Stray Kids unlock last stop of their US tour in Los Angeles

stray kids los angeles concert
by Emerson Redding

As the screens opened one by one during the theatrical VCR that showed the breaking of a new lock each time, the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles broke a new threshold of excitement and loud screams. When the final lock finally broke and the last screen separated to reveal the eight members of Stray Kids, we were officially in “District 9.” This past Sunday, Feb. 16, marked the last night of Stray Kids’s Stateside leg of “District 9: Unlock Tour,” orchestrated by SubKulture Entertainment, that took the unstoppable boy group around the country on eight stops. 

Stray Kids kicked off the night with a remix of their debut hit “District 9” and continued to electrify the crowd with “Victory Song” and “Question.” The group performed “Rock” off their second mini album I Am NOT as they began to interact with lucky Stays —their fans— in the front row before showcasing their incredible dancing skills with their iconic dance break previously seen at KCON LA 2019 that seamlessly transitioned into “Side Effects.”

The group took a short break to introduce themselves and officially say hello to the LA Stays, who were eagerly awaiting one of the most anticipated moments of the entire show: Felix doing the famous TikTok “Renegade” dance during his part in “M.I.A.” which became a tradition in each city. 


While Stray Kids is undoubtedly talented as a full group, their three units perform just as well alone. The dance line, known as Danceracha, composed of Lee Know, Hyunjin, and Felix were first up with their captivating unit stage for “Wow.” Before anyone had a moment to catch their breath, the screen behind opened to reveal Han standing on top of a staircase to begin “Mixtape#4.” Although this song appears on 2019’s Clé 2: Yellow Wood, the original pre-debut 3Racha version was already a fan favorite for its inspiring lyrics that boast successfully journeying on with a “Broken Compass.” The compass is quite an important symbol in the world of Stray Kids; a spinning one can be found inside of their official lightstick, dubbed nachimbong based off the Korean word for compass, nachimban.

stray kids los angeles concert unlock
by Emerson Redding

One of the most beautiful moments of the night was the performance of the latest title track “Levanter” and the VCRs that bookended it. In case you didn’t know what Stray Kids was all about, Felix’s narration introduced the song explaining that “Stray Kids is not the only one who got lost; those who got lost could be anywhere. All strayed steps come together to make a new road and Stray Kids will be with each and every step. Stray kids everywhere all around the world.” After the song, a simple but poignant VCR repeated Felix’s words, adding on lyrics from “I Am You:” “stay together you and I,” and a rendition of one of the group’s catchphrases “you make Stray Kids stay” and “we all make stray kids stay.” 

The VCR ended by emphasizing that their other catchphrase “Stray Kids everywhere all around the world” does not mean just the group themselves, but is a calling to every “stray kid” out there who may feel lost. Later during the night, leader Bang Chan took time to explain that meaning again when he expressed how thankful he was that Stray Kids have created this “district” full of Stays and other stray kids. “It doesn’t matter who you are; whether you’re a boy or girl or whatever you choose to be. It doesn’t matter where you’re from … Ethnicity doesn’t matter either. Everyone is welcome in our special district and we promise that this special district, we will always have pride in it and always represent our beautiful and wonderful Stays.” Chan’s heartfelt words brought another tradition of the “District 9: Unlock Tour:” the “best leader” chant that Han started and Stays made heard in every corner of the venue. 

Those touching, slower moments were sprinkled in throughout the show, alongside the bright and powerful stages that Stray Kids are known for. The ballad version of “I Am You” that perfectly transitioned into the “We Go” unit stage for the 3Racha rappers Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han executed that duality perfectly. Speaking of duality, Changbin was also a part of vocalists Seungmin and I.N.’s beautiful unit song “My Universe,” which showed a different side of the rapper than normally seen during his super fast-paced verses. 

stray kids los angeles concert unlock
by Emerson Redding

In the last act of the show before the encore, Stray Kids showcased their powerful stages of “My Pace,” “Double Knot,” “Boxer,” and remixes of “Hellevator” and “Miroh.” Stays all around the venue joined Stray Kids and enthusiastically screamed the fanchants for these songs, but Stays’ work did not stop there. The actual members left the stage but quickly reappeared in video form for the “Stay Featuring” segment, in which Stray Kids instructed Stays to do things like clap and dab on beat for parts of “Get Cool” and “Miroh.” The last thing Stays had to do was cheer as loud as they could for Stray Kids to come back out, which they did with zero difficulty.

Also on KultScene: 50 BEST K-POP SONGS OF 2019

For the encore, the whistling of “Grow Up” began and Stays knew it was yet again time to take a moment for reflecting and feeling every emotion. As if the song itself wasn’t enough, a VCR with the English translation of the lyrics played behind the group as they performed, reminding Stays “You’re doing alright now. Stay strong, cause you’ll do just fine. I promise I’ll be by your side.” Stray Kids made that promise with the release of I Am NOT and have kept it since. 

stray kids los angeles concert
by Emerson Redding

After the song ended, the group was surprised with a VCR project made by Stays full of messages celebrating the group’s achievements, thanking them for all they have done for their fans, and reminding them that Stays will always be there for Stray Kids too. The group tried their best to thank their fans for the surprise. Han told Stays, “Because of you, we exist. You guys are brighter than the sun. I’m so proud of you guys.” Felix called Stays their “shining stars” and ended his speech telling Stays, “Don’t stop shining because you mean everything to us.” 

This LA show made it obvious that Stray Kids and Stays were indeed meant for each other. Stray Kids created a world full of power and love, and brought it to life with their “District 9: Unlock Tour.”

Did you go to Stray Kids’ U.S. tour? How did you like it? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

‘ITZY? ITZY!’: ITZY completes premiere showcase tour in NYC

Courtesy of SubKulture Ent.

After an auspicious debut last year, ITZY are already ready to take on 2020 as they continue their premiere showcase tour, this time in North America. The latest girl group from JYP Entertainment had previously hit up four other major U.S. cities (Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Houston, Washington D.C.) before slowing their roll at their last stop in New York City this past weekend on January 26 at the Kings Theatre. There, the historic movie palace’s marquee aglow with “ITZY? ITZY! IN USA TONIGHT” greeted arriving fans with the affirmation that they had come to the right place, and that just underneath its cache of light bulbs and past the main entrance awaited something different. The finale was nigh.

Once inside, ITZY broke the ice for the evening with their most recent and aptly titled single, “Icy,” back to back with the less apt but still equally electrifying, “It’z Summer.” The girls, who were all decked out in coordinated white and silver sequined stage outfits, shined in more ways than one as they cleanly executed some of the choreographies’ more brisk moments while being also mindful of always maintaining a stable live performance through smiles. We should learn to expect as much from a group whose very brand rests on glitter and teen spirit.

With a collective “All In Us!” from the members, it came time for the self-introductions. All the members did their very best to communicate with the audience in English, but Canadian member Lia was particularly at ease that evening. She expressed her gratitude towards MIDZYs, their fans, who patiently waited for them and promised to return as soon as possible. That having been said, the girls proceeded to the meat of the showcase, and that was the variety segments. 


The first of these was a Q&A corner, where ITZY answered pre-selected questions submitted by some of the MIDZYs in attendance. Nothing to write an exposé about here, but it was still just enough to glean a little insight into their private lives. The youngest, Yuna, shared how she would like their team mascot to be a unicorn, even using the emoji when saving the other members’ names into her phone’s contact list. Chaeryeong went on to explain how they used to joke that they were the Unicorn Team during their pre-debut days; the members were all free-spirited as one. Still, for the main dancer, she preferred something more hybrid: a delicate balance between cat and dog.

