Rain has come

Asia’s king of pop’ has been trying to pump some life into flagging sales for his concert today at the Taoyuan County Stadium

Rain came prematurely to Taiwan because ticket sales for his concert today in Taoyuan (桃園) have been slow. What should have been a quick in-and-out has become a promotional slog for "Asia’s king of pop."

Though just 25,000 tickets were on offer at the 35,000-seater Taoyuan County Stadium (桃園縣立體育場) for the "Rain’s Coming" world tour of 17 cities in 11 countries, local organizers were not feeling the love. In comparison, tickets for Rain’s 2005 tour sold out as soon as they became available.

Hence, Rain’s personalized jet arrived a day earlier than expected on Thursday. The plane has a picture of the South Korean idol, with wings, wrapped around the tail. The image is strikingly similar to the mythical Icarus, but the symbolism is probably lost on all concerned.

The same day he checked into the Grand Hotel (圓山飯店), Rain was asked to perform at a press conference. Some fans tried to get in for an audience with their hero but meekly gave up the quest when a small security detail told them to go away.

There was no screaming or fainting and no groupies, either. It was a little disappointing.

Possibly the most enthusiastic fan was Aiko Moriguchi from Japan, who managed to get into the press conference as her tour group had access privileges to Rain in its package deal.

The senior manager at a trading company in Hong Kong has seen five Rain concerts in the past two years.

"I was on vacation so I took my chance and came here," she said in a combination of English, Chinese and Japanese. "He’s so sexy, his personality, the way he talks, sings and dances. He’s so shiny."

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