[RECAP] OnlyOneOf Brings Passion and Acceptance to Jersey City For First US Tour

Cr. Angela L.

For two nights, OnlyOneOf’s six members breathed life into downtown Jersey City, New Jersey’s White Eagle Hall. In a city adjacent to bustling Manhattan, the 800-person venue is so small that some locals didn’t even know it was there – at least, not until they noticed OnlyOneOf’s fans, known as lyOns, lining up on Newark Avenue from morning to evening. As the kickoff to the group’s Grand America Tour, the group was originally only scheduled to perform on March 31. But after tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale back in January, a second date was added for March 29. 

Fans from all over the country made the trip to see KB, Rie, Yoojung, Junji, Mill, and Nine make their first-ever visit to the United States. Excitement and anticipation were the vibes as fans filed into the venue. Many came with pride flags – one attendee was literally dressed as one on the first night, with LED lights in each color of the rainbow – a testament to the way OnlyOneOf’s music and visuals have connected with diverse fans around the world.

Cr. Angela L.

Once fans safely filed into the venue, the lights went low and attendees were greeted with a video montage of OnlyOneOf’s hit songs and music videos as well as a sizzle reel of each member. As the lights dimmed again, each of the six members got into position onstage and then launched into their latest single, “seOul drift,” a grungy hip-hop track with moments of distorted tension that fueled the energy for the show. Dressed head-to-toe in leather outfits (black for the first night and red for the second) with various amounts of skin showing, OnlyOneOf showcased their sharp choreography and allure as a group.

After sharing in the excitement of finally being in America in their opening ment, the group moved into the ethereal, rebellious romance track “savanna,” from their debut mini album, dot point jump Vol. 1. Next up was the fan-favorite song, “Sage,” a bass-heavy dance-pop number that allowed OnlyOneOf’s synchronization and eye-catching formations to really shine.

“We’re so excited to show lyOns new sides of us tonight,” said Mill on the first night when the group took a breather.

Cr. Angela L.

For the next stage, OnlyOneOf moved into the “skinz,” a sexy track that was met with piercing screams from the crowd during every body roll. They kept the sultry mood alive with “gaslighting,” a hip-hop-inspired song that tells the story of a deliciously toxic relationship. 

Once “gaslighting” concluded, the guys went backstage for an outfit change. The intermission VCR was a fun, behind-the-scenes look at OnlyOneOf’s studio rehearsals as they prepared for the tour. The video gave fans an inside look not just at the serious practice, but at the group’s camaraderie as they goofed off in between.

Returning to the stage in more casual outfits, OnlyOneOf kicked off their next set with the English version of their hit song, “dOra maar.” The group’s fluid choreography and erotic lyrics beautifully interpreted the relationship between Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar, his lover, model, and muse. Afterward, Nine excitedly noted that OnlyOneOf performed the English version for the first time in Jersey City and it was added to the setlist for American fans.

Cr. Angela L.

The first night also happened to fall on Mill’s birthday. Fans and the members sang, “Happy Birthday.” When the song concluded, Junji gave Mill a piggyback ride and the members delivered playful birthday slaps. Mill’s youthful energy was on full display – to thank the lyOns for their love, he bowed and then transitioned into a quick handstand on stage.

“It’s my birthday in Korea right now, but where we are now it will be my birthday tomorrow. But I’m going to celebrate today and tomorrow,” Mill said toward the end of the night. “I’m so thankful to be here in New Jersey with my fellow members and lyOns to celebrate my birthday. I’m going to go crazy for the rest of the performances, so please enjoy, and thank you for all of the birthday wishes.”

Cr. Angela L.

The guys also talked a little bit about how they prepared for the tour by watching American movies to study English. KB then asked if lyOns could teach them the latest English slang terms. Fans on both nights taught them “slay” and “bestie,” which KB proceeded to weave into the group’s ments throughout both concerts. In his first attempt to use “slay” in a sentence, KB pointed to the audience and said, “You are so slay!” which was met with deafening cheers.

