GOT7’s third stop on their American leg of the Turbulence tour brought them back to The Rosemont Theater in Chicago, a venue they’d last visited in July for their FLY concert series by Subkulture Ent.
Unlike in July, however, fans lining up outside the venue prior to this show were forced to bundle up and huddle together to fend off the bitter cold air and scattered showers of freezing rain! Some lovely fans moved throughout the line handing out free hand-warmers and cookies, keeping IGOT7 spirits high before doors opened. Still, there was a huge sigh of relief when everyone made their way into the toasty-warm venue.
The energy in the crowd was palpable as fans took their seats and sang along to the GOT7 songs blasting from overhead speakers! When the lights were dimmed, a frenzied stream of screams rang out as fans excitedly watched the members enter the stage and settle onto their stools. The line-up throughout the tour remained consistent; from left-to-right, Jackson, Jinyoung, Mark, JB, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom.
They opened their set with two ballads from their self-produced Turbulence album, starting off with the slightly more upbeat “Let Me” before seguing into the more R&B-styled “Prove It”. The tour production’s lighting and graphics provided a stunning backdrop for the boys’ visuals as they serenaded their ahgases!
After Prove It ended our host-with-the-most for the evening, MC Danny Lim, came on stage to officially get the party started with member introductions, followed by a Q&A segment with queries submitted from fans in attendance!
BamBam, as usual, fielded questions about dabbing and followed suit with a demonstration. One fan asked “if you weren’t an idol, what job would you be doing?” and the audience collectively sighed “Awwwww!” as each response seemed to get progressively cuter (Yugyeom: dancer! Youngjae: music therapist! Jinyoung: elementary school teacher!) but MC Danny smoothly kept the segment going!
Following the introductory MCs came a rousing performance of Boomx3, complete with updated choreography that had been retooled since their first Turbulence tour stops. Let’s just say there was a lot of hip-shaking and pelvic-thrusting that seemed to have a tremendous impact on the audience, as evidenced by the volume of screams! In a somewhat controversial move, Boomx3 was followed up by a performance of Just Right. A beloved fan-favorite, no doubt, but some fans were hoping for more tracks from Turbulence, as had been performed at the Canadian fanmeet stops last November.
The game segment followed those two performances, and the members each drew individual raffle tickets to find their lucky partners in the audience. While the selected fans made their down from their seats to staff waiting in the side stage area, the boys plowed ahead with their own solo game; “Guess The Song”, where a split second of a track would play overhead, leaving the boys battling to raise their hand and be the first to correctly name the title. MC Danny proved a formidable match for the members’ collective craziness, as he successfully corralled their ever-increasing energy level and swiftly doled out punishments for those who gave wrong answers (hint: usually Jackson!).
Then the raffle winners were brought out on stage for the “team” game segment: a game similar to hacky-sack, in which GOT7 and their partner would take turns kicking around a glittery pom-pom to see how many tries they could go before it hit the ground.
The game proved to be much harder than it looked as most members and fans managed only a single kick or two, including acclaimed soccer genius Jinyoung! In a stunning defeat, our very own maknae Yugyeom wound up claiming the victory, and got to present his partner with a gift bag…and a hug, as the crowd swooned in envy!
A rousing performance of their singles “Fly” and “If You Do” (seemingly one of the most beloved songs among American ahgases!) followed, with the boys never once giving anything less than 100% to their dancing.
When MC Danny returned to the stage after the last notes of If You Do and began asking “did you have fun?” in past tense, the crowd bristled with sheer disbelief that the show was already nearing a close. Time flies when GOT7 is on stage before you! The members dabbed themselves with sweat towels (those stage lights+those dance moves=a killer combination!) before giving their heartfelt ending comments to the crowd.
No matter how many shows GOT7 performs, they never feel anything less than 100% genuine in their messages of gratitude to the crowd. Jinyoung once again stunned fans with his carefully and beautifully enunciated English, while Jackson as always stressed his desire for all IGOT7 to remain happy and healthy. And Yugyeom was roped into doing his sexy-dance-routine in the middle of his ending speech, while BamBam hilariously stood to the side and watched through his hands held over his eyes!
MC Danny announced that GOT7 had one last song in store, and the crowd knew what to anticipate! Although the boys were surely still winded from the intensive dancing of their last two songs, they pulled out all the stops for a venue-shaking performance of Turbulence title track Hard Carry, with flames ablaze on the screen behind them, stage lights going wild, and a hurricane of confetti shooting out over the crowd at the last note!
The lights went dark on stage and the boys exited for a few moments, while the crowd’s excitement level only continued to build until the first notes of Home Run blasted out from the speakers. The encore had begun! The boys sang along to the song in a laid-back performance as they canvased the stage and got up-close and personal with fans at the front. Venue security loosened up, as traditionally happens during the encore, so fans from further back can head into the pit area. Hands stretched out with cellphones as some fans tried to be one of the lucky few to have a member take selfies on their phone, while others went in for a hi-five and some simply stayed still and shot pictures! Fans gleefully ate all the fanservice up, and the ever-considerate boys also spent plenty of time gesturing and pointing to the fans in the balcony sections, never one to leave anyone out!
As the song wound to a close, the boys gathered in group formation to do a formal bow to the crowd before offering their final farewell waves and exit the stage. But naturally, the members all seemed to drag their feet, not wanting to leave any more than we wanted to see them go! Group leader Im Jaebum, who can be as goofy as he is charismatic, even grabbed an entire stack of sweat towels and passed them out to the crowd like candy, on his way off the stage!
After two hours of high-energy performances, shenanigans, and laughter, the show had finally come to a close, at least for those without tickets that included fan engagements (P1 and P2 ticket-holders got to stay behind and participate in either a photo-op or hi-touch with the members). If the rabid screams of the thousands of IGOT7 in attendance are any indicator, GOT7’s success and popularity in America is only continuing its rise!
By Becky Noona