Despite a packed North American K-Pop tour scene, Dreamcatcher surprised fans with a tour supporting their latest album, [Apocalypse : From us]. The group, known for their skillful blend of mixing regular K-Pop melodies with heavy metal guitars and beats, made its first visit to Canada and performed at the landmark Meridan Hall in Toronto earlier this month.
Toronto K-Pop fans could barely contain their excitement as the sun beat down on their faces. Some queued for hours prior to doors opening for a special two-song sound check and for limited tour merchandise.
“Honestly, I thought they would never come here,” said Stephanie James, a 27-year-old fan from Toronto. “When I heard they were playing here, I bought tickets right away.”
Despite some early challenges with getting inside the venue, a hush filled the roughly 3,000-seat, nearly sold-out venue as the show’s first VCR started. Artful black and white pictures of each member (leader JiU, main dancer SuA, main vocal Siyeon, sub vocal Handong, lead vocal Yoohyeon, rapper Dami, and maknae Gahyeon) flashed on the screen, intermixed with ocean scenes. This VCR, and the others that played after it, tied in various environmental causes that the group championed during its Apocalypse trilogy.
Opening with their 2020 K-Pop/metal crossover hit “Scream,” each member took their designated places on the stage and showed no sign of jet lag or fatigue. The simple, but hard-to-execute, moves focused mostly on body and hand isolations. SuA’s skills shone throughout the song as well as Gahyeon’s solo where she held a paper mache mask. InSomnia, the group’s fandom name, were sucked into the song’s earworm of a chorus: “I just want to make you scream.”
Dreamcatcher then launched into 2021’s “Odd Eye” without missing a step. While the song started slowly with Yoohyeon, Handong, Gahyeon, and SuA singing melodically, a pounding beat was introduced when leader JiU entered the scene. It was capped off by vocalist Siyeon hitting a prolonged high note before the song broke into its catchy chorus. InSomnia throughout the crowd thrust their lightsticks into the air to the beat.
The group took a short break to introduce themselves to the crowd. After a cute mistake where the group called the tour their 2022 tour, SuA instantly recovered. “This [being here] feels so surreal to me,” she said. “I’ve been looking forward to this since yesterday!”
“I feel like I’ve gained more strength from your screams,” JiU said. “Shall we do a wave?”
After greeting fans with their standard introductions and expressing their heartfelt love, Dreamcatcher launched into “Curse of the Spider.” Each member worked the stage as they adlibed moves and offered the crowd fanservice during the choreo-less song.
Dreamcatcher returned to their stylistic group formations with “MAISON” and “BOCA.” The group expertly mixed different levels with their choreography as members slid across the floor with ease. In each song, rapper Dami captured the crowd’s attention with her show-stopping raps that easily blended English with Korean.
After a short section where members performed the point section of their 2022 song “Vision,” the group completed their set with two songs from their most recent album: “DEMIAN” and “Propose.” While the crowd jumped and cheered for every beat of “DEMAIN,” the English-friendly “Propose” captured the hearts and voices of local InSomnia. “I can’t let go, I’ll cast a spell,” the group sang as Siyeon hit performed a vocal adlib in the background, “Our love’s a curse, but I can’t get enough, propose.”
The group followed with “Break the Wall” and “Tension (English Version),” two songs that were featured heavily in past tours, and then were able to take a break. “You know how our members have a variety of charms?” asked Gahyeon, as the group prepared for a random dance challenge segment. “So, we want to show these sides to InSomnias.” Even though each member joked that they did not know what song was going to be played, each easily covered Kai’s “Rover,” DJ Snake’s “Taki Taki,” Chungha’s “Snapping,” KARD’s “Icky,” and Yoasobi’s “Idol.”
CGI diamonds filled the LED screen as they performed “Diamond.” Everyone in the audience hummed along to the song’s infectious lyrics “I’m untouchable; I’m unbreakable.” Before the audience could transition, the group instantly set up and started performing their first-ever comeback: 2017’s “Good Night.” While it’s one of Dreamcatcher’s most recognizable songs, with groups like Rolling Quartz covering it, the song has rarely been performed since 2019.
After another VCR, Dreamcatcher continued to pull out another classic track with “Fly High.” The bubbly pop-rock song was accompanied by bouncy choreography before the mood instantly changed with the ballad “To You.” The concert hall was filled with pinks and purples as each fan’s synced lightsticks illuminated the concert hall. The set finished with the fan favorite “Fairytale.”
“Our InSomnia’s reactions are always amazing,” said Gahyeon after the song ended. “They are always screaming and cheering for us.”
Even the talent was surprised by the yells and screams for the next two songs: the sultry “Wonderland” and the ever-so-dangerous “Jazz Bar.” Known for some extremely spicy moments, Dreamcatcher’s performance didn’t disappoint. Chairs left behind from the previous song served as a focal point, with each member playfully flirting with the crowd and each other while seated.
“That was a really hot Jazz Bar, wasn’t it?” JiU exclaimed. “I can’t believe all of this happened because we had one chair!”
After taking a group photo and video with the crowd, the group completed its main set with their most recent comeback “BONVOYAGE,” which served as a fitting end to their set and the Apocalypse trilogy.
Dreamcatcher then retreated backstage. The crowd cheered and chanted for an encore. Not to disappoint, the group came back on stage wearing modified versions of their tour merchandise. The EDM-focused “Can’t Get You Out of My Mind” and “Silent Night” turned the usually tame Meridan Hall into a dance hall.
The concert then finished with the group’s fan song “Reason” before the group completed their final goodbyes. “Thank you,” they screamed in both English and Korean while wishing to see their Toronto fans again sometime soon. “We love you all!”
Fans were delighted but exhausted after the show. “It was so worth it,” said James afterward, breathlessly. “But I can’t wait until they come back.”
After Toronto, Dreamcatcher headed to Cincinnati, Nashville, and finally, Orlando to complete their short North American tour.