SF9’s “2017 Be My Fantasy in USA” concluded in Boston, MA at the Wilbur Theatre. Here’s a recap of what went on the night of November 19, 2017 (Here’s a spoiler: it was full of hype, visuals, and unrivaled choreography.) SF9, FNC Entertainment’s first boy group, only debuted a little over a year ago, but they’ve already developed a strong international presence with appearances at KCON NY, KCON LA, and their Japanese debut. Their popularity and the devotion of their fans was evident. ‘Fantasies’, their name for their fans, braved the Boston winds and rain for hours, waiting outside for the concert with signs and banners of their biases tightly clutched. Anticipation only grew once fans had entered the venue. Fantasies sang along to songs from SF9’s album playing throughout the venue, with a lit banner of SF9 on stage setting the scene for the jams and explosive performances to come. When the lights went down and SF9 finally entered the stage in white, red, and black patterned jackets, black t-shirts, and styled hair, the crowd went wild. SF9 opened with their debut song Fanfare, fitting to open the night with its signature point choreography and powerful beats. Fans are hardly given a chance to rest before they smoothly transition into Roar, the lead single from their first mini album. Their performances were rife with hyped-up adlibs and fanservice – at one point, rapper Zuho took his jacket off, eliciting a large roar from fans. After the first two songs began the Q&A portion of the fanmeet, facilitated by the Subkulture host Danny Lim. Each member introduced themselves in English, with Jaeyoon, especially, eliciting a huge cheer from the crowd with a loud “Hi Boston!!!” SF9 wouldn’t be complete without a slew of puns. “I’m Boss,” said Youngbin, who then gestured to Inseong, “and he’s Ton.”
After this Q&A section, where the members discussed what they did in Boston, (Inseong and Dawon tried Boston’s famous lobster rolls, and Inseong made a reference to the Boston Red Sox in asking if anyone on stage was wearing red socks. To his disappointment, no one was.) the show progressed onto a segment in which each member showcased their individual charms. These charms were chosen by fans via a survey released by SubKulture prior to the US tour’s start – a fun, innovative, and interactive way to ensure that fans see the content that they want.
While leader Youngbin expressed confidence in both his dance and his rap, fans chose for him to showcase his dancing skills – amongst a powerful choreography that showed his sharp moves with Inseong and Jaeyoon to back him up, Youngbin also performed the infamous ‘Backpack Kid’ meme dance. Inseong, the ‘brain’ of the group, showcased his intellectual charm with a rapid-fire section of Boston trivia. In response to questions like “What state does Boston belong to?”, “Name three colleges or universities in the area”, and “What is the name of the venue in Boston?”, Inseong was endearingly stumped, but fans were eager to help him out and shout out the answers. Danny Lim then did a rollcall of fans from local colleges like Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts. There was a strong presence of Boston Fantasies!
Jaeyoon, the group’s ‘honey vocal’, showed off his voice to the fans with “Thunder” and “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. He was accompanied with Taeyang as a beatboxer and Inseong and Youngbin as backup dancers, showing SF9’s playful sides alongside his talent.
Speaking of SF9’s playful side, the king of hype and part of the group’s gagline Dawon was up next! He picked Chani, the group’s maknae, to play ‘Cham Cham Cham’ with. For those who don’t know, ‘Cham Cham Cham’ is a Korean game in which you try to avoid turning your head in the direction picked by your opponent. Dawon won best two out of three, meaning Chani faced the punishment of getting bonked on the head by a comically large blue toy hammer. Chani then asked to play the game one more time, and picked Hwiyoung, the second youngest, as his opponent. Their playfulness shows off the “Hwichan” friendship: Chani devilishly greeted Hwiyoung with the blue punishment hammer, and, after losing, Hwiyoung skillfully blocked the hammer with a small pot. Where did the pot come from? We don’t know, but we certainly enjoyed watching the youngest members of SF9 have fun on stage. The next member to showcase his charms was Rowoon, the visual of the group. Boldy, he gestures to fans: “Hey you. You. You. I love you,” he declared, and then sent big hearts and kisses to the crowd. Despite just demonstrating his charismatic charm, his confessions were immediately followed with a bashful “I’m so shy! Oh my god.” The duality of SF9’s “palm tree”, as coined by Inseong, definitely won over many Fantasies that night. Zuho, the group’s “sexy rapper”, showed off both his rapping and singing. Initially picking out a lucky fan in the crowd and rapping sensually to them, Zuho decided to establish himself as a multi-talented man and sing as well, showcasing his sweet vocals and husky tone with his part from the track “詩 ; 00:00 “. He apologized for being slightly sick (but it really only made his voice huskier, so of course Fantasies can’t complain). Taeyang, SF9’s main dancer, featured his powerful dance skills with girl group dances – namely, the infamous IOI track Very Very Very. SF9 established themselves as prime entertainers, with Dawon jumping out to perform an extremely extra version of the dance alongside Taeyang, and Rowoon making Taeyang perform the entire thing again – but this time with his back towards the audience, giving Fantasies a whole new view. This charms portion ended with Hwiyoung showcasing his soft rap with his part from “詩 ; 00:00 “, and maknae Chani showing off his wild charisma with a display of “kabedon” against Youngbin. Fantasies were certainly charmed by each individual member’s displays!
