A Long-Deserved Dreamcatcher First Win Crowns Second Week Of Apocalypse: Save Us Promotions

K-Pop’s Dreamcatcher finally climbs to the top of the music show mountain as promotions continued for second full album “Apocalypse: Save Us”

Dreamcatcher celebrates their first music show win on Show Champion, April 20th, 2022. Source: showchampion1

Of all of the weeks to do a recap, it honestly feels like this is the one that might seem to be the most redundant to post in the Dreamcatcher fan community. That’s probably because many K-Pop fans, and not just Dreamcatcher fans, learned of Dreamcatcher’s long-awaited first music show win this past week on Show Champion on April 20th, 2022. We’ll get to that bit of amazing news at the end (though I encourage you all to check out how Dreamcatcher persevered through their long history of trying to get a music show win for some interesting details about the circumstances of why this was such a milestone), because we have a lot to cover this week. So without further ado, let’s get into what happened during Dreamcatcher’s 2nd week of promotions for “Apocalypse: Save Us”!

Obviously, there were a ton of great performances this past week on music shows, and it was clear that the group’s first win ever made subsequent performances on M! Countdown, Music Bank, and Show! Music Core that much more powerful. The happiness and desire to perform well was pretty evident in those performances, though all of the performances of the week carried the usual level of Dreamcatcher intensity and stage presence. You can check out all the performances below, along with some great fancams:

One of the best parts of this particular comeback was the return of offline fansign events, absent for the most part since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three such fansigns were held this past week, with four total so far and more to come. With vaccination protocols and safety measures in place, fansigns for Dreamcatcher became hybrid affairs, with both offline and online winners getting a chance to talk to the group and see performances and funny moments. For Dreamcatcher these moments with fans face-to-face have been missed, so it was nice to see everyone get a chance to get back to some sense of normalcy for album promotions.

Variety appearances both new and old also continued during “MAISON” promotions this past week, with a return to Idol Radio (full episode to be uploaded to the IDOL RADIO channel on May 2nd), where MONSTA X’s Jooheon and Hyungwon got to find out just how good Dreamcatcher are at singing, dancing, and other skills like aegyo. A new radio appearance with GOT7’s Youngjae on his show “Close Friend radio” subjected the host to Dreamcatcher’s boundless energy as well as more thoughts on their very first music show win (including Handong’s thank you message to Chinese fans for their support), while Seezn’s “Idol Ability Market” had plenty of Dreamcatcher chaotic energy as the members made attempts to answer questions about each other and do fun activities for food and and prizes (the relay, in particular is hilarious). It’s nice to see that Dreamcatcher continues to add new places to go to their repertoire, as such appearances show the group has come quite far in terms of being noticed and worthy of appearing on shows. The potential networking, this time with MONSTA X and GOT7, continues to expand Dreamcatcher’s web of peers and potential friends as well. Promotions aren’t quite over just yet, so I’ll be looking forward to where else Dreamcatcher’s ends up for this cycle.

Speaking of idol friends, Dreamcatcher’s “MAISON” challenge has brought some fun interactions to the group as well. RBW’s Purple Kiss, for example, who I have felt are forging their own trail down the non-traditional idol path, got to trade challenges with Dreamcatcher, with Jieun, Goeun, and Dosie having kind words to say about the senior group. Other challenge participants this past week included Weki Meki’s Yoojung, Red Velvet’s Wendy and Dickpunks’ Taehyun, former IZ*ONE member-turned-soloist Kwon Eunbi, and Dreamcatcher’s stylist crew. These are always fun to see just for the interaction value, and to know that Dreamcatcher has quite a few friends and peers in the industry that respect them.

