For new K-Pop lovers, Eric Nam is the perfect introduction into the K-Pop world with the Korean American’s discography containing tracks in both English and Korean. For long time K-Pop fans however, it is known that Eric Nam is a veteran to the music industry and rightly so with many achievements under the K-Pop star’s belt such as being named GQ Korea’s ‘Man of the Year’, ranked in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia and more recently having his “Honestly” EP debut at #6 on the Billboard World Album Charts in April 2018. One of his biggest achievements to date however is Eric Nam’s tour of North America through no less than 15 cities, becoming the best-selling tour of all time by a solo K-Pop artist. Given all these amazing achievements, it was about time that Eric Nam came back to conquer Australia.
Eric is no stranger to Australia having visited before at the 2014 Melbourne K-Wave Festival, his Brisbane showcase also in 2014 and in 2017 for Korean reality TV show “Wizard of Nowhere” where he wrangled sheep in Tasmania. Eric Nam’s most recent Australian 2019 Tour is surprisingly the soloist’s first headlining shows in the country.
In Melbourne on Monday March 11, the artist performed at the iconic 170 Russell to an intimate but hyped crowd at the only over 18 show of the tour. You would think that due to K-Pop groups being more popular than solo artists that Eric Nam would struggle in the spotlight but putting this man in a group would only hinder his abilities. As soon as Eric Nam took to the stage, there were squeals of excitement and cheers of support whenever he would do a certain dance move or gesture towards the crowd with his hands.
Eric Nam is the full package; he can speak well and is surprisingly funny, his dancing skills are impressive, he is ridiculously good-looking, and the man has a beautiful voice – kind of like velvety chocolate – but for the ears. As weird as it sounds, this is the best way to describe his voice because of the way Nam can effortlessly execute both ballads and bangers flawlessly. Despite the setlist being a mix of slow songs and dance tunes, Eric Nam’s show flowed naturally with Nam sharing fun stories about his mum, his dislike for Vegemite due to the playful teasing of fans and expressing his genuine happiness to be performing in Australia.
There were many highlights from the performance with the crowd crooning along to “This Is Not A Love Song” excitedly jumping around to “Idea of You”, fans shouting song requests with Eric responding by singing acapella a medley of hits, to Eric Nam serenading the crowd with his debut song, “Heaven’s Door” while handing out roses. Eric Nam has many talents and reminded Australia why he is one of the best in the business. Charming, clever, charismatic, Eric Nam is an all-round performer and one of those people that make you truly believe they could not be doing anything else in life career-wise than what they are doing right now.
I don’t think I’ve seen a crowd before so warm, friendly and genuinely supportive towards a solo artist the way that the crowd supported Eric Nam in Melbourne last night, but then again this is K-Pop, a whole different animal where the K-Pop community are a family. But it would also be hard to leave an Eric Nam show without floating away with that mushy feeling of joy regardless.
I honestly loved seeing Eric Nam in Melbourne. While the show was full of fun and satisfying, at the same time, I wanted more. Now that Eric Nam has reminded Australia why he is the greatest, hopefully it won’t take that long for him to return and tour the country again. I haven’t been able to stop listening to his music since the concert and to be singing the lyrics, ‘I don’t miss you’ would be ironically, an incredible lie.
Header photography by me. Gallery photography by Grant Alexander. Photography approved by EN Entertainment and is not to be used without permission.