I am no stranger to flying to some random city for a concert that will likely never make it’s way to my hometown. It’s just part of being a fan of international music and having a little bit of expendable income to throw at it. My husband also flies to see shows, but he’s never gone to a Kpop or a Khiphop show, so when he signed up to see Bewhy (his proclaimed UB), I didn’t think to tell him what it would be like. I didn’t explain to him that it would be a tiny venue that probably didn’t sell out, I didn’t inform him that we would be the whitest and oldest people in the room, and I didn’t share that once the music started, it wouldn’t matter.
Doors opened for the Dallas Bewhy show at seven and the show was slated to start at eight. I had no real desire to be there super early or to be right up against the stage, so we treated ourselves to a fantastic ramen dinner and decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood housing our Airbnb, the restaurant, and the venue. Thanks to good pre-planning on our part, all three were within blocks of each other so it was no big deal for us to kind of wing it when it came to which direction we should walk or how long we had to wander.
When we stumbled on the venue, there was a line of young, attractive folks already starting to form, so we tacked on the back. Hilariously, there was also a Phish show in a place down the street so periodically older white couples or groups would fall into line and then, as they scanned the other folks in the queue (all young, hot, and Asian – not true, but close) they would ask us in a whisper ‘Is this the line for Phish?”
I do not listen to Phish.
The venue, Canton Hall in Deep Ellum, holds about 1,100 folks at full capacity, but if I had to wager a guess, I’d say Bewhy pulled in somewhere around 400. Maybe. It breaks my heart when an artist doesn’t sell out, but greedy me is always a little pleased when I can get super close to the stage and have a more intimate experience at a show because there just aren’t that many people there to annoy me.
I’ve been to a fair number of Korean shows, Kpop concerts, festivals, and hip hop gigs, and I can tell you that it is completely atypical to have an opener – Bewhy had three. Boy Konan, a talented DJ that works with a few big names, played some tracks to warm up the crowd. A rapper named Swim Coach joined him to perform about three too many songs for my mood, but the rest of the crowd seemed to be having a blast. It’s not that he was bad, on the contrary, he was a great performer, super engaging on the stage, but his style of rap wasn’t my fav and I wasn’t into it.
But don’t worry, I was all there for the third opener, a surprise treat for those of us that love H1gher Music and the artists they rep. Ted Park, the rapper from Madison, Wisconsin, joined the tour with Bewhy only about a week before the first gig. He was in the midst of prepping for his own comeback and hadn’t really had time to get ready, but he killed it. He played a few older songs and Tik Tok the song he was to release just two days after the Dallas stop.
Tik Tok, Ted Park – In Dallas
Now on to the really good stuff.
Bewhy opened just as you think Bewhy should open. The stage was simple and uncluttered, the lights were low and he was dressed in nice jeans and blazer, his hair all slicked back and precise. This was the Bewhy I imagined in the days leading up to the show. He played some of our most loved songs right outta the gate and those first few moments were exactly why I like going to live shows.
Red Carpet, Bewhy – In Dallas
Dejavu, Bewhy – In Dallas
Something I didn’t expect from Bewhy, that I don’t usually see when I’m watching him on various stages on YouTube or when I catch glimpses of old concert footage, was just how chatty he is. The man loves to perform and does so with his own specific intensity and focus, but in between songs he gushed about his love of the audience, his love of God, and a million other things I didn’t catch because my Korean is almost non-existent.
Halfway through his set, Bewhy introduced a young rapper friend that he’d brought along to share the stage. I didn’t catch his name and though he was clearly very nervous, he did a good job. He just did a good job for a really long time. It was obviously intermission and again, I wasn’t expecting it and wasn’t interested. I feel bad, it’s likely I’ll fall in love with this kid in the future, but I wasn’t there for that. I just wanted more Bewhy.
Which, to my delight, I did eventually get. With a costume change.
This second set started off again with a litany of songs I’d wanted to hear live.
The Time Goes On, Bewhy – In Dallas
9ucci Mane, Bewhy – In Dallas
You can see in the videos that he was VERY into throwing water on the crowd – doing it maybe fifteen times over the course of the evening. I was pretty damp by the end. We were mid-stage about three fans back – definitely in the splash zone. Turns out, he’s all about the fan engagement. He signed an album during the show, flirted with some women, responded to shouts of love, and really took the time to make eye contact with individuals.
And he, of course, saved his most recent hit for near the end of the performance. It was magical.
Gottasadae, Bewhy – In Dallas
To wrap up the night, Bewhy hopped down from the stage and climbed up on the barrier separating him from the fans. He spent time with each slice of the audience, both chatting and rapping. It was a fantastic way to end the show – very personal.
We walked back to our Airbnb, ears ringing a little, bellies still full of delicious noodles and beer, and smiles on our faces. Before crawling into bed, my husband and I both posted a few thoughts, videos, and pics on Insta, tagging Bewhy as he asked us to do. And to our delight: