I HAVE REACHED THIS POST. I need a moment.
Okay. So, Epik High. I have the need to babble about them so if you’re here for the pictures, um go ahead, HAHAHA. But if you want to read my thoughts on them, grab a cup of coffee (or tea–whichever you fancy!) because this will be a little longer than my usual concert posts.
Let’s take a break from mainstream K-pop and move a bit to the hip-hop scene. (Well okay hip-hop is getting a lot of attention these days so it’s kind of considered as mainstream already, but I digress.)
I have been a casual fan long enough (certainly not since 2003, when they released their first album) but let’s just say I’d been around before Tablo and Kang Hyejung got married. And when Epik High was still with Woollim. But surprisingly, I only started listening to their songs not too long ago, and by that I mean really going through their songs in all their albums one by one. I realized that I’d missed out on a lot. I guess the release of Shoebox made me go backwards, listening their songs all the way to Map of the Human Soul.
Besides their releases as a group, I’m not very vocal about it but Tablo’s solo release, Fever’s End, was the first album I listened to from Epik High/him. That was back in 2011. It was his first project upon moving to YG and this was released towards the end of the Tajinyo issue. So when you think about the timeline, the songwriting process was during the height of the controversy. As expected, there was a lot of rawness, anger, and frustration in it that when you listen to the songs, you can’t help but think that Tablo was really pouring everything out. And I mean everything–despair, battle with depression, family, you name it. Hurt my heart a little more than their other releases. Yes, we all know Epik High have always had these “controversial” songs centering on issues like politics, prohibited/unrequited love, inequality in society, organized religion, suicide, among others, but Fever’s End has a special place in my heart because it’s a lot more personal than the others.
Wow, I’m only realizing now how I followed Tablo’s ordeal with Tajinyo until he released the album in 2011. I guess I’d been low-key following Epik High all this time. Anyway, Tablo explained in this video why he entitled it Fever’s End. Go watch it. Seriously, it shows you a glimpse of how his mind works. (PS. Hyejung and Haru, thank you for bringing happiness back to Tablo’s life! :”)) Also watch his interview with CNN pre-Tajinyo. He’s very insightful and honest with his answers.
Epik High may seem serious but on the other hand, they can actually be a bunch of four year olds. Men will always be boys, lol! Their Map the Soul Youtube channel is terribly outdated but to be fair, they’re still the same boys–err, men. My favorites include Epik High can’t dance, coffee, DJ Tukutz gets punk’d, and Epik High in slow-motion (not one but two videos!). They’re just clips of them being silly, but the channel contains all their (mis)adventures during their time with their indie label, Map the Soul, Inc.
Aaaand since I’m at it, here I go talking about their time with Woollim and Map the Soul, Inc. Epik High started off in Woollim (I know, shocker with what Woollim is now lol) and they were in the same label as Nell. Nell joined a little later in 2006 but they obviously got along and they remain friends to this day. Epik High left Woollim because of numerous reasons and in turn, established their own indie label, Map the Soul, Inc. In the short span of two years, a lot went on with the establishment and the eventual fall of Map the Soul, Inc., and it wasn’t all as lighthearted as the clips show up there. Same with Woollim; a lot of things went on during their stay before going indie and, not to mention, during the Tajinyo controversy–or lack thereof on Woollim’s part on the whole issue. Icarus Walks cites quotes from Tablo’s interviews and it’s a good read if you want to know what went down through the process of being in Woollim, establing the indie label, and Tajinyo. (There are two sides to the Woollim-Tablo Tajinyo story but I won’t elaborate on it because that deserves a post of its own.)
This is just my assumption, but with Epik High’s success in Woollim alongside Nell, I guess part of the money made went to producing Infinite (and let’s be real, maybe even Tasty and Lovelyz, especially since Baby Soul has been around since forever). Cue my awkward laughter, meep. Makes me wonder about Nell but they seem content with the label, so… hmm. #ok Whatever floats their boats.
Meanwhile, I’m just… hoping they revive the Map the Soul Youtube channel. #priorities lol
And on a side-note, Epik High’s collaborations with Nell give me these warm fuzzy feelings like aaaaahhhhh fusion of distinct sounds from each group and aaaaahhhhh friendship through the years. Here is their infamous joint stage. Or at least I’d like to think so. (Maybe it’s just me, lol! EVERY STEP YOU TAAAAKE EVERY MOVE YOU MAAAAKE~)
I’ve rambled on about Tablo so much, but the truth is? Mithra is my main man. Why? Why not?! He is an adorable squishy giant teddy bear–who raps about society’s inequalities and such. What’s not to love there?! On the other hand, DJ Tukutz is fabulous and you can’t deny that once you see him in person. He just has this air around him, lol!
