Hey! Hallie here!
My sister and I have been talking about our excitement over getting tickets for this tour for a while now, and last night the concert date finally arrived! Going into this tour we were promised something a bit different. With the most recent album, ATEEZ created a level of immersion into the storyline they’ve been unfolding throughout their recent releases. With the release of ‘The World Ep.1: Movement’ we moved past the storyline they unfurled during their performances in the show ‘Kingdom: Legendary War’. During that show Halateez, the alternate universe versions of ATEEZ that were first introduced in the music video for “HALA HALA”, were killed in their fight to liberate their world. In the new album ATEEZ stepped into the role Halateez left behind and made moves to start a rebellion in the alternate universe, themselves. This concert plays out with this new storyline in mind, starting out with the audience themselves receiving the propaganda that’s enslaving the people of this alternate world. Sticking to a story in this way isn’t something we’ve seen a lot in K-Pop concerts, and this added element, along with the amount of seriously amazing songs on the new album, boosted my excitement to see the whole thing in person. And, as usual, ATEEZ delivered everything I wanted and more. Let’s get into the details!
Opener and Beginning:
Before I get to all the ATEEZ goodness I need to give a shout out to KQ Fellas 2! This is KQ Entertainment’s current rookie group made up of ten members. They only did two songs as the opening act for ATEEZ, but their vocals were incredible, as was their choreography. All of the members are extremely young, but I’m so excited to see what they do with their future careers! I will definitely be keeping my eye out for Minjae, Junmin, Sumin, Jinsik, Hyunwoo, Junghoon, Seeun, Hunter, Yujin, and Yechan in the future! I also want to talk about how immersive the concert was even before the concert started. Instead of music videos or adds being shown on the stage screens, We were treated to a metal wall with ATEEZ banners hanging from it. While we enjoyed mostly music from their newest album, searchlights could be seen moving across the wall. This effect was only aided by the start of the concert. As the lights went down, the audience received the chillingly soothing propaganda we’ve seen in the “Guerrilla” music video. Afterwards we were shown each member on the screen in their roles in the same music video as resistance fighters. Then ATEEZ came out in darkness to sing “New World”, a truly epic song to open with, only lit by bright lights held by the dancers. What made this even better was that the members came out in their “Guerrilla” cloaks with their hoods up, only taking them down as they each sang their first line and were finally illuminated by the lights. As soon as the chorus hit, the wall behind them, which we had seen all the way up until the concert started, opened into a cityscape. As the song ended with a mesmerizing vortex effect on the screens we went into “Answer”, which fit surprisingly well with the other new songs. Plus, it’s always amazing to see the choreography for this and Mingi absolutely killed his verse.
“Sector 1” finished the first set with some more energetic choreo before the first ments started. Their opening ments were short and cute, as always, and the amount of English they were all using was extremely impressive. I want to shout out Seonghwa in particular for dissing Disneyland’s new complicated reservation system by telling the story of how he went to Universal Studios instead during the last tour. By doing this he also, simultaneously caused Star Wars official twitter account (He had wanted to go to Disneyland for the Star Wars rides) to apologize and name him an official Jedi Master. Hell yeah. “The Ring” came afterwards, which I honestly almost blanked on entirely because this song was the first time ATEEZ came out onto the extended stage. I was sitting quite close to the extended stage and wound up too mesmerized by being able to actually see the members fully to completely comprehend what was happening. Still, “The Ring” is an extremely hard-hitting song and Seonghwa went full demon line for this one. “HALA HALA” was next and this was one of my favorite songs of the entire night. I love “HALA HALA” in general, especially the choreography, but the way this was performed was so clever. The colors on stage would flash between vibrant colors, to black and white as ATEEZ performed. When the colors went to black and white, the video on screen would change from ATEEZ performing the song on the stage, to an identical video of the choreography being performed with the ATEEZ members dressed as Halateez. There were even moments where dancers came out to dance the chorus dressed as Halateez for full effect. I don’t care if Halateez is technically dead in their storyline now, this was such an amazing idea and so well executed.
VCRs and Second Part:
After a large amount of energetic songs we were treated to our first videos. The VCRs throughout the night weren’t as nicely connected as I would have liked, but they were still enjoyable. The videos for the first break focused on ATEEZ talking about their love for one another, their protectiveness over the group, and their reason for doing what they do. As the night went on we also got the members dressed in their “Guerrilla” outfits, each showing off a role they play as resistance fighters. I especially liked hacker Yeosang and engineer Mingi. Last we got some really adorable VCRs of the members playing around together in a room full of flowers. All of these were excellent, but they didn’t aid the storyline much. Which brings us into the next set of songs. They came back from the brief break with “Dazzling Light”, a fun, heartfelt song that’s been a fan favorite for a long time. And just to keep on with the theme of grabbing Atiny by the heartstrings, they went straight into “Mist”, another very meaningful song to the fans.
