Paris is Paris, and that should be enough to make any event special. However, K-pop concerts in the city of love hold a particular feature that makes them even more unforgettable: feet stomping. French fans are known for their overall loudness, yes, but also for making whole venues vibrate with the sound of thousands of people marching in their places. The stomping is also usually followed by a chanted version of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ riff, and from BTS to BLACKPINK, no act who experienced this phenomenon left unchanged. So, as expected, that is how THE BOYZ’s fans (also known as The B) welcome the group on Saturday, (June 25) for their ‘The B-Zone World Tour’ in Europe.
The 11-member boy group – who are currently performing as 10 while the youngest member, Eric, is on a hiatus due to health issues – graces the stage of La Seine Musicale with unrelenting energy, knife-sharp moves and a slew of crop tops. Opening with a double blow of last year’s mischievous ‘Maverick’ and heist anthem ‘The Stealer’, they showcase why they are one of the rising names in the 4th generation of K-pop. And as soon as the songs fade, the feet stomping and cheering begin, prompting the members to take notice and follow along – a lively interaction that happened several times throughout the concert.
As this is their second time in the city, they know what to expect and seem just the more excited about it. When they first came to Paris in December 2019, with their ‘Dreamlike’ Europe tour, things were much different. The group found exponential growth in 2020 after winning the Mnet reality show Road To Kingdom, and solidified their name by placing second on the 2021 sequel Kingdom: Legendary War. Now, after so much character development, THE BOYZ are in a busy ride for the rest of the year: they just completed the North American leg of ‘The B-Zone’, are headed to Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea in the upcoming months, will stop by Los Angeles on for a performance at KCON and begin their Japanese tour in October.
But let’s not get too far ahead. Tonight, they are focused on The B in front of them, and that’s all that matters. After brief introductions, they move onto the dark tropical vibes of B-side ‘Merry Bad Ending’ and their Road To Kingdom exclusive song ‘Checkmate’, before disappearing for an outfit change.
The next section of the concert is much lighter, featuring laidback B-sides like ‘Whiplash’ and ‘Lucid Dream’, as well as plenty of interactions with the audience. There was a lot of French being spoken, too. Every member made sure to memorise at least a few words to express their feelings – with Jacob going as far as searching online for “romantic phrases” beforehand (do what you will with this information).
The “soft THE BOYZ” portion of the concert served well to soothe the audience for what was to come. After changing into emblematic red outfits, they segued into the sultriest, most powerful sequence of the show. Treasures like ‘Nightmares’ and the mystifying ‘Reveal’ settled the perception that, if seeing THE BOYZ’s intricate performances through a screen is impressive, watching them live is electrifying.
“Paris is my favourite city,” cheers vocalist New, and it shows: he was one of the most excited members, protagonising several highlights, like the moment when he removed his combat boots to put on Hello Kitty slippers that someone threw onstage, or when he looked impossibly ethereal while cleaning scraps of paper off his face. But truthfully, each member’s charisma and passion shined through.
It was on the detailed facial expressions of Q, on the observant, scanning eyes of Juyeon, and on Kevin’s cheeky confidence. It stood out on Jacob’s sweet-as-honey vocals, on Sangyeon’s leader tendencies to overwatch everything, and on Haknyeon’s ever-present smile. It captivated with Younghoon’s calm and careful presence, Hyunjae’s diligent precision, and Sunwoo’s fiery allure.
As the concert approached its conclusion, THE BOYZ finally performed some of their fundamental tracks, such as debut single ‘Boy’ and 2018’s ‘No Air’. With a setlist notoriously focused on their post-2020 work, the only downside was that older gems like ‘Right Here’ or ‘Bloom Bloom’ were mercilessly cut, but there will be other opportunities.
THE BOYZ’s consistent growth will hopefully allow for bigger tours in the future. And besides that, during the encore, composed of ‘D.D.D.’ and ‘B.O.Y (Bet On You)’, Kevin promised that they would come back – with Eric, nonetheless.
THE BOYZ played:
‘Merry Bad Ending’
‘Dancing Till We Drop’
‘Break Your Rules’
‘Shake You Down’
‘B.O.Y. (Bet On You)’