Gazing out at the packed 20,000-capacity as the crowd chanted each of their names out loud, Wanna One couldn’t help but be overwhelmed.
“We’ve always dreamed of how it would be like to be on the stage of Gocheok Sky Dome. I can’t believe our dream has come true,” said Wanna One during the group’s debut concert at Gocheok Sky Dome in western Seoul on Monday.
Wanna One is a project boy band formed with the 11 finalists of Mnet TV competition show “Produce 101,” in which viewers voted for their favorites from among 101 contestants.
Wanna One performs during its debut showcase-concert held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Monday. (YMC Entertainment)
The day was a momentous one for Wanna One, as it became the first K-pop rookie to perform at the stadium, where big-name acts such as BTS and EXO have thrown concerts in the past. The group kicked off the event by performing “Never” and “Hands On Me,” two tracks from its first EP “To Be One,” released Monday evening.
After galloping on the stage for a while, the members still seemed in awe of the frenetic screams and cheers of the audience, as they said in unison, “We still can’t believe that it’s happening. We will do our best to make our efforts come to fruition.”
About midway through the concert, Wanna One finally revealed its most-awaited stages for the album’s high-energy double lead tracks “Burn It Up” and “Energetic,” which were pre-released through an event during which fans got to decide the album’s lead tracks.
The concert, which had already been making headlines and dominating television shows and advertisements, was one of the most anticipated K-pop debuts to date.
Thousands of fans swarmed around the stadium despite the heat wave. Tickets were being exchanged by scalpers for up to 2.5 million won ($2,300) outside the stadium, and a group of fans impersonated reporters to get into the press conference before the concert.
During the press event, members Hwang Min-hyun and Kang Daniel expressed their excitement by saying, “I’ve only dreamed about it when studying BTS and EXO’s concert videos, but I never knew that we would be performing here at Gocheok Sky Dome one day.”
The project boy band, which will stay together until the end of 2018 under YMC Entertainment and CJ E&M, also shared its ambitious goal to present fans with legendary performances during their limited run.
The seven-track EP “To Be One,” bearing the band’s aspiration to become the No. 1 team together with fans, has been sweeping major real-time local music charts upon its release. The album is also going strong on foreign music charts, topping the iTunes Top Albums Chart in 11 countries including Chile, Finland and Hong Kong.
By Hong Dam-young (firstname.lastname@example.org