Last weekend, on August 10th, I was invited to SF9’s solo concert UNIXERSE. And next to me sat a Chinese fan, Grace, who came all the way from foreign lands just to experience SF9’s transiently created universe. Fitting to the name of the concert, within the small Olympic hall that held 3000 people, SF9 created a whole new entire universe for the gathered fans. And fortunately for Grace and for the 3000 other fans gathered at the venue, SF9 did not disappoint when it came to giving the fans a complete immersive and ecstatic experience.
This weekend I was invited to SF9's UNIXERSE concert, and here's what I learned!
SF9 is a K-pop boy group with 9 members: Dawon, Youngbin, Rowoon, Inseong, Jae Yoon, Young Bin, Dawon, Kang Chan-hee, Hwi Young, Tae Yang and Zuho. This indestructible K-pop group filled with 9 dreamboats debuted in 2016, but recently caught the public eye as Kang Chan-hee’s and Rowoon’s acting career flourished. Chan-hee especially broadened his scope beyond the stage by showing an exemplary talent in acting when he was a cast on one of the most successful contemporary K-dramas, Sky Castle.
The concert started with rotating laser beams filling the hall. The whole stadium glittered from stage lights and the fans’ light sticks, which made the entire venue look like a night sky full of scintillating star lights.
Each member was designated a planet. And each of their solo performances were fitting to the theme of their planet. For example, Jae Yoon had the role of planet Mercury. Because Mercury has the name of “water planet” in Korean, his solo performance was the song called ‘My Ocean,’ originally sung by Jeong Sewoon. The sentimental and soft melody was paired with ocean-like visuals and Jae Yoon’s wet unbuttoned shirt which, as you can imagine, fans went nuts for.
The concert’s name ‘UNIXERSE’ derives from the combination of the words Universe and the roman numeric code of 9, IX, to signify the 9 members of SF9. The title of their concert is quite cleverly named since 9 talented members with each distinctively defining qualities really did come together as one group to create a whole new universe for the fans.
Unfortunately, Inseong was not able to perform in the concert this day due to health issues, but I have no doubt that he would have beautifully added to the grand tapestry of SF9 had he been there.
Well for those of you who have yet had a chance to get to know these delightful 9 members of SF9, here’s what I gathered for their concert of August 10th.
Here are 5 reasons why you should love SF9:
1. They truly love and care about their fans
During the concert, SF9 constantly expressed their genuine gratitude and love for their fans, who are also known as Fantasy (SF9's fandom name). I mean how could they not love their fans when some of them even traveled over a 1000 miles just to see them perform? But SF9 makes those miles worth it. They constantly thanked their fans for making the day happen and showed tireless effort in trying to give the fans an unforgettable experience. They even performed an unreleased song that they wrote themselves for their fans during the concert. The lyrics go kind of like this:
“When I followed the cascading light, I could only see you.
baby all I want is you.
We are walking together. And in no time we came all the way here
You are the light of the my darkest nights.
I want to thank you for that.
I want to run up to you and hold you in my arms.
Even if I fall tired I would never change. I‘ll protect you.\
You're the only one I've needed.
The little lights gather and show a miracle.
You and I become one”
And when they sang these lyrics, the glimmering silver lights of the fans' light sticks really did add up to seem like something close to a beautiful miracle.
2. Get you a K-pop group that can do both
The concert performance ranged from strong and powerful to cute and adorable. The first half of the performance was filled with dynamic choreography that accentuated their robust manliness while the second half was more concentrated in letting out their approachable and lovable charm.
For the second half they even wore yellow Kindergartners’ costumes, which the audience could not get over. I could hear exclamations from the audience yelling out how cute they were.
Well, from man to toddler, or sexy to cute, SF9 can be whatever you dare to dream of.
3. They work harder than you can possibly imagine
One thing was clear while watching these members perform. Effort beyond imaginable went into perfecting this impeccable concert. Even the members said so themselves. Near the end of the concert, the members gave their finishing speeches and shared a little of their experiences to get to this point.
This was part of Rowoon's speech:
“It’s been roughly 2 years and 10 months since we debuted and we came here without any rest.
After the music shows ended late at night, we went to learn acrobatics.
And at the break of dawn, we would go do another live show.
After living 2 years and 10 months like that, it felt like I could see myself objectively from afar and the more I saw myself, the more I felt disappointed in myself and felt as if maybe I’m not doing enough.”
As each members spilled out the tribulations they had to go through to get to this point, the audience hall slowly filled with a pool of tears. Amidst the moving speeches, one thing was for certain: SF9 just don’t quit no matter what.
4. No man left behind
Although Inseong couldn’t make it to the concert due to medical reasons, he made a surprise appearance on stage at the end. He made it clear that he was there to give his support to his members and meet his loving fans.
He was in a condition where he could barely stand up straight. But even in that dire state, he came all the way to Olympic hall to make sure that the members got the encouragement that they needed. The members were all touched and most of the 9 were doing their best to hide their tears. It was in that moment, each members showed genuine and deep care for each other. The love and support the members had for each other were unlike any other. I couldn’t have imagined it any other way since the group performances they showed could only be executed with supreme team work.
5. 9 Renaissance men
The versatility of SF9 is really what makes them stand out. They can rap. They can do soft ballads. Some members broke into b-boy break dancing. They performed advanced choreography but also did not forget to add expressive and lyrical performances in their concert.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget these members can act too. Rowoon is currently shooting a Korean drama, ‘A Day Found by Chance,’ all while preparing for this concert. There’s little that SF9 members can’t do and they proved themselves on this day.
In conclusion: yep, SF9 is pretty cool. Check them out.
By Yeonseung Kim and Bongbong email@example.com
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