Japanese girl group, XG made their debut performance in Australia for a one night only show, and I was very lucky to be a part of it. Despite this being their first visit here, it was clear that XG had a blast and showed no signs of being intimidated nor nervous, bringing a sense of professionalism yet extremely fun night ahead.
XG, which is an acronym for ‘Xtraordinary Girls’, a name meant to come across as aspirational and striving to empower young people within their music, consists of 7 girls: Jurin, Chisa, Hinata, Juria, Cocona, Maya, and Harvey.
I must admit that I am not so much a K-Pop or J-Pop person when it comes to music. While it may be a genre that has never really grabbed my attention, I certainly appreciate these groups and solo acts for the impact that they have made within the music industry and their immense worldwide popularity.
XG are a Japanese girl group based in South Korea with an English-language discography. These girls fall under the category of the K-pop/J-pop R&B hip-hop genre, but when listening to their discography before attending their show, I was pleasantly surprised at how catchy and upbeat their music is. Immediately, I was excited to listen and watch them perform live and was admittedly I was extremely impressed after the show ended.
Opening the show with one of their most infectious songs to dance to, ‘GRL GVNG’, immediately displayed just how much in synergy XG had with their impressive choreography against a screen backdrop behind them which was flashing lights, colours and imagery that correlated with the music. The immediate vibe of just having fun married with the power anthem XG were providing made for a wonderful entrance. It is one thing for an artist to provide a catchy and memorable performance on stage, but what blew me away was the crowd reaction to XG simply just being here. The energy in the room with everyone jumping and dancing along was insane in the best way possible.
Everyone was singing, dancing, and filming on their phones and were having the best time (me included). It was clear very early on what a devoted fanbase XG have already cultivated here in Australia, and their live performance at Hordern Pavilion that I had the honour to witness was really something special.
After another immediate performance of dancing and singing their hearts out to their certified bop ‘TGIF’, the members then took the time to introduce themselves to the audience, both as XG the group and individually as themselves. All seven girls came across as very bubbly and stated their enthusiasm to perform for the first time in Australia, exclaiming how excited they were to be in Sydney and thanking the huge turnout for coming to see them in the first place. In response, everyone screamed in unison, again reminding me just how massive and passionate their fanbase are.
Afterwards, the girls proceeded to split into solo performances and units, to sing covers of various songs including 90s banger TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ which immediately had the audience cheer from the first note. But the cover that stood out was Juria’s take of Craig David’s ‘Rise & Fall’. Not only was her solo performance fantastic and holds up well against the original, but Juria effortlessly switched from Japanese to English throughout the song was a huge highlight. This was proof that it is not just their own material that XG can expertly execute but covering other music with their own personal touch is very much something that these talented girls can do effortlessly, and I was in awe of their skills.
At the halfway point of the show, XG once again addressed the crowd, dubbing everyone as ‘good energy’ with Juria stating, “We are so, so excited to be here in Australia and we hope you’re having as much fun as we are!” The audience screamed in agreeance, whilst I too agreed with them.
The girls even had a casual chit-chat conversation whilst on stage, with Maya asking fellow bandmate Harvey, “How does it feel to be back in Australia!?” Harvey is born to an Australian father and Japanese mother, so Harvey has had plenty of experience in her time down under. She explained that it had been a long time since she was last in Australia but proclaimed that she was grateful to be with her fellow members for their first performance in Sydney.
Again, it’s clear these girls have a great connection, and you can really see their friendship and synergy with one another on stage when it comes to either dancing or just casual conversation, which certainly helps the image and power the group. Harvey then even excitedly revealed that her grandparents were even in the audience to watch their show, to which everyone in the audience turned around to seek and wave to said grandparents, which made for a very cute moment.
As the night continued, XG kept up with providing the audience with their infectious performances, upbeat dances, colourful backdrop visuals, and flashing lights to other songs in their discography including ‘NEW DANCE’ (a personal favourite of mine), ultimately ending the one-night concert with arguably the one song that had everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) dancing like their life depended on it, ‘LEFT RIGHT’. Once again, the entire floor was vibing and dancing along to the girls’ catchy R&B hip-hop tunes, and it made for a fantastic experience to the point where I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun at a concert.
The only downside to the night was that the show was not long enough. Whilst I understand XG’s discography is still somewhat fresh and new, the night only felt like it was just getting started when the show ended 45 minutes after the girls came on stage. And sadly, my all-time favourite XG song ‘SHOOTING STAR’ was not performed either.
However, this does not diminish the fact that XG are supremely talented and can sing and dance their hearts out to bring a stellar performance to their fans, song after song. Their performance in Sydney still made for a fantastic night that I will not forget anytime soon. I imagine the next time XG do a proper tour of Australia, their shows will be much longer, with more catchy tunes to dance along to in the hopefully not too distant future.
Thank-you XG for your infectious and upbeat one-night performance in Sydney! Hopefully you come back to Australia soon, as you have definitely gained a fan in me for life after that phenomenal show.
Proudly presented by TEG Live, XG headlined Billboard: The Stage at the Hordern Pavilion as part of SXSW Sydney on Friday October 20th.
For more information on XG, visit:
Photography by Ashley Mar and Jess Gleeson.