The energy was palpable at NJPAC Friday night, just walking into the theater and hearing Deobis hum as they prepared for The Boyz to take the stage. With glow sticks in hand, fans shouted the lyrics to the band’s songs before the members even appeared on stage, singing and dancing to the music videos playing on the big screen.
The girl sitting next to me turned to me at some point before the show started and said, “wow, the energy is amazing! I was glad to know that I wasn’t the only one thinking that.
But nothing compared to the energy in that room when the 10 boys finally entered. Sangyeon, Jacob, Younghoon, Hyunjae, Juyeon, Kevin, New, Q, Ju Haknyeon and Sunwoo (minus 11th band member Eric, who is currently on hiatus due to health reasons), commanded the crowd from the first note. .
Photo credit: Stephi Wild
The band debuted with “Maverick”, from their latest single of the same name, and from then on they captured my attention.
The Boyz are a band that has always been on my radar, and I admit I only really knew a few songs, but I left as a huge fan. Not only is their energy crazy, but the way they interact with their fans in the audience is something I’ve never seen from any artist, k-pop or not…and I’ve seen hundreds .
After their first set of songs, Kevin, one of the three members who speaks fluent English, told us “we’ll have plenty of time to make waves for you and fill your hearts” and that’s what they did. Whenever the members weren’t engrossed in perfectly timed choreography, they interacted with their fans, making sure everyone felt special and seen. They sent finger hearts, flying kisses and even asked fans for their favorite songs and things to do in New Jersey.
Although I now know all the songs on the setlist (yes, I’ve taken a deep dive since the show), one of the highlights for me was seeing them perform “The Stealer”, which is one of their early songs I fell in love watching their stages at the k-pop award shows in 2020. Another favorite moment for me was “Thrill Ride,” which was one of my most played songs of last summer. It’s such a fun bop that gets everyone dancing.
Speaking of dancing, “Dancing Til We Drop” is a song that features simple choreography, designed to be a TikTok dance challenge for fans of the group. During this song, the members stood in front of the stage to dance, while at least 75% of the crowd also did the moves. It was a beautiful moment to watch, and the boys themselves seemed so happy to see their fans dancing with them.
The Boyz ended their concert by throwing signed plastic balls into the crowd, something many k-pop groups take part in during their shows. It was my first time experiencing this, though, and it was definitely a fun little interactive way to end the show. I can’t wait to see what this band does next, and hope to cheer them on again on their next tour!
Who are the Boyz?
The Boyz (Korean: 더보이즈) is a South Korean boy group formed and managed by IST Entertainment. The group debuted on December 6, 2017, with the lead single “Boy” from their debut EP The First. The group consists of Sangyeon, Jacob, Younghoon, Hyunjae, Juyeon, Kevin, New, Q, Ju Haknyeon, Sunwoo and Eric, and previously Hwall until his departure from the group in October 2019.