Crossroads Recap Part 2 — Dreamcatcher Rocks Out With An Aggressive Dystopia

K-Pop — Dreamcatcher Recall

Dreamcatcher brings back and improves old favorites, presents all-new covers, and ends their March 2021 concert series in Dystopian rock style.

Dreamcatcher’s gold opening stage outfits for Crossroads: Dystopia. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

In Part 1 of the Crossroads Recap, I took a look at the first night of Dreamcatcher’s concert series with “Utopia” featuring acoustic, unplugged, and rearranged songs from Dreamcatcher’s discography. If we only got that, I’m sure many InSomnia would be satisfied with what was performed. But for Dreamcatcher, that wasn’t enough — they had to give us more than one night of performances, and “Crossroads: Dystopia” was their way of providing an experience closer to their core of rock/pop. It promised not only going a bit harder, but also a more “tradtional” concert in the vein of their many performances over the years, with live renditions of selected tracks, surprising sub-unit performances, and plenty of other entertainment.

Twenty more Dreamcatcher songs await a recap, so without any more delay, let’s dig into night 2 of “Crossroads” with “Crossroads: Dystopia”. As with the last recap, I’ve included prior live performances or clips of the songs performed so you can compare against what we experienced for the concert.


1 — Chase Me

From the beginning, we knew this was going to be distinctly different from the soft vibes of “Crossroads: Utopia”. Gone was the nature/old-school furniture setting of the previous night, as were the flowery and pretty dresses. Dreamcatcher, clad in a sparkling gold and black, was here to come out swinging, and did so with their debut track from 2017, “Chase Me”.

Last concert, we only got a peek at “Chase Me” backed by a live rock band through a medley of title track songs, so seeing it get its own treatment to start out with was a very nice gesture. What I think was interesting listening and watching this rendition of the song as opposed to when they debuted was not just the rock backing track (which from the beginning had distinctly different instrumentation than the prior night — more guitar and bass, less keyboard) but how far they’ve come vocally in the past 4 years. A more confident Handong, an aggressive Dami comfortable with the flow of her rap, Siyeon singing with more assertiveness and power — these all were on display for Dreamcatcher turning back the clock to their “Nightmare” series. And of course, that aggressive, fast choreography highlighted a side benefit to the stage outfits they were wearing — they seemed to literally be sparkling when they did their fast moving motions and that just added to the track’s charm.



I have a bit of a soft spot for “GOOD NIGHT” — it was my very first listened-to Dreamcatcher track, off of a YouTube recommendations list from 2017 after my usual trip through Japanese vocal trio Kalafina’s discography, and without that, I probably wouldn’t be writing here today. As such, I’ve always loved the song for its bold choreography, throwback to different roles (lead rapper SuA was a thing back in the day), and general badass cool factor. There was just a presence to Dreamcatcher’s dark concept that was evident in all of their live performances, even back in 2017.

This performance of “GOOD NIGHT” made it obvious to me what would be different about these more traditional rock-based/live band-backed performances even as opposed to the “Dystopia: Seven Spirits” concert back in November, and that was, in a word, depth. The addition of a bass line, a guitar that didn’t have any problems improvising riffs around the main melody, more drums to add that rhythmic rock beat that is the hallmark of so many Dreamcatcher songs, and a variety of keyboards with amplification and special effects — these and more showed an evolution of the live band’s instrumentation for the songs to come.


3- Diamond

After a brief introductions ment along with some light (and humorous) community interaction, we returned to the next song in the list, which frankly was a surprise to me. 2019’s “Diamond” from off of “The End of Nightmare” has certainly gathered its fair share of fans from among the InSomnia fandom, but I wasn’t expecting it to come in third in the set.

