Dreamcatcher Brings Energy, Emotion, And Musical Power To Their Home Turf In Apocalypse: World Tour…

K-Pop — Dreamcatcher Recall

The seven-member K-Pop girl group performs hits both old and new and shares thoughts and feelings with their fans in their first dedicated full offline (and online) concert in years.

Dreamcatcher snaps a photo with their performance director, choreographers, and backup dancers. Source: hwang__sooyeon

Note: This article was originally intended to be released on October 30th, 2022. Out of respect for the Itaewon tragedy it was delayed to November 6th, 2022.

Dreamcatcher has always been built to be a touring group, having visited a bevy of different countries in their five-plus years being active. With the slow and steady growth that they’ve accumulated, however, it was only a matter of time before they performed in front of their fans in South Korea once again, especially as pandemic restrictions have begun to lift and groups have carefully ventured out to offline concert gigs once more.

Fans on the domestic front finally got their wish when Dreamcatcher announced a two-day concert series in Seoul, performing at the KBS Arena in Gangseo-gu, equipped with an extended two-stage setup that allowed fans to have a great view of their favorite rock/pop girl group. Fans unable to attend in Seoul were able to join up for the show on the 30th through frequent-partner MyMusicTaste’s online stream, and that’s what I’ll be concentrating on recapping for this article. Here’s some thoughts about the shows from my perspective. For the full set list from the 30th, be sure to check the end of the article!

Older favorites got a re-arranged coat of new rock band paint.


We’ve been seeing and hearing Dreamcatcher with a live band for about two years now, and every experience with them seems to get better and better as the band and Dreamcatcher find an arrangement that fits the song. For this first dedicated offline concert in a while, however, it seems the band went all-out with the group, especially with slightly older songs such as 2021’s “Odd Eye” and 2020’s “BOCA”.


Part of this is the acoustics for certain, or perhaps the fact that the band’s members have slightly changed that allow for interesting new improvisations and flourishes, but part of it is certainly the time and effort taken to ensure that even for recent songs that have gotten a lot of playtime for fans’ ears, everything felt just as new as when the first time it was heard. It was nice and refreshing to hear.

New songs were heard for the first time live and with a band, showing how tailor-made and awesome they are for a concert setting.


This past week’s concerts were also the first time fans got to hear live in-concert band versions of recent tracks, such as “VISION” and “MAISON”. While we got a sneak preview of these through YouTube channel ItsLive for both songs, this was the first actually live performance for a concert crowd, and it delivered. With Dreamcatcher poking back at their more rock-heavy roots this year, the production and composition of these songs reflect a thought to the live concert environment, especially backed by a band, and how much more powerful the songs get as a result. “VISION” in particular, which has been hailed by many Dreamcatcher fans as a return to earlier form for the group, has a chorus and beats that seem to fit perfectly with the concert setting.


While the upcoming EU tour and future non-domestic tours will likely not have a live band behind them, the “raw” performance of the group and their always-sharp choreography and stable vocals were still impressive to hear and see. For offline fans in South Korea, they managed to get a first and exclusive peek at being present for live performances that will likely wow fans as Dreamcatcher hits the road again in November and beyond.

Beloved B-Sides got plenty of attention from a performance standpoint during Apocalypse: World Tour in Seoul.


One (good) problem with Dreamcatcher’s ever-expanding discography is that after a while there are so many good songs to choose from, especially from the B-Side standpoint, that you have to get picky and choosy about what you pick up. I was pleased to see that for this particular set of concerts, the B-Side performances included songs that fans probably wanted to see more of live, and which would be great to perform with a band and in front of an audience. “Whistle” was one of the most prominent of these, last performed only once as part of a pre-recorded segment of last year’s concert at this time. It was a treat to not only hear this song performed again but also see the chair choreography that showed off Dreamcatcher’s stage versatility and Performance Director Hwang Sooyeon’s and her fellow choreographers’ talent in putting great pieces together.


But even for the B-Sides with no choreography, such as the recently well-regarded “Fairytale” from their latest release and 2019’s energetic “Silent Night”, it was clear that there was a deliberate selection from the B-Side catalog that would amp up the crowd and get them excited at seeing Dreamcatcher perform them. The kind of hype energy that surrounded songs with upbeat tempo and catchy choruses such as “Wind Blows” and “Curse of the Spider” (the latter performed through the group’s Halloween costume VCR video) was what the group intended on bringing to these concerts, and it shows that there are plenty of B-Sides that could use some deserved performance time (where are you, “Scar”? Maybe one day).

MINX’s return (with two new members) cements the idea that Dreamcatcher is absolutely fine with their once-cute concept past.


