In his first visit to our shores, Korean singer-songwriter and producer oceanfromtheblue performed in Australia for the first time in Melbourne at Crown’s Therapy. Accompanied with a 6-piece band, the introverted artist came out of his shell to display his boundless talents, his chiselled physique, and passionately filled the Melbourne venue with his diverse discography.
With his curly black locks and a friendly smile, oceanfromtheblue (stylised in all lower case) was quick to captivate the intimate Melbourne audience with his gorgeous vocals, catchy songs, and his undeniable commanding stage presence. Dressed in black attire, complete with a black long-sleeved turtleneck, the well-dressed Korean musician was beaming the moment he stepped onto the Melbourne Crown Therapy stage, stoked to be meeting his Melbourne fans and performing in Australia for the very first time.
The atmosphere of the Crown Therapy venue was initially filled with chilled and groovy vibes. At the beginning of oceanfromtheblue’s set, the Korean artist was quick to share of his time spent in Melbourne thus far, which was filled with shopping for several hours. Although he didn’t say what he bought, he thanked the attentive Melbourne audience for coming to see him, affectionately sharing that the opportunity to play in Australia felt so special to him. I appreciated how oceanfromtheblue showed his gratitude so early in the concert. This came across as very sweet and sincere.
Kickstarting the gig with his song ‘ice cream’, fans were instantly on their feet and dancing with glee. Whether you were familiar with oceanfromtheblue’s music or were just listening to his tunes for first time, it was very difficult for patrons to resist oceanfromtheblue’s charm. The artist didn’t need a translator and prolifically chatted to the Melbourne crowd throughout the night.
The concert was very chilled and relaxing with songs such as ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Come Back Home’ that showcased oceanfromtheblue’s fantastic falsetto. However, the mood switched up when oceanfromtheblue had a catchier DJ set accompanied by Laune, giving the rest of his band a break while he performed more upbeat tunes including a snippet from the collaborative track ‘Automatic Remix’, ‘Feel Me!’ and ‘Run It Up’ which were some of the more popular songs of the night.
Seeming shy at first, the more oceanfromtheblue performed and interacted with the Melbourne crowd, the more confident he appeared to become. Conjuring finger hearts and heart hands by joining hands with fans in the crowd, these actions were met with euphoric squeals from the lucky patrons that managed to be front row at the concert.
Ever the professional and giving 100%, oceanfromtheblue even took off his shirt at one point of the show and stated, “I’m getting crazy right now. I don’t care!” which was met with more screams. oceanfromtheblue also joyfully splashed water into the crowd while energetically jumping around to his music. Despite being super active upon the Melbourne stage, oceanfromtheblue’s vocals remained stable and strong throughout his performance.
Whenever he wasn’t interacting with fans, oceanfromtheblue was happy bouncing his energy off his bandmates, whether it be just chatting to them, or doing some vocal play while they tried to do the same on their instruments. In one particular moment, it felt like that oceanfromtheblue had challenged his lead guitarist Woojung Park to match his vocal runs. What I loved about oceanfromtheblue is that he made sure every member of his band had their chance to shine, display their talents, and received the same amount of love as he did on stage.
Every member of oceanfromtheblue’s touring band are actually also all talented musicians in their own right, collectively gathering and combining their talents to help support oceanfromtheblue on his Australian tour. One touring band member, bassist Junyoung Choi kindly shared that he studied in Brisbane a few years ago and was so happy to be back in Australia and performing here, which was met with proud and loud supportive cheers from the Melbourne audience.
It didn’t matter if you weren’t familiar with oceanfromtheblue’s music because his enticing charisma alone had everyone actively dancing or just happily swaying along by the end of the night.
My favourite song of oceanfromtheblue’s set were ‘All I Need’, a fan requested brief acapella rendition of ‘Say Yes’, and ‘Super mario’ which oceanfromtheblue described as relating to the classic video game character that goes through many obstacles and challenges while trying to save his princess. ‘Girl’ was also performed unaccompanied at first, but later was played again with oceanfromtheblue’s full band during the encore.
Emitting an infectious positive energy alongside his cheeky smile, oceanfromtheblue made sure to reiterate his gratitude once again to be performing in Melbourne and happily collected an Australian flag from a fan in the audience so that he could pose with it in a group photo and wave it around in both delight and accomplishment. Especially after having completed his first ever show in Australia.
Diehard oceanfromtheblue fans, K-Pop fans, and converted new fans alike (including me!), were evidently all in agreement by the end of the night, this is one artist and concert that we aren’t going to forget about anytime soon.
Proudly presented by Box Live, oceanfromtheblue performed in both Melbourne and Sydney as part of his 2023 Way to Blue Tour. His Melbourne show took place at Crown’s Therapy on Friday the 8 of December, 2023.
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Photography by Grant Alexander.