Seventeen Showcase Multifaceted Talents at First New York Concert: Live Review
If the idea of a 13-member boy band taking the stage at New York's Terminal 5 venue sounds unrealistic, Seventeen was out to prove just how possible (and how fun) a show like that could be while indicating how their goals go past selling out the midsize, midtown venue.
For their debut NYC concert on Sunday night (Aug. 27), which doubled as the final U.S. date of their Diamond Edge world tour, the group entered the stage in a uniformed silhouette, lit by rose pink and serenity blue LED screens behind them. Soon enough, the stage lit up to reveal the band dressed in suits, each member's ensemble boasting his own unique color marking the first visual step to establishing different identities between the boys. From the opening numbers, the whimsical cuts "Pretty U," "Beautiful" and "Adore U," the band was determined to distinguish themselves from the Seventeen fans knew on record or on TV by adding in fun vocal and choreography ad-libs, all while moving and performing as a cohesive team.
Following remarkably in-sync performances of "Still Lonely" and the super-fun rendition of "Very Nice" (featuring loads of shouted "Woahs!"), the guys began showcasing their multifaceted strengths with a large part of the show focused on their three splinter groups (or "sub-units") known as the Hip-Hop Unit, Vocal Unit and Performance Unit.
The lattermost crew was up first as members Jun, Hoshi, The8 and Dino rocked an intensely choreographed cut of "Swimming Fool" from the group's Al1 album. It wouldn't be the only time the foursome would wow the crowd with the physically demanding high kicks in "Highlight" acting as the centerpiece to the most technically impressive performance of the night.
The units proved key in adding refreshing and entertaining variety to the show as the crowd could turn up with the Hip-Hop Team when Vernon, Wonwoo, Mingyu and a particularly fierce S.Coups spit cuts from the quartet's mixtapes while laser lights shone through the audience. The adoring audience was also satisfyingly serenaded by the Vocal Unit -- Woozi, Seungkwan, Jeonghan, Joshua and DK -- who stunned with moving takes on "We Gonna Make It Shine" and "Habit." The SVT guys even offered a few unexpected units as Jun and The8 -- the band's two Chinese members -- performed their duet "My I" with a routine that saw the singers put on a rhythmic gymnastics–esque routine as they moved and danced while being connected by a long ribbon, making for the concert's most visually fascinating moment.
Despite the many different vibes of the night -- smoothed over by the gorgeous video interludes playing in between the show's various acts -- the concert still felt extremely cohesive. Ultimately, the standout performances of the night went to the full-group renditions of songs like "Rock" and "Chuck," plus most recent single "Don't Wanna Cry" earning some of the loudest chants of the night.
Sentiment-wise, the guys themselves were also perfectly in-sync when saying goodbye to the crowd with nearly every member expressing that the band will return to New York ("We'll definitely come back," NYC-born Vernon told the crowd before Mingyu spoke about the "next time when we meet"), emphasizing a more impressive show for the future (Wonwoo predicted they'd see fans again in "a bigger place and a better place").
Yet the deeper message of Seventeen's future goals may have been summed up best when Hoshi expressed his astonishment that there were so many K-pop fans and hopes that K-pop will be worldwide "one day." The New York show highlighted how this group isn't just a passenger on the international Korean wave, but instead used the stop to show their many different sides and reach even bigger and higher goals. And with the sold-out NYC debut, those goals look largely obtainable with promising potential thanks to their focus on exciting, individualized and multifaceted performance styles.