It was already a balmy night when fans entered Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur last Friday. Although they were anticipating a mind-blowing evening with K-pop sensation Wanna One, they probably weren’t prepared for what was to come.
The stadium was packed, with fans in the Rock Zone taking up almost all of the standing room. Before the show, they replayed the MVs for ‘Energetic’ and ‘Beautiful’ for the audience, and it was clear that every one of the 11 members had a strong following from the cheers that went up every time each one got a close up.
The show started on time, as Wanna One began with their explosive first single, ‘Energetic’, a dance pop number that matched the audience excitement perfectly. Dressed in white shirts and dancing with effortless style and attitude, the boys were certainly delivering on what the fans were expecting – heat, passion and performing excellence.
However, by the time they were midway through the performance of their latest single, ‘Beautiful’, a beautiful and anthemic paean to a lost childhood and brotherhood, it was becoming obvious that some fans in the audience were being overwhelmed by the heat and by the intense excitement at the standing area.
The emcee appeared on stage to begin the introductions but before they even got halfway, Wanna One leader Jisung pointed out that there were fans in distress. Seongwoo tried to speak but was drowned out by the microphone, and finally Daehwi spoke in English, asking the crowd to calm down and saying urgently that they would not continue until they settled.
It was announced that the group would stop performing until calm could be achieved and fan safety and health issues be addressed, and the boys left the stage to the chagrin of the audience. This was about fifteen minutes into the show, and it did not resume until almost two hours later.
The fan-meeting resumed with a round of introductions, and then continued to chat with the boys. It was revealed that Jisung, Jaehwan and Minhyun have been practising their dance skills – and a video was shown where they were, indeed, dancing, much to the amusement of the audience. Jaehwan said that he felt the crowd didn’t really believe that they were practising, so they all got up to demonstrate, with much effort and enthusiasm, with a little style and cheekiness.
Jihoon did his signature “I Save You In My Heart” gesture (“Nae Maeum Soge Jeojang”) which earned him a stadium full of screams. Daniel and Seongwoo have been practising their acting skills and showed their expressions when eating good food or when they got hurt by something dropping on their foot. However fans went wild when the emcee asked them to show how they looked at Wannables. Fans could not ask for dreamier expressions! Woojin and Sungwoon also played the eye-staring game and were going for so long that the emcee had to move them all on to the next game before any of them even blinked!
The boys’ next song was ‘Wanna Be (My Baby)’ and after that, a short making of video for their ‘Beautiful’ MV featuring veteran actor Cha Seungwon was shown. Then the boys returned in fresh outfits, smart black ensembles with stylish jackets, to perform ‘NAYANA’, that catchy and stirring theme song from Produce 101 series that led them to stardom.
Amongst the heaty atmosphere, one piece of information that nobody missed was when Wanna One promised that they would be back in Malaysia again in the future! They continued with a skipping game where they had to jump altogether five times in a row over a skipping rope – which they did on their first try. They were also asked what their favourite foods were that they tried in Malaysia, and all agreed it was coconut shake. They even brought a birthday cake onstage for Daehwi to celebrate his birthday in advance.
Then it was announced that the show was over, and Daehwi said goodbye to the fans, thanking them for coming, before they left the stage. Of course, fans knew better than to think it was really over, and very soon Wanna One took the stage again to show off their beautiful voices with ‘Always’, before stopping to take a photo with the audience.
They continued with ‘Never’, another banger of a song executed with flawless dancing and vocals. Then, the show ended with the dance anthem ‘Burn It Up’, which got the crowd pumped up till the very end. No matter what happened during the course of the show, Wanna One themselves never disappointed, showing their care for Wannables’ safety, gratitude for their welcome and support, and ultimately, a deep desire to satisfy with an exciting performance.
We look forward to seeing them in Malaysia again soon and would like to extend our greatest gratitude to IME Malaysia and Warner Music for inviting us to the show! 🙂
Written by: Christina O
Photo Credit: IME Malaysia & Warner Music