When I opened my eyes I was a Superstar – Chapter 64: Expansion Pack (3)

< Seo Tae Joon LIVE performance: D-38 >

It was a short but powerful message. It was because of the three words written on it that formed the name Seo Tae Joon.

‘Seo Tae Joon! That’s right, they said Seo Tae Joon is coming back, ending his 8 long years of inactivity…’

Do Wook recalled the article he saw recently. It was when they were preparing the ‘LAST DANCE’ album. The name Seo Tae Joon floated around the search trends for over 3 days.

Seo Tae Joon released innovative dance music to replace the existing popular music. In less than a year after his debut, he turned the Korean Pop music world upside down.

Given the title of President of Culture, he appeared in musical and social studies textbooks.

Then one day 8 years ago, when he was at the height of his career, he went to the U.S. after suddenly announcing his retirement and disappeared.

Nobody knew the reason for his disappearance, there were only rumors.

At that time, Seo Tae Joon was practically a deity to his fans. After hearing about his retirement, some fans threatened to commit suicide, which even made it into the news.

Then just as suddenly as he retired, he suddenly held a concert and was said to release an album at the concert.

When his comeback was announced, his zealous fans, who had not forgotten him for 8 years, were exhilarated. Their solidarity could only be matched by their longing.

Even those who were not necessarily zealous fan but had heard his songs back in the day enjoyed listening to his songs to the point that they could all be considered fans of Seo Tae Joon. He was an icon of that time. Because of that, especially people in their 30s felt nostalgia over the news of his comeback and were looking forward to it.

That his songs wouldn’t be the same as before or that he resurfaced because he ran out of money. Such criticisms were in the minority, and it wasn’t what people were expecting.

‘Seo Tae Joon…He’s truly amazing. He’s the epitome of genius. He’s doing a comeback after 8 years but his songs are never behind the times …’

All of Seo Tae Joon’s albums were very popular, to the point that being even a little worried was laughable.

Of course he didn’t give off the same vibe as the dance singer from 8 years ago who shook the hearts of maidens, but he was still popular enough to uphold the authority of someone who had held the title of President of Culture.

“They got the area under control for the most part, so get out of the car. Don’t take the time to greet the fans, just walk very quickly!”

Manager Oh Baek Ho yelled as he opened the car door.

Do Wook snapped out of thinking about Seo Tae Joon.

The members quickly grabbed their backpacks and exited the car. As soon as they caught a glimpse of the top of the members’ heads, the shrieks from fans became loud enough to burst one’s eardrums.

The fans had backed away from the temporary guard line that security had put up, but they were now pushing each other to get to the front and see the KK members from even just a little bit closer.

The security guards stopped those fans. The members wanted to greet all of them, but the more their movements were slowed down, the higher the risk of a safety accident occurring.

Do Wook urgently quickened his steps and only glanced over the fans. A fan who made eye contact with Do Wook stopped in her tracks and covered her mouth with her hands.

“Wow, seriously…”

Fumbling, the fan grabbed the wrist of the friend next to her. The KK members had entered inside the stadium where the back of their heads were no longer visible.

“What? What is it, what is it?!”

“Uh uh uh uh…I made eye contact with Kang Do Wook!!!”

“What? Are you sure you didn’t just imagine it?”

“No! I mean it! Really! 100%! Ah, my heart is pounding! The second our eyes met, I thought my heart would stop!”

“Seriously? Crazy! I didn’t even get a good look at his face!”

“Do Wook…He’s seriously no joke. He’s totally different from when I saw him on the public broadcast last time. I think he got more handsome! It feels like he’s in a class of his own, it’s like…like this!”

The fan who had made eye contact with Do Wook sputtered on and on like crazy.

The expression ‘renewal of beauty’ came to mind for most fans when they saw Do Wook up close.

In reality, the little bit of childish appearance that had remained on Do Wook’s 19-year-old face had disappeared. As the lines on his face became more prominent, he heavily exuded manliness.

That kind of appearance combined with Do Wook’s serious vibe created a strong aura.

Do Wook was starting to get a strong star aura where people could tell ‘it’s a celebrity!’ from even afar.

Site of the first anniversary celebration fan meeting.

On the stage, the KK members were overcome with emotion as they looked at the fans who had come just to see them. They were as happy as when they received the Rookie of the Year award.

The fan meeting started with their debut song ‘Sorry but I Love You’ as the opening song. The KK members gave their all into the performance that they had restlessly prepared for.

Additional songs from the albums that they couldn’t perform on music broadcasts were also included in the performance. The fans went wild over the setlist made jusst for them.

They had a first anniversary celebration cake cutting, and played a ‘speak using five words’ game.

They split into two teams and played a game where they spun around 10 times then ate candy that was hanging. The team who lost the game had to go around to all the seats on the second floor and distribute candy to the fans.

“Dongsang* team!!! Dongsang team!!!”
(TL note: Dongsang is younger sibling)

“Hyuuuuuunnnngggg*! Please lose!”
(TL note: Hyung is older brother)

The fans on the second floor were rooting for the team their favorite member was in to lose. It was because they wanted to see them up close.

The winners were the Dongsang team. Suk Ji Hoon was a little slow, but they had two people with outstanding athletic skills, Park Tae Hyung and Do Wook, so it was an obvious outcome.

The members who were part of the ‘Hyung team’ grabbed a large basket of candy and got onto the elevator at the edge of the stage. The fans went wild over them getting on the elevator.

It was also the moment the security guards were most nervous about. The security guards who were given word over their radio that the members were going up to the second floor went on high alert.