The hard rock B-side got its fair share of benefit from the live band, with a prominent lead guitar in front running a few riffs on the base rock melody. Much of the enjoyment of listening to “Diamond” is this sort of hard-charging rock style that is coupled by just a small bit of electronic effect behind it, but here we had more emphasis on the rock, creating more power and significance behind the lyrics being sung. I’ve always been a fan of Handong’s “I’m unbreakable…I’m untouchable” lines because they showcase the determination and drive that this song is meant to convey, and they seemed to hit harder with the live band behind it. We even got some little improvisations from several of the members — a shouted “Hey!” at the appropriate places to the beat sounds like something that the audience could certainly participate in once live concerts become a thing again and this song gets picked for the setlist.


4 — You And I

Eagle-eyed InSomnia noticed the red scarves tied to the mic stands for their performance of “Diamond”, which meant we were bound to get a rendition of 2018’s summer comeback title track “You And I” at some point. That time came right on the heels of “Diamond”, and with this we had one of a few songs that would crossover to both concert nights.

For someone like me, who’s probably watched way too many “You And I” performance stages, you’d think that I’d find this pretty standard, but this wasn’t without some of its unique moments experienced only with the presence of a live rock band. Sure, there was plenty of the choreography from the piece that we knew so well — the scarf choreography, SuA being pulled through Gahyeon’s legs (a choreography they had eventually stopped due to how hard it was on SuA’s knees, so it was nice to see it back), Dami and her iconic expandable stick (she’s still got the twirling down pat) and many more familiar moments. The key differences in the live band included a supporting set of guitars to augment that haunting orchestral that plays in the background in several places, keyboard lines that augmented much of the already-powerful rock-based chorus, and a final hard run to the end that put an exclamation point on the last part of the song. It was well worth having it appear in both sets.


5 — PIRI

There are a few songs in the Dreamcatcher discography that I was excited to hear backed by a live rock band, and they all kind of fall under the same umbrella of “songs that don’t immediately hit you with their rock vibe and are driven by other elements”. 2019’s “The End of Nightmare” title track “PIRI” is one of these. When remembering this song, and how it’s been performed live in the past, instrumentally your first immediate thought is to that iconic little whistle tone segment that has admittedly been recycled in a few other places, but which Dreamcatcher has made its own, along with a muted piano line that carries the tune towards a chorus that has some pretty standard hard rock guitar tones.

But a live band brings with it a kind of depth and ability to build on such a base studio production, and that’s what happened with “PIRI”. From the beginning, the addition of a bass line and multiple guitars supported that whistle tone and piano, creating a richer sound that was much different than the original. When you finally got to the chorus it was like the whistle tone had blended with the backing band rather than floating over the top of it, and the result was a new, rock-style chorus line that Dreamcatcher seamlessly was able to fit their singing to. “PIRI” had marked Gahyeon’s first foray into what would eventually become her Lead Rapper role, a pleasant surprise to fans of her who wanted to see her do more in the group, and hearing her deliver her lines with the experience of 4 comebacks since then was nice to see. Other than this, the more muted backing track allowed Siyeon’s bridge singing to shine even more than it did in the original. This was, all in all, by favorite live rock band take on a title track yet as a result.


6 — Shangri-La Cover (orig. VIXX) — sub-unit “Mureung Dowon” (Illusive Utopia), JiU and Siyeon

After a brief ment in which five of the seven members of Dreamcatcher talked a bit about what they just performed and teased which sub-units would be the best, we got treated to the first of three such “special stage” performances, featuring JiU and Siyeon as sub-unit “Illusive Utopia” covering VIXX’s unforgettable 2017 track “Shangri-La”, a perhaps not-so-coincidental choice given that Shangri-La refers to a utopian place by at least one definition (talk about being on-theme).

I’ve always loved it when Dreamcatcher covers boy group songs — not only does it highlight the fact that they are talented and skilled enough to handle much of the more aggressive and sudden movements of boy group choreography, but there’s an opportunity for them to show off what you can sum up as “girl power”. As cliched as that might sound, Dreamcatcher’s ability to make gender irrelevant, to show that women can play any role a man has typically played or portrayed specifically in K-Pop without compromising their own identity, has been one of their many strengths throughout their four-year plus tenure.