I loved hearing both these songs, but I do have a small gripe with them coming next in the set list. The storyline basically ended at this point in the concert. The whole rebellion story halted pretty much entirely until the very end of the concert. I almost wish that they would have left these songs for last instead of pushing off “Cyberpunk” and “Guerrilla” until the end of the concert because of the immersive experience they had cultivated up until this point. It felt odd to suddenly drop the whole thing so early in the night. But that definitely didn’t diminish my experience. I loved seeing these songs performed live. We got a brief ment before the next two songs, where they made us guess what song was coming next and adorably praised Jongho for how cute he is, how talented he is, and how far he’s come. And after we heard some songs we haven’t seen them perform in a long time! We were treated to “Sunrise”, a very encouraging song from one of their first albums that was very fun to sing to, and “My Way”, a song from their very first album that feels like a self-fulfilling prophesy after all of their recent success. In the ment that happened afterwards they addressed “My Way” in particular to thank Atiny for being there for so many years and for allowing them to achieve their dreams. As they deserve.
Third and Fourth Part:
After a brief break ATEEZ came back onstage for “Illusion” and “Wave”, both of which were accompanied by a bright, cute background and were a nice mix between choreo and interacting with the crowd. We were then given another fun ment. This time they messed around with the color changing ability on the new lightinys, made the camera do an extreme close up of Wooyoung so he could flirt with the audience, and led us into a chant that’s become common on this tour, “sexy captain”. At which point Hongjoong stripped off his tie and did a full body roll onto the floor. I nearly died. I’m not even sure I’m still alive. That moment of chaos successfully distracted me from the giant set change that came afterwards. The background of the stage became a pirate ship, and the deck of the ship, complete with the wheel, was brought onstage. “WIN” brought up the energy in the room with the proper amount of hype for the pirate ship’s dramatic entry, and they even added some new choreo! And then they floored me with a song I never thought I’d be able to see live, “Horizon”. The choreo was just as crazy as I expected and led expertly by Yunho. I particularly loved the lift the dancers did with Yunho at the very end of the song. “Say My Name” marked the end of the pirate section, but this song is so iconic that I couldn’t bring myself to care. The screaming for the move that was recently stolen by another choreographer was extremely loud the night I went, as well. I hope they knew we were screaming our support for them and condemnation for the people who didn’t believe them.
We were given a brief video break for a costume change before the next part, and then we came back to “Cyberpunk”. Not only did we return to the cityscape and a bit of the story, but this song, guys. This song. You don’t have to wait long to get a feel for how “Cyberpunk” is going to go. At the very beginning San gets up on one of the many chairs that are brought on stage for this one and starts doing body roll after body roll. San really got me during this song, and Yeosang? He bias wrecked me extremely hard here. Between the chair choreography and the amazing body control, I just couldn’t look away from him. The choreo for this is something you can’t help but stare at. You should really find a video to see this for yourself if you can’t make it to a concert. After another brief ment, mostly used to catch their breath, they went into a remix of “Fireworks”. This remix has received mixed opinions from fans, especially because of the lack of choreo here, but I didn’t mind it. It wasn’t my favorite song of the night, but I loved the visual of the tree on fire that was shown on the main screen. After that was “ROCKY”, complete with its iconic choreo, and the regular version of “Wonderland”. You really can’t have an ATEEZ concert without “Wonderland”. Finally, Hongjoong declared that he was going to be the bad guy for announcing the end of the main part of the concert. They, of course, finished everything off with “Guerrilla”. The visuals on the screen brought back the motifs we saw at the beginning of the concert to round everything out and then Atiny was unwisely left to their own devices for another break.
After Atiny chaotically started multiple waves and other random lightiny patterns, spent way too much time barking (Mingi’s fault), and screamed loudly simply because some of the lightinys started turning blue, the members appeared again. They started with “Turbulence” a song that came out at just the moment I needed to hear it and has since been very emotional to me. I fortunately succeed at not crying. Their next ment was another thank you to Atiny, as well as the crew for all the sets and effects during the concert. They also thanked choreographer Anze Skrube, who was apparently there that night! “Celebrate” was sung afterwards as another ode to Atiny. I really loved the cute feel that the flowery mic stands that were brought out gave this song. After this was the ending ment. A few members decided to say their final words to us in English, which was super impressive of them, but those that gave their final thoughts in Korean impressed me just as much. The members promised to return soon and as even better artists. Seonghwa reminded us that they’re always there to support us, because he always sets out to make me emotional. And Hongjoong left us with a very thoughtful and wonderful statement about how unstoppable people who unapologetically and bravely show their love for the things they enjoy are. He praised Atiny for their brave and unapologetic love for Ateez, and noted that Ateez has a similar love for us. After that I was understandably heartbroken that the last song had finally come. But “The Real” is a deceptively smart last song because it’s so much fun to dance along to that you easily forget how sad you are that the concert is almost over. Though I had a few gripes with the layout of the concert, it was an incredible experience I’d relive over and over again if I could. I can’t wait until I get to see ATEEZ again!
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!