Dreamcatcher, Backed By A Live Band, Slays At “Seven Spirits” Concert

K-Pop Artist Stories

A rocking band, unique solo stages, and music remixes punctuate Dreamcatcher’s 2nd online concert in 2020.

Dreamcatcher poses after performing at “Dystopia: Seven Spirits”. Twitter credit: hf_dreamcatcher

(Note: You might wonder why there are no clips or images from the concert itself in this article. That’s because I prefer to support Dreamcatcher, preferably through official channels, so only official images and clips are included in this write-up. The VOD from “Dystopia: Seven Spirits” is on sale, so if you want to see the video footage, please support them by making a purchase if you haven’t already! Once the VOD is out, I may re-edit this article with concert screenshots.)

Excitement ran high from Dreamcatcher fans when the group took the stage at “Dystopia: Seven Spirits”, their second online concert in partnership with MyMusicTaste. Insomnias were hyped up for quite a few reasons, too:

  • The inclusion of an actual live rock band (a dream come true for a rock-based K-Pop group like Dreamcatcher)
  • The promise of special stages that were touted to be unexpected and unique
  • Fun Halloween costumes (a high bar to exceed considering the costumes from last year’s fan meeting)
  • The return of Handong to the group to perform songs she wasn’t able to participate in when they released

…and much more. 10,000+ tickets had been sold in advance of the concert, with 12,000+ eventually ending up being the final ticket tally, and while that might not seem like a huge amount compared to other, larger groups, for Dreamcatcher, it was more than respectable for a growing, mid-tier act.

True to their stage presence, unique rock/pop sound, and talent, they didn’t disappoint. Here’s a quick summary of what went down at “Dystopia: Seven Spirits”.

Concert Part 1: A Rock Band-Focused Opening

Dreamcatcher takes the stage in “BOCA” era red-and-black. Twitter credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Songs Performed:

  • BOCA
  • Break the Wall
  • Fly High (Unplugged Version)
  • And There Was No One Left
  • Jazz Bar
  • (Medley) What + Good Night + Chase Me

If there were any doubts as to the impact of a live band on Dreamcatcher’s now-signature performance tracks, they were wiped clean by the group’s first set of songs. Starting out strong with their latest title track “BOCA” and following up with rock-heavy “Break the Wall”, Dreamcatcher and its brand-new live band combined to provide a powerful, hard-hitting sound. It was immediately apparent what the value of the live band provided, and it came in the form of depth and flourish.

While Dreamcatcher’s pre-recorded audio backing tracks are by themselves already impactful and significant, adding the element of a live band, which can add color to the base melodies through riffs and improvisations, showcased depth to the tracks that weren’t apparent before. Whether it was a set of guitar chords, a deeper percussive beat, or keyboard synth sounds, their presence was felt with Dreamcatcher’s performance of these recent “Dystopia” tracks.

Dreamcatcher along with Performance Director Hwang Sooyeon and backup dancer crew. Twitter credit: Hwang Sooyeon

The other benefit of a live band? The ability to re-work and re-make new versions of old favorites for performance. We were treated to an “unplugged” version of “Fly High” - a softer, more romanticized version with haunting and talented harmonies yet still the same vocal power. We were also shown some of the same of that with “And There Was No One Left”, and a medley of some of Dreamcatcher’s title tracks - a combination of “What”, “Good Night”, and “Chase Me” that blended into each other, showing that even old favorites could be made into new, head-banging, tightly choreographed bangers.

Concert Part 2: Solo Stage Star Power

Dreamcatcher poses with their Halloween costumes. Twitter credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Songs Performed:

  • Handong (as Gothic Vampire) — AKMU, “How Can I Love the Heartbreak, You’re the One I Love”
  • Yoohyeon (as Woody from Toy Story) — Taylor Swift, “22”
  • JiU (as Judy Hopps from Zootopia) — IU, “BBIBBI”
  • Gahyeon (as Mera from Aquaman) — Gain, “Bloom”
  • Dami (as Boss Baby) — Rain, “Rainism”
  • Siyeon (as Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians) — Gain, “Paradise Lost”
  • SuA (as Hellboy) — MAMAMOO Hwasa, “Maria”

We were told we were going to get special stages, as well as costumes that, though appearing after Halloween, would be worth the wait. But what I suspect most Insomnias didn’t expect was that the two would be related and that every single member of Dreamcatcher would get a solo stage all to their own. This was a delight to hear because it truly allowed each member to shine, radiating their own stage presence and talent independent of the group as a whole. These served as a decent bulk of the middle of the concert overall and all of them delivered.

It’s not like we’re unfamiliar with Dreamcatcher killing it on a solo stage. Aside from concerts or events where selected solo songs (like Siyeon’s “Overdose” cover) made sense, birthday fanmeets allowed each member to showcase talent, just as Handong did singing “Snow Flower” in two languages. But this was the first time where subunit stages would give way to individual covers, and Dreamcatcher didn’t disappoint. Here’s a rundown of the solo stages.


