The South Korean girl group open their first tour abroad with a brilliant 'Twiceland' show in Bangkok
IF YOU’RE A “Once”, that means that you’re a fan of South Korean girl group Twice and you would have been at the Thunder Dome in north Bangkok last Saturday to see their mesmerising show.
It also means you discovered it’s really true what they sing – “Once is not enough”. It was a fantastic evening.
Making the moment even more special for the local fans was the fact that Thailand was the first overseas country where Twice presented their full-scale concert, “Twiceland”.
So there were thousands of Onces milling outside the halls hours before the scheduled 5pm start of the big show. By 3pm, most had purchased memorabilia and got decked out in Twice headbands and Twice cheek-paint – mostly pink, the group’s favourite colour.
The concert opened with videos on the big screens featuring all nine members of the group. The screaming reached ear-splitting pitch when they appeared in person, each one picked out in a pink spotlight but dressed all in white.
Im Na-yeon, Yoo Jeong-yeon, Kim Da-hyun, Son Chae-young and bandleader Park Ji-hyo are the South Koreans in the group. Hirai Momo, Minatozaki Sana and Myoui Mina are Japanese. Chou Tzuyu is Taiwanese.
They kicked off with “Touchdown”, performed amid stunning effects. Ji-hyo remained confined to a chair due to a knee injury, but it did nothing to curtail the magic.
The Twice girls are certainly pretty, but their charm really comes through when they’re dancing and singing onstage. They had the Onces singing along and waving the “official Twice light sticks”, known as candy bongs, in time to hit tunes including “I’m Gonna Be Star”, “Cheer Up”, “I Think I’m Crazy” and “Like Ooh Ahh”.
As if they weren’t already adorable enough, the girls took turns greeting the audience in Thai, calling out the likes of “Sawasdee” and “Mee kwam suk mak mak na kha” (Please be very happy). It brought a smile to the face of every Once as the visitors struggled with the different intonations. Their efforts were obviously sincere, though, and the Thunder Dome lit up with appreciation.
When the stars addressed the audience in Korean, an offstage interpreter translated. The simultaneous translation was less than perfect, but effective enough judging by the constant screams and cheers.
Every Twice member received warm applause as they greeted their fans, but Ji-hyo drew the loudest cheers when she apologised for being unable to get up and dance with the others, the Onces wanting to offer her full moral support.
“Twiceland” was a milestone for the girl group that debuted in South Korea in 2015, and Bangkok was the first stop for their overseas tour. In another video, the girls were seen brainstorming about what they could do to impress the fans in Thailand.
That was followed by a string of delightful surprises. Mina and Jeong-yeon appeared wearing black-and-white tuxedos, Da-hyun playing the piano and then dancing in a cute cat costume with Tzuyu. There was an oh-so-sexy dance by Momo, Na-yoen, Chae-young and Sana. Momo deserves extra credit for choreographing all the moves herself.
The show’s cheerful and cute vibe continued when the girls donned costumes inspired by Sailor Moon and sang a medley of cartoon songs, including the Thai version of “Chibi Maruko Chan” (“Sha La La of Maruko”).
The entertainment continued to the max with “Pit-A-Pat”, “TT”, “Precious Love” and “Jelly Jelly”. Time flew, and too soon it was 7pm, the scheduled closing time for the Bangkok show. Nevertheless, roars of “encore” rose – in Thai, English and Korean, echoing around the hall.
And it was a terrific encore the Onces got, too. The girls invited the audience to play fun games, with the promise that they’d keep the concert going if the fans could win all the games.
The girls in Twice are too nice to make it difficult, of course, so all the audience had to do was smile for a photo, dance to happy tunes, answer a simple question or scream – just scream.
The crowd was definitely good at screaming, and soon Twice was back onstage, this time in white tops and short jeans. They were presented with a surprise gift – a video filled with messages from the hearts of their Thai fans appeared onscreen. Jeong-yeon was so moved that she couldn’t hold back tears.
Then each Twice girl spoke from her own heart, thanking the fans for their support and promising to come back again.
“Twiceland” finally ended at about 8pm with the girls walking along the stage edge, greeting admirers, some reaching out to let fans get selfies with them.
The wonderful concert concluded with “Like Ooh Ahh” and “TT”, and any Once who couldn’t get tickets for the “Twiceland” tour opener in Bangkok would probably be doing just that – TT – crying their hearts out.
Because the show was so good that, yes “Once is not enough”. Fans will surely be keeping their fingers crossed that Twice comes back again soon.