Adorable rookie group ASTRO embarked on their first US fan meeting tour earlier this month. The group made their way from coast to coast before finally ending in New York City at the Town Hall Theater. Fans gathered quickly and took their seats as they eagerly waited for the show begin. The lights dimmed as the opening act was announced and a group of fans took the stage. Being the winners of a cover dance contest, the group danced to ASTRO’s "Baby" while the crowd cheered them on as if they were the band themselves. The dance group did a good job riling up the crowd as ASTRO prepared to take the stage.
Music started up and ASTRO’s leader JinJin was on stage to begin the show with a powerful solo dance. Not to be outdone, rapper/dancer Rocky came out on stage and put on an equally commanding performance. The duo finished up together with a collaborative dance filled with flashy movies. Both of their solo performances presented energetic and dramatic dance moves but together they created an explosive opening to the show. The music quickly changed over as the rest of the members came out to the stage and began “Again.” Off of their Winter Dream EP, the track was specially dedicated to Aroha (ASTRO fans) and created a sentimental yet still upbeat atmosphere as they performed. The next song was bubbly trop-inspired “Baby.” Throughout the song the boys showed off their playfulness by gesturing hearts towards the audience making the them scream with delight.
The group took a break from performing to make their introductions and with the help of and MC, ASTRO answered questions that were sent in by fans. The boys talked about their favorite foods and how they went to a restaurant because they heard that the former President Obama used to go there. Youngest member Yoon San-Ha talked about wanting to try a sexy concept in the future garnering screams from excited fans.
Continuing on, the group started slowly with a ballad. “Because It’s You” is a beautiful song that showcased the abilities of the vocalists to create pleasing harmonies, a skill that adds to the many charms of the group. The next song was the immensely popular “Crazy Sexy Cool.” The group’s most recent single, “Crazy Sexy Cool” has a slightly more mature vibe with smooth vocals and dance moves. Fans delightfully grooved along to the song as they yelled fanchants.
ASTRO took another break from the music, this time to play some games. Many would think that all of these breaks between songs would disrupt the energy of the show, but these fans seemed to get even more excited. For the first game, ASTRO divided into two teams (older members v. younger members) and took turns sticking their hands into a box to try to guess what was in it. After many confused looks, a lot of hand sniffing, and a few high-pitched screeches, the members finally deduced that it was a piece of an aloe plant they were touching. Since there was no losing team, they resorted to a game of rock paper scissor in which the older members lost and had to kiss a member on the cheek as punishment. The next game had ASTRO pair off so that one member would toss balls as the other tried to catch them in a bucket on their head. The team made up of Moon Bin and Cha Eun-Woo were the ultimate victors after a very close game. The two losing teams then had to carry a member while doing squats. The team made up of Rocky and MJ had no problem doing the five squats and even went further doing double the amount. Feeling a bit boastful Jinjin proposed that his team, which included San-Ha, could do 20. Being the taller member, San-Ha managed to lift his teammate a few times but eventually tired out. JinJin, in a pretty comical display, managed the rest of the squat with San-Ha on his back since he was a bit too tall for JinJin’s smaller build.
After all the fun and games, they continued on with the concert portion of the show. ASTRO showed off their adorable sides with the playful track “Hide and Seek,” their debut song off of their first album Spring Up. The abundance of cuteness that exuded from the stage would make even the most cynical and cold-hearted person crack a doting smile. They performed one more song, “Confession” before speaking their last messages to the fans that came to the show that night.
Each member took time to express and reflect on their fan meeting tour. Cha Eun-Woo stated that this was the first time that they’ve been on such a long tour and that in the beginning he had many worries but was surprised at how many fans were here in the US waiting for them. MJ thanked Arohas for welcoming them and that he will take the energy he gained for this tour and bring it back to Korea to make even better music. Moon Bin spoke about the language barrier but that he still felt fans’ love and support through their gestures. Rocky expressed his hopes that when Arohas go on and live their lives, that ASTRO will be there with them along the way. Jinjin was happy to be able to go on tour and make good memories everywhere they went. And lastly Yoon San-Ha thanked the fans for cheering so loudly and so well for them, as well as the staff for supporting them during the tour.
The last song of the set was “You & Me.” Before the song began, ASTRO taught the audience a little dance to go along with the song; and since everything about this group is over the top adorable, you can bet the dance was as well. During the chorus, everyone made a series of heart gestures with their hands and arms before finishing off with high-fives with the people next to you. The boys were clearly enjoying themselves as vocalist Cha Eun-Woo clumsily tried to rap a verse of the song followed by vocalist Moon Bin doing a slightly better at the rap verse creating a bunch of laughs from the members and fans. It was a fun way to end the show, creating a sort of camaraderie among all the fans after dancing together. Once the song concluded, ASTRO left the stage and everyone began cheering for an encore. After a few minutes the boys responded with the song “I’ll Be There.” Each member came out on stage toting a basket full of candy that they proceeded to toss into the audience. The song finished and everyone jumped to their feet to say their farewells as the boys left the stage.
As fan meets become a more popular touring format for K-pop acts, attendees can experience a different side to the artist that you would not at a normal concert. ASTRO lived up to everyone expectations. With their quirky personalities and playfulness, they made the fan meet enjoyable for the audience. And although the music portions were on the short side, they were able to perform a good mix of songs that showed the growth of the group as well as the diversity of their sound. Hopefully ASTRO will continue to grow as a group and develop even more music that will continue to create smiles on listeners everywhere.