Since Lunar New Year was the day prior, the quintet also took pause to wish everyone a happy holiday during this time. One of the questions prodded the girls for their fondest memory regarding the New Year, to which Lia responded with how though “she don’t have anything special,” her family usually gathers for a lunch and visits her paternal family in the morning, followed by her maternal family later in the day. Unfortunately, as festive as this time may be, it also serves as a reminder for them of how they are not home to spend it with their loved ones. In an adorable pout, member Ryujin bemoaned how she wanted to see her father. Right on cue, the studio-like audience could not help but sympathize in unison.Awww!

On that note, the MC decided to steer away from “Question Time” to segue into the highlight of every fanmeet — Game Time. This one, dubbed “Challenge Mix Song,” involved having the members guess both the title and artist of three overlapping K-pop songs. From round one, this proved quite difficult for them even after generous hints, replays, and audience assistance. And with a punishment and prize on the line, there was no room for forgiveness of one another’s blunders either, which was the case when leader Yeji mistook the title of their own song “It’z Summer” for “It’z My Summer” (“It’s your summer?” quizzed the others). 

Three rounds of this and many lifelines later, and ITZY had already reached the end game. This time, however, there was a caveat. Instead of K-pop, the mix would only feature American pop music. We suppose anything to shoehorn in Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind,” right? A momentarily sore Yuna, who scrambled the title of the unofficial state anthem but had the right idea, facetiously remarked how she was always trying with nothing to show for (a mood!). It didn’t exactly help either that she, along with Yeji, ultimately ended up scoring the least, having to fulfill the punishment that had the pair blithely recording a wakeup call for all the busy New Yorkers. Meanwhile, Ryujin took home the win, as well as a miniature version of the Statue of Liberty.


Before delving into the next entertainment portion of the night, ITZY resumed taking the stage for a rendition of their senior labelmates’ songs, “TT” (TWICE) and “Hard Carry” (GOT7). With only five songs to their name, these sorts of covers are inescapable. We were able to look past the obvious filler for these “monster rookies” though, who lived up to their sobriquet with their cookie cutter moves and pitch-perfect vocals. Their slick handling of such dichotomy — the beloved aegyo-centered “TT” versus the more hard-hitting beats of “Hard Carry” — makes the up and coming group easily duality manifest.

But back to the games. The final mission of the tour, “Pass the Ball,” tested the extent of ITZY’s teamwork by asking the members to cooperate in delivering a ball to a basket using only acrylic tubes that they had to link together in just two minutes. Through a comedic series of attempts, it appears that  teamwork really meant colluding with one another to find the best loopholes, including bringing the basket closer to them and transporting the tube with the ball in it to the basket instead of feeding it through a canal. They might have not succeeded, but at the very least they were awarded the high-budget consolation prize of magnets. As for the punishment, it was Lia who beared the brunt of it, performing the viral “Gwiyomi Song” while putting on a random dance. Chaeryeong and Yeji carried out their own fan service on her recommendation too, although theirs never felt like a penalty when sending hearts to New York MIDZYs came naturally to them.

Just only a few songs left, the show had neared its imminent end. “Cherry” sealed their girl crush concept with its trap stylings and darker colors, whereas the clarion calls of the punk-inspired “Want It?” and unabashedly feminist energy from “Dalla Dalla” brought it all back to their grrrl power agendas. Moxie like this haven’t been seen since the Spice Girls, and with a promising start to their career already, they are certainly a pop force to be reckoned with. The last leg of the tour, ITZY’s showcase in New York City left a bittersweet taste in probably everyone’s palates that Sunday, one that was especially felt by the teary-eyed Chaeryeong as she struggled through her ending ments. They might have came as they had gone, but if there is one thing MIDZYs can still hold onto from the night it is the group’s word to come back, guaranteed. Until then, Yuna urges us to all smile in the meantime as she keeps doing the same.

Did you go to ITZY’s PREMIERE SHOWCASE TOUR “ITZY? ITZY!”? How did you like it? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Fans say ‘We ROSE You’ to The Rose in New York City show

By Katherine Villalon

On September 1st, New York City was all hustle and bustle with summer parades and street festivals clogging the avenues in midtown, but turn down 43rd street and there you found a small crowd of people quietly lined up outside of The Town Hall for The Rose’s “We Rose You” tour. It has been over a year since The Rose was in New York and fans were excited to see how much the band has grown. After the doors opened, the audience quickly filled up the theater and waited for what would be a very memorable performance.

By Katherine Villalon

The Rose entered onto the stage, grabbed their instruments, and began to play the opening notes to “I.L.Y.” The fans erupted into cheers and screams as the band quietly played the cords until Woosung suddenly stopped. While they adjusted the volumes on their instruments and inner-ear pieces, Dojoon joked around with the audience, saying that the crowd is so lively that they could barely hear and that this would be a “special” performance. When they were ready to start again, Woosung playfully said, “Just pretend we just came on,” and began playing once again. As soon as the bridge started, the audience sang as loud as they could, almost drowning out Woosung’s powerful voice. The band immediately went onto “Insomnia,” with the audience continuing to sing along. After the song, the band had to stop again to adjust the volumes of the equipment. After many apologies and an impromptu sound-check, some of the band members ditched their inner-ear pieces and went old school, using the ledge speakers to play “I Don’t Know You.” 

By Katherine Villalon

Also on KultScene: INSIDE KCON NY 2019

By Katherine Villalon

After a short introduction, the band started back up with the upbeat songs; during one of which Dojoon surprised everyone by grabbing the mic and delivering a rap verse that had the crowd shouting with excitement and throwing their hands in the air. And when the boys ventured out from behind their mics, you could really see them come alive, just jamming out on their guitars. During “California,” the audience yelled “young and wild” and sang along with the band’s new English-language song. Another popular song was the sentimental song “She’s in the Rain.” The band then briefly spoke to the audience during another quick volume adjustment about how they felt more connected to the audience because they can hear them so well.

By Katherine Villalon

The band went on to play a few covers including The Script’s “Breakeven” and Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times.” After a few more songs, the members left the stage, leaving only Dojoon behind to sing a cover of James Bay’s “Hold Back the River.” Hajoon and Jaehyeong then came out next; trading in their usual instruments for two acoustic guitars and sang “Soldier” by Before You Exit. Woosung was last to take the stage and sang “Lonely” and “Face,” two songs off of his recent solo album. 

By Katherine Villalon
By Katherine Villalon

Also on KultScene: KCON NY 2019 ‘M! COUNTDOWN’ DAY 2 RECAP

By Katherine Villalon

The band then returned to the stage and called out the winners of Polaroid photos of the members before going right into a few more upbeat songs. Despite having to stop between almost every song, The Rose kept up their energy and their fans replied by giving it their all by cheering and dancing around; showing the band that they were still enjoying themselves. After “OMG,” the band kept the energy up with “Baby,” after which they announced the show was coming to an end.

After saying a few words and thanking the fans, The Rose immediately went into their mainstream debut song “Sorry.” The fans were louder than ever as they sang along to it. The band left the stage after “Take Me Down” but did not stay gone for long; the boys returned for the last song of the night, their new single “Red.” Showing no signs of slowing down, the band played happily as the fans sang and danced till the last note.   

By Katherine Villalon

Though as soon as the band walked out onto stage that night they were plagued with audio trouble, through their sheer tenacity and with the encouraging screams of their fans The Rose was able to pull off an extremely memorable show. Like seasoned professionals, the band made sure to interact with the audience, either making witty banter or flashing hearts and smiles. And though there were pauses in the show, all went without anybody losing composure. Hopefully as The Rose continues on with their tour, they will be able to show their talents and put on even more memorable performances.

