I’m just going to preface this post with this disclaimer – this is a complete dorkfest.
The M Cultour Experience – Seeing M Countdown Live
I knew I wanted to see some kind of concert whilst in Korea. I opted for the Mnet cultural tour aka M Cultour as it was the easiest way for me to go without having to queue for hours! A concert experience is wonderful but I really don’t want to waste a day in Seoul.
I did not know who was going to be on the show but that didn’t bother me. I mean if you compare the cost of M Cultour (approx £30) to a regular KPOP con in London, this is a serious bargain! My ticket was booked through SM Town Travel.
How to Get There
It’s located about ten minutes away from the digital media centre train station. I’m the type that likes to get a rough sense of direction and then just follow my nose. I couldn’t gather my bearings at all! But I asked a lady and she mimed some walking actions and pointed me in the right direction.
Then my GPS was all ok and I managed to find a short cut. You’ll pass this statue if you cut through to the studio building.
I wasn’t sure what kind of building I should be expecting. Well let me tell you, it’s A HUGE ONE. This is where you want to go.
For the M Cultour, you need to head to the basement! You will be placed in a group depending on the language that you speak (Chinese, Japanese or English). Then you will be issued with a numbered wrist band.
As I was late, I got a pretty high number. I wouldn’t be too deterred by this because being no.1 doesn’t guarantee you will be at the front.
Along with the wrist band, you get handed a cute little pouch with some things inside.
I’m presuming they are exo related. I have to say even though I don’t stan them, I give ten out of ten for the eye shades! They are super soft and stay on my face.
The Waiting Game
After that, you’re in for a bit of a wait. Whilst the crowd disperses you can actually spot a few idols walking around if you are quick enough! It seems like no one is paying attention. I got talking to a girl from the UK who knew everyone! I recognised Lim from the Wonder Girls. She was literally just walking around and so we said hi to her.
Then it was time to go up. The team leaders of the English, Japanese and Chinese groups played rock paper and scissors to see who would go first into the studio. Luckily the English team won so we got to go inside first!
We were lead up these stairs (The pic below is from Amber’s ranting monkey vlogs!)
On the way, we passed a band called Madtown and we all started greeting each other.
We then sat down in front of the studio doors. You could hear rehearsals going on inside.
We waited and waited some more…..bums hurting.
We were finally let in. Really, concerts have been really good to me. I was in the front, pretty much slap bang in the centre, the apex of the stage if you will!
Walking in, you can see there is a separate stage for the hosts. This is where Key (who by the way.. is SO pretty) and co were standing. Surrounding them were their own fans. Most of time, we couldn’t see them because we were facing the stage and their backs are to the stage.
On separate sides of the main stage, were fandoms of certain groups ready to cheer their favourites on. The number of selected fans is not that big compared to the main crowd, but boy can those fandoms scream and shout. They completely over power the main crowd haha. As you can see from the picture, there are camera runs on both sides.
If you are in the first row, you will also spot the security guard. He is always checking that everyone stays behind their lines.
Random thoughts on the M Cultour
- The first group on stage were so nervous! At least one of the guys was. He was closing his eyes and looked tense. But when they performed, they were completely fine!
- Melodyday are really thin. I’m not here to body shame but it shows me that what I see on TV and what I see in real life can be completely different stories.
- Brave Girls – High heels – love this song! But their poor feet. They were really stomping on the ground hard.
- Astro were adorable.
- Happy I got to see Eric Nam. I don’t really know his songs but I love him as a host.
- Madtown – There’s one guy with blonde slicked back hair. He has got a lot of stage presence. Totally looks like a movie star!
- Some idols don’t perform the whole song since they have pre-recorded their parts already.
- A lot of the songs I heard during the show (episode 483!) are now my songs of the summer! This includes VERY NICE by Seventeen. Uh amazing dancing!
As you know, Vromance are my favourite new discovery. They were bright and breezy. I was so surprised. They don’t seem like a band that’s just debuted. A lot of people (including myself) were wondering who they were. Kind of a dumb question when their name is flashing behind them in bright orange!
And..HOMG…I didn’t know that SISTAR would be here.
They were amazing! I love Hyolyn. She was so smiley and waved to the crowd. My gawds, Bora, I know she is pretty but in the flesh….goddess. I’m so glad I got to see them because no girl groups ever tour in the uk!
Yay for another girl group I love! The Wonder Girls. They made me realise another bucket list and that was to witness a win and see an idol moved to tears. So thanks Yubin!
And the end
It is definitely worth going to the M Cultour for the experience. Even if you don’t know the bands! You get a chance to see fresh faces and new songs. Plus it’s not so screamy like a concert. So you can enjoy the performances without extreme nutters screaming in your ear (well sometimes).
Although the stage is simple, the graphics and visuals really helped make it pop so it was like watching a mv live.
Tips for seeing M Countdown
- I recommend signing up with SM Town Travel and following their twitter. They’ll let you know when tickets for Mnet countdown are available. When it gets to the 1st of whatever month you are intending to go, hop on over to the site to get the details. Tickets go very fast!
- Note that M Countdown is aired on Thursdays so ensure that you will actually be there for that date!
- Don’t bother bringing a big camera because they’re not allowed! And also, what’s the point? it’s on tv anyway!
- If you are a tall person and near the front, you may be asked to move to the back. I would not recommend wearing heels.
- If you are late to the M cultour *coughslikeme* I wouldn’t worry too much. Apparently, they just show a 3D film of the building. Not sure why that is needed as you can see it in 3D for yourself just by standing outside.
- Although it’s good to be on time, as you can win some random cute kpop prizes! 😀
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