The eight-member boy group Stray Kids, under JYP Entertainment, comprises Bang Chan, Felix, Han, Lee Know, Seungmin, Changbin, Hyunjin, and I.N. who stopped in the great state of Texas during their 2nd ‘MANIAC’ World Tour on Sunday, March 26, 2023, at 7:30 PM sharp.
To give you a refresher, on July 2, 2022, JYPE and Live Nation had to postpone two of their shows (Atlanta and Fort Worth) on their ongoing tour when it was revealed that three of the members, Lee Know, Felix, and I.N. had tested positive for COVID-19. While they weren’t exhibiting any symptoms, they were in quarantine under CDC guidelines.
Photo: Kristen Powell
The Dickies Arena holds a capacity of 14,000, and both days were sold out with an extravagant stage setting and massive mechanical spider legs they had during their second opening song, VENOM that showcased their intense and sexy choreography. Not to mention the many outfit changes and packed setlist from almost all their discography, including their debut single, Hellevator. This highly anticipated tour was noteworthy because the kids brought a live band, giving the three-hour show a powerful and energetic presence, but that wasn’t even the highlight.
The way the crowd’s cheers arose when you saw eight silhouettes walk onto the stage every time reminded me of Michael Jackson’s HIStory Tour when he jumped on stage, stood there for a good minute, and slowly took off his shades. The crowd was already going crazy and was exhausted when he ultimately started. It was incredible to see the special relationship that Stray Kids have with their STAYs (the fandom’s name). Even during their break, STAYs were able to participate in cute, interactive games like Red Light, Green Light, and Random Dance Play.
Photo: Kristen Powell
The objective of the two games was in the form of ‘Red Light, Green Light’. The stage screen showed each member in a different pose, and a lucky STAY was randomly selected by the cameras to match the pose. The second game was nearly identical, only this time, the choreography from some of Stray Kids’ popular songs were playing, and a STAY was again randomly chosen to imitate the dance. STAYs did such a wonderful job acing the poses and dance moves; Felix took note saying he and the boys were backstage in awe watching on the monitors.
Another striking stage to make note of was the awaited OT8 performance Red Lights, originally written and performed by Bang Chan and Hyunjin. The boys had long, sheer black string-like cloths, tied around their necks. The intensity of this stage was insane with the seductiveness of the prop, the multiple body rolls, and the bright red lights.
Even the parents who accompanied the younger STAYs were getting a bit flustered. Throughout the tour, each member was able to show their individuality, whether it was teasing STAYs with aegyo and “killing points” or performing their cover songs like Seungmin’s Always Remember Us This Way, from his favorite film, A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Halfway through the show, their special stages came to fruition beginning with the vocal unit consisting of Bang Chan, I.N., Lee Know, and Seungmin who performed Waiting for Us.
Photo: Kristen Powell
The visuals of this stage were very dream-like and soft, which was the opposite of the rap unit consisting of Changbin, Felix, Han, and Hyunjin who performed Muddy Water right after. Their stage presence was grunge-like and gritty, with a 1950s gangster feel. After the unit performances, each member was back on stage to reflect on the songs they wrote and performed. Seungmin made it clear that Waiting for Us was a song that reminded them of how STAY had been waiting so patiently for them to return.
But like the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end,” and it was sadly time to say goodbye. Overall, the entire show was remarkable and impressive. Stray Kids even celebrated their 5th anniversary on March 25th with STAYs. They have truly grown into mature, young men and as a STAY myself, I couldn’t be happier. Their fan service, stylization, production, and their choreography were sincerely incredible to see.
Red Lights (OT8 ver.)
All In (Korean ver.)
Love Again (The Kid LAROI cover) (Felix Solo)
I Got It (Han Solo)
Waiting For Us (Bang Chan, Lee Know, Seungmin, I.N)
This City (Sam Fischer cover) (Lee Know Solo)
Always Remember Us This Way (Lady Gaga cover) (Seungmin Solo)
Muddy Water (Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix)
Top (Tower of God)
Fam (Korean ver.)
Mixtape: Time Out