By Katherine Villalon

What’s your favorite song by The Rose? Share your picks and thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

KCON NY 2019 ‘M! Countdown’ day 2 recap

Day 2 of any KCON is almost always even more exciting than the first. You’ve just had a full convention and some concerts but the prospect of more makes it even better. The Sunday show took a different approach to its sets than Saturday. Instead of a noticeable flow between the groups, they went for independent greatness. Each group stood on their own and showed in less time than the previous night, who they truly are.

Like the Saturday, day 2 opened with its two smaller boy groups dancing to American pop tracks. AB6IX began by performing to Charlie Puth’s “Attention” and Verivery followed with “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars. It was Verivery who took the win here easily, AB6IX were admittedly slick but uninventive. Verivery brought great gestures to the stage but best of all they made good use of each other as props. At the beginning, the group slowly moves together to form a car right as Bruno sings “magic in the aiiirrrr.” The kicker was that they even had one member wraps his arms around the member who was in the driving seat to mimic a seatbelt. Later on two members then duck down to become a turntable and even stick their fingers up to be used as knobs by the would be DJ.

Also on KultScene: INSIDE KCON NY 2019

It was the turn of the girls this time to take the first set. In what was an interesting but good call, Mnet’s very own Fromis_9 opened with recent disco b-side “Love Rumpumpum.” It’s a great indicator of the kind of the group they are, loads of fun but so technically proficient and precise at the same time. This translated into what was the tightest set of the whole weekend. Latest single “Fun” came next and really got the crowd going. They were step perfect in their routines, popping off the stage with bright colours and beaming faces. Sadly they had to condense “DKDK” in half due to time constraints but the despair lasted about a millisecond as the blistering “Love Bomb” followed directly after. They gave no time to relax, no time to ponder the short set. The speed and accuracy at which they did things meant there were no regrets with potential songs they didn’t perform.

Seventeen’s American duo, Vernon and Josh, popped up next to tell a story about journeys to space. Their song “Rocket” is a cute little track that favours being here, between sets, thanks to its easy rhythms. Vernon in particular, looked like he was having a fun and nicely relaxed time. The performance unit joined them halfway through as backup dancers, before continuing the space theme with “Moonwalk.” Again it’s not their most impressive work but that wasn’t called for yet. It’s still great to see such professionals coast through a difficult if not quite intense choreography.

Verivery couldn’t quite match the inventiveness of their opening dance performance but they do have the tunes to at least bring some grooves. Finding an identity in New Jack Swing, Verivery’s songs all have big beats, big chords, and big choruses. “From Now” in particular has a chorus so good and memorable that you’d be singing along by the end of song regardless of having heard it before or not. Sadly it was a case of diminishing returns from then on. “Ring Ring Ring” and “Alright” trot out similar ideas with lesser execution. “Ring Ring Ring,” again has a catchy hook but it pales next to “From Now.” They’re not quite ready for a platform like this but no doubt they’ll get there.

Another group potentially not in a place to be on this stage are AB6IX. They are technically the newest group of the weekend but have plenty of experience with former Wanna One members Daehwi and Woojin. They were, however, without the injured Woojin for all of the dances.. K-pop groups are usually masters at concealing the fact that a member is missing, Seventeen would even do it later in the night. AB6IX however, made the major mistake of having Woojin sit on a chair to do his raps. Having him sit at the edge while the four others danced in the middle of the stage made the stage feel unnecessarily huge. The space between them was always palpable.

This was doubly sad given the choreography of their stunning debut “Breathe” is reliant on member interactions. For that song they still just about made it work but their other two, “Shining Stars” and “Hollywood” proved to be misses. Those tracks are not good enough to stand alone and are made even worse with the lack of a member. There were good points though, Daehwi is a phenomenal performer for the absolute grace in his movements. Many K-pop dances can make their routines look easy, very few can make it look like their swimming through the air like Daehwi does. Lead vocalist, Woong, also had the best belts of the weekend.

Fromis_9 returned with the rather boring “covering the big K-pop songs of the day” section. They ably covered Red Velvet’s “Red Flavour.” It’s a good match given the direction Fromis_9 are going in with “Love Bomb” and “Fun.” These covers are always bland though and they do never do much to change things up. SF9 introduced themselves next before their set with EXO’s “Love Shot.” This was slightly more interesting due to their dayglo suits that seemed to be missing whole pieces of clothing. A sexy sign of things to come from them.

Also on KultScene: KCON NY 2019 ‘M! COUNTDOWN’ DAY 1 RECAP

The final girl group of the weekend were up next and thanks to their star member showed something we hadn’t seen until then. (G)I-DLE’s most recent single “Uh Oh” was first and immediately Jeon Soyeon was standing out. Her voice was heard loud above the music, a rare thing over the weekend. She relished every moment on the mic, not being able to stop her smile every time the crowd roared for her. She played off of them, directing herself around the venue as well as at the camera. Soyeon was not afraid to detach herself from the focused expressions and pure commitment to choreography. They went on to blast through all of their singles, a shortened version of “Hann,” “Latata,” and finishing on “Senorita.” Soyeon would grow further into her role as the rest performed their functions. Soojin’s sleek, sensual dance was the only thing to come close to matching Soyeon.

SF9 proved to be the most sensual group of the weekend with their set. They left behind the primary colour suits and replaced with them clothes not so far from bondage. Right from the distorted guitars in their intro number, everything was geared towards a tough, masculine sexuality. No better is this demonstrated than in the heavy percussion and bass of “RPM.” This brought up the pace and kept it high even for “O Sole Mio.” It’s a song that would actually favour a slightly calmer presence but SF9 wanted it intense and they brought it. This was all set up for the banger of their lives, “Now or Never.” Led in the chorus by the infallibly cool Hwiyoung, SF9 delivered the deep electro with a perfectly effortless intensity. Pulling it off so well also meant they could end the night the decidedly more laid back “Play Hard.”

Before the long anticipated headliners arrived, (G)I-DLE were back on stage for the KCON classic Broadway musical cover. Befitting the girl crush image of them, (G)I-DLE chose “All That Jazz” from Chicago. Obviously “Cell Block Tango” would have been a much better choice but there’s also obvious reasons as to why they didn’t perform that one. As it was “All That Jazz” was a solid, mostly low energy number. It didn’t do much to show off the members, it would have if they were singing live but alas.

It was time for Seventeen. There’s little to add when it comes to these 13 boys. In a debate over the great K-pop live performers they would certainly be near the top. With only five songs, they can transform a night from a collective of K-pop groups to a full blown Seventeen show. The level of fun and individuality they bring to every performance is unprecedented. The effort and energy that goes into more recent songs like set opener “Getting Closer,” is no different from them revisiting their debut, “Adore U.” Seventeen have the same zeal for being on stage now as they did back then, maybe even more so. No one exemplifies this better than Hoshi. No single member of any group is better at leading a performance on stage, balancing his time between the camera, fans, and his fellow members. He takes charge alongside actual leader S.Coups and creates an atmosphere where everyone thrives. It was their closer “Very Nice” that finally brought the house down. They had everyone jumping and even sprinted back on stage after it was over for one more round.

