Live Review: MONSTA X – International Convention Centre, Sydney (05.06.19)

A cold winter’s night in Sydney is no match for the love fans have for their favourite artists, and Wednesday night proved this with the arrival of MONSTA X for their We Are Here tour.

This is the group’s second time in Australia, having been a featuring artist at KCON last year in Sydney, and it was interesting to see what they would bring next.

As the lights dimmed, the fanlights turned on and the screams got louder, MONSTA X slowly emerged on stage to perform three of their title tracks, ‘Shoot Out’, ‘Hero’ and ‘Trespass’. A short intro later, they performed a few more tracks, including ‘Play It Cool’, a collaboration with famed producer Steve Aoki. While they performed the Korean version of the smash-song, the audience was later treated to Jooheoni’s short English rap, a feature in the English release.

After a few more songs, it was time for the boys to head off stage to quickly change and prepare for their next performances. During this interlude, the audience was treated to a special segment of Montube, which featured each of the members performing different Youtube-style videos. We were taught English, stretching techniques, fashion ideas, and were even treated to a special round of Mukbang ASMR; the VCR was incredibly entertaining that for a moment I forgot that we were waiting on the actual group to arrive back on stage.

After Montube ended, we were treated to 3 unit stages, the first being a unit comprised of Kihyun, Minhyuk and Hyungwon in a very smooth and charismatic performance. The second, and my personal favourite, featuring I.M and Jooheoni, was a rap song that brought an even tougher side to the already tough group, and featured a drum solo by Jooheonie in the middle. The third, comprised of Shownu and Wonho, made creative use of the stage to create a partner dance together.

With the special unit stages having been completed, the group came back together in matching shorts to perform some fan-focused songs that brought a lot of love and sweetness to the stage, before going back to another video while the group were backstage. Whereas the first video of Montube was cute and engaging, this video left the audience on edge as it represented the group as the 7 Deadly Sins, with a slight twist at the end. A few darker songs later and MONSTA X were back to their title tracks, performing ‘Dramarama’ before moving along to more ‘hype’ songs, my personal favourite being ‘FALLIN’ since it showed the group in their most natural and fun state, running around the stage and interacting with each other and the audience.

Before long, it was the end of another concert, but the audience wasn’t ready for it to be over yet, chanting for MONSTA X until they emerged again for an encore, starting with a performance by Hyungwon in his DJ element as DJ H.ONE. To be completely honest, I didn’t have massive expectations for this segment, having seen quite a number of mediocre DJ’s in my days, however, listening to his set, Hyungwon truly has immeasurable talent for DJ-ing. A couple songs later, it was really time for MONSTA X to go, and with a bow to the audience, the night was finished.

Honestly, for someone who only knew MONSTA X from a few of their songs she had seen her friends dance to, I did not know what to expect when walking into the show. But MONSTA X delivered what was promised to the fans and even more. Each member was not afraid to get up close and personal with fans, and put themselves outside their comfort zones for the sake of Monbebes. It was also evident that MONSTA X do truly love performing on stage, having put an incredible amount of energy into their performances, choreography and singing. Joy is something that is impossible to fake to the audience, but MONSTA X truly have joy performing on stage for their fans, and I left the night feeling very satisfied and excited for the next stage of MONSTA X.

MONSTA X proved themselves to be amazing artists that night, with energetic and complex choreography and a very distinct sound. As they continue with their world tour, I would personally be very interested in how they would be received should they try a different type of sound for their next title track.

Photos Courtesy of Starship Entertainment