Handong kicked things off dressed as a gothic vampire, complete with tears of blood, and covered an AKMU song (“How Can I Love The Heartbreak, You’re The One I Love”), a romantic ballad made more haunting by the fact that she emerged from a casket (how nice of you, Handong, to bring something to put Dreamcatcher fans inside after they’re slain by your vocals). After a year away in which she had every opportunity to improve during her time with “Youth With You” and Catfish Entertainment, Handong was probably chomping at the bit to perform, and Dreamcatcher Company certainly accommodated her. She notably got the most time, a real treat for her and her fans to show just how much she’d improved on an already-skilled voice that has been prominent on many of Dreamcatcher’s B-sides.


From there we swapped to a livelier tone with Yoohyeon showing off her English skills covering Taylor Swift’s “22”, dressed as Woody from “Toy Story”. Yoohyeon fans know that she isn’t a stranger to covering all-English pop-type songs due to her linguistic versatility (see the cover of Anne-Marie’s “2002 she did), but it was nice to hear her cover such a popular song from 2013 (and to also get Handong involved in a savage, albeit short, cameo still clad in her gothic vampire wear). Yoohyeon ended the song, strumming her toy guitar all the way, by falling down as Woody to hide from Andy. I’m sure she was joining people down there who were probably literally floored by such an energetic performance.


From there, we continued into cute territory with JiU’s cover of IU’s “BBIBBI”. The original’s a bit of a visually meandering, yet light song and JiU put her own spin on it with the help of Dreamcatcher’s backup dancer crew, while dressed as Judy Hopps from “Zootopia”. The result was a group number that put “JiUdy” front and center to take full advantage of her visual performance skills. JiU has referred to herself as “Dreamcatcher’s Bunny” a ton of times, so this was wildly appropriate for her costume and for her to deliver such a cutesy performance that ended with her chasing her dance crew off stage.


From here we went straight back into “sexy concept” territory with Gahyeon, clad in the aquatic dress and iconic red hair color of Mera from “Aquaman”, covering GAIN’s “Bloom”. The video contains an iconic use of a table along with a flowing choreography that draws the eye, and Gahyeon wasn’t shy in using it. “Bloom” is an interesting choice for Gahyeon — the song talks rather boldly about first-time love and everything that comes with it, both physical and emotional, and the reason I call it interesting for Gahyeon is it continues a recent trend by her to move away from the stereotypical “cute maknae (youngest)” image into more of a mature, adult sound and choreography (see “Coming of Age Ceremony from her birthday fanmeet. There’s still plenty of cute and maknae with Gahyeon, but expanding her horizons as an artist is never a bad thing.


Sometimes, however, it’s good to just fall back on what you’re best known for, and that’s what Dami did. Channeling the “boss” in “Boss Baby” with her costume, Dami covered RAIN’s “Rainism”, a mix of electropop, hip hop, R&B, and dance. In other words, this was straight up her alley. Surrounded by her personal suited-up guard of backup dancers, Dami covered the badass swagger of RAIN’s choreography perfectly and even got to experience a bit of what SuA did for “BOCA” by being lifted up and carried off stage. I’d forgotten how much “Rainism” had snuck into my tracklist, and it was great to see Dreamcatcher’s main rapper picking it up.


Dreamcatcher wasn’t done with GAIN, as Siyeon proved when she casually strolled out as Cruella De Vil from “101 Dalmatians”, clad in fur coat, black and white wig, a temporary “Singnie” symbol tattoo on her cheek, and a stuffed dalmatian toy. Shedding the fur coat and putting the dog down, Siyeon showed us that even though she’s been known by fans to be more casually dressed in pants for stage outfits, she’s more than capable of rocking a more traditional dancer’s outfit as well. Because Siyeon is known for her singing power as Dreamcatcher’s main vocal, we don’t quite get to see her do as much choreography by herself, much less the kind of sinuous, femme fatale movement that covering GAIN’s “Paradise Lost” required.


The last of the solo stages was anchored by SuA, who’d promised to top the impact of July’s online concert when she’d covered the Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons” and “React”. The problem, however, was that Insomnias made an assumption. The Pussycat Dolls stage was notorious for being risque and fatal, so the thought was that SuA would try to go that direction to exceed her own bar. What most people forgot was that last time SuA was in costume, she played a pretty convincing Pennywise the Clown from “IT”. To top that, she’d have to have something that was even more elaborate — which is why she ultimately decided to go with Hellboy.

The hilarious dissonance between SuA’s Hellboy costume and MAMAMOO Hwasa’s “Maria” was apparent from the beginning as SuA did “Maria” choreography that normally wouldn’t be done by a gruff, badass half-demon. Even the song itself, along with SuA’s singing voice, was altered to the point of sounding like a lower register you’d expect from someone with a demon’s appearance. Sure, it was meant to be funny, but it was clear SuA was committed to the whole package of this character, and nothing, not even Hwasa’s seductive choreography, was going to stop her.