Day 2 seemed to take day 1’s level of balance as a challenge. The groups on this night said we’re going to do the complete opposite. That’s not to say it was uneven or messy, but that each group attempted to stand on their own, not letting a potential flow between them stop them from doing what they want. It was a night of individual brilliance. The unbearable cuteness of Jang Gyuri, the lithe, feline movements of Lee Daehwi, the sharp, truncated rhythms of Jeon Soyeon, and blatant sexual energy of Hwiyoung. These moments and people would all be remembered, shining above those around them. With headliners Seventeen, they are a group so attuned to this style of performance that it’s impossible to separate them. They are all brilliant as individuals but geniuses when brought together.

All photo credits to KCON USA

Were you at KCON NY 2019? What did you think of day 2? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

KCON NY 2019 ‘M! Countdown’ day 1 recap

Tackling the great expectations of moving to maybe the most famous concert venue in the world, Madison Square Garden, was a big ask ahead of the five groups preparing for day 1 of KCON NY 2019. Each of them were more than qualified to perform there on their own merits but the beauty of a concert like KCON is how they play off of each other. Either by the order of their sets or through collaborations, these pairings can offer up interesting new perspectives on their work. On this day, they strived for a delicate sense of balance.

Opening this night was down to the now veteran of KCON, Kevin Woo, was on hand to introduce the night of concerts at Madison Square Garden. The former U-Kiss member was his usual bubbly and soft self; he tends to be a perfect MC thanks to this quality. He feels more like a friend than some random professional, so it was a true pleasure to be able to see him make the move back to performing after MCing for so long. He performed his two solo tracks, “Over You” and “Ride Along.” They are fittingly bright and breezy for his voice and look, but he’s straying into lyrical territory that doesn’t fit. The player image of “Ride Along” didn’t feel genuine, and that’s something that can come across strongly on such a big platform.

One thing Kevin has that definitely does come across, whether he likes it or not, is that he is a potent reminder of how far K-pop has come. Around since 2009, Kevin has seen almost all of K-pop’s major flirtations with breaking into the west. This gave the night interesting bookends, with Kevin himself, a member of a group all but forgotten to the world, and headliners Nu’est, a group who through an unprecedented resurgence live on amidst K-pop’s most world renowned time. They feel like they’re from the same era and yet remain very much in the zeitgeist.

Also on KultScene: INSIDE KCON NY 2019

The starkness of what comes in between those two was immediately apparent when Ateez took to the stage. They along with other fresh faced boy group The Boyz opened the night with dance performances to contemporary American pop tracks. True to form, Ateez went hard on Skrillex’s remix of Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.” As would be seen later on in the night, Ateez have a very particular style of controlled chaos while on stage. They use typically strong boy group moves in very angular and aggressive ways. It’s a style of dance that goes so well with the surprising ways in which they are growing so rapidly. It is in the very literal sense, breathtaking but also almost obstructive of the group at the heart of these dances.

In a smart move to counter this, The Boyz took a much more unusual approach by performing to teen phenom Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” Watching the 13 members walk like runway models to the cartoony synth run or move possessed along with Eilish’s distant vocals were moments totally singular over the whole weekend. Choosing to dance to these two melodies rather than the beat gives the performers themselves great personality. It’s an effective and simple way of making a dance feel like a story. Something they clearly learned from fellow large-membered group Seventeen.


As new as these two groups are they can’t compare to the absolute babies of the weekend, TXT. They were not to be held back, however, as coming along with a five track mini-album filled with gems meant they were more than qualified to be here. No one over the whole weekend would bring as exuberant a charm as they did. Decked in schoolboy uniforms, they jumped right into debut single “Crown.” The unabashed giant synths of it are probably the most infectious sounds of the year so far. It’s the kind of sound many might use to describe K-pop as a whole, so as an opener it was perfect. They took some time from there to talk and perform a short version of ballad “Your Summer.” It was energy well saved as they took a breathless last 10 minutes to blast through “Blue Orangeade” and “Cat and Dog.”

It’s hard to choose one thing that makes TXT so good but it’s just as hard to not say their choreography. It may be early days but it’s difficult to think of a group who handles such a small amount of members so well on stage since SHINee. The way they feed off each other is so important to the way they move, as if they need each other’s permission to go to the next part. They displayed a level of choreographic ingenuity that would not be topped until the weekend’s closers.

“Cat and Dog” will also go down as a great track of KCON 2019. As a song itself it expertly combines the cuter aspects of TXT with the more popular hip-hop sounds of most boy groups these days. It’s silly, brash, and best of all, earnest. This in turn makes it also an excellent bridging point from them into the next group Ateez.

As a further balancing act before that though, IZ*ONE came out with “Highlight.” “Highlight” is their most mature sounding song yet. Its stripped back R&B is helped by a pair of running synths and a trap beat, on top of which the girls eke out an elegant vocal. This gracefulness carries on in the dance as they hold up their hands and barely sway their hips, calling “look at me” in the chorus.


Not wanting to disrupt this flow too much, Ateez opened with the melancholic electro of “Aurora” and the decidedly dated tropical house of “Wave.” Ateez are burdened by the fact that every concept they’ve tackled so far has been a clear derivation of other groups. Particularly with these openers —you can’t give yourself a name when people are thinking of the groups who have done this before and better. Of course, even their next and final two tracks suffer from similar problems. This suffering only happens on track though, taken to the stage is a different story.

Closing with the heart-stopping duo of “Say My Name” and “Halla Halla,” Ateez made sure they wouldn’t be forgotten. The group left absolutely nothing on that stage; their sweat is now a permanent fixture of Madison Square Garden. It felt like they never had to stop, and could keep destroying the stage for the rest of the night. The chaos was still controlled but they were almost ready to let it go. It was a stunning display of control when they seemed to not want it at all. There’s aggression in K-pop dances, but nothing ever came close to feeling violent until rapper Mingi jumped over someone and seemed to headbutt the air. A funny but in some ways alarming moment.

The Boyz kept a serious air to the night but still calmed things down, as they began their set with “No Air.” Although a fitting follow up to what Ateez had brought, it felt lacklustre and even anonymous alongside them. This was put to bed immediately though, as the boyish charm and confidence of “Right Here” filled the place with glee. “Right Here” is one of those rare songs that starts off as if it’s already at top gear and yet at every turn still manages to find something small to lift it further. Making it not only a great song but an exceptional live experience. Also it was a smart move to put in the middle of their set, as closer “Bloom Bloom” is a lesser but still fun track that carried on the great energy of “Right Here.”

Needing to slow things a bit after that explosive one-two punch, Baekho and Minhyun of Nu’est came on for a cover of Adam Levine’s “Lost Stars.” Slowing things down was all this performance could really off as it’s not a good enough or well known enough song to otherwise justify inclusion. Certainly not with the potential vocal abilities of the two men singing it.



Nothing can really inject life into night quite like a Twice knock off, though. IZ*ONE were next up with just that on recent b-side “Airplane.” The cute vitality of the track and the girls more than made up for “Lost Stars,” as well as giving the night its tempo back. Unfortunately, they undid all of this right after as they played two games that took up at least 10 minutes. It would be ok if the games were fun but, it was clear that most of the audience were not paying attention after the first two or three minutes.

In fairness to IZ*ONE, they have the songs to once again reignite things. They ended with a brisk quartet of singles “Violeta,” “La Vie en Rose,” and Produce 48 tracks “Rumour” and “Pick Me.” Despite the cute image many might of them have, all of IZ*ONE’s tracks have major punch to them. This is emphasised really well live, as the bass in the choruses of “Violeta” and “La Vie en Rose” hit hard, but the melodies are never lost. No one carries this idea as well as Lee Chaeyeon. Their main dancer was one of the true highlights to watch over the whole weekend, earning her the nickname, the goddess of wind, with power and grace always together and never at odds.


