The cold winter night of August 9 in Melbourne was quickly warmed up by ATEEZ, rocking their first ever concert in Australia. The super-rookie group brought their The Expedition Tour to Margaret Court after selling out shows in Europe and the USA.
Despite only being nine months old, the eight-member group has successfully toured the USA and Europe before stepping onto Australian ground. Australian ATINY’s were buzzing and singing along with the background music anxiously waiting for the boys to take stage. I, too, was curious what this rookie group was about to offer.
Just after 7pm, ATEEZ hit us with a bang with fan favourites: ‘Pirate King’, ‘Treasure’, and ‘Desire’. ATINY’s immediately reacted with even louder fan-chants and cheers to complement the boys’ sharp and clean choreography.
ATEEZ introduced themselves to the crowd, and to my surprise, several members are quite fluent in the english language. It was also great seeing the amount of effort put into speaking in English, so the members could connect to fans directly without using the translator on site. San even did some prior research into some Aussie slang for the members to guess what it meant. The whole group was caught up deciphering: “while I was having brekkie at Macca’s this morning, my Aussie friend gave me a choccie bikkie for Chrissie pressie”, which was a great fan interaction activity. The boys also learnt the Australian classic, chanting “AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE (OI OI OI)” whenever they were given the chance to, throughout the night.
To make the night even more memorable, fans got the chance to sing Mingi a Happy Birthday (since the night of the concert overlapped with the rapper’s birthday). Mingi later thanked fans for the opportunity to celebrate his birthday together, and for showering them all with so much love.
A pleasant surprise was MADDOX’s guest performance bringing in some calming RNB and clean high notes after ATEEZ’s intense choreography segment. The crowd reacted positively to the fellow KQ Entertainment artist who was thankful to be able to be apart of ATEEZ’s tour.
It was time to add some fun and colour into the night with ATEEZ back with ‘Illusion’, ‘WAVE’, ‘Aurora’ and ‘Twilight’. The lighthearted beats were perfectly accompanied with some aegyo into their choreography, showcasing their energy and youth.
The members took up the challenge of going through some fan tweets, which included performing a cute version of ‘Hala Hala’, and the members giving us their best shot of a “G-day mate!”. Their random play dance segment was definitely a crowd favourite, covering hits such as EXO’s ‘Love Shot’, ITZY’s ‘Dalla Dalla’, Chungha’s ‘Gotta Go’, Block B’s ‘HER’, and the very popular ‘Baby Shark’.
The night reached its peak with the performance of ‘Hala Hala’, ‘Promise’, and ‘Say My Name’ which fans left fans chanting and dancing. This was further enhanced with rounds of fireworks, streamers, and confetti.
One big disappointing incident of the night was an audio malfunction during their pre-encore performance of ‘Utopia’. Visually flustered, the eight-member group panicked to find their place and struggled to follow through with what seemed to be non-functional ear pieces. That being said, during this time of crisis, main vocalist Jongho was quick to shine through, showing his stable vocals, and successfully leading the group back to where they needed to be.
‘Dancing Like Butterfly Wings’ was a very clever choice as the last song for the night. The song was beautifully comforting, making you forget the hiccup that happened before the encore. Their fluid and graceful choreography as well as the boys having fun and enjoying the stage one last time before they take a bow and bid goodbye to Melbourne ATINY’s.
One thing I really loved about seeing ATEEZ was that spark of joy in their eyes; the look of pure bliss, and their love for the stage; that refreshing feeling of seeing a rookie group come and show how much energy they have to offer; how nervous they are when mishaps occur; how thankful they are to be able to perform on a big stage.
There was a few situations throughout the night; which included Seonghwa being on and off stage due to being unwell, but overall I was thoroughly impressed. For a rookie group that is only nine-months old, they may have been a bit rocky with handling an audio glitch, but they bought nothing but passion, energy and fun to the stage.
I loved the diversity of this group, not only in terms of music genre, but also each members vocal tones. Safe to say I will look forward to ATEEZ’s future comeback and hope they will return to Melbourne soon with eight healthy members!