Crossroads Recap, Part 1 — Dreamcatcher Rearranges Old Favorites And Recent Songs Into A Musical…

K-Pop — Dreamcatcher Recall

Night 1 of Dreamcatcher’s Crossroads March 2021 concert series wows K-Pop fans with both elegant aesthetic and remixed discography.

Dreamcatcher poses in fashionable style for Crossroads: Utopia. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher fans have been anticipating the group’s two-day concert-fest, dubbed Crossroads, for quite some time now. Ever since the announcement that Dreamcatcher would be doing not one but two minimum 90 minute sets, and that they would be in two entirely different styles, speculation has run rampant about what exactly we’d see. While both days garnered a great deal of attention, night 1, Utopia, got much of the talk for being advertised as an “acoustic” style set with different takes on parts of the Dreamcatcher discography.

What we got, I think, was far beyond anyone’s expectations. While it’s important to note that Crossroads: Utopia wasn’t wholly “acoustic” in the sense that all the songs were not in that style, I doubt many fans really cared terribly much, as what we got was not only acoustic pieces, but also rearrangements, remixes, and different takes on a great deal of Dreamcatcher’s work over the years. The result was a two-hour experience of new and fresh coats of paint on Dreamcatcher songs, and I’m more than happy to recap the set along with my impressions to help all of you re-live the Crossroads: Utopia concert experience. I’ve included the original songs or prior live performances of said songs for means of comparison as we go, so without further ado, let’s get going!

1- Dear

The stage itself was decorated in a combination of flora and fauna, along with Greek-style columns and large Chess pieces and a matching checkerboard beneath, featuring Dreamcatcher sitting in old-style chairs amongst equally aged furniture. The combination of all these elements gave off a distinct vibe that Dreamcatcher was singing in an abandoned house overgrown by nature, housing their “Utopia” setting in a sort of abandoned “Garden of Eden” vibe. Dreamcatcher themselves were dressed in beautiful and elegant dresses by fashion designer Rick Rhe, and as always, looked great.

JiU sitting on stage in a floral dress by Rick Rhe. Credit: _mymusictaste

It was into this setting that this “Utopia” rendition of JiU’s songwriting debut from the “Dystopia: Lose Myself” album opened the show, and it really set the tone for what we were to expect for this entire set. Right away we were treated to a new piano opening for the soft ballad-style song, and anyone concerned that Handong wouldn’t be getting lines through some of the discographies she wasn’t present for were quickly relieved to see that slight line re-distribution meant she got plenty of singing parts. Even though piano and drums were also a part of the original, adding a bit of soft rock guitar and bass, as well as live band versions of the aforementioned instruments to the arrangement, meant a lot more color in singing parts, like Siyeon and Yoohyeon’s beautifully harmonized note near the end of the song. Overall a good choice for starting things off, especially as the song is JiU’s love letter to the fandom.


2 — Daybreak

I’ll be honest — I’ve given “Daybreak” far fewer listens on my journey through “Dystopia: The Tree of Language” in part because chill, lo-fi music isn’t quite my jam, and also in part because of its relative positioning in the album — the song comes after the high of intense EDM track “In The Frozen” and to me always felt a bit jarring to follow-up with. But within the setting of “Crossroads: Utopia”, where acoustic vibes ruled, I saw just how unfair of a treatment I’ve been giving it up until now.

We know from the original that synth keyboard and light drums served as the core of this slightly jazzy track, and Dreamcatcher actually performed this live during one of their concerts last year, so this wasn’t a premiere. But adding guitar, bass, and some effects to this version created a soft instrumental landscape over which to layer the live singing from Dreamcatcher. Among some of my favorite moments were Yoohyeon gripping the mic with both hands as she let out powerful, controlled soft tones in her parts, Dami’s reminder that her quiet, higher-toned singing voice is just as good as her low-toned intense rapping, Siyeon’s ad-libs taking on new color as they decorated JiU’s verse near the end of the song, and everyone highlighting the relaxed aura of the song with various bright smiles and long looks toward the stage camera.


