Like for so many others who attended Infinite‘s One Great Step tour concert in New York on November 16th, the overall atmosphere of the front part of the pit was horrendous. I was upset for all the fans who had to be rescued by security, upset for how some were behaving, and upset for how Infinite was clearly affected by seeing their precious Inspirits being hurt. Below is the first third of my experience inside after the long wait in line.
Yes, I was super excited like the rest of the fans, but I was considerate enough to wait for my friend who was right behind me in the squished mob of a mess line thing outside instead of running off by myself to try to get as close to the stage as possible. We both made it into the venue and were directed to a certain entrance to get our tickets scanned. Right after mine was done, I sped walked into the ballroom. Wow, it seemed pretty big and empty at the moment, since there were maybe only about 20-30 right up against the barriers in front of the stage at that time. I had expected that I would not be able to be anywhere near the front due to all the pushing and shoving and cutting that happened in the “line” outside. I heard a friend call over to me and I started half-running towards her (since security had been shouting at people not to run), and ended up standing next to her. I made it into the second “row” from the front. My other friend joined us shortly after, right behind/between us. There was an awkward step from where I was standing and where she would almost be falling off, so she tried to hold onto me and the other friend as more people ran in excitedly and started pushing. Before even half of the front portion of the floor was filled, people started to faint/have trouble breathing. Why? Pushing, shoving, people’s faces pressed into others’ backs, the lack of air con, the lack of water, and the refusal of the venue to allow water. Earlier in the line outside the venue, fans were already encouraged not to drink water or eat much due to the threat of being locked behind the barricades if too many people kept moving in and out of the line.
It was around 6:30 or later, and the concert would not be starting till 8pm. Us Early Admission fans would have to stand and watch Infinite music videos loop over and over again until that time. It was really warm– wait, that’s an understatement. I had to take my OGS jacket off and tie it around my waist and hope I wouldn’t lose it. Security was nice in that they let the first few rows of fans put their belongings on the other side of the barrier. If only everyone could… In the midst of all of it, my eyelids felt heavy and my body was begging for sleep. I think I closed my eyes several times for like a minute or so. My friend behind me was trying to stay awake, so we just both resorted to playing with the two pom poms on either side of my head. At first, I thought it wasn’t that bad. Then, when more people came in, it only grew worse.
I saw one of my friends get pulled out of the pit before Infinite even appeared on stage. Several more wanted out as well, and a few had even outright fainted before they could be moved. Some people started asking for water, but the security kept saying that they could not offer any even if they wanted to, as the venue did not allow water. Manhattan Center… *facepalm* I thought that it would get better again, which it did for the remainder of the music video showing. For my side, anyway. My friends standing on the left side were getting pushed around quite a lot and they had to work hard to stand their ground. The General Admission and balcony fans got let in at some point (I couldn’t turn my head to look), as I started to hear lots of cheering and screams from the back. Despite being nudges this way and that by people around me, I managed to feel tired. I was fighting back sleep, and the repetitiveness of the music videos was not helping.
Then, the music video for Destiny ver. A came up on the screen. The pushing and screaming escalated almost instantly. The epic intro flashed by (according to my memories, haha) and then the flashing lights went crazy, as did the excitement of Inspirits. The huge red curtain teased us with the outlines of Infinite, arms held above them on chains. When the curtains dropped, I thought my eardrums burst– everything in that room became louder than anything I have ever heard, haha. Contrary to what I had thought my reaction would be when I first saw Infinite with my own eyes on that stage, my first thought was not, OMG THEY ARE SO ASKDBFOADKJBAEL HOT AND RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!! It was, instead: Whoa, they’re short. I already had a sense that they were nowhere near being the tallest KPop group in averages, but I couldn’t picture them to look like, well, boys my age. It made me feel happy, that they are not so unreachable and “not of this earth”.
After Destiny, Tic Tock, then Paradise rolled by. I was mesmerized by them, but not enough to lose awareness of my surroundings. By then, more people were fainting or suffocating in the mess of a pit. I was shoved around so much to the point I couldn’t even move my arms, so I did what I could to avoid toppling over.
**To anyone that was struggling around me, I tried my best to help, I really did! Sorry that I’m not strong enough to lift properly. (´ヘ｀;)**
As for Wings and Inception, by that point I started to have more than a slight issue breathing properly. Tip-toeing wasn’t working for me anymore, as more hands got caught in my hair (my hair wasn’t even long, lol, that’s how on top of each other everyone was) and some people who were pushing their way to the front dared to prop their arms on top of my shoulders, pushing me down. At one point, I actually almost fell backwards onto the floor when someone else behind me fell, but I quickly got back up and helped her up as well. I understand that everyone was very excited, but people came out of that concert with broken bones, bruises, bodily pains or even worse. Getting to see KPop stars does not mean that one can hurt others to try and get what he/she wants, intentionally or unintentionally. The oppas would be very disappointed and appalled. At some point, I remembered Dongwoo saying for fans to take it easy, because we would all be there for a long time. He looked so concerned, and so did Sungyeol, who was next to him.