But Dreamcatcher wasn’t done. They closed off this part of the set reuniting as seven members on stage, then proceeded to sing JiU-written ballad “Dear”, with SuA/Hellboy and Siyeon/Cruella hamming it up in front as the most unusual couple and everyone else doing subtle things to act like the characters they were portraying. It was nice to hear “Dear” live — they’ve certainly done it before, such as in the video I linked, but it was made even better by this disparate, but ultimately talented, costumed character acting.

Concert Part 3: Old favorites and a multi-song encore

Dreamcatcher press shot for Dystopia: Seven Spirits. Photo credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Songs Performed:

  • Scream
  • Sahara
  • Deja Vu
  • Red Sun
  • Black or White
  • Emotion
  • Can’t Get You Out of My Mind
  • Tension
  • Mayday

Dreamcatcher returned to the stage after showing off their solo stages to perform the last portion of their concert, an extended set that was also broken up by things like one behind the scenes video where the members recorded secret messages to each other, and another segment where they took questions from K-Pop YouTube channel Reacttothek, the questions being:

  • “What was the last thing you would say if you had to close your mouth for seven days?” (there were cute answers here but Dami’s was by far the smartest, being simply “we could just talk by text or messenger and say ‘see you next time’”)
  • “What do you want people to think of when they hear Dreamcatcher’s songs and what words would you want to be associated with them?” (the answers here were a mix of “we hope you feel content and happy, and gain strength from them”)
  • “After knowing each other for a long time, is there something you recently discovered about each other?” (this descended into a bit of Dreamcatcher-style chaos, but the best answer was SuA discovering Handong loves chicken, can eat it three days in a row or more, and even wakes up in the middle of the night craving it. Don’t worry Handong, I have a feeling you’re not alone).

The first half of this last part of the concert consisted of some older, reliable songs we’ve heard performed live before in “Scream”, “Sahara”, “Deja Vu”, “Red Sun”, and “Black or White”. Once again, the band served as a means to make the songs themselves sound different than the studio versions, and out of all of these, I’d have to say “Red Sun”, which hadn’t had much in the way of rock elements in the studio version, benefitted the most.

Dreamcatcher with Dreamcatcher Company staff. Instagram Source: aurum.ceo

But of course, the main appeal for watching these was how they would work with all seven members performing. Insomnias had long discussed in community spaces how Handong would figure into the mix once she was back, and whether or not she’d see a decent amount of presentation like the other members. Not unexpectedly, producers Leez and Ollounder delivered on this front. Handong’s pickup of lines throughout the concert, taken from all the members to some degree, made it seem like she never left. Songs like “Black or White” gave Handong fans plenty of screentime and vocals to appreciate, while everyone no doubt was happy to see her once again take her place and perform her iconic lines and choreography from “Deja Vu”.


The last part of the concert involved a mix of songs we hadn’t heard in a while live and some songs we’d never heard live at all. “Emotion” was a nice throwback to hear again — we hadn't really heard it performed live since the early years of Dreamcatcher (2017, during fanmeetings, and 2018, during tours such as the South American one linked above). The set finale, like the last Dreamcatcher concert, ended with a song that no doubt was a message to fans in the all-English “Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind”. This was a real treat to hear for the members to highlight their improving English pronunciation and of course provide that 2010’s EDM energy vibe.

But unlike last time, and in true rock band concert style, Dreamcatcher wasn’t done. After some goodbyes, they encored, performing two rock-heavy songs to give themselves and their band one last powerful hurrah. We’d never heard “Tension” performed live before, and the “Dystopia: Tree of Language” song that was once considered to be a potential title track back in the day before being re-worked didn’t disappoint, with the best part being the now meme-worthy Dami line of “Neon jigeum jalhago isseo(translated to “you’re doing great right now”) that we’ve heard the members say to each other.


The other encore song, and the last to be performed, “Mayday”, was both appropriate and fun to do for Dreamcatcher, given its history. The group’s Special Clip performance of the song in 2018, done in conjunction with musically-talented Insomnias, was our first little peek into what Dreamcatcher would sound like paired with a live band. Since then, Dreamcatcher seemed to make it one of their goals to get a band backing their rock-based discography, which they and their fans thought was an obvious logical leap to make their songs even more powerful.

Well, they can certainly cross that off of their K-Pop career bucket list, because their return to “Mayday”, both as a performance piece and as a way for the band to play them off of the stage, seemed to be a validation, a triumph in Dreamcatcher’s four-year (and hopefully beyond) history, and an appropriate cap to a two-hour display of their multi-faceted talent as K-Pop’s resident rock/pop girl group. Without a doubt, this was completely worth the price to me, and I hope you all feel the same way.

Dreamcatcher’s MyMusicTaste promo photo for the VVIP soundcheck. Twitter credit: MyMusicTaste