The 2023 INK Concert returned to liven up Incheon after a long hiatus. The highly anticipated concert was worth the wait as fans gathered at the Munhak Stadium located in Incheon to celebrate the 14th Incheon K-Pop Concert.
With a stellar lineup and night of K-Pop fun at the outdoor stadium, no one could ask for a better way to spend a Saturday night. The lineup included popular acts such as BTOB, Oh My Girl, WE1, and Golden Child alongside many popular up-and-coming groups such as tripleS, XIKERS, H1-KEY, woo!ah!, and 8TURN.
As excitement filled the air of the stadium, the night opened up with our three lovely MCs (emcees) Wooyeon of woo!ah!, Golden Child’s Jang Jun and XIKER’s Hunter. Completely dressed to the nines, their makeup was perfectly done and highlighting their beautiful features on the big screen. The MCs introduced INK and welcomed fans watching both in the audience and internationally via live stream in Korean and English. It was a pleasure to see idols working hard to communicate with all their fans across the globe.
First, 8TURN dazzled us all with their latest release “EXCEL” and it lived up to its name by accelerating the energy within the audience. Fans chanted their names and easily sang along to their popular single from the 2nd Mini Album [UNCHARTED DRIFT] effortlessly.
The eight members introduced themselves and explained it was an honor to open the concert and be the first on stage. Saying the boys hyped up the stage is an understatement. One song to really catch my interest was released earlier this year called “TIC TAC.” Something about the rambunctious energy of the boys combined with the infectious rhythm and beat made the song really stand out. Perhaps all of their previous experience performing on stage made “TIC TAC” the stand out track to light up the stage. After hearing all the fans screaming during the live, I can attest to this being one of their more popular songs.
Afterwards, four Goddesses known as tripleS graced the stage. TripleS were able to captivate the audience and wow them with their impressive performances from the start. Living up to their name as “the idols of all possibilities,” the group offered a dynamic stage with a variety of sound and catchy tracks.
The track “Complexity” from their EP LOVElution was the opening song that caught fans’ interest and made tripleS a memorable group to see. The hypnotic rhythmic dance moods alongside the intoxicating melody made the track upbeat, fun, and easy to vibe to. Although the energy of a boy group may be hard to compete with, tripleS always wowed us with each performance.
Before heading off, the girls greeted us and continued to garner our interest with their newly released song “Capitalism” – a self-appreciation song that exudes a rather rowdy instrumental but expresses how much we should keep loving ourselves. The feel good rhythm of the song filled the stadium with joy and made everyone feel refreshed during the summer night. It is definitely a song worth listening to!
Once the girls departed from the stage, fans desperately wanted to see more and it was easy to understand why fans would prefer a three hour-long concert.
Riding the waves of the lovely energy given by tirpleS, girl group woo!ah! came at us like a “Rollercoaster” on full impact! Their charming smiles paired with their happy-go-lucky songs made every male fan in the crowd squeal with utter joy. This song was easily the most addictive and had fans standing out of their chairs. It was interesting to see how many Chinese uncle fans awaited woo!ah! and Oh My Girls’ stage performances. When looking at their charming smiles and elegant outfits, it is easy to be mesmerized by their unique girl group charms.
The five member girl group twinkled brighter than the stars as the stage lights shimmered during their final stage “Catch The Stars” – which brought a twinkle to everyone’s eyes. The soothing guitar rift, uplifting melody and wholesome lyrics made this performance feel heart-warming and completely enjoyable. Watching woo!ah! live once is a guaranteed way to become an instant fan of the hard-working girl group. Although “Catch The Stars” is such an emotionally joyful track, “Rollercoaster” is still every fans’ favorite song to clap along to.
Soon after, boy group XIKERS took the stage and delivered an exuberant amount of energy, charisma, and unforgettable style that really heightened my expectations for the rest of the acts to follow. Their first song “Do or Die” which came out last month consisted of a chaotic but addictive rocker melody and stirred things up in the stadium as an homage to rock and roll. The boys jumped around in a frenzy and shouted along to the punk-rock tune.
As if the stage couldn’t get any louder the 10 boys of XIKERS made things endlessly wild track after track. It was easy to see why all the girls in the crowd were swooning over these bad boys. They got the looks, they got the talent and their dancing is by far the next best thing! The rowdy and rambunctious energy of the boys is completely addictive. While there were many parts of their performances that caught our eyes, the fun and creative choreography for “Koong” was exceptional. Switching their tune to a more chill but powerful rap sound, from the dance concept to the umbrella props, seeing them sway in sync and own the beat of this fierce track pumped us all up until the very end. It was by far an impressive stage worth seeing again on YouTube.
Soon after H1-KEY changed the atmosphere of the concert completely as their songs overwhelmed the crowd – including myself. The girl group is known for their uplifting tracks, heartfelt lyrics, and powerful messages that heal all that listen to it. However, their stage presence seems to consume your eyes and piques your interest as you fall deeper and deeper into their interesting music style.
Their first set was their recent comeback single “Time To Shine” was charming and fun as it echoed positive vibes through the speakers. After that, the stage grew dark and an enchanting array of neon blues, purples, and pink colors cascaded the stage and a moving city floated in the background as the girls began the choreography to the hook beat of “Seoul.” However, fans were awaiting the chance to hear one song the most and that was the song that sky-rocketed their popularity – H1-KEY truly saved the best for last!
“Rose Blossom” which was composed by DAY6’s Young K is an alluring track that has a rhythmic tune to it paired with a variety of thoughtfully added instruments. Combined with the synthetic instrumental, moody beat and the girls’ husky voices, this song became the star that stole the show.
Maintaining the empowering feeling of H1-KEY’s performances, the handsome boy group WEi set fire to the stage and opened up with their most recent comeback single “OVERDRIVE” with a bubbly instrumental that perfectly mirrors the atmosphere of the INK concert.
As if the fan-signing event wasn’t enough to rile up fans, the boys appeared on stage in pristine white dress shorts and form-fitting white pants to match and emulated the classic uniformed image of a K-Pop boy group. Their song “Thriller” from their Love Pt. 3: Eternally album was dark and intriguing. The smooth melody, high vocals and deep purple lit stage transported us to another fantasy realm of K-Pop.
In the end, WEi charmingly ended their set with their boy-next-door styled song “BYE BYE BYE” from their 2021 album IDENTITY: ACTION. A fun way to say “until next time” to their fans. The chorus is definitely an ear tune and the easy English lines are fun for everyone to follow along too. It may be a song from their earlier days but it stands to remain a fan favorite. The boys playful shouted “Good-bye” and “I love you” as they pranced off the stage full of joy in their eyes and joy in our hearts.
Oh My Girl made the night shine bright as they pranced onto the stage with their whimsical pastel outfits that sparkled under the stage lights and flowed elegantly in the summer night’s breeze.
As expected, the shrill shrieks of fans filled the stadium as they introduced themselves and opened up with their hit song “Summer Comes” – their title track released in July from their 9TH MINI ALBUM Golden Hourglass. After that, the lovely ladies made us all get out of our seats and just “Dun, Dun, Dance” and not a single person could resist doing the famous “Dolphin” choreography alongside the girls. Although, “Banana Allergy Monkey” will forever stand the test of time as one of their hit songs, seeing each of these songs performed live in front of your very eyes is simply mesmerizing.
The girls then took a moment to not only greet their fans and ask if they were all having as much fun as them but also revealed they had a special announcement. It was member Yubin’s birthday! The girls excitedly gathered around their precious vocalist and put a cute headband on her head that read “It’s my birthday!” Yubin paraded around the stage with the girls as the song ”Tic Toc” cutely blared in the background making it such an adorably endearing moment. “Thank you everyone who celebrated my birthday,” Yubin laughed into the microphone and she seemed very happy to see her fans cheering her on beneath the stage.
The girls then prepared their final stage and gave us the performance of a lifetime as they closed things up with “Nonstop.” It was hard to tell whether or not you could hear Oh My Girl singing or Miracles (their fandom name) singing more! The feeling of being surrounded by fellow fans enjoying the presence of your favorite idol is truly remarkable.
To end it all, BTOB stole the show (which was expected) the moment the lights got low and the final act was announced by the MCs. BTOB enchanted us with their solemn stage and had us feeling emotionally charged as they walked under the lights to greet us as their song “Only One For Me” echoed across the stadium and into our hearts.
Soon after, they continued to keep us locked in our seats and clutching our hearts as they charmingly sang to the soothing melody of “Beautiful Pain.” Of course, it is a song that completely overwhelms the listeners and manifests solemn feelings due to the sad piano melody accompanied by their fragile voices. Fans sang alongside the members and seeing the familiar choreography, as simple as it is, was satisfying and captivating all at once.
During the break, the members broke out into conversation and shared their happiness regarding being back on stage at the Incheon K-Pop Concert with their loving fans called “Melody.” BTOB hilariously mentioned it was member Changsub’s Dad’s birthday! “Although I had dinner plans with them (his family) and wanted to spend it with my Dad, I am here at the concert. My Dad is watching at home so I promised I would wish him a ‘Happy Birthday.” Without second thought, the members and Melody joined together to wish Changsub’s Dad a special Happy Birthday and sang together in perfect harmony – how wonderful is that?
Finