Putting a mark on the music world seems to come effortlessly and naturally to Jackson Wang. The GOT7 member has explored solo music for years but the real impact was felt at his Magic Man World Tour closer in New York last week. A sold out Barclays Center shook with the force of the crowd’s enthusiasm and Wang certainly made good on his promise of an unforgettable show.
The general admission floor pressed close to the barricade as Wang emerged from between two massive LED panels that set the tone for the rest of the night. Decked in his iconic red gloves and surrounded by a troupe of dancers, we were treated to music from his latest album, along with older cuts like “100 Ways” and “Blackout”.
For his first pause of the evening, Wang let his sincerity bleed into his speech describing his career and love for performing. Whether it’s been within the confines of GOT7, the scope of the big screen or the leap of faith into his solo music, Wang knows that his place is center stage. The first half of his extensive set let us into his emotional, vulnerable side while also getting the audience up to dance along. One lucky lady was pulled onstage (after Wang made sure of her single status) to be serenaded with “I Love You 3000”as the lights went down on part one of the night.
What followed this half of the set was an unguarded moment with Wang, as he showed a video that took the audience on a journey through the backstage part of his life in the spotlight. The fans watched Wang pull back the curtain on his career, holding nothing back in his expression of gratitude and honest depiction of his own struggles. When Wang next emerged, the energy shift from restrained to aggressive was palpable. Toting a bottle of whiskey, Wang and his dancers shared shots and let the alcohol turn up the performances of “Champagne Cool” and “Drive It Like You Stole It”. He’s not afraid to explore his seductive side, a fact that everyone in attendance was more than happy to witness.
The animal contacts and provocative outfit sent the fans into a frenzy for the last few songs of the set, including “Cheetah” and an arena full of people screaming the chorus to “Blow”. Wang’s not one to leave his people wanting more and pulled everyone onstage for what turned into a shirtless dance party to remixes of his biggest hits.
After telling an arena full of people to text him when they got home safe, Wang reluctantly left the stage to continue the party in the New York club scene and Barclays Arena emptied into Brooklyn after a larger than life concert experience from a natural born performer.
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Story and photos by Olivia Khiel