Chicago’s long awaited return of the popular K-Pop group, Seventeen came true in January.
The thirteen member boy band previously performed at the Rosemont Theatre back in 2017 before upgrading to the United Center for their growing fan base. Known as the self-producing idol group, Seventeen takes part in writing, composing and choreographing majority of their work. The genuine feelings that they put into their music continuously draws in people from around the world.
Seventeen’s music videos get fans going leading to the group’s arrival on stage. Their fans (Carats) scream for every individual but one specific face drew the most noise, S.Coups. He’s the leader of Seventeen and due to personal reasons he did not join the others for the tour.
Standing in the middle of the extended stage at the end of the video is Jeonghan wearing a black leather garment that covers his shoulders and the bottom half of his face. He is joined by his fellow band mates: Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, DK, Mingyu, The8, Seungkwan, Vernon and Dino who are dressed the same way. The Steampunk inspired look have black suit jackets covered in silver gems and two chains hang from the masks.
All twelve walk around the stage separately or in small groups before taking off the black cloth covering their faces and reuniting.
Instead of easing the audience into the concert with slower songs, Seventeen hits hard with their songs “Getting Closer,” “Rock” and “Clap.” Carats become delighted and respond with enormous energy by jumping up and down while waving their light sticks in the air. While the choreography for “Getting Closer” and “Clap” remained unchained from the original, the dancing in “Rock” gets a pleasant twist by having the members on two levels at the same time. All three songs hyped the crowd up the latter showed to be a favorite to everyone as the singing along became one of the loudest for the night.
“The weather in Chicago is really cold but your excitement is really burning” Seungkwan comments after all of them greet the crowd and each give a brief self introduction. Hoshi takes over to teach fans the chant for the tour. The group starts by saying ’17 Carat’ and the crowd follows up by saying ‘jjak jjak (clap in Korean) ode to you’ while doing certain hand moments. “You can do it” DK encourages and with a quick practice everyone does it together three times.
“Just like a concert, ode means a poem or a letter to someone that you care about, which is you guys” Joshua says. “Our next song actually has a message that we want to send out to you guys. It has a message that we want to thank you.” Carats instantly knew what song he’s referring to and they yell in happiness.
With one more chant the show continues with “Thanks” that was written specifically for the fans. Quickly following is “Don’t Wanna Cry.” The vocal heavy song causes many listeners eyes tear up at the emotion filled lyrics.
After a short video, the group begins their sub-until stages. First up is the Hip-Hop Unit who start their performance with “Trauma.” Without S.Coups the remaining three members: Wonwoo, Mingyu and Vernon put extra effort into their rapping which doesn’t go unnoticed by Carats. “Chilli” is the last song of the night for the trio. The audience tries keeping up with the fast paced lyrics but majority could’t and changed to listening with the occasional singing along.
The Performance Unit takes over as large white sheets get lowered to create a silk screen. Unit members: The8, Dino, Hoshi and Jun come out from behind the sheets wearing long white and sliver traditional coats. Their stage starts off with a brief dance that ends with them laying on the ground in position for the song “Lilili Yabbay.” The majestic dancing catches everyone’s attention and leaves people speechless. After ditching their coats, the song “Shhh” changes the tune to a more hip-hop vibe. The different musical style doesn’t keep the four from dancing any less than the previous song as it’s their specialty.
The Vocal Unit appear behind the main screen sitting on the raised platform. Jeonghan, Joshua, Woozi, Seungkwan and DK remain seated as they sing their song “Hug.” During “Don’t Listen in Secret” all five vocalists stand up but only four walk off the platform leaving the unit’s leader, Woozi alone. White lights from Carat’s light sticks twinkle like stars as fans sway back and forth to both slow ballads.
The entire Hip-Hop Unit joins DK for the song “Can’t See the End” to end the special unit stages. Each rapper appears one by one as their part comes up earning screams as they join.
