It was a cold and rainy day for Winner’s stop in Dallas on their ‘Everywhere’ tour. Grey skies with ever growing black clouds full of cold rain swept over Dallas. But even the rain plus strong winds that turned many an umbrella inside out did not daunt the stalwart fans who had started to line up since early that morning.
I chose to get out of the rain and hid in Grimaldi’s Restaurant where Tonya, my server, kindly let me take my time over a wonderful antipasto plate. A few other fans had also taken refuge inside and I heard some explaining Kpop to the wait staff.
The concert was held in The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory a fairly new facility in Las Colinas. A large multi- configuration hall it was perhaps too big for Winner’s concert, especially as another Kpop group was performing in Houston on the same night. Unfortunately that meant Winner did not sell out this stop of their tour, but that is not to say that there wasn’t a large, vocal, and very enthusiastic crowd of fans. Throughout the evening the roars and screams from everyone easily made it feel like a sold out concert. It also meant that there was plenty of room for the fans to dance along to the songs.
Thanks to the assistance of Nancy Tran we worked out a wonderful option that allowed me to sit at Deck 3 and as well as going into the pit area as I wished. (I ended up being the only one sat with a whole bar and staff just for me, crazy right!) All the staff at the venue were super sweet and very helpful. My thanks to them all.
Once everyone got in and settled the anticipation and excitement of the fans began to grow and grow. When the lights finally dimmed and the venue grew dark the feeling was electric. The stage lights flashed and spotlights roamed over the heads of the audience leading up to the entrance of Winner on a platform high up at the back of the stage.
They started off by performing what is perhaps their ‘signature’ song Really, Really to an enthusiastic response from everyone. Followed up by Hello, Air, and Everyday. Almost everyone was singing along. One small criticism was that the heavy use of white spotlights meant that at times we couldn’t see the members clearly as they were wearing white. White on white?
The members, Seungyoon, Seunghoon, Jinwoo, and Mino were dynamic and compelling. It was hard to chose who to focus on as each had their charm. They performed their opening set masterfully and had the crowd entranced. However, rather than just go through their set list, which you can easily find on other sites, I’d rather tell you about a few moments that I particularly enjoyed.
I had a great time the whole evening, the music, singing, and dancing were spot on the whole concert. I was lifted up by their dynamism, consoled by their love of their fans, and mellowed out to their island songs, but I secretly enjoyed their audience interactions the most.
In the opening introduction when Yoon said ‘you never forget your first love’ and that he will never forget this first tour, I could feel more than my own heart flutter. Jinwoo said that this tour was a ‘dream come true.’
Their interviews with two lucky fans were cute, and being able to listen to Yoon and Jinwoo speak English so well was endearing. One lucky young lady from Saginaw was interviewed by Yoon who asked her how long she had been a fan. To which she replied “six months’. Yoon then very seriously told us how in Korea that is called being a ‘newbie’ and no one had the heart to tell him that newbie is an English word. ( It’s been used since it was invented during the Vietnam War.) He asked her favorite song and then encouraged her to sing it with him. It was such a sweet fan interaction.
Jinwoo chose a young man who had travelled all the way from Alaska for the concert. His name was Taeyang which caused a bit of confusion at first. He had been a fan for two years and when pressed to name his favorite member he said Jinwoo. I think it was Jinwoo who then started singing Taeyang’s Eyes, Nose, Lips, and the audience quickly joined in. It must have been an incredible experience for that young man from Alaska. Something he will never forget.
At one point they read an incredibly well written and moving ‘letter’ from a fan which really seemed to touch their hearts.
Another thing I enjoyed was the video they showed between two of their sets. Usually these ‘time filling’ videos are kind just ok stopgaps until we can get back to the real show. But it turned out that Winner made a really cute video in which they poked fun at themselves a little. Yoon’s love for Yakult was played up to perfection and the image of him staring longingly into a refrigerator full of his favorite drink has stayed in my mind. They made fun of Jinwoo, by showing him having bought lots of clothes…..and then they were all the same grey hoodie!
These little breaks that gave us insights into the members of Winner were engaging and helped control the pace of the show. They also played slower songs and solos in the middle so the fans could ride the wave of the explosive first and last set. Each member sang solo sets with each singing a couple of songs. Most impacting for me were Yoon singing I Like Me Better by Lauv except he changed the lyrics from New York to Dallas. Also Seunghoon performed a cover of Taeyang’s Ringa Linga to the delight of the crowd, although some of that may have been love for the song itself. Mino sang Fiance while Jinwoo sang GDragon’s Untitled.
By the time we got to the end of the night all the audience had experienced a huge range of emotions with perhaps happiness and excitement being the strongest. It was both wonderful and sad for everyone as Winner ended the night with an encore of Really Really and then Everyday. A few minutes for a group photo with the audience and that was it.
But it wasn’t, because the excitement could still be seen on the faces of the fans as they braced against the bitter wind and cold as they left the venue. That same wind caught the fans laughter and squeals of joy as each recounted their favorite part of the evening, and spread that happiness to everyone.
Have a great day everyone.
Please do not copy or use without permission and accreditation. Photo credits to original owners. Title image to YG Entertainment as well as those labeled as such, all others to me.