3 — And There Was No One Left

2019’s “And There Was No One Left” was the middle child of album “The End of Nightmare” and was highlighted, like many of Dreamcatcher’s B-sides, as an experimentation piece meant to showcase how diverse Dreamcatcher’s style is. This is another chillwave-style song, and the Special Clip they created for it has a combination of being both relaxing and a slight bit haunting as the group goes through several purposefully stilted motions while looking into the camera. I always thought of the Clip as Dreamcatcher, in Nightmare form and trapped in that world as a result of the action of “PIRI”, singing to some unknown audience attracted by their siren call.

There was no such nightmarish imagery to be had for the “Crossroads: Utopia” version, however. This was the first song in the set, I think, where we got a truly different take on a song, mostly because there are parts in it that are just instruments. Instead of the chill, ethereal feel of the original’s instrumentation, we were treated to a funkier version of the musical backing — the kind of thing you’d hear in a low-key bar or club while you had drinks or had a relaxing dinner. Of notice was a different style of keyboard, all of the guitar and bass line, and a softer drum beat that Dreamcatcher was able to easily slide their vocals on top of. We got what I felt was a “lounge singer” version of the song, and it absolutely worked for the mood being set.


4 — Jazz Bar

We came back from a brief ment filled with introductions and some comments read from the chat to the next performed track, “Jazz Bar”, a song from “Dystopia: The Tree of Language” that is cited by many InSomnia as one of their favorite B-sides. Continuing in the lounge singer vibe, Dreamcatcher moved to sitting/standing as a group near one of the old-school couches on the stage and prepared to perform.

I’ve seen some points that this isn’t quite musically “jazz” per se, and they’re fair — this is definitely more of a lounge song and not a jazz song, but I’ve always taken the title to be more of the setting rather than the genre of the song itself. That being said, there were a couple of delightful segments of “scat singing” by Siyeon and Yoohyeon during this performance — a common trait of the jazz genre that is usually replicated by similar improvisation in the instrumentation, and which served as a nice border to the song that made it a bit jazzier. We didn’t get the band playing around with the base music in the same way, but what we did get was fewer drums, more emphasis on the unplugged guitar tracks, and some depth to the keyboard work, resulting in a more authentic “lounge/jazz” type performance. Of note was the fact that Dreamcatcher was singing to each other almost as much as they were the audience — several affectionate motions towards each other during this performance really highlighted how close they are as a group.

5 — Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind

The first four songs in the “Crossroads: Utopia” set teased the differences that could be put into existing tracks in Dreamcatcher’s discography to make them sound and feel different, but this rendition of “Dystopia: Lose Myself” all-English track “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind” was the first to do something completely different. Gone was the 2010s’ dance club track feeling, replaced by a slower-paced, more vocally-focused performance that gave it a more emotionally weighty feel. The way I’d describe the change in genre is kind of like how some TV shows take their familiar, repeatedly heard theme song and remix it into something different in order to convey a different mood, and that’s what happened here. It was, to me, the “romantic” version, the one that would play during the aforementioned TV show when two characters finally got past a season’s worth of “will they/won’t they” tension to get together.

The distinct result of such a feeling to the song was more of an emphasis on the lyrics and delivery, which talk about that same kind of romantic love that evolves from a baseline of platonic, close friendship. In particular, Dami highlighted how slow and deliberate she could deliver her lines to give them more meaning, and dual vocal line Siyeon and Yoohyeon still showed that even in a slower version of the song that you could still put out power. But nobody else was a slouch, either — Gahyeon specifically > I think suits this kind of song with her ability to deliver softer vocal tone, as does JiU, and Handong and SuA combined lines to really help drive the emotional point home.

6 — Black or White

The unfortunate circumstance of the current COVID-19 pandemic meant that many promotions and travel were canceled, including Dreamcatcher’s intended Japanese “Endless Night” schedule. But what we got in return was extended “Dystopia: The Tree of Language” promotions on the Korean homefront, with “Black or White” taking center stage for a couple of weeks.

The original song is a funk-type jam that gives off some serious Michael Jackson vibes and is frequently referred to when talking about Dreamcatcher as an example of how diverse their discography can be. But the “Crossroads: Utopia” version added a healthy dose of rock to this already-memorable piece and, led by some really cool riffs by lead guitarist Kim Dongmin, resulted in a slightly slower, yet more hard-hitting version of the song that played directly to Dreamcatcher’s wheelhouse. As such, the vocalization from Dreamcatcher wasn’t going to be left behind, but what was a nice surprise was that the vocal power came from two traditionally unexpected places. Both Gahyeon and Handong tackled their parts of the song with vocal power ad-libs that highlighted their skill, and Yoohyeon and Siyeon added some that will likely not be forgotten. And of course, I can’t write about this rendition without mentioning Dami’s extended rap line, which just hits different, but no less powerfully, in a rock/funk remix of this 2020 B-side.

