AB6IX Chicago Concert Review
At the “ABNEW AREA Fanmeeting,” AB6IX gave praiseworthy performances and created and maintained a delightful atmosphere.
AB6IX’s event in Chicago was simply a delight from start to finish! The group impressed with their dancing and singing skills just as much as their demeanor between songs. Part concert and part meet-and-greet, the group seamlessly transitioned between the two, pivoting from smooth dance numbers to cute conversations with the audience and back again.
AB6IX charmed fans even before soundcheck officially began, by repeatedly stepping onto the stage to make a small part of themselves visible to the crowd, only to retreat again the second the crowd took notice and started cheering! After this game of peek-a-boo, the guys happily bounced on stage, dressed in casual clothes, and jumped right into their first number. They brought their A game to their rehearsal versions of “CHERRY” and “RED UP,” never missing a beat in their choreography while still staying focused on testing their microphones!
Wearing shiny, perfectly-tailored blazers and black pants, AB6IX performed dance routine after dance routine in unison. They took ABNEWs (fans of AB6IX) down memory lane with classics like “HOLLYWOOD,” “BREATHE,” and “CLOSE,” they let their vocals, fittingly, shine on “SHINING STARS,” and they gave underrated B-sides their due spotlights, like “SURREAL” and “RED UP.” The most impressive portion of the show, performance-wise, was following “RED UP”: AB6IX delivered an enthusiastic performance of “CHERRY” and followed it with a powerful rendition of “Sucker for your love.” This pair of tracks crystallized AB6IX’s musical essence: sweet and upbeat, but not at the expense of being emotional and vocally strong. The setlist was expertly chosen to clarify the definition of “AB6IX Music” in all its multitudes.
During the first interactive event - a Q&A session - the members picked questions off of a board that fans had written for them earlier on sticky notes. They not only answered many of the questions but went out of their way to see who in the audience submitted those questions, so they could wave and welcome a select few of them to the stage. Those who joined them onstage got to ask a second question and received a free t-shirt. The second interactive event, in which winners were chosen to go on stage based on the Twitter comments that caught AB6IX’s eyes the most, also provided fans with time to ask another question. These fans also got to take individual Polaroid pictures with the group, as the crowd awed in happiness for them.
AB6IX kept these events unscripted and truly participatory, by letting the crowd dictate what parts of the board they chose questions from, even trying to find a specific sticky note written with a glitter pen that a fan requested they pick next! They also asked for the crowd’s input on what songs they should sing impromptu acapella versions of and made sure they clarified what specific fans’ responses were before breaking into song. After answering everything from “What’s your favorite flower?” to “If you were a Pokémon, which one would you be?,” they spent individual time with each person who was called to the stage. They were kind and patient with everyone, but in a particularly touching moment, they helped put shyer fans at ease who had walked on stage hiding their faces with their signs. AB6IX ensured each fan felt included and comfortable.
The lucky winners were far from the only fans in attendance who got a special moment with AB6IX; the group conversed with individual members of the crowd throughout the night, simply because they seemed to genuinely enjoy it! And the attendees certainly had plenty to say, from “You’re doing great!” to an insistence that the group try Chicago pizza before leaving town! The variety of topics from both fans’ comments and written questions let the conversation move organically like one among a group of friends.
AB6IX’s genuine appreciation for ABNEWs was evident for the entire show, as they grinned and waved into attendees’ phone cameras, complimented and made gestures of appreciation for fans’ signs, and remarked on individuals’ comments. The amount of eye contact and replies made to individual crowd members were exceptional, and to see the joy on fans’ faces as many of them got a special moment to shine when given attention from AB6IX was as much of a treat as watching the performances.
The overall appeal of AB6IX came into focus last night: it lies not in their fame-worthy talent, but in their approachability. While proving to have the credentials for ultimate star power, AB6IX were anything but aloof. They did not treat the desire to connect with fans one-on-one as mutually exclusive from the desire to give the performances their all. As much as they deserve their celebrity status, their demeanors were anything but egocentric. Overall, the group cultivated an intimate and positive atmosphere that was as conversational as it was talent-filled.
AB6IX fulfilled the potential of what fanmeetings are for: showing the world who a group is and building relationships with a fan base that ought to be expanding. They succeeded on both fronts, proving their immense talent while simultaneously letting ABNEWs feel literally and metaphorically heard.
A special thanks goes out to Powerhouse Live for carrying out such a well-organized event from start to finish and having such friendly staff! Another special thanks goes out to all the ABNEWs who showed their passion throughout the night, from showing off the homemade signs and costumes that a lot of work clearly went into to rooting for the audience members who were picked to go on stage (the crowd showed particular enthusiasm for the fan who came from Mexico!). Overall, the supportive environment remained all night long, and all involved in creating that environment deserve some praise. Special memories were made last night that ABNEWs will cherish and, ideally, that will become the reason for new ABNEWs to be created!
Photo credits: Twitter and myself with permission from the fans
Watch the highlight compilation video below!