On April 12, Budapest welcomed TOP Media’s MCND with warm arms. The level of excitement from both sides was highly present and for good reason – Budapest, a city in a tiny country one would not think of when considering European K-pop tours, was the group’s biggest stage on their first ever European tour. Tickets were sold out a little over a month before.
With a pre-released track “TOP Gang” from January already under their belt, the group of five – Castle J, BIC, Minjae, Huijun and Win – debuted on February 27, 2020. Despite debuting during the undeniably difficult period of COVID-19, the quintet have continuously levelled up and showcased their various talents. Not only have they released 4 EPs – with leader Castle J taking part in writing and producing their songs – the members have performed songs of other artists both as a group and individually. MCND also hosted their first offline fanmeeting last December that was also live streamed so fans all over the world could enjoy watching the quintet perform.
The crowd of fans, called GEMs, erupted in cheers as the group took the stage dressed in graphic tees and jackets. With an explosion of energy, MCND kicked the show off with “Reason,” a song on their fourth and most recent EP, THE EARTH : SECRET MISSION Chapter. 1. After moving to an equally exciting performance of “Bumpin,” the members introduced themselves and showed off the Hungarian sentences they learned for their Hungarian GEMs. Expressions such as “Köszönöm, hogy eljöttetek” (Thank you for coming), “Hogy érzitek magatokat? Jól?” (How are you feeling? Good?) and “Nagyon hiányoztatok” (I missed you a lot) were amongst the ones they mentioned along with “Szeretlek” (I love you).
Following “Cat Waltz” and “Louder,” the members surprised GEMs with two special stages: a captivating high energy dance cover of Alan Walker x Benjamin Ingrosso’s “Man on The Moon” and a vocal cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Shivers.” “Man on The Moon” perfectly captured the charm of the group. Instead of focusing on different members, the beautifully choreographed performance showcased their strong teamwork – synchronized movements, fast and well executed formation changes. After the first segment, they asked for fans’ help with the Ed Sheeran song by projecting the lyrics on big screens. Unsurprisingly, GEMs were very enthusiastic and sang along to every word while the group got a chance to get a break from the performances and interact with the crowd. This was also a nice insight into a different side of MCND – impressive vocals, soft voices and laid back grooving along to the song.
After a quick change into classy dress shirts, ties and vests, the group performed “Spring,” “Breathe,” and “nanana.” The performance was then followed by an interactive segment where the members showed off their individual charms to compete to win over the crowd and be chosen as the favorite member of the night by the fans. Huijun and Minjae had a sing-off, BIC danced to “Ice Age” with the help of GEMs hyping him up (which he repaid by doing three sets of aegyo poses), while Castle J teased his solo mixtape, and maknae Win rapped. Playfully asking GEMs to cheer loudly for their favorite performance resulted in all five members earning an even win.
When responding to questions previously submitted by fans, MCND talked about the meal they had the night before and mentioned their walk around the city during their time off between their tight schedule. They also recommended Goulash soup for people who have never tried Hungarian food before. After praising the food and architecture of Hungary the members concluded that it was a very special place and they will remember it for a long time.
The group also debuted a new unreleased song titled “Juice” in between “Ice Age,” “Crush,” “Movin” and “Outro.” The high-energy song was teased across the shows in Europe with a performance supported by hard hitting raps and complimentary vocals. The buildup to the drop and dance break amped up the crowd’s excitement. With the extremely positive response from both fans at the show in Budapest and online, the song is granted to be a success!
After the quintet went to change following their performances of “Galaxy,” “Play Pungak“ and “H.B.C.,” a VCR was played where the members played some games and danced to songs like Twice’s “TT” and BTS’ “Permission To Dance.” The band also featured the K-pop cover group B-Wave who cover their debut song “Ice Age ” before they joined the dancers on stage. With sincere congratulations to the Hungarian cover group, MCND took a photo together with B-Wave and the crowd to commemorate the experience and gifted them signed albums.
“To be on stage with them and meet the boys was surreal, we have never had a chance like this before,” said the group. “We really love the boys, their music, their distinct styles…talented performers like them inspire what we do.
The B-Wave members continued, “It was a shocking experience especially to those who have MCND as one of their favorites, the members were really nice and friendly, we hope we can see them again another time!”
As the end of the show drew near, MCND took the stage for the last three songs – “Not Over,” “Top Gang” and “Hey You.” In their ending ment they expressed how happy they were to finally be back on stage, how much they enjoyed their time in the country and, in impressively complex Hungarian, how much they would miss their fans. During their encore the members surprised GEMs by throwing out several folded paper planes with hand drawn emojis and their signatures on them. They also accepted gifts with open arms and that’s how they ended up with Hungarian flags, teddy bears, hand drawn artwork, and letters.
And like that, MCND said their final goodbyes. During their almost two hour extremely energetic set, they solidly made their mark on fans who gathered in the music hall, leaving them with lasting memories and promises of continuing to work hard and deliver performances that GEMs can be proud of. To see how they will follow up their spring tour, MCND is going to take off to the United States, Canada and Latin America so make sure you grab tickets to a show and experience the thrilling performances of Castle J, BIC, Minjae, Huijun and Win!