The "Dream Knights" of GOT7 ruled with Chicago fanmeeting
GOT7, the 7-member boy group from JYPE, is definitely no stranger to US fans. In fact, their very first US fanmeeting tour, which included stops in San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas, was almost sold out! Despite being relatively new to the K-pop scene, having debuted in January 2014, the group's popularity is astounding, and it is easy to see why. After spending a few hours in their presence, there is no doubt that JB, Jr., Mark, Jackson, Youngjae, Bambam, and Yugyeom are not only extremely talented, but incredibly genuine people...
Jazzy Group US brought the group through for this US fanmeeting tour following their very successful stage at the Korea Time Music Festival (KMF) on May 2. Many fans were interested to see how their show would be run as it was being called a fanmeeting instead of a showcase, as the organizers have often preferred in the past. Although the actual set included the boys performing a few of their most popular tracks, there was definitely more time spent with fan interactions through the use of interviews, including a Q&A board where iGot7's could write a question for the members, and fun games where contest winners were allowed on-stage to play alongside the boys. It was still glaringly different from the fanmeetings that K-pop groups generally hold inside Korea itself, where fans in attendance get time to say at least a few words to the group members.
While the actual show was fantastic, there were noted problems with ticket benefits changing in the weeks before the show, and some VVIP gots photos with the group while others got hi-touch and signed vs. unsigned posters. There were also issues with the line-up and seating the day of the show as the ticketing website did not allow assigned seating, which means several fans weren't allowed into their proper section because there didn't appear to be enough seats for the number of tickets sold in each tier. Despite that, the boys were amazing, giving everything they could to their fans from the stage in a very honest manner. You could definitely feel that they actually care about their fans, as opposed to some past performances I have attended (for any group, US, Korean, etc.) where it felt like the members were tired or only there because they had to be.
I was lucky enough to be joined by Leah and Rachel at this show, both of whom frequent DramaFever News, and they join me in further discussion of the show's aspects below!
Tanya: Production-wise, I think the show was good. The lighting in particular was the best that I have seen from any Jazzy show thus far. Definitely need a shout out to Dave Yoon, who was a fabulous emcee. The show ran smoothly thanks to his efforts. His interaction with the group also didn’t seem forced or strained, which is always a plus.
Leah: I was quite impressed by the production aspects of the show. I thought the lighting and sound were on point. I don’t remember a single moment when anything felt off. The show ran smoothly, it had a very natural flow to it as each segment ran into the next, and Dave is, without a doubt, my favorite emcee. Ever. His interaction with the group and the audience kept everyone entertained and engaged and it was so refreshing to have an emcee who focused on the task at hand, rather than on secretly trying to fulfill fan fantasies. My only complaint was that it ended way too early. Then again, that’s always my complaint with shows. It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’re in the company of seven adorable boys.
Rachel: For sure! I really liked the pacing throughout the show. It was a good mix of performances along with entertaining games and interviews. I think the setup really played to their strengths showed off their awesome talent during this showcase.
Tanya: So let’s talk about the boys. They are a fairly new group to the K-pop scene, but it honestly never FELT like it. They were very down-to-earth and seemed to enjoy that they were getting to spend time with their US fans. Their interactions with each other seemed natural, and I think that made everything better. They really seem to enjoy spending time together, which made it easy for all of us to enjoy the time we got with them. Talent-wise, they truly blew me away. I was a fan of JJ Project but resisted GOT7 for a while, so being able to see them singing, dancing, and showing off amazing tricks gave me a whole new appreciation. They seemed more like they were having fun than actually working, and that, to me, is important.
Leah: I’ve been a fan of GOT7 since debut. They hooked me with their ridiculously cocky and insanely catchy debut, “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and I’ve been a hopeless fangirl ever since. What really blew me away last night was the fact that while these boys may have debuted with an attitude, they’re actually the sweetest group of boys I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. They have such a fun and approachable air about them. Their interaction with the fans last night was nothing short of amazing, and their performance was flawless. I think the fact that they seemed to be having as much fun as the fans only added to their charm. They certainly stole my heart. (Though to be fair, they already had it.)
Rachel: The boys really were adorable. Like Tanya, I’m more of a newer fan, but I am so glad to have gotten the chance to get to know their music and awesome personalities. Their charisma and talent really shined through while they were on stage. They always looked relaxed and like they were having a fantastic time! For being more of a rookie group, they really know how to hold themselves on stage.
Tanya: The actual setlist was “Stop, Stop It”, “Gimme”, “Forever Young”, “Magnetic”, and “A”, followed by “Bounce” and an “A” remix for the encore. While it doesn’t seem like many songs, the way everything was mixed together with the fan interactions and interview sessions, it felt like more than enough. I’m fairly certain seeing “Bounce” live has now completed my JJ Project feels, so I can fully move on to supporting GOT7 fully. Their vocals were amazing and never seemed off. The dancing was even better.