And in the vein of new things, Dreamcatcher revealed the details of their collaboration with artistic/music site Wonderwall this past week, with a $140 USD (excluding shipping) priced video call package that includes some merchandise (some towels styled with each member’s solo iconography and one of 3 exclusive photocard sets), a chance to get in on a video call with a member of your choice (30 winners per member), and access to a nine-episode, nearly five hour documentary/behind-the-scenes look at the music production process for “Apocalypse: Save Us”, focusing for the most part on each member’s solo song creation with a healthy dash of their personal feelings and history at becoming musicians. While the current price is fairly steep for some fans, especially after shipping and VAT costs, the presented content appears to be of high-quality and an opportunity to gain specific insight into each member’s musical and composition process, along with all the other bonuses. The site appears to have a history where the video documentary itself may be offered separately in the future at a lower price, but if you’re keen on finding out more about Dreamcatcher, while at the same time entering yourself into a chance to talk to one of them and getting some neat merchandise in the process, you may want to consider shelling out the cash if you have it.

The official channel also did its parts to crank out the content this week, releasing the “MAISON” MV Reaction video and two making films that gave us a peek behind-the-scenes putting together this comeback’s apocalyptic video, while the official Naver post released its usual MV making update with tons of high-quality pics. The name of the game for much of the footage appeared to be CG and green-screening, which presented a new challenge for the members having to imagine what was told were in their surroundings, and to change their expressions and visual presentation accordingly.

I’ve seen some criticism about how the final product turned out in the MV, but I wasn’t personally toto bothered by the CG-heavy use — in part because for an expansive apocalypse/ruined city setting, your options are a bit more limited from an offline perspective without large financial investment, and in part because regardless of the quality concerns, it took a lot of work to put everything t together. I’ve seen plenty of this kind of stuff in games and in movies, so to see this in a Dreamcatcher music video, especially given the message, the supernatural/divine powers, and the setting, it’s terribly unusual or jarring, and is a new experience for the group overall. Interestingly enough, we received very few story or setting details about the plot of Apocalypse, but having some fun and entertaining moments, such as Yoohyeon losing her phone and recruiting everyone to try to find it, made up for it somewhat. I’ll be looking forward to more of the official channel’s content in the future, mostly for what I’m about to talk about.

The biggest news of the week by far, and perhaps the most significant on a variety of levels, was Dreamcatcher finally achieving their first music show win in five years of activity on Show Champion on April 20th, 2022. Like many music show wins, this achievement was the result of a mixture of circumstances, luck, and fan community motivation, but last, but not least, the tireless work and continued resilience of Dreamcatcher themselves along with everyone who supported them. For five years, Dreamcatcher’s non-tradtional sound and majority international fandom meant that they almost, but not quite, were able to get to the top of South Korea’s various music shows, so for them to achieve this feat, up against some pretty stiff competition (legendary boy group BIGBANG and monster rookie group IVE), felt like a huge hurdle to overcome. But at the risk of being biased, I think it was long-deserved as well.

Some interesting facts about Dreamcatcher’s first music show win:

  • Counting April 20th, 2022, it took 1,924 days from debut on January 13th, 2017, for Dreamcatcher to get their first win. For those members of Dreamcatcher who were originally in the ill-fated group MINX, it has been even longer — 2,772 days from their debut on September 18, 2014.
  • In those 1,924 days, Dreamcatcher had previously come in as runner-up to four groups achieving their own first music show win ((G)-IDLE, WJSN, CLC, and Everglow)
  • Dreamcatcher now hold the record for days until first music show win, a record previously held by Brave Girls, whose viral resurgence of song “Rollin’” got them their first win in 1,853 days.
  • The celebratory first win thread on Reddit’s /r/kpop for Dreamcatcher is as of this writing the 4th highest upvoted post of all time on the subreddit with (as of this writing) 11,000+ upvotes, a testament to that community’s appreciation for Dreamcatcher’s long-awaited achievement
  • Given that Siyeon and JiU are the longest-tenured trainees in Dreamcatcher Company (once known as Happyface Entertainment) and were training for four years prior to debut, this has been an achievement twelve years in the making for the both of them.
Dreamcatcher embraces as JiU attempts to hide her emotional crying face while singing the “MAISON” encore. Source: ALL THE K-POP

