ATEEZ Set Alight to The O2 – London Concert Review
On the 22nd of February K-Pop sensation ATEEZ took to the O2 Arena London on their The Fellowship: Break the Wall Tour less than a year since they had last played in Europe. This is the third time the group has come to the city and their biggest venue yet. Their previous The Fellowship: Beginning of the End tour graced two nights in Wembley’s OVO Arena and The Expedition tour began its European leg in the O2 Forum Kentish Town when the group first came to London in 2019.
The atmosphere of the concert was set by a large moon rotating above the stage and an introductory speech, played throughout the arena, by the group’s label mate Maddox (who accompanied the group when they were last in Europe). This was an element from the group’s concept of rebelling against those controlling their dystopian world.
The evening began with the group consisting of eight members, Hongjoong, Seonghwa, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung, and Jongho, and their dancers – from the crew B.B. Trippin, taking to the stage in hooded robes. They were revealed one by one with a dramatic light display as they performed New World. The first section of the concert stayed with the theme of rebellion including other tracks such as The Ring and Sector 1 from the album THE WORLD EP.1: MOVEMENT. During their introductions the group members spoke about the evening ahead, Seonghwa promising that the concert will be even better than fans expect and Yunho informing the audience that they will have no regrets about attending.
When ATEEZ next returned to the stage they were wearing matching outfits of white and purple that heavily contrasted with the black and gold of the opening. This contrast was not only visible in the group’s outfits but also their material with many of the tracks taking a more nostalgic and emotional route. This section was predominantly filled with songs that fans had complained were not on the setlist the previous year such as Mist, My Way and Sunrise. The group enjoyed interacting with the fans and each other whilst throwing inflatable balls around the arena with fans taking great delight in a moment when Wooyoung hit one into Jongho only for it to rebound into Hongjoong who dramatically fell to the floor where he continued to rap his lines.
Standing on the extended stage above a sea of fans the group got their audience to demonstrate their ‘lightiny’ lightsticks. The latest version contains bluetooth technology allowing the lights to be controlled by the arena crew. The fans would raise and lower the lights in unison under instruction from Jongho as he asked bandmates what their favourite colours were Seonghwa chose red and the lights changed in accordance. A great way of showing off their merchandise but also a way of creating unity, with ATINY at the furthest back of the arena being connected right down to the ultimate VIPs at the front of the barrier.
One of the most anticipated stages of the night Cyberpunk began the third section of the evening with the group returning in leather-clad outfits. They performed seductive choreography upon chairs with a key moment coming when San performed a body roll that was soon replicated by a nominated Yeosang and a voluntary Hongjoong shortly after. The hip thrusts continued with Rocky centred by Mingi who received some of the loudest screams (and barks) from the audience with his newly cut pink hair. The evening would not have been complete without Guerrilla, a song that caused every ATINY in the building to scream “BREAK THE WALL” at the top of their voices, a noise so deafening that it was probably heard for miles around. Many fans joked after the event that they were surprised that the building was still in one piece and that no actual walls had been broken.
Mingi began the group’s ending talks by leading the audience in a spontaneous rendition of One Call Away by Charlie Puth with the fans continuing to sing the song once the rapper had stopped. The other members spoke about their admiration for the city, with Jongho admitting that he becomes so grateful for everything whenever he visits, and Yunho finishing off by telling fans that he feels like he grows more every time that he comes to London.
Slowing down towards the end the group performed Celebrate, Turbulence and even the pre-debut track From which the group originally released whilst training in LA as a part of the show KQ Fellaz. They ended the night on a high with The Real. Although it would have been more sentimental for a song such as Sunrise, which had come earlier in the evening to have been the finishing moment – though the group probably did not wish to have their fans leaving sobbing after such a great evening.
UK ATINY are already missing the group and hope that they shall be returning with the same speed as they did before.
Written by Claire Campion
Featured Image © KQ Entertainment (ATEEZ’s Twitter Account)