by Sara Conway ’21 A&E Co-Editor
Fans at Town Hall in New York City on Sept. 1 during the Korean pop-rock band, The Rose’s, concert experienced a series of unfortunate events. Main vocalist, Woosung, realized his microphone had not been turned on amid the opening chords of the first song of the show, and the band also noticed that the keyboard of other member, Dojoon, had never been turned on.
However, the members rose above these unplanned challenges, taking the opportunity to greet and laugh with their fans. Black Roses, the name of the fans of The Rose, lucked out being at a venue that does not have a bad seat in the house as they unexpectedly witnessed the band doing soundcheck due to the aforementioned complications.
Town Hall declares themselves to be “at the crossroads of culture and history,” yet again proving to be an appropriate venue to host The Rose. The band sets themselves apart from the mainstream K-pop formula of groups who are dominated by complex choreography and upbeat pop music, something that people are drawn towards as seen in the unwavering energy the night of Sept. 1 and the band’s previous world tours.
The Rose is breaking further into the music scene after turning heads with their debut single, “Sorry,” their identity as instrumentalists and self-composers—lending inspiration from British pop—as well as the distinct tones of all of the members’ voices.
The Korean pop-rock band is comprised of four members: leader, main vocalist, and electric guitarist, Woosung; vocalist, keyboardist, and acoustic guitarist, Dojoon; drummer and sub-vocalist, Hajoon; and bassist and sub-vocalist Jaehyeong. Three out of the four current members (Dojoon, Hajoon, and Jaehyeong) had previously been in a band together called Windfall. Once Woosung joined the other three members, the group changed their name to The Rose and debuted on August 3, 2017 under J&Star Company with their single, “Sorry.”
Although The Rose only has a discography of 12 songs, their music has made enough waves for them to embark on two world tours. The Paint it Rose Tour in 2018 traveled to locations in Europe, the United States, Mexico, and South America, and a second round of touring, rebranded as Paint It Rose 2018 In Europe: 2nd Coloring, occurred in Europe again and in Australia. Prior to the kick-off of the first leg of the Paint It Rose Tour, The Rose released their first mini-album titled Void on April 16, 2018. Before the band’s second round of touring, they released their second mini album, Dawn, on Oct. 4, 2018.
The Rose’s current tour, We Rose You Live, started in Seoul on Aug. 17 in the wake of the band releasing the songs “RED” and “California” a few days before. The We Rose You Live world tour has taken the group to the East Coast, Midwest, and, soon, to the West Coast with their shows in Seattle and Los Angeles happening mid-September.
The venue on Sept. 1 was full of energetic singing and screams, steady vocals, and the powerful playing of instruments. Through their live performances, The Rose has showcased their strengths as singers, musicians, and entertainers through their versatility and individuality as a band.
The Rose’s connection with their fans creates a unique bond between themselves and the people who support them the most. The title of The Rose’s ongoing tour is a testament to this connection—”we rose you” in place of “we love you.” As an appropriate nod to the tour name, the band began their show with their song, “I.L.Y.,” although it was rearranged to be better suited to kick-off the two-hour show. Amid the encore songs, the members of The Rose and the Black Roses also started shouting “we love you” at each other, neither wanting to stop first.
Although the concert started out less smoothly than anticipated, the energy of the members and Black Roses and their love for one another stayed strong throughout the rough patches. The Rose performed fan favorites such as “Candy (so good),” “California,” and “She’s in the Rain” as well as unreleased songs including “OMG,” “Photographer,” and “Beautiful Girl,” which had only been released on Woosung’s YouTube and Soundcloud.
Instead of playing all of their limited songs in the first half of the show, The Rose performed covers to break up their songs such as “Breakeven” (The Script), “Sign of the Times” (Harry Styles), and “ILYSB” (LANY). Each member also showcased their vocals and strong stage presence through their solo songs: Dojoon sang “Hold Back The River” by James Bay, while drummer Hajoon and bassist Jaehyeong collaborated on a duet of “Soldier” by Before You Exit. Woosung closed the cover section of the show by performing songs from his new mini-album, Wolf. Woosung’s first solo song, “lonely,” stunned fans and sparked cheers as he sang part of it acapella before launching into singing the entire song. The title song of Wolf, “Face,” was accented with Woosung working the stage with an American flag, given to him by a fan, fluttering behind him.
The songs of the encore of We Rose You Live—which indicated the winding down of the concert, though not in the sense of the energy of the venue and the band—included The Rose’s debut song, “Sorry,” the frenzied and exciting “BABY,” and “Take Me Down” from the group’s second mini-album, Dawn. The night ended with the band’s newest single, “RED,” its feel-good and bright vibe carrying on the energy that existed in Town Hall from the moment The Rose stepped onto the stage.
The Rose stands out in the K-pop scene with their pop-rock sound—a sound that is rarely explored through the top-charting K-pop groups—unique vocals, and self-composed songs confirming the band’s ability to carve out a successful space for themselves in a saturated industry.