7 — Deja Vu

Special Mini-Album “Raid of Dream”, released in 2019 with title track “Deja Vu” was, as I’ve written before, the point at which I believe Dreamcatcher turned a corner and began an upward, gradual rise in popularity that continues to today, in part due to it being a collaboration with fairly popular mobile game “King’s Raid” by Vespa, and also because the song marked a change from Dreamcatcher’s pure rock style, choosing instead to hybridize that rock with a balladic tone that resulted in a more widely-appealing track that many InSomnia cite as the gateway to their Dreamcatcher fandom.

Once we came back from a ment where band introductions were made (and well that they were, as the live band has been a big part of adding to the enjoyment of recent concerts), we got treated to a slight rearrangement of the piece, leaning more into the rock and a little less into the ballad, but no less significant in its tone. We knew this was coming due to a scheduled spoiler vLive that put this song and “Lullaby” out as part of the set, but nothing prepared the audience for the full song. The rock elements along with a deeper keyboard line combined to create what I thought was a more emotional, sadder version of the rock ballad many fans have come to know so well, with iconic lines such as Handong’s “And now, I’m holding this pain” being delivered with more impact as a result. I recalled the music video, which featured a betrayal by Yoohyeon’s character, and remembered all over again why Dreamcatcher’s storytelling combined with their music makes them one of K-Pop’s best girl groups.


8 — You And I

It came under a bit of threat from what I feel was the “Dystopia” storyline’s strongest track in “Odd Eye”, but 2018’s “You And I” from “Escape the Era” remains my favorite Dreamcatcher track of all time, mostly because of all of the songs this one, for me, seems to typify what is at Dreamcatcher’s foundation as far as rock/pop. It goes hard, it takes no prisoners, and the live performance of the piece seems to have it all — interesting choreography pieces, props, and it tells a story.

The “Crossroads: Utopia” version of this song wasn’t immediately recognizable — the band intro, which played a more low-key beat and tone, didn’t betray the song title until JiU began singing. When she did, I was immediately delighted at what we were getting. The feeling I got was this was a light rock version of “You And I” — it didn’t present itself as intensely as the original, but it wasn’t any less fun. At times the song seemed almost like a rock-style lullaby, the lyrics pairing with the instrumentals to perform a kind of haunting melody that you’d probably equate with scenes in horror films that tell you that something is wrong right before it happens. Some of that feeling, of course, was betrayed by Dreamcatcher themselves — they seemed to enjoy this rearrangement in particular and quite a few of them were grooving in their seats. At its core, this was what “Crossroads: Utopia” was about — showcasing new ways of looking at well-known classics, and this was the best of the songs that did that so far in the set.


9 — Break The Wall

While Dreamcatcher’s habit of creating low-budget, self-made MVs has always resulted in entertaining, comedic chaos for a few of Dreamcatcher’s more serious songs, like “Dystopia: Lose Myself” hard rock track “Break The Wall”, they have, at least for me, created a side effect where I can’t seem to think of the songs the same way when they get performed live. How would I ever be able to listen to “Break The Wall” without thinking of stuff like JiU poking her finger into Gahyeon’s nose with Gahyeon’s help, Dreamcatcher talking into their shoes, and Siyeon being continuously pushed around because her name is similar sounding to a word in the song that’s supposed to be overcome or shoved aside?

The answer, at least for the next few minutes of the set, appears to be to turn the song completely on its head. Gone were the smashmouth rock instrumental and guitar-focused elements, replaced by a more muted live rock band tone that reminded me of a power ballad backing. As Dreamcatcher sang the lyrics, which took on a more emotional, determined color as opposed to the defiant resistance of the original, I was distinctly reminded of a common practice in video games where you’d take a frequently-played piece throughout the game, then remix it up for the journey to the final boss. That’s what the Utopia version of “Break The Wall” made me feel like, and since the song was one of my most frequently listened-to of the album, it made the impact of that huge shift in the song all the more apparent.