JiU, Siyeon, Performance Director Hwang Sooyeon, Dance Crew Leader/Choreographer Kim Keeyeoun, and Dancers Kang Riye and Park Chae pose in their “Shangri-La” costumes. Credit: hwang_sooyeon

In the case of “Shangri-La”, the original is memorable for what I believe are two primary reasons — the fact that the choreography involving the fans is multi-faceted, almost hypnotic in its inclusion to the point of being unable to be covered without them, and that the song is essentially one of seduction — a fan dance with lyrics and song tone to match, intended to flatter and draw into the charms of the singers. On this mark, JiU and Siyeon absolutely succeeded. The fan work was a blend of original choreography and some of the iconic motions VIXX did during their performance (one slow fold of the fan to reveal Siyeon’s face and a smooth snapping un-fold in the middle of choreography for JiU come to mind), and the singing and dancing was as much of a “come hither” invitation as anything VIXX did. It looked sharp, and it did its job.


7 — Baby Don’t Stop Cover (orig. NCT U) — sub-unit “Baby Let’s Go”, Yoohyeon and Dami

Continuing along the trend of boy group covers, next up we had Yoohyeon and Dami combining forces to put out their version of sub-unit NCT U’s “Baby Don’t Stop”. I know I just got done talking about how Dreamcatcher has been great about being empowering for women by showing they’re every bit as charming as the men can be, but it bears repeating here. Where VIXX’s “Shangri-La” is an elegant, flowing seduction, NCT U’s “Baby Don’t Stop” is an inevitable aura, a wave of forward-marching charisma that utilizes both vocals and rap to create a constant rhythm to the ears and eyes that captivates. From what I researched, this song has millions and millions of views for a reason — it’s at its core a minimalist way of presenting a duo good at both their respective roles that feed off of each other and create a combined force. I’m admittedly not a huge NCT fan, but I can appreciate a good song when I hear it.

Yoohyeon and Dami pose with Choreographer Sung Chan Kang and Dancers Bobby Olo, Lee Heon, and Yoowook Yoo. Credit: ssu_x_mini

All of this makes the song seemingly tailor-made for a lead vocalist like Yoohyeon and a main rapper like Dami to do amazing things with on the stage, and that’s exactly what happened. Taeyong’s original whisper-rap is likely to never be forgettable, but Dami, true to her rapper talent, covers it with such intensity that you would think it was some kind of aggressive ASMR video. Her ability to then go straight into the rapid-fire spoken verses that Taeyong does in the original is not entirely unexpected but still impressive to hear. On the vocal side, Yoohyeon does Ten’s original job with all of the vocal talent she has to bear — sure, it may seem like at first that she’s just backing up the fire that Dami is spitting out, but it takes real vocal control and skill to weave in and out of what Dami is doing, while at the same time providing your own tone and color in the quiet, yet no less powerful singing you’re supposed to be doing.

In the end, just like in the original, you come to realize that both Yoohyeon and Dami are providing equal parts to the resulting rhythmic wave of charisma the song is supposed to be exuding. Combine that with what is very much a boy group-style choreography, which preserves most of the NCT U stage complete with sharp movements and aggressive swagger, and you have a sub-unit stage that was wowing just about every InSomnia watching.


8 — Twinkle Cover (orig. SNSD TTS) — sub-unit “Su-Dong-Ga” (SuA, Handong, and Gahyeon)

Legendary K-Pop girl group Girls’ Generation (SNSD) has a small connection to Dreamcatcher — one of their most well-known tracks, “Gee”, was produced by personnel who would eventually use its massive success to help found a new company, Happyface Entertainment, which would eventually become the Dreamcatcher Company that we know today. So it honestly seemed inevitable that we would eventually get a cover by Dreamcatcher for this group. The 90 million-view “Twinkle” MV was originally performed by SNSD sub-unit “TTS” (Taeyeon-Tiffany-Seohyun) and it is at its heart fueled by a message of confidence (though not arrogance or egotism) in oneself and one’s charm, even if they don’t always have absolutely everything they want all the time. It’s a “this is me, and I can’t help what effect I have” kind of a song, and seems perfect for “big Leo energy” SuA, recently assertive and confident Handong, and a Gahyeon who’s morphed into the “maknae on top” we know and appreciate today.

