On July 10 and 11, GOT7 performed two sold out shows at The Novo in Los Angeles. I shed blood sweat and tears to get in and still heard nothing back. Then suddenly, like a miracle from the iridescent plastic pants god himself, I received an email from SubKulture Entertainment letting me know that Asian Junkie was invited to the second show. I screamed! Empanada screamed! You see, even though I’m a damned professional, I’m also apparently an iGOT7, which I didn’t even realize until I looked up at my GOT7 CD collection and realized they’d made a dent in my budget.
So I packed up and headed out to the show, and when I got there the line for The Novo (formerly Club Nokia at L.A. Live) wrapped around the venue. It was massive! People had actually started lining up for Monday night’s show on Sunday. I checked in and press was lead into the venue. This isn’t my first time at The Novo, so I expected to be shooting behind the pit on the first floor. However, to the surprise of the entire press core, we were lead to the front of the stage, and I mean the front. We all frantically switched lenses and changed settings just in time for the lights to dim and the show to begin.
Four black-clad dancers stepped out onto the stage after the typical video intros played. Red lighting lit the dancers in their black face masks and trench coat style. Music started, they started to dance the lights went out and popped back on to illuminate GOT7 standing in sequins jackets and some of the tightest black jeans I’ve ever been eye level with. Well, black jeans except Jackson who takes after JYP in his ridiculous choice in pants.
GOT7 start the show with explosive tumbling and choreography, along with “Put Your Hands Up“.
In an instant, the crowd is on fire screaming their lungs out, and it’s a non-stop assault as they segue into “Turn Up The Music“.
After the hype tracks end, the lights go out only to flash back on to that ever familiar sound of their debut hit “Girls Girls Girls“.
Meanwhile, I’m eye level with crotches and my camera is so close I’m desperately trying not to shoot up their noses. Being that close was intense, as eye contact happens and I honestly still haven’t recovered.
Eventually, they performed my favorite song, “I Like You“, which was mind-blowing live!
While other countries had GOT7 in drag, we got introduced to sub-units followed by sexy dances, which didn’t illicit many complaints.
After, a mobile stage was rolled out with a white piano. JB and Youngjae stepped out in white outfits and sang a song called “1:31 AM“, which they explained it’s named after the time they actually wrote the song. It was a nice ballad and their voices carried fans into heaven.
Mark and Junior then did a duet called “Higher“, which they explained was because they wanted to take their fans higher. It was fun and poppy!
They had these elaborate dragon bedecked mic stands that turned into mini mic stands which immediately made me think of G-Dragon performing “Crooked” with his crazy bedazzled gold-plated mini mic stand setup. And can we talk about how Mark is just this adorable squishy until he gets a mic in his hands? When that happens he magically transforms into the alpha male in the group, all aggressive and hot and stuff.
Also, some ‘Game Of Thrones‘ type stuff was wheeled out onto the stage, looking oddly like something George R.R. Martin might sue someone over, and when they were turned around we found BamBam, Jackson, and Yugyeom sitting there, dripping in dim red lighting. They sung the incredibly sexy “WOLO (We Only Live Once)“, which had ovaries popping like fireworks in the audience.
In addition to all the performances, the guys talked to the audience, encouraged a couple to kiss each other in the crowd, made friends with a guy in the balcony named Josh (who I’m pretty sure BamBam became besties with), and each did a hilarious sexy dance which made us all realize that Yugyeom is indeed a man. Mark humped the stage, Jackson cracked jokes and constantly busted out his signature laugh, Youngjae flirted with the crowd, Junior shyly danced and laughed, and JB apologized for sounding hoarse due to his throat.
They then performed “Fly” and “Home Run“, split only by their personal intros, to the frenzied sold-out house.
They exclaimed to the crowd that they didn’t want the night to end, so they performed “Rewind” as well.
After that, they rolled right into “Stop Stop It“…
…and finally “If You Do“.
By this point, I’m surrounded by a sea of spent women of all ages, hoarse and voiceless, drowning in feels. Remind me to take floaties next time, cause it was a sea out there.
Of course, that wasn’t actually the end, because the encore had yet to happen. The encore was a dance roulette and 100% audience participation. The guys watched from a screen backstage as the cameras picked a group in the audience. The wheel was spun and that group had to follow the dance in order to move on to the actual encore.
The first group was in the front row, and even though they were pressed up against the barrier, they nailed the dance. The next group was a group of girls in the balcony, and one girl, girl if you read this, she was the real MVP. She was dancing for her life and partying hard while doing it, so of course they passed. The third … oh man … the third was this fantastically dressed, hip ajumma who wasn’t exactly sure what was going on. But once she caught on she got down with her bad self as the guys cheered her from backstage on a live mic! She passed and we moved on to the encore!
With the show ending, the guys came back out on stage to say their final goodbyes.
Everyone tries out English, which ends up amazing because the effort is there. GOT7 also says they’re thankful to be in Los Angeles, and that next time they’ll play a bigger venue since both their shows here sold out. Of course they mention how much they love their fans and how much they love what they do, regardless of if they’re tired or sore from the nonstop work.
It was an emotional final thank you from them that had the audience in tears.
Jackson said the most interesting thing, which was was something to the lines of: “We do this for you. Because you belong to me. iGOT7 belongs to us. And no one else!” I turned to my colleague and said “Aggressive!” as everyone cheered to his comments.
They ended the show with “Bounce“, a remix of “Fly”, and confetti bursting in our faces.
What I took away from this show is that their pelvic thrusts are gonna give me cataracts, and also that BamBam will never stop dabbing and I think I’m okay with that fact. Dude also side eyes and throws shade like a champ, so he’s on the right path. Youngjae is too beautiful to look at, and so is Junior. Yugyeom needs to stop growing up because it’s freaking me out. JB is an adorable squishy. Mark is deceptively aggressive, and Jackson … I hate your hat because it made my job hell. Also, his personality is genuinely beautiful, which means he’s a hell of a lot more sensitive than we want to believe.
GOT7 also actually comes off like a close group. I didn’t think so at first, but they really are. Their interactions together are like hilarious brothers on stage, daring each other to be extra at everything for funzies. They’re very much into that 90s R&B sex appeal, and enjoy loving their fans, which makes this all the more bittersweet knowing that right now (with the mess that followed) everything’s kinda up in the air.
Let’s hope it’s not their last show in Los Angeles due to the extracurriculars, because over three hours of insanity turned out to be one out of the best K-pop concerts I’ve ever been to.
Thank you to SubKulture Entertainment for letting me run wild!
Credit on the videos goes to theultimatedodo.