Dreamcatcher in Chicago: Third Time’s The Charm For Latest Tour In Early 2023

K-Pop — Dreamcatcher Recall

The K-Pop group’s return to the Windy City for the third time brought with it a mixture of nostalgia and modern music that will not soon be forgotten.

Dreamcatcher snaps a group pic in Chicago during their 2023 REASON: MAKES tour. Source: hf_dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher’s 2023 REASON: MAKES world tour moved westward across the US this past week, with the group capping off their East Coast jaunt with a show in Reading, Pennsylvania before heading to the Midwest and Chicago to end their second week on the road. There was, of course, a couple of content bits from official channels as always to keep that constant feed of Dreamcatcher stuff flowing to the fandom, but the main attraction this past week was the group’s two live performances. So without further ado, let’s get right into all the fun stuff from this past week!


The group kicked off the week with another show on the East Coast, and the timing worked out that Dami’s birthday fell pretty much on the day (in KST time) for show time. In true Dreamcatcher fashion, they pulled out some cool shades and a nice cake for Dami. Everyone knows about Dami’s swagger when it comes to the stage, but for moments like this, it’s nice to see a bit of her softer side too as she seemed to be genuinely touched by the attention (and the apparent surprise birthday banners someone handed out to fans in line).


As if that wasn’t enough, Dami took to Weverse late in the night to talk to fans briefly before bed, checking in and thanking everyone for the well wishes and fun show. Though a perceived undersell in tickets (possibly due to a combination of factors which I won’t get into here) created some chaos when the venue changed to a smaller one in the Santander Performing Arts Center, the decision meant that this felt like a cozier, more intimate show, which certainly helped with the Dami birthday celebration and, of course, the performance overall.


Mid-week brought with it a longer-than-normal layoff for Dreamcatcher between shows, so while the group traveled to the Midwest and took in the sights in Chicago (with one of the main highlights being Handong and Gahyeon’s trip to “The Bean” in Millennium Park, the top of the formerly known John Hancock Center, and an “Annie” musical at the Chicago Theatre), the official YouTube channel dropped another SuA vlog, a long-anticipated account of her vacation trip with friends Seungyeon (formerly of CLC and one-time collaborator on a dance cover of Masego’s “Tadow) and Suna (an accomplished actress). In true SuA fashion, the vlog was filled with energy and a bit of craziness from grocery shopping to snow fighting to enjoying good food and drink — perhaps not unlike what we might see when the next set of tour vlogs drops a month or so from now. We also got to see a good portion of the vlog with SuA driving — fans knew she had a license but with the idol life, we rarely see the group’s licensed members at the wheel, so this was a nice change. Overall, a nice little video to whet the appetite before more Dreamcatcher live content close to the weekend.

In final lineup for Dreamcatcher, as the Radius Chicago puts up an image of the group for the show.

And with that Friday coming about, I got my chance to see the group for the third time. Dreamcatcher returned to the Radius Chicago, a converted warehouse with a decent capacity that houses more than enough Dreamcatcher fans for the show. But unlike the blistering sun and humidity of last summer, the chill of Chicago’s winter was here to greet fans this time around.

I arrived at the line just a couple hours earlier than I had for last summer’s show, and as you can see in the background, some more hardcore fans had decided to camp at the front of the line. Reports from talking with those who’d opted to do this said that the earliest folks were there over a full day previous to the show. As I said to them — I respect the choice, but I wouldn’t have personally decided to do this given the season, neighborhood, and a forecast for both show day and the previous day that predicted a mild snowstorm and flurries that, while they wouldn’t stick to the ground, still made things uncomfortably chilly.

The wait wasn’t much better, with occasional rain, sleet, and wind, but keeping my mind off of things by making friends, arranging for breaks in turns in the warmer nearby market, and talking with others who were coordinating through the Dreamcatcher Discord community helped matters. I’m a long-time concert veteran who’s been on both sides of the fence, and it still makes me glad that for the most part, Dreamcatcher fans are kind, understanding, and watch each other’s backs when it comes to inclement weather. There were a number of generous gestures from providing blankets, tips on dry seating options, and more that made the collective wait a lot nicer than it could have been.