There is no better group to headline this night and to unite all the ideas that have come up than Nu’est. Newly back to full strength as former Wanna One member Minhyun returned earlier in the year. Nu’est have been hard to pin down as a group thanks to changes like this, but they have consistently shown an unquestionable level of stability in sound and performance. They brilliantly mix the harder aspects of the dubstep and hip-hop that pervades their work with a slower sensuality in how they actually navigate these influences. Even up to their latest single “Bet Bet,” which they opened with, this continues. The battle between the ruthlessness of JR and Baekho, and the softer falsettos of Minhyun and Ren are on full show here. Aron sits in the middle somewhere, filling in gaps so as the others don’t quite lose themselves.

From there it was pure joy. “Love Paint” was the best song of the weekend, “Segno” so sweet and uplifting, and closing duo “Look” and “R.L.T.L (One Morning),” an exemplary rendition of the dubstep, dance music work they do. The only problem was that they were one song short. “R.L.T.L” was a good song to end on but only if we had known beforehand. As it was it felt like the perfect setup for “Overcome” to drive us home. But as soon as they finished, the lights went up and the other groups started to come out to say goodbye. There was definitely a slight feeling of being cheated. This was something their labelmates Seventeen would learn from though.

From Kevin Woo through Nu’est all the way to TXT, K-pop has been through too much to recount. KCON is always good at trying to tell this story of K-pop in a few hours and this night was no exception. The flow of every group’s set and the transitions between them felt natural and propulsive. Everyone had their place and performed it to the best of their abilities.

All photo credits to KCON USA

Were you at KCON NY 2019? What did you make of the performances? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Inside KCON NY 2019

For the first time ever, KCON New York took place in the actual city of New York. The 2019 edition of the biggest South Korean entertainment convention in the United States moved itself from Newark, New Jersey to the iconic locations of Javits Centre and Madison Square Garden on July 6th and 7th. It felt destined to be an equally grand weekend with more acts, more guests, and most importantly, more fans.

The hallowed halls of the Javits Centre, home to most of New York’s largest conventions, quickly filled up the first morning of KCON. They just as quickly felt like home to the many fans checking the best of Korean culture available to them. As always, the major highlights at the convention was the panels, a rare chance to get an in-real-life perspective on the many facets of K-pop and also time to speak to many of the best journalists and Youtubers that K-pop has to offer.

The weekend’s offerings opened with a panel exploring the potentially tricky area of “Stan Culture.” Moderated by PopCrush journalist Lai Frances, the panel of guests steered nicely clear of controversy without ever feeling too soft on stans. Each of them went through some of their own experiences with quality fandoms and toxic fandoms. The most interesting exchange came prompted from an audience member when they asked about how the writers themselves feel they can change the more negative sides of fans. Of course, none of the panelists had an exact answer or even a feeling if they did, but they demonstrated the necessity for cultural critics well.

The other great panel of the day was run by Emma from Reacttothek, and featured producers Andreas Oberg and David Amber and critic Jakob Dorof. Titled “What’s the Difference between American Pop and K-Pop?” the four of them attempted to describe how K-pop came to sound the way it does and how that compares to modern American pop. The panel was full of insights into how production works thanks to the two producers, but Emma as well was just as adept at explaining musical terms and elements. Jakob, who lives in Seoul, provided the Korean context. He talked about how the karaoke market is something important to pop in Korea, as well as the fact that the genre-bending type songs we hear now may have their roots all the way back in the 1940’s. One of the most interesting little tidbits though, was his revelation that SHINee’s “Everybody” had ninety different versions before being completed. Apparently they would have a finished song, go to choreograph it, and find that it needed a little something extra here and there before finally thinking it was good enough.



At the expo itself, there was a never ending stream of potential things to do. Many corporate brands had stalls doing games and giveaways, and there was lots of merch and K-beauty products to purchase, and even a glass box in the middle of the room where idols came out to play. Coco was there on this to host for Ateez. They played some Jenga and whoever made the blocks fall would have to dance to a random song. It’s a fun game to watch idols play, but being in the box meant it felt a little less intimate. At the Prudential Centre in previous years, the groups would come out to stalls but still be quite close by. It’s this kind of intimacy that an event like KCON should strive for.

There was also a noticeable lack of fan stalls in the expo. There had always been only a small amount, but given the extra space, there could have been more of an effort to bring in fan artists. Fans could get together in rooms near the panels as fan clubs, but again, that felt too distant from the expo as well as being too specifically catered to one group’s fans at a time.

Day two rolled around swiftly and the panel area began with a packed schedule. There were three separate events going all around at the same time. Two meet and greets, one with now KCON legend, and former U-KISS member, Kevin, the other with four of the team from Reacttothek, and one returning panel “Women in Hallyu Media.” Our very own Tamar Herman was moderating and led the esteemed panelists through a frank and vital discussion. The reality of the pressures even the most successful journalists and media women was totally laid bare. They touched on the issue of women in K-pop and the lack of tours and coverage they get in the west. It’s a never ending cycle of not getting enough news space because the groups aren’t big enough, but never being given that space to get the fame in the first place. Jenny Zha made a remark in relation to this that would feel relevant for the rest of the day: she basically said where the money goes determines all of this, touring and coverage.

Later on, there was another chance to get up close and personal with some idols in the M2 glass box. There was more Jenga playing, this time from (G)I-dle. This included a happily embarrassed Miyeon dancing to “Baby Shark.” Verivery and SF9 took the to the KCON stage, where they partook in showcasing their rookie talent and sitting down for an interview, respectively.

Also on KultScene: K-POP UNMUTED: JUNE 2019

Again the panels were the easy highlight of the day with more exciting work like the “K-pop and Mental Health,” “Breaking News in K-pop,” and “2019: Year of Girl Groups.” The latter took on a very comfortable sort of half fan club, half panel vibe that played into the positivity of the topic itself. The expo lost even more of its charm by the second day though, as there’s only so many free slices of pizza and ice pops that can keep you distracted long enough to stick around when there are few offerings and interactive events.

As KCON takes a big step in the right direction in New York City, it frustratingly takes some more smaller steps in the opposite way. Zha’s comment from the “Women in Hallyu Media” panel sticks in the mind. Growing in size requires extra money, and extra money requires more sponsorships, which ultimately leads to less creative control over how the convention is run. The panels and concerts are slowly becoming the only reason to go to these events, and who knows how long they’ll last as well, though, as this year is more heavily focused on rookie and Mnet-oriented groups, the TV channel under KCON organizer CJ ENM than ever before. The true danger of this progression is if fans follow this corporatization. Of course, KCON isn’t the leader in how fans consume K-pop, but it can be a litmus test for a general look at what the Stateside portion of the fandom might be feeling at one point. Events like this need fans’ money, but long term, they need their support way more.

All photos credit to Jean Libert. 

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What were your take on KCON 2019 NY? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.


Breaking down Red Velvet’s ‘Redmare’ show in Dallas

by Nnehkai Agbor

Red Velvet traveled to Dallas for the first time ever with their Redmare tour earlier this month. The second stop by the group in the U.S. during this tour, it featured special moments, tangible energy, and fan-favorites from the group’s “red”-themed albums. Adding more meaning to the night, the sold-out show took place on the birthday of member Seulgi, who celebrated turning 25. Despite the dreary weather, Red Velvet’s vibrant aura consumed The Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie on Feb. 10.

