16.09.2023 : I AM FREE-TY in BRUSSELS : (G)I-DLE WORLD TOUR
In 2022, the girls released the track 'TOMBOY,' which was part of their debut album. Following that, 'Nxde,' their 5th mini-album, quickly followed suit, propelling the group to the top of the charts. Not only did they make their mark on the iTunes charts in 40 countries, but they also earned a spot on the prestigious Billboard 200. These achievements made (G)I-DLE the first female K-pop group to break into the top 40 of Media Base and the Billboard Pop Airplay chart.
Having evolved into true icons, the ladies of (G)I-DLE dropped [I feel], their 6th mini-album, on May 15th of this year. As they gear up to kick off their world tour on June 17th and 18th in Seoul, MIYEON, MINNIE, SOYEON, YUQI, and SHUHUA have finally announced their debut tour in Europe! Mark your calendars for September 16, 2023, at the National Forest in Brussels. It's going to be a historic event! 🎤🌟🌍
FOREST NATIONAL concert hall, the third largest venue in the capital of Wallonia, welcomed its first K-Pop group here. The grand hall, with a capacity ranging from 8,000 to 17,000 depending on the event, has a unique circular design. The floor, surrounded by double-tiered seating, was divided into two sections (VIP and GOLDEN CIRCLE). Overall, the layout of the venue is perfect for a K-Pop concert, offering excellent visibility from any spot in the hall. The high-quality sound system allowed the voices of the five singers to be heard clearly.
From each side of the stage, two screens projected the concert, with the large screen adding dynamism to the group's performances. The show was brought to a splendid conclusion with two confetti showers. It was a fantastic experience for everyone in attendance!
The precious VIP pass offered:
A signed poster and a notebook (exclusive to VIP 1: ultimate Neverland).
Access to the soundcheck.
Early access to merchandise.
Hi-5 session at the end of the concert.
The experience was truly unique. Being able to witness a sort of rehearsal by the group (where they let the audience choose three songs) was a lot of fun. It wasn't exactly a typical soundcheck, as during the two hours of waiting, we could hear the group practicing and adjusting their sound levels. For this concert, the VIP audience selected "Queencard," "Oh My God," and "LATATA". The girls were all smiles, joking around with each other, and generously sharing intimate moments with the lucky VIP attendees. Once the soundcheck was over, VIP1 and VIP2 fans held their spots until 7:25 PM, the concert's start time, to ensure they were as close to the stage and the group as possible. The Hi-Touch session was somewhat brief – just a few seconds (if that) to touch each member's hand in a lightning-fast manner! A fansign or a "departure" event might have been more fun. Nevertheless, once again, the girls were all smiles despite the long day they had just gone through!
The concert, divided into three acts and an encore, treated us to a total of 23 songs and an epic duration of 2 hours and 20 minutes of pure entertainment. At precisely 7:30 PM, fans, armed with their lightsticks, awaited this moment with as much excitement as a kid in front of a candy dispenser. And then, the five members of the group made their entrance onto the stage, coming from the right, accompanied by dancers who added a touch of glamour.
The concert kicked off with a bang to the sounds of "DUMBi DUMBi," an ultra-festive track that clearly set the tone: tonight, it's the freety festival! The girls were dressed in matching blue outfits, coordinating with the tour poster, and right from the first notes, they gave it their all. Without skipping a beat, they moved on to their very first single, the one that propelled them onto the stage in 2018: "LATATA," from the album "I Am."
The time-travel journey continued as they plunged us into another B-side from the same album, " $$$," delivering it with incredible energy. Nothing seemed to be able to stop them, as evidenced by "Never Stop Me" (from "I NEVER DIE"). At the end of the song, Soyeon decided to extend the finale and launched into an intense dance for an extra 30 seconds! In just 4 songs, they showcased 4 different facets of their career, which was quite impressive. The next track, "Allergy," from their latest album "I Feel," seamlessly fit into this eclectic lineup.
Before gracefully closing out this first act, they treated us to "Uh-Oh" (from "Oh My God") and the highly anticipated mega-hit: "Queencard" (from "I Feel"). The audience was captivated, and excitement was at its peak!
The end of the first act catapulted the atmosphere to stratospheric heights! Now, we find ourselves in the midst of act 2, where each member takes the stage for their own "solo stage." It all unfolds in the following order: Miyeon, Minnie, Yuqi, Shuhua, and finally, Soyeon. A VCR projected on the screens sets the tone, and it's Miyeon who steps onto the stage to perform "DRIVE," her solo released in 2022. A beautiful princess castle backdrop complements Miyeon's performance, combining sweetness and power.
Next up is Minnie, still as graceful and delicate as ever, sitting at a piano for "DHALIA," surrounded by a screen of swirling flowers and petals. Softness and mastery define her performance. Then, it's the leader's turn, Soyeon, known for her breathtaking performances. She casually strolls onto the stage, dragging her microphone, under bright red spotlights. Soyeon's aura fills the room, and "Psycho" intoxicates all the spectators. Even with the arrival of the dancers in the third verse, our eyes remain fixed on the leader.