SuA dresses the part for her SNSD “Twinkle” cover with Handong and Gahyeon. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

What’s really impressive about this cover, aside from the fact that SuA, Handong, and Gahyeon rocked all of the pastel color and confidently bright dresswear of the early 2010s in K-Pop, is that they were able to accurately reproduce the pure vocal power that the original sub-unit possessed. Anyone who’s been into K-Pop a while knows that any single one of Taeyeon, Tiffany, or Seohyun are no vocal slouches and are individually powerful in their own right, and while SuA, Handong, and Gahyeon are all great vocalists, they are not, position-wise, in the group’s vocal line.

That the song was able to be sung, produced, and performed by Dreamcatcher’s Main Dancer, Sub-Vocalist, and Lead Rapper shows a trust on the part of the company in each individual member’s potential to reach beyond their own assigned role, and the results speak for themselves. From the iconic hand-roll up the arm, to each member’s turn at maintaining the powerful vocal level of the song, to all of the bright smiles and singing that typified the original, Su-Dong-Ga didn’t just “Twinkle”, they sparkled and glowed, both vocally and in presentation, and it was an unexpected treat to showcase just how deep the talent runs in Dreamcatcher. It was a great way to end sub-unit stages, especially as we got to see behind-the-scenes video for each stage’s preparation afterwards.


9,10,11 — “Dystopia” Metal Marathon — Scream, BOCA, and Odd Eye

I had considered doing each of the next three songs individually, but because of the fact that they were performed one after the other in quick succession, and because they are inevitably connected through similar musical rearrangement and the storyline, I decided to take a look at them all at once.

Clad in black and red in a remix of their cyberpunk style gear from “Road to Utopia” promotions, Dreamcatcher returned to the stage as a whole group once again to do the entirety of the “Dystopia” title track trilogy in pretty much a single go, with pauses only to re-position for starting places for the next song. Before I get into the impressions of the songs, let me say that I was incredibly impressed at the stamina it must have taken to perform three intense choreographies in a row over ten-plus minutes. If anyone out there had any doubts as to whether or not Dreamcatcher does that stereotypical idol crash dieting for performances, put them to rest right now, as the amount of cardio and energy it takes to do that means by necessity you have to exercise and eat healthy, and in decently-sized portions (seriousness of that aside, it’s nice to know all that fried chicken and ice cream Dreamcatcher consumes is put to good use).


As to the songs themselves, we knew from mild spoilers posted by MyMusicTaste that we were going to get some kind of “metal” version of “Odd Eye”, but seeing that applied across the whole trilogy was a nice treat and a good way to thematically unite the three title tracks. Even compared to “Dystopia: Seven Spirits”, when “Scream” and “BOCA” got the live band treatment, these songs just hit differently. There was definitely a “metal” feel to the backing — more pronounced guitar, deeper bass, reduction of the non-rock-style instrumentals, and just a slightly slower tempo. The result was, to me, a callback to Dreamcatcher’s earlier, more purely rock and metal days, and hearing all their recent songs get that old-school treatment was a delight to hear, especially given that there was some mild criticism about Mdromeda’s live band version of “Odd Eye” (linked above) just not hitting as hard as it could. This for sure made up for it, and even though the group was sweating buckets and having to reach for water/tissues or, in Gahyeon’s case, a seat on the stage after doing it, it was nevertheless the satisfied tiredness of a performance well-done and well-appreciated.


