Monsta X continues to rock the K-pop world!
The talented boy group from Starship Entertainment is currently on their “We Are Here” tour in the U.S. with concerts being held in multiple cities from Chicago to Los Angeles. On July 30th, the group performed at the famous Fox Theater in Atlanta— thus becoming the first K-pop group to ever perform at the important landmark.
Recently signed to Epic Records, a major record label under Sony Music Entertainment, they joined the family of artists at the company that includes people like Camila Cabello, DJ Khaled, Zara Larsson, and Mariah Carey. The group is also being managed in the U.S. by Eshy Gazit, the person who was responsible for a large portion of BTS‘s success and exposure in the U.S.
With great vocals, fierce rap skills, strong dances, and funny, adorable personalities that have gained the group fans from around the world, it’s no wonder Monsta X is poised to be the next hit K-pop group in the U.S. In fact, the group is currently on their promotional tour as well, making stops at shows like “Good Morning America” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” thus proving that mainstream American audiences have sufficient space in their hearts for more than one K-pop group.
As the lights for the Atlanta concert dimmed and a video began to play across the screen, the sold-out venue began to roar with unbelievable screams and cheers. It’s already known among the fans (known as Monbebes) that Atlanta is a city that adores Monsta X— this is the third sold-out concert of Monsta X in Atlanta over the past few years. Yet, just when we believed the screams couldn’t grow any more deafening, the members of the group made their appearance onstage and went straight into their hit song “Shoot Out.” As they walked into the view of everyone in the venue with their sparkling, gold and black outfits, the cheers grew so loud that it was almost impossible to hear the music.
With the high energy and strength that Monsta X has become known for in their live performances, the group gave it their all in the opening sequence that lasted for several songs before the group was finally able to take a breather. Despite the fact that the group has been on their “We Are Here” tour consistently since the beginning of June— traveling through Asia, Europe, and South America before coming to the U.S.— their energy didn’t seem to lag at all, nor did their performances ever seem anything less than perfect. As such, we can almost guarantee their performances will continue just as strongly after their U.S. concerts as the group heads to Japan to continue their tour— a country in which they have already made their Japanese language debut and continuously sell out multiple shows.
Throughout the night, the group continued to deliver great performances of both classic and new songs such as “Trespass,” “Jealousy,” “Mohae,” and “Dramarama.” In addition, they also performed special stages as soloists or units. Hyungwon, who is also a popular DJ in Korea, performed for the audience as DJ H.ONE (his DJ name). Meanwhile, Minhyuk, Kihyun, and Hyungwon performed together in their own smooth cover of Bazzi’s “Myself.” Shownu and Wonho captivated the audience in their dance special of “Mirror,” and Joohoney and I.M set the stage on fire with their outrageously epic rap performance of “Sambakja.”
The energy from both the crowd and the stage never died, coming to an even bigger frenzy with the group performed their English-language hit “Who Do U Love?” featuring Epic Records labelmate French Montana. The group also performed the recent collaboration track they recorded with famous producer Steve Aoki.
During stage or costume changes, fans were still kept engaged and entertained with various videos of the members. One of fans’ favorite moments was a video where each of the members became the instructor in their own area of “expertise.” I.M taught English, Minhyuk talked about K-beauty products, Wonho taught the audience how to exercise and stretch in their seats, and more. In fact, the video highlighted the contrasting duality of the group for which they have become known among fans. Not only are they fierce performers with hard-hitting music, they are also sweet and down-to-earth people in real life.
Performing almost 25 songs throughout the night, Monsta X treated fans to a lengthy concert that never failed to keep the audience’s attention on the stage. The only downside of the night is when member Wonho gave fans a scare when performing in one of the final numbers of the night While dancing strongly during the song “Alligator,” he appeared to have injured his shoulder and even fell to the floor in pain. Ever the professional, he quickly got up in time to finish the final few steps of the dance and strike the ending pose before the lights dimmed and members Joohoney and Minhyuk helped him off the stage.
Despite a slight pause in the show, the members soon came out on stage once more to sing the final few numbers. Even Wonho joined them as well, although he treated his arm with care by keeping it immobile as he tucked his hand in his pocket. Despite his obvious pain, fans knew that Wonho— who is famous within the fandom for never wanting to disappoint Monbebes— professionally finished the night. The next day, fans were relieved to see him looking much improved in the airport as he traveled to the next city on the tour, even carrying his own travel bag with the injured arm.
Already an immensely popular K-pop group around the globe, Wonho’s actions were just one example of why Monsta X’s hard-working attitude and professional behavior are part of what is guaranteed to make them a huge hit with mainstream American audiences as well. Provided they are given the right support and opportunities, we’re convinced that Monsta X will see no limits to their career in the U.S., especially now that they have signed to Epic Records.
As fans of K-pop and supporters of the Korean music industry, we know that becoming famous in the U.S. is not the be-all, end-all marker of success for a Korean artist. However, it’s undeniable that breaking into the American music scene is almost a guarantee that Monsta X’s music will reach a broader audience and ultimately gain them the global recognition and respect their music and talent most definitely deserves.
Have you gone to a show from Monsta X’s current “We Are Here” tour? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1!
Media: Elizabeth Bruce for WTK
*Many thanks to Monsta X, Powerhouse Entertainment, and Epic Records for allowing us to attend the concert in Atlanta.