A sold out Arizona Financial Theatre welcomed The Rose back to Phoenix last week for a visually stunning show. The Korean indie band is celebrating the release of their latest album and treated the audience to a stellar mix of old and new material that had everyone standing at rapt attention.
The band took the stage promptly, flooding the venue with bright lights and colors that were matched by the sea of lightsticks wielded by the fans. Their Black Roses (the fandom name for the quartet) gave them unwavering support throughout the show with their cheers, signs and endless words of encouragement.
As for the setlist, any fan would be thrilled with the band’s selection of songs and their accompanying visuals. The LED screen behind their intimate setup transitioned between idyllic nature scenes, lyrics for the audience to follow along and colorful graphics. Vocal duties are mainly handled by the dynamic duo of Woosung and Dojoon- both of whom traded off on songs like “You’re Beautiful” and “Lifeline”- but bassist Jaehyeong and drummer Hajoon had their moment in the sun during “I.L.Y.”.
The fans lit up the room in warm colors to dance during the incredible run of “Red”, “Nauseous”, “Back to Me” and “Yes”- all of which had the band really letting loose to rock out on a bigger stage. A brief intermission brought the energy back to base levels with a section of slower songs that showcased their rafter-reaching vocals.
The band spoke very little between songs but their gratitude was evident in every momentary pause in the music. After seven years as a band, every show is a celebration and Phoenix’s collection of Black Roses was ecstatic from beginning to end. The Rose’s message of healing through art and music bled through during “She’s in the Rain” before treating the crowd to their first ever single.
We never wanted this show to end but The Rose made the conclusion of the night memorable by passing out actual roses to the crowd during “Wonder” before reluctantly leaving the stage. Watching The Rose grow from last year’s Arizona visit to this incredible evening was the culmination of well-deserved recognition as a group. They’ll undoubtedly be back to give and receive their flowers and we’ll be waiting patiently, lightsticks in hand.
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Story and photos by Olivia Khiel