The best part about KARD is you can’t help but fall for at least one member’s personality. Whether it’s BM, Jiwoo, J.Seph, or Somin, you’re bound to find a fave in at least one (most likely all) and stay hooked as they continue to enjoy being themselves in front of the world. Because let’s be real, the whole assignment of roles in K-pop needs to end. I’m a bit tired of idols being forced into roles simply to fit a cookie cutter slot, only to have to wait years to be themselves outwardly.
Thankfully, KARD allows us to bypass most of that as they are not only uniquely themselves but also flow really well together as they genuinely laugh with each other in such a comfortable manner. Beyond the fact that they are the rarest of rare K-pop groups being co-ed, they are insanely talented, down to earth, absolutely hilarious, and very honest with who they are to anyone and everyone around them. I can’t help but respect that.
Being invited back to witness KARD’s fantastic return to BM’s home town of La Mirada (suburb of Los Angeles) was such a treat! Especially so because it was his birthday and the audience was packed with his family, his dance team, his friends, basically everyone in the city who knew him, and of course their adoring fans. It was a packed, sold-out show in a modern auditorium that allowed fans to experience them in a deceptively large venue with an intimate atmosphere.
(Note: I apologize for the lateness of this coverage. Life happened.)
Things started with one of KARD’s biggest bangers in “Bomb Bomb” and they were not playing around. KARD brought their A game, starting hard and keeping the momentum going throughout the show. We got “Don’t Recall,” “Oh Na Na,” “You In Me,” and “Rumor” before they even stopped to take a breath.
BM spoke in English to the crowd, thanking everyone who came out. We got a wild BM solo, and then “Inferno” with J.Seph, and finally Jiwoo and Somin performing Shawn Mendes‘ “If I Can’t Have You.”
From here, we got the corniest, most heart-warming feels inducing VCR. Each member of KARD read a personally written letter to the fans. Being the giant kids that they are, they razzed each other as they read the letters in an attempt to keep it light as they hit us right in the heartstrings, thanking fans for sticking with them from the beginning.
Of course, they came back out and continued with a more chill, sophisticated experience. While we got to see “Moonlight” and “Gidd Up,” what really threw everyone through the loop were the covers! Jiwoo and Somin brought the house down with a fantastic version of Ariana Grande‘s “Thank U Next,” which was then followed by the group covering “Taki Taki,” and let me just tell you that J.Seph singing in Spanish is … it’s an experience. They even performed “Dimelo” and I damn near screamed my head off!
We sang “Happy Birthday” to BM, who thanked his fam for coming out, with his mom looking proud as can be in the center front of the balcony. He thanked the fans as well, saying he hadn’t actually gotten to celebrate his birthday with his family in four or five years, which triggered the feels all over again.
KARD capped things off by performing “Hola Hola,” then followed it up with “Dumb Litty,” which was so intense live it was like being at a rave! Seeing it performed live just added a whole new layer of fire to the track!
At that point it seemed like the show had ended, but of course not before a party-style hardcore encore ending! They completed the evening with encores of “Bomb Bomb” and “Dumb Litty” before we all headed out and they did their fan meet.
I can’t possibly thank SubKulture Entertainment and KARD enough for allowing us to be a part of this event. It came at a time where the level of joy and excitement was really needed for me, and it served as a soothing, tingly balm for my scuffed-up heart. But that’s really what KARD are, right? Pure joy through damn-good live performance.