The position result of an 8 hour wait in line for the show.

The Radius learned from some of the foibles of last year’s somewhat disorganized line-up by providing a clear path to VIP and Meet&Greet check-in (with early access to merchandise, which landed me a SuA jersey, Illinois-specific magnet for Dreamcatcher, and a tour hoodie) and an early re-lineup in front of the main doors. Some of the decisions not to separate by section and run the security checkpoint at doors-opening created a bit more chaos (and perhaps a dashing of front-row plans for some early line VIP Pit 1 denizens), so I was fortunate enough to secure a spot opposite the side I was last summer with the help of an eagle-eyed fellow Discord member who spotted out some nice barricade-level places to get to. Between this and the coincidental circumstance of having upgraded my phone a couple weeks ago, I was in slightly better position to capture some really great photos and video, for which I can thank, among other factors, just plain luck. If you’re reading this and are thinking of lining up early for a future Dreamcatcher show that is partially standing, just know that even the best-laid plans involve a little bit of randomness that can benefit or hurt you.


Just a little after 7:30 pm CST, Dreamcatcher took to the stage with an old-school throwback all the way to the beginning of their debut, with 2017’s first instrumental “Welcome to Dream” going straight into “Nightmare” title track “Chase Me” in all its aggressively choreographed, rock glory. I hadn’t seen this live since the 2019 US tour, and the difference of a much better sight line, having Handong present to make it a full 7-member performance, and 6 years of dance skill sharpening meant this track hit a lot differently for me. Even though I knew what most if not all of the set list would be in advance, there’s no substitute for Dreamcatcher live and in front of you, and that was the case here as well.

Gahyeon makes up for her fellow members good-naturedly disallowing her going sleeveless last July with a cool look in a black dress and boots.
Handong and JiU light up the stage performing 2018’s “YOU AND I” in true rocker fashion.
Dami shows she’s still got the stick twirling skills during “YOU AND I”.
Dreamcatcher lines up, greets, and speaks to fans.

From a fashion standpoint, there was a distinct divide, at least in my opinion, between badass and comfortable for Dreamcatcher, all under an umbrella of a general theme of “cool rocker” that delighted the fandom. To my eye, JiU, Handong, and Gahyeon opted for badass while SuA, Siyeon, and Dami were more on the comfortable side, with Yoohyeon splitting the difference on both ends of the spectrum. The result was a balanced set of styles that I think played well to both the outdoor chilly Chicago winter day and the indoor converted-warehouse-turned-rocker-music-venue and it showed in performances and interactions.


I don’t think it truly got to me just how close I managed to get to the stage this time around until the first song without choreography, 2019’s “The Curse of the Spider” from Special Mini Album “Raid of Dream”, was performed by the group. It was enough of a treat to hear this song live for the first time while actually present in the same venue as them, and of course I’m well-versed in how good Dreamcatcher is with their stage/audience interaction, but it was entirely another to have it happen when this close to them. Every Dreamcatcher member was on my side of the stage throughout the non-choreographed songs, and Siyeon, JiU, Gahyeon, and Yoohyeon in particular came almost to the edge of the stage platform to wave, complete half hearts the fans put up for them, or in my case and others in the same position, play to the phone recordings and photos I managed to take. I’ve long since ditched being starstruck by celebrity due to my previous work and events experience, but that didn’t make me any less appreciative of how attentive the group was to everyone no matter where they were or how far back of a view they got. Given the theme of the show, which they called a “fan appreciation and dedication” set, this just enhanced the experience for everyone.

Yoohyeon comes toward our side of the stage to wave hi for photos and video.
JiU drops by during “Some Love” to toss up a heart for fans.
Siyeon multi-tasks during “Fairytale” by completing a heart for a fan while also pointing the mic in my direction to help sing the chorus.

