Review: Amber Liu Goes Rogue in Her First-Ever US Solo Tour

Upon nearing Park West, a line wrapping around the venue could easily be spotted from a few blocks down. Despite it being a rather cold December evening, energy and excitement were ablaze as fans eagerly waited to catch a rare chance to see their international fave. Amber Liu, a member of the popular K-pop group f(x), was performing at the venue for her first-ever solo US tour.  For night one of her Gone Rogue tour, Amber ignited the stage at her Chicago show. Warming up the crowd for Amber was Justin Park, a soulful R&B singer from LA. For many at the show, this performance was their introduction to the artist, but that didn't stop them from accepting him with open arms. The singer won over the hearts of the crowd with his velvety voice, fluid moves, and charm. Albeit a short set, the singer demonstrated his flair through songs “Like We Used To” and his rendition of Kehlani's “Honey.” Up next, Amber sprinted onto the stage. Bursting with energy, she went straight into a performance of “High Hopes” and “White Noise.” Throughout her set, Amber flaunted her versatility, switching gears between her commanding solo performances to singing and dancing to intricate choreographies, the latter which was reminiscent of her K-pop career. One thing was very clear about Amber right off the bat. Despite her immense talent and success, she was incredibly humble and down to earth. Her love and appreciation for each and every one of her fans was more than apparent. But her show wasn't all lighthearted. Leading into her next song, Amber took a break from making quips to share some personal remarks, introducing to her next track. “The next couple of songs mean the world to me… For those of you who are feeling lost or hurt in any way, I hope that when u listen to this you feel a little less alone, find a place where you belong. This is really hard to say.” Her speech led into an emotionally charged performance of one of her most intimate tracks “Borders.” One particular statement from Amber really left an impression on everyone in the room. “You guys are beautiful just the way you are and you can achieve anything you want just by being yourself. Just keep remembering that. Just to be real, I won't have any of this without you guys. I don't have this without you guys. You guys let me be me… thank you for that. I thank you guys every day for letting me he myself.” Naturally being the goofy person that she is, Amber wasn’t going to end the night on a somber note. After an energetic performance of her latest single “Countdown” and her first solo track “Shake That Brass,” the singer performed an encore, singing a cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Accompanied onstage by her friends, the crew enthusiastically danced to the holiday staple with a dramatic rendition of the Macarena. Amber has come a long way since her early days as a K-pop star. Her tour was a testament to that, showing her maturation as a performer and lyricist and solidifying her place as an artist to watch. Check out Amber’s latest work and listen to her mixtape below.
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Pearl Shin