On February 4, ONEUS gave a powerful and energetic performance at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The concert was the final stop of the U.S. leg of their Reach for Us world tour and their third time performing in Los Angeles. The tour’s namesake is derived from their song “Intro: EDEN” from their latest EP MALUS, and speaks to Seoho, Leedo, Keonhee, Hwanwoong, and Xion’s desire to be with their fans, called To Moons, no matter where they are. In a matter of hours, the quintet curated a setlist filled with top-tier performances, special stages, and unforgettable interactive moments that truly made it a night to remember. “Today is our last stop on our U.S. tour in L.A.,” Keonhee said to the crowd. “As much as it is our last show for our U.S. tour, we hope that you guys enjoy it the best.”
The concert’s stage production and haunting visuals immediately set the tone for the night. A sinister VCR depicted glimpses of a poisonous, blood-red apple and the boys wavering between the edges of good and evil before the screens went black and shrouded the stage in darkness. ONEUS then made their grand entrance from the shadows, illuminated against a blood-red thunderstorm backdrop. The atmosphere was a nice setup leading into the ominous opening instrumentals for the group’s intensive, brassy track, “Bring It On.”
ONEUS’ choreographies are theatrical, intricate, and even gravity-defying, showcasing a level of fearlessness and athleticism behind every move. Main dancer Hwanwoong graced the audience with a beautiful blindfolded solo leading into “Come Back Home” and even took a leap of faith over backup dancers during the song’s climactic last few verses. ONEUS’ dancers also deserve their flowers for their avid roles in setting up and catching the members during their acrobatic stunts. It was clear they were not just “backup” dancers but were crucial players in executing these routines. By the time the group finished their opening set with the rhythmic number, “Black Mirror,” the audience was blown away by the elevated performances.
ONEUS also performed some of their playful numbers, including “Stupid Love” and “Sky Divin’,” which were met with thunderous cheers and applause from the crowd. The energy in the room was palpable, with fans singing along and dancing to the pop-centric tunes.
In an effort to connect with their fans on a deeper level, ONEUS prepared special stages dedicated to the covers of iconic releases. They kicked off with their masculine version of Blackpink’s “Pink Venom” and turned up the heat with a follow-up sexy dance cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.” By the time they performed a soundtrack medley from the film, Top Gun, Leedo ripped open his shirt, and shrills and screams rang throughout the auditorium.
Fusing elements of old and new is a craft that ONEUS has perfected. Following the performance of their latest tropical-house release, “Same Scent,” ONEUS kicked off their “Luna” performance with a beautiful dance break from Seoho and Hwanwoong taken from the song’s official theatre version. Unlike the theatre version that features traditional Korean instruments, the two members were supported by modern orchestral strings while performing their routine with traditional Korean fans. Later in the performance, an electric guitar and drums took over the beat during Hwanwoong’s verse, briefly transforming the song into a headbanger before reverting back to its punchy synth-pop chorus. The traditional Korean instrumentals took center stage in the following song, “LIT, (Road to Kingdom Version),” where Hwanwoong playfully tweaked his opening line to sing, ”오늘 L.A. 좋구나“ [I’m liking LA today].” Although the group didn’t don hanboks this time, they performed their set against visual displays of traditional Korean art and architecture that served as a great homage to their cultural roots.
The audience literally became “lit” with the following track “To Be or Not To Be.” The powerful track tested the members’ stamina once again with choreographed throws, lifts, and leaps over one another. The energy was reciprocated by the audience during the bombastic “No Diggity,” which pulled everyone’s hands up into the air to bump along to the rock beat.
ONEUS prepared a special moment for the audience when they left the stage during “Last Song” to see their L.A. To Moons up close. “We’re going to come closer to you!” said Keonhee. The announcement came with squeals of excitement from the fans, followed by gentle but firm instructions (and a comical demonstration) from the members regarding concert etiquette and safety. To Moons followed their guidelines and remained seated as the members sauntered off stage and roamed the aisles, posing for photos and videos, giving high-fives, and serenading a few lucky fans in the aisle seats. The surprise event was the culmination of the trust, love, and respect that ONEUS and To Moons have for one another and only further solidified the strong bond that they share.
The concert topped off with an encore performance of “No Diggity” that was as intense as the first. The backup dancers rejoined the members onstage as they, the members, and the audience turned up with every last ounce of energy that they had. ONEUS’ impressive talent, charisma, and passion for their profession made this concert the perfect end to the U.S. leg of their tour. Fans can’t wait to see what the future holds for the group and their exciting endeavors in 2023.
Check out our photo gallery from the concert in the link below, and stay tuned for our upcoming interview with ONEUS!