All 12 members reunite on the extended stage to sing “Smile Flower” that Woozi wrote as a message from Seventeen to their Carats. Near the end of the song Vernon says, “Whenever you feel down, I hope this song can make you feel better.” Despite every word being in Korean, the audience takes over to sing the chorus without any help from the group. Thousands of voices blend together in harmony to send the message back to their idols on stage.
The idols leave the stage for a few minutes and returns on a museum like setting where they are in pictures frames. Each one in a different pose, some more humorous than others. They bring back the past with the songs “Adore U” and “Pretty U” from their first year after debuting. The happy pop title tracks were well received by the crowd as the sang and yelled along. Some fans were even dancing in the standing area fully enjoying the moment.
Seventeen performs one of their newer songs,”Oh My!” to keep the energy going strong. Seungkwan encouraged fans to use the light sticks to do the signature dance move and many gladly took part. The special sub unit, BooSeokSoon (BBS) consisting of members Seungkwan, DK and Hoshi released “Just Do It” but instead of only having the three perform alone, the whole group joined. Seungkwan changed part of the lyrics to ‘Hoshi-cago’ because it’s Hoshi’s first time in the windy city. During their last tour in 2017 the main dancer fell ill and missed visiting Chicago.
Following are the songs “Good to Me” and “Happy Ending” which get performed on the extended stage. “Happy Ending” originally got released as a Japanese single before adding the Korean version onto the group’s latest album An Ode. Because of the different languages, those who sang along struggled to stick to signing in Korean. Seventeen didn’t seem to mind the mix-up as they continued to hit every dance move and lyric perfectly.
“The energy here today is amazing” Joshua praises during the break. Mingyu adds on that he noticed many people in the crowd dancing along with them. After having fans show the point dance to “Adore U” and “Pretty U” Seungkwan thought the two songs were too easy and decided to have a quiz. Joshua begins singing his and Jeonghan’s song “Falling For You” and Carats prove themselves by continuing the line. Even DK tried testing the audience with “Say Yes” but fans nailed it as well.
Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza and some of the members couldn’t stop talking about it. “Is there anything else that’s really good in Chicago?” Seungkwan asks. The crowd tries yelling out various things but the ones on stage cannot hear any of them and end up believing that there’s only pizza. All of them were fine with only pizza especially DK who yelled “I love pizza” multiple times.
A fan in the crowd gave Seventeen a mission that involved everyone in the United Center. The group would make a throwing motion and the audience would do the popular trend, ‘hitting the woah.’ After doing it three times Hoshi decides to trade roles. On the second throw DK dramatically falls over. “[The throw] was so big that I had to fall” the singer jokes.
To have Carats guess what their next song will be four members take turns giving dance hints. Mingyu goes first and his hint instantly gives it away but Joshua, Woozi and Jeonghan still share their dance move. With one more ‘ode to you’ chant the members get in position. Wonwoo starts off with his opening line from their newest title track “Fear.” The song is the complete opposite of their colorful museum stage with darker lyrics, choreography and overall sound.
Once the song ends the group heads backstage to get ready for the encore. The audience uses this time to catch their breath but not for long as minutes later another video is played. Following the prerecorded segment the twelve idols reappear wearing their personally designed tour shirts. Kicking off the finale is “9-Teen” and instead of dancing Seventeen wanders around to interact with everyone in the crowd, mainly the pit.
With the concert coming to a close the members take turns to give their final thoughts of the night. While performing, Mingyu felt like he was attending a party. “I’m so upset that this is over” he says. Seungkwan starts his speech off in his mother language but surprises fans by preparing to say something in English. He thanks everyone for coming despite the cold weather and he promises to come back again. “Thank you so much. Love you!” the main vocalist ends and makes a heart with his arms.
Vernon talks about texting Chicago native musician Tobi Lou who mentions that NBA superstar Michael Jordan used to play at the United Center. “Us performing here is pretty epic so thank you all for making that happen.” The rapper continues by sharing that his mother is attending the concert and gives a quick shout out to her.