Leah: I’m fairly certain seeing “Bounce” live has completed my life as a fangirl. I can now die happy. And die I did. About a thousand times over. There’s something indescribably amazing about seeing all your favorite songs performed live. No matter how many times you watch a music video or dance practice, nothing will replace the feels you get when you see all those flips and wiggles in person. Oh, those “Stop Stop It” wiggles… Yes. I can die one very happy fangirl.
Rachel: For me, seeing “A” live was my favorite part. I absolutely loved that track when it first came out and seeing the live version also made me a very happy fangirl.
Fan Interaction & Games
Leah: I have never seen a group more willing to interact with fans than these boys, and I’m not just talking about the usual fanservice given from stage. I’m talking about true interaction, which was highlighted perfectly by the games the boys played with various members of the audience. The hugs were freely given by all the boys, and they seemed as genuine as the smiles and winks JB felt the need to slay numerous IGOT7s with throughout the night. I think I may have to dub JB the fanservice king, but the rest of the boys certainly gave him a run for his money. Winks, smiles, hearts, hugs… They were all given genuinely and generously, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s lost their heart to those seven adorable boys.
Rachel: From musical chairs to blindfolded guessing games, these boys really went all out during the fan interaction segments. The musical chairs segment got particularly competitive. After the first round, I’m pretty certain only three of the boys were actually left in the game! Later on, one girl even accidentally knocked Young Jae to the ground. Ouch! I felt bad because the girl was clearly a little traumatized from hurting one of her idols...
Tanya: They all laughed about it though! JB lasted the longest in musical chairs as far as the members went... I have a feeling he’s very competitive, but in a good way. Can we talk about the “Identify” game, which was basically “guess who is being a creeper”, for a moment? How in the world were those girls supposed to guess the member by the random animals sounds and breathing? It was brilliant! I think JB’s impression of Smeagol’s “my precious” was insane though... It was perfect.
Leah: Everything about JB is perfect so it only makes sense his Smeagol was spot-on. I died laughing as those boys made some of the most ridiculous noises. Bird calls, whispers, breathing… They did everything they could to stump those poor girls, and they did their job well. Kudos to the winner of that game! Being the only one to guess her boy correctly has to feel pretty good.
Rachel: All the fans onstage were so lucky! Even for those that didn’t win, they still got to have some wonderful interactions with the members.
Tanya: I’ll limit myself to two. JR serenaded a fan after picking her question off the Q&A board. He found her, held her hand, and sang an entire song. It was sweet. Secondly, all the dance “battles”. JB vs. Bambam for girl group dances, JB vs. Mark for acrobatics, Jackson’s sexy dance followed by Yugyeom’s imitation right after… it was great.
Rachel: There’s too many great moments to choose from! I was super impressed by Mark’s flips and twists, especially his slow-mo cartwheel in “Girl, Girls, Girls”. I also just loved the little interactions between the members throughout the show. You could really tell that they are all super close!
Leah: I can’t pick a favorite moment of the night. I really can’t. I had two fangirl dreams for the year, and seeing GOT7 in person was one of them. To have that dream come true, not even eighteen months after their debut, is just so beyond believable. I’m still pinching myself, trying to convince myself this night of magic was actually real. I will say I had several moments of personal interaction with various members throughout the evening, and those were, without a doubt, my favorite.
Tanya: Despite the confusion at the start of the show between the different lines and the seating, which became a free-for-all as ticket tiers were ignored, the show was actually really well done. The group is extremely talented and lived up to the popular opinion that JYP artists are down-to-earth. I feel like they enjoyed themselves as much as the fans enjoyed seeing them. I wish them the best of luck in coming years and hope they return to the US soon!
Rachel: GOT7 really put on an impressive and unique show filled with countless squee-worthy moments. Their singing and dancing was undoubtedly impressive. GOT7’s talent combined with their heartfelt dedication to their fans really made it an unforgettable night. I’m so glad Chicago was a stop on their first US tour!
Leah: All of my expectations for GOT7 were set ridiculously high and I’m happy to say, I wasn’t even the least bit disappointed. There may have been confusion and disappointment with organizers and such but all of that was forgotten the moment these wonderful boys took to the stage. Their talent is immeasurable, their performance is impeccable, their smiles are sunshine, their sweetness is neverending, and they’ve made an indelible impression on my tender fangirl heart. In short, this was the BEST. NIGHT. EVER.
Need more GOT7? Watch the the guys in their fun web series Dream Knight:
Are you a fan of GOT7? Were you able to attend any of GOT7's fanmeetings? What were your thoughts? Did you have a favorite moment? Let me know all of your thoughts in the comments!
Tanya, also known as HallyuTanya, is owner of K-pop/K-drama blog HallyuKnow. Find more of her 850+ photos from the GOT7 Fanmeeting, or any events she attends, on HallyuKnow's Facebook page. You can also follow her crazy adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Leah is the unapologetically spazzy zombie fangirl behind the K-pop/K-drama blog, zombiemamma. When she’s not squeeing over biases, you can find her reviewing dramas for KDramaStars. You can follow her as she ventures through the world as a wildly squeeing zombie onTwitter, Facebook, TumblrandInstagram.