SF9 isn’t all just fun and games (despite the immense amount of fun they had just had). Almost like they felt the need to re-assert themselves and their dance prowess, the group smoothly transitioned into their two hardest and most innovative choreographies: K.O., and Jungle Game. K.O. features a rotating wheel made up of members in the song’s beginning and Jungle Game includes a ‘Transformer’ choreography, dances unrivaled in their creativity and power. SF9 then performed a cover of Austin Mahone’s ‘Dirty Work’, mixing in their playfulness with their powerful choreography and adding in plenty of fanservice. SF9 then went on to another segment of games, with the members pairing up to complete challenges like popping a balloon with a hug, an English tongue-twister, and telepathic jumprope, all within 90 seconds. Since SF9 only has nine members, that left one member to be paired up with a lucky fan from the audience, picked from a raffle ticket. The fan was greeted warmly by the group as she walked up to her partner for the challenge of catching a ball, even receiving a hug from Dawon! However, the group failed the first time around after Zuho and Inseong met trouble popping a balloon. On their second try, after switching around partners and choosing a new fan from the audience, they succeeded! The fan received a signed album, although she met some (cute!) difficulty trying to spell out her name to her partner, Hwiyoung. While she received her reward, the other members spent time signing balloons and tossing them out into the audience as keepsakes. Rowoon, Taeyang, and Jaeyoon even kissed one of the balloons before sending it out – however, much to the audience’s dismay, it was popped in the process of being caught. The members then left the stage to freshen up and quickly change outfits. In other stops of the Be My Fantasy tour, this intermission was taken up by a cute VCR of the members roleplaying boyfriends. Unfortunately, the Boston venue lacked a screen and projector, so Fantasies passed the time instead by listening to a recording of members’ favorite songs with added commentary. Unsurprisingly, their favorite songs are all SF9 songs: Youngbin likes ‘Fanfare’, Inseong likes ‘Jungle Game’, and Jaeyoon likes ‘Let’s Hang Out’, prefacing his choice with a sweet, “Fantasy, wanna hang out together?”. SF9’s “middle” line all likes songs from their latest album Knights of the Sun, with Dawon liking ‘Scold’, Rowoon liking ‘Blank’, and Zuho liking their title track ‘O Sole Mio’. Keeping with the self-promoting pattern, SF9’s youngest line also loves songs from their own discography. When SF9 finally took the stage once again, they were in red, fringe-covered jackets, lit up with orange lights for the energizing and fanservice-filled stage of ‘Let’s Hang Out’. They then transitioned into the title of their last album, ‘Easy Love’. Despite the song starting out on the slower side, the group’s sharp moves kept up the energy, with each movement augmented by the eye-catching flow of their fringe jackets.
All good times, however, must come to an end, and after a whirlwind of amazing choreography and playfulness the group had arrived at their ending ment. Wilbur Theatre was lit up by Fantasies all singing an early ‘Happy Birthday’ to Youngbin, born on November 23rd and adorned in a birthday hat given by a fan. Inseong also filmed the crowd saying “I love you, Inseong!” for a video. “We will come back again”, the group declared, with Youngbin sweetly telling everyone to “please go home safe.” The guitars of their latest title track and last song of the night ‘O Sole Mio’ then began, ending the concert with one last amazing performance. The members, full of love and reluctance to leave their Fantasies, spent a while taking selfies on fans’ phones and giving out hearts and kisses; Youngbin even teared up a little. And with that, SF9’s Be My Fantasy USA fanmeet tour came to an end – but, it marks a beginning of many things. SF9 is still only a rookie group, but they’ve already established themselves with a successful international tour. They can only go up from here, and they’ve proved they have the talent and ambition to go far. SF9’s tour was also praised by many for holding a show in Boston, since most K-Pop groups opt for New York as a Northeastern stop. However, the Boston K-Pop scene was just proven to be alive and well, and the success of this stop could be the gateway to Boston K-Pop fans getting even more content. A big thank you to SubKulture Entertainment for giving KpopStarz media coverage!