JYP’s Got7 dazzled at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto last month. Produced by SubKulture Entertainment and Pop! Goes The World, the first stop on the North American leg of their “Eyes On You” World Tour introduced the seven to an audience of tens of thousands of fans. The tour comes on the heels of their 2018 “Eyes On You” album release.
Since first debuting in 2014 under JYP Entertainment, Mark, Jackson, JB, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam and Yugyeom have shot to stardom with a string of catchy singles and aggressive choreography. Their songs swing between upbeat bops like “A”, and the reflective melancholy of “If You Do”. They are JYP’s first male boy band since the much-loved 2PM debuted ten years ago.
It is one thing for a Korean act to perform in Toronto, a city that has an increasing appetite for diverse and non-English speaking performers. It is quite another to gain the traction that GOT7 have; booking the 19,000-seat Scotiabank Arena. Their extensive catalogue of music carried the show, complete with backflips, b-boy elements and rapping. This isn’t their first time pulling off a tour of this magnitude. Their 2006 “Fly” World Tour took them all over the globe.
The show kicked off with “Hard Carry”, followed by “Paradise”, “Girls Girls Girls” and the endlessly catchy “Stop Stop It”. Over 30 songs carried the show at a brisk pace, with three “sub unit” performances: Jinyoung & BamBam, Jaebom, Mark and Yongjae, and Jackson & Yugyeom. The boys’ style has evolved over the years, and their onstage aesthetic was sleek and nineties-inspired. All lights and fashion aside, their onstage magnetism was the real draw.
Before the show there was also a Hi-Touch, where excited fans got to meet the group. The guys were in great form, even remembering some fans from past shows. It’s easy to forget that just four years ago they first stepped out onto the stage, no longer trainees. Despite the fame and success, their brotherly bond is apparent both backstage and onstage.
If JYP has a knack for something, it’s forming a group artists both technically skilled in dance and memorable. Jackson, the main rapper, hails from Hong Kong and straddles the gap between emerging Korean and Chinese hip hop culture. BamBam, also a rapper-singer, has a huge following in his native Thailand. Yugyeom, the main dancer, majored in street dance in high school. Jinyoung, a vocalist, is becoming an experienced actor in feature films. Youngjae, also a vocalist, adjusted to the spotlight in a flash, after only training for 7 months before debuting with GOT7. JB, vocalist, studies film at Konkuk University. Finally, Mark, hailing from Los Angeles, is the martial arts tricking expert of the bunch.
The show wrapped up with “Go Higher” and “Before The Full Moon Rises”. Got7 proved that they can carry a tour as well as they carry a tune. JYP and SubKulture Ent. are back at it again in Toronto on November 9th, with Day6 “Youth” 1st World TourTickets: https://www.subkultureent.com/day6/
SubKulture Entertainment: https://www.subkultureent.com
Pop! Goes The World: http://kpopcanada.com
Photos by Sarah Llewelyn