A FUN RIDE: The ‘Astro 2016 Mini Live: Thankx Aroha’ Review

It all started with “let’s try to get tickets” and the rest, as they say, was history.

The three concert dates for “Astro Mini Live Concert: Thankx Aroha” were all sold out in a matter of minutes— a great feat for a group who just debuted this year. Concert ticket (first floor!) and plane ticket booked, and we’re back to a concert whirlwind in Korea. The venue was quite tricky to go to; I was fortunate enough to have a friend who’s familiar with the venue to go with me. I lined up at the merchandise line when I noticed fans running everywhere—fansite owners were giving away photo prints and fans! One fansite owner was kind enough to go to the merchandise line and give away banners of the member she supports.

ASTRO banner and light stick we used during the concert.

ASTRO banner and light stick we used during the concert.

Having experienced a more hellish merchandise line, this one was not as long. The downside was, we were limited to buy only an ample amount of merchandise (only two lightsticks, and one each of the banners). I lined up again to buy for my friends but some merchandise began selling out almost immediately. With the disappointment of not getting enough merchandise for friends still hanging on air, we finally managed to go inside the hall.

Okay, ready!

It was a theater-like venue, none of the grand venues that I was used to. It felt very intimate in a way, and it was probably what Astro was aiming for. Lights off, light stick on, and the show finally started. A cute VCR from the members upped the anticipation, then finally, Astro came out and performed the opening song “Ok! 준비 완료” followed by a remix of their debut song “숨바꼭질.” Everybody was on a high after that performance, chanting every fanchant, quite naturally too. The members introduced themselves one by one—Rocky, Jinjin, Eunwoo, Moon Bin, MJ, and Sanha—and they were all energized by the fans. After performing some of their non-title tracks from their two mini-albums, the boys talked about how they’re reminiscing about their past, and how they’ve gone far since doing their “monthly dates*.” With this, Astro performed some of the cover dances they have done during their pre-debut days like BTS’ “쩔어” and Big Bang’s “Good Boy.”

A Good Surprise

Astro wanted to do something different for this mini live—and they did. Donned in long wigs and pink skirts, the members went out and performed an interesting rendition of girl group dances. They started with Apink’s “Mr. Chu,” followed by Twice’ “Cheer Up” (which was danced so well by Bin, if I might add), and lastly Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb.” Rocky made it more fun by flexing his arm during “Dumb Dumb” at which everybody laughed. The boys wore their white shirts with their girl names on them, sticking by those names until they had to do the next set.

True to the concert title, they really did every single performance with their fans in mind. They performed most of their original songs, did cover dances, and even did special performances while playing musical instruments. It was an unforgettable night where each one of us went home with more than just memories to remember the night as (I even went home with a candy thrown by Eunwoo himself!).

The candy I got from Eunwoo!

The candy I got from Eunwoo!

Watching these young rookies perform for almost two hours, they really seemed like they’ve been in the industry for years. They performed everything live and danced like they truly belong on stage and nowhere else. I look forward to watching Astro’s growth as artists and as men.

*Astro held “monthly dates” or performances before their debut. The last one was in December 2015 (12월 눈꽃 데이이트) when they announced which month they will finally be debuting.

Written by Aya Ople

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