NCT DREAM Chicago Concert Review
NCT DREAM’s “THE DREAM SHOW2: In A DREAM” overflowed with contagious joy!
From the opening notes to the final encore, NCT DREAM threw audiences for loops with their impressive teamwork and synchronicity, proving that playfulness and artistic maturity are not mutually exclusive.
As Impressive as it was Charming
NCT DREAM’s concert brought to mind a children’s TV program for many reasons: the bright colors, the stimulation from vivid imagery paired with blinking light sticks and chant-ready tunes, the friendship and frivolity from which they never shy away… However, their talent proved to be anything but amateur. They brought the professionalism and precision of any “serious” performer to an unapologetically youthful and carefree show.
NCT DREAM showed off both professional and personal chemistry. They appeared naturally at ease with one another, hugging and making hand hearts during sweet songs about first love. They channeled that natural synergy into stellar performances, interrupting off-script sweetness for bursts of high-intensity, detailed choreography. Their layered compatibility made their challenging performances look effortless. While some artists appear to just go through the motions, performing dance routines for the millionth time and perhaps not having the same unconditional fire they once had for doing so, NCT DREAM treated every stage with the enthusiasm of a first-time show. The boundless energy they started their careers with proved to still be there.
The group combined halves of songs to form unique medleys and followed slower songs with higher-tempo ones. The show’s brisk pacing was a seemingly effortless feat, despite tackling a career-spanning and genre-diverse setlist.
Another way the show stayed fast-paced: the lack of long talking segments. While those can be fun, it was refreshing to watch a show where packing in as many songs as possible was prioritized over filling time with lots of chatting. The members did interact often with the crowd, but during performances instead of between them. This kept the show feeling smooth and speedy.
The carefully-curated aspects of NCT DREAM’s show were concealed by the group’s creativity and charisma; they made even the most calculated aspects of a live show feel spontaneous.
The general topic of the show’s first chapter: quirky lore. The section began with “Glitch Mode,” complete with a digital voiceover and stage setup reminiscent of the mysterious video game store in the song’s music video. In addition to being video game store employees, the members also run a matchmaking service in the video, and this latter plot point was the focus of a video interlude into the next section of the show.
After the comical sketch in which, long story short, the members’ flirting advice went horribly wrong, they returned to the stage to keep the story going. With the next few songs, they told the story of how a first relationship went, showing lots of brotherly affection to emphasize the euphoric state about which they sang.
The following chapters of the show covered a broader thematic range but maintained the previous stages’ highlights: humorous expressions, smart timing intuition, deft dancing, and pure camaraderie.
In NCT DREAM’s final encore, they went out in peak NCT DREAM style! Sporting colorful, fuzzy accessories like in the music video, the boys performed “Candy” in front of a North-Pole-themed background and within a sea of stuffed animals fans had gifted them. Subverting expectations, they ended the show by leaving the stage one by one. Their endearing goodbye messages included gestures ranging from funny poses to kissing a plushie!
NCT DREAM’s concert brought all the fun of a kids’ show with enough talent to please all ages.
Their lack of caring about looking “cool” or mature made the moments in which they did look all the more impressive. While being their animated, adorable selves, they proved they have what it takes to be considered anything but gimmicky. NCT DREAM nailed their concept: eternal youthfulness and what it can represent. It proved to be in their DNA to be talented performers who appear even more so with their refreshingly unbridled optimism.
View the Setlist Below!
Countdown (3, 2, 1)
My First and Last
Bye My First…
To My First
Dive Into You
Better Than Gold
We Go Up
Trigger the Fever
Walk you home
Watch Show Highlights Below!
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