12 — In The Frozen

Leaning harder into the EDM portion of their style has paid dividends for Dreamcatcher, which is why 2020’s “In The Frozen” has become many InSomnias’ B-side of choice from “Dystopia: The Tree of Language”. We know that title track “Scream” gets much of the attention due to being an EDM/Rock hybrid, but this track is considered to be a spiritual successor to 2019’s “Silent Night” from special mini-album “Raid of Dream” and with good reason. It’s a piece that builds up haunting vocals into a fast-paced, aggressive EDM-style beat that makes many fans nod their head in rhythm.

Sung and performed live, however, that beat takes on a completely different tone, because it isn’t carried by the backing track but rather by live percussion. After a bunch of songs where the guitarists and keyboardists have gotten to show how differently Dreamcatcher’s songs can feel, the drummer finally gets his time in the sun by providing the rhythmic basis for “In The Frozen”, and with live piano and guitar following the percussion lead, you get a song that allowed Dreamcatcher to really punctuate its aggressiveness with their vocals. Dami, Gahyeon, and Handong in particular got to augment the beat with spoken parts and raps, and everyone else provides the vocal tone needed to preserve the ethereal feel of the piece. “It just hits different” is pretty much the feeling you got when listening to the live band version of this song, and it never being performed live before in any context is just the cherry on top of the song sundae.


13 — Poison Love

Like “Crossroads: Utopia” and its rendition of “Break The Wall”, it’s hard for me to take any performance of “Poison Love” seriously due to the hilarious self-made MV they made, which is made even more unforgettable by the fact that Handong serves as the protagonist for what appears to be a parody of harem-style K-drama or anime. It also didn’t help that Dreamcatcher explained later that they were supposed to do the exaggerated choreography for it (JiU was the only one to do it and got clowned since nobody else did) and re-created the “chase” scene where they are all going after Handong.

All the funny parts aside, “Poison Love” gets its standard benefit from being performed with a live band, something never done before this concert night, and bass and drums lend themselves to deepening the mysterious, haunting beat that drives the song’s action and theme about obsessive love. Even though Dreamcatcher stood still for most of this, I did notice a small bit of what might have been impromptu choreography — every member at some point took their mic off of their stand and walked together, stalking, towards the front of the stage. Rehearsed or not, it added a nice little mood to the performance of the piece, and cast each member as a potential femme fatale.


14 — Wind Blows

I did link it during my “Crossroads: Utopia” recap, but the Mdromeda live band version of “Wind Blows” is respectable and was better-received by Dreamcatcher fans than the aforementioned attempt at “Odd Eye”. That said, hearing the way that the band that’s likely been working with Dreamcatcher for a while arranged everything for their own version of the song, it felt like comparing a student to a master.

I feel like even though “Dystopia: Road to Utopia” will soon be well behind in the rear-view mirror, I’ll likely never get tired of “Wind Blows”. It’s a rock song with a dash of cyberpunk and a lot of attitude, most of it confident and positive, and adding in the fact that this rearranged version was a rock/metal version of the song means that likelihood just increases. I thoroughly enjoyed the instrumentation for this song — it really felt like the band was working around the baseline of Dreamcatcher vocals which didn’t need much tweaking or changing. They just needed a bit of a boost to create a new tone around the song, and that’s exactly what happened here. Hugely prominent guitar riffs and a rich bass line took the song to new heights, while the keyboards and drums worked with the verses in order to create a more complete instrument backing that made this performance seem as fresh as when they first performed it for their album release showcase back in January 2021.


15 — Fly High

We only got a slight tease for 2017’s “Fly High” with a live band in November 2020, when the song was performed as an unplugged/acoustic track, previewing the fact that any of Dreamcatcher’s songs could be re-made into something completely different. This time around, the “Prequel” title track got the full live band treatment, with a fun little bonus — the background screen played a continuous slide show of all of Dreamcatcher’s live show selfies with their fans all over the world.

