13.09.2023 :I AM FREE-TY in Paris : (G)I-DLE WORLD TOUR
It's not the first time we've featured the Zenith, increasingly chosen by promoters for K-Pop, and the venue is an excellent choice. With a capacity sometimes reaching 6000 seats, it's a great figure for groups on the rise or with well-established careers. Here at Zenith, it was in almost maximum configuration, no extended stage, a pit filled to 90%, and the stands packed to the brim; the concert was (almost) sold out. A great success for the group that had to cancel their previous tour in 2020 (I-LAND) due to the global pandemic.
The large screens at Zenith contributed to the dynamism created by the group and their ultra-polished choreography, projecting themed images for each song without respite. The lighting effects were not to be outdone; red, white, blue, it had it all while remaining subtle, considering what the screen was projecting on the other side. To complete this "festival" atmosphere, showers of confetti added to the light from the lightsticks! We'll conclude with the sound, which was rather good, little saturation, audible voices, surprisingly well-reproduced high notes, and the presence of a soundtrack or live band reorchestrating the songs, giving real depth to bass-heavy tracks. Overall, Zenith always succeeds in hosting K-Pop very well, and the (G)I-DLE concert was technically very good."
The coveted pass offered:
A signed poster and a notebook (VIP 1 only)
Access to the soundcheck
Early access to merchandise
A Hi-5 at the end of the concert
The experience was intriguing, as it allowed us to witness a sort of group rehearsal (where the audience got to choose three songs) and was quite amusing. It's not exactly a traditional soundcheck, as during the two-hour wait, we could hear the group rehearsing and adjusting the sound levels. For this Parisian concert, the VIP audience chose 'Queencard,' 'Oh My God,' and 'Allergy.' The girls were smiling, interacting with each other, and didn't hesitate to share some intimate moments with the lucky VIPs. Once the soundcheck was over, VIP1 and VIP2 remained in their places until 8 PM, the concert's start time, to secure their spots closest to the stage and, consequently, the group. The Hi-Touch event was somewhat brief, just a few seconds (if that) to touch each member's hand in an express version! A fansign or a 'departure' would have been more fun! Nevertheless, once again, they were all smiles despite the (long) day they had just gone through!
"The concert is divided into 3 acts and an encore, featuring 23 songs and a total show duration of 2 hours and 20 minutes. At 8:10 PM, the concert kicked off, with fans eagerly holding their lightsticks. The group's 5 members entered from the right side of the stage, accompanied by dancers, and the concert began to the tune of 'DUMDi DUMDi.' It's an incredibly festive track that set the tone for the evening—it was a true freety festival! Dressed in blue outfits matching the tour poster, the girls gave their all from the very first notes. Without further ado, they followed up with their very first single, the one from their debut in 2018: 'LATATA,' from the album 'I Am.' Staying in that era, they seamlessly transitioned to a B-side from the same album, '$$$,' delivering an unstoppable performance, as evidenced by 'Never Stop Me' ('I NEVER DIE'). The song seemed to conclude, but Soyeon revived the finale and embarked on another 30 seconds of intensive dancing! In just 4 songs, they showcased 4 facets of their career, which was quite impressive. The next track, 'Allergy,' from their latest release 'I Feel,' fit perfectly into this eclectic list. Before concluding this first act, they performed 'Uh-Oh' ('Oh My God') and the highly anticipated massive hit: 'Queencard' ('I Feel')."