“As I expected, I am leaving today with such a happy mood from this concert” Dino starts. “I was so happy to see that all the Carats left and right were all enjoying with us.” The youngest member of Seventeen added on that they’ll make sure to come back with a better performance and more songs. Jeonghan thanked fans for waiting out in the cold and loved everyone’s energy. “I hope that we can all party like we did today next time we come back.”
“As the others mentioned, it was really cold today” Wonwoo starts. “I can’t even feel the cold in here because of all the passion and love.” He hoped that the crowd returns home after the concert with excitement for the group will come back again. Hoshi starts his turn by showing off the tigers on his t-shirt and belt. The self proclaimed tiger can’t explain with words how happy his first visit made him feel. “Can we make one promise?” Hoshi asks and fans instantly agree. “I say ‘what time is it?’ and you say ‘yeolsi sibbun’ 10:10!” After doing it once more he promises to do it again when they return.
Woozi keeps his speech short and sweet. “Thank you for all your beautiful voices” the singer thanks. “I’m touched and I’m glad that I’m leaving with this feeling.” DK asks if everyone is having fun and agrees with their positive responses. He brings up his love for Chicago pizza again (and Carats) before adding, “After the show, we’re all planning to go eat Chicago pizza.” The last thing the singer hopes for is that the audience’s lives are filled with happiness after the show.
The Los Angeles native, Joshua brings up that majority of those in attendance may have had a tiring and pressuring week at work or school leading into the concert. “Hopefully today’s concert, our concert, you guys were able to let loose and get ride of all that stress you got from work, school or whatever pressures you.”
Jun knew he’d love Chicago from the beginning of rehearsal when they heard the VIP ticket holders in the waiting area. Their singing along reached Seventeen’s ears and motivated Jun to do better during the concert. “We heard you screaming even when we were mic checking.” Last to give his thoughts was The8 who said that everyone in the crowd was perfect with their dancing and singing. “I can’t wait to play with you guys again” he states before wishing good health to the fans.
To remember the night, the group decided to take a picture with Chicago Carats. As they get in position, a few of them start singing the popular b-side “Snap Shoot” that didn’t make it into the tour set list. Multiple pictures later the mini photo shoot ends.
Even though S.Coups could not attend, it didn’t stop fans from bringing signs with the leaders face on it. Some admitted that some were brought specifically to show support and love to the rapper. “I like to say thank you on behalf of [S.]Coups” Dino says after pointing out that he and the others noticed the posters. “We’ll come back as he gets better.”
With the final speeches done the time for music returned. The much anticipated song “Hit” instantly got the audience excited. Starting on the main stage Seventeen only jumped up and down instead of doing the intense choreography. The upbeat track got the audience moving in any way that they could, some even had the barricade shaking. For the last chorus the dancing returned which got fans screaming louder.
The last song of the night earned the nickname ‘the song that never ends’ by Carats. This is because the highly loved 2016 title track, “Very Nice” gets stretched into an eleven minute performance. Instead of ending the song the chorus or ending verses are repeated multiple times. As they sing Seventeen takes the chance to interact and look at everyone who came to see them or do silly dance moves as a whole unit.
Every time the song ‘ends’ all twelve pranksters pretend to that the concert is over but return. In two of the fake outs the group takes it a step father by going backstage before running back out. Small white confetti constantly came out of cannons making it hard to see in some places but that didn’t stop anyone. With the confetti inevitably covering the stage like snow some members, mainly The8, grab handfuls of the white paper and throws them at each other or people in the crowd.
The real end arrived and Seventeen said their final thank yous and goodbyes. Fans were skeptical after being tricked in the same fashion twice but the instrumental for “Boom Boom” playing in the background confirmed the show officially concluded. The void the group leaves behind gets filled by excited chatter from people gushing to each other on what they just witnessed.
The amount of dancing the party like concert created warmed Carat’s bodies up that the once freezing weather outside no longer had a chance. Hearts are also filled with happiness thanks to their idols. The sadness attempting to take over disappears at the promise of Seventeen returning to Chicago in the future.
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