Regardless of how it happened or the circumstances behind it, it was no doubt an emotional moment for a group that has been working for so long without one. JiU tearfully thanked everyone from those in Dreamcatcher Company, the stylists, the members and of course the fans, while Siyeon thanked their “precious, precious InSomnia” and would never forget this moment, reassuring fans that they’d put everything into their future performances. The inevitable encore was a happy-cry affair for the members, with Yoohyeon unable to sing her first verse properly before sobbing and Dami having to turn away to collect herself and apparently wipe away her own tears before delivering her rap. It was, for Dreamcatcher fans and K-Pop fans as a whole, the epitome of what a first win was supposed to be for long-working idols, who train from an early age, dedicated many intense, grueling hours to hone singing, dancing, and presentation skills, and who work hard for promotions not knowing if they are guaranteed sustained success in a sometimes-saturated industry. The outpouring of raw emotion at realizing that work has finally paid off, even if it’s for a day’s winner announcement, was readily obvious to anyone watching, and inspired emotional responses from some of the most stoic fans.

The subsequent vLive showed a thankful Dreamcatcher, still in their stage makeup but gathered around their first music show trophy, expressing their feelings and emotions in more detail. Handong, unable to get in her four-years-in-the-making acceptance speech to Chinese fans, was able to do so during this vLive holding the trophy, while Yoohyeon called out Dami for ensuring that they were able to keep the previous day’s vLive promise of making her cry (the staff zoom-in on normally-solid Dami silently crying with her tissue and smiling as Yoohyeon pointed it out was one of the best and most humorous moments of the live stream).

Dami is called out for crying and keeping their first win pledge by Yoohyeon. Source: DREAMCATCHER

SuA and JiU both talked about not wanting to worry fans by setting goals of getting first every comeback, and honestly expressed how they’d come to manage their expectations about the possibility of it happening after so many near-wins. As I said in my first-win special article, I admittedly underestimated their desire to get a first music show win, and while I think they would have been OK without one, there’s no denying the fact that it was a goal they’d set, repeatedly, and tried their best not to worry fans about not getting to it over multiple comebacks. I’ve tended to do the same myself with my own goals and achievements when I’ve not been able to reach them right away, so I felt a certain degree of empathy at Dreamcatcher’s selflessness in this regard.

Handong thanks Dreamcatcher’s Chinese fanbase in her native language. Source: DREAMCATCHER

Aside from that, everyone expressed their difficulty at being able to even sing during the encore live due to all of the emotion, with Gahyeon saying she was so affected from crying that she could barely control the pitch or solidness of her voice. I especially found the members’ accounts of trying to hide their “ugly crying”, as Yoohyeon put it, to be as funny as they tried to make it, as it felt extremely unrealistic to be able to hide the outburst of emotion that happened, but it was nice to hear how they felt regardless.

Though short, this was a sense of catharsis for both Dreamcatcher and the Dreamcatcher fandom, and it’s likely a moment that will live forever in the group’s history, no matter where they go from here. Music show wins are by no means a guarantee or a gateway to further success or opportunities — especially for Dreamcatcher, who are in the latter portion of their careers and who have, despite no wins until this past week, achieved so much, grown their fanbase steadily, and have never given up with their work. That said, it was nice to see it finally pay off, and to see so many outside of the immediate Dreamcatcher community congratulate and wish them well. Where the group goes from here, nobody knows, but hitting the milestone and seeing it happen live is something I, and many Dreamcatcher fans, won’t soon forget.

Dreamcatcher snaps a group pic during “MAISON” MV filming. Source: Dream Catcher Company

There’s still more to come for “MAISON” promotions this comeback, and with a first ever music show win out of the way, the group’s achievements this time around can only be bonuses as they go even higher. You know I’ll be here to ensure interested fans of Dreamcatcher continue to get the latest news an updates every week, so be sure to clap, subscribe, and signal boost this article if you like what you see. See you next week for more “Apocalypse: Save Us” promotion fun!