[REVIEW] ATEEZ embarks on journey to become game changer

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[REVIEW] ATEEZ embarks on journey to become game changer

K-pop boy group ATEEZ performs during its “THE FELLOWSHIP : BEGINNING OF THE END” concert on Saturday at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park located in southern Seoul. Courtesy of KQ Entertainment

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

By Dong Sun-hwa

Many predict that K-pop boy groups ATEEZ, The Boyz and Stray Kids will eventually become the game changers spearheading the fourth generation of hallyu or the Korean wave. Armed with musical prowess and distinctive characters, the three acts ― which are collectively dubbed “zzz” as their group names all end with “z” or “s” ― have been raising their international profile and quickly establishing solid fan bases.

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Last year, all three of them proved their potential on Mnet’s competition show, “Kingdom: Legendary War” (2021) by securing the top spots on the program after captivating viewers with their stunning performances. In particular, ATEEZ, an eight-piece act that debuted under KQ Entertainment in 2018, generated buzz with its “From the Wonderland” performance, which blended the sounds of its 2019 release “Wonderland” and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 to boast its explosive energy. The video featuring the performance has garnered more than 7 million views on YouTube as of Monday.

Considering its massive popularity, it was a wise choice for the eight members ― Hongjoong, Seonghwa, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung and Jongho ― to open their “THE FELLOWSHIP : BEGINNING OF THE END” concert with “From the Wonderland” and get people in the festive mood on Saturday afternoon. Through the 180-minute show that took place at Olympic Hall in Olympic Park located in southern Seoul, ATEEZ rocked the stage with a string of hits, clearly demonstrating that it is ready to make history.

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[REVIEW] ATEEZ embarks on journey to become game changer

ATEEZ leader Hongjoong during Saturday’s concert / Courtesy of KQ Entertainment

“As we prepared for this concert, we felt that we were finally about to have a new beginning after a long wait,” the red-haired leader, Hongjoong said, referring to the fact that ATEEZ could not hold a live concert for almost two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “We are having a last concert in Seoul today, but it also signals the beginning of our world tour.”

Wooyoung added, “While we were unable to meet our fans face to face, we tried our best to hone our performance skills. So we hope you enjoy today’s show.”

Wooyoung was not lying. ATEEZ members looked like they took a further leap in terms of singing and dancing, with its “Say My Name” (2019) and “INCEPTION” (2020) performances highlighting their growth.

[REVIEW] ATEEZ embarks on journey to become game changer

ATEEZ during Saturday’s concert / Courtesy of KQ Entertainment

One of the most striking moments was when the group performed “Take Me Home” (2021) against the backdrop of several mirrors. To visualize their confusion and disorientation, the singers utilized different reflections from the mirrors to express their different identities and created surreal movements in pairs.

“The choreography for ‘Take Me Home’ reminded us of our old days, when we were idol trainees,” Hongjoong said. “We used to practice these kinds of dance moves a lot in the past.”

ATEEZ’s take on “The Real” (2021) was another highlight that stole the show on Saturday. The track, which has a touch of traditional Korean sound crafted by gugak musician Lee Tae-min, not only mesmerized the audience with its distinctive charm, but also showed how much ATEEZ is capable of creating a unique sound by fusing the old and the new.

To cheer their passionate and energetic singers on, fans on the spot, who could neither yell nor scream as they had to comply with strict COVID-19 guidelines, used castanets.

[REVIEW] ATEEZ embarks on journey to become game changer

ATEEZ is set to perform in the U.S. on Jan 18. Courtesy of KQ Entertainment

Toward the end of the show, ATEEZ performed more emotional songs like “Star 1117” (2020) and “Turbulence” (2021). The members also sent heartwarming messages to their followers.

“I was overwhelmed by a sense of uneasiness when I could not perform live for nearly two years,” Hongjoong said. “I also felt like I was not walking the right path… But thanks to this concert, I have learned that what I have been doing is right. I am confident now.”

“I am truly thankful to my fans, family, staff members and my bandmates for always encouraging me,” Yunho said. “I will do my best to return the love I received.”

ATEEZ, which successfully wrapped up its concerts in Seoul, will soon head for the U.S. to embark on its world tour, performing in Chicago on Jan. 18.

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