rocky, and Yoon Sanha. ASTRO then debuted under Fantagio Entertainment in February 2016 with Extended Play “Spring Up”, which includes the single “Hide and Seek”. Since debut they have released five singles and six extended plays; all of which were in the top ten in both Korean and Taiwan music charts. They have also placed five times on the US World charts, with latest EP Dream PT. 2 charting at number five.
Fun fact, member Moonbin acted as the younger version of So Yi-Jung in the K-Drama “Boys Over Flowers” back in 2009, as well as appearing in TVXO’s “Balloon” MV.
These boys definitely caught my attention from the get-go. Talented and fun-loving rookies with catchy songs and fun dances, sign me up! From fun variety clips to incredible performances, it was hard to take my eyes these boys who seemed on a path straight to stardom. So when I heard about the fanmeeting, I jumped at the opportunity to see the guys performing for myself.
There were many fans who connected via social media, creating pages and group chats in which to share excitement and bond over their mutual admiration of ASTRO. I personally joined two Facebook pages and two KakaoTalk chats, both of which kept my notifications full and my conversations plenty. Fandom culture is its own sub-set of Pop culture, one that is both fast-paced and intriguing. with Kpop fans being no less passionate.
I happened to get pretty good seats at the Toronto fanmeet, and dragged one of my friends with me, (although to be fair, she watched one music video and was just as hooked as I was). On the day of the event, the boys ended up arriving at the venue late, causing the fanmeet to begin over an hour later than scheduled. Yet moods were not dampened in the least as fans trickled into the theatre.
The fanmeet was everything one could have hoped for. Fresh performances, fun interactive game times, amusing penalties and solid vocals came together to equal a great first time for ASTRO in Toronto. For me, it was a wonderful experience not because of the amount of fun I had, but that it brought such a big smile to my friend. As it was, ASTRO’s fanmeet was her first, first-hand experience with Kpop. That’s one of the things I love about Korean culture, it brings people together and creates happy memories of time well spent.
All in all, ASTRO did a great job. They engaged with the local fans, got the crowd pumping, it was a solid fanmeet for their first time in Canada. So go check them out, they might just capture your heart like they did mine~