Ever since their launch, BE:FIRST has been on a roll. They've won awards, made their mark as BMSG artists, and released their first-ever full-length album. Now, 2023 has rolled in and the world remains the J-pop group's oyster. Aside from releasing two new amazing singles ('Boom Boom Back' in February and 'Smile Again' in just last April), SOTA, SHUNTO, MANATO, RYUHEI, JUNON, RYOKI, and LEO have recently finished their 1st One Man Tour.
Starting in September and ending just this February, BE:FIRST breathed life into their first album BE:1 by performing their hit songs all over Japan. We at Bandwagon had the golden opportunity to witness their first arena show and we were blown away. The group's showmanship is one thing; the seamless transition from one song to the next is another. A feast for both the eyes and ears, BE:FIRST's 1st One Man Tour is not only proof of the group's artistry but also a preview of more exciting things they'd be bringing to the table.
And this is why it's been a little over two months since their last show in Osaka, and we're still not over it. As difficult as the task may be, here are 9 of the most memorable song performances from the tour:
Despite performing 'BE is...' first, 'Scream' felt like it was the opening performance of the night. And what an impressive way to get started. The lighting direction and dance breaks added to the overall visual spectacle, and the group's confidence and maturity were evident in their execution, setting the tone for the rest of the evening.
Take a look at their dance performance here:
What was most striking about the group’s performance of ‘Be Free’ was the message behind it. The use of bright, bold colours and confetti added to the overall celebratory feel of the song, while the boys reminded us to "let your fears go” and “let your soul glow". They also embodied this message with their infectious smiles and happy faces, making it clear that they had put their heart and soul into the performance. Their passion was contagious, and it wasn’t difficult to feel uplifted and inspired after that.
Watch the group's BE:FIRST TV performance of 'Be Free:
'Moment' was really, well, a moment: a standout showcase of their artistic talent and creative vision. The use of platforms on stage cleverly designed as pastel-coloured houses served as a visually stunning backdrop to the performance. The choreography incorporated contemporary dance steps, which were quite refreshing. Despite its laid-back vibe, the performance was incredibly engaging and left a lasting impact on the audience.
Listen to ‘Moment’ here:
'Softly' has always had a special place in our hearts, but there is no bias in saying that BE:FIRST's first R&B single was done due justice during the concert. JUNON, LEO, MANATO, and RYUHEI put together a sensual and captivating performance, with each member showcasing their unique vocal range and emotive expressions, creating a harmonious blend of sound and movement. The group's ability to seamlessly transition into a different genre and deliver such a polished performance is a testament to their talent as performers.
Listen to ‘Softly’ here:
As an intro to this performance, we found SOTA, RYOKI, and SHUNTO playing a racing game and being all competitive. As soon as they popped onstage to perform, we knew they'd bring the same energy there. The complete opposite of their 'Softly' performance, 'Spin!' was aggressive and energetic, with the boys donning cool and edgy sunglasses as they rapped and performed onstage. The group's ability to switch gears and deliver such a polished and dynamic performance highlights their versatility as artists. The performance was intense and captivating, with each member bringing their unique style and energy to the stage.
Listen to ‘Spin’ here:
'Kick Start' showcased the group's playful and carefree side. Wearing more casual and colorful clothes that reflected the youthful energy of the song, BE:FIRST seemed to give a nod to their roots as they performed the first song that they wrote together as a seven-member group. The performance was lighthearted and fun, with the members dancing and singing with contagious energy, clearly enjoying themselves on stage.
Watch the lyric video for ‘Kick Start’ here:
Boom Boom Back
Perhaps one of the biggest highlights of the concert was the performance of this new number. BESTY were in for a treat as ‘Boom Boom Back’ was only included in the concert setlist in January, a few weeks before its official release, adding to the excitement of the performance. It was easy to see why this song became a hit, and the group's performance showed just how much of a banger it truly is.
Watch the actual performance of ‘Boom Boom Back’ from the arena show here:
We're a sucker for a good photo and video montage and the group used it best by integrating their dance performance video of 'Message' with their individual messages to their fans. The next time the boys appeared on stage, they were on an elevated circular platform, dressed in pastel-coloured clothes and with soft, grateful expressions on their faces as they performed. At one point, the arena went dark for a second, and a shooting star appeared on the screen, followed by thousands of pin lights that looked like stars. This added a magical touch to the performance, creating a dreamy atmosphere that made the moment even more memorabe, heartwarming, and moving.
Watch the dance performance video of ‘Message’ here:
The concert ended in a dramatic encore in the form of 'Gifted.' The group's energy level never wavered from start to finish, showing just how gifted they really are as performers. Their exceptional choreography was accentuated by the great use of lights and sparklers, creating a visually striking spectacle that enhanced the group's last performance of the night. What a way to end a night.
Watch BE:FIRST perform 'Gifted.' live at the "FIRST" One Man Show here:
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