Fan Experience: Under the Twicelights

By Chey Olexa

K-pop has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years with 2019 bringing many tours all over the world! To the delight of fans of female artists, girl groups and soloists are getting their own shows. From super successful debuts and popular comebacks to their new world tours, women are taking over!

Twice, a nine-member ensemble from JYP Entertainment formed from survival show Sixteen, has been one of the top girl groups throughout their entire career. With their sticky dance moves and one liners, vocal and dance skills, and bubbly personalities; it’s no wonder people have come to love Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. They’re topping the charts and there’s no sign of slowing down! Their music is known for catchy lyrics and easy-to-pick-up point moves like their antenna in “Signal,” shy shy shy in “Cheer Up,” and their I Love You hand sign in “Fancy.”

May 2019 marked the start of their first world tour, Twicelights, which has already been to six different countries; and as of July, still has two more countries to visit. At their Newark date, there was a total of 11,000 people in attendance, though singer Mina was absent during the North American leg of the tour, taking a well-needed break for her mental health. Twice has always worked very hard with little time for breaks between their many schedules and comebacks. Despite this fact, they always manage to put their all into what they do and deliver great performances with smiles on their faces.

I was able to be in attendance for their Newark date with my sister, and got a chance to hang out with other Twice fans (Onces) before the show. Every fan I met was really kind; you can tell that they’re a loving community of people. It was also amazing to see all different kinds of people there of many cultures.

Fans wanted other fans to have good experiences as well as make it special for the girls by hosting fan projects. One group brought cases of water bottles to give to others to beat the heat, and plenty of free goodies were given out, such as banners honoring Mina and light up headbands that resembled the appearance of their first light stick. A little later in the day, fans hosted their own random dance play, which is when different parts of random songs are played for fans to jump in and dance the choreography if they know it. It was fun to watch, especially to everyone waiting in the long line to get their merchandise before going inside.

The excitement was present from the very start as fans were getting their light sticks ready while listening to the songs playing from the stage—all Twice B-side tracks. On the stage, TWICE LIGHTS was lit up in changing colors. Before the show started, they played a video for their company and one last song, “Look At Me.” Then, came the start of an amazing night!

After a mysterious VCR, Twice started with energetic rock versions of “Stuck In My Head,” “Cheer Up,” and “Touchdown” that Onces absorbed with smiles on their faces. During their introductions, Chaeyoung showed appreciation to have their own concert at the same place they performed at KCON two years ago. While dancing and even standing in line while talking, Twice made sure to leave a space for Mina, and mentioned that they will always be nine.

The next set was the Korean version of “BDZ” and “Yes or Yes,” a fan favorite that had everyone screaming the lyrics along with the group, and while the members changed outfits, their backup dancers gave their own cool performance. After that came their cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” in black and gold outfits with batons, followed by “Dance The Night Away” with a dance intro that left everyone amazed.

A soft VCR with the girls in white outfits and sleeping changed the vibe before the next set of songs, which began with "After Moon." The members came out dressed in elegant white dresses, and all the light sticks (known as Candy Bongs) were changed to Mina’s official color of mint green to honor her. Twice's leader, Jihyo, teared up while telling fans that she missed Mina just as much as we d before the group performed "You In My Heart" and "Sunset."

An excellent show of the different sides of Twice as musicians came during "Heart Shaker," first singing a slowed down version that stopped before the first chorus, leading to a red-themed, a color-matching outfit change, and then a continuation of the song in what they called “a sexy version.” The girls made sure to talk and check in with fans between songs and tease us all for continuing to sing “Heart Shaker” after they stopped the first time!

To really show the different colors of Twice, they performed unit songs: Sana, Dahyun, and Tzuyu danced to Beyonce’s “Dance For You” in a very sensual performance; Momo and Jihyo performed Taemin’s “Goodbye” in blue outfits with a very cool dance that you don’t get to see in most Twice performances; and Nayeon, Jeongyeon, and Chaeyoung closed the unit stages with a very fun performance of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” This was very special to their LGBT+ Once as this song is very significant to the community.

After a special VCR music video for their song “Turn It Up,” Twice emerged from a diamond with colorful outfits to sing fan-favorite “Likey,” which kicked off their title track set, including “What Is Love?,” “Like OOH-AHH,” “TT,” and “Fancy.” All of these songs had fans screaming every word with passion and happiness and some fans danced along! During “TT,” the members stood on the catwalk between the back and front stages and danced during the chorus with the members. The girls were so happy on the stage while interacting with each other and their fans!

The encore wasn’t given to us easy, we had to earn it. There were different missions Once had to complete before Twice would come out again. The first mission was some simple trivia answered by selected fans. Next was a fanchant mission to the song “Fancy,” followed by a dance mission to a few of their other title tracks. They ended it with the camera catching fans doing hearts and screaming for the girls to come back out. During the encore, they performed "Signal" and "Knock Knock," interacting with fans all over the arena, waving at everyone, and dancing. It was a fun but bittersweet track, being one of my favorites, but also knowing the show was coming to a close.

All the members did their ending talks, promising to come back as nine and thanking the fans and their staff for an amazing night. Once was crying, and a few of the members were even tearing up. It was emotional after having such a fantastic night. They closed the night with “Stuck” while leaving on their diamond, making sure to be in sight as long as they could while the curtain went down. To the very end, they had fun with us and made everyone happy.

I’ve been to many K-pop concerts since I became a fan. I say confidently that Twice is at the top of the list of my favorite concert experiences. All the interactions they had with us, their song choices, and the overall energy was so great! The girls really cared about communicating with their fans, and did their best to speak to the crowd in English. Language is becoming less of a barrier and music continues to be a universal language itself. The success of the Twicelights World Tour really proves just how capable they are, and how much they deserve what they have. Twice is killing the game, and I’m so excited to see where this takes them in the future!

We’d really like to know: Once, what is your favorite thing about Twice? What makes you a proud fan?

Cover Image: Twice (JYP Entertainment)
Written by Chey Olexa

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