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[Herald Review] Enhypen thrives with 'Fate' world tour
Boy band kicks off nine-city global concert series in SeoulBy Choi Ji-won
Published : July 31, 2023 - 14:01
Marking the start of Enhypen's second world tour "Fate" in Seoul on Sunday, the electronic screens of the KSPO Dome glided open sideways to show the seven members in shimmering white suits adorned with gold, each holding a rose.
The electrifying "Drunk-Dazed" opened the night. Joined by dancers, the boys kicked into a wordless dance break, bringing the whole focus onto their fierce movements and captivating expressions. It seemed like the septet was ready to show how much they'd honed themselves for the night.
Without letting up for a second, they hit the stage with "Blockbuster," bringing the song to a live audience for the first time.
The air inside the dome cooled down a notch with "Let Me In (20 Cube)," a song from the band's debut EP "Border: Day One." The mood deepened further with "Flicker," another song from the album, followed by "Fever."
In gleaming white jumpers and pants, the bandmates jumped backed onto the stage with "Mixed Up." At "Future Perfect," ear-splitting chants echoed through the hall as the 7,500-strong audience sang along to the boys. As the flock instantly held up their phones to film, it was evident that "Blessed-Cursed" was the fan favorite.
Sunday's gig made full use of the LED screens surrounding the stage, as cube-shaped LED boxes floated up and down beyond the center stage, while the eye-shaped main screen in the back set the mood.
A massive box of screens rose from the ground to reveal the boys changed into black and white rocker outfits. "Attention Please!" the boys belted out, during which they moved to the furthest edge of the protruding stage. Staying close to the fans, they dove into "ParadoXXX Invasion" and "Tamed-Dashed."
Drenched in sweat, the band mates gathered onto the stage.
"We're sorry to say this to those who came yesterday, but it seems like the energy is more explosive tonight!" the band's Heesueng said.
Indeed, the collective energy was so fiery that it sometimes drowned out the voices of the singers, who often had to pause mid-sentence as deafening cheers and screams rang out. The inconvenience was quite evident, so much so that someone from the audience once shouted out "Be quiet!"
Despite the small glitch, the members' conduct was almost immaculate. They didn't miss out on the connection either, engaging in casual conversation with the audience, sharing some behind-the-scenes stories of their concert preparation and inviting them to chant along.
Leaving Jungwon, Heeseung and Ni-Ki on the stage, the others exited.
As the lights dimmed and turned back on again, gasps emanated from the seats as many stood on their feet and turned to the hall's right side. There, Jay, Jake, Sunoo and Sunghoon sat in the uppermost corner in the second floor seats, surrounded by flowers. Seated comfortably among the audience, they rolled out an acoustic version of "That Feeling When," with Jay live on the guitar. Drum rolls brought the eyes back onto stage for Jungwon, Heeseung and Ni-Ki's acoustic rendition of "Just A Little Bit."
Surprise gifts for the fans didn't end here, as the boys were now ready to really get up close and personal with the audience. During "10 Months," the seven members rode a gliding cart and moved among the seats. They then hopped off the cart singing "Polaroid Love," racing from one end of the seats to the other end.
Sunoo, who was carrying a camera, discovered producer Bang Si-hyuk among the crowd -- an executive producer and founder of the group's company Hybe -- and zoomed in on him, inducing laughter from the crowd.
"It's my first time performing in front of producer Bang since the days I'd trained under Big Hit. It's such an honor, " Heeseung exclaimed. Big Hit is Hybe's former name.
Singing and dancing with exhilarating energy, the bandmates returned to the stage, racing straight into "Shout Out." Fans stayed on their feet, shaking their blinking light sticks harder than ever.
Though the concert was nearing a two-hour run, the energy level hadn't fallen a notch. The vigor only exploded further in the next part, which was the main section of the night, as the members put it.
Following a warmup with "Go Big or Go Home," the boys kicked into a run of their latest releases of "Chaconne," "Bills" and "Sacrifice (Eat Me Up)," songs off the band's fourth album "Dark Blood." It was the first time they were performing the songs live at a concert following the album's release in May.
A surprise gift was hidden among the new songs. "Criminal Love," a new song set for release on Monday, was unveiled in advance for those who came that night. The song is a new original soundtrack for the band's webtoon series "Dark Moon: The Blood Altar."
"We worked the hardest for this part. We trained hoping that you guys love it," Jungwon said.
Still gasping and out of breath, Jake said, "It'd be a lie if I said it wasn't hard. It was physically intense, but watching you guys cheering for us in the front, I just ground myself into it."
"The urge to show ourselves excelling becomes stronger with time. To be honest, this concert wasn't all satisfying for us, and we still have much room for growth, but we could complete it thanks to the cheers of Engene," Ni-Ki said, referring to the band’s fandom.
"With today as the start, we'll be traveling to Japan and the US. We'll be back with even more improvements, so please look forward to next time," Jake said, adding in English, "I love you."
"The energy I received today on the stage is already boosting me up. I'm overwhelmed with happiness to be holding this second world tour and standing onstage with everyone that I love. I'll work hard to become a great artist who can return this good energy to you guys," Heeseung said.
Rounding out the three-hour show was "Bite Me" and two encore songs, a rock rendition of "One in a Billion" and "Karma."
The two days of sold-out gigs garnered some 15,000 live audience members at the KSPO Dome, while thousands more tuned in to livestreams from 95 countries, according to the band's label Belift Lab.
Starting in Seoul, Enhypen's second world tour "Fate" is set to continue in Japan in September and in the US in October.
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