PURPLE KISS's “FESTA” USA Tour Review
In Chicago, PURPLE KISS proved to be natural, multifaceted entertainers.
There are natural downsides to performing on a small stage to a relatively small crowd and without flashy, large-scale special effects, but PURPLE KISS offered an excellent example of when less is more. All the performance limitations on small-venue shows turned into their concert’s biggest strengths; they were able to connect with the crowd in ways that would not be possible in a bigger place. However, they performed with a stamina, synergy, and skill level that deserved to draw in arena-sized audiences, so those who attended their Chicago tour stop got the best of both worlds!
Both Show-Stopping and Sincere
The show kept a swift pace, broken into phases with dance numbers for the group’s album intros and talking segments spread out nicely between performances. Their periods of disengaging with the crowd never lasted too long, and neither did their chat time. They avoided losing the crowd, and they did so in a distinct way. Many K-pop artists show off impressive duality, pivoting between a bold persona and a friendly face again and again. PURPLE KISS were a bit different, not so much pivoting between “performance mode” and “down-to-Earth mode” as they were going from one to the other so instantaneously that it appeared subconscious. In other words, they slipped between periods of being performance-focused and audience-focused in the blink of an eye. There was not a hard pivot, and if it took conscious effort to switch between their game faces and friendly ones, they didn’t show it! It came across as second nature for them to simply be both warm and likable and self-assured artists who were ready to show off at a moment’s notice.
Broadly, there are two ideal outcomes for K-pop artists’ first U.S. tours: show U.S. fans what they’re made of and nurture an expanding fan base. PURPLE KISS certainly did both, showing off their multitude of talents while keeping the show feeling intimate. They came across as polished just as much as they came across as unscripted and conversational. They made jokes and playfully teased each other throughout the talking segments, and they gave more than just standard answers during their Q&A. Instead of just typical remarks about being happy to see fans and enjoying the city, PURPLE KISS told fans stories about abandoned ideas for live stages, the funny way one member’s dog reacts to their dance rehearsals, and hairstyles they want to try even though “the CEO doesn’t know” yet! They made people feel like they were catching up with long-time friends more than celebrities.
Although the group used a backing track more than some would hope for, they more than made up for that by showing they were mentally present in other ways. Their group choreography was striking, especially when remembering they are still relative rookies when it comes to touring. If the six of them can pull off dance routines without missing a beat already, it is thrilling to imagine how palpable the energy will be in their future live performances! Their performative instincts proved to be as natural as some of their more experienced industry peers.
Their show deserved additional praise for staying entertaining in the absence of special effects. Besides some color-changing spotlights and some chairs, the show had no background screen changes, props, or other attention-grabbing aids. But their flawless choreography and overall talent were enough to leave the audience mesmerized; extra bells and whistles were unnecessary.
Superior Song Covers
It is hard to choose a favorite part of PURPLE KISS’s concert, because each musical number matched the level of amazement the previous one warranted; they never lost steam. However, if one had to pick, the group’s “Dance Monkey” cover was the most praiseworthy. Their take on Tones And I’s hit song crystallized their appeal. Their marvelous voices and magnetic stage presence made a frankly played-out song feel new again. Similarly, they gave a top-tier, personalized rendition of “Sway With Me” by Saweetie and GALXARA.
A Very Unusual Encore
PURPLE KISS had an unforgettable, surprise-filled encore that was full of smart choices. As the crowd waited in the dark for the encore to start, SWAN got on the intercom and pretended to be a ghost! She insisted that ghosts can sing too and broke into an acapella version of her solo single, “Twenty.” She suddenly fell silent and admitted with a laugh that she forgot the lyrics to her own song!
Eventually, the full group returned to the stage, wearing cute headpieces, and told everyone to stay seated. The highly unusual request to stay seated for an encore was actually a great idea, because they gave their all to the next two songs. They made sure that anyone who didn’t see the totality of their impressive singing and dancing earlier in the night due to obstructed views finally did, and they further gave listeners a good memory by performing “Twinkle” up close! Without any heads-up, all six of them left the stage and moved through the aisles while singing, giving fans smiles, finger hearts, and high-fives! With the final two songs, PURPLE KISS seized their last chance to wow and charm fans.
When looking back on the “FESTA” U.S. Tour, PURPLE KISS should have no regrets. They seized every opportunity to leave a lasting, positive impression on audiences, to show what makes them stand out amid a sea of other K-pop acts, and to bond with fans in a way that will keep them coming back.
There was a constant sense while watching PURPLE KISS that people were witnessing something truly special; they proved to have an ever-present, irreplaceable “It” factor. Down the road, as their star inevitably shines brighter and brighter, attendees of the “FESTA” U.S. tour will smile and feel privileged to have seen these stars in such a small space before they outgrew it.
View the full setlist below!
Intro : Bye Bye Bully
Intro : Illusion
We Don’t Talk Anymore (Charlie Puth & Selena Gomez cover)
Sway With Me (Saweetie & GALXARA cover)
Light Switch (Charlie Puth cover)
Rain On Me (Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande cover)
Intro : Save Me
Love Is Dead
Dance Monkey (Tones And I cover)
My Heart Skip a Beat
Watch some of the show’s most exciting moments below!
For even more PURPLE KISS concert coverage, stay tuned for an upcoming episode of 17 Carat K-Pop!