I never thought that I’d see Twice live in concert, let alone in Australia and in my own city. But on Saturday the 6th of May 2023, that’s exactly what happened. In what has been a long time coming since their debut back in 2015, dreams finally came true last weekend in Melbourne.
Taking to the stage as part of their Ready To Be World Tour to perform to a roaring Rod Laver Arena audience as part of their sold-out first visit to Australia, the members of Twice; Jihyo, Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu were welcomed to Melbourne by a patient, loud, and passionate crowd of K-Pop fans (‘Once’). Some were from Melbourne, some were from interstate, some were from overseas, but all were ready to be entertained by their favourite girl group. Braving Melbourne’s coldest May weekend in 23 years, the rain, wind, and hail didn’t stop these K-Pop fans from seeing Twice.
The screens that created the backdrop of the stage were both huge and incredibly impressive. Visually stunning and curved at the bottom as if to perfectly fit a small mountain beneath, what fit below instead were the magnetic talents of Twice, complete with rising platforms and a catwalk to get even closer to their fans. Through majority of the concert’s duration, Twice were also accompanied by a very talented live band and their own dancers at certain parts of the show.
Like me, many were in disbelief that Twice were performing on stage right before their eyes. But it was all real! Dressed in coordinated black and white outfits that were adorned in diamantes, the first of several outfits throughout the night, Twice inspired deafening cheers when they performed their many hits, starting with ‘Set Me Free’, followed by catchy 80s inspired tune ‘I Can’t Stop Me’ with its captivating choreography, something very common with Twice and was consistent throughout the night.
It wasn’t until ‘Go Hard’ did the screams of the audience amplify. This was in reaction to Twice’s dancing, the excellent staging and lighting displayed lasers and also showcased their silhouettes, and for having a beloved B-side on the setlist from their second full album ‘Eyes Wide Open’.
‘Ready to Be’, the title of the tour and also the name of their latest EP, displays the Twice members in a new light. Natural and true to themselves with a combination of sophisticated and retro sounds, it’s hard to believe that Twice have been conquering the K-Pop industry consistently for over 7 years now. But their non-stop distribution of hits throughout the night proved this, with iconic songs such as ‘Feel Special’, ‘Fancy’, ‘Cry For Me’, ‘Alcohol-Free’, ‘Talk That Talk’, and the appropriately titled ‘Dance the Night Away’, inspiring even the most unexpected to dance.
If the fine tunes of Twice weren’t enough, the concert also had solo performances from each of the members, allowing them a chance to shine while displaying their individual personalities. Although every performance was great, it was Dahyun that surprised me the most with her skills on the piano. She performed the intro to Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’ before going into her beautiful acoustic rendition of Colbie Caillat’s ‘Try’. I had no idea Dahyun could even play the piano! Not only did she sound gorgeous, but she looked it too with a yellow dress that reminded me of Belle’s ballgown from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
I adored Jihyo’s unreleased original song ‘Nightmare’ along with her booming vocals, infectious smile, piercing eyes, and commanding stage presence. Momo’s mesmerising dance routine also impressed with perfect precision and jaw-dropping pole work that ignited screams throughout the venue. The performance was irresistibly flawless, sexy, sassy, and was perfectly timed to Beyonce’s ‘Move’.
The most adorable solo though was scene stealing Jeongyeon’s. Dressed in fluorescent green, she brought the fun vibes with her rendition of Lizzo’s ‘Juice’, providing a respectful tribute to the celebrated artist with her own cheeky moment on a wind instrument. But for Jeongyeon, she chose to play a vibrant green recorder instead of attempting Lizzo’s signature flute. I really liked this as she made the song her own.
Of all the members, it is only Nayeon that has a solo release with ‘Pop’. Released almost a year ago, the song is still as catchy as ever and appropriately set off the first of many confetti canons that night. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the solo performances but wish that every member had their own released solo song. One can only hope that every member will eventually have one in the not-too-distant future.
The most intimate moment of the concert would be ‘When We Were Kids’ where the members reflected on their childhood through song with photos of their younger selves with shown on the big screen. The highlight of the night however was hands down the medley of Twice’s most popular songs consisting of ‘YES or YES’, ‘What Is Love?’, ‘Cheer Up’, ‘Likey’, ‘Knock Knock’, ‘Scientist’ and ‘Heart Shaker’. Granted, they have so many more excellent songs that weren’t played that night, but this medley was enough to keep the most die-hard fan content.
Providing further fun for fans, there was a segment where patrons could dance to Twice’s music, showing off their own dance moves and skills. Some fans even appeared on the big screen! This just made me wish I knew the dance moves to Twice’s songs better! I loved this! It was so much fun and I couldn’t help but grin and cheer for the fans that did make it onto the big screen.
My personal favourite moment was during the encore where a spinning wheel was brought to the stage with a list of rare Twice songs that the arrow could land on. With Twice spinning the wheel, although the arrow did not land on ‘Like Ooh-Ah’, Nayeon and Tzuyu cheekily took destiny into their own hands and adjusted the wheel to land on the song, so that the group could perform it. Honestly, I couldn’t complain. ‘Like Ooh-Ah’ is actually one of my favourite Twice songs and if anything, I felt so overjoyed and lucky to have heard it live.
Also, I realised that at this very moment, I had been smiling so much throughout the night, my face was starting to hurt. This was a dream come true to see Twice live in concert and honestly, I was just so very happy. Twice’s is music is filled with up beat and catchy numbers, so you would have been hard pressed to find someone in the arena that wasn’t feeling elated.
My only criticism is that no lightsticks were sold at the concert when lightsticks are an essential item to K-Pop concerts. We love them because we feel like part of one big tightknit community when we can see an entire arena lit up and moving as one. They also make great concert merchandise and souvenirs that you can keep forever in memory of your experience. This sadly was missing from Twice’s show. Thankfully, some fans (including myself) came prepared, bringing their own lightsticks. Their coloured lights were trickled throughout the arena and were evidence of the organised and super dedicated Twice fans in attendance.
JYP Entertainment has brought several of their artists to Australia before including Day6 and Stray Kids. Not only do I believe they’ve mastered the art of concerts with incredible high quality production work and performances, Twice’s concert alone was just shy of 3 hours and one of the best I’ve ever seen, but these sold-out shows are a big deal for K-Pop in Australia. When it comes to touring Australia, JYP Entertainment are the leaders of K-Pop. These Twice shows should be considered a triumph for everyone involved including Live Nation Australia, as well as an opened door to further JYP Entertainment artist hopefully touring Australia in the not-too-distant future. And hopefully with lightsticks!
Although ‘Ready to Be’ is Twice’s first visit to Australia, with four sold out shows in Melbourne and Sydney combined, I would be surprised if the K-Pop girl group don’t return to our shores. They are clearly so loved here and rightfully so, considering they’ve been titans in K-Pop for the past 7 years. Here’s to many more years in K-Pop for this multitalented nine-member girl group, as well as a hopeful and eventual return to Australia.
Twice performed in Melbourne over two nights at Rod Laver Arena on Saturday the 6th of May and Sunday the 7th of May 2023 as part of their Ready To Be World Tour. Both concerts were sold out and the Australian tour is now over. Fingers crossed they will come back though!
For more information and future ticketing, visit:
Photography by Rick Clifford.