[Event] ITZY brings their high-energy act to Los Angeles and impresses with a live band arrangement

With ITZY’s Lia taking a hiatus due to health concerns, the quintet had no choice but to embark on its second world tour, Born To Be, as a quartet. I went to the show in Los Angeles at the Kia Forum on June 11, and it was actually my first ITZY show, so I was pretty excited to see them live.

My first thought about Kia Forum was that it wasn’t as big of an arena as I expected. With Lia not joining the tour, was ITZY expecting lower ticket sales than usual? Either way, the venue was completely filled and the group was just as popular as ever.

Despite Lia’s absence, ITZY performed incredibly well throughout the night, especially notable was an explosive live band that gave the group’s songs even more power. While having a live band isn’t new, ITZY incorporated it seamlessly during the set for reasons I’ll get into later — I was thoroughly impressed.


ITZY started off the show with the title track of its latest album, “Born To Be,” with the members outfitted in red and black clothes to match the CGI on the back screen with erupting volcanoes.

They then performed “Racer” and “Kidding Me” to keep the energy in the crowd going. After each of the members introduced themselves to the audience, they performed “Mr. Vampire,” “Swipe,” and “Wannabe” before transitioning their solos.

Instead of doing covers of other artists for their solos like most other K-pop groups do, the members performed their respective solo songs from the Born To Be album. Chaeryeong came out first with “Mine,” along with mirror props to help accentuate the sensual feeling of her ballad, and Ryujin followed with “Run Away” wearing all black clothing, complete with skull prints on her boots. I mean, I shouldn’t be surprised, given that she’s carries the tomboy image of the group and the lyrics of the song go, “Rockin’ my baddest boots on my way to show up.

Yuna performed “Yet But”, and hers was definitely the most aesthetically performance pleasing of the bunch. She was decked out in a purple and blue corset and high heeled boots, with the backup dancers pushing her around in a shopping cart. The background screen even had a cute video of a pixel art character and dog you’d see from a video game.

But my favorite was Yeji’s performance of “Crown On My Head.” Not only is it one of the best songs off Born To Be because of her amazing voice, but she made sure the mic WAS on as she belted out her notes beautifully and effortlessly.

After their solos, the members switched to baggy blue jeans and red colored tops to perform “Untouchable,” “Gas Me Up,” and “Dynamite.” I also loved how Ryujin made the L-A sign with her fingers when the cameras zoomed in on her during “Gas Me Up,” and the crowd went wild for it.

ITZY then performed “Psychic Lover,” “Don’t Give A What,” and “Loco,” which is where the live band and backup dancers absolutely shined. After “Loco,” the dancers got an extended outro as ITZY was preparing for its next set of songs. It was a great transition as the dancers also split into different groups and the spotlight bounced between them each.

But what really got huge cheers from the crowd was the extended live band intro, where the members played a long version of the instrumental for “Not Shy” and the guitarist getting a sick solo riff before ITZY appeared and performed the song.

Cake” and “Sneakers” aren’t my favorite ITZY songs, but no setlist is complete without them as they’re some of the group’s most popular songs.  To finish off the set, ITZY performed “Kill Shot” and “Escalator.”

In preparation for the encore, a video showing off the MIDZY fandom was playing, and it included footage of Lia. The crowd cheered loudly when she appeared, and it was a really sweet way to incorporate her into the show.

As for the encore, ITZY took it a bit easier and started off with “Love Is” and “Be In Love” before playing footage of the group exploring the cities already visited. ITZY then ended the night with “Boys Like You” and, of course, “Dalla Dalla.”

Overall, I really enjoyed my first ITZY concert, even if Lia wasn’t able to join. Great pacing, and the use of the live band was excellent. Although, I think the merch was confusing, as the T-shirts and sweatshirts only had the four members on them. I understand that it was probably done to not mislead anyone to think Lia would be on the tour, but it still felt weird to leave out her out.

Regardless, I’m definitely going to another ITZY show when Lia returns, so I’ll get another piece of merch then with all of them together and the full group experience to boot.


Photo Credits: JYP Entertainment & Andy Keilan

About George Yang