In a history first, Twice are now the first girl group and K-Pop group to headline a stadium show in Australia.
Returning to Melbourne for an encore show, Twice stepped onto the Melbourne stage for their Ready To Be World Tour and were well received with a thunderous roar. But what is a K-Pop concert like in a stadium? Is it any different? And are encore shows worth the admission?
With no support act, Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu combined their powers to perform just shy of 3 hours at Marvel Stadium. With excitement and charisma, the Melbourne venue was universally lit by Candybong Infinity lightsticks, turning the stadium into one big party and celebration for Twice’s revisit, their career, and K-Pop music in Australia.
When I stepped into the venue, I was surprised that the Marvel Stadium roof was open. Often at stadium concerts, they don’t even have a roof to close. You’re at the mercy of the elements, whether it be heavy rain or sweltering heat. But on Saturday October 4th in Melbourne, the sky was blue with only a few white clouds floating by. The weather was perfect for the ultimate K-Pop stadium experience with fans present having travelled to Melbourne from not only around Australia, but from around the world to support the beloved 3rd generation K-Pop girl group. I even met some lovely fans from Japan that were in attendance!
Encore shows are fantastic as it gives fans the opportunity to revisit a concert tour that they loved and witnessed earlier. For those that missed out on the sold-out concerts in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year, encore shows provide a second chance opportunity to attend, regardless of whether you’re a K-Pop fan or even someone just getting into the music genre.
Because this was an encore show, the venue was much livelier and electric. Everybody was ready and waiting, fully equipped with their lightsticks, their voices, and smartly knowing which songs were next on the setlist. Even so, Twice had a few tricks up their sleeves, dedicating the time and effort into providing their Australian fans with new content.
Beginning the set with the English version of ‘Set Me Free’ and performing this version in Australia for the very first time, the Melbourne audience elatedly erupted upon Twice’s arrival. Australian Once (Twice’s fandom name) were passionately vocal and proudly sang along to the lyrics of every song. Because this concert was in a stadium, the singalongs made for powerful and special moments throughout the night.
New songs performed in this revisit included Jeongyeon’s fun and adorable solo stage to the Justin Timberlake and Max Martin penned hit ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’, Japanese rarity ‘Perfect World’, and the highly anticipated Jihyo solo debut track ‘Killin’ Me Good’, which she rocked by the way.
But attending a K-Pop encore show isn’t just about seeing new content. It’s also about being reunited with our favourite idols, hearing and seeing our favourite songs live again including ‘Feel Special’, ‘Can’t Stop Me’, ‘Cry For Me’, ‘Alcohol-Free’, ‘The Feels’ and ‘FANCY’, and being reunited with the K-Pop community. Prior to the concert, many fans arrived early superbly well-dressed, some in cosplay, and were giving away fan-support gifts, probably one of my favourite things about K-Pop.
As ticket stubs are hard to come by these days in Australia, what patrons love are the physical fan support gifts that you can take home and keep. These are made by kind and generous passionate Once and may include hand fans of your favourite member, photo cards, banners, or even souvenir tickets (although, it would be great if patrons were allowed to obtain our actual ticket stubs without struggle from the box office, much like sport patrons do without issue).
Twice consistently astonished the Melbourne audience with their captivating stage presence, their flawless dancing skills, and their gorgeous vocals. A highlight of the concert was the medley which included many of Twice’s greatest hits including, ‘YES or YES’, ‘What Is Love?’, ‘CHEER UP’, ‘LIKEY’, ‘KNOCK KNOCK’, ‘Scientist’ and ‘Heart Shaker’. The happiness that seeped through me while singing along to these iconic songs was wonderful, surprisingly therapeutic, and supremely liberating. You really had to be there to feel the excitement and energy that flowed throughout Marvel Stadium. Everyone was feeling that joy.
Hearing the entire stadium sing along was honestly incredible. Completely different to an arena experience, singalongs and cheers were loudly released into the atmosphere. An open-air outdoor stadium concert and the first of its kind for K-Pop in Australia, the lightsticks shone as brightly as the stars we were under. Adding to the magic, there were also fireworks which explained why the Marvel Stadium roof was open. These were set off throughout the night along with streamers and confetti which made for the most spectacular finale in Australian K-Pop history. It didn’t matter where you were seated, what unfolded made everyone feel special.
Production wise, the screens on the stage were massive and well-lit. The video footage displayed every member of the 9-member girl group with equal attention, and the set up, complete with flickering lights that changed to the beat alongside all the lightsticks scattered throughout the venue, visually impressed. So much passion, effort and thought has evidently been put into this encore show, one of the best K-Pop concerts I have ever seen.
Deafening cheers and excited screams filled Marvel Stadium and as the sun set, the Candybong lightsticks shone that much brighter. If you didn’t have a lightstick pre-purchased, they were readily available to buy at the merchandise booths. This was worlds apart from their last visit when lightsticks weren’t available for sale.
The lightsticks filled the Marvel Stadium venue. When they changed colours and flickered in unison due to being synced, we collectively became one big, beautiful, illuminated ocean, cementing this concert as one of the best we’ve ever had.
One of the best moments of the concert, however, was when Twice weren’t even on stage. This was during the dance challenge break where Twice’s biggest songs were played and the cameras would pan in on Australian Once to dance along with the choreography. As large as Marvel Stadium is, no place was safe! One of the fans that went onto the big screen performed ‘FANCY’ so impressively and they were right in my section!
The diligence of Australian fans to expertly carry out the choreography to each track was beyond impressive. It’s like they were all waiting for this moment to shine. Not only that, but this alone displayed how loved Twice and their music is. Special shoutout to the girl who went up on the big screen that cosplayed Twice’s encore spinning wheel, you had me in stitches.
As a sweet gesture to Twice, devoted Australian Once also put together a fancy fan video to welcome and thank Twice for returning to Australia. Twice even complimented how professional it looked! The messages that all involved provided in this fan video were so thoughtful, wholesome, and sincere, filled with an unconditional love for the idols whose music has accompanied their lives for many years. The video also congratulated Twice on their 8th anniversary in the music industry. Originally debuting in 2015, it is clear how far the 9-member K-Pop girl group have come since then.
Considering all Twice’s music is super sweet, insatiably catchy, and incredibly uplifting, it would be hard not to feel on a high from attending Twice’s Ready To Be World Tour. It was stunning! Not only is this encore stadium show a triumph for K-Pop music in Australia and was Twice’s biggest show in Australia to-date, but it was a damn good time. The girls said that they would be back too! So hopefully they return to Australia and specifically Melbourne for their next world tour. As much as this concert was worth the admission, their return too is well worth the wait.
Proudly presented by JYP Entertainment and Live Nation Australia. Twice’s Ready To Be World Tour encore Australian show in Melbourne was performed on Saturday October 4th, 2023.
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Photography by Ian Laidlaw.