[RECAP] SF9 Bring Down the House in Chicago

FNC Entertainment’s popular idol group, SF9, recently kicked off their UNLIMITED 2019 USA and Europe tour in Chicago, and what a show it was!

With a house full of excited fans who  spent the anxious moments before the show singing the group’s most popular songs, SF9 couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic and responsive crowd. The roar that greeted the nonet as they walked out on stage was almost deafening. Opening the show with a three song set that included “Unlimited”, “Go Back in Time”, and  “Enough”, their fans, Fantasies, danced and sang along with the boys from the very first moment.

A brief introduction followed this opening set, giving the chance for each member of the group to greet their fans. Of course every group who visits Chicago has to make mention of the city’s famous pizza, and SF9 was no exception. Completely in awe of the regional favorite, the group agreed there really weren’t any words they could find to describe its taste, a statement which sent the crowd into a fit of cheers and laughter.

With the introductions over, the group broke into smaller units to begin what would be a series of individual, or special, stages. Dawon, Youngbin, and Zuho were the first to take the stage, performing Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s collaborative track, “See You Again;” a performance which had most the audience enthusiastically singing along while others burst into tears.

Coming back together to perform their doleful tracks, “Fall in Love” and “Easy Love,” SF9 had Fantasy on the verge of tears. Taking a moment to talk about this melancholy set of songs, they were quick to admit that “Fall in Love” is, in fact, a sad song, but they were excited about having the chance to show it in its original version for the first time. To prove his excitement, the group’s main dancer, Taeyang, was quick to show off the dance’s “sad but sexy moves.”Needless to say, those moves drove the crowd wild.

Inspired by such an enthusiastic response, one of the group’s rappers, Zuho, started to spontaneously rap and, of course, the crowd loved every second. With so much energy feeding them, the group was more than a little enthusiastic during the moments they took to talk to their fans. A well-received spontaneous dance challenge broke out between Hwiyoung, Taeyang, and Jaeyoon, as they all danced to BTS’ J-Hope’s “Baseline.”

Chani was the next to delight fans as he was asked, by his fellow members, to recite his famous line from his recent drama, “Skycastle”. If his recitation wasn’t enough to bring the house down, his dancing to Taemin’s “Move” most definitely was. Joined by Taeyang and Youngbin, the trio nearly stopped hearts as they smiled and danced their way through a few bars of the wildly popular track. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Hwiyoung decided to do a little dancing of his own, once the trio had finished, though definitely not to the same song and definitely not in the same style. Regardless, the crowd loved him and all of the memories the group as a whole gave them during this brief moment together.

Maintaining the high energy, the group kicked off the next set of music with a synthy mix of “Just on My Way” and “4 Step” that felt surprisingly reminiscent of the 80s. The group’s popular track, “Mama Mia” followed and the crowd, just as excited and enthusiastic as they were before the show started, sang and danced along.

A short break while the group changed outfits was filled by an entertaining video in which different members of the group had to complete challenges successfully or suffer the consequences. The entire video was nothing short of a constant stream of comedic cuteness and the audience ate it up.

Continuing with their special stages, Taeyang and Jaeyoon were the first to return from the short break, performing a lovely rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Nothing Like Us”. Hwiyoung and Youngbin followed with an energetic performance of “Zeroff” and the set wrapped up with Inseong performing Bruno Mars’ “Versace on the Floor.”

Taking another moment to chat with their fans, the group tried to convince Dawon he should do some “Chicago-style aegyo.” The group’s vocalist didn’t take to the idea very well, exclaiming “I’m 25, I’m almost a grown-up!” After a good laugh and a hearty cheer from the crowd, Dawon consented and the fans cheered even more. 

The group’s main vocalist, Inseong, told the audience he wouldn’t be smiling anymore since fans had been telling him his smile was too scary. To prove his point, he smiled for the audience, but rather than being scared, fans cheered wildly in approval. 

Last to take part in this moment with fans, Jaeyoon agreed to show fans his “try to control himself dance,” but Rowoon stopped him before things got too out of control; much to the audience’s dismay. To keep things from getting too out of hand, the group quickly moved into their next set which included, “Shadow,” “Life is so Beautiful,” and “Play Hard.”

With the end of the concert fast approaching the group took one last moment to talk with fans as they said their individual farewells. With numerous expressions of gratitude, well wishes, and promises of someday returning the nine members wished their Fantasies goodnight.

Closing the evening with “Oh Sole Mio,” “Fanfare,” and “Now or Never,” the group left fans on the highest of notes. A fact that was emphasized by the incredibly enthusiastic cheers and chanting that took place once the group disappeared backstage. With fans hugging each other and crying as they cheered for an encore, the group took the stage one last time.

Returning to the stage all smiles and happiness, the group casually performed “Dear Fantasy” and “Photograph,” focusing more on the chance to enjoy some fan interaction than anything else. Taking phones from numerous fans for quick selfies or short videos, dancing with Fantasys’ light sticks, waving to the audience, and generally being too adorable for words, the group made this encore an experience to remember. 

After snapping the traditional group photo with the audience, the members of SF9 took a moment to say one last goodbye. With more smiles and waves, the group wished their fans well before wrapping things up with the English version of their song, “Enough”. 

With an evening so full of stellar performances and undeniable cuteness, there’s no doubt every Fantasy in Chicago went home that night with a heart full of joy and memories to last a lifetime.

Written & Photographed by: Leah W.

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