By: Laura Beaty
Contributing MoonROK Editorialist
On Friday, July 1st 2016 in Grand Prairie, Texas, I discovered the most spoiled fandom in K-pop.
Despite the suffocating heat outside, iGOT7’s lined up hours before the concert started, armed with signs and light-sticks to show their love once the show started. Inside, as everyone was seated and show time grew nearer, the music grew louder and the lights dimmed. Behind red spotlights, GOT7’s cool, masculine silhouettes appeared. The group started off their set with “Put Your Hands Up”, “Turn Up The Music”, and “Girls Girls Girls”.
Sounds like a normal concert, right?
Watching GOT7 together on stage was like watching your older brother and his funny friends hanging out after school. Watching them joke around and bully each other into doing sexy choreography alone was a delight and truly made the show feel more intimate than the packed, massive venue that it actually was. I lost count of how many times they “dabbed”, ad-libbed ridiculous noises, and fell down laughing at each other.
Where as most K-pop acts rely on trite English phrases like “thank you for coming” and “we love you guys” when performing in foreign countries, BamBam treated the audience to phrases like, “If you’re under 21, don’t dream about this (sexy dancing) tonight! If you’re under 21, get out!” Meanwhile Jackson took a genuine interest in the health of the fans, telling them to, “Stay healthy! Get lots of sleep! Eat your veggies (complete with accompanying body wiggle). Drink green tea! Seriously! Drink organic green tea, it’s so good for you!” Even Junior, who is not a native English speaker, tried his best throughout to speak and joke around in English.
A writer couldn’t script some of the things the members of GOT7 said even if they tried, which is what made the experience so special.
GOT7 split up for some stages, the first being a lonely JB whose partner in singing the ballad “1:31am” was absent due to illness. A piano chair sat empty and the track played Youngjae’s vocals to the receptive audience. The second unit performance was “Higher” by Mark and Junior. The duo dressed in pastel suits and were generous with their fan service to the lively crowd. The final was a trio of BamBam, Jackson and Yugyeom, who sang “We Only Live Once”, with machismo charisma to round out the stages.
It seemed like the group blazed through their title songs (“Fly”, “Home Run”, “Just Right”), and seamlessly filled in the vocal gaps for Youngjae. And where they let the back track cover the vocals, fans filled in instead. During “Just Right”, Youngjae’s part was carried by the crowd, and hearing the fans singing together visibly energized the group in the middle of the song. This newfound energy led Jackson and BamBam to ad-lib silly sounds at their parts, earning a look from JB, whose judgmental face was blown up on the screen for even the fans in the back to see.
After the special fan mission segment, where concert-goers had to dance GOT7 choreography in order to bring the boys out again, Junior talked about how he felt nervous performing today without Youngjae. But, thanks to being with the fans who gave him energy, he felt “comfortable”.
There are not a lot of groups who can travel abroad and create a connection with fans the way GOT7 can. Their ability to communicate in real time, as well as their sincere passion for their fans and their happy-go-lucky, fun-loving nature, are the reasons I say iGOT7’s are spoiled. Some international fandoms will never get the chance to experience a connection like the one that GOT7 made with their fans in Dallas that night.
The concert closed with “Bounce” performed by the whole group, a remix of “Fly” that had the whole crowd bumping, and finally ended with gratuitous fan service while singing “Before the Full Moon Rises”.
GOT7 put on a performance that fans will be able cherish for a long time to come — it’ll be hard to not dream of concerts like that in the future, even if you’re not 21 years old. Sorry BamBam.
For more exclusive pictures from GOT7’s “Fly” show in Dallas, be sure to check out MoonROK’s Official Facebook page!
Tags: BamBam Concert GOT7 Jackson JB Jr. Mark Youngjae Yugyeom