Phoenix’s Orpheum Theatre was awash in all the colors of the rainbow in anticipation of OnlyOneOf’s first visit to Arizona. Armed with pride flags, light sticks and banners, fans filled the historic venue for an unforgettable night.
The six-member group has made waves in the KPOP world for their queer-friendly concepts and the result has been droves of new fans flocking to their shows. They opened with “seOul drift” and the hauntingly alluring “savanna” while the fans practically roared their delight- fitting since their fandom name is lyOn.
Between high-energy choreography and stunning vocals, the members paused to share their thoughts about the tour so far and check in with a breathless audience. While they all spoke primarily in Korean (and aided by a translator), they took a moment to endear the crowd with their carefully practiced English- along with their two favorite words, “slay!” and “period!” The fans made sure to hang on every word so as not to miss a single expression of their mutual love and cheered the members on at every break.
A quick outfit change found OnlyOneOf in their iconic leather suits for “gaslighting” and an absolutely filthy version of “chrOme hearts”- there’s a reason many of these shows have an age restriction. They also knew how much fans have been clamoring to hear “designer” live and the performance more than exceeded expectations. Each tour stop has featured solo stages from different members and Phoenix was treated to Junji’s and Mill’s amazing spotlight moments.
“Libido”, the track that put this group on the map in a jaw-dropping manner, was the final song of the night and its provocative choreography took the screaming up several octaves (if you know, you know). Of course, OOO wasn’t done with us and made sure to come back for a long encore.
Phoenix lyOns gifted the group an Arizona flag and a pride flag, both covered in messages and well-wishes from everyone waiting in line that day. The members were visibly moved by their audience’s love and read out several messages before posing proudly with the flags and their beloved lyOns.
With so much hatred directed at the LGBT community, OnlyOneOf has rejected negativity, fear and stereotypes to create a safe space for queer KPOP fans. The response to their bold inclusivity has been overwhelmingly positive as fans finally have a place to call home in a genre that’s danced around the edges of queer visibility- Phoenix loves OnlyOneOf and that’s sure to bring them back on their next Grand America Tour.
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Story and photos by Olivia Khiel