K-POP Down Under

Beth S (Year 12)

You may have heard that one of the most popular K-pop girl-group’s has recently visited Australia, but if you haven’t, here’s all the details! 

Before we start though, the summary I received from my younger sister was “I love Jeongyeon,” so do with that what you will. 

First, let’s get to know TWICE! 

TWICE, as aforementioned, is currently one of the biggest girl-groups of the K-pop industry. After debuting under JYP Entertainment in 2015, through the survival show ‘Sixteen’, the 9-member group has racked up millions of streams and MV views, topping Korean charts, and recently ranking highly on various Billboard charts. They have received a multitude of awards, from both Korean and International organisations, spanning back over their releases of albums and singles. Just this year, they received the Breakthrough Artist award at the Billboard Women in Music, the first K-pop girl group to do so.  

The group is comprised of 9 members, who each specialise in certain aspects of the group (Singing, dancing, rapping etc – for more details, see my ‘K-pop for dummies’ article!). The group’s leader is Jihyo, who looks after the other members’ wellbeing, and aims to ensure the group is continuing to meet the expectations of their company and fans. The other members (in age order) are: Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. One thing that makes TWICE unique is their Japanese line: Sana, Momo and Mina.  

TWICE’s name means ‘double appeal’, and they are affectionately known in Korea as ‘the nation’s girl group.’ Their fandom is named ONCE, which TWICE announced in 2015, saying, “If you love us even once, we will repay your love with twice of our love.” Their lightstick (a sort of group-specialised expensive glow-stick) is called the Candy Bong, (the most recent edition is the Candy Bong Infinity) which derives its name from one of TWICE’s first tracks from their debut mini-album ‘The Story Begins’, which is titled, ‘Candy Boy,’ as well as the Korean word for lightstick, which is ‘eungwonbong’ (The Candy Bong Infinity gained its name from this, as well as TWICE’s promise that TWICE and their fans ONCE are for infinity).  

‘Ready to Be’ marks TWICE’s 5th World tour, and their first visit to Australia. The Australian leg included 4 dates in total; 2 at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena (May 2nd and 3rd) and 2 at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena (May 6th and 7th). The Sydney set list contained 29 songs in total, including 9 solo performances – 1 by each member – a medley of title tracks, various other songs, and an interesting encore featuring a spinning wheel to pick the songs. 

The night opened with their title track ‘Set Me Free’ of the mini-album ‘Ready to be’, namesake of the tour, and featured songs dating back to their debut, including “Like OOH-AHH’, their debut song (so from 20th of October, 2015). 

Personally, one of my favourite parts was the solo stages, where each member performed a cover, with some performing original songs written and composed themselves. The order of these covers were (excluding a few group performances): 

  1. Dahyun (piano acoustic cover) – ‘Try’, by Colbie Caillat 
  1. Tzuyu – ‘Done For Me’, by Charlie Puth 
  1. Sana – ‘New Rules’, by Dua Lipa 
  1. Momo – ‘Move’, by Beyonce  
  1. Mina – ‘7 Rings’, by Ariana Grande 
  1. Chaeyoung – ‘My Guitar’, original 
  1. Jihyo – ‘Nightmare’, original 
  1. Jeongyeon – ‘Juice’, by Lizzo 
  1. Nayeon – ‘POP!’, original, released as the title track of her first solo mini-album, IM NAYEON, in 2022. 

Another interesting feature was TWICE’s dance cam. I’ve been to two JYP Entertainment concerts so far (TWICE and Straykids), and both have had this section of the concert. Almost like the well-known ‘kiss-cam’ the camera pans around the audience, before settling on an individual or group, who have to dance to whichever of TWICE’s (or Straykids’ at their concert) songs, attempting the official choreography of the group. This is super engaging for everyone, I think, as it looks like everyone in the arena is dancing the choreography they know and supporting the people on the camera! 

Overall, the concert was highly engaging, and I’m sure ONCE are greatly looking forward to future Australia concerts. After all, TWICE did promise they would be back!