Finally! We got the chance to experience K-pop quartet WINNER (위너)’s headlining “Cross World Tour” concert held at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil over the weekend. Organised by iMe Media Group, this marked the group’s 2nd visit to our country following the success of their previous tour last year.

Local Inner Circles (WINNER’s fandom name) swarmed the concert venue as soon as the gate opened at 5pm. As they filled in the arena, the screen played a series of YG Entertainment group’s popular music videos – much to the delight of everyone.

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Soon after, the lights were dimmed as the opening video was played on screen. The 4 members of the group – Yoon, Jinu, Mino and Hoony – made their much-anticipated appearance on the main stage in an all-white ensemble. Without wasting any time, they opened the show with “Everyday” and “Love Me Love Me”.

“Guess who’s back? We are WINNER!” The group addressed the crowd in their official greeting. As the representative of the group, leader Yoon shared to the crowd their  excitement in coming back to KL. Fellow members also took the chance to show off their Malay language skills, especially Hoony, who referred to himself as Abang Hoony. “Saya rindukan awak (I missed you),” the 28-year-old told the fans.

The members then invited Inner Circles to visit their “Island”. They also came forward to the centre part of the stage while performing the tropical beat song to interact more with the crowd. They then proceeded with their 2017 hit “Really Really”, taken from the group’s 1st single album called “Fate Number For”. The lights went off as the group made their exit off stage.

A special montage video soon popped up on the LED screen. The short movie-style video showed the members taking on the role of a secret agent, as if they were gearing up to carry out a mission. Interestingly, they also had their own codename – Yoon as Beer, Jinu as Whiskey, Mino as Liquor and Hoony as allergy. The comedic clip was good enough to heat up the fans’ mood before the next segment started.

It didn’t take long before the boys finally made it on stage for the next session. This time around, they surprised fans with a surprise setlist – a string of their signature fast and uptempo tracks, namely “Dress Up,” “Mola” and “Special Night”. Die-hard Inner Circles went bananas as they sang and dance along to the jams.

Moving on to the next part of their setlist, WINNER took to the main stage as they performed their more mellowed and laid back tunes. “We need to you to sing this together with us, KL,” Yoon was quoted as saying. The boys then mesmerised everyone with their flawless live vocals during their take on “Different”, “Have A Good Day” as well as “OMG” and “Raining”. The boys then took us back to 2014 with their chart-topping debut song “Empty”. And with that, the 2nd session had come to an end.

The appearance of Hoony on stage marked the beginning of the members’ solo stages. Decked in a Matador-inspired outfit, the rapper opened the session with a sizzling take on “Flamenco”. He then brushed off his Latino alter ego and proceeded with an energetic performance of “Serenade”, as he danced and sang his heart out to the fast-paced number. Next came Jinu, who appeared in the middle of the stage performing his solo song “Call Anytime”. With a special appearance from fellow member Mino, the two exchanged playful and cute interactions as the song went on, leaving the crowd in awe.

The spotlight then went to powerhouse vocalist Yoon, performing a song that was familiar with fans who have been following him since his first debuted in the industry – “Instinctively”. The song felt personal, as he revealed to the crowd that he actually came to Kuala Lumpur 10 years back to meet his first manager – who was in attendance. And the first ever song that he sang was “Instinctively”. He then continued with his next song “Wind”. Last but not least, Mino took the centre stage with his upbeat take on his own songs “I’m Him”, “Trigger” as well as the smash hit “Fiance”. The last 2 songs were taken from his debut studio album “XX” (2018).

The 4 of them finally reunited on stage following Mino’s impressive hip hop numbers, performing “Boom”. The groovy number is taken from their 2nd EP “We” (2019). Being a chatterbox that he usually is, Yoon then asked everyone to stomp their feet and clap their hands, as the boys performed their last song for the segment, “Movie Star”. They then waved goodbye as they exited the stage to prepare for the next stage.

The next VCR was more serious, as the members talked about the process of creating their recent album “Cross”, their passion in producing music, as well as their hopes as artists. After that, the boys came back on stage performing the title track from their new album called “So So”. They then took it up another notch with another bombastic performance of the song “Don’t Be Shy”. Hoony even went down and partied with the crowd in the Cross seating area.

However, a minor technical glitch unexpectedly happened as Mino’s microphone wasn’t able to function. As the crews hurried up and made their way to find a replacement mic, leader Yoon ensured all the fans in attendance that things were fine. In doing so, he came out with his own idea in hyping up the crowd. He pointed at Mino’s auto tune microphone. “Why don’t we sing and rap in Malay language with an auto tune voice,” Yoon said to his members, much to fans’ approval.

As we reached the end of the night, fans were asked to get to their feet for the next few songs; which were all powerhouse upbeat tracks. Starting off strong with their 2018 hit song “Millions”, the chilled dance numbers “Ah Yeah” and “Immature”, and last but not least, the ultimate party theme, “La La”. Serving jams after jams, Inner Circles in attendance had found themselves immersed in the atmosphere – dancing along to the beat of the night.

As the boys made their way out from the stage, a number of Inner Circles started singing the chorus of “Millions”. The cycle repeated for a few moments until a countdown video played on the rectangular screen. Surprise! Surprise! The members appeared on the LED screen, signaling that they were ready for the encore stage. They then continued with the performances of their songs “Hello” and “Zoo”.

This show indeed was a special one for leader Yoon. In this case, Inner Circles who came to the event had planned to celebrate his 27th birthday! “Today is not my birthday!” the Busan-born singer remarked. He was then surprised with a cake gifted by fans. He then spontaneously responded by saying, “Today is my birthday!” They then sang the birthday song in Korean and English. He was also teased by his fellow members as he thanked the fans for the early celebration.

Following that, it was time for the members to say their last words to the crowd in attendance, which got everyone emotional. Amidst the thanks and mentions of keeping promises and returning again stronger than ever, member Jinu was seen holding back his tears, as he described the Inner Circles as the true hero for the night.

Meanwhile, Hoony managed to lighten up the situation by referring to them as his “sayang” (loves). “Seronok tak hari ini? (Was it fun today?)”  he asked the crowd, before continuing, “I had a lot of fun today. Looking forward to see you guys again. Sampai jumpa lagi (See you later).” WINNER then ended the show with a bang with the encore special performances of “Really Really”, “La La” and “Every Day”. And with that, the concert was finally over.

 

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Early birthday party with KLICs🎉 Thank u for everything🙏🏻 I will never forget todays KL😭 thank y’all ICs💙 #winnercrosstourinKL

A post shared by KANGSEUNGYOON (@w_n_r00) on

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All in all, WINNER managed to serve us with their triple threat appeal on stage. They were effortlessly cute, charming as well as charismatic in their live performances, which had left Inner Circles wanting for more. Till next time!

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Syahrul Ramadan
Graduated with a major in K-pop studies... (lol jk 😆)