As more and more K-Pop acts transcend language barriers, the talented 5-membered band KNK (크나큰), Jihun, Lee Dongwon, Seungjun, Inseong and Heejun, traveled stateside. The group held their debut showcase on February 29, 2016 under YNB Entertainment. On September 10, 2018 it was announced that KNK and YNB Entertainment had terminated their contract and that the members planned on continuing as a group together, save for Youjin who departed. The year of 2019 marks a new company, new look, and new era for the quintet ‘looking to knock on the door of Kpop’ starting with the Dallas stop of ‘Lonely Night’ tour.
In the intimate setting of Granada Theater, excited ‘Tinkerbells’ (aka fans of KNK) waited to meet the group. The opportunity to unite K-Pop groups with their fans doesn’t come very often, but when it does happen, the atmosphere is electric. Without wasting a moment, KNK set the tone for the night with opening song “Lonely Night.” Washed in melancholic blue and red lighting, the members picked up where they left off in 2017’s ”Rain.” The boys continued to offer a darker, melanfcholic mood that never fails to tug at the fans’ hearts. What fan doesn’t love a good angsty glare from their favorite member? With a muted instrumental opening, “Lonely Night” launched into its rap-driven verse — a marked departure from KNK’s previous more vocal-driven image. With the addition of rapper Dongwon, the rap verses were more impactful.
The next song was tropical EDM-centric “Feel So Good,” which offset the angst with the members’ bright promises that they feel good when they’re with their fans. This sudden shift in atmosphere may be startling, but fans simply soak up each moment they can see KNK perform. Amidst enthusiastic applause, the members introduced themselves one by one. It is difficult to tell that this was a new lineup with the welcome the fans gave Dongwon. Cheers were loud and boisterous for each member, but Dallas Tinkerbells particularly adored member Inseong. Perhaps unaccustomed to tour schedule, KNK possessed a nervous but eager demeanor while interacting with fans.
In continuation of the broody mood, “Rain” was clearly a favorite of the fans to no surprise. It was evident that the members are most comfortable with this mid-tempo number as they coupled the sentimental lyrics well with smoothly-timed sweeps of hands and feet. Transitioning from the emotive melody of “Rain,” the group was able to show off their vocal synergy in ballad song “Day by Day.” Without the strain of dancing, the group clearly demonstrated live capabilities standard to many K-Pop acts. “Sun, Moon, Star,” “Confession,” and “Gone + Back Again” provided more opportunity for the group to show its vocal prowess, especially Inseong’s amazing falsetto work.
As a treat for fans, KNK came prepared with covers of pop acts ranging from Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” to fellow Korean act EXO’s “The Eve.” The highlight of this segment was member Jihun’s solo dance in “I’ll Show You,” where he came alive with liquid movements to the cheer of his fans.
For the remainder of the night, fans were treated to live performances of “Beautiful,” “Stay + U,” “Very Pretty,” “Day N Night,” “Tonight,” “Angel Heart” and “How Are You These Days,” in a pleasant parade of standard K-Pop melodies.
And perhaps that was the theme for the night. “Pleasant.” Serving neither your overzealous blasts of bass nor soaring ballad melodies that other K-Pop acts are known for, KNK takes it nice and mellow, like a stroll down an empty street on a rainy night. And amidst all the loud colors of other bands out there, this muted act serves as a nice reprieve. To all the Tinkerbells out there, KNK will always be that comforting presence, both in concerts and in music videos.