Cast your minds to the 3rd April 2019 and the O2 Forum in Kentish Town. The weather was less than pleasant. It was cold, raining and at some point during the queueing there was hail. Fans known as ‘Atinys’ were eventually let into the venue at 6pm and, despite being at the back of the standing crowd, I was able to see all of the boys on the stage.
The show started on time at 7pm and ATEEZ did not disappoint. An explosive start to the show got fans, if they weren’t already-hyped up, for what they had prepared for Atinys around the world. The show opened with a trailer to accompany Long Journey from their first album, Treasure: all to zero, followed by Pirate King from the same album. Atinys were then introduced to all the members: Hongjoong, Seonghwa, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung and Jongho; I later discovered that my bias is Seonhwa. At this time, fans took the opportunity to sing happy birthday in Korean to Seonghwa whose birthday it was.
After the introductions, ATEEZ treated fans to special stages that they had prepared just for the tour. They then went on to dance covers starting with BLACKPINK’s Du-ddu-du-ddu as well as song covers. During the day, ATEEZ had announced on Instagram that they would be doing fan requests and all fans had to do was upload a photo of themselves on Instagram using #askateez; fans chosen were rewarded with gifts at the end of the show. The songs that followed were Twilight and My Way after which they left to do a costume change. Preceding the next song was another video, which fans recognised as Hala Hala, and when ATEEZ came on to perform the song, fans joined in and sang with them, including myself which provided for an electric atmosphere. Hala Hala was then followed by Promise.
Hongjoong then announced that the next few songs would be the last. ATEEZ started the end of the show with Say My Name, to which Atinys had to shout back ATEEZ every time. This was followed by From and Treasure. Before the show ended there was more fan interaction which included singing happy birthday to Seonghwa as a team member brought out a cake for him; to which he seemed genuinely surprised that this had been done for him, particularly as he is the eldest member. All eight members then thanked fans for making a fantastic show for them. Hongjoong said they hoped to return to London and they took a selfie with the crowd in the background while holding a Union Flag signed by fans.
All in all it was a good night and the only issue that I could find was the organisation of it all. It seemed too crowded in the standing area and it appeared that My Music Taste, who had graciously brought ATEEZ to London, had oversold on the tickets. Other than this, it was an enjoyable night.
I’m Shannen and I’m a recent convert so to speak to the world of Kpop. I was first introduced to the genre through a group called Cross Gene, who were a multinational boy group, and their song Black or White. Since this first step into the world of Korean pop music, I have discovered an fallen in love with many other groups and the odd solo artist. I have been fortunate enough to see a few artists on their tours here to the UK, Ravi of VIXX, ATEEZ and most recently the sensational BTS. I hope you all look forward to reading my articles as much as I enjoy writing them.