I’m revealing what my very first DBSK video folder looked like. In lieu of conventional dates and even song titles, my favorite way to name performances was by outfit color. It also appears I thought stage lighting was particularly descriptive. But “Talk First Then Sing” definitely takes the cake! In fangirl theory it was supposed to make identifying videos easier. Now that it has been 10 years I can laugh at my file-naming ways. It’s funny because downloading was the only way I could watch videos back then, meaning I had a lot of practice naming files. Yet I continued with my special descriptions until about halfway though the Tri-Angle/Miduhyo comeback cycle. It finally hit me that DBSK would have an indefinite number of performances and I needed to find an organizational solution. Yes, I graduated to the trusty method of date + title! The 10th Anniversary is near so I’ve really been in a sappy mood. I keep trying to summarize 10 years into a singular picture in my mind. This screencap of my ancient DBSK folder is one of the many images there.
Like releasing albums and performing, holding concerts for the first time as a duo would be as much a test as it was a matter of pride. By January 2012, the nagging though anticipatory question was, what would a concert be like with just the two of them? I think Yunho and Changmin were more than ready to prove that a concert was a feat they not only desired but could pull off spectacularly. TONE would become the tour that did exactly that, bringing Yunho and Changmin’s restoration of TVXQ to completion.
TONE Tour was every bit about restoring TVXQ, the musical act as it was restoring Yunho and Changmin as persons. If Yunho crying was any indication, I think we could tell just how emotional the tour was. Going through those emotions was what Yunho and Changmin very badly needed. It was a healing process that brought back the confidence I had missed so much in them. I cannot be more grateful to the fans who attended the concerts which helped Yunho and Changmin believe in themselves again. Of course, I must not leave out how precious it was to see Yunho and Changmin’s trust in each other skyrocket — even higher than Smtown 2010 and Keep Your Head Down 2011 T_T.
We Are T!
*I’m embarrassed that I didn’t finish this series last year. Regardless, these ‘moments’ are what I see as defining points in DBSK’s timeline, worth revisiting during the anniversary.
The comeback wasn’t real to me until this photo. I had suspended my excitement because by that point I was a very wary fan. In my heart of hearts though, I always
knew believed Yunho and Changmin would keep DBSK alive. I was just afraid another unpredictable lawsuit equivalent would delay the comeback. But there they finally were, my 2 survivors in the rebirth of DBSK.
Having kept their dignified silence, it was stage demeanor that revealed how they approached the comeback. Yes, Keep Your Head Down was all sorts of fierce with Yunho and Changmin performing a DBSK x SMP title track exactly the way it should be done–not to mention the well suited combative sound of the song itself! But what really gave me chills was how visibly focused and determined they both were. After almost losing everything, it was for lack of better word, do or die. Keep Your Head Down was Yunho and Changmin choosing “do”. It was their moment of reclamation and they weren’t taking it lightly. This is why Keep Your Head Down has a meaning no other DBSK comeback or song can ever hold. It’s also why Keep Your Head Down is my DBSK anthem!
“After chaos, we stuck it out through the hard times. We’re still standing here.
We are DONG BANG SHIN GI.”
The way Yunho and Changmin floated from above with the epic intro music and message was absolutely chilling. Every element of this intro was carefully crafted to fit the circumstances. Even as of the 9th Anniversary, when I watch the intro, it still gives me goosebumps.
I don’t think I had ever felt so much hope before in my entire fandom life. As I sobbed along to the fancams, I also felt this incredible wave of adrenaline. It was like flying because Yunho and Changmin were suddenly there on stage again after the darkest uncertainty, resilient as ever.
Yunho and Changmin showed that they could get up again after falling. That they were ready to conquer what was rightfully theirs. It was Yunho and Changmin’s declaration of will.
Passion. Glory. Pride. DBSK.
2009 was the beginning of the end; I can accept it as that now.
I just couldn’t (didn’t want to) let myself reevaluate my entire DBSK world. It had been six beautiful years and then I was blindsided within 10 seconds of reading the lawsuit headlines. I wasn’t even asking ‘why’ at that point, I was stuck at ‘how’.
How could a year that started off so high suddenly hit standstill? How did the boys go through with 2 concert tours? How could the boys not agree on this life altering decision?
How could we all have been so happy? Even upon the 9th Anniversary, this question has never stopped haunting (taunting) me.
Recognizing Tohoshinki’s progress is a must when reminiscing the past 9 years. Their dream had always been a Dome concert. But to me, T Tour fulfilled my own goal for them. I wanted to see the boys able to express themselves to their hearts’ content. I can’t explain how painful it was to watch the boys struggle with the Japanese language barrier. It was so hard to watch them awkwardly laugh or be visibly unsatisfied with their replies. T Tour was at last that moment when I felt Tohoshinki’s sky had opened up.
Yoochun and Changmin’s “sexy counting” helps demonstrate what I’m talking about. Yoomin being able to do this gag indicated just how comfortable the boys were with the language and the Bigeast audience. Sure, it was a cheeky moment but a proud one because Tohoshinki could finally communicate fluidly.
080415 3rd Live Tour T @ Nagoya
*video: run99 + rminniew
We’re up to the year 2007.
DBSK had never been separated; literally, physically together since debut. The only remotely “solo” activity was when Junsu performed Timeless. Even then, the members were with him at the broadcast stations. So when Junsu left for Brazil (Anycall CF), it was everyone’s first taste of actual separation. The moment when Junsu arrived to rejoin the members truly showed just how relieved and happy the 5 were; in a sense, returning to normalcy.
Upon the 9th Anniversary, I am realizing just how unhealthy it was for the boys and fandom to have so little experience with separation. It took until now for me to see such a shortcoming and how crippling it turned out to be. But I have too many fond memories and accept this double-edged sword.