Seeing things this close and having some pretty direct interactions with Dreamcatcher was just a bonus to me. While the tier of tickets my section occupied guaranteed a great view no matter what, due to the Radius’ unique layout, being completely at the front meant that I was able to provide some amateurish (yet hopefully still decent-looking) pictures of the group’s work for the benefit of the fandom. It’s an experience that I probably won’t soon forget.


The iconic VISION “salute” by multiple Dreamcatcher members.
SuA asks the crowd help sing part of the chorus of “Some Love”.

Songs that did not make it to the last NA tour’s setlist, including prior hits like 2021 B-side “Wind Blows”, and almost the entirety of the group’s latest mini-album release in “Apocalypse: Follow Us” were of course a fresh experience to fans for this tour. Given that I felt that the last album in particular felt like a breath of fresh rock-style air (though still sounding very modern) to the group’s musical style, these were really neat to experience live.

Handong lends her trademark low-toned voice to 2019’s “Polaris”.
Gahyeon, Siyeon and Yoohyeon team up for a heart presentation during “And There Was No One Left”

There were, of course, moments of calm in the slower songs performed. Fan favorites “Emotion” from 2017, as well as “And There Was No One Left” and “Polaris” from 2019 allowed for a more vocally-focused portion of the set, and it allowed for more throwbacks — older ballads and lighter songs that fans may not have heard in a while (or in some cases, ever). We even got a call back to the 2019 US tour and JiU’s simple, directed choreography of “Polaris” — now enhanced with the presence of official Dreamcatcher lightsticks.


And it wouldn’t be a Dreamcatcher concert without memorable “ments” (speaking parts in between blocks of songs). In Chicago, Dreamcatcher held an audience-divided screaming contest (with my portion of the stage, unfortunately, losing quite handily due to expending too much of our energy during the “warm up” exercise), and many talks about what they did in Chicago as well as what they wanted to do in 2023. One of the most memorable and funny ment moments came when Yoohyeon set a certain workout goal for herself in 2023, with both SuA and Gahyeon immediately giving her a hard time for it (all in good fun, of course). I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t heard yet, but the above video should set you straight (and perhaps get you laughing).


But of course, all good things need to come to an end, and Dreamcatcher loaded the last portion of their setlist and encores with high energy. While the group did perform 2019's “Silent Night” for last year’s tour, the difference this time around was a clever lightstick sync that required no fan intervention other than for them to be turned on, and an extra couple of beat drops that amped up the crowd and Dreamcatcher significantly.


The multi-song encore included a fan song medley, with a mix of 2018’s “Full Moon” and 2019’s “Over The Sky” leading right into the tour’s namesake and signature song, 2023’s “REASON”. It was a really great decision to end the set with the latest and arguably most rock-heavy fan song of the group of them and of course cap off a night of themed performances that showed Dreamcatcher’s appreciation for those that continue to support them. You knew, listening to it when it first came out, that this was a tailor-made song for live performances, and it showed in the audience’s participation and energy. You couldn’t have asked for more to cap off the night, and yet another Dreamcatcher concert that delivered on a bunch of levels for me.

JiU and Yoohyeon wave goodbye to Chicago.
Dami bids fans farewell until the next show.
Siyeon and Gahyeon wave to the fans as they leave the stage.
Handong drops one more heart while SuA, armed with a cutout of her face from a fan, says goodbye to Chicago.

As Dreamcatcher left the stage, waving goodbye after some well-deserved final bows and received appreciation from the crowd, there was a sense of fulfillment and optimism from both the group and the audience. We’re seeing this tour in the early part of 2023, prior to even any album releases, so while the future always is hard to predict, one thing that is for certain is that Dreamcatcher is just getting started this year, and new music is most likely around the corner once the group has a chance to recharge back home after this current tour is over. It’s been three times now that I’ve witnessed the group in their element in live performance, and I can say that they remain as energetic, charming, talented, and thankful as ever. I’ll look forward to what they have to offer this year, and hope all of you do as well.

I’ll be reporting on more tour happenings in the next couple weeks as per usual, but I’ll leave you for now with just some of the great pictures I managed to take from the show. Enjoy the pics and the videos, and I’ll see you here next week as usual for the next Dreamcatcher update!