It was getting really hot, but I thought I could survive, tipping my head back to breathe every several seconds. Others were in worse shape, so I let them be pulled out, though my own strength was failing me and eventually I couldn’t even lift legs. I don’t barely remember Can U Smile or Going to You, and Sungjong and Sungyeol’s 1/3 that I was really looking forward to does not exist in my memories at all. It got even worse when Infinite H came on stage with Victorious Way and Special Girl. I think Special Girl was the worst part of the whole concert for me. By then, I was covered in my own sweat (never knew I could sweat so much), others’ sweat, and starting to cry. I tried calling out for help, but my voice was not able to capture the attention of security, and I had also been shoved back quite a few feet from my original spot at that point. I heard someone in front of me say something like I have to shout louder because I wasn’t loud enough. THe person sounded quite rude. I felt this wave of anger rush over me. I mean, I was weak, a sweat galore, and knees were threatening to give out while people were pulling my hair and pushing me down. There was only so much I could do! (insert rant here) -.-;
The duration of That Year’s Summer and I Like You were also pretty bad for me. That was when all of Infinite came back on stage and threw plushies and paper airplanes into the audience. Of course, it went absolutely wild and I was once again struggling for life. I didn’t even care about obsessing over trying to catch anything, I just wanted to be able to breathe. I’m 5’3 and around the same height as the others who were around me at the start, but I saw some taller people had shoved their way to the front too as more people were getting pulled out.
A group of nice Asian girls were at some point suddenly behind me (before Myungsoo’s solo Love U Like U?) and I didn’t feel as much of the pushing anymore. They were SO NICE (OMG I REALLY WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU TO THEM AND HUG THEM ❤ ❤ <3) I heard one ask if I was okay. I could breathe a little better at that point and most of the people who needed out were out by then. Some minutes later, probably, another girl asked if I was okay again. I teared up, not because I was have trouble breathing, but because individuals actually cared to ask me about how I was doing. But then it got kind of bad again and I was starting to get dizzy. I weakly tried to call out for help again. Those girls behind me stopped the ones who were trying to push past them and one was like, “She needs to get out!” as soon as they noticed I needed to get out. One girl brushed my sweaty mess of hair aside and blew on my neck as another fanned my back with a fansign. I was so thankful. That whole time, my right arm was extended, hoping that a security guard would notice. A few girls in front of me helped out by yelling, “Security! Over here! Someone needs to get out!”
When they caught the attention of one security guard, he came right over. I heard one girl behind me say, “We need to help Sungjong get out! Let’s help her get out!” She must have read the back of my shirt, and I laughed inside, though I was still physically crying from all the commotion. I felt myself being pushed forward, and it didn’t take me long to get to the rail, surprisingly. (All the nice girls around me who let me through, thank you ^_^) The guard told me to hold onto him as he pulled me up. No joke, I had never felt heavier than I did at that moment. I noticed my OGS jacket was slipping off my waist and I was all like OH NO YOU DON’T, JACKET! YOU ARE COMING WITH ME I PAID SO MUCH MONEY FOR YOU, reaching down to tug it upwards with one hand. The guard then told me to hold onto him with both hands. Haha, sorry, needed to quickly save my jacket first. I made it over the rail with no drops, and I was turned around to sit on it for a few seconds. I stared blankly up at the balcony and took in huge breaths, though I did not know at the time what was going on. I quickly saw the faces of two of my friends who saw me in that horrible state. They looked so worried. >n< Then I was gently dragged down to the other side of the rail, landing on my two feet that were completely jelly by then. Standing there for several seconds, I tired to catch my breath. Alone, with no other rescued fans around me, I then stumbled my way over to the left side, completely forgetting to get my stuff first. One of the poms in my hair was gone, but I was not going to even try diving back into that pit to try and find it.
Then… I bumped into someone.
TO BE CONTINUED…
**Sorry for the lack of beautiful HD pictures. I took them with my phone and forgot to use the zoom feature… meaning in all of these pictures, they look a little farther away from me than they actually were. >:3
But don’t worry, I will put a master concert photo post up later! In return, please don’t remove the watermarks from my pictures, thank you!