Of course I couldn’t write an article about these concerts without mentioning the group’s “surprise guest” — a 7-member incarnation of their past selves as cute-concept group “MINX”, performing their most well-known title track in 2015’s “Love Shake. After last year, when a similar tease only revealed that the guest happened to be SuA’s historical statue figure costume, fans were wary of accepting the obvious signs that MINX was coming (such as an actual preview performance on the group’s October Weekly Idol appearance). But arrive they did, and it was a full 100% commitment, going so far as to change to bright matching pastels and skirts and recording a new version of the audio including members Handong and Gahyeon, who were not present for MINX in 2015–2016. It was the only way they could go about it to do the performance right. The result was, at least for me, an alternate universe in which MINX didn’t underperform, added two new members, and was performing one of their first and most iconic hits that rocketed them to the top of the K-Pop charts.


Much has been made of the group’s comments, especially from Main Vocal Siyeon and Main Rapper Dami, that they didn’t really like the group’s initial cute concept as MINX, and in the circles that I run in for the Dreamcatcher community, an occasional debate about just how comfortable they were discussing or doing things from that time in their careers. I’ve always thought that being successful and sustainable, and doing the music they want, has helped soothe or even completely disregard any difficult past feelings from the group about MINX’s doomed arc as a group, and this performance, in my opinion, sealed the deal for me. Everyone would have to have been on board performing, rehearsing, and recording such a throwback, and the group and company have never struck me as being “forced” to do anything they didn’t want to.

For many, facing and being fine with your past difficulties is a big part of ensuring you don’t allow them to have power over you in the present, and while Dreamcatcher has certainly been going toward that in the last couple years as they’ve become slowly more recognized and successful in the industry. If anything, this performance was as much about a statement of recognition and resolution with their past (and a way to get Gahyeon and Handong involved, who’ve seemed to love to perform parts of this song) as it was for giving Dreamcatcher fans something some of them might have wanted to see for years.

Emotion and elation ruled for Dreamcatcher for this set of concert performances.


With all of the great elements of the concert series from the weekend, Dreamcatcher was clearly feeling a lot of different things in a return not only to offline concerts but also doing so in front of their home crowd after only limited exposure due to the last two years of the pandemic. At one point during the latter half of the show on the 30th, normally solid Handong was overcome with emotion when talking about her parents and her Chinese fans who have helped her push through her own doubts and improve. Always-empathetic JiU became unable to continue talking at points as she cried when speaking about how important fans were to her during even the times when she was feeling tired during concert preparations. And Siyeon had her usual emotional release at the concert’s ending, and was comforted and bolstered by her fellow Dreamcatcher members.

I can resonate with these feelings a bit. Even though it isn’t quite the same, I spent a long time in convention planning and events. Every year, even though it got harder for me physically as well as mentally, the community of fans/attendees who would return to support the conventions I worked for and managed became, as JiU said, my “strength” and drove my will to continue for as long as I did in that sphere. Siyeon’s regularly cathartic emotional responses to the end of events reflects my own feelings of both happiness (at fulfillment) and sadness (that it’s over) that I’ve often felt during my time in events.

While we only know what has been revealed to us externally, idol life in South Korea appears to be hard and difficult at times, especially as you get older and constantly re-do the cycle of planning, production, and promotion that typifies the K-Pop career trajectory. In these times, it’s your fellow members/co-workers, a supportive staff/company, and the fans that can help keep an artist going far past if they had to deal with things on their own, and that support was clearly communicated from the audience and Dreamcatcher members as they talked about their honest feelings about the concert and their work.


But for as much as there was a bit of raw emotion on stage from Dreamcatcher’s members, there was just as much if not more elation from them as they continued onward and finished their latest set of concerts. “New Days” has become the group’s defacto feel-good closer to their live concert series, and as confetti rained down on the stage and (for the 29th) Dreamcatcher tossed out candy and their appreciation to the audience, there was certainly a sense of joy from the group. The domestic audience has clearly grown since the last time Dreamcatcher was able to do a dedicated individual offline concert in Seoul, and a fair number of international travelers also made the trip to see the group on their latest and greatest stage. Another tour awaits the group in mid-November, with European and other fans traveling to the continent getting another chance to share a live concert experience with Dreamcatcher. I’m sure that those shows, like these, will have the same performance quality and pure joy that the group feels at being able to sing their songs and perform their choreography for fans. I’m looking forward to hearing (and of course writing) about them. Until then, be sure to clap, subscribe and signal boost if you like what you’re reading, and I’ll see you here next week for more Dreamcatcher recaps and news!