Live Review: SEVENTEEN ‘Shining Diamonds’ Fanmeet – Big Top Luna Park, Sydney (28.08.16)

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It’s been two weeks since SEVENTEEN’s Shining Diamonds fan-meeting in Sydney and we’re still talking about it! If you’re still suffering from the post-show blues then look no further, because we’re about to go on a two-week trip down memory lane and re-live the ever-so-shining night!

SEVENTEEN fans, known as ‘Carats‘, had been sleeping over at the fan-meeting’s location – The Big Top, Luna Park – since the day before the event to ensure a spot close to the stage. One would think that after spending the night outside one might feel exhausted, but from the very moment the doors opened and fans began to fill up the concert hall the atmosphere was unbelievable! Sydney Carats continued to grow more and more excited with every whisper of ‘slip into the diamond life!‘ and harmony of ‘Seventeen!’ which played instead of music for the most part of the pre-show waiting period. While I do usually enjoy singing along as I wait for a show to begin, I think that this was actually a very interesting decision and definitely turned out for the better – what better way is there to enter a concert hall than to be welcomed by the sound of your favourite singers’ harmonies?

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After a twenty-minute delay – which was easily looked past thanks to the music videos playing on a huge screen behind the stage – the fanmeeting’s opening video began to play. It was an Instagram-themed music video for ‘Love Letter’ and featured the thirteen members playing on a beach, inside photobooths, on a bus and doing perfect hairflicks after a swim in the pool. The song ended and with three minutes to go before the start of the fan-meeting, Sydney Carats began passionately chanting “SEVENTEEN, SEVENTEEN!” before being met with the ‘Adore U’ music video.

Throughout this pre-concert portion as well as the actual fan-meeting itself I witnessed something I had yet to see to this extent at a K-Pop concert: fans dancing along to the entire chorus! I’ve seen singing, and I’ve seen occasional dance moves, but this was the first time I had seen such a large portion of the standing fans following the choreography. With SEVENTEEN being well-known as a performance group, it may be safe to say ‘like idol, like fans’! I’d also like to take this moment to give a quick shout-out to everyone who committed to singing DK‘s “Baby, you are my… angel!” line. Those (unintentional) harmonies did not go unnoticed, and I genuinely hope that DK himself could hear it from backstage!

Everything next happened so suddenly – there was darkness, and suddenly there was a burst of silver confetti and SEVENTEEN appeared standing in a line on the stage while Carats cheered so loud I genuinely began to worry for my sense of hearing! After a powerful performance of ‘Shining Diamonds’, Jeonghan is so excited during the group introduction that he’s jumping around and Seungkwan doesn’t waste a moment before raving about how he already wants to come to Australia again. The second song, ‘Chuck’, is performed under a deep red light. One of the common concerns with K-Pop groups who have more members than average is the fear of the stage appearing cramped, but the thirteen members of SEVENTEEN showed their professionalism right from the start of the concert in effortlessly making use of the entire stage.

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This leads us to the first talk segment. Joshua is our main MC for the concert today, though Seungkwan comments that he thinks Joshua looks more like an elementary school teacher. Our MC/elementary school teacher explains that the members are split into two groups based on their position on the stage, and whichever group gets the loudest applause gets to go first in the upcoming Q&A segment of the fan-meeting. This, of course, lead to a hilarious battle of who-can-charm-Carats-the-most!

Joshua: I think we all know which side won…
Mingyu: Thank you, thank you!
Joshua: …Jeonghan!

The Q&A was made up of questions and requests submitted by fans. Some of the highlights included: DK and Woozi dancing the waltz before the latter somehow ended up being carried bridal-style while Joshua commented that the members don’t seem to know what the waltz is; the vocal line’s rap battle about Australia (which included gold such as “I’m a stranger. Power Ranger!” from DK and “Your rap is like the Harbour Bridge!” from Seungkwan); and Wonwoo‘s secret vocal skills being revealed through his cover of Park Hyoshin’s ‘Memories Resemble Love’.

The boys then jumped straight back into concert-mode with ‘Popular Song’, ‘Drifting Away’, ‘Still Lonely’, ‘Q&A’, and finally a video of ‘You’re Pretty’ began to play as the boys hurried off-stage to changed their outfits. They quickly returned looking very smart in black and white suits and put on a wonderful performance of their debut song ‘Adore U’.

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The second talk segment has Joshua presented with MC cards and an official MC microphone with an attached label for his name in pink. He informs us that we’re going to be playing some games, and the group split into their three units: vocal unit, performance unit, and hip-hop unit. The game is charades: an image appears on the big screen, and each unit has to take turns with one member at a time attempting to explain the image using body language. There are five images per team, and the team who gets through all five images in the shortest amount of time wins! Hoshi is the first person to act out the charades for the performance team… and the only person, because his teammates can’t guess what he’s trying to express until the very last second, earning them only one point out of five! Dino firmly believes that their team would have won if only Hoshi had done the impression properly. Meanwhile, Hoshi complains of the production crew giving the other teams far too easy images and continues to make hilarious claims of a conspiracy.

The group return with a performance of ‘Manse’, and once again I was able to witness the wonderful moment where almost every fan dances along to the windy tree/waving hand/praising hand motion choreography of which there is probably a fantastic name that I am frustrated I do not know. ‘Pretty U’ is up next, followed by the final song, ‘Very NICE’. Except we all know that it’s not really the final song, and the boys hurry off the stage to get ready for the encore! In the meantime a video of their trainee days plays on the screen, followed by a video of the group receiving their first win on a music show. A photo of SEVENTEEN with their fans appears alongside the caption ‘You are my healing’, and the boys appear again to sing ‘Healing’ while throwing autographed plastic balls to fans. The second encore song is ‘Love Letter’, and it’s beginning to sink in that this really is the end of the fan-meeting – so more confetti appears to brighten the atmosphere!

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The members individually say their goodbyes, with Vernon and Joshua both mentioning how that had always wanted to visit Sydney because of the movie Finding Nemo. Hoshi then takes the opportunity to make a joke that he can make nowhere else in the world: “Australia in Korean is ho-ju. I’m Ho-shi! He is beaming at the warm response and after the members have finished saying their goodbyes they turn around to take a group photo with Sydney Carat.

This was my second time watching SEVENTEEN perform live, and I can definitely say that they own every stage they step on. They make full use of every inch of the stage and always manage to put on a musical-like performance with choreography just as engaging as their songs are catchy. Thank you for being our healing, SEVENTEEN! See you next time!

Photos by Johnny Au