Review: WINNER Takes It All at Their First-Ever Chicago Show

Courtesy of YG Entertainment

WINNER, a multi-genre K-pop group, made a stop in the Windy City as part of their EVERYWHERE tour. The fifth stop on their first-ever North American tour, the group consisting of four members, Seungyoon, Seunghoon, Jinwoo, and Mino, brought bright energy and summery vibes to the Rosemont Theater.

It seems like it’s a trend for most K-pop groups touring the States to skip out on having an opening act. WINNER was no exception as their music videos played on loop in place of having an opener. That, however, didn’t stop the fans from getting hyped for the main performers and singing along to the group’s lyrics.

Courtesy of YG Entertainment

Promptly at eight, the members stepped onstage atop an elevated platform. Starting out their set with a spark, the group opened with a fan-favorite single, “Really Really,” followed by “Hello” from their latest album, EVERYD4Y. Following the two songs, WINNER took a second to catch their breath and introduce themselves.

Courtesy of YG Entertainment

The leader and main vocalist of the group, Seungyoon, expressed his gratitude to the people who made it out to see them. He stated, “You never forget your first love right? Well, we will never forget this first [U.S.] tour.” While the members were by no means fluent in English, communication was hardly an issue.

Early on in the set, the members took some time out to show off their individual colors. Mino started out the solos with his songs “Trigger” and “Fiancé.” However, since the other members haven’t officially released any solo tracks yet, they performed covers instead. The members performed renditions of their labelmate Big Bang’s songs, including “Untitled, 2014” by G-Dragon and “Ringa Linga” by Taeyang, and other notable tracks including a stripped down cover of “History” by One Direction.

Courtesy of YG Entertainment

Oftentimes, it’s easy to forget that each member of a K-pop group is unique and talented in their own right. Seeing the members of WINNER perform their solos and covers was a reminder that despite being a talented group, they are also talented individuals.

Despite being seasoned artists, WINNER was shy and extremely humble. One of the members of the group, Jinwoo, even stated that he was “afraid to wake up from this dream.” Regardless of the fact that the group successfully completed many tours, they still gave the show their all as if it were their first concert.

For many fans, especially those who have been following WINNER’s career from the start, this was an exciting, emotional, and bittersweet moment. Though the group is both gifted and charming, they’re also criminally underrated. That being said, this show could possibly be both the first and last opportunity that fans can see WINNER perform in the U.S. Nevertheless, everyone still made the most of the concert, treasuring every minute spent with the group.

Courtesy of YG Entertainment

Coming together once more, WINNER went back to performing as one. Alternating between ballads and bops and songs both old and new, the group performed “Raining,” “Empty,” “Immature,” “Millions,” “Special Night,” “Love Me Love Me,” and “Island,” to name a few.

Closing out the night with a brief encore, the group ended their first Chicago concert with remixes of their songs “Really Really” and “Everyday.”

The positivity, love, and excitement from the beginning of the show lingered throughout it and WINNER was extremely humbled and thankful up until the end.

“Thank you for giving us a reason to live as an artist,” said Seungyoon. “We may be far from each other but our songs will be with you.”

(From Left to Right: Mino, Jinwoo, Seungyoon, and Seunghoon)  Courtesy of YG Entertainment

Though it was a cold, Chicago night, WINNER’s show exuded a special warmth. It was no question that both the four members and their Midwest fans ‘Really Really’ had the time of their lives.

Check out WINNER’s latest single “Millions” below!

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Pearl Shin

One comment

  1. Thanks for the review! I agree to most of your opinions and observations particularly “they are criminally underrated.” But I don’t understand why it means they may not come back to the states any longer. I basically don’t get the logical flow here. As much as Winner were late being in bloom and I’m sure they will last longer than any other kpop groups. Their world tour has just begun and it will be growing continuously.
    Also, not all kpop group members are equally talented to be able to perform as a solo. I think WINNER members are particularly capable and unique. No need to generalize that aspect for all kpop.

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