It was a chilly day on March 17th, 2018 in the windy state of Illinois. Chicagoans were already seen out early for St. Patrick’s Day with their green spirit celebrating the National Holiday. Along with the green spirit, the K-pop spirit was also present as The Rose came in town for that night’s performance held by KASCON. Fans came lining up by 2pm baring the cold wind while getting to know one another as they waited. Little by little, as the line got longer, everyone around town was curious as to what was taking place that night at Chop Shop and 1st Ward from multiple St. Patrick fans, to passing drivers, to even a couple of officers stopping to ask what the incredible line was for. With the increasing line you were able to see many fans wearing The Rose items such as shirts to pins to even bringing red roses.
(Left: Kristina Brandon Right: Rebekah Quintanilla)
We were able to talk to two Black Roses (The Rose’s fandom name) who came all the way down from Fort Myers, Florida to see them. Both fans even made their own rose outfits and brought gifts like Iron Man to Stranger Things for each of the individual members. For fans who bought VIP, they were able to enter the venue for a photo opportunity with The Rose. Meanwhile, VIP Black Roses started to enter the venue by 7:30pm, followed by GA who entered by 8pm. Fans also brought gifts for the members which were placed on a table that would be given to the boys after the event.
As Black Roses waited inside the venue for The Rose to come on stage, the boys made an unannounced surprise appearance. Slowly, one of the members peeked out from behind the stage and one of the fans quickly caught a glimpse. In a couple of seconds everyone was screaming with joy that The Rose was in the house. The members of the The Rose hid on top of the stage, but were still seen through a tiny window. Despite that, there were small interactions from The Rose waving and throwing hearts which got fans excited right before the show. The concert officially began at 8:30pm with a mini video introducing the members of The Rose. Dojoon, Jaehyung, Hajoon, and Woosung came out on screen in black and white with their names written out next to them. All four then appeared on stage wearing very simple and comfy outfits to fit the intimate concert. As they looked out to their fans, they immediately recognized a few of their VIP Black Roses from the photo opportunity earlier.
Unfortunately, the acoustic guitar wasn’t working properly to the opening song even after their instrument check. But being professionals, The Rose smoothly moved on to the next song right away. Woosung, or more well known as “Sammy” brightly commented, “The concert will just have to go on for longer.” which was definitely no problem for them or Black Roses. The night officially started with “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars and then back to “Photographer”, The Rose’s opening song, with the now working acoustic guitar. After the two songs finished, they officially introduced themselves to their fans as “The Rose”. First it started off with Woosung’s (Sammy) introduction, moving on to Dojoon’s (Leo), Hajoon’s (Dylan), and ending with Jaehyung’s (Jeff). Woosung then introduced the next song “Beautiful Girl” with his lovely voice. Jaehyung and Hajoon took over the next song “놓지 못하게” with their superb voices. Black Roses were finally able to hear their voices live, and wow, we also couldn’t get enough of the vocals from the bass and drummer.
“Thinking Out Loud” came next which was the crowd’s favorite, because who doesn’t love music from Ed Sheeran? Due to the great response and overwhelming heat, Jaehyung then decided that it was time to take off his cardigan which caused the girls to go wild. Meanwhile, Woosung’s guitar became out-of-tune and said that it was from “all the heat” from fans that his guitar sounded differently.
Dojoon then stepped in to ask, “Is there anything you want to say to us?”. Black Roses gave an immediate response although it was pretty hard to hear anything from that point on. But, Dojoon caught on to one fan’s request about not being able to see the drummer, Hajoon, since he was back farther away on stage. Dojoon and Woosung made way for him and Hajoon got up from his sitting position, getting a chance to wave at the audience with a big smile. After, The Rose jumped to their next song “OMG”. Woosung then told their fans to “Put your hands up and clap with me.” which got the crowd jumping up with their hands in the air while they moved to the lyrics. When the song was done the members stopped to take requests again from fans. One request was having Jaehyung and Hajoon sing. Jaehyung’s song choice was “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz while Hajoon chose “Say Sumthin” by Zak Abel to sing.
Woosung jokingly said that maybe both Jaehyung and Hajoon could take over for him since he wasn’t able to sing to his full potential that night. He apologized to the fans because his vocals were not in good condition, in which the fans told him that it was okay. Despite the main singer Woosung not being in good condition, Woosung nonetheless would still perform his best. The Rose then continued on to play “Yellow” by Coldplay, as well as their second single “좋았는데 (Like We Used To)”.
Before moving to the next song, a lovely Black Rose gave Woosung a cough drop due to his throat. He responded back, “It’s a really good cough drop.” and discussed what the flavor tasted like with Dojoon. Meanwhile, Jaehyung giggled with the fans in front of him and Hajoon smiled towards the crowd. The Rose proceeded to perform another great cover, “Last Dance” by Big Bang which made it sound like a song composed by The Rose themselves. The sound of the piano from Dojoon and the vocals from both Woosung and Dojoon gave the song a special sound. The song intensified as the electric guitar, bass, and drums took over the background. This drowned out the soft piano that was once played, which made it even more emotional for Black Roses to listen to and also blended into the next song cover “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay.
Sadly, the night came to an end as The Rose announced that they only had one last song left. Dojoon commented that he really tried to communicate with fans and hoped they were enjoying themselves that night.
The Rose then took a couple of more fan requests after. The word “aegyo”, which means to act cute in Korean, was being chanted among the crowd. This caused the members to become flustered. Dojoon immediately shifted the spotlight onto Jaehyung saying that he was the best at “aegyo”, but Jaehyung denied that he wasn’t.
With the small debate on who was going to do “aegyo”, Woosung kindly volunteered and explained that due to his voice he felt like he should make it up to the fans. In a cute voice, Woosung said that he was sorry due to his voice. In response, Dojoon crouched on the stage in embarrassment while the other two members turned their face the other way. Even though the members of The Rose couldn’t handle it, Black Roses completely enjoyed Woosung’s “aegyo” with loud cheers. But no one was going to get away when it came to “aegyo”, so one by one each member showed off their cuteness, and in the end the “aegyo” king Jaehyung finished off with a kiss to Black Roses. The next request from fans was for The Rose to rap. Dojoon, Woosung, Jaehyung, and Hajoon each spit out lyrics in their own style to different songs. All we could say was A+ to all four who did a wonderful job!
As time was coming to an end, The Rose let their fans know that they had a great time and announced their US tour with Chicago being a stop on May 23rd. The Rose then thanked both the fans for the wonderful concert and the venue staff for the amazing job. For the ending performance The Rose played their debut song “Sorry”. Like an automatic switch, Black Roses started fan-chanting to the song as a disco ball on top of the stage turned on. You could say that this was one of their most passionate stages of that night! Each of the members were drawn into their instruments and took in the emotions from the song that started off their journey as “The Rose”. It was a moment where you could tell that this band was going to go far with the passion that was burning inside of them.
The Rose then exited the stage while waving to their fans after the performance, but was it over yet? The fans chanted “encore” and brought the boys back out once more to perform “California”. The lights on stage slowly turned red and pink as the disco ball spun once more. And with that, The Rose ended their first show in Chicago with a big success and gained new fans because of their passionate stage
Last, but not least, we would like the thank KASCON for giving us the opportunity to cover the show. We would also like to thank the staff team at Chop Shop and 1st Ward for their great work!