Reining in the crowd to continue the show, OnlyOneOf transitioned into “chrOme hearts,” the first track from their most recent album, seOul collection. The electronic, dance-pop song was accompanied by blue, red, and pink strobe lights and an LED background video reminiscent of a glitching CCTV video. They followed with “designer,” a clubby pop song that highlighted OnlyOneOf’s magnetic dance skills.

Taking a water break, the guys asked the crowd what songs they wanted to hear the most. Some lyOns in the front row called out to ask if the songs were for sure on the setlist, but Yoojung cheekily shrugged and said, “I don’t know!”

The next performances were then revealed to be from the undergrOund idOl series of solo songs by each OnlyOneOf member. The series became popular throughout 2022 and early 2023 for its honest portrayal of queer identity and same-sex relationships – a bold move from a K-Pop group, particularly as South Korea’s LGBTQ+ community continues to fight against discrimination.

Each night had a different set of songs from the series. The first night only featured Yoojung’s “begin,” and Rie’s “because,” while the second night Junji performed his song, “be mine,” while Mill performed “beat.” Fans reported that “be free” by KB and “beyOnd” by Nine were performed at the tour’s next stop in Chicago on April 2. Despite being solo stages, each member’s dance performance was supported by the rest of the group and portrayed the relationship between the two leads of each of the undergrOund idOl’s six music videos.

In the following ment, OnlyOneOf thanked lyOns for their overwhelmingly warm reception of the solo stages. (“You ate!” someone in the audience screamed on night one, to which Rie responded by throwing them a hand heart.) Yoojung admitted he was very nervous while he shook out the stage anxiety, but thanked the audience for their love.

As the group introduced the “last” song for the evening, each member took a moment to thank lyOns for their support and for bringing them to the States. While each member’s remarks were on the earnest side, KB’s was more lighthearted as he blew a kiss to the crowd: “You guys are all my besties, and you are all so slay!”

Cr. Angela L.

Finally, it was time for OnlyOneOf to perform the highly-anticipated “libidO.” The song’s suggestive choreography and lyrics were controversial when it was released in 2021, but has since become one of the group’s most popular songs. LyOns sang every word and went wild during the instantly recognizable crotch grab dance move between Junji and Nine.

The guys left the stage, and with everyone aware that they’d be back for an encore, attendees began to chant and cheer for OnlyOneOf. At one point on the first night, lyOns began chanting, “LGBT! LGBT! LGBT!”

After a short break, the group returned decked out in tour merch. They jumped right into the lighthearted pop/rock-inspired song, “angel,” another fan-favorite. 

Before moving into the next song, OnlyOneOf’s tour team came out to take a photo of the guys and the Jersey City attendees. On both nights, they posed with a pride flag gifted by lyOns and signed with messages from fans. The gesture didn’t go unnoticed – many fans in the crowd, regardless of orientation, became emotional at the acknowledgment that their existence was valid and celebrated.

Cr. Angela L.

In line with the joyous energy that filled the venue, the group transitioned into “blOssOm.” The song’s fun, playful energy saw the guys move away from the crisp, complicated choreography of previous songs into a more laid-back performance accentuated with big smiles and a little bit of aegyo. The second night differed slightly with the inclusion of the emotional track, “time leap.” 

For the finale, OnlyOneOf gave the audience one more taste of their skill as performers and signature sensuality with “a sOng of ice & fire,” before saying a final thank you and goodbye. While that signaled the end of the show on the first night, lyOns’ energy on the second night was so palpable that it seemed as if the group couldn’t bear to leave. They stayed an extra ten minutes after the final song to greet fans, take selfies on fans’ phones (even taking two at a time to expedite the process), and accept gifts as they chorused their gratitude to attendees. 

All in all, OnlyOneOf delivered a high-energy show across two nights for Jersey City fans. And while their performances were beautiful to watch and enjoy, their fan interactions and acknowledgment of their strong LGBTQ+ fanbase made the shows all the more meaningful. In a world where queer communities around the world continue to fight for representation and acceptance, groups like OnlyOneOf are paving the way.

[INTERVIEW] OnlyOneOf on Meeting American Fans and Breaking K-Pop Boundaries


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