10 — Lullaby

To me, part of what has made the Crossroads concert series so great is the flexibility to include a ton of the discography that doesn’t typically get too much play when it comes to a live audience, and after a light-hearted ment where the members discussed their favorite songs, I got my wish for one of my seldom-performed songs from their discography. “Lullaby”, a 2017 B-side from Dreamcatcher’s 2nd release, is one of these that definitely benefitted from inclusion in the concert. I know that I loved to listen to this plenty of times when I first got into the group, as “GOOD NIGHT” was the song that led me into the Dreamcatcher fandom back in the day.

“Lullaby” is tailor-made for a more low-key performance setlist that has its roots in a softer, more light-hearted “Utopia” mood, and so the live rendition of the song didn’t really give us many surprises beyond having the song sound much better with a live band backing it. What we did get, however, is a good indication of just how far Dreamcatcher’s vocal skill has matured since their debut. Even compared to the studio-recorded and mixed version I linked above, I’d put forth that the live version we heard was even better, just to see how much more control and skill four years of practice and performance was on display from the group. After a bunch of songs in which we had quite a few changes, having one remain mostly the same was a nice break. And of course, that nice little shoutout by the members saying they loved InSomnia was a nice bonus.


11 — Wonderland

Of all of the various B-sides that Dreamcatcher have had the privilege to perform over the years, “Wonderland”, from 2018’s “Alone In The City” album, has to be one of the ones that has been done the most, but that’s really no surprise to most veteran Dreamcatcher fans. There’s a dark, slow, and airy feeling to the song that is in direct contrast to how hard the title track on the same album, “What” tends to go. It’s been a frequent part of live concert setlists in part because it has light choreography — a sort of mini-storytelling setpiece that has Dreamcatcher “waking up”, singing and moving slowly and deliberately to the song’s instrumentation, and then eventually moving back to their starting positions and falling back asleep again. Between this and how unique its sound is in Dreamcatcher’s discography, we’ve seen this plenty of times live.

But we haven’t ever seen “Wonderland” played acoustic-style, stripped of most of the effects and instrumentation as well as the choreography, down to its minimal, somewhat trippy base musical tone, and turned into more of a soft and affectionate song. The tone was, of course, set by Dreamcatcher, who brought the same vocals as the live performance I linked above but putting a different spin on them. In contrast to the serious, mysterious aura of past live performances, this rendition featured plenty of Dreamcatcher love, both towards the audience they were singing to and each other (a normally stoic Dami smiling, grasping Gahyeon’s hand, and giving it a quick friendship kiss is all you need to know about how much Dreamcatcher changed the mood of the song while singing it). What we got was a sort of “easy listening” version of “Wonderland”, and while the song was already a bit chill, having it be even more relaxing just added to how nice it was to hear.


12 — Medley — Sleepwalking, Silent Night

After a nice little behind-the-scenes video for the concert, during which we got a costume change for Dreamcatcher into slightly more comfortable, yet no less stylish dress wear, we were treated to a medley of two songs that departed rather far from their musical roots. Both “Sleepwalking” (from 2017’s “Prequel” album) and “Silent Night” (from 2019’s “Raid of Dream” album) seemed to highlight two different ways in which producers LEEZ and Ollounder integrated EDM into the group’s tracks. The path paved by these two B-sides laid the groundwork for what would eventually become one of Dreamcatcher’s most well-known title tracks in recent history, rock/EDM hybrid “Scream”, and the expectation was that we would take a trip down memory lane if they were performed live and in concert.

But what we got instead was not a throwback with live band/instrumental effects behind them, but a medley track that combined both songs into a journey down an alternate musical universe timeline, where both “Sleepwalking” and “Silent Night” ended up as not EDM songs but rock-style jams, anchored by Kim Dongmin’s guitar stylings, Moon Sangseon’s piano line, and a live band more than happy to follow in their wake while Dreamcatcher sang the lyrics. When “new and fresh takes” was advertised by MyMusicTaste for this part of the concert series, I have no doubt this medley was partially what was in mind.

Dami’s fashionable and practical grey and white styling for the second part of “Crossroads: Utopia”. Credit: _mymusictaste

Having the tempo by more rock and slow jam style meant that Dreamcatcher’s singing also took on that same tempo and mood, and segments like Dami’s rap in “Silent Night” and Yoohyeon’s pre-chorus segment in “Sleepwalking” were given a different kind of life than felt by the original renditions of the songs. It was, to quote a frequent meme, a surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.


