The event on September 17 at White Eagle Hall was one for the books as KINGDOM sets off to write history for their Grand America Tour. Situated in a quiet neighborhood in Jersey City, the venue brimmed with excitement as KINGDOM fans, known as Kingme, awaited the arrival of the seven kings: Dann, Arthur, Mujin, Louis, Ivan, Hwon, and Jahan.
What sets KINGDOM apart from other fourth-generation K-Pop groups are their unique concepts centered around different historical kings. Each member represents a king in charge of their fictional kingdoms. With every comeback, the group recounts a tale of each king’s respective backstory. Through this tour, Kingme will have a chance to meet them in person as they bring their stories to life.
Attendees promptly filled the venue as soon as doors opened. Some were seen wearing tiaras and had on outfits inspired by the group’s concepts. It was the group’s first tour in the States and the anticipation leading up to it was immense as the fans were heard singing along to their songs prior to the show.
At 7PM on the dot, an opening VCR projected on the LED display with clips from their “Dystopia” music video and transitions of photos introducing each member. The group promptly made their marks on stage decked out in pink and white suits. They jumped right into their debut track “Excalibur” followed by “Dystopia,” characterized by swift choreography.
After a round of quick introductions, each member was showered with applause. As with most K-Pop shows, the crowd greeted them with endless barking to which Dann amusingly retorted, “This is a KINGDOM show, we’re not in a zoo right now,” only for him to retract that statement several minutes later, “Ok we are in a zoo.” The boys gave a speech about how they spent their day off in New York with Hwon mentioning their boat ride and the pretty scenery. Regarding their goals, the members spoke about their wish for KINGDOM to appear on a Times Square billboard and the crowd cheered with encouragement.
After a series of ballads which included “Song of the Wind” and “Period,” the group teased a new album in the works. The album will be centered around Jahan’s story and will conclude their History of Kingdom series. They hesitated from giving away spoilers as their company CEO was in the audience but Louis responded with a nonchalant “I don’t care” and hinted that he partook in the making of their upcoming music video. Arthur added that he choreographed parts of their dance while Mujin wrote the lyrics, much to the audience’s delight.
Midway through the set, KINGDOM prepared special stages dedicated to some hit songs. The Stray Kids fans in the audience were in for a treat when the group covered “Thunderous” and “CASE 143.” They then followed up with Shawn Mendes’ “Holding Me Back” as the crowd danced and sang along to the familiar lyrics.
Following a VCR intermission, it was time for a dance session in which the members got to showcase their individual moves. They picked different songs to dance to for each stop on the tour. Jahan went up first and did the viral “Smoke” challenge, followed by Louis who danced to RIIZE’s “Siren.” The fun didn’t stop there as Hwon and Mujin joined in with YOASOBI’s “Idol,” attracting an abundant amount of squeals from the crowd with their cute moves. One funny thing worth noting was the members learning the slang word “slay” as fans kept screaming that during their ments.
Their setlist included hits from each of their EPs such as “Black Crown,” “KARMA,” and “Long Live The King.” The cheers were never-ending throughout the set as Dann remarked, “The time passed so quickly,” but it wasn’t long before Kingme started chanting “KINGDOM” for an encore. The group returned to the stage with a performance of “ON AIR” as they took selfies with fans’ phones. During their final song “Blinder,” the venue shook as the crowd jumped along to the song’s catchy beats.
Before delivering their final farewells, Dann asked the audience if it was anyone’s birthday and then encouraged everyone to sing “Happy Birthday.” The show was brought to an end as the members bowed and blew kisses. Although it was KINGDOM’s first show in New Jersey, they delivered a spectacular performance and left Kingme’s hearts filled with gratitude.