Crowding The Tabernacle concert hall were fans eager to see Sunmi on her GOOD GIRL GONE MAD tour in Atlanta, Georgia, for the first time on Thursday, September 8.
As with most K-Pop concerts, fans were dressed to impress and ready to witness the signature genre-bending “Sunmi-pop” in person. As the beginning of the concert drew nearer, excited chatter could be heard from the three levels of fans who filled the historic concert venue in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park District. Precisely on time, the venue lights dimmed to red spotlights that rapidly moved across the stage as siren-filled opening audio played that signaled the beginning of the concert.
An array of abstract, artistic images flashed on a large LED screen at the back of the stage, adding to the anticipation as the show began, though not much prompting was needed as the crowd loudly chanted Sunmi’s name.
Surrounded by four female dancers and later joined by two additional male dancers, including the longtime backup dancer and Single’s Inferno contestant Cha Hyun Seung, Sunmi confidently strolled to her mark and quickly got into position for the beginning of “Siren.” The decision to start with a song with a sassy English-filled chorus that confidently declares, “Get away out of my face…” may have intentionally set an energized tone with the audience. But MIYANEs (Sunmi’s fans) easily sang the English and Korean verses of her songs throughout the night.
Her 21-song setlist blended her hit title tracks, such as “LALALAY,” “pporappippam,” and “Gashina” with her equally as catchy B-side singles like “SUNNY,” “Burn,” and “Borderline.” One of the fan-favorite moments came when Sunmi pulled out her baby blue bass guitar to a thunderous applause from the audience as she skillfully played the bass while singing “What The Flower,” and “Noir.” Whether surrounded by her dance team or singing alone, Sunmi’s charismatic presence filled the room, even if she was sitting on the edge of the stage to get closer to fans.
Throughout the show, every effort was made to make the already intimate setting feel even more personal as Sunmi enthusiastically interacted with the crowd. Her comedic interactions with the audience made it feel like you’ve been to her show before. She shared more serious moments with the audience, such as explaining that while looking over her discography, she felt the best way to describe it was the title, GOOD GIRL GONE MAD. She also shared more casual moments, asking if the audience liked her outfits, which were all trendy and perfectly fitted. At one point, she hilariously requested that the audience “please listen to [her] songs on iTunes or Spotify…” to “…be able to feel closer to [her]” as she adorably laughed at her own joke.
Heartwarming moments were sprinkled throughout the show. At one point, a fan passed a letter to Sunmi, which she read, and then took a moment to kneel at the edge of the stage to speak with the fan in a touching exchange. Sunmi also acknowledged a fan holding an official Wonder Girls lightstick, calling attention to all of the WonderFuls in attendance as an emotional throwback to her debut with the legendary second-generation group. At a different time in the show, Sunmi was surprised by the number of fans who answered they spoke Korean, as she broke from her speech in fluent English and addressed the audience in Korean.
Traditional Korean elements were also emphasized during the performance of her latest single, “Heart Burn,” as the dance team held large, traditional bamboo hand fans as part of the song’s choreography.
The show’s production was well-thought-out and impressive, with an exciting light show, beautiful imagery on the LED screen at the back of the stage, and an incredible performance from Sunmi and her team. Their chemistry on stage was undeniable as the dance team members effortlessly switched between having fun with each other and following the iconic point choreography that has become expected with Sunmi’s releases.
During Sunmi’s final comment, the team had a blast performing a dance-off as Sunmi introduced each dance team member. She also introduced her younger brother, Lee Dong, who accompanied her as the official tour photographer. Despite going all-out during her 21-song set, Sunmi’s ending-ment lasted nearly twenty minutes as it was clear that neither fans nor Sunmi wanted the moment to end. Sunmi happily accepted a few gifts from fans and held them close as she said her final goodbyes, walking slowly to the side of the stage as she kept her eyes locked on MIYANEs, until she finally reached backstage.
All of this came together to form a purposeful show that delivered an unforgettable experience that proved why Sunmi’s impressive discography earned the name “Sunmi-pop.” Sunmi repeated her delighted surprise throughout the night that she had fans in Georgia, as she mentioned she had never performed in the state before. The size of the audience and cheers from the crowd proved not only did she have fans in “The Peach State,” they were devoted MIYANEs as they held up their pinkies with the promise to see her again when she returns.