13 — R.o.S.E BLUE

But a rock jam-style medley of two normally EDM-style tracks was not the only surprise from this segment of songs. In a move that seemed completely unexpected given the low-key publicity surrounding its release (at least compared to their other tracks), Dreamcatcher dropped into a soft and relaxing version of 2020’s rock/pop collaboration song “R.o.S.E BLUE”. If the original was the fast-charging visual that reminded you of an anime-style opening theme for a series, the “Crossroads: Utopia” version was the more lo-fi take on that theme that would be playing during closing credits of that same anime series’ last episode.

The track, which originally released as part of a collaboration with game developer Seasun Games to promote action RPG shooter Girl Cafe Gun, told a mini-story in its MV about JiU’s character helping free her fellow Dreamcatcher members from being trapped in fantasy worlds by means of “shooting” them with a gun, only to lack the bullets to free herself in the process. As such, there was always a sense of tragedy about the song that you couldn’t help but associate with it when listening. All of that, however, was wiped away by this relaxing lo-fi version of the song, and while the lyrics, which appear to be told from the point of view of someone who has or will soon be gone, lose their sadness and instead take on a tone of reassurance that everything will be ok. It’s a definite mood shift from the original and really showed how any song can be re-worked into something different.


14 — Scream

Remember how we were just talking about how somehow, Dreamcatcher and their performance/production team reworked EDM songs into something that was completely different? The groundwork laid earlier in the set to plant that seed in peoples’ minds about that possibility, that anything could happen to any song in the discography, came to fruition with a return to 2020’s “Dystopia: The Tree of Language” title track, rock/EDM hybrid “Scream”. The group began this song after a brief ment in which they read comments and said that they were going to give the fans what they wanted, and they certainly delivered.

Whereas the original is an aggressive, fast-paced ride with a core rapidity to its beat that gave you the sense of a continuous attack (highly appropriate given the lyrics talk about the relentlessness of witch hunts both literal and figurative) this newly rearranged version was slower, more deliberate, and weightier as a result — no less of an attack, but a different type, inevitable in its downtempo pace. Lighter instrumented verses allowed the vocals from Dreamcatcher to shine through, but those were only lead-ins to the re-imagined chorus, which elicited a kind of orchestral feeling that was more expansive, more significant in its slower, big-swinging arrival, and augmented by both amazing guitar riffs and a new melody delivered by the keyboardists that went over the top of it. Even the rap line verses and spoken words coming from Dami and Gahyeon took on a different color when delivered in the space of it, and that’s something given how iconic Dreamcatcher fans have made lines like “Devil eyes come”. If there was Dreamcatcher boss music, the pre-chorus and chorus from “Scream” would be it.


15 — BOCA

While watchers were still reeling over rearranged “Scream”, Dreamcatcher didn’t let up, going almost immediately into a remixed version of “Dystopia: Lose Myself” title track “BOCA”. I seem to remember, upon the news breaking that the track would be one that would blend moombahton and rock, that there was no small amount of skepticism about how that would work. Sure, Leez and Ollounder hadn’t missed yet with their Dreamcatcher title tracks, but the genres seemed far enough apart that it wouldn’t seem workable. Of course, here we are over seven months later, and “BOCA” is currently the most-viewed Dreamcatcher MV ever at 36 million as of this writing (though “Odd Eye” appears to be creeping up on it). Dreamcatcher fans quickly realized they shouldn’t have doubted their producers.

So it was when Dreamcatcher launched into this remix of the track that everyone knew to keep the faith that it would sound good, and that’s exactly what happened in my estimation. By trading some of the electronic feel for more of a leaning into the reggaeton style that is typical of most moombahton songs, what we got with remixed “BOCA” was a rock/reggaeton rendition that was lighter on its feet, the sort of track that you’d probably hear in a club in the Caribbean from a live band with talented, diverse vocalists. A new keyboard melody and more muted guitar contributed to this, and the bridge to the end felt entirely different with its build-up to an explosion of reggaeton-style melody, with the only thing unchanged being Dreamcatcher’s vocals -Siyeon, in particular, put out great high notes over this rearrangement.


