AleXa: Girls Gone Vogue Tour, 170 Russell, Melbourne, April 1st 2023 – K-Pop Live Review

There are very few artists that I see live and think that they could not be doing anything else with their lives. K-Pop dynamo, AleXa is one of them. I’m convinced AleXa was born for the stage.

In her first visit to Melbourne as part of her Girls Gone Vogue 2023 Australian and New Zealand Tour, brought down under by Prime Entertainment NZ, AleXa showcased her incredible professionalism, charisma, and talent to a passionate Melbourne audience.

Dedicated fans started lining up outside the 170 Russell venue the morning of the concert from 8am, and during what was Melbourne’s coldest April 1st since 1998, fans were prepared with camp chairs, picnic rugs, and warm clothes. Throughout the day as more joined the line, the lovely group of K-Pop fans at the front gave away little green finger lights that patrons could use and wave around during the concert. Even an hour before they could enter, they were super organised, putting away their picnic rugs, chairs, and then accessorising with light-up star crowns to their already stylish outfits.

With VIP ticket holders being admitted early for a special Q&A session and meet and greet group photos, the queue shifted into a line for merchandise with signed albums, hoodies, shirts, and instant film photos of AleXa up for grabs, emitting a palpable excitement in the air.

The Q&A was a very wholesome experience and I’m grateful to have witnessed the genuine exchange of mutual love, care, joy, and understanding between both artist and their fans. This session displayed AleXa’s vibrant infectiously charming personality. Having enjoyed listening to AleXa during her time on Dive Studios podcasts ‘How Did I Get Here’ and ‘Get Real’, I already knew that AleXa was smart and endearing, but I never thought that she’d be funny too, and AleXa is hilarious.

Shamelessly sharing with her fans that she was feeling a bit hoarse from shouting so much at the Sydney concert from three nights before, AleXa cheekily stated that she’d be running on ‘old man energy’. The questions thrown around were a combination of considerate, kind, and fun.

From querying what foods she tried during her time in Australia, her nails and shoes, to what five things she would bring with her on a deserted island; her answer to the latter consisted of a notebook, pen, a hammer to use as both a weapon and to bust open coconuts, a pot to boil water, and Vodka which would be both for a drink and to disinfect any possible wounds. Admittedly, I was very surprised and impressed with her answers.

AleXa thoughtfully and excitedly answered in detail to all these questions and inflicted her witty sense of humour along the way with brief stints into the Aussie accent for certain words. One hilarious moment was when a fan queried where to visit in Japan and South Korea as he was flying out tomorrow. This prompted AleXa to state that if the fan were to go to a club, she wouldn’t know what it’s like because she is ‘old’.

However, the most important interaction would be when AleXa noticed a fan not feeling well in the crowd, stopping the Q&A to run off stage to grab some water for her, and then making sure her fan was alright before continuing the session. As strange as it sounds, not many artists would do this, so I was very moved by her genuine attention to detail, kindness, and care for her fans.

While the Q&A and meet and greet part of AleXa’s visit was sweet and wholesome, the concert portion was dynamic and powerful. After the general admission ticket holders filled the rest of the venue, following the already present VIP fans, a countdown from 8 soon began, appearing on the big screen. Fans soon joined in to vocally count down AleXa’s arrival who took the stage in a stylish outfit complete with cream coloured platform boots, khaki green skirt, and a grey spaghetti strapped crop top with matching coloured arm warmers entwined with rope.

K-Pop is all about the detail, and AleXa’s look was completed with glitter on her body and stick-on rhinestones on her face around her eyes. It’s not a look that anyone could have pulled off, but this is AleXa we’re talking about and she looked stunning! Accompanied with her four incredible dancers, AleXa kicked-off the show with ‘Back In Vogue’ from her ‘Girls Gone Vogue’ 2022 EP, also the inspiration for her tour name.

Despite her ‘old man energy’ being noted, it was nowhere to be found. AleXa was phenomenal on stage both vocally and physically, showcasing multiple various dance moves that left me in awe, especially when knowing she was doing so in platform boots. Platform boots! Her choreography for ‘Villain’ and ‘Do or Die’ were fire, and the more she displayed difficult dance moves, the more her fans cheered. Majority of her music is also very up-beat, so she had the crowd dancing and bopping along within seconds.

AleXa was extremely active and interactive with the Melbourne crowd, displaying an energy that had me gobsmacked. Throughout the night, she provided as much love to her fans as she could by touching their hands (mostly in the front row), pointing, waving, throwing finger hearts and kisses at them, grabbing their phones to film footage (especially during the song ‘Obsession’, cleverly intentional), and commanding the crowd to cheer in different parts and then in unison with fans more than happy to comply.

Highlights would include AleXa noticing a fan wearing a ‘Lesbians Love AleXa’ shirt in the crowd, and then dedicating to them and to all queer fans present, a sexy rendition complete with microphone stand to Dove Cameron’s ‘Boyfriend’. During this performance, she also handed a long stem red rose to a lucky lady in the front row.

It was evident that AleXa was genuinely chuffed to be performing in Melbourne. She consistently cheered for her fans to be more confident, not to give up on their dreams, and she was having just as much fun as fans were. In a flawless performance, not only did her dancing skills shine, but so did her excellent vocals. Especially during the slower numbers, ‘Star’ and fan song ‘Moon and Back’.

With K-Pop as her genre, AleXa is also an eager K-Pop fan and happily acknowledged the different lightsticks fans brought with them to her show. But she also noticed some fans had brought leeks. You know, the vegetable. I noticed throughout the night the fans with the leeks waved them around like lightsticks to AleXa’s songs, and well, I have questions. Unfortunately, AleXa doesn’t have her own lightstick, but I am certain at this point that it would be shaped as a leek.

Because her concert was faultless, it would be hard to pick a favourite song. I thoroughly enjoyed the cuteness of ‘Endorphine’ which had bubbles fill the venue and AleXa happily popping the ones that flew past her, the catchy 2000s vibes of ‘Xtra’, the cute paw gestures in the choreography of ‘Kitty Run’, the sublime vocals during ‘Tattoo’, and of course, the performance of the iconic ‘Wonderland’ with its marvellous red-string choreography, a song which won North America’s answer to Eurovision at last year’s American Song Contest.

Even the moment when AleXa asked patrons “What do all university students have in common?”, intending to lead into her song ‘Burn Out’, but being responded to with “Debt“ was both hilarious and sweet. Everything about AleXa’s Girls Gone Vogue Melbourne show was fun in every sense of the word and an incredible night to remember.

If you didn’t know much about AleXa coming into this show and were mildly curious, I’d be surprised if you didn’t fall in love with her before the end. I most certainly did. Not only did I, as well as others, leave the venue beaming, but I am now super excited for what AleXa has in store in the not-too-distant future. Whether it be another podcast, more music, or something else up her sleeve, I’ll happily support whatever this woman does, because AleXa is a star.

Hopefully AleXa will come back to Australia again sooner than later. Considering how many fans flew in from different parts of Australia including Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane to attend the Melbourne show, Australia is not done with AleXa yet. If anything, we’re only just getting started.

AleXa performed in Melbourne at 170 Russell on April 1st as part of her Girls Gone Vogue Tour. Although the Australian leg is over, you can still listen to AleXa and find out more information here:

Photography by Grant Alexander.

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