Handong’s Official Return, Zombie Dreamcatcher, and Concerts Galore

K-Pop — Dreamcatcher Recall

The third week of October 2020 saw the official return of OT7 Dreamcatcher, with an additional early Halloween surprise.

Dreamcatcher, reunited, shows support for Handong’s first Chinese single. Weibo Credit: Catfish Entertainment

Dreamcatcher fans who had anticipated the moment when they’d finally see an actual, reunited 7-member appearance got their wish this past week as Handong officially returned to the fold after almost a year in China. Sure, there were photos from Handong finally emerging from self-quarantine, but she had yet to participate in any official appearances or content. That changed this past week with a flurry of Handong and full Dreamcatcher appearances, starting with two online fansign events (the last for “BOCA” promotions) for both ktown4u and MyMusicTaste. To some of the lucky fans who got into these, it almost seemed surreal to see Handong, though she seemed to step right back in without much issue with her banter with fans.


Of course, no return would have been complete without a V Live or two, and Handong returned in style, surrounded by celebratory flowers, balloons, and even a cake (that she unfortunately and humorously put her hair and part of the flowers into by accident).

There were a lot of highlights from this V Live that I won’t spoil for you all (and we even got to see some of “savage Handong” even as she took some gentle teasing of her own), but the most important takeaway I got from this first appearance live was a more confident and assertive Handong. Dreamcatcher fans who followed her appearance in “Youth With You 2” in China know from her farewell video from the show that she was seeking a way to find her identity as an artist and felt she needed to go back to basics to do so. In this way, Handong felt she’d find more sure footing for herself, especially as it related to her being in Dreamcatcher.


You definitely saw this difference in the group’s first 7-member V Live appearance since Handong’s return. In contrast to prior V Live appearances, where you’d see a more reserved Handong with occasional bursts of character, Handong’s solo and group V Lives with the group were filled with moments such as her loudly and happily telling the staff to clap for her getting millions of hearts on the broadcast, getting up without hesitation to do a funny version of Dami’s second rap choreography from “Scream”, answering questions and interacting with fans and the other members, and overall just putting more of herself out there than she did previously. This can only be a good sign for her, and for the group’s appeal to its growing audience of fans, and it was nice to see.


As expected, we also got a peek into Handong’s required self-quarantine period per COVID-19 guidelines in South Korea, where, not surprisingly we found Handong keeping busy with a little art, figuring out how to eat healthy with a suitcase full of snacks, and in a teaser of what might be upcoming for the Dystopia: Seven Spirits concert on November 7th, showed some of what choreography she’s learning. It’s likely to be the most anticipated event for Dreamcatcher’s fans this year.

But Handong hadn’t forgotten about her newly minted Chinese fan following either, and even though she’s back with Dreamcatcher, the company didn’t hesitate to throw support behind her very first Chinese solo single, “First Light of Dawn”, which Handong was involved in writing the lyrics for. It’s a nice, upbeat track with a message of persevering and not giving up even when you feel lost and stressed, and ultimately finding your best self. There’s no doubt a little bit of Handong’s personal journey over the past year in this song, and you should definitely listen to “First Light of Dawn” via one of the official links.

Dami poses for the KCON:TACT camera during photo time. YouTube credit: KCON official

While Handong’s no doubt been keeping busy, the rest of Dreamcatcher are in the midst of finishing up the rest of their October appearances, with three concerts/festivals to perform at. The beginning of last week marked the third day of KCON:TACT season 2, and Dreamcatcher didn’t disappoint with their concert set of “BOCA”, “Scream”, “Red Sun”, and “Break the Wall” as well as a fun Meet & Greet. If you’re curious about more, my full write-up on Dreamcatcher’s KCON:TACT appearance for day 3 goes into more detail.

Dreamcatcher appears with DIA TV/YouTuber “Great Library” at KCON:TACT Season 2. YouTube credit: KCON official

But Dreamcatcher wasn’t quite done after Day 3. They dropped back in as part of the KCON collaboration with DIA TV content creators for the event and appeared with game reviewer/commentator Great Library. There was a lot of fun synergy between him and Dreamcatcher, from Great Library being delighted at Dreamcatcher’s “zoo” of animal associations, to joking about scolding MNet (and getting fired over it) over Dreamcatcher not being invited to a KCON in South Korea, to Dami and Great Library advising Insomnias to save their money for their upcoming concert instead of a contribution via chat.

