As ENHYPEN took the stage, the red walls of the iconic Radio City Music Hall were pulsing with amazing and unmatched energy. Fans were waiting with explosive anticipation to see the seven-member group on the sold-out last stop of the North American leg of their World Tour ‘MANIFESTO’. The tour was the first for the band— having debuted in November 2020 and running through months of fan meets and festivals that took place in Los Angeles, Frankfurt, and Seoul. It’s absolutely certain that at every moment during their tour, they gave their all to surely prove that they are one of the dominating acts of K-Pop.
ENHYPEN consists of Jungwon, Heeseung, Jay, Jake, Sunghoon, Sunoo and NI-KI. They’re the first boyband to come out of BELIFT LAB, a joint venture between HYBE (which is also home to BTS, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, Seventeen and Le Sserafim) and CJ ENM. The group formed on the survival show I-LAND where the individual trainees competed for a spot to debut in the new group. Their endearing name derives from the en-dash and the hyphen which brings different words and meanings together and the members vow to “connect, discover each other, and grow together.” Since their debut, they have indeed grown to new heights by being the youngest K-Pop group to enter the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 Charts.
The first song that they performed “Given-Taken” exudes a graceful and dainty entrance, yet the mood of the song became more vigorous and powerful towards the conclusion. After performing the cool and smooth “Flicker,” the members introduced themselves one by one with no sweat. Heeseung’s birthday fell on the same day as their last show and the boys hyped up every fan in the building and filled the room up singing “Happy Birthday” to the oldest member. Immediately after, they jumped into the fun and light-hearted “Not For Sale,” “Let Me In (20 CUBE),” and a song from their latest album, Manifesto Day 1 “TFW (That Feeling When).” The playfulness continued during “Upper Side Dreamin’” when Sunghoon and Heeseung slyly high-fived each other before the rocking chorus. NI-KI, Sunghoon, Sunoo and Jake fiercely opened “Mixed Up” to lead a compelling group performance.
The mood switched when they came out for the hypnotic “Drunk-Dazed” and each member moved fluidly with each intoxicating beat. The boys effortlessly transitioned into regality in “One in a Billion,” sitting in a banquet-like table procession where they defiantly leaped off the table during the song’s climax and moved into an entrancing dance break that leads into Border: Carnival’s hit song “FEVER.” Settling off the heat from the languid song, the boys separated into units to change, while the remaining units on-stage teased the audience, who were cheering at each member one by one, by removing their jackets to reveal their glammed-out jerseys. It did the job very well since it launched them into “Attention, Please!” which highlighted each vocalist’s potential with eye-grabbing graphics of the lyrics and made the music hall jump with beaming excitement.
“An artist without their fans isn’t an artist,” resident-Aussie member Jake recalled a quote from a wise man in-between songs. The crowd constantly gave back the energy that ENHYPEN gave on stage. Engenes (the official fan name of the group) waved their colorful Engene bong lightsticks with pride and held up banners expressing their love and adoration for the band. The band walked across the aisles to reach out to Engenes for “Polaroid Love,” the viral song where everyone sang back the lyrics directly back to the members. Settling into the loving feeling, they serenaded the crowd with “Just a Little Bit” with a romantic spring-like background shining behind them. Seasons changed quickly when the upbeat “Tamed-Dashed” brought back the summer feeling back into New York in the middle of autumn with the hot choreography.
The boys continued to do their unbreakable performances with their all-white outfits in “Blessed-Cursed” with the mighty and angsty “Don’t tell me what to do” lyrics. “Go Big or Go Home” samples the iconic “Show Me Love” by Robin S. and provided the ultimate fun dance track for the audience that shifted into the vivacious and concentrated “Future Perfect (Pass the MIC).”
After the rebellious first song of the encore “ParadoXXX Invasion”, each member expressed their gratitude for their fans and how they were proud of how far they came since their trainee days. The leader of the group Jungwon promised that the group will come back and perform better than ever. Jay extended his appreciation to Engenes by saying, “New York is a beautiful city but you all are so much more beautiful,” with the crowd saying “Aw” in a chorus for his flirty attempt. Meanwhile, the remaining members also tried but ultimately failed, to come up with a hand symbol trying to represent New York to signal back to other cities who showed them theirs. Sunoo choked up and cried during his ending mention speech while the band embraced him and comforted and affirmed his sweet sentiments. Their tender moments dived into the pinnacle of “SHOUT OUT” which echoes the ethos of ENHYPEN, “We go and shout, shout, shout when we’re together / Stay, stay, stay, you make it better.” And after all those big moments, all that ENHYPEN wanted to do was stay longer! After what was supposed to be the final song, the band went into another reprise of “Future Perfect (Pass the MIC)” and “Go Big or Go Home.” It’s enough to say, that ENHYPEN did indeed go big—and we didn’t want to go home at all.
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