Ahn Hyung Seo, Kim Won, and Jung Yoon Ki, who had come up to the second floor, excitedly threw candy to the fans on the second floor. At the same time they calmed down the fans who were reaching over each other to get the candy.

It was true that Jung Yoon Ki, who typically found it annoying to move, was getting energized after seeing the fans in front of him. They were all people who liked him. They liked him, were fanatical about him, and were the fans who made this current situation possible.

As they looked at the members on the second floor waving their hands and distributing candy to the fans, the members on the stage got up, grabbed a candy basket, and dispersed.

Do Wook went to the area in front of the center stage and gave candy to the fans, then sat down back on the stage and continued to show the fans his smiling face.

‘Ahh….I’m happy!’

Do Wook thought as he looked at the fans below.

He had fans who sing the songs, dance the choreographies… and enjoy his performance. That someone can become happy with just one smile from him. Those feelings made him happy.


The happy fan meeting moment came to an end.

Looking towards the future, Do Wook had to work hard to become a good singer, to give not only the fans but himself even greater happiness.

The members, who had finished the fan meeting, were motivated from the event and were full of determination to work hard.

The consecutive 1st place trophies they won for ‘LAST DANCE’ spurred that determination. Each member practiced singing and dancing to the best of their abilities.

The response to the entertainment show Ahn Hyung Seo and Kim Won appeared on was very good as well, even though they were on a panel that was only briefly shown on-screen, because they put in a lot of effort into their reactions.

Kim Won played a big role in the quiz show and even won 3rd place. It naturally became known that Kim Won was a great genius.

Requests flooded in from entertainment programs for the two of them to appear on their shows, and the company was going through them little by little.

Do Wook had a meeting with Album Production Team Leader Shim Joon. Jung Yoon Ki was also with him at the meeting.

Do Wook had discussed his opinion with Jung Yoon Ki first. Jung Yoon Ki, who had been silently listening, had patted Do Wook’s shoulder.

“You don’t need to get my opinion from now on. We’ll do everything you want to do.”

At Jung Yoon Ki’s words, Do Wook had laughed a little. One year had passed since they had debuted, and they’d known each other for a year and a half.

Do Wook felt reassured that he was able to build this much trust with leader Jung Yoon Ki during the time they’d spent together.

Album Production Team Leader Shim Joon, who was in the conference room, greeted Do Wook and Jung Yoon Ki. Not only Team Leader Shim Joon but also the Production Team staff were there.

“Welcome. You’re really busy these days, right? Yoon Ki, have you lost weight?”

After working together for a year, the members had developed a relatively close relationship with Team Leader Shim Joon. They had also quickly become close through the many company dinners.

After spending time together, they realized that Team Leader Shim’s personality wasn’t particularly prickly and that he was a capable person, someone good to have as an older brother.

Because of that, the members, including Jung Yoon Ki, recently started calling him by the odd nickname “Team Leader Hyung”.

“No. I’m ok.”

“Ok. I got the general idea from Do Wook. What kind of concert do you want to do?”

Do Wook nodded his head.

He had told Team Leader Shim Joon that he wanted to have a concert, but hadn’t told him the details. Jung Yoon Ki swallowed his saliva. When he first heard Do Wook’s idea, Jung Yoon Ki realized once again that Do Wook was no ordinary guy.

Of course KK had now risen to the ranks of popular singers to some extent. They weren’t the most popular group in the nation, but they had certainly become the ‘hottest’ group.

‘But the concert he’s talking about…is on a completely different level. Is it really doable?’

However, Jung Yoon Ki trusted that Do Wook wouldn’t say something that was impossible. Also, Do Wook was amazing just for coming up with this idea.

“Yes. I’d like for KK to be invited to perform at Seo Tae Joon sunbae’s concert.”

Team Leader Shim Joon had an expression on his face as if thinking “what in the world did I just hear?” The staff member who had brought a laptop and was opening up Notepad to record the minutes of the meeting had the same expression.

“Seo…Seo Tae Joon? Ah. There was a lot of commotion that he’s doing a comeback this time. I was a fan of Seo Tae Joon when I was younger too, so I’m really looking forward…to it. I had a hard time getting tickets to the concert too. You mean that Seo Tae Joon?”

“Yes, Team Leader. That Seo Tae Joon.”

A brief silence fell in the conference room. Team Leader Shim looked at Jung Yoon Ki, who was sitting next to Do Wook. His gaze looked like he was asking if Do Wook was in his right mind.

Seo Tae Joon was famous for his air of mystery too. There were not many people he interacted with, which is why for 8 long years the public didn’t hear any news of him.

KK performing at such a person’s concert. Team Leader Shim Joon couldn’t begin to wrap his mind around what it would mean.

Anybody could tell that on the day Seo Tae Joon came out of retirement and held the concert, obviously the entertainment industry as well as the public interest would be focused on Seo Tae Joon. Team Leader Shim Joon was also planning on going to the concert that day.

Therefore, if you are invited to perform at Seo Tae Joon’s concert, that invited artist will also get a lot of the spotlight on them.

If you perform on Seo Tae Joon’s stage, it means that he has acknowledged your music and it will be like gaining a strong backer.

But would that be possible? The same question Jung Yoon Ki had, popped into Team Leader Shim Joon’s head. There was no precedent of Seo Tae Joon having someone else perform at his concert.

“There is a way.”

Seo Tae Joon was an idol to Team Leader Shim Joon as well. KK performing at that very Seo Tae Joon’s concert. Team Leader Shim Joon’s heart started racing at Do Wook’s words.

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