And of course, there was at least a little bit of Dreamcatcher chaos:

Yoohyeon and Siyeon, laughing mosquito hunters.
Siyeon apparently destroying the evidence that she slew the mosquito.

We also saw what was technically Dreamcatcher’s first live performance in front of an actual audience at the 2020 Migrants’ Arirang Multicultural Festival (MAMF), an annual event held in South Korea celebrating and promoting cooperation, culture, and work with other Asian countries. If you have some time, the various cultural performances are certainly worth checking out, and Dreamcatcher (along with Solji from EXID and crossover vocal group Forestella) represented South Korea well with their performances of “BOCA” and “Scream”:


Dreamcatcher has one more (likely last six-member) performance on October 31st at the Korean Drive-in Music Festival, sharing time with over 30 other artists, which will no doubt be another great showing for the group.


We also got one more variety appearance from JiU, SuA, and Siyeon on Stone Music Entertainment’s CON:nected feature, where they performed “I Love You”, an “old” song from 2000. Aside from immediately feeling absolutely ancient as a result (was that really 20 years ago?) it’s worth checking out to see Dreamcatcher’s softer singing side.

[Trigger Warning: Disturbing undead imagery, violent wounds — feel free to end your reading of the article here if you wish]


But perhaps one of the biggest Dreamcatcher surprises this week came from the official channel, where the group finally dropped in their 15 million view reward for “BOCA” from a couple of months ago. Ever since fans got them to the milestone in less than a month, we’ve been waiting pretty patiently and with just a bit of curiosity about what the group would come up with. In an apparent homage to Korean drama “Kingdom”, a horror/thriller series set in Korea’s Joseon period that melds political drama and intrigue with a zombie plague, Dreamcatcher and their dance crew suited up in historical Korean costume and then employed the “Kingdom” makeup team to give them the appropriate undead look for a transition from peaceful human elegance to bloodthirsty monster brutality.

The results, as shown in some of these screenshots, speak for themselves.

Gahyeon making quite the hardened warrior with that sword. Video Credit: Dreamcatcher official
Siyeon serving up a fashionable fan for a truly sweltering video. Video Credit: Dreamcatcher official
Yoohyeon bidding you a good day as your resident language scholar. Video Credit: Dreamcatcher official
Dami appears to still be hungry — for more human. Video Credit: Dreamcatcher official
How JiU didn’t hurt something with that zombie lurch/twist is beyond me. Video Credit: Dreamcatcher official
Sua (and undead Dreamcatcher) stares into the camera and into our souls. Video Credit: Dreamcatcher official

Perhaps one of the most impressive things about this special version was not just the change in look, but also the change in presentation, along with subtle-to-significant changes in the existing “BOCA” choreography to reflect the weighty, shuffling, twitchy motions we’ve come to familiarize with our favorite undead/zombie movies and TV shows. Subtle things I noticed on subsequent watches included:

  • All the backup dancers committed to all the zombie choreography from the beginning, especially the two that had to keep SuA safe lifting her while still being zombies.
  • SuA double zombie-clawing the camera instead of kicking in that part of the choreography.
  • Siyeon twisting her elbow around her own head while twitching delivering the high note.
  • Dreamcatcher lurching/staggering into the closing pose (Dami especially being impressive doing so backwards).

For both an early Halloween gift from Dreamcatcher and a way to top off the existing viewing rewards for the “BOCA” music video, this was a real treat (pun intended) to watch — and it was, of course, supplemented by the usual Dreamcatcher clowning around and insights gleaned from a Behind-the-Scenes as well as a Siyeon vlog.


So it was that yet another eventful week of Dreamcatcher content and milestones was ended. With the upcoming preparation for the concert in two weeks, and one more appearance this month for the six-member version of Dreamcatcher, we’re sure to see even more content going forward — see you next week for another recap!