Excited fans wielding regal scepter-shaped lighticks filled a huge line that wrapped around the Coca-Cola Roxy at Atlanta’s Truist Park as they waited to see LOONA on Aug. 23.
This summer LOONA, a 12-member K-pop girl group, embarked on their first world tour called “LOONATHEWORLD.”
The Atlanta stop on the tour was especially significant as it was added later on, after hundreds of disappointed fans requested more cities. Prior to the addition of the Atlanta show, the closest that southern fans could get to seeing their beloved group was in Kansas City, Mo.
The group debuted in 2018 but stood out from other groups by having each member be revealed one by one every month. Each member was also given their own single album and an accompanying music video, creating a lot of content and excitement for fans — also known as “Orbits” — to enjoy before LOONA’s official group debut.
Because the group is so large, they are split into three subunits: LOONA ⅓, ODD EYE CIRCLE and yyxy. Each unit has their own distinct sound and lore, which includes fantasy and even elemental motifs.
With nearly all K-pop concerts, there’s a certain sense of community that differs from other kinds of concerts. Prior to the start of the show, it is common to see people give each other freebies, which are little handmade gifts like keychains, stickers and photo cards made by fans to commemorate the experience.
Banners with pictures of the members accompanied by sweet messages to cheer the group on were handed out to Orbits so they could be seen by LOONA during their performance. Fans also brought in small homemade signs, plushies and other gifts to give to the girls.
The concert was general admission with some overhead seating, and while a majority of fans piled into the open space of general admission in front of the stage, it was very rewarding to watch from above.
K-pop choreographies are known to be very energetic and complex, and being able to see LOONA’s clean formations and transitions from above made the concert experience even more memorable.
The concert began with a compilation of imagery from LOONA’s previous music videos lighting up the large screen above the stage. Fans roared at the visuals, knowing that they were only moments away from seeing the group perform live.
Unfortunately not all the members were present at the show. Due to scheduling challenges, Chuu was not able to attend the tour at all and another member, Yeojin, had an arm injury but still sang from the side of the stage.
They came out in variations of all-white outfits, looking ethereal as they performed various hits like “Star” and “Butterfly.” Seeing the members dance together in sync — even with missing members — was a sight to behold. Along with their amazing dancing, there was no question that their live vocals were up to par with the recorded versions.
After spending a moment talking to Orbits and getting them excited for the rest of the show, the girls went backstage to switch outfits as a VCR, which are generally comedic, skit-like videos of the members, played to keep the audience entertained.
When the girls returned, they were in different variations of black and pink outfits, and had separated into their subunits. Instead of the established subunits, they were mixed for this tour — mostly likely to make up for the missing members and to try out something new.
LOONA changed again into beautiful red and black outfits with an edgy look to perform their more “girl crush” songs. In K-pop, “girl crush” refers to girl groups doing concepts that promote female empowerment through darker or more mature themes.
The group is known to thrive with very cute, whimsical and dreamlike concepts, but they are not afraid to explore different sounds or styles. That being said, it was incredible to see the duality of the girls when they performed these mature concepts in songs like “POSE”, “WOW“ and “PTT (Paint The Town).”
“POSE” was especially significant to see performed live, as it was performed by the group when they participated in the survival program “Queendom 2.” This song was created for the finale and after a lot of hard work from both the girls and fans, LOONA ranked second at the end of the show.
Overall, it was a memorable concert, with lots of energy, dancing and talent. It is understandable why Orbits like to promote the group with the iconic phrase “Stan LOONA.”
If you don’t stan LOONA, you definitely should check them out before they come back to Atlanta, with an even more powerful and captivating live performance.