This guest entry was written by Shahada A. Brush. Views and opinions expressed in this entry are solely those of the guest contributor.
The line wrapped around the building with excited fans ready for a night of more than just K-pop.
Brought to us by The Yoo Group and Transparent Agency, DEAN and his fellow Club Eskimo crew members MISO, offonoff and 2XXX! make their third stop in Dallas to perform at Gas Monkey Live. This is Club Eskimo’s first American tour, but it didn’t show at all. Everyone was oozing with charisma and charm. Seeing them live was most definitely a treat for the eyes and ears. I turned my attention to the crowd behind me. They were buzzing with excitement. A simple flicker of the stage lights and they erupted into a cacophony of screams and cheers. From this alone, I could tell the evening was going to be a good one.
The show started with mix master himself 2xxx! He did a great job of getting the crowd pumped and ready for the first act. Little did we know that would not be the last we saw of him on stage that night. His tracks were a good blend of Korean and American music, so fans were able to sing along.
Out of the many opening acts I’ve seen in my years of concert going, SAAY, hands down, was the best. From the moment she stepped on stage she kept the audience engaged, starting her set off with “Run,” a soulful and sensual ballad that showed off the deeper register of her voice. With a single raised pointer finger she quieted the venue once more and went straight into her next song “VLACK N VLUE.” It was the perfect song to wave light sticks to, with its deep base and tics and tocs. As she closed out her set with “Circle,” I genuinely felt sad because I wanted to hear more. SAAY has so much star power, and her live vocals and fan service made for a satisfying experience. I could tell that she genuinely loves her fans, and I can’t wait to see where her career goes from here!
The next group to perform was OFFONOFF, with Colde in the singer-songwriter seat and 0channel as the producer, they’re a very talented duo indeed! They opened with “Moon,” a dreamlike love song with a simple but fitting melody. Colde’s vocals for this song are so pure and sweet you really feel the emotion behind them regardless of whether you speak Korean or not. It was my personal favorite song of the evening. They went straight into “Photograph,” followed by “Pink Ocean/Bambada,” which blew me away. OFFONOFF had such a laid-back set, just enough to keep the crowd chill but still vibing before the headliner. The thing I need most right now is for OFFONOFF to collab with Bruno Mars.
Near the middle of their set, the audience started singing happy birthday to Colde, and he looked so incredibly happy. After they finished his fellow musicians brought out a cake for him, and his eyes widened with child-like glee. The whole scene was adorable and a joy to watch.
Next up was Miso. Let me start by saying she’s a true professional. There were technical difficulties and a group of audience dwellers that started fighting during her set, but she ignored all of that and kept going. Not only is she a DJ, but she sings too. She started her set with “Take Me,” a song about a troubled relationship and trying to gain back the trust that was lost. Her sweet, clear voice pulled at the audience’s heartstrings, and within two lines I became her fan. Next was “Castaway” from Crush’s 2016 mini album “Interlude,” followed by “Moon,” which had a nice dreamlike, faraway feel to it. “I still need,” a song about regret and lingering emotions, was next, and it was a ballad anyone can easily relate to. It was when she came from behind her DJ stand to sing a ballad called “Higher” that it got even more exciting, and she shined. There’s a subtlety to her that makes you want more. It was clear to me that she’s someone who works hard because she loves what she does.
Last, but certainly not least, was DEAN. Clad in a dark hoodie with lustrous garnishes here and there and the baggiest of pants, DEAN emerged from the shadows like a thief ready to steal hearts. Miso also returned as his DJ, which was a treat. The melody for “Put My Hands on You” started, and the fans went wild, shouting the lyrics as he sang. This didn’t just happen for one song, oh no. It happened for all of them! It never fails to amaze me how passionate fans are. He flowed into “Pour Up” and “what2do” seamlessly. He didn’t stand still either. He made sure to give attention to the whole venue. My heart may or may not have stopped when I glanced up and there he was, smiling.
During “Come Over” Dean decided to do some much-desired fan service and lift his shirt. The screams that occurred were definitely heard down the street. That was the second time during the show that I found it difficult to stay in work mode. His last two songs of the evening were “D (half moon)” and, my personal favorite, “I’m Not Sorry.” I never thought I’d be able to hear that song live, so a single tear of happiness was shed. For “I’m Not Sorry,” he was joined by the whole Club Eskimo crew: 2xxx!, SAAY, OFFONOFF and Miso, who all had a blast onstage.
As the lights dimmed and the artists said their goodbyes, silence fell. Not even five seconds passed before shouts of “Encore!” in perfect unison started. Normally artists make you work hard for another song, but being the sweethearts they are Miso and DEAN came back after only a minute. Screams died down and everyone began singing along to the final song “Pick Up The Phone.”
DEAN x Club Eskimo was somehow a relaxing yet overwhelming show. The fans were able to enter a space and become one because of the amazing performances they saw, and to me that’s incredible. I look forward to seeing what they have up their sleeves for next time. DEAN x Team Eskimo, hwaiting!
If you’d like to learn more about the artists I’ve linked social media accounts bellow: