Dallas was once again fortunate to be chosen as a stop on a Kpop group’s American tour. Seventeen, a relatively young group, both in age and in years since debut, are extremely popular and have a large following in the US. Tickets sold fast and the ‘photo ops’ and ‘hi touches’ sold out even before the tickets went on sale to the general public.
Maybe because it was August in Texas, but the fans didn’t line up hours before the show as I’ve witnessed at past concerts, instead it was a little more normal with many fans arriving just an hour or so before the doors opened. I was lucky to be able to meet some friendly new faces at their first Kpop concert. It is always fun to see the excitement of first timers. (They weren’t new to Kpop, just to seeing it live.)
Once the doors opened the excitement began to build for everyone. The auditorium was bubbling with voices as fans found their seats and chatted with those around them. It took a while for everyone to get inside, with last minute entrants rushing down the aisles to find their places. The countdown had everyone screaming with anticipation and joy.
Once again I must apologise for the quality of my photos, but this is how they came on stage, backlit from behind so all we could see was their silhouettes. It was almost long enough for me to begin to wonder if there was a mistake with the lighting, but apparently not. It was just to build the suspense and anticipation.
When we did see them they were in different colored outfits so it was a little easier to tell them apart. One of the larger Kpop groups, Seventeen has 13 members, mostly Korean (one of whom grew up in the US) with a couple of Chinese members as well as as a Korean American. They are sometimes subdivided into 3 units, one specializing in Hip Hop, one Vocals, and one Performance unit, which allows them to highlight each member’s specific talents. However, when they perform all together it is hard to tell who’s in each subunit as they are all so talented.
Everyone was pleased to see Hoshi in the lineup as he had missed the Chicago concert due to illness, but he assured everyone that he was feeling ok. Hoshi was one of the standouts of the concert for his ebullient audience interactions and his lively stage presence. He also seemed to like taking his jacket half off. Known for choreographing many of the routines he was an extremely talented dancer.
The stages, sets and backdrops were visually striking and along with the Pink Floyd style light show were quite impressive. Unfortunately at times they came very close to overpowering the people on stage. We came to see Seventeen and although a great concert experience can be enhanced by the stage effects they can also spoil one. Fortunately Seventeen, for the most part, managed to keep our attention focused on them.
While I tried to watch everyone, but sometimes that was obviously impossible so I let my eyes wander to whoever stood out. For me it was Woozi, a tiny 5’5″ bundle of charisma and energy, who stood out at first because of his size but who kept my attention because of his talent. Then there was Mingyu, the opposite at 6’1″ who caught my eye not only because of his size but because of his cute smile that never seemed to leave his face the entire concert. If he wasn’t singing he was smiling. (I’m also his fan since watching him on the Korean Variety show Law of the Jungle.) Jun was an unexpected tug in that even when he was dancing in the back line my eyes were drawn to him. At times he had a very laid back relaxed style and then wham he was executing every move and step in an intense crisp style. Of course S.Coups voice caught my attention and in all honesty there were times I focused on each of them as they all had their shining moments.
(Wow, brief pause as I had to go look out the window. I’m writing this as Hurricane Harvey is smashing into South Texas. A category 4 storm on landfall he has just been downgraded to a cat 1, but the winds here are intense with trees bending sideways, plus we’re expected to get about 6 inches of rain and that’s with us being right at the outer edge. The damage to south Texas will be devastating before this is over.)
The boys made sure that they covered the whole stage, although being such a large group it was obviously safer if they performed their most active routines closer to the center of the stage. Seventeen is known for their own style of choreography which uses more synchronised leg movements than many other groups, they also focus somewhat on hip movements too, to the delight of many of their fans. Considering the size of the group the way they manage to stay in sync shows how much they practice together.
They performed all of their most well known songs and the audience was very vocal when a particular favorite began. You can see many of the fancams from the Dallas show on Youtube and the Dallas show was being professionally filmed, but I don’t know when or where that will be shown. I particularly enjoyed Boom Boom, Mansae, and Nice, but all the performances were enjoyable and entertaining. The dance number by Jun and The8 using the ribbon was both unusual for Kpop and excellent, if somewhat marred by the poor lighting. (A better look at the dance can be found from a fancam from the Hong Kong performance.)
Along with the performances we were also treated to a few breaks where the members interacted with the audience, notably when they introduced themselves at the beginning and when they thanked us at the end. Videos were also shown during outfit changes and as lead ups to certain songs.
It was nice to see each of the 3 subunits get a chance to shine, and each segment nicely showcased their talents. The hip hop unit were quite fierce at times with some powerful raps, while the vocal unit was melodious and somewhat soulful. Once again though I was drawn to the dancers, their performances of OMG and in particular Hightlight were a joy to watch.
As the evening wound to a close there were conflicting emotions. Everyone wanted the night to go on forever, but no matter how happy the young men of Seventeen looked, they were obviously tired. They came out for one last encore wearing comfortable clothes with cameras in hand, they took photos of the audience and waved and made eye contact with as many fans as possible before posing for the obligatory photo of them with the audience in the background, before finally heading off stage.
The evening was over for me and most of the rest of the fans, but some fans were happily waiting for their ‘photo op’ or ‘hi touch’ with the group. Seventeen gave a great performance and I’m glad I got to go, and to get back home before the threat of Hurricane Harvey.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to original owners.
Just fyi photo of Hurricane Harvey from space.