As with many of the other older Dreamcatcher songs that got performed here, we got to hear how much more mature and richer Dreamcatcher’s vocal skill has gotten compared to four years ago. The subtle control so Siyeon’s live ad libs didn’t overwhelm Yoohyeon’s main chorus singing, the consistency in Dami’s rap tone, JiU’s steadier handling of the bridge — all of these served to show how far Dreamcatcher have come. This rendition was certainly airy and a bit more happier as far as color goes, even in the backing instrumentation — there was plenty of uptempo guitar and bright piano, and no sinister mood hiding behind the singing of the lyrics like during promotions, but to me, that’s totally fine. “Fly High” will always be that part of the “Nightmare” storyline that isn’t as dark by virtue of where it sits in the plot’s history, and I’ll take some of the emotional high from seeing the history of what will hopefully be a future once again at some point in the form of live tours with Dreamcatcher.


16 — Trust Me

Along with “Scar”, it’s always been my belief that “Trust Me” has been criminally underrated in Dreamcatcher’s discography, the unfortunate circumstance of an album like 2017’s “Prequel” that had such great B-sides on it (“Sleepwalking” and “Wake Up” have gotten their fair share of attention). It might be because it’s very much a standard ballad and in debut year, you do whatever you can to include standard things where appropriate when the core of your concept is very much non-standard. The Special Clip for “Trust Me” has less than 1 million views and is one of the few on Dreamcatcher’s channels to be in such a situation currently as of this writing.

So it was that when “Trust Me” was selected to be played as part of the “Crossroads: Dystopia” set as a cooldown piece after the high energy of “Wind Blows” and “Fly High” that I was pretty happy. There were a lot of feels to be had since this piece followed closing comments, wishes for things to go back to normal so they can tour, and thanks to the fans, and that mood was only increased by this live-band-backed piece. We got a slow rock version of the ballad to back up Dreamcatcher’s emotionally-charged vocals, the kind of thing that you wave your lighters (or in this case, your lightsticks) from side to side slowly for. The song is essentially a reassurance about being there for someone through their troubles, and having that be backed up by a live band only deepened the message being sent by the group’s singing.


17 — Wake Up

As with the previous night, this encore set came on the heels of a pretty emotionally heavy moment that this time had been pre-recorded prior to the concert, which I’ll get into later. For now, it’s important to note that Dreamcatcher came back from the break armed with an extra-long lightstick — the result of sticking a bunch of middle sections together — and were pretty satisfied to have done it. Even though many concert venues may likely outlaw the practice of extending the Dreamcatcher lightstick like this in the future due to safety concerns, it was still nevertheless impressive to see that it was indeed possible.

Armed with this, Dreamcatcher began their last set of songs, starting with the high energy track “Wake Up” from 2017’s “Prequel”. We’ve seen this song performed plenty of times live during encore sets from Dreamcatcher, and with good reason — it’s a lively track that helps bring the audience’s energy up for the last part of the concert and doesn’t require much to have that energy come from Dreamcatcher. Of course, there was plenty of clowning around on stage, including taking turns holding the lightstick and messing around with it, the members singing into each other’s mics, and generally just being happy and excited to be there. You can tell they miss being able to see the audience reacting to their energy, but they can certainly take solace in the fact that those of us watching at home were loving it.


18 — Mayday

It’s been quite some time since the special clip performance above, when the fandom was small enough that they could pick out a few dedicated and musically inclined InSomnia to be able to perform a song like “Mayday” from 2018’s “Escape the Era” album. It’s obvious from the many performers and groups out on YouTube and more that there are plenty of InSomnia covering Dreamcatcher these days, a testament to the fandom’s growth since then.

Even so, “Mayday”, like “Wake Up”, has remained a mainstay of Dreamcatcher live concert sets, for much of the same reasons — it’s a pure rock track that is meant to get people excited and up out of their chairs, and when live concerts with audiences come back around, will likely be tailor-made for lightstick waving. For now, though, it was enjoyable just to hear it backed by a live band again (as we’d heard it last during “Dystopia: Seven Spirits” last Novemeber), and for Dreamcatcher to play to their online crowd once more with fun gestures (Dami lightly bonking herself with the lightstick during her verse comes to mind) and clear affection towards one another (Siyeon and Gahyeon looking at each other smiling and then embracing during the bridge was as sweet as I am describing it).


