It is said “a picture paints a thousand words” which no doubt explains the popularity of images on the internet, however it also means that people have come to expect to see photographs in concert reviews. No luck today I’m afraid as the concert organizers had a no photos or recordings edict in place and the venue staff strictly enforced it.
That was not necessarily a bad thing as it meant that with no one holding their phones up above their heads everyone had a better view. It also meant that everyone could really be in the moment and totally concentrate on the performance.
This tour in the USA is the 2nd for Monsta X, although it was their first time stopping in Houston (well actually SugarLand a wealthy suburban town SW of Houston). The venue was new and large, which meant it was’t quite full although you couldn’t tell that from the noise level of the fans. Due to the extreme summer heat the venue, Smart Financial Center, asked fans to not show up before 6pm, a request that most fans followed. Just after 6pm though the line was doubled back long, but everyone was so amped up for the show they cheerfully withstood the ‘feel like’ temps of well over 100 degrees.
It took a while to get everyone through security and into the venue. At first many people just soaked up the air conditioning and recharged. Others queued up for official tour merchandise or grabbed a cold drink from concession booths. As the venue filled up the chatter and excitement were palpable and built up to a peak as darkness descended on the auditorium and the volume of the music increased.
To deafening screams Monsta X burst onto the stage and into all our hearts with a dynamic rendition of Jealousy which had everyone on their feet moving their light-sticks to the pounding beat. It was followed by Be Quiet and Beautiful. There was a small break where they spoke with their fans like we were close friends. There were relaxed and comfortable with us and each other, laughing and joking around.
The whole show was filled with great singing, powerful dancing, and stirring rap rhythms. This plus their obvious joy at being there, and their joking camaraderie they have with each other made the evening one to remember. However some of the most memorable moments for me were the ones just a little off the usual track. Seeing Kihyun, Wonho, and Minhyuk in little boy style sailor suits just made me laugh. I grew up when little boys did wear those, but comparing my memories to what I was watching was somewhat surreal. In short pants, disheveled in a partially untucked shirt Minhyuk looked like he had just come on stage after doing something ‘naughty’, while Kihyun looked like a choir boy. But it was Wonho who really caught my attention, or rather his thighs did. All I could think of was it was the first time I’d seen someone in a little boy sailor suit that looked like he could play Rugby for the All Blacks.
Apparently not everyone was blessed with seeing them in sailor suits singing Neol Hada as they wore other outfits in other cities.
Other moments were often brief, the pat of encouragement, or smile and glance at each other during their sets. Wonho acting so much more confidently and comfortable than on last year’s tour. In fact he was positively chatty with lots to say plus he flirted a lot with the monbebes (the name of Monsta X fans) which thrilled them and drew excited screams from them too.
Shownu being made fun of for his shirt and tie. (He looked so gooood.) Jooheon being cute and bubbly and squishy and also quite talkative. Kihyun showing off his vocal range and being a joy to listen to, while I.M’s fierce rapping demanded the audience’s undivided attention. Towards the end of the show he explained that his voice condition had been bad all that day, but that he managed to perform because of monbebe’s support. Personally I thought he seemed on top form.
Hyungwon with his amazing ‘resting bitch face’ breaking up into smiles and laughter. He seemed to be so happy to be there with us and to be having a good time. He also did an amazing job showcasing his clothes, even the horrendous side laced regency poets shirt crossed with I don’t know what that was so bad it would have drowned someone with lesser charisma. But Hyungwon made it work.
And lastly Minhyuk who was so extra that I was mildly irritated until I saw that it was actually his pent up emotions. Towards the end of the show he was obviously moved and you could see tears in his eyes. As they left the stage and posed at the end he sank down into a squat and looked really like he was crying. I think he really felt emotional at all the love that was shown by the audience.
After an amazing show most of the audience was ushered out quite quickly while the P1 & P2 fans waited for the ‘hi touch’ with the boys. This was done perhaps too efficiently and the line was speedily moved past each of them with only the briefest of moments to do a high five and make eye contact. I managed to point to their patch on the jacket and a couple did raise eyebrows and make vague exclamations of interest as the line continued inexorably onward.
Although I enjoyed the show that in some ways was better than last year’s, I think my favorite show was the one in 2017 in Chicago, particularly since the ‘hi touch’ was slower with enough time to say a sentence to each Monsta X member. Having enough time to say ‘thank you’ or some other compliment should be a given for ‘hi touch’.
So a thousand words later I hope I’ve been able to share just a little of the feel of the Houston stop of Monsta X 2nd World Tour. Here’s to a 3rd one.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. All photo credits to original owners. Photo of Monsta X to Starship Ent. Sailor suit pinterest. All others to Debora Marzec.