We continue these "solo stages" with a change of genre: it's time for dance, with the youngest member of the group, Shuhua. Usually known for her playfulness, this time she delivers an incredible performance by covering Britney Spears' "Boys" while dancing energetically, surrounded by dancers. It's sexy without crossing into vulgarity, and we appreciate the tastefulness of it all. Bravo!
Finally, the last to take the spotlight is Yuqi. "How's everyone doing?" Yuqi begins a monologue about the importance of loving oneself first and then loving others afterward. She then proceeds with instructions to follow along with "Could it be," her original solo track composed by herself. The song kicks off with a very "Route 66" vibe, complete with a cowboy hat and a guitar as accessories. It's simply enchanting!
Act 3 was already in full swing! An amusing VCR, styled as a Netflix parody, where each member embodied a film or actress. Yuqi as the White Swan, Minnie as Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Neverland, Soyeon in Kill Off, Shuhua as Rapunzel in the City, and Miyeon as Juliet from Juliet & Juliet.
And it's on the first notes of "Nxde" (from "I Love") that the concert resumed, with resounding success! A brief stopover at the "I Feel" album with "Lucid," followed by a trip down memory lane with "Put It Straight" (from "I Made"). This was the first time the girls performed this track live (as part of a tour) since their epic rendition on the "Queendom" show in 2019. The lightning effects projected on the screens gave this cult-favorite track for NEVERLAND a dimension from another world. Soyeon's rap perfected the song's perfection.
Need a little break after such a performance? Minnie reminds us that it's indeed the first time they've performed this track since "Queendom." "Did you enjoy it?" "Great." "Thank you!" "We are going to prepare the next stage!" It's Shuhua's turn to speak. The youngest member is usually reserved in such moments, but Soyeon asks her to redo "the killing part" of her dance cover! "That's great! Thank you so much!"
Miyeon and Yuqi return to the stage and switch places with Soyeon and Shuhua. Yuqi asks the audience if they liked the song, and of course, the answer is a resounding yes! After playing with the audience on each side of the stage and exchanging "that's so cool," Yuqi lets us know that the next song is "her song." After describing the creator of the next track as "talented, a composer, rapper, singer," and Soyeon mimicking as if they're talking about herself, Yuqi reminds us that it's HER song! So, it's time for "All Night" (from "I Feel") to effortlessly kick things back into gear. Despite the traditional intermissions, the energy never waned!
From the first notes, fans recognized "KDA," a result of (G)I-DLE's collaboration for the soundtrack of the hugely popular game League of Legends. Soyeon and Miyeon contributed to two tracks and performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the League of Legends World Championships! The whole group effortlessly made the song their own, giving a new dimension to this track that put the young group in the spotlight five years ago, in 2018.
The climax arrives with a double hit: "MY BAG" and "TOMBOY," both from "I NEVER DIE," the monstrous chart-toppers of 2022 in the Korean charts, and beyond! It was with "TOMBOY" that (G)I-DLE made a thunderous comeback, propelling them back to the top of the charts, where they've stayed. With graffiti-covered walls for "MY BAG" and a 3D cube for "TOMBOY," the venue shook and echoed with unified cheers! A confetti shower, the girls bid farewell, and it's the "end" of the concert!
The concert featured a fun tradition: a video that has become a tradition where randomly selected audience members are invited to participate in impromptu choreographies! And, of course, everyone enthusiastically joins in, never letting the energy drop. The encore moment arrives, and the girls return wearing tour t-shirts. They kick off the encore with "I'm The Trend!" Still as energetic as ever, they perform the song with contagious enthusiasm. "Thank you for enjoying the festival with us, Neverland! LAST GOODBYE!" One by one, the members share their final messages with the audience.
The concert continues with "LION," a beloved song with impactful lyrics. This song can vary from country to country; for Paris, it was "Oh My God," and in Amsterdam, it was also "LION." "We have to say goodbye now." Yes, the real finale is approaching, but before that, it's time for the traditional photo with the audience, which will be posted on the group's social media shortly after the concert.
Finally, the very last song: "I DO," from their upcoming album "HEAT," an all-English album set to be released on October 6th and produced by 88rising. It's a sweet yet powerful song that lights up the already won-over audience. Lightsticks are shining brightly, and the atmosphere is heartwarming. Everyone sings in unison, and the finale is simply beautiful. To the instrumental of "Queencard," the girls bid farewell, thank the staff, and exit the stage. "Thank you guys."
"What an epic concert it was! Yep, Belgium has no reason to blush compared to France or Germany when it comes to K-Pop concerts! Brussels was sold out!
With a well-balanced setlist, top-notch performance, and a warm atmosphere, this concert was an absolute hit. We're crossing our fingers for more, whether it's (G)I-DLE or other groups – who knows what the future holds! 🎶✨
Big thanks to Green House Talent, AEG & CUBE for their trust and the accreditation
Poster Credit : GreenHouse, & AEG & CUBE
Concert Photos : K-Pop Concert Media Team (photo Iphone / no DSLR)
Photo groupe : (G)I-DLE & CUBE Entertainment