19 — Tension

After some actual final goodbyes and thank yous to the CEO, staff, band, MyMusicTaste, the stylists, the members, and of course, InSomnia, Dreamcatcher launched into their last couple of songs, starting with 2020’s “Tension”, at one time in another form considered to be a title track for one of Dreamcatcher’s albums. It’s easy to see why — this is frequently referred to by many fans as one of their favorites as far as pure Dreamcatcher core content (rock/pop) is concerned, a high energy guitar and drum backed headbanger of a jam that is also a song with lyrics designed to encourage and revitalize. Sometimes we just need the right song to get us up and motivated, and that’s what “Tension” is in spades.

We’ve heard “Tension” played with a live band before, so the addition of more guitar and keyboards just served to deepen and layer on more of the rock feel that we’ve come to familiarize with the song’s performance. With that in mind, it was fun to watch Dreamcatcher maintain their energy on stage during the performance, even as they thanked the band by gradually moving to each band member and singing around them, but the performance wasn’t without it’s fun and comedic moments, either. Siyeon was so excited that she fell back on her rear trying to sit down, Gahyeon whacked her lightstick with her mic, continuing the tradition of QA that she’s been accidentally doing with the devices, and of course, everyone participated in the iconic “you’re doing so well” line in Korean that has become the song’s calling card.


20 — New Days

Finally, we reached what will likely be a new entry into the encore set of songs with 2021’s “New Days”, an encouraging song that is meant to pick you up when you inevitably feel down. This was a great final song to end on — not only is it brand new as of the concert date, but its message and energy make it perfect for live performance. As a rock-focused song, this was obviously a fit for the band to work with, and the song worked to a T as a result. Of course, as the song was Dami’s first original song to be released according to her, it was great to see her smiling and beaming as it got performed for the first time live.

What was really nice, however, was Dreamcatcher calling out their backup dancer crew as well as performance director Hwang Sooyeon to come help with providing one last push for energy when performing “New Days”. It’s pretty clear from Instagram photos and a couple of Dreamcatcher’s Notes that the group is pretty close-knit with their backup dancer crew, a recent addition in the last year or so to their songs that’s served the dual purpose of providing more depth to the group’s choreography and also provided steady employment to performers during a pandemic with greatly reduced opportunities for work. Not content with letting them play their usual role of fading into the background and augmenting the group, Dreamcatcher brought a few of them front and center to have their time in focus in front of camera. It was a nice gesture of recognition and solidarity, and made their final group bow to the audience and thank you to the band even more significant. With one final pass along the stage camera by Dreamcatcher, and the band playing the New Days instrumental to a final exclamation point, the Crossroads two-day concert series came to close.

Other Concert Notes

Dreamcatcher poses for the camera for MyMusicTaste promotional photos. Credit: _mymusictaste

After that emotional moment during “Crossroads: Utopia” with Handong’s birthday and surprise message from her parents, one would think that we would be safe from the feels train, but that was not to be the case. Prior to the encore set of songs, we were shown a brief segment where the members were asked by the company to handwrite a letter to the rest of the group (that they obviously hadn’t shown to everyone else beforehand) and talk about their feelings and thoughts about their journey so far. It started innocently enough, with Gahyeon reading an affectionate thank you that was heartfelt and appreciative.

But when Handong read hers next and talked about how she was shy and had difficulties expressing herself, but was fortunate enough to have “warm-hearted members” to help her, Gahyeon started to cry, which set off an emotional rollercoaster of laughter and crying through all the subsequent letters being read as each member recalled how they have had difficulties both personal and professional but could always count on the other members of Dreamcatcher to support, love, and be there for them. Between this and a stated desire to continue as Dreamcatcher and/or to be close to one another for pretty much forever, there was a clear theme to the letters that was both touching and spoke to the relative unity and harmony of the group that, at least from what we have seen publicly, is as strong as it’s ever been.