"The end of the first act had the energy soaring. We moved on to act 2, featuring the 'solo stages' of each member, in order: Miyeon, Minnie, Yuqi, Shuhua, and finally Soyeon. A VCR projected on the screens set the stage, and Miyeon took to the stage to perform 'DRIVE,' her solo release from 2022. A beautiful princess-themed set, complete with a castle, added a gentle yet powerful touch to Miyeon's performance of 'DRIVE.' 'Paris Neverland, are you ready! Thank you so much! one more time!. Next up was Minnie, still as ethereal and delicate as ever, seated at the piano for 'DHALIA,' against a backdrop of swirling flowers and petals. Softness and mastery truly defined this performance. Then it was Soyeon's turn, known for her high-energy stages. She casually strolled onto the stage, microphone in hand, under bright red spotlights. The song was possessed by Soyeon's aura, and we held our breaths; 'Psycho' was captivating. Despite the arrival of dancers in the third verse, our eyes remained fixed on the leader. We wrapped up these solo stages with a dance performance, this time not singing, but dancing, courtesy of the group's maknae (the youngest member), Shuhua. Usually not one to shy away from mischief, this time she took the stage with a show-stopping rendition of Britney Spears' 'Boys,' moving and grooving with dancers. It was sexy without being vulgar, and we appreciated the line that was walked – well done! Last to take the spotlight was Yuqi: 'How are you guys?' 'Good evening, Paris.' Yuqi embarked on a monologue about the romantic vibe Paris evoked in her: 'I want to share a feeling after I came to Paris, Romantic vibe!' She then explained that there's no need to stress and that we should be happy to live in such a romantic city. 'I want everyone here to enjoy the best because you and me, we are beautiful; you can find happiness in your life, okay? I think it's going to be so romantic, charming, if you sing along with me.' She then gave instructions for the audience to follow along with 'Could it be,' her solo title, an original composition by Yuqi. The song started with a very 'Route 66' vibe, complete with cowboy hats and guitars as accessories.
Act 3 already! An amusing VCR with a Netflix-inspired vibe, where each of the girls represents a movie or actress. White Swan for Yuqi, Audrey Hepburn for Breakfast at Neverland for Minnie, Kill Off for Soyeon, Rapunzel in the City for Shuhua, and Juliet & Juliet for Miyeon.
The concert resumed to the first notes of 'Nxde' ('I Love'), and what a success it was! A quick visit to the 'I Feel' album with 'Lucid,' followed by a journey back in time with 'Put It Straight' ('I made'). It was the first time the girls had performed it live (as part of a tour) since the epic performance on the Queendom show in 2019. The lightning effects projected on the screens gave this iconic song for NEVERLAND a dimension from another world. Soyeon's rap perfected the track. Some talk to recover from this performance? Minnie reminded us that it was indeed the first time they had performed it since Queendom. 'Did you enjoy it?' 'Great' 'thank you!' * (* in French) 'We are going to prepare the next stage!' It was Shuhua's turn to speak. The youngest member is usually reserved in such exercises: 'Neverland... Love them so much.' In broken English, she melted the audience's hearts! Soyeon asked her to do 'the killing part' of her dance cover again. 'That's great! Thank you so much!' Minnie & Yuqi returned to the stage, swapping places with Soyeon and Shuhua. Yuqi asked the audience if they liked the song, and of course, they responded positively! 'NEVERLAND MAKE SOME NOISE!' 'Wow amazing! So much noise! It's like an earthquake!' Minnie's reaction to the traditional 'Parisian foot stomping' and 'other French pololo.' After playing with getting the audience to cheer on both sides of the stage and saying 'that's so cool' between, Yuqi let us know that the next song is 'her song,' 'I think Paris can dance well, right? It's time to dance together, that song is gonna be all night, I want everyone to dance all night!' So, it's time for 'All Night,' from 'I Feel,' to get the party going effortlessly. Despite the usual intermissions, the energy never waned! From the first notes, fans recognized KDA's two famous songs : The Baddest & POP/STARS , the result of (G)I-DLE's collaboration for the OST of the hugely popular game League of Legends from Riot. Soyeon and Miyeon participated in two songs and performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people at the League of Legends World Championships! The entire group effortlessly made the song their own, adding another layer of power to it, shining an even brighter light on the young group that began their journey five years ago in 2018. 'Yoooo thank you! Do you know what song it is? It's gonna be 'TOMBOY'! You guys have energy, right!' The climax arrived thanks to the double hit: 'MY BAG' and 'TOMBOY,' both from 'I NEVER DIE,' monster hits of 2022 on Korean charts and beyond! It was with 'TOMBOY' that (G)I-DLE made a comeback, propelling them back to the top of the charts, and they never looked back. A graffiti-covered wall for 'MY BAG' and a 3D cube for 'TOMBOY' created an unforgettable atmosphere, and the audience roared in unison! Confetti showered the stage, and the girls bid farewell; it was the 'end' of the concert!