Red Velvet perform Russian Roulette

by Nnehkai Agbor

The quintet kicked the concert off with “Russian Roulette” and “Power Up,” getting the crowd excited for the night ahead. The ladies treated fans with solo dances and introductions before their first few songs, before taking break with what would be a series of fun intermission videos that showed off their quirky, captivating concept.

The group’s dual identity ventures between “red’” and “velvet.” The former consists of peculiar, upbeat pop tracks while the latter is mature, refined R&B tracks. No matter what genre is incorporated into either concept, there’s always a chilling ambiance to every song, and it was visible throughout the night. For Redmare, both concepts blend to create an enchanting nightmare by mixing innocence with eerie results. One video intermission shows the group having fun while enjoying each other’s company, but one member takes her science experiment a little too far causing the rest to shrink or grow beyond belief. The video then returns to cheerful atmosphere as the women find humor in the situation, while another brings them to a gory haunted house.

Red Velvet_Dallas_2

by Nnehkai Agbor

Throughout the night, Red Velvet treated fans to several songs they had yet to perform Stateside. “Mr. E,” “Zoo,” and “Hit that Drum” took fans on a safari ride with the ladies donning outfits similar to animals. Following “Hit the Drum,” Red Velvet took fans back to the song that started it all: “Happiness.” The song was a stand out moment reigniting fan energy. The concert continued the momentum with half a performance of “Lucky Girl” paired with “Bad Dracula.” “All Right” was a pleasantly welcome surprise, and the upbeat R&B track transitioned the concert into the groups’ “velvet” side.

Red Velvet_Dallas_3

by Nnehkai Agbor

“Blue Lemonade”’s mellow vibe eased the group into R&B ballads “About Love” and “Moonlight Melody” as each member flaunted their vocal abilities securing the crowd’s attention. The latter served as a special moment between fans and Red Velvet, and emotions were high throughout the venue during the quintet’s heartfelt rendition. In general, Redmare had copious amounts of fan interaction as Red Velvet has a special way of making each of their fans feel seen and appreciated. From tossing easter eggs into the crowd to asking for recommendations about the best things to do in Dallas, their playfulness and charms filled the entire theatre.

The group then upped the ante with the English versions of “Bad Boy” and “RBB (Really Bad Boy).” Excited fans belted out every word to the song, not missing a beat as they joined in by mimicking the choreography with the ladies.

Red Velvet Dallas_4

by Nnehkai Agbor

One of the most poignant moments of the show was during lead vocalist Seulgi’s birthday celebration, as Reveluv, their fans, gathered together to organize an event. From around the theater, fans waved signs wishing Seulgi a happy birthday during “Moonlight Melody.” Each member expressed how meaningful Reveluv are to them, and how special it was to be able to share the day with them on Seulgi’s birthday. Overwhelmed with emotion, Seulgi, Joy, and Yeri fought back tears while being consoled by Irene and Wendy.

The encore brought out even more fan interaction, as the members navigated across each section of the stage gazing from floor to balcony to catch a glimpse of each fan in the crowd. Red Velvet’s contagious smiles and bright energy manifested throughout their performance of “Day 1.” It was the most intimate interaction of the show, and things closed out with a bright “Red Flavor.” 

Overall Experience

Red Velvet_Dallas_5

by Nnehkai Agbor

While there was a noted lack of “velvet” songs performed compared to “red,” the songs performed played more into Redmare‘s quirkiness. Each tune’s placement was well thought out in their grouping, and the setlist showed the ladies abilities as singers and entertainers.

The graphics and visuals over the course of the show were memorable, and the group’s ability of making every person in the room feel something is commendable. It felt like we were all friends hanging out singing our favorite songs, and the connection between Red Velvet and Reveluv is impressive. It’s like an extended family. The relationship and appreciation for each other was evident in Seulgi’s birthday celebration, making it clear that Red Velvet and Reveluv have an unbreakable bond.

Redmare in Dallas had laughter, tears, and intriguing moments. Beginning to end, the energy never left. The ladies proved why they are a growing force in K-pop’s expansion through their personality, visuals, and dedication, and hopefully they’ll be back soon. 

What are some of your favorite Red Velvet performances? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Breaking down DPR Live’s ‘CTYL’ show in Dallas

dpr live dabin dallas concert korean rap hip hop

by Nnehkai Agbor

After braving the Texas heat for hours on end, fans filled the room with excitement in their eyes as they waited for DPR Live’s performance. With a booming surround sound system, passionate fans of all ages and intoxicating energy filled every corner of Dallas’ Canton Hall on Oct. 10 as Live put his best foot forward during the eighth stop of the Coming To You Live, or CTYL, tour.

The Venue

Canton Hall is a popular venue for artists all around the world to host their shows. From CL to St. Lucia, the new venue is no stranger to hosting popular acts. This time around was all about DPR Live and the entire DPR crew. Because the venue was a bit smaller than others, it was easier for fans to interact with them. Even those in the far back were able to feel connected despite not being upfront. Of course, this was not just because of the venue but also because of Live’s stage presence and ability to command the room.

dpr live dabin dallas concert korean rap hip hop

by Nnehkai Agbor

Also on KultScene: KCON 2018 LA ‘M! COUNTDOWN’ DAY 2 RECAP

The Setlist

Live reignited the hype that had built while waiting for his entrance. The moment he walked on stage, his infectious energy spread throughout the entire venue. “Know Me” kicked off his set with fans shouting every word and grooving to the beat. Following this track were “Cheese & Wine” and “Laputa.” He revved up the ante as he interacted with fans, threw water, and worked the stage from corner to corner.

dpr live dabin dallas concert korean rap hip hop

by Nnehkai Agbor

“Playlist” was a standout for multiple reasons, but the crew recreated the colors and vibrancy of the music video with colorful lighting of the stage. While the setlist remained the same as the prior stops, Live’s inclusion of Soundcloud tracks “Thirst” and “Til I Die” are a trip down memory lane and remind fans we all have dreams for a reason and nothing should ever discourage us from achieving them. The songs remind us the journey is not easy, but the outcome is worth it.

dpr live dabin dallas concert korean rap hip hop

by Nnehkai Agbor

Fan Energy

Fans really showed up to have the best time at this show. Their energy could be felt before Live walked on stage. Honestly, the opening act did a tremendous job in getting the crowd hyped and ready. DJ DAQ played various K-pop favorites including BTS’ “Mic Drop” and a remix of BLACKPINK’s “Whistle.” He also switched it up by playing summer hits like J Balvin’s “Mi Gente,” and even throwbacks like Busta Rhymes’ “Pass the Courvoisier Part II.”

dpr live dabin dallas concert korean rap hip hop

by Nnehkai Agbor

By the time the DJ DAQ ended his set, fans erupted at the sight of Live. Fans shared special moments including him basking in the moment of fans singing the lyrics of “Jasmine.” Another memorable moment was Cline taking the stage to show his best viral dance moves even adding a special bit just for Dallas (Technically, they were all the dances from Fortnite. Yee haw, Texas!). From the shoot dance to the milly rock, Cline put his best foot forward in adding his energy to the atmosphere. “Playlist” offered a real treat as Christian Yu, DPR’s visual director, filmed and danced with Live throughout the song. The beat and groove were so intoxicating that my friend and I started our own dance battle as we let the vibes and lyrics flow through us. It was like time stopped and all that mattered was creating the best memories with your best pals.

dpr live dabin dallas concert korean rap hip hop

by Nnehkai Agbor

The greatest moment of energy was when fans erupted in the “DPR, We Gang Gang” chant as they anticipated Live’s and the crew’s return to the stage for an encore. They were not disappointed. Fans jumped and proudly chanted the course of the song along with the Live and the DPR crew.