Dreamcatcher says hello to their fans at KCON:TACT Season 3. Credit: KCON_official

To understand why this was so emotional and significant to the members (and to some of their fans) it’s important to explain to those of you who aren’t as familiar, and it can really be summed up by the fact that it takes a ton of work to succeed in the K-Pop industry as it is now. Years of training (and hoping to debut), money spent, mental and physical toll, and more are what aspiring idols go through in order to succeed as entertainers. And with a ton of competition out there, success is also not guaranteed even if you do manage to debut with a group or solo. It’s not easy, and that is before dealing with the fact that if you’re in a group, there are a ton of interpersonal dynamics that arise from living and working together in close proximity.

For Dreamcatcher‘s members to express that there have been trials, tribulations, and times when they’ve not been at their best, had personal problems, and even argued with one another is honesty that I would expect from a group that has lived and worked with each other this long. But when also you combine that with the challenges of the K-Pop industry and the deep expression of gratitude and love they feel for how the other members have helped them be the successful people and entertainers they are today, that’s emotionally weighty stuff.

Dreamcatcher posing in casual encore wear with the extra long lightstick. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Given this, it’s no wonder that:

  • Siyeon tried (and failed) to keep her emotions in check (laughing as she ripped a tissue out of the box to wipe away her tears)
  • SuA cried as she recalled how her personal problems weren’t so bad with everyone else to help her
  • JiU teared up in part because she was empathizing as a good leader should with others’ difficulties
  • Yoohyeon let out a sob as tears ran down her face talking about how meeting the members and having them become her second family is something she would never regret.

…and more that I didn’t point out.

Dreamcatcher is a group that has been through so much (more than the average group with a re-debut and non-traditional concept) with each other that it hits hard for them, especially when it’s written out in letter format like this was. Cynics would say this is mostly what we are presented for the cameras or point out some members were less or more visibly emotional than others, while worriers would speculate about what this means for contracts or the future of the group. To both groups of people, I would say that this is wasteful thinking in the end. It’s much better to think that unless otherwise proven, this is Dreamcatcher being authentic about how they feel about each other and that the company wanted to give their fans a small peek into just how much they care for one another, we well as how they’ve found their current level of success both amazing and satisfying so far. It was nice, if not unexpectedly a rollercoaster of feelings.

But besides that fairly heavy segment were plenty of entertaining other minor things, such as:

  • Dami, the member you’d least expect to do so, evolving Siyeon and SuA’s “yes baby yes” audio meme by having each member do so with their name in a relay (i.e. “Yes Dami yes”)
  • Favorite songs from the Dystopia era (JiU and SuA— “Scream”, Gahyeon — “4 Memory”, Dami — “New Days”, Yoohyeon and Siyeon — “Odd Eye”, Handong — “Fly High” (because you can’t tell an Ice Princess what to do and it transitioned well to the next set) )
  • JiU worried about breaking her mini fan while miming how someone probably broke their lightstick being so excited
  • The poll for favorite sub-unit performance (1, 2, or 3) having “6” as an answer for fans to show they loved all of them
Dreamcatcher with their performance director, choreographers, and dancers. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Overall, it’s not surprising that I found this past weekend’s concert series to be entertaining and fun. We got 40 song performances, 2 different styles, both expected and unexpected events, touching and comedic moments, and a price point ($40 USD for both days plus the VOD to come out) that was well worth it. This concert series was a great way to give the “Dystopia” series one last live hurrah (though we’ll no doubt see more performances of songs in the future in normal rotation) and cap off what has been an intensely busy first quarter of the year for Dreamcatcher. Here’s to hoping they get some well-deserved and needed rest before going back to work for their light Eclipse promotions and events and, of course, work on their next album and Korean-based comeback. Until then, I hope you’ve enjoyed these recaps and that they’ve helped re-create, even for a few minutes, the great concert experience Dreamcatcher gave us.