16 — Odd Eye

By the time that “Odd Eye” began, with Dreamcatcher choosing to stand rather than sit to deliver the last of the “Dystopia” trilogy on their feet, everyone knew that they were shooting to deliver all three title tracks in a single set, and what we got was a small preview of what we could come to expect from a full live rock band backing Dreamcatcher’s latest title track, rather than something that was rearranged into something different.

That said, the “Crossroads: Utopia” rendition of “Odd Eye” was no less powerful or enjoyable. With much less focus on the electronic effects and a bit more on the rock, what we got was a foundation that was carried by the keyboardists and augmented by the guitar players and drums. On top of that, of course, got placed Dreamcatcher’s vocals, which I think found a more prominent place song-wise without such heavy instrumentation backing it or without the pressure or motion of doing intense choreography. The result was a powerfully driven “Odd Eye” performance, and one which got me looking forward to how it would be going all out on “Crossroads: Dystopia”.


17 — Daydream

For me, before there was “Panic in the city”, before there was “Hold up! I’m a geek the big paradox”, even before “And now, I’m holding this pain”, there was “However long the night tonight”, and I was pleased to hear that 2019's “Daydream”, one of my favorite ballads from Dreamcatcher’s discography (the other being underrated early track “Trust Me”), was included in this set. “Daydream” was the track in which I first noticed that Handong was actually, at the time, a B-side queen, with prominent singing parts in most of them, but especially in “Daydream”, so hearing that song being sung live was a real treat.

There wasn’t much to rearrange here, and I’d call this a straight-up live band, acoustic-style backed rendition of the song. It’s always been one of my favorites for its floating vocals and simple instrumentation — I’ve frequently treated Dreamcatcher’s ballads as a way to come down off of the intense highs of their aggressively rock-based title tracks, and “Daydream” has always given me this impression of reassurance and care — a perfect song to come back to after Dreamcatcher went through a brief ment saying their final comments and thank yous to the fans.


18 — July 7th

With extremely minimal instruments and light vocal color, “Alone in the City” ballad “July 7th” has always been one of my favorites to hear live, as it really highlights the subtle vocal control that Dreamcatcher has always been able to bring to their softer, slower songs. In a concert set, it is one of those songs that you’d be waving your hands slowly back and forth to (perhaps holding your official Dreamcatcher lightstick as you do so) while the group lulled you into a sense of relaxation and contentment.

Like “Daydream”, we didn’t get much different here in terms of the arrangement — the same minimalist instruments accompanied the song, and they were simply just performed live (although there was a moment or two when we heard some fun percussion in the form of a xylophone used to enforce the light tone of the piece). But frankly, after all of the differences we saw in the earlier set of “Dystopia” title tracks, it was nice to return to an expected mood of “songs you’d expect to be performed in an acoustic/unplugged/rearranged” setlist. It was fun and playful, just as the song is meant to be, and it featured plenty of smiles and extra gestures from Dreamcatcher to show their love towards the fans.

19 — Medley — Full Moon, Over The Sky

It’s significant to note that this set of songs came on the heels of a highly emotional moment in the show which I will get into at the end of the article, which made the power of this second-to-last entry all the more prominent. But before that, I want to point out that both 2018’s “Full Moon” and 2019’s “Over The Sky” were Dreamcatcher’s fan-dedicated songs, and combining them into a single medley backed by a live band was a great decision.

Of the two, “Full Moon” sounded the most different — led by an intro guitar riff and soft piano, Dreamcatcher shouted out their love to their fans while bringing high energy dressed casually in concert wear and bearing Dreamcatcher lightsticks all around. When the song blended into the more rock-focused “Over The Sky”, we got treated to JiU twirling her lightstick around, Dami on the ground, singing into both the lightstick and the mic at the same time, and a lot more fun moments. After such a heavy and touching event from just before the performance, this was the perfect way to bring the energy back up and show how professional Dreamcatcher can be.


20–4 Memory

The last song in the encore portion of the set was, not surprisingly, also a song dedicated to InSomnia. We started this set off with a JiU-written love letter to fans and ended with one as well, and this didn’t need any kind of band rearrangement or remixing magic — it was fine all on its own backed by live instrumentation. Of note, of course, was Dreamcatcher’s continuing energy throughout this last song, with more memorable moments, including Siyeon briefly confusing what to sing into, Gahyeon doing more unintentional quality assurance on the lightstick by having it slip right off the wrist strap and drop to the floor, busting part of what was inside, and Handong, still a little bit emotional from what happened a few minutes prior, being almost unable to finish one of her lines, only to be helped and comforted by leader JiU.

