RIIZE comes to Los Angeles for “RIIZING DAY” fan-con tour

by Claire Zhu

On Monday, May 20th, the K-pop group RIIZE hit the stage at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, marking the sixth stop of their “RIIZING DAY” fan-con world tour. The fan-con (short for “fan convention”) marked the second time RIIZE has performed in Los Angeles, after their first ever stage appearance at 2023 KCON LA, where they had shown off their songs “Memories” and “Siren” to an eager audience before officially debuting. Now, they have nine performances from their own discography to share with their fans, called BRIIZE, as well as thoughtfully picked covers and fun challenges to fill nearly two hours.

Immediately upon entering the venue, a palpable buzz could be felt. RIIZE, a group not even a year old, has established a clear aesthetic based on their artistic identity of youth, nostalgia and growing up. The screen onstage, displaying a brilliant gradient sky, shone on fans’ sports jerseys (a reference to RIIZE’s popular song “Talk Saxy”), Y2K accessories, baggy denim and warm-toned outfits as they wandered around. Many brandished new glowing orange lightsticks from the merchandise booth, as if lighting the theater with hundreds of mini suns.

When the lights dimmed, everyone stood up in anticipation. The large screen played a pre-recorded video with colorful, moving images such as the members laying in a field of deep grass, a paper pinwheel spinning into the eye of a hurricane and then a galaxy. Tumultuous sapphire and fiery crimson lightning flashed, building up the crowd’s tension more and more until it crashed into a deafening wave. The members of RIIZE appeared with their explosively energetic track “Siren,” wearing bold-printed, color-blocked outfits. As they performed with a vitality that would last throughout the set, fans sang and danced enthusiastically along with them.

After this first song, RIIZE lined up in a row for introductions. They were greeted by loud cries with each new appearance and sentence, drowning out their words for several seconds at a time. The event then transitioned into a relatively calmer portion: the members sat down for a “capsule game,” where they picked out random missions. Shotaro was entreated to dance to the new releases “Supernova” by aespa and “Maestro” by Seventeen, while Sungchan playfully showcased his personality by pretending to punch the audience with a flying kiss. Later, laughter filled the theater, as Eunseok was “forced” and masterfully did aegyo (acted cute).

The group followed this team-and-fan-bonding session with some covers, including “One Thing” by One Direction which had the whole theater singing along with their engaging vocals. The shining point of this section, though, was when they performed their song “Love 119.” The upbeat ballad, paired with truly difficult choreography, brought deafening screams for each member’s part and synchronized chants of lyrics like “save my life save my life” and “love so good feels like a thriller.”

The fan-con proceeded with a so-called Realtime Growth Party, a competition split by age of Team Bro against Team Babies. Some activities were silly, such as the three-legged race in which Team Babies accidentally broke their ribbon multiple times, but others testified to RIIZE’s hard-earned skill and talent. Wonbin and Shotaro, two outstanding dancers of the team, did a TikTok challenge to a remix of Tyla’s “Water,” which they learned on the spot but executed with the confidence and accuracy of weeks of practice.

The climax of the night started after their change into lighter wear of white shirts with star logos and pastel pants. Through “Honestly,” they created a soulful, emotional tone with touching vocals to a dark backdrop and bathed in a transcendent teal wash. Then, the first few notes of the crowd-favorite “Talk Saxy” played, accompanied by booming golden lights, transforming the atmosphere into one of pure vigor and frenzy. The entirety of the song was scream-sung by the audience, with certain parts like Sohee’s bridge becoming absolutely deafening.

The energy stayed high with “Get a Guitar,” RIIZE’s debut song, featuring an extended dance break. They ventured even further back, dancing to “JOY,” the song they used in their first reel posted to their official Instagram and choreographed by Wonbin and Shotaro. Their sharp and strong yet fluid moves have become a signature part of the group and are astonishing to see in person. They continued on to perform “9 Days” and “Impossible” from their upcoming mini album “RIIZING,” which, with their bright sound and dynamic dances, have already become beloved by fans.

The night took a more emotional twist after the six present members left to prepare for the encore. The member Seunghan, who is on hiatus and absent from the concert, was deeply missed by BRIIZE, especially by those who had followed the team since before their debut. Their desire to see him was felt through banners and signs, and their chant of his name and the phrase “RIIZE is 7” roared inside the theater, showing support for Seunghan as an irreplaceable part of the group.

Finally, the members reappeared, and without any choreography or prepared performance, they sang “One Kiss,” a nostalgic boyband track, while interacting with the audience. “Memories,” the pre-release to their debut, closed the night as a finale that felt like the happy ending of a coming-of-age movie. The stage shone with rainbow lights and fluttered with confetti bursting from cannons.

Near the end of the concert, the members all spoke about hoping to return to LA to perform for fans here again. In particular, the youngest member Anton suggested, “This is just our first fan-con tour, so maybe next time, across the street…?”, referring to the Crypto.com Arena, which is right next to the Peacock Theater and has a capacity of 20,000. With immediate screams in response, RIIZE could be assured that those present at the fan-con would stay tuned to every second of their ongoing journey.

Featured Image courtesy of SM Entertainment

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