Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pearl Jam in Korea

Last night a coworker invited me to a concert in Hongdae. There were 3 bands, largely consisting of friends of the coworker. We got there early while the bands were doing sound checks and stuff so I got to have tall-boys from the 7-11 (the bar wasn't open yet) with various musicians before the show.

During the show, a riduculous number of people had nice SLR cameras. Apparently, half the point of going to a concert here is to photograph the band.

My favorite part of the show was the Pearl Jam cover band that played the second set. The singer did a pretty impressive Eddie Veddar impression, made even better when he would end a song and start speaking Korean to the crowd. Just a weird juxtaposition. I was especially amused by the fact that the lyrics at the beginning of 'Black' were much more understandable coming from the Korean cover band than the actual CD. But what really placed this show above a real Pearl Jam concert was when they took a break halfway through and the guitarest and basist sang an acoustic cover of 'Dancing Queen'. It was awesome. I wish Pearl Jam would take a break and have the guitarist sing acoustic Abba songs.

The 3rd group, who's vocalist wore a sleeveless turtleneck and sunglasses (a nice combo) also did various covers. Winger's '17' was my personal favorite. After the show, pretty much everyone who was there migrated to a pork place next door and then on to drinks in the area. A solid finale.

A few follow up notes about the love hotel.
1. It was cheaper to keep the room tonight. Apparently Sunday is not as busy a night.
2. It's definitely a love hotel. Despite all the efforts towards discretion, you can still hear things in the hallway pretty clearly. There are freaking surround sound stereos in the rooms, is putting on a little music to mask the noise while I'm waiting for the elevator too much to ask?
3. It's not just a jacuzzi, there's air temp sensors to turn the bathtub into a sauna. It's freaking sweet.

Previously I'd been told that the distinction between motel and hotel in Korea is that hotels tend to be the place you'd stay w/ the family and motels are the place you stay w/ a mistress. Usually, the distinction is clearly indicated by the gaudy neon lights. I'd also been told that the love motels are way nicer than normal hotels. Having previously stayed in hotels that generally consist of sleeping mats on the floor, I'd have to agree. Given the typical prices I'd seen on the internet for hotels in Seoul, this place isn't horribly expensive (just a little more than I care to pay to sleep somewhere). So, if you come to Korea, stay in places that have fringe covering the parking lot.

Now I'm going to go take a bath and use the "Body Sponge: Hotel Amenity Goods for Shower" since they're not big on normal washclothes here.

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