dpr live dabin dallas concert korean rap hip hop

by Nnehkai Agbor


Final Thoughts

In its entirety, the production of the concert was amazing. The real takeaway is DPR’s manifestation of a dream and seeing fans enjoy the artistry and hard work that goes into producing their craft. From beginning to end, Live showed appreciation and joy to be sharing this moment with fans. It wasn’t an artist and his fans, but a big family. For now, fans in Europe and the Asia Pacific regions will have their moments with Live and the DPR crew while those in North America anticipate what they bring us next. More than a show, the concert was an experience.

dpr live dabin dallas concert korean rap hip hop

by Nnehkai Agbor

What are some of your favorite DPR Live songs? Let us know your picks and thoughts in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our pos

10 songs to get you ready for DPR’s ‘CTYL 2018’ world tour

dpr live coming to you live tour concert north america usa us songs tracks

An impressive resume including works with YG Entertainment unit MOBB and JYP Entertainment’s Suzy are highlights for audiovisual collective Dream Perfect Regime, or DPR for short. The Seoul-based collective is transforming the way music and visuals are perceived in entertainment through experimental beats and breath-taking visuals.

At the forefront is Live who is currently the collective’s only artist. His debut album, HER, quickly put him on the radar in Korea’s hip-hop scene. Producer DPR Cream, Director DPR REM and Creative Director DPR Ian bring Live’s lyrics to life while Jaean and Jimmy assist in management. Like Live, Cream REM and Ian adopted the abbreviation of Dream Perfect Regime in their monikers.

And for the first time, DPR Live and the entire DPR crew will be together giving fans a chance to participate in epic fun and craze. The Coming To You Live world tour (CTYL for short) kicks off at Vogue Theatre in Vancouver on Sept. 30 followed by Neptune Theatre in Seattle on Oct. 1, Concord Music in Chicago on Oct.2, The Opera House in Toronto on Oct. 4, Terminal 5 in New York on Oct. 5, The Loft at Center Stage in Atlanta on Oct.7, Warehouse Live in Houston on Oct. 8, Canton Hall in Dallas on Oct. 10, The Novo in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, and The UC Theatre San Francisco on Oct. 14. The guys will then head to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region for the second and third legs of the tour.

From his beginning tracks on SoundCloud to popular features, these 10 songs are just a glimpse into Live’s ability as an artist and entertainer and will definitely get you ready for their upcoming tour. His songs offer a new insight to Korean hip-hop culture and seeing it on tour is a treat. The experience and rush increase the bond and support between fans and artist even if it’s just for a few hours.

“To Myself”

“To Myself” is the official hype song for DPR, serving as the ultimate solidarity between DPR and fans. The song’s addictive “DPR, we gang gang” is a lyric fans cannot wait to shout together during the tour. I’m sure we all can’t wait to see Jimmy Cline do viral dance moves to this song.


“Eung Freestyle”

If “To Myself” wasn’t enough to get you hyped for DPR, then this freestyle will seal the deal. Putting his own twist on the viral “MMM-freestyle,” he showcased his rap skills along with Sik-K, Punchnello, Owen Ovadoz, and Flowsik on “Eung Freestyle.” It’s bound to get your head bobbing and loosen you up for copious amounts of fun.


“Thirst” takes us back to Live’s SoundCloud beginnings. It expresses his ambition of achieving his rap dreams. It’s a relatable anthem for all of us wanting to achieve dreams no matter the obstacles and doubts.


“Playlist” is a groove that fits the ease of summer while showing Live’s flexibility in experimenting with different sounds while keeping the core of his sound. Captivating colors, beats, and melodies combined with LIVE’s soft voice create a song that’s a summer essential.

“Martini Blue”

If there was ever a time we wanted to get away and sip our favorite drink, “Martini Blue” can be thanked. The use of a synthesizer and ad-libs create a relaxing aura that hypnotizes listeners. It’s a slower track that adds balance among high energy fans are used to.

“Know Me”

People tend to think they know us when they haven’t a clue, and this speaks our souls about showing who we are without a care. “Know Me” is an ode to blocking the haters and living your best life.


“Jasmine” is DPR LIVE’s most popular song boasting over four million streams on Spotify. The song is an allusion to Aladdin’s “A Whole New World.” Live’s raps about being able to show a love interest a new world and paint it black and gold. “Jasmine” leans towards the chill vibes serving as a foil to the usual hype that accompanies his music.



Featuring GRAY, “Action!” made us want to be the leading lady in a movie. Shout outs to Emma Stone, Emma Watson, and Emily Ratajkowski became stuck in our heads allowing us to daydream about having full service on a movie set while Live vies for our attention.

“Right Here Right Now”

It’s all about being in the moment for this collaboration featuring Jay Park and Loco. Each artist brings his respective flavor to “Right Here Right Now.” It’s definitely a track that would be a treat for fans to be performed on the tour.

“Dream Perfect”

The beginnings of Dream Perfect Regime come to light in this track. “Dream Perfect” is a promise of achieving greatness as a team. Strong friendship and ambition are at the core of this track, as Live claims, they’re “the team.” There’s no competition except to be better than they were before.

While European shows are sold out, dates across North America and Asia-Pacific are readily available. So, grab your favorite pals for a night out! What DPR Live songs are you listening to prepare for the tour? Let us know your picks and thoughts on the concert in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

KCON 2018 LA ‘M! Countdown’ day 2 recap

kcon18la kcon la los angeles 18 2018 seventeen

courtesy of CJ ENM

Following a mega-successful first concert on Saturday, KCON was back at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 12 for the second and final show. KCON makes a point of always bringing the biggest names in K-pop, and KCON 2018 LA was no exception. While Twice and Wanna One were arguably the biggest acts for Night One, Night Two belonged to Seventeen, Pentagon, and Chung Ha.

Kicking off the show, rock girl group Dreamcatcher took the stage. They performed their newest single “You & I” from their mini album Escape the Era. Throughout their performance, Dreamcatcher constantly showed a unique hybrid form of K-pop and rock music. With such a distinct sound, Dreamcatcher was the one to watch for many concertgoers. They seemed to satisfy the crowd, amassing screams for their whole set. To close it out, the septet performed their 2017 single “Good Night.”

kcon18la kcon la los angeles 18 2018 dreamcatcher

courtesy of CJ ENM

After Dreamcatcher had everyone doing their best air guitar moves, it was IMFACT’s turn. As KCON was their debut stateside performance, they went all out showing every side of themselves to their fans. They started off their performance with the debut of their newest single, “NaNaNa,” which hadn’t even been released at that time. It was a great way to introduce themselves to the crowd as the track has a very chill chorus and a tropical feel. Next, IMFACT performed their biggest hit so far, the high-energy synth-pop song “The Light,” which was released in April 2018. The crowd danced along and everyone seemed to like their performance. If IMFACT comes back to the U.S. soon, they will definitely have some new fans in the crowd that were introduced to them through KCON.

kcon18la kcon la los angeles 18 2018 imfact

courtesy of CJ ENM


Another one of the night’s most popular performers was Pentagon, a group that had grown substantially in popularity throughout the past six months with their hit song “Shine.” Due to some unfortunate circumstances, the group was missing two members during their trip to the U.S. but fortunately, fans still gave Pentagon a lot of support both before and during their time here. They employed the help of fellow performer and violinist Jun to begin their performance with a short intro to “Shine.” The extremely popular song was exciting to see live; many people in the massive crowd were singing along and doing the addictive choreography. It was clear that Pentagon had gained their popularity for good reason. Their performance was positive and energetic, but still allowed them to connect with their fans and create an intimate experience.

kcon18la kcon la los angeles 18 2018 pentagon

courtesy of CJ ENM

One vulnerable moment was when the boys spread out to each end of the stage to perform their gentle ballad, “Beautiful.” Although a lot of Universe (Pentagon’s fanbase) brought their lightsticks, even the people that didn’t have official Pentagon lightsticks used their phones or other groups’ lights to sway along to the music. Following the intimate feel of “Beautiful,” Pentagon brought us back to their tough concept with “Runaway.” The song describes an intense, rough relationship, which is unfortunately what Pentagon’s fans are going through with the group and their company these days. Thankfully, if you did not know about the drama surrounding Pentagon at this moment, you would not be clued into it just by watching their performance. It was clear at KCON 2018 LA that nothing can take away their passion and charisma on stage.

