OnlyOneOf entices and excites Park West

The line outside Park West was separated into four tiers, but they all had one thing in common: LyOns left the cubs at home for this concert.

LyOns waiting outside Park West (Source)

The four tiers – VVIP, VIP, T3 and T4 – denoted not only extra perks, but also access to the venue. The two VIP tiers were treated to a hi-touch with the group as well as a group photo, the top two tiers only separated by a fan sign held hours before the event. Some fans walked up and down the line to hand out freebies: pictures of the members, homemade beaded bracelets and pride flags of every color passed out to a line that stretched down the block and around the building. There was no difference between waiting to meet the group or waiting for a spot at the back of the balcony. LyOns were just excited to see their favorite K-pop group perform.

And perform OnlyOneOf did: from the beginning of “seOul drift,” the crowd roared from tops of their lungs. With chocolate-colored leather outfits and fire in their eyes, the K-pop band exploded onto the stage with unfettered determination. They performed as if it could be their last show ever, despite a minimum of eight cities left to visit. “Gaslighting” was another standout, with a sinister beat and sexually-charged choreography fans lost themselves in with every synchronized chest pop.

One of the best performances of the night came from KB, whose performance of his solo track “be free” showcased way more than his impressive physique. The guitar line bounces and flows with the husky silk of his voice singing seductive lyrics like “oh my god, your smell” and “I just want to taste your lips.” Highlighted by a charming dance number with Yoojung, whose solo song “begin” ties in with KB’s sunshine in a bottle performance showcased a level of class of and showmanship more evocative of a classic entertainer than an idol.

Nine displayed a sensual solo performance with his song “beyOnd.” If the performance wasn’t already hypnotizing due to his smoky voice and Hershey bar abs, bringing Mill onstage for some incredibly suggestive floor work undoubtedly left the front row in shambles. Both solo performances incorporated the rest of the members as de facto backup dancers as a delightful way to keep the entire group onstage while featuring the members’ solo tracks from the undergrOund idOl singles.

A very close second for the best performance of the night was “skinz.” The direct successor to “libidO,” “skinz” is a plea for honesty and vulnerability steeped in desire. With production, it’s an ear worm. I’m also a sucker for any choreography that includes Mill jumping over other members.

Undoubtedly, the show-stopper was always going to be their breakout 2021 track “libidO,” a dark anthem to unapologetic sexuality with a mysterious and forbidden vibe. Even if you don’t speak Korean, it’s effortless to understand when the band prowls towards the crowd on their hands and knees or sing lines in English like “want you to sing on my body” and “leave it to libido.” The Korean lyrics are even more explicit, some translating to “your teeth it’s like a fantasy” and “when I see you I can’t breathe, my pupils expand.” Even with the tight production and slick vocals, the song maintains a rawness that allows “libidO” to maintain a dangerous edge.

When they returned to the stage for their encore, they were much more casually dressed. Donning tour t-shirts and jeans, they surprised fans by ending the show with “blOssOm” instead of “a sOng Of ice and fire.” Not that is was an unwelcome change as a bright song explicitly for and about LyOns. After a snapshot session with the members, fans waited outside the venue to see OnlyOneOf off in their tour bus. Even then, interactions with the group were as genuine through tinted windows as they were in the venue.

These “Pick-a-Pose Snapshot” tickets were exchanged for Polaroids with fans’ chosen member(s)

As they drove away from Park West, I couldn’t imagine a better ending to the evening.

The remaining dates for OnlyOneOf’s Grand America World Tour can be found here. All photos have been taken by Penny Rae Hawkins and edited by Jonathan Knoell unless otherwise noted.

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