A short video, now a tradition, where randomly selected members of the audience must participate in impromptu dance choreographies! Without ever letting the energy drop, everyone enthusiastically takes part! The encore begins, and the girls come out wearing tour T-shirts. They kick off with 'I'm The Trend' once more, still full of energy, delivering the song with the same enthusiasm. 'Thank you for enjoying the festival with us, Neverland! LAST GOODBYE!' Each member takes a turn to deliver their final message. It's the youngest member, Shuhua, the least talkative of the group, who starts: 'Hello Paris, I'm so happy, so much fun. I was so nervous because I wanted to see you, but all cheers supported me. I love you so much.' Next is Yuqi: 'First of all, thank you so much for coming here. I really appreciate it. Next time, more stages, okay!" Yuqi tries French: 'Are you having a good evening tonight? Thank you for giving me such a wonderful evening with you.' She concludes: 'I love you, thank you, I love you guys.' Soyeon, typically reserved, speaks next: 'Have you guys had a happy time? We promise we will be back. Thank you.' Miyeon, attempting cute and stuttering French: 'Paris NEVERLAND, we really miss you, NEVERLAND from Paris, you were all amazing, weren't you? We will be back. Take care of yourselves, thank you very much.' Minnie, very comfortable with French, continues: 'Today was our first concert in Paris. I am really happy to meet you, NEVERLAND from Paris. Thank you very much. I hope you had a good time too. Until our next meeting, take care, I love you, thank you.' Yuqi compliments Minnie on her flawless French: 'You did great.' Merci beaucoup' Back to the concert: 'Oh My God' is sung, a beloved track with memorable lyrics. This song varies from country to country; for example, in Amsterdam, it was 'LION.' 'We have to say goodbye now.' Yes, the real finale is approaching, but first, it's time for the now-traditional photo with the audience, which will be posted on the group's social media shortly after the concert. The very last song: 'I DO,' from their upcoming 'HEAT' album, a 'full English' album set to be released on October 6th and produced by 88rising. A soft yet powerful track that shines through its beautiful lyrics, captivating an already devoted audience. With lightsticks and lights at full blast, the atmosphere is heartwarming. Everyone sings in unison, and the finale is a sight to behold. To the instrumental of 'Queencard,' the girls bid farewell, thank the staff, and exit the stage. 'Thank You guys, Merci! Merci!'.
The setlist was extremely well-balanced, with a focus on their more recent songs (TOMBOY / NxDE / QUEENCARD era). It was a bit disappointing not to hear Masterclass tracks like 'Han' or 'Señorita' in Europe, but their discography is extensive, and they can't perform everything!
The solo stages allowed each member to shine individually.
The live band, which we often mention, was a real asset in a K-Pop concert, and it's often overlooked. Here, it was a true pleasure to hear their songs with a real live orchestration.
The interactions with the audience were enjoyable, including games, exchanges in French, and friendly smiles – it was all-inclusive.
There was no loss of momentum throughout the concert.
The venue, sound, and stage were all great.
Costumes – we had to find something negative (and we really had to search for it!). Even then, it's a minor issue. The costumes (Band Part, Costumes for solo were awesome, kudo to Miyeon Princess Dress on Drive !) may not have been the most outstanding in their career, but that's nitpicking!
To conclude, this concert will certainly be in our top 5 for the year 2023!
Poster Credit : AEG & CUBE
Concert Photos : K-Pop Concert Media Team
Group photo : (G)I-DLE & CUBE Entertainment