Fireworks cracked and speakers shook at a sold-out BMO Stadium as the popular kpop group Stray Kids performed the final show of their MANIAC tour. The last leg of their encore tour was actually two shows; the first held on March 31 and the second on April 2, with the two dates selling out.
The members, consisting of Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Seungmin, Felix and I.N, embarked on the original leg of the tour nearly a year ago in Seoul, South Korea. Their encore tour is an extension of it, with the group returning to major cities like Tokyo and Los Angeles, and cities such as Atlanta and Fort Worth, which had their shows postponed last summer due to some of the members testing positive for Covid-19.
The group started off the concert with their song “Maniac”, a trap and electro pop song from which the tour gets its name. The song is the main track from their ep ODDINARY, which peaked at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart when it was released last spring.
The group went on to perform hit songs such as “Thunderous”, “Domino” and “God’s Menu”, accompanied by a live band on stage. The idea to perform with a live band actually came from the octet themselves.
“Last year when we were preparing for the tour… we thought something was missing,” Chan, the leader of Stray Kids, told the audience. “So we brought [up] the idea of having a live band help us out during the show.”
That decision led to bass that could be felt thumping alongside your heartbeat, a guitar that screeched with the crowd and drums that almost shattered your hearing. It didn’t only upgrade the music though, it also made for fun interactions with the members and the band, with the members hyping up the band players and teasing them to play their instruments louder.
Stray Kids are known for their powerful performances, which really showed through that evening as the screams from their fans, who go by the fandom name Stay, filled the air of Exposition Park. It was their first time performing at a stadium in the U.S., a big feat for the group that celebrated their five year anniversary in March. And although performing open-air meant getting a chill from the night, it also meant that the group was able to elevate their setlist with the use of pyrotechnics and smoke machines.
The concert had a start time of 7:30 p.m. and went on to end until after 10:30p.m., the three hours filled with not only the group’s performances, but also a fanmade video project that was projected on the big screens to surprise the members of Stray Kids for their fifth anniversary.
“It feels really touching,” Han said to the audience after the video finished playing. “Thank you for loving us, thank you for supporting us, and thank you for being Stay.”
The members went one by one thanking the fans for putting together the video, some conveying their gratitude in English, some in Korean and some in a little bit of both.
“I don’t want this night to end,” Chan said as the members stood on stage, finishing off their thank you’s and getting ready to say their goodbyes. “Unfortunately, we have to end it.”
The songs chosen to close out the concert were “Star Lost” and “Haven”, some of the octet’s more sentimental songs. The group and their fans sang the final songs together, as confetti rained down onto the crowd and the stage that Stray Kids stood on.