“What’s the line for?” Is the most commonly heard question on Tuesday night.
It’s a reasonable question to ask; the line from the entrance of The Novo (formerly Club Nokia) wraps around the block twice over with girls and boys of all ages holding light up signs, bags with boys faces on them, posters and letters.
But the answer is vastly different than what they were expecting: no, the line isn’t for One Direction, not for Justin Bieber – artists known for their dedicated fan bases – the line is for GOT7, a k-pop group from Seoul, South Korea that despite being over 5,500 miles away from home, have sold out two nights in New York and LA on their international FLY tour.
This show is the final stop of the tour and fans have traveled far and wide to celebrate. Coming from San Francisco myself, I assumed that I was going to be one of the fans to have traveled the farthest. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
“My friends and I drove here all the way from Arizona,” one girl says, voice muffled by her GOT7 face mask.
“Hawaii,” another girl answers.
The travel, no matter how far the distance, seems instantly worth it the moment the lights go down in the venue. A short movie is played behind four backing dancers, whipping the entire crowd to near ear-bursting levels of hysteria as they show clips of the seven members before they appear on stages. Decked in sparkling silver jackets, they rush into “Put Them Up” with choreography so smooth it takes your breath away.
Mark, Youngjae, Jackson, BamBam, Junior, Yugyeom and JB are JYP Entertainment’s latest boy group. The seven members span from four different countries, speak multiple different languages, have been in past groups together (JJ Project represent!), and they can flip, dance, rap, sing and dab better than any other artist out now.
GOT7 has everything you could want in a group: they have the looks, the sound, the skill and most importantly, the determination. Their sound is a blend of catchy hip-hop infused pop, accentuated by stellar vocals that steal your heart from Youngjae, JB, Junior and Yugyeom and flawless, edgy rapping that keeps you on your toes by BamBam, Mark and Jackson. They perform in complete synchronicity with each other and run through difficult choreography like they could perform it in their sleep. Trust me: when you watch them perform the dazzling footwork of “If You Do” with such finesse, you know that they’ve each put hours upon hours into perfecting each song.
They walk through all of their hits at their own pace, from their debut single “Girls Girls Girls” to their latest album’s double-title tracks “Fly” and “Homerun”. The interim is filled with funny bits of commentary from each member (Mark, Jackson and BamBam are fluent in English and Youngjae, Yugyeom, JB and Junior all make a great effort to speak it as well).
The stealer of the show is YoungJae and JB’s uni-stage performance of “1:31 AM”. Bathed in rolling, white fog, Youngjae plays the piano and accompanies JB’s soulful voice in the most gorgeous ballad of the evening. Both of them are out of this world singers, with voices that don’t waver even as they belt spine-tingling high notes. Their emotions surpass any language barrier and pierce through the heart of everyone in the audience. It is a sweet, heart-breaking moment and worthy of the ovation they receive after and more.
Youngjae deserves his own personal shout out for his professionalism, given he had to miss an earlier tour stop due to illness and still seemed a little under the weather even at the last show. Despite that, he was still his charming and warm-hearted self and his voice as flawless as ever.
The concert is without a doubt phenomenal, but the real treat stems from watching the members interact with each other on stage in between each set. GOT7 has a secret skill: deflecting answers. It’s hilarious to watch them go back and forth about even simple questions like what the concept of the tour is. BamBam, what’s the concept of this tour? I don’t know — Mark, it’s your hometown, what’s the concept of this tour? Uh, I think Yugyeom knows. Yugyeom?
After performing a few Flight Log: Departure hits, Junior takes the reigns to lead to a new round of questions.
“BamBam, what is your favorite song?” he asks. His effort to speak solely in English is rewarded by screams and applause throughout the entire night. And he’s good at it too — not quite as fluent as Jackson, BamBam or Mark, but he can hold his own. While other Korean-speaking members JB, Youngjae and Yugyeom ask for help from the available translator backstage, Junior doesn’t utilize her help at any point in the show.
“My favorite song has to go to ‘See The Light,’” BamBam grins. He’s the biggest jokester throughout the entire night, dancing, laughing and flirting with the crowd and calling them his babies. He shines on stage. “And ‘Something Good’ by JB because I wrote the rap!”
Junior stomps his feet together and presses not-so-gently, “don’t you like ‘Can’t’?” The crowd begins to laugh at Junior’s painfully transparent fishing for compliments. It’s no secret to fans that Junior is the lyricist of “Can’t” and the earlier performed “This Star”.
BamBam gives him half the answer he was looking for by saying: “I love the ‘Can’t’ dance.” That, of course, spirals into each member performing the song’s provocative floor choreography, much to the dizzying excitement of the crowd. The boys love it, thriving off the reactions of the crowd and laughing along.
A lot of people assume that K-Pop idols are robotic. They’re put together by a company, their moves are choreographed to perfection, their image is pristine and each comeback is flawless, so it’s easy to see why people would think that. But GOT7 smashes that illusion. When they talk to each other on stage, you realize that they’re just seven giggly, incredibly talented and hardworking boys. They laugh, they wrestle, they bicker, they scream, they love memes (especially BamBam) and when it comes to performing, they are second to none.
The group isn’t sure when they’ll return to America, but Jackson has a few ideas on where they should play next when they return: “Arena? Outdoor concert? Super Bowl?”
Trendio would like to sincerely thank SubKulture Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and GOT7 for letting us cover the show!