On Friday, December 14, Amber Liu concluded her first-ever solo U.S. Tour, Gone Rogue, at Slim’s in San Francisco. Amber first debuted in 2009 as the main rapper in SM Entertainment’s girl group, f(x), and later began her solo career in 2015 with “Shake That Brass.” Since then, she has released her Rogue Rogue mixtape on Soundcloud in April 2018 along with various duo singles like “Countdown + Beautiful” through Spotify and YouTube.
After a long wait in a very crowded Slim’s, the opening act, Justin Park, finally appeared on stage with a stool. Before beginning, he explained how he hurt his leg during an earlier concert but reassured fans that nothing will stop him from giving us his all. He sang a few covers such as “Loyalty” (originally by Kendrick Lamar) and “Honey” (originally by Kehlani) along with songs such as “Dates in LA” and “On the Low” off his debut album “Places Like Home.” After around an hour, Justin Park exited and the crowd became restless again while waiting for Amber to hit the stage
After 20 minutes of waiting, Amber began to sing the beginning of “White Noise” off stage and when she finally emerged from the darkness in a slick red jacket the entire crowd went wild. Half-way through the song, her two backup dancers joined her on stage during the instrumental and dance break. Up next was “High Hopes” where Amber ran around the stage, including two awkwardly placed poles, to hype up the crowd as everyone shouted along to the words “never turn back.” She then performed “Lost At Sea,” accompanied again by her amazing backup dancers that did the choreography seen in the music video justice.
Amber then greeted the audience with a “hello hello there” and even sang a bit of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” to show her excitement about spending this Friday night with her fans. She asked who saw her perform in the US when she was with f(x) and was surprised to see how many hands were raised. Before continuing with the set, Amber established that this was a “Be Yourself Zone,” which was a recurring theme throughout the night, and made the audience promise to enjoy the show while being themselves.
She introduced “Closed Doors” as a song that needed fan participation and everyone enthusiastically sang along to the lyrics “nobody has to know.” For “Right Now,” she brought out a mic stand and although her featured artist couldn’t be here, she performed the entire song wonderfully. Amber then taught the audience what she calls the “Toss Dance” in preparation for “Need to Feel Needed.”
Amber reintroduced Justin Park to the stage as her “little brother” for their duet song “XL Uber.” Justin remarked that Amber’s jacket gave him Michael Jackson vibes, which led to the band launching into an impromptu jam session where Amber showed us her best MJ moves. After Justin led the band and dancers in a drum dance battle, Amber returned on stage with a casual yellow hoodie outfit.
To preface “Borders,” Amber confessed to the audience that she still “struggles everyday but you guys give me strength” and thanked us for supporting her. For “On My Own,” the DJ led the audience in turning on our cell phone lights and swaying to the song.
For “Three Million Years,” she explained she wrote this song when she was previously in a relationship, but she is “single af” and led the audience in chanting “I am single and I can do anything” with her. She also told us that she has never been able to sing the entire song through without giggling, but if she does, she gets three million dollars. And she did it!
Next was the English version of “Beautiful” where Amber reiterated to the audience that we are perfect the way we are. An audience member handed her a small, plush llama (Amber’s animal look-a-like) and so she tucked it into her shoulder to perform the rest of “Beautiful” and then “Over It” with her newfound friend. Next was “Countdown” where everyone jumped and shouted along to the catchy “yeah yeah.”
For the “last” song of the night, Amber threw back to her debut solo song “Shake That Brass.” Amber teased us with her own cute versions of “brass” shaking (even as to grab the pillars on stage) and brought an infectious energy to the stage. She even sang the Taeyeon parts, complete with high notes. Amber then exited the stage leaving us all chanting “Amber” and “encore” as we wanted more.
For her encore stage, she re-entered with Justin Park who filled in for Eric Nam in their duet “I Just Wanna.” Then she closed out the night with a holiday appropriate song, “All I Want for Christmas,” where she held out that classic Mariah Carey high note at the end of the song.
This entire concert seemed like Amber’s butterfly moment. From her early beginnings in the K-Pop industry to an independent artist, it’s great to see Amber in her element and singing songs that she personally worked on from scratch. Amber, please come back soon with more new music!
Written by: Melody W.
Photographed by: Jenny L.