Dramatic drum rolls, electric guitar riffs and flashing lights built an electric atmosphere at KBS Arena Thursday night ahead of Australian singer-songwriter and rapper The Kid LAROI bursting onto the stage. As the crowd roared, the singer jumped onstage with a beaming smile on his face.
The 90-minute set jumped back and forth through the musician’s three-year musical journey, switching from an upbeat ballad to several unreleased tracks, showing off what it felt like to return to pre-pandemic live gigs.
“Holy s---,” the 19-year-old shouted with excitement as he kicked off his first-ever live show in Korea.
Dressed in black and decked out in a pair of black Converse sneakers, red lights canvassed the arena as he sang his intro track, “Let Her Go,” a song released in 2019.
It was only the first song of the evening, but the singer knew the way to kick off the concert with a frenzy. He welcomed fans with a cheek heart pose, sending them abuzz with excitement.
J-hope of BTS and Seventeen’s Vernon were also present during the show.
“Annyeonghaseyo,” he said. “I’m sorry if I said that wrong. I’m excited to turn up with you guys tonight,” he said as he kicked off his second track, “Diva.”
Fans in the standing area jumped along to the tune while trying to capture every single moment of the night with their phones. The singer came down to the very front of the standing section as the lights turned blue, linking himself with his Korean fans.
He took his jacket off for “Same Energy,” and it seemed like he was ready to roam around the stage. As he ended the track, fans shouted, “I love you!” “I love you too,” the artist grinned in response.
The Kid LAROI added a tender tone to the night with “Go,” a song to which Juice WRLD, who died in 2019, lent his voice.
The singer took in the crowd with a live band session version of “Tell Me Why” as he banged his head on top of the drum set and built the anticipation of the night. He then interacted with the audience by looking at the cameras for “Tragic.”
“I must say, you guys are making me feel very welcome today, so thank you so much. I can’t wait to come back here,” The Kid LAROI said as he ended the track.
“Can I come down?” the singer asked the fans in the front of the standing area.
One fan named Ju-won offered up a present she had prepared for the singer. “You made this? This is cool!” he said as he took the gift.
Ahead of his next song, he paused to ask the crowd a question.
“(This song) wasn’t originally supposed to be played on tour. Do you mind if I sing it for you guys tonight?” he asked, and one male fan replied with “So hot,” which was enough confirmation the singer needed to continue.
He straight away dived into “Need You Most (So Sick),” a track that samples Ne-Yo’s “So Sick.” If the first several tracks of the night were all about energy, his unreleased track added a pinch of a romantic mood.
The Kid LAROI dedicated his next song, “F--- You, Goodbye,” to whoever broke his fans’ hearts, and he encouraged the crowd to put their “middle fingers up."
The musician raised the energy level with “Not Fair” and shouted, “I hope you guys are having fun tonight.” The crowd replied with boisterous fan chants, which is what they have missed the most since singers from outside the country haven't been able to perform due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“I’ve been doing a competition from city to city (of) who can sing it the loudest. Los Angeles was by far the loudest. However, I think you guys can do it today,” The Kid LAROI said as he sang his second unreleased track, “What Just Happened.”
“I think you guys won,” the musician said as the track ended. He then shared a story of how he brought “Selfish” to the world, which he described as “one of my favorite songs.”
The stage then turned blue for “Not Sober,” and The Kid LAROI mellowed out the venue with an acoustic version of “A Thousand Miles.”
After singing two tracks in a row, he thanked those visiting his concert.
“I’m able to do a lot of cool stuff, and none of that would be possible without any of you guys in this building. I do want to dedicate this song to you guys tonight.”
The night then turned into a nocturnal splendor as the massive crowd responded by turning on flashlights on their phones -- everybody in the concert hall was united by his music.
The Kid LAROI also prepared a special event, where he invited a fan to sing along with a song on stage.
One lucky fan named Vasco came into the singer’s eye and sang along to “So Done” as the singer played the drum. After the surprise, The Kid LAROI showcased “Lonely and F--ked Up,” which wasn’t originally on the set list, followed by “Always Do.”
And the next track was the time the crowd had yearned for. “I made it with one of my best friends who goes by the name Justin Bieber,” he said, as the melody for his mega-hit, “Stay,” filled in the venue, and his first concert in Korea ended with “Without You.”
The Kid LAROI’s concert was part of his world tour “The Kid LAROI: End Of The World Tour,” which took the singer to cities like Bangkok and Los Angeles.