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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

old lady army in da house

the next morning, we got up and decided to venture out to see if we could have lunch at the spot we'd heard was BTS' favorite local restaurant.  we'd seen people posting on instagram that they would randomly run into the group there at all different times of the day, which pretty much meant that the food would be good too.

and of course it seemed like half of las vegas had had the same thought, because when we got there the line to get in was wrapped around the building.  d-oh!

we checked yelp and decided to hit up another highly-rated spot that was just down the street, only to find that the other half of vegas had done the same thing.  the wait there was three hours.  and so that's how we ended up at a slightly shitty but still edible KBBQ restaurant waaaaaaay off the beaten path.  and then after lunch, we headed to the donut shop the hub had found on instagram that was doing special BTS-themed donuts.  we'd preordered some, and picked up a box to share with lilcee & co too.

as we passed allegiant stadium, the hub offered to drop us off and wait in a nearby parking lot while we went in to see if we could score any concert merch.  the lines had been way too long while we were there the day before, and you know how we love a good concert tee.  the lines seemed pretty manageable once we finally made it down there, but when we checked the supply poster our hopes and dreams were crushed once again.

we decided to get in this line to see what we could find, and while the merchandise there wasn't specific to this concert or even this tour, we scored some shirts that we hadn't seen before.

when we exited the line, merchandise in hand, we decided to go and check out the other booths that were set up close by.  we'd seen ads on the big screen inside the stadium the night before for things like spicy instant noodles and BTS-themed tamagotchis and canned coffee, and they were all represented in those booths, plus other sponsors like the korea tourism organization and mcdonald's.

as we made our way out of there and back to where the hub was parked, we saw this poster advertising a BTS tattoo event.  she's way too young still for that, but even as die-hard as she is it wouldn't have been a consideration even if she'd been of age.  heh.

so a few weeks before, the hub had bought tickets to what he thought was the last concert that would be happening that evening.  but after he hit "purchase" he looked closer and realized that what he'd actually paid for was seats in the MGM grand arena - which the band had rented out so that fans who couldn't get concert tickets could watch a livestream of the concert that was happening down the street on a huge screen in a venue with hundreds of other BTS army members.  oops.

but in the days between the two concert weekends, he managed to score two tickets in one of the stadium suites so that i could take her to see the last show of the residency.  and because we're mean like that, we just let her keep on thinking that she was just going to watch the livestream - when in fact, we'd offered those tickets to lilcee & co to use.  muahahahahahaha.

meanwhile, we'd made it back to the hotel where we met up with our friends down the hall so that we could hang out and chat and deliver the box of donuts that we had for them.  when it got closer to showtime we went back to our own room to get ready, and i decided it was the perfect opportunity to put on the new t-shirt i'd picked up that afternoon. j-hope isn't my favorite member (or "my bias," as the kids call it) but i can appreciate his talent and wore his shirt happily.

we all piled into the truck, heading to MGM grand first to drop off lilcee and mr. lilcee and mini cee.  the bean was super confused when we told her to stay in the car, and even more so when we told her we were going to grab some dinner before the concert.  even when we approached the stadium, what was actually happening still didn't sink in.

but then when the hub pulled into the dropoff lane and turned around to smile at her and tell her to have a great time, she finally understood what was going on and the smile was ear-to-ear.

finding our way to the suite was a whole ass experience, though.  when we finally figured it out we were rather dismayed to find that the line to get in was just as long as any of the merchandise lines we'd seen.  sheesh.

it took longer than we'd anticipated, but finally we made our way to the front where our tickets were scanned in and we were directed to the escalators that would take us to the right place.

when we got to the suite, we found that most of the seats had already been taken and the complimentary food and drinks were pretty picked through.  while our tickets had seat numbers on them, we were told that it was a first-come, first-served deal and so we had to take what we could get.  luckily there were two seats together on the far end of the suite in the second row.  not ideal, but better than nothing.  and this was our view...pretty sweet.

when i realized that there was one seat right in front of us that was unoccupied, i told the bean to move up and take it.  the view would be unobstructed and i figured that she'd have a fantastic time even if i was sitting behind her instead of next to her.  except that as soon as she sat down this lady came lumbering over claiming that she'd taken that seat and demanding that she move.  my poor child turned around and looked at me with huge eyes, and this woman was making such a scene that i just told her to come on back into the seat next to me.

oh well.  we were still at the concert and getting ready to enjoy the boys live and in person, so we just sat back and savored every minute.

even though it was the very same show as the night before, being this close made it a whole different experience...in the best way.

i was really amused when this chick who was in the suite next to us hung out in the aisle and proceeded to write a draft of a blog post on her phone while the concert was going on.  she was sharing some deep, deep thoughts.

and there was jungkook down on that stage showing off those abs in that crop top again.

my amusement turned into irritation again though, when the annoying woman motioned to her friend/husband/significant other/whatever and had him join her, sharing space that was meant for one occupant and blocking our view in a big way.  i'm not ashamed to admit that i took this and texted it to the number that had been posted around the stadium to "report any conduct concerns."

i don't know if they'd anticipated that anyone might report them, but for awhile they would take turns occupying the seat - which, of course, is when stadium staff came to check on my report.  and so of course when they replied to my text they said that they had looked in on the suite but didn't see a problem.  someone else in the suite must have complained as well though, because at some point i could hear loud voices and when i turned around i could see a man standing there with his son gesturing angrily at the rows of seats that were fully occupied.  the suite was kind of a hot ass mess.

and then a little while later the couple was back, and so i took another photo and texted it again - and this time, the staff's timing was on point and made their way down the row to politely ask one of them to find a spot elsewhere in the suite as the seat was meant for only one person.  we couldn't hear what exactly was said, but they were obviously trying to push back on what was being asked of them and refused to move.  luckily there was a second staff member standing in the aisle watching everything, and he came into the row and spoke just a few words to the man who finally gave up and slunk off.  

this left us to enjoy the rest of the concert with a mostly clear view of the stage, and enjoy we did.

during a costume change break, we looked across the arena and noticed that the synchronized army bomb/light sticks formed hearts and spelled out "BTS army."

that's also when i happened to look over and see someone dressed as what looked like a marshmallow peep standing in the aisle.  so weird.

and then we got to that final song, and the show came to an end.  

after blowing kisses and waving to their adoring fans, the guys gathered underneath the marquee for one final bow.

they continued to wave at everyone as the marquee lowered down over them, peeking underneath as long as they could.

but this time, when they finally disappeared completely from sight, there was something different.  the arena stayed dark, and the band's logo flashed on the big screen.

the screaming intensified as an all-new trailer played on the screen, showing flashes of BTS music videos and ending with a dramatic flair:  the words "we are bulletproof," and ending with a date - 6.10.22.  

so much excite.

and on our way outta there, i spotted the man who'd been ejected from that seat sitting angrily on a couch in the back of the suite while the woman who'd booted the bean did her best to soothe his ruffled feathers.  sorry not sorry.

despite the mass of people exiting the venue at the same time, it was surprisingly easy to find the hub in the pickup lot.  we hopped into the truck and headed back to the conrad, where lilcee & co. were already waiting after having taken a taxi back from the MGM grand.  we met up and went off in search of food, which we found at "sun's out buns out," a cute little spot that had just reopened for late-night dining.


that day was quite the rollercoaster of emotions.  so much fun, and an awesome way to end our weekend in vegas.

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