On Wednesday, August 17, SEVENTEEN made their long-awaited return to Los Angeles for their BE THE SUN world tour. After two-and-a-half years since the group’s 2020 Ode to You tour, CARATS could barely contain their excitement. Thousands of CARATS flocked to Inglewood’s Kia Forum hours before doors opened to engage in pre-concert makeshift festivities. Fans were dressed to the 10s wearing their favorite concert outfits, fanmade bias headbands, and armed with their Bluetooth-synchronized CARAT lightsticks. While many showed up early to snap photos, purchase official merchandise or snag freebies, others pumped themselves up with impromptu random play dances outside the arena. Despite the summer heat bearing down on them, nothing could dampen CARATs’ spirits.
A three-tiered LED display of a stellar-mass black hole set the scene for the BE THE SUN concert. The stage lights and synchronized lightsticks sporadically flashed in white as the blackhole absorbed all the stars on the screen before exploding into a blinding burst of light and unveiling a massive sun, marking SEVENTEEN’s grand entrance onstage. Dressed in sheer black tops with embellished black blazers, SEVENTEEN kicked off the night with their explosive recent release “HOT” followed by the militaristic and anthemic “March.” The large sun motif, pyrotechnics, and lightsticks bathed the venue in red and encapsulated the group’s boundless energy that they unleashed on stage.
“Just like the title of our concert, we want to light up your inner shadows with the light called SEVENTEEN,” JOSHUA proudly stated. The LA native received a hearty welcome from fans and couldn’t suppress his excitement to be performing in his hometown again. “It’s so good to be back, I missed you guys so much,” he chimed. “I’m just really proud to show my members the amount of energy and love you have for us.”
The night was extra special for SEVENTEEN’s leader S.COUPS due to him being absent for their previous tour. “I couldn’t come last time. I’ll work even harder today!” he proclaimed. Unfortunately for this LA concert, SEVENTEEN’s maknae DINO was absent due to being diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in the day. Although SEVENTEEN took the stage one member short, the audience filled his absence by chanting DINO’s name and singing his lines throughout the show. “Seems like DINO’s with us!” shouted the members.
As SEVENTEEN proceeded with their individual introductions, it became apparent just how much energy and enthusiasm they were harboring. They vibe-checked the audience with call-and-responses to gauge their energy levels and to find every opportunity to hear the well-overdue voices of a live audience. From egging them to scream their names out loud to VERNON guiding the audience through the accompanying hand gestures for their official tour chant, the members were energetic, goofy, and 100% themselves.
The name SEVENTEEN is derived from the 13-member group that’s comprised of three sub-units specializing in performance, hip-hop, and vocals. The units allow each member equal time to shine and showcase their musical strengths. Put them together and they operate as one, well-oiled, stage-breaking machine. SEVENTEEN’s performance unit opened up the unit sets of the night. A thick layer of smoke draped the main stage as the LED screen rose, unveiling JUN, HOSHI, and THE8. Clad in all-white, the performance unit (sans DINO) performed “Moonwalker” and “Wave.” Unlike their explosive choreography seen earlier in the show, the performance unit highlighted their fluidity as they weaved into each move with a grace that captivated the audience.
Following suit was the vocal unit consisting of JEONGHAN, JOSHUA, WOOZI, DK, and SEUNGKWAN. The largest of the three sub-units, they performed “Come to Me” and “Imperfect Love.” Without any hesitation, fans sang along in Korean to the sentimental ballads, leaving the members surprised and touched by their gestures.
Stunning tech visuals, a laser light show, and Vernon’s bellowing auto-tuned “Los Angeles!” welcomed the hip-hop unit to the stage. Dressed in all black, S.COUPS, WONWOO, MINGYU, and VERNON commanded the stage with their swagger with their witty track, “GAM3 BO1” followed by “Back It Up” that was accompanied by a stunning laser light display that was on par with visuals often found at raves.
Between their powerful performances and moving stages, SEVENTEEN’s beagle-like energy was on full display. Following the end of their unit stages, most of the members returned sporting bold red tracksuits and skateboards with JOSHUA welcoming fans to SEVENTEEN’s “showtime.” After a chaotic and comedic English skit that ended, VERNON made a fashionably late entrance while singing, Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode (feat. Snoop Dogg).” SEVENTEEN jumped into their S-tier performance tracks in a nonstop explosive fanfare that called for the audience’s maximum engagement and interaction. CARATs swayed their arms to “Mansae,” shimmied in their spots during “Left & Right,” before jumping with glee and turning up to “Very Nice.” Each of these songs boasts iconic dance moves and infectious melodies that make it impossible to remain seated. Putting high-energy performances like this back-to-back in the same set would be an extremely challenging feat. But SEVENTEEN only got more enthusiastic and energized, feeding off the chaotic screams and cheers from CARATs as they flowed through each song and solidified their title as the “Performance Kings” of K-Pop.
The energy that the crowd emitted throughout the night was phenomenal and the members simply couldn’t stay away. During “Snap Shoot,” the members singled out fans in the crowd to freestyle dance to the song. A CARAT in a tiger onesie stepped up to the plate and wowed the members with her impressive freestyle moves that made her bias, HOSHI, proud and led to S.COUPS gifting her the bucket hat off of his own head. Another CARAT had their moment to shine and displayed their splits, freestyle dance moves, and even twerked that left SEUNGKWAN too stunned to speak and earned laughter from the other members while DK and MINGYU imitated the twerk onstage.
No SEVENTEEN concert can go without finishing off with the neverending version of “Very Nice.” For this final stage, SEVENTEEN unleashed every ounce of energy they had left to max out the crowd’s energy. They split off into different parts of the stage, hyping up the audience and scanning the crowd to make sure everyone was up on their feet and partying. WOOZI even took time to learn the American Sign Language sign for “jump” in order to communicate with the deaf CARATs in attendance. Other members singled out fans in the audience and handed them the microphone to sing SEUNGKWAN’s signature high note for all to hear before erupting in another lively chorus loop. When the members seemingly calmed down and made their final bow to the crowd, the “Very Nice” chorus erupted through the speakers and the members sprinted down the stage’s catwalk for the final round. For SEUNGKWAN, the stage wasn’t enough for him and he ran off the stage and up the stairs leading to the stands to party with CARATS up close and personal.
Powerful stages and chaotic bliss are just a few keywords to describe SEVENTEEN’s long-awaited concert in Los Angeles. Whether you attend their shows as a longtime CARAT or a casual listener, the members cultivate a safe, fun-loving concert experience for all to enjoy and be themselves. The party continues onward with the remaining U.S. tour stops followed by their jammed-packed Asia tour through December.