Between this and all the affection Dreamcatcher was showering on each other and on their fans watching at home, this was just the perfect song to end the “Crossroads: Utopia” set on, and left me with a high amount of anticipation, excitement, and overall satisfaction as I looked forward to “Crossroads: Dystopia” the following night. A twenty-song set over two hours made what money I spent well worth it.

Handong, ready to perform in a dress of her favorite colors. Credit: _mymusictaste

Other Concert Notes

I’d be remiss in this recap if I didn’t mention how amazing everyone was to Chinese-born member Handong, whose birthday was the day of this concert. Every Dreamcatcher member made a personal video for Handong wishing her a Happy Birthday and telling her how proud they have been of both her development and how fortunate they are to have her in their lives. To her credit, Handong didn’t cry when hearing these loving well-wishes — but Dreamcatcher Company wasn’t done.

When the cameras came back for Dreamcatcher’s final set, an additional audio message played that not even Dreamcatcher themselves knew about — a loving and supportive message from Handong’s parents in her native language. In it, they wished her a Happy Birthday, communicated how very proud they were of what she was doing and that they were watching all her performances on TV, and that they fully supported Dreamcatcher’s continued success. Not surprisingly, Handong completely lost it on stage and cried, and she wasn’t the only one — Dreamcatcher themselves were also overcome with emotion at seeing such an outpouring of unexpected love and support from Handong’s parents.

Handong receives plenty of love, even in a variety appearance, for her birthday. Credit: KCON Official

It’s a gesture like that one that makes me state unequivocally that Dreamcatcher Company really cares and supports its members not just as artists, but as people they love and support until otherwise proven. Their recent treatment of Handong has been nothing short of spectacular:

  • Allowing her to make a choice to go to China to reset and find herself
  • Assuring her during a pandemic nobody could have predicted that she’d have a place when she could return and supporting her work in China
  • Allowing her to return prominently in Dreamcatcher’s 2021 “Road to Utopia” promotions so she could show off how she has improved

…and finally

  • Knowing how hard it is to be a foreign-born idol chasing your dreams far away from your family, arranging this surprise message from her parents and validating how far she’s come and all of what she’s been through.

Take note, other K-Pop companies — that is how you treat your foreign-born idol that has returned from being away from the group.

Other than this heavily emotional and touching moment, we had plenty to remember from the various ments throughout the concert:

  • Everyone’s favorite song from the 2-day setlist of songs: (Handong — “Daydream”, Siyeon — “And There Was No One Left”, JiU — “Dear”, Yoohyeon — “In The Frozen”, Gahyeon — “Scream”, Dami — “Black or White”, SuA — “Jazz Bar”)
  • Yoohyeon pointing out she loved her dress and styling because it reminded her of being Elsa from the “Frozen” movies.
  • Gahyeon unintentionally delivering an ASMR version of her thank you to fans because she thought she was being too loud on her in-ear audio.
  • JiU being the leader that she is by A)getting the tissues right away when Handong’s parents’ message played, B)getting the members back on track and providing a moment where they could be encouraged and come together after such a heavy emotional moment, and C)making sure every member was ok to perform and sing properly for the end.
  • SuA not liking her food to be drowning in sauce (I mean, same)
  • Siyeon resisting the “Yes Baby Yes” meme until the very end of the set
Dreamcatcher poses with lightsticks and concert t-shirts at the end of their “Crossroads: Utopia” set. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

There were so many more moments I could point out but this article is long enough already, and if you’ve lasted this long, I hope that a bit of that “Crossroads: Utopia” feeling you experienced for the concert came back, even if it was for a few minutes. Personally, I enjoyed and was surprised by plenty of what happened for this set, and loved both the performances of pieces that hadn’t seen much live play and some new and interesting takes on old favorites. It delivered in spades, and I hope it did for you, too.

Stay tuned here for my “Crossroads: Dystopia” recap, which will cover all the songs from Dreamcatcher’s go-hard rock-based style that we’ve all come to know and love!