This review features spoilers. (You have been warned).
The majority of SEVENTEEN's 2021 has seen the mega-group release music under the banner of their Power of Love project, which includes EPs Your Choice, Attacca and unit single 'Bittersweet'. The group have already graced online screens worldwide in their INCOMPLETE concert which broadcast in January 2021, and in the ultimate celebration of their multi-million selling success this year they put on yet another show on the 14th, 18th and 21st of this month, called the 'Power', 'Japan' and 'Love' versions of the concert.
Unable to catch the show? These are five of our favorite moments...
1) Three days, three different set lists, and a reminder of the depth of the group's discography.
Fans (known as CARATs) who bought tickets to all three shows were treated to different set lists, outfits and stages every single time. Whilst the first nine, last five and encore songs were the same, the rest of the group's 26-strong set list was completely unpredictable. It was a reminder of the group's creative flexibility, as well as the reams of great tracks they've put out over the years. A special highlight came by way of their performance of the track 'あいのちから(Power Of Love)', their upcoming Japanese single.
2) The absence of members Jun and The8 was unmistakeable, yet handled beautifully.
Chinese members Jun and The8 have been temporarily absent from the group since October in order to fulfil work commitments and see their families in China. SEVENTEEN have long held the reputation of having flawless choreographies and all their thirteen-member songs the were re-adapted as if they had always been eleven member dances.
Yet, the absence of performance unit stages (the unit to which both Jun and The8 belong), both members showing up at the beginning of each concert to send a message to the group and CARATs, as well the first ever performance of 'Network Love' which saw Joshua and Vernon perform with Jun and The8's prerecording, all stood as reminders of their importance in the group. We can't help but look forward to their return in 2022.
3) 13 members might seem like a lot on paper, but is a strength in SEVENTEEN's hands.
An argument long held by CARATs against those who might claim 13 members is a few too many has been that so many members is the reason that all three units in the group (Hip-Hop, Performance, Vocal) are strong enough to be individual groups in their own right. This concert proved them right and then some: the unit stages in the concert were all highlights, especially as all these units switched up tracks and outfits every performance.
Mingyu and Wonwoo brought all the feels when they performed 'Bittersweet' whilst Performance Unit members Hoshi and Dino shone in their solo stages. The group have finessed their usage of the three units (as well as new unit combinations) over the years in both their albums and concerts to ensure that no member ever gets lost in the crowd. We were once again reminded just how well they do it.
4) A brief return to vintage SEVENTEEN was an unexpected joy.
There are some very, very iconic title tracks in the more vintage end of the group's discography, such as 'Pretty U', 'Clap' and 'Aju Nice'. Yet for every well known title track there are another half dozen early SEVENTEEN B-Sides that might have gone under your radar, and 'Fast Pace' is one of them. The return of the 2016 song was a happy surprise and was a precursor to other older SEVENTEEN songs also performed, such as 'Check In' (2017) and 'IF I' (2017). Vintage never sounded so good.
5) The group's return to live touring cannot come a moment too soon.
As has been the case for all artists during the pandemic, touring has completely disappeared as a creative or finanical outlet, and only in the past few weeks have worldwide tours looked like a possibility once more. During the concert series we saw a double stage joined by a bridge, not to mention some gasp-worthy sets and new dance breaks by SEVENTEEN and their back-up dancers.
The theatre kids of K-Pop put on a grand theatrical show once more during their Power of Love shows, and it's certainly a shame fans were not able to see it in person. If the recent announcement of several global tours by other artists are any indicator, hopefully SEVENTEEN should be bringing their musical power to concert venues and stadiums around the globe very soon.