On October 24, popular Korean indie rock band, The Rose, returned to the D.C. area bringing the highly anticipated DAWN TO DUSK 2023 tour to the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, VA. Fans, known as Black Roses, were thrilled at the announcement and immediately took to social media and The Rose’s official Discord channel to express their excitement over what would be another memorable tour.
This past August marked the band’s sixth anniversary. Nearly a year after their first full-length album and tour, HEAL, they successfully released their second full-length album, DUAL which pushed The Rose to no. 1 on Billboard’s “Emerging Artists” chart in just a few short weeks while the album ranked an impressive no. 83 on the “Billboard 200.”
Despite playing a robust worldwide festival circuit throughout the year – including the iconic Lollapalooza Chicago – members Woosung, Dojoon, Jaehyeong, and Hajoon still found time in their busy schedules to launch the official Rosarium app, create lots of silly videos on TikTok, release a handful of “In Bloom” episodes on Youtube, and between it all, work on their new album together.
The DAWN TO DUSK tour, spanning 17 cities in North America with more countries to be announced, is also supplemented by official Pop-Up events where fans can interact and participate in exclusive raffles, purchase official merchandise, receive official freebies, and more. Many Black Roses also handed out fan-made bracelets and gifts and spent their time creating posters and signing various flags that were passed through the queue leading up to doors.
Equipped with official light sticks and a multitude of handmade signs, fans quickly filled the large arena that is nestled in the center of the popular George Mason University campus, eagerly anticipating the start of the show. On stage, the band’s instruments were perfectly arranged while microphone stands were adorned with official logo scarves. A large LCD screen was poised to project unique graphics throughout the night and two supplemental screens on each side of the venue ensured a great view from all angles.
The evening officially opened when The Rose’s silhouettes suddenly appeared against intense strobing lights and rolling fog on the spacious, double-platform stage. Black Roses could no longer contain their excitement over the electrifying presentation and their deafening screams overlapped with the music as each member introduced their instruments to the track. Center stage, Woosung and Jaehyeong playfully jammed together during the final chorus of “Eclipse,” eliciting cheers from the crowd.
Woosung effortlessly transitioned into “You’re Beautiful,” and Black Roses immediately joined in to sing along to the delicate lyrics. Dojoon then switched from keyboards to acoustic guitar for “Shift,” his soft vocals later contrasted by Woosung’s intense guitar solo.
After quick individual introductions followed by lots of barking from the crowd, Woosung announced, “We have a special guest tonight! They’re going to sing with us, and they have the most beautiful voices.” The suspense was rising as he continued, “You might know them, you might not. Please give a big round of applause for our bassist Jaehyeong, and our drummer Hajoon!” Together, Jaehyeong and Hajoon mesmerized the audience with their stunningly beautiful rendition of “I.L.Y.” – their soulful vocals and harmonization with Black Roses during the chorus left everyone in awe.
Midway through the show The Rose left the stage for a short intermission while “Dusk” began playing over the speakers, carrying the audience into the second half of the night. A few notable moments from the latter part of the evening included Dojoon recording a short video of the crowd for Instagram, Woosung laughing at himself for fumbling part of the lyrics in “She’s In The Rain,” and the many heartfelt crowd interactions as The Rose and Black Roses reciprocated each other’s energy throughout the show.
“Thanks to you guys, we hit no. 83 in the Top 200 Billboard chart! There are always really great things that we achieve together – it’s all possible because of our Black Roses here, thank you so much!” Woosung declared. “Speaking of number 83,” he continued, “We have the first song that ever came out on August 3, 2017. That number is very significant to us, and that song is “Sorry.” When the distinct opening chords for the beloved track began, Black Roses did not miss a beat, immediately joining Woosung in singing the lyrics.
The enthusiastic crowd cheered, sang along, and sometimes even cried through the generous and diverse setlist. Pausing for a moment to catch their breath, Jaehyong surveyed the audience and started reading people’s fan signs. He noticed a group of posters towards the back of the venue and read it out to the crowd, “It’s my birthday?” Surprised, each member then wished the lucky Black Rose a very happy birthday.
Although The Rose focused on showcasing their newest tracks from DUAL – cleverly organized in the order of their album from dawn to dusk – they ensured that many fan-favorite songs such as “RED,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Sour” were also highlighted throughout the night. Black Roses coordinated their light stick accordingly, moving through the various color schemes of the songs, such as red and green.
Transitioning into the finale of their passionate performance, colorful lighting and a vivid LED backdrop illuminated the stage as Dojoon introduced the next track, “When we’re together, every second will be moments of…wonder!” Amused by his dramatic statement, fans proceeded to jump and sing along to every word of “Wonder,” the final song of the night. Dojoon hyped up the crowd even more by theatrically waving around a large The Rose banner before he brought out the Virginia flag to prepare for the group photo.
Wrapping up, each member grabbed a big bundle of red roses and tossed them into the audience. They made sure to visit both sides of the stage while Black Roses waved, shared hand hearts, and continuously applauded to express their love and gratitude as an instrumental version of “Wonder” continued to play in the background. After a final bow, they closed out the show, “We Rose you guys! See you next time, thank you!”
The Rose’s performance for the D.C. area Black Roses was truly unforgettable and a testament to the power of music and its ability to unite. The heartfelt songs, stunning visuals, and vibrant energy throughout the evening showcased their unique artistry, and even though the DAWN TO DUSK world tour has just begun, fans are already eagerly anticipating their return.
All photos taken by: Sarah P.