The Korea Herald


[Herald Review] Stray Kids perform new standard of '5-star' show

By Hong Yoo

Published : Oct. 23, 2023 - 14:47

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Stray Kids perform at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (JYP Entertainment) Stray Kids perform at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (JYP Entertainment)

Thousands of international fans gathered at Gocheok Sky Dome, the biggest concert venue in South Korea, on Sunday for the last day of the K-pop boy band Stray Kids’ “5-Star Dome Tour 2023 Seoul Special.”

Stray Kids’ signature red rippled through the dome to signal the beginning of the globally popular artists’ show. Soon, members of the group jumped one by one on the stage from an underground lift, eliciting deafening roars from the audience.

Stray Kids were dressed like warriors in black and red outfits. Dancers came to the stage holding gigantic flags with the group’s name on them.

The group kicked off the last day of its show in Seoul with “Battle Ground,” one of the tracks from its first Japanese studio album, “The Sound.”

The group prepared a Korean version of the track especially for the concert. The fierce, passionate performance along with fireworks bursting transformed the stage into a battleground.

“It’s been a year that we’ve had a concert in Korea. We are always happy to see our international Stays," Lee Know of Stray Kids said, referring to the group's fandom, "but meeting our fans in Korea feels fresh. We feel like the vibe in the dome is much hotter today. We love this energy. This is a five-star concert. We will show you why it’s a five-star concert.”

To make its shows in Seoul special, the group prepared Korean versions of other tracks originally released in other languages as well, including “All In,” “Circus,” and “Social Path (Feat. Lisa).”

“You’ll see that our show was prepared on a megascale. The sounds are bombarding the venue and our live band session will make the concert even hotter. Are you ready to get dehydrated?” said Han of Stray Kids.

The setlist of their 2 1/2-hour show was filled with fast-paced, powerful dance songs that did not leave the audience even a minute to cool down.

There were also performances of conceptual songs such as “Wolfgang,” for which the members changed into werewolves.

The group added a dance break during which they left fans in awe. Then came a relay of each members' solo performance, beginning with Felix’s “Rev It Up.”

Felix began his solo performance by changing his top on stage, sending fans wild. The rapper is clearly recognized not only for his deep low-toned voice.

Next up was Han performing “Don’t Say” with an electric guitar on an elevated lift.

“You wanted to see me perform rock music, so here it is. We tried to put what you guys want to see in this concert as much as possible,” explained Han.

Seungmin performed “Perfume,” during which pink glitter exploded in the air and the artist expressed his love for the fans by shooting hearts at them.

Then I.N appeared on stage playing a grand piano with a cherry blossom tree in the background. The “Hug Me” performance was accentuated by I.N’s mellow vocals.

Lee Know was up next performing “Limbo,” during which he showed off his high-pitched yet stable vocal ability. He was deeply touched by fans knowing the lyrics and singing along.

Bang Chan, leader of the group, came on stage with sunglasses to perform “Baby,” and threw roses at the audience while performing.

Hyunjin, the most talented dancer in the group, performed “Mic & Brush,” during which he showed off his smooth, sensual dance stylings.

Changbin took on the finale of the solo sessions with “Name,” which was a display of his rapping chops.

Six of the solo performances were of unreleased songs -- “Rev It Up,” “Don’t Say,” “Perfume,” “Baby,” “Mic & Brush” and "Name."

Stray Kids perform at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (JYP Entertainment) Stray Kids perform at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (JYP Entertainment)

The show reached its climax when the group performed its latest lead track “S-Class,” off its third studio album “5-Star.”

An immense red star with the abbreviation of the group’s name at its center appeared on the stage with the band. The group proved that all of its members are "all-rounders" -- good at rapping, singing and dancing -- in their performance.

“Seeing you dancing and singing along, enjoying the concert to the fullest, gives us a lot of energy. From now on, you will be seeing stages you’ve never seen before,” said Bang Chan, introducing tracks from its upcoming EP, “Rock-Star.”

The group then performed “Social Path (Feat. Lisa),” “Leave,” “Blind Spot” and “Megaverse.”

Stray Kids perform at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (JYP Entertainment) Stray Kids perform at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Sunday. (JYP Entertainment)

“The single ‘Blind Spot’ is our favorite from the upcoming album. This song is really comforting and spreads positive energy as it sings about only looking forward to achieving a dream,” said Han.

“We are coming back with this new album on Nov. 10 and we hope you love it,” Hyunjin said, seizing the opportunity to promote the group’s upcoming album.

Stray Kids appeared on moving stages for a series of encores during which some of them broke into tears.

“I always wondered what kind of people perform at this venue. This has been possible because of you. I just really love you guys,” said Bang Chan.

“It feels like we’ve achieved our dream. I almost forgot to sing watching you guys,” said I.N.

Stray Kids will wrap up its “5-Star Dome Tour” with two nights in Tokyo, on Saturday and Sunday.