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courtesy of CJ ENM

After lending his violin talent to Pentagon’s intro, Jun was back to show the audience his performance of his single “Hold It Down.” While his most popular content is on his Youtube channel, Jun showed that he is a great performer in real life too. The upbeat track was perfect to perform at such an energetic event; he utilized many backup dancers and really showed the song’s colorful vibe well. His set was only the one song, which was disappointing but was a great teaser for what’s to come from Jun.

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courtesy of CJ ENM

Finally, back in the States as a solo artist, Chung Ha was one of the most highly anticipated artists. She hadn’t performed here since KCON 2016 LA with the Produce 101-formed IOI, so everyone was really looking forward to her appearance. Being one of Korea’s biggest female solo artists, it was no surprise that many guests at KCON were there to see her. Having an amazing year with two super popular comebacks, she was an artist that everyone was looking forward to. Chung Ha opened her set with her newest title track “Love U,” which had only come out about two weeks before and still had everyone singing along. Although she didn’t perform her debut song “Why Don’t You Know,” she still kept everyone’s attention by performing her January hit “Roller Coaster.” A vibrant, fun song with an easy melody, it was a great way to close her set.


Keeping the girl power vibe going, KCON welcomed rookie group Fromis_9 to the stage to show their spirit. Flipping from the sexy, mature vibe that Chung Ha is a master of, the younger group displayed their cute concept with their songs “DKDK” and “Glass Shoes.” Unlike most groups formed on reality shows, Fromis_9 is a permanent group, and it is obvious that they have improved a lot since Idol School aired. They showed immediate charm and were super sweet. For girls that started their career not too long ago, it was surely surreal for them to be on the same stage as so many powerhouse seniors, although by now they have performed at many events and are definitely earning their stripes. Hopefully, Fromis_9 will visit the states again soon with more fresh, bubbly music to share!

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courtesy of CJ ENM

Next up was Roy Kim, who is known for his laid-back music, and KCON is a place that doesn’t normally emphasize a chill atmosphere. Typically every performer is trying to get the crowd hyped up and dancing like crazy, but Roy Kim is an exception to that. It was refreshing to have a moment in the lineup where there was no choreography to dance along to, just a guy and his guitar and his soothing melodies. Roy started his set with his ballad “Only Then,” which was released in February. He then continued with a cover of Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter,” which he frequently performs when he has a chance to. It’s a cover well-liked by his fans around the world due to the way he nails the emotion in the song. He concluded his part of the night by performing his biggest hit to date, “Bom Bom Bom.” The sweet, summery feel of the song, with its title that translates to “Spring Spring Spring,” was a great way to finish his set.

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courtesy of CJ ENM

No KCON is complete without a few special surprises, and there were some great ones in store for the final night of KCON LA. Seventeen are now veterans of attending KCON, as this was their fourth appearance at a KCON event. They know how it works, and they especially know how to get the crowd fired up. They did just that with their special unit stage performances when each of the three units from the group performed one of their songs, most of which rarely, if ever, get performed outside of concerts. The vocal unit performed “Don’t Listen in Secret” off of their 2016 full album Going Seventeen. The powerful ballad was completely different from the hip-hop and Performance unit choices, but it fit in perfectly. Speaking of hip-hop unit, they were on stage next to perform their unreleased song “SUKYO,” which had previously only been performed at their Ideal Cut concert series in Korea. The explosive rap track was a stark contrast to the delicate and sweet song choice of vocal unit. Continuing the sexy, upbeat vibe, the performance unit was the last of Seventeen’s three units to grace the stage, and their choice of special song was 2017’s “Lilili Yabbay,” also known as “The 13th Month’s Dance.”

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courtesy of CJ ENM

If you thought special stages were just for the boys, fortunately, you’re wrong! The female acts of the night were back on stage and ready to show a different side of themselves for the special stage titled “Midnight Fantasy Garden.” Dreamcatcher performed a full group dance cover of “Havana” by Camila Cabello, which they had previously posted on YouTube with only two members participating (Sua and Dami). After “Havana,” Fromis_9 appeared at the opposite end of the stage to cover Missy Elliott’s “WTF.” It was a big departure from Fromis_9’s sweet, girly vibe and was really exciting to witness. They killed the choreography and showed some major versatility, if only for a few minutes. Chung Ha then took to the middle of the stage to perform some sultry choreography with a backup dancer to Ariana Grande’s newest single “God is a Woman.” Chung Ha also shows a lot of versatility, and it is obvious that she truly deserves all of the hype and attention she gets for her dance ability. She works hard and it shows.

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courtesy of CJ ENM

Nu’Est have had quite the interesting year, and it was subunit Nu’Est W up next. After four of their five members participated in Produce 101 season 2, and Minhyun was chosen to be in Wanna One, Nu’Est grew substantially in popularity. So Pledis and Nu’Est decided to form a subunit (Nu’Est W) so they could utilize that popularity while Minhyun is participating in Wanna One promotions. This subunit has done extremely well, and it has been exciting to see them flourish after many years of being in a nugu-like state in Korea. I goes without saying that for their first trip to the US as a subunit, Nu’Eest W was a highly anticipated performer. They began their set with the sensual “Deja Vu,” which was released in June of this year. Nu’Est W maintained the sultry feeling with the more amped-up “Where You At,” their debut single as a subunit. They also performed “Polaris” from Nu’Est W’s mini album Who, You as well as “Look” from Nu’Est’s 2016 album Canvas.

Although Seventeen had technically already performed once during Night 2, their special stage was nothing compared to their full set. Kicking off the full Seventeen experience, the thirteen-member group performed their title track from August’s You Make My Day mini album, “Oh My!” With video-game inspired choreography and cuter feel than their other recent titles, “Oh My!” is a fun escape. The boys then performed the b-side “Our Dawn Is Hotter Than Day” from the same mini album, which also has a fun, pleasant feel. Switching it up to their rookie days, Seventeen surprised the audience by performing their 2015 hit “Mansae.” The energetic track was a great pick to play because every K-pop fan knows the melody and probably a bit of the choreography too!

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courtesy of CJ ENM

Fortunately, Seventeen’s discography thus far is full of hits, so their next song was a great choice too. They ended their set (too soon) with the 2016 hit “Aju Nice (Very Nice)” from the repackage edition of their Love & Letter EP. An equally exciting and honestly irresistible song to dance to, “Aju Nice” made everyone get on their feet for one last dance party before the end of KCON 2018 LA. It was a bittersweet way to end the intense, amazing experience that is KCON. Every year KCON keeps getting bigger and this year’s events have continued to follow that trend. Who knows what will happen at next year’s KCON!

Did you attend KCON 2018 LA? Let us know your experience and thoughts on the concert in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.