On 23rd September, Malaysian CARATs had once again slipped into the diamond life with the visit of Korean super group, SEVENTEEN (세븐틴, also stylised as SVT), as they graced our shores for the 2nd time.
Made up of 3 units (vocal, hip hop and performance), SEVENTEEN has grand total of 13 members: S.Coups, Jeonghan, DK, The8, Woozi, Joshua, Seungkwan, Jun, Vernon, Wonwoo, Mingyu, Hoshi and Dino. They have recently risen to popularity in the scene, famed as the ‘self producing idols’ for playing a huge part in the production of their music and choreography.
This instalment of their ‘Ideal Cut’ tour brought out smart suits and sleek looks, which juxtaposed the rather brightly coloured ‘Diamond Edge’ tour last September. There was unspoken anxiety regarding the event as well. Nevertheless, CARATs were extremely excited to see what SEVENTEEN had up their sleeves for them.
Their dedication proved to be strong as ever since crowds were already formed at The Mines’ Exhibition Hall hours before doors were open to the public. From as early as 9am, there were rows upon rows of attendees primarily clad in pastel pinks and purples—the official fan colours for SEVENTEEN. Chatters could be heard from the fans as they exchanged freebies amongst each other and engaged in banter about their favourite group members. Their excitement could be felt through the heavy vibrations coming from within the hall, where the group were sound checking.
At precisely 6pm, the bright lights were dimmed and for a moment in the sea of black—the only illumination was coming from the many ‘Carat Bongs’ (SEVENTEEN’s official light stick) waving energetically. All 13 members graced the stage with their presence before launching into the special rendition of “Highlight”, a song previously done specifically by the performance unit of the group. Fans were in for a surprise when SEVENTEEN came out smartly dressed with canes to perform the snazzy “NO F.U.N.” with a twist of their own. Famous for it’s ‘Kingsmen’ version, where the group performed with umbrellas à la the movie—it was definitely a treat for the crowd.
The boys were as cheerful as ever to meet the fans, taking their time to say hello individually. The Chinese members, Jun and The8, felt especially comfortable conversing in Mandarin with the crowd. A comical mistake took place with Hoshi, leader of the performance unit, as he mistakenly introduced himself as a ‘princess’. Nevertheless, it was a good fun for both the members and the fans as they played along for the rest of the night. With promises of more exciting stages from the boys, they disappeared behind the drapes of the curtain once again.
From unit stages to ones with all members present, SEVENTEEN once again knocked the game out of the park. Their stage presence and charisma are unmatched; proving themselves to be natural born performers. Even between breaks, they are effortless entertainers—evident from the random free style rap battle they had between non-rapping members. Somehow morphing into a dance off between Seungkwan and Dino, the 2 youngest members of the group, CARATs were in for tons of unexpected fan service from the group.
Despite garnering fame in the recent years, SEVENTEEN remains humble as ever. Leader S.Coups speaks of the fans in the fondest way, mentioning how they are constantly trying to make them happy through their music. As Joshua, one of the English speaking members of the group artfully put it, “The reason why stand on this stage is because of you.”
Perhaps what makes SEVENTEEN so distinct from other groups is how deeply the sincerity of their words and actions can be felt. It is a beautiful symbiotic relationship; where both parties were equally grateful for the other and work together for a brighter future.
Fans were a teary mess after the ending mentions, which were quickly wiped away for the light hearted number “Healing”. However the true party came with the energetically charged fire-cracker, “Aju Nice”, which had the entire crowd dancing and chanting along passionately.
Hip hop unit member, Mingyu actually made a request to fans to put away their mobile phones for a moment to just enjoy the final song together with them. However it was an obvious fail, which didn’t please Seungkwan too much. After finishing the number, he scolded the fans playfully and told them to live in the moment more.
And with that, the music was back on again and the group launched back into the high energy chorus of “Aju Nice” — catching everyone off-guard. It was in that moment that CARATs truly understood what the members meant, and let loose one last time to the addictive pulsating beat of the song.
Even though the event was arguably a success, much has to be said about the dubious choice of venue. As it was a rather huge downgrade from the previous prestige of Stadium Negara to a mere exhibition hall—the difference felt was rather jarring. It was honestly a sad sight to see a group as big as SEVENTEEN—both figuratively and literally—be on a stage that small. Known for their creative choreographies that fully manipulate the number of members they have, there was a clear compromise that needed to be made considering the space they were given.
Perhaps fans may say how they preferred the intimate venue over an actual stadium, but it certainly is food for thought in terms of what this trade off would mean. Regardless, if one ever gets an opportunity to witness the wonderment that is the truly talented 13 boys of SEVENTEEN—you run headfirst at it.
Review by Leyasheena Panicker.