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By Roman Gokhman (co-founder and editor-in-chief of RIFF)

More K-pop groups need to tour the U.S. with bands. The costs likely make that prohibitive to many, but a few acts with deep enough pockets have brought musicians with them over the years.

Whenever those musicians would join the idols and their dancers, it would be a show highlight. Yet even those groups didn’t have musicians on stage for all or most of the time.

Maybe they were worried about it becoming gimmicky. Well, ITZY decided to give it a try and see what happens on their current North American tour, and it was anything but gimmicky at Oakland Arena, on the tour’s second night.

The talented band that flanked Yeji, Ryujin, Chaeryeong and Yuna for all but a few songs added many layers to the performance, which felt more like a rock or rap show in addition to sleek pop tunes and fun dancing.

The show went full throttle from opener “Born to Be,” from their latest EP of the same name, with nary a downshift until the encore.

The group, which is currently performing as a quartet while fifth member Lia is taking a break for health reasons, formed in 2019 and quickly became one of the biggest acts in the fourth generation of K-pop, under JYP Entertainment with hits like “DALLA DALLA” (which closed the Oakland show) and “WANNABE” (not a Spice Girls cover).

ITZY「Algorhythm」Music Video


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