Good Girl Gone Mad – Sunmi On Tour | Review

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“Whilst I was preparing for the concert, I realized my discography is very colourful…”. Those words left a mark on me back then, and still ring in my ear even now as I fight the post-show blues. She couldn’t have said it any better herself, frankly.

Colourful. That’s a great way to describe Sunmi’s music. If one were to ask me, the words charming, bold, and intriguing would also be the first to come to mind. As someone who has been examining the corners and skeletons hidden within Sunmi’s entire discography over the years, it’s no secret I was BEYOND THRILLED to be there.

It was the second or third time she put a pause on delivering addictive retro-influenced choruses to address the crowd in front of her; already pumped up and thirsty for more. I too was one of the many who stopped to cherish every moment or decisive movement. I too screamed at the top of my lungs when darkness fell in the room, and the familiar sound of a siren gave me goosebumps I couldn’t pocket away. For a single night, I too was eager to get to know and adore a Good Girl Gone Mad.

The Pre-show Jitters.

From my suitcase, I picked up a short black flowery dress. It had a very particular vibe to it, and although I couldn’t quite put my finger on why exactly, something about that one was very Sunmi in nature. I paired it with a leather jacket I got in Italy. The weather was looking promising, but nothing about British weather makes me want to trust it, so the jacket seemed like a safe-smart choice.

You see, at this point, my sister and I had been living from suitcases for almost three weeks. Our long-awaited trip to Italy had been a blast, and landing in London the day before, we were ready for the icing on the cake; Sunmi’s concert. At 5 am the following day we were set to head back home to Manchester, our final destination. Knowing it would be my last night of fun, escaping work life and mundane realities, I was determined to not hold anything back. Nothing at all.

The DLR train was the most convenient route to Troxy, the concert venue. We got on board from platform 3 in Greenwich station which was heading towards Limehouse Station. From the station, we embarked on an additional 5-minute stroll. The long queue in front of the building was what let us know we had arrived.

We got there early – very early. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement. There were more flower-patterned dresses in the sea of people, banners in hands, and smiles on faces. It only took a few chats with those in line and a run to the closest Macdonalds, and all of a sudden, the time had come for the doors to open.

“I’m ready for my second concert of the year. I’m ready for my second concert in this lifetime”, I whispered to myself as we were let into the venue… 

The Show.

It was exactly 7 pm when they began to let people into the venue. At the door, security checked our bags before letting us go through. I’m sure my sister is still fed up with the fact that they tossed her new pack of gum she got in Italy, but we quickly learned those weren’t allowed into the venue. 

The big screen over the stage was the first thing I noticed. On it in big bold letters were the words: “GOOD GIRL GONE MAD”. Once again, I allowed the thought to cross my mind: “I guess this is really happening”. 

Patience is not something I practice graciously, but for Sunmi, I tried my best to be on my best behaviour. Can’t say I succeeded though…

The lights swirled around the room and stage allowing me to get a better look at each person racing in to witness the K-pop star take the stage. With each passing second, the venue got more and more packed with enthusiastic bodies. Sunmi’s biggest hits played softly underneath all the chatter initially, but at a point, we became familiar strangers, singing each line in a unified voice.
I wasn’t sure at first, but as time ran by, I became more and more certain there wouldn’t be an opening act to warm up the stage. Frankly, we were doing that just fine by ourselves.

And then it all happened so quickly. The lights were dimmed, video footage started playing, and the words ‘WORLD TOUR’ were plastered on the LED screen. A sound all too familiar awoke all my senses like a warning. It was the alerting sound of a siren that had the crowd erupting in cheers. Everyone knew what that meant; the song opening the show would be ‘Siren’, my absolute personal favourite. The words “Are you ready London?” have never sounded so good. What better way to start off on a good note?!

It’s for good reason that Sunmi is known as one of the most charismatic performers in the K-pop industry. She was captivating like no other in a way too hypnotic to describe. You couldn’t take your eyes off her even if you tried. She had a great way of owning every corner of the stage, drawing you in and not letting you go till the last note. 

After setting the tone with ‘Siren’ and ‘LALALAY’, she took a moment to introduce herself to us – like anyone there wouldn’t know who she is! She talked about how it’d been three whole years since she last went on tour – we all nodded along in accord because fun times like these were just more of the many things COVID-19 took from us all. Then she admitted to being nervous – judging by the way she pulled off a stellar show in the first 5 minutes, I didn’t believe her.

She then went on to perform some of her best b-side tracks like ‘SUNNY’, ‘Black Pearl’, and ‘Borderline’.

For those who missed her bass guitar playing days when she was an active member of Wonder Girls, she pulled it out for ‘Noir’ and ‘What The Flower’.

“If you want to get to know me, listen to my songs”, Sunmi said in a candid moment where she described her unique approach to music, transparency, and how she always stays honest to the character that lives in her retro-pop hits.

As a singer-songwriter, she has managed to produce a very cohesive body of work that continues to exceed expectations. With each comeback, there’s always a different side to her story placed on the table and on the stage.
As a fan, I was in awe. I was in awe of every swift gesture, every beautifully sung lyric, every choreographed moment perfectly executed. 

She sang even more hits, like Heart Burn and Childhood from her latest summer release. She kept the party going with songs like ‘Call’, ‘Gotta Go’, ‘Heroine’, and ‘Burn’. Obviously, her viral hit ‘Gashina’ made the crowd go hysterical, proving it still stands the test of time.

It would be impossible to talk about a great Sunmi show without mentioning her dancers who, at this point, are celebrities in their own right. The chemistry they all have together is unlike no other, and she took the time to introduce every single one of them. 

Sunmi’s been in the industry for over 15 years now, a solo artist for ten, and it couldn’t be more obvious. Every move she makes on and off stage is backed up by years of experience, wisdom, and frankly pure genius. 
It would be an understatement to say I enjoyed the show, but I really did, every single second of it. Maybe good girls should loose it a bit more often, eh? 

Your restless romantic roamer

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