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[Herald Review] Even after 7 years, Seventeen strives to be a beacon of light

K-pop band Seventeen embarks on third world tour, ‘Be the Sun,’ with Seoul concerts over the weekend

K-pop band Seventeen holds its concert, “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ – Seoul,” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday. (Pledis Entertainment)
K-pop band Seventeen holds its concert, “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ – Seoul,” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday. (Pledis Entertainment)
Seventeen was among the rush of K-pop acts to hold concerts recently, but the 13-piece band’s two-day entertainment “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ -- Seoul” that took place over the weekend stood out in many ways.

On Sunday, Seventeen -- comprising members S. Coups, Jeonghan, Joshua, Jun, Hoshi, Wonwoo, Woozi, The8, Mingyu, DK, Seungkwan, Vernon and Dino -- conducted the second and last day of its concert at Gocheok Sky Dome, which marked the start to the band’s third world tour, “Be the Sun.”

Just as with the first night, some 17,500 fans flocked to the domed venue, a dream stage which not many K-pop acts are able to land. Seventeen sold out both nights, packing the stadium with some 35,000 spectators in total -- the biggest number seen in a single set of concerts in Korea since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020.

Sunday’s show kicked off to a powerful start with the band’s latest release “Hot” from the fourth LP, “Face the Sun,” followed by the album’s B-side track “March.” The band took it up a notch, bringing the energy inside the stadium to fever pitch with “Hit,” from the third full-length album “An Ode,” before finally greeting the fans.

“We didn’t expect the pandemic to last this long. It’s been almost 2 1/2 years, and at first, we tried to spend the time improving ourselves but the time was prolonged for too long,” Hoshi said. “I’m just so happy to be holding concerts again.”

“The members were so excited after yesterday’s concert that we stayed reveling in that feeling until we went to bed last night,” Seungkwan said.

Jeonghan, who went through an elbow surgery 10 days ago, appeared with his right arm in a cast and took part in all the group performances.

Jeonghan tried to reassure the worried fans.

“I know you guys feel bad seeing me like this,” he said in response to the sympathetic cries that came from the crowd. “Although my arm was injured, I still wanted to take part. I won’t be overworking myself as I’ll have to go on tour with my arm like this. I’ll give it my best shot.” 


K-pop band Seventeen holds its concert, “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ – Seoul,” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday. (Pledis Entertainment)
K-pop band Seventeen holds its concert, “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ – Seoul,” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday. (Pledis Entertainment)

The mood took a fresh turn with the electro-rock sound of “Rock with You” from the ninth EP “Attacca” and dance tune “Boom Boom” of the third EP “Going Seventeen,” while Joshua and Vernon’s duet stage of “2 Minus 1” kept the momentum high even after the previous two full-group performances.

The evening’s highlight came as the band split into its vocal, performance and hip-hop pillars -- one of the main components that explain the significance behind the group’s name. The three pillars, the 13 members and the group as one together add up to the number 17.

While the performance team drove the crowd into a frenzy with “Moonwalker” and “Wave” and the hip-hop team took it further with “GAM3 BO1” and “Back It Up,” the real cherry on top was with the vocal team’s renditions of “Come to Me” and “Imperfect Love.”

“Carat, are you happy because of Seventeen? Seventeen is happy because we have Carat,” Seungkwan shouted out to the fans before going into “Imperfect Love.” Carat is the name of the band’s official global fan base.

Fans could be spotted standing up among the audience, swaying their light sticks. The show hit another climax as the members put their microphones to the audience for a sing-along. The group stood in awe as the fans sang in unison in a single, clear voice.

Clad in vibrant red-and-white coveralls, the 13 members reemerged together to an adrenaline-packed set of hits: “Mansae,” “Left & Right” and “Very Nice.” By this time, half the audience were jumping up and down on their feet and the bandmates on stage were drenched in sweat, although not a single one of the 13 faces showed any signs of fatigue.


K-pop band Seventeen holds its concert, “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ – Seoul,” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday. (Pledis Entertainment)
K-pop band Seventeen holds its concert, “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ – Seoul,” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday. (Pledis Entertainment)

The 24-track set list had been arranged with each song picked through an in-depth discussion, the band said. It was indeed so, as the second half of the show continued to enthrall fans with not just hits like “Ready to Love” and “Dar+ling,” but also hidden gems, such as sidetracks “Crush” and “Heaven’s Cloud,” a first-ever live rendition of the newly released “Shadow” and Japanese single “24H.”

As the name of the concert suggests, the third world tour takes on from the band’s fourth studio album, “Face the Sun,” and symbolizes the band’s determination to continue striving higher, even after seven long years together since their 2015 debut. Last July, the 13 members all renewed their contracts with Pledis Entertainment, a year in advance from their expected expiration date this May.

“It means we want to become the sun,” Dino explained. “We want to make concerts that will fill up the space with light and bring out everyone from the shadows.”

“I think it’s really cool that the 13 of us all renewed our contracts together. We don't take it for granted that the 13 of us can continue together, nor the love Carat give to us.” The8 said.

Hoshi also thanked fans, saying, “Thank you for showing us a more beautiful scenery with every step we take. We want to go further. We want to be the best,” to which Joshua piped in, “Yes, we want to continue growing to become the best.”

As the show neared its end, the bandmates made a surprise announcement that it would release a repackaged version of the “Face the Sun” album.


K-pop band Seventeen holds its concert, “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ – Seoul,” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday. (Pledis Entertainment)
K-pop band Seventeen holds its concert, “Seventeen World Tour ‘Be the Sun’ – Seoul,” at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Saturday. (Pledis Entertainment)

The band wrapped up the night with an encore stage, which lasted for nearly an hour as the band broke out anthems “Our Dawn is Hotter Than Day,” “Snap Shoot,” as well as another round of “Very Nice.”

With the Seoul shows as the start, Seventeen is set to continue its tour around the world, traveling to 20 cities in North America and Asia between August and October, before closing the series with a dome tour in Japan between November and December.


By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)
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