It is somewhat of a rarity whenever Eastern European fans get to catch a show of their favorite Korean artists, especially if they are into more underground genres other than pop. Fans in this part of the world are often overlooked. Whenever there is a show, however, followers of all things Korean music come out with massive enthusiasm. Korean R&B artist oceanfromtheblue embarked on his first Way To Blue European tour in September. Following the release of his latest album titled NEWRNBERA, the South Korean performer began his solo adventures across the globe. The 14-stop tour took the singer-songwriter across the continent from London to Milan to Vienna. The Austrian stop on September 9 marked the third show of the tour presented by Barracuda Music.
The heatwave hitting all of Europe could be felt on entering Flex, the venue hosting oceanfromtheblue and his band for the night. Fans (officially and cleverly named Fishes) lined up inside until the very end of the stage, eagerly awaiting the Eastern-European live debut of the artist.
The show began with loud cheers as the six live band members played a quick introductory jam session before oceanfromtheblue took the stage to the melodies of the laid-back song “ice cream.” The artist cruised around the stage, vibing to back-to-back tunes, “icy girl,” “necessary girl” and “sherlock,” showcasing the addictive refrains.- All three songs hailed from projects released between 2020 and 2021 like Luv-fi 2020 and a-side: 90s kids never get old.
Between “Come Back Home” and “Scent,” oceanfromtheblue asked his band to introduce themselves while he accepted a handheld electric fan from someone in the crowd to cool off. Fans held up their phone lights for the slow-tempo “Scent,” illuminating the venue’s floor and creating an ocean of stars. The live band exited the stage, and DJ Laune took his spot behind the singer. Enthusiastic cheers erupted when oceanfromtheblue decided that the venue was too warm and it was time to remove his shirt, drench himself in water, and spray that water on the audience.
The first song the duo performed was a part of “AUTOMATIC REMIX,” which featured an unreal amount of industry legends and smaller artists like oceanfromtheblue. The list of features includes Jay Park, BUMKEY, BIBI, Hoody, ELO, JAMIE, LeeHi, SOLE, SUMIN, and SURAN, amongst others. The DJ set picked up the pace again with “My Side,” “Talk To Me,” and “Feel Me,” which all received screams and thunderous applause. oceanfromtheblue glided across the stage, showcasing his dance moves with occasional body rolls that had the audience going crazy. He also interacted with the fans, taking phones and documenting his night with them. The set moved back towards the Lo-fi vibe with “Run It Up” and “Swoosh,” the latter clearly being a fan favorite judging by the eager and passionate reaction.
Before the live band joined the stage again, the frontman took a second to thank everyone for coming and being with him, as it was a massive achievement for him to perform somewhere so far from his home country. oceanfromtheblue expressed that even though he wanted to learn some German phrases for the five dates in German-speaking countries, his concerts in Munich and Vienna further motivated him to learn more for future tours.
Now joined by the band, oceanfromtheblue shifted into more intimate tracks as the crowd swayed to “Breath,” “Past Life,” and “Close To You” from his 2023 self-titled project. “Super Mario,” off of the singer’s debut project Luv-fi (2018), signaled that the end of the concert was near. The entirety of the band burst into laughter when the audience was audibly dismayed. oceanfromtheblue worked the stage, holding his fans’ hands during the groovy synth and drum-based track, and even briefly jumped into the audience before moving to the last song.
He closed the show with arguably his biggest hit, “girl,” which originally featured fellow South Korean artist BLOO. With fans screaming every lyric along to the catchy chorus, the band had their final jamming session before bowing to their audience and leaving after a group photo.
Those who lingered, however, were in for a surprise when oceanfromtheblue emerged from the backstage area, promised to take photos with everyone, and signed everything from tickets to T-shirts to even cigarette packets. After being showered in compliments and endless thank yous, the singer left in a visibly good mood and promised to return soon.
It is without a doubt that fans got a memory of a lifetime with a set showcasing both the shyer and more outgoing and sexy version of oceanfromtheblue. Hopefully, he keeps his promise and tours Europe in the future, this time maybe even as a fluent German speaker.