GOT7 & Their Legions of Fans Brighten Up Barclays Center With Historic Concert
Dreaming big has served GOT7 well. Two years ago, the K-pop boy band held the New York stop of their Fly tour at Times Square’s Playstation Theater. At the time, member Yugyeom told Billboard that it felt “like a dream.” But on Wednesday night, the group made history as the first K-pop group to perform at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. An immense glow-up that took them from a venue that fits 2,100 people to one that holds 19,000, the final, sold-out Stateside stop on their world tour served as an homage to the bond between the act and their fans.
Known as iGOT7 or Ahgase -- a homophone-like variant that means “baby bird” in Korean -- thousands of the act’s fans spent the two-and-a-half hour set singing, dancing, and waving bird-shaped lime-colored light-sticks along to the group’s performance. With two years of experience under their belt since their last New York-area performance, GOT7 proved that they had grown into their artistry as the trio of rappers (Jackson, Mark and BamBam) and four vocalists (Youngjae, JB, Jinyoung and Yugyeom) delivered dynamic, crisp renditions of their dance tracks and sweet ballads.
While it was touted as the Eyes on You album tour, the setlist seemed less focused on the March-released EP and more about the journey the artists and fans have taken over the past four years of their career, leading them to this historic night. The septet’s singles, both old and new, had their fair share of airtime, nestled between opener “Hard Carry” and penultimate song “Fly,” but the focus was primarily on the relationship between the seven and the crowd, as expressed by their song choices. They welcomed fans into the experience with an early performance of “My Home,” said “Thank You” through the Jinyoung-penned lyrics of the Eyes track, and ended things with the promise of continuing to go on their path “from the bottom to the top” in the anthemic finale performance of “Go Higher.”
Mid-set discussions between the members similarly had the men talking about their time in New York City -- including BamBam revealing his desire to move there someday -- and their appreciation for the love of their fans. During a video that aired during the encore set, Jinyoung even expressed the idea that the love of K-pop fans toward their favorite artists is the most “pure” form of love out there since it is based largely on intangible, at-a-distance interactions, especially for international audiences.
But for this rare experience -- a full-scale concert from their favorite K-pop group -- GOT7 didn’t disappoint East Coast Ahgases. To give local fans the full feel of a GOT7 concert, they didn’t cut down on production, as many international acts are forced to do when touring in North America. Instead, as they had throughout other U.S. stops, they set the tone for the show with set props like thrones for BamBam and Jinyoung during their performance of “King,” one of several unit or solo tracks performed during the first “encore,” and living-room-inspired furniture for laid-back renditions of “My Reaction” and “Face.” And, despite their busy touring schedule, the members’ exuberance ignited Barclays with an energetic sense of euphoria that had leader JB grinning from ear-to-ear for the majority of the time he wasn’t belting out his verses.
Though the spotlights shone on the stage, the bright green lights of the crowd glowed just as strong, and the fans similarly put on a performance, creating a conversation of sorts between Aghase and GOT7: after standing up when the intro bars of a remix of “A” kicked off the concert, the majority of the audience spent the night on their feet, singing along to the lyrics and serving up synchronized fan-chants to the lyrics. When the band took breaks from singing to chat, the audience regularly greeted each member with chants of their names, leading JB to comically even tell off the audience with a witty, “I know my name” when the cries of support overpowered his closing words.
And as Ahgase bolstered GOT7’s historic night, the seven made sure to show their own affection, expressing gratitude for their fans’ help at achieving a performance at a major, packed venue, and sharing the desire for fans to see as much success as they themselves have.
“At the end it’s always the fans, helping us accomplish all these goals and dreams, so thank you guys,” Mark said during the finale. “We just want you guys to know that we’re always here for you guys too. We want you guys to dream as big as we dream. You guys can accomplish anything, 'cause we’re always here for you guys too.”