tripleS EVOLution: Authentic 2023 World Tour, 170 Russell, Melbourne, December 20th 2023 – K-Pop Live Review

Embarking on their first world tour, rookie girl group tripleS touched down in Melbourne to bring their unique concepts and artistry to 170 Russell. The underground venue was significantly full for a group whose official debut was only ten months ago, with their fans (collectively known as WAV) positively buzzing with excitement as they awaited the presence of their idols.

Signed to MODHAUS, tripleS is the brainchild of CEO Jaden Jeong who previously worked with the wildly popular girl group LOONA under Blockberry Creative. Aiming to create the industry’s first decentralised idol group, tripleS is composed of 24 members (of which 18 have been revealed) that will rotate between sub-units, whole group, and solo activities.

This concept isn’t a new one, SM boy group NCT has a similar operation style, but what sets tripleS apart from the senior group and their peers is their reliance on fan participation. Using a custom designed app and NFT tokens gained from collecting digital photo cards (a common album inclusion for K-Pop groups), WAV are given the opportunity to vote on everything from which members they want to be in the sub-units, to what the unit’s concept and title track will be. This unprecedented level of fan involvement has not only led to one of the industry’s most unique groups but it has also given the fanbase a feeling of connection and control like never before.

After making their debut in October, tripleS EVOLution was the lucky sub-unit to grace Australian shores as part of the Authentic World Tour following their sister unit LOVElution’s 10-city tour across the USA. Comprised of 8 members – Yeonji, Nakyoung, Soomin, Jiwoo, Yooyeong, Mayu, Kotone, and ChaeyoungtripleS EVOLution opened with 2 tracks from their debut EP ⟡ (pronounced “Mujuk”) as well as a unit version of the group’s official theme song, ‘Dimension’. Following the opening stage, the girls had the first of many talking “ments” where they introduced themselves to the crowd.

Unlike many groups that tour Australia with years worth of releases and fanbase growth under their belt, tripleS seemed to be aware that there may be people in the crowd who were unfamiliar with their work. Each girl held a microphone with her name in large glittery letters on it, so that those of us who were new to the group could tell who was speaking at any given time. I felt this was a really great addition to the tour, as I was one of those tripleS newbies in the crowd.

For the next portion of performances, the group broke off into 2 additional units – the Eonnie (older sisters) Team and the Dongsaeng (younger sisters) Team. The eonnies performed first, covering the song ‘Rolex’ from the sub-unit Acid Angels from Asia, while the dongsaengs performed the +(KR)ystal Eyes sub-unit song ‘Touch+’. Some of the girls present in the tour were members of these sub-units prior to being placed in EVOLution, but for the rest, it was the first time they had performed the song and choreography. For fans of the group, seeing these songs performed live by a new variation of members would have been quite thrilling and both groups put on solid performances of the popular tracks.

Following their unit stages and talking portion, each of the girls had the opportunity to showcase a brief dance cover, covering popular songs from across the genre including tracks by New Jeans, BTS’s Jungkook, Twice, and GFriend before moving into more unit and group performances.

Throughout the show many of the girls took phones from the Melbourne crowd while performing B-side tracks, recording videos and even taking selfies for the lucky fans. Their stage presence, especially that of member Nakyoung who constantly put in extra effort for choreography, was infectious. My eyes were always being drawn in Nakyoung’s direction whenever she was on stage, and I left the show thinking that if I had a bias in the group, it would be her.

Considering it was their first tour and first overseas concert, the girls of tripleS EVOLution really did put on a great show. Through a range of tracks across their own EP and the EPs of other tripleS sub-units, the soft, fairy-like vocal range of the EVOLution members really shone through, contrasting against the heavy bass and electronic instrumentals.

Listening to them sing conjured up similarities with girl groups like Girls In The Park (GWSN), whose music leaned into genres like deep house, or Everglow whose producers like hard electronica. These heavy instrumentals are typically favoured by boy groups, so to see a girl group performing songs of this genre and doing it well was really amazing to witness, and the heaviness of the tracks did little to detract from their vocal abilities. Partnered with fast-paced choreography that encompassed lots of broad hand and arm movements, the girls of tripleS EVOLution brought an incredible energy for their Australian WAV.

Performing in a venue as small as Melbourne’s 170 Russell has its perks, giving the show a more intimate feeling and allowing fans a clear view of the performance from any spot in the venue, but this also means that any minor gaff or mistake is visible. One of the members made small but noticeable mistakes in the choreography of a couple songs, stumbling into position around other members and at one point hitting a move a half-beat too early, but despite this, the dances continued to move smoothly as she course-corrected to prevent derailing the other members. It really spoke to the professionalism of these young girls that they could work through these issues so swiftly and minimise the impact on the overall performance.

There were some other small issues throughout the show, like the microphone cutting out mid-performance for Chaeyoung during the ‘Touch+’ stage and the girls’ eagerness to speak during their talking portions leaving little time for the translator to process their thought and resulting in him bumbling through some sections, but these were also handled fairly well with both the crowd and the members laughing off the translator’s fumbling.

Closing out the show with the songs Invincible’, Colorful’, and Rising’ before participating in a VIP photo op and Q&A where they discussed winning the MAMA award for Best New Female Artist and their routines for staying beautiful (spicy foods and fan’s love), tripleS really proved themselves to be a group worth watching.

As more units begin to make their debut, including NXT and the ballad unit Aria, tripleS will surely show that they are one of the most versatile girl groups to come out of this industry since the likes of Girls Generation, Mamamoo and Dreamcatcher.

Presented by Prime Entertainment, tripleS EVOLution performed in Melbourne as part of their Authentic 2023 World Tour on December 20th 2023 at 170 Russell.
The tour is now over, however for more information please visit:
https://www.triplescosmos.com

Photography by Grant Alexander.

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