So. FINALLY! I have come to the end of my rambles. I think.
Before the concert I had a brief meet-up with Claud to pay for my Infinite albums and I met up with Kim too. Fast-forward to the concert that I spent for royalty pass aka the most expensive ticket! (At one point after paying, I caught myself wondering why I went for it, but now I have my answer hidden somewhere in this post.) I was with Cy the whole time since she availed for the royalty pass woo. 😀 I don’t regret any of it! Because I’d never been to a concert as wild as this one, and I mean this in a really good way! It literally felt like a cardio workout with all the jumping and flailing. No dancing though–leave all of that to DJ Tukutz, the ((self-proclaimed)) teacher of Taeyang and CL. :))
You can find the concert setlist here, from Kpop Concert PH.
Ugh when Encore came on I just! ;u; Feelings!
Lol Tablo saying hi to fans!
Fear not, I took pictures of DJ Tukutz, but only when he came down a little later. One cannot not document his fabulousness!
I only used a 50mm for the concert and hardly cropped out anything. SOOOO CLOSE. ;__;
Man, let me just tell you guys though: it was difficult to take photos because of the overflowing energy. Jumping to the beat and with Epik High–YOU CAN’T SAY NO TO THAT.
Fab DJ Tukutz is fab.
I won’t lie; Mithra’s face here reminded me of his ~*special role*~ in Epik High’s Wannabe/Trot/High Technology MV, hehe.
Cute Mithra bear. ;____;
Tablo trolling on Mithra, haha.
Tablo wiping off Mithra’s sweat. THEN THROWING IT TO THE CROWD.
I have no idea which photos here depicted Tablo singing Eyes Nose Lips, but let’s just pretend it’s this one, LOL! Everyone was singing along and ahh AHHHHHH goosebumps remembering it.
Tablo’s really adorable too. His heavily-accented Tagalog, ngaaaw! Nag-e-enjoy buh keyowh?! Aka, “Are you guys enjoying [the concert]?” :”)
The true dancing machine: DJ Tukutz! Tablo told us to cheer more for DJ Tukutz so he could dance more. You know, even if we didn’t, he’d still do it anyway. He was so hyper and I don’t think anyone could stop him, haha!
At this point, Tablo was signing on a cloth and Mithra was just behind, until DJ Tukutz told him to join Tablo. 😀
During their encore, their last song Don’t Hate Me, Mithra slipped. I was really surprised but he survived, lol, and he just laughed it off. I got to touch his hand too! ;__;
Also, I didn’t know where to place this! But highlight of the concert: they kept splashing water at us. Since I was in front, of course I got wet like 95% of the time. (Oy, keep your heads out the gutter! Lol) I can’t even at one time when after Mithra drank from his bottle, he threw the remaining content at us after and I had my mouth open because I was singing along. JUST. How to react o m g.
A wink and a thumbs-up after signing a fan’s album. Epik High did impromptu album-signing a lot of times throughout the concert. ;u;
The ~*hi-touch*~ session was after the concert. It was previously scheduled pre-concert but the interview took a little while so they had to change the schedule.
So! As if being up close wasn’t enough for the whole concert, there was this hi-touch thing too. Basically a high-five with each member. But no, NOOOO, not only that but I was determined to get a hug from Mithra (papa bear as Claud stated lol perfect description) and! After saying to DJ Tukutz and Tablo, “You guys were great!” When I proceeded to Mithra, he was a little confused at first when I asked him, “Can I have a hug? ;n;” but with the right nonverbal actions, YEEEES, I got that Mithra hug. ;__; He was so squishy, I cry!
As a whole, Epik High Parade in Manila was mind-blowing and amaaaaazing. I LOVE EPIK HIGH OMG. ;_; I’d pay to go to their concert. Heck, if they bring in a YG Family Concert here, I’d go just for them. (I’m… obviously not a fan of YG artists, hence the lack of Big Bang/2NE1 posts here, ehehe.)
A final note: A-B-C-D-E-P-I-K! Haha. My High is Epik!