As a long time Triple S and now ELF, I’ve watched SS501’s Newton X Concert (2010 – 5th Anniv) countless times and currently, I have just finished watching SJ’s SS6 Encore Concert Final Ment (2015 – 10th Anniv). Shockingly (or not), as I tried to control myself from tearing like an idiot, I realised that there are many, many parallels between these 2 groups’ ‘farewell’ ments.
Just some background info: Both groups debuted in 2005 – SS501 in June and Super Junior in November. When SS501 held the Newton X Concert in 2010, they just celebrated their 5th anniversary – pretty symbolic for a group at that time where groups from MPC markets were known to disband because of the ‘5-year curse’, if they weren’t binded by slave contracts. Now, SJ is celebrating their 10th, as I had mentioned earlier. Yes, I understand that both aren’t really farewells – SS501 was going to focus on their solo stages for a while since they couldn’t perform together due to contract issues whereas SJ will soon have 5 (out of 11? or 13?) members in the army, with most of the 5 being their best dancers. And soon, the last 2 – their best singers – will be enlisting soon. So, for both groups, they will be taking a break from (nearly) full strength activities.
But when I refer to the parallels between them, I am not referring to their debut anniversary or anything along those lines. I’m referring to their tear-stained ments that are just brimming with sincerity and heart-felt messages from the members to their fans, with the following being some typical statements:
“Let’s stay together not just for 5/10 years, but for the next 10, 20, 30 years to come, until we are old and wrinkly.”
“As long as you want to listen to our songs, we will always continue singing for you.”
“Thank you and sorry and I will strive to become the (adjective) (name) of (group).”
“Ah, why are you crying?” /cues jokes from other members to liven up the atmosphere while fans chant ‘don’t cry!! T_T’/
“We are not crying because it’s a sad occasion, but because it’s a beautiful memory that we want to preserve.”
“We will be taking a break from ___, but when we come back, you guys will be here, right? /cues resounding chorus of ‘YES’ from the fans/ We will return as a better ___. See you in ___.”
“Just have faith in us and believe us, alright? We promise.”
Meanwhile, there will be members who sob uncontrollably, such that it becomes pretty hard to talk, and there will be others who will be patting/swatting them and offering them tissue papers ETC.
And you know what? Despite these ments being nearly identical, no matter how many times I listen to them, my fragile heart never fails to weep for the groups. I suppose such thankful emotions are common among entertainers who have received such overwhelming love from their fans over such a long period of time, so I wouldn’t be doubting their sincerity (not that much anyway), but honestly, I think such emotions – and thus speeches – are partly caused by the state of mind at that point in time.
I’m not saying that they are empty promises, but realistically speaking, it is nearly impossible for groups to continue performing after several decades, if you consider factors such as declining popularity, ageing, contract issues, business (!!!), personal life, and any other unexpected situations that may arise. (hey KHJ) Of course, when there’s a will, there’s a way; but the way may not always be the most rational decision to execute. (Do I sound like an Economist yet? (; )
(Actually, I don’t know what’s the point of this entry but…) In conclusion, I suppose only time will tell how true their ments are – whether they actually keep to their promise or whether they are just ‘toying’ with their fans’ feelings to sustain their popularity. Not insinuating anything here, but I believe that in a free market, decisions are indeed driven by rationality and self-interest that aim to maximise one’s marginal private benefit. (Unless one’s morals and values are perceived to be worth more than the tangible, monetary benefits.)
Meanwhile, let me return to the video to cry over the emotional ment. To be honest though, I find Donghae’s speech the most sincere and heartfelt, despite a lack of obvious tears. It’s so apparent that he cherishes his role as a performer so much and that he will really miss the stage- he gave a farewell kiss to the concert stage (HAHAHA that’s right – the stage, not the fans!!) That, in itself, is really inspirational for me – refer to previous entry. Heechul’s ment was really touching too, for someone who has only cried twice in his 10 years as an entertainer. /Yes, please let me indulge in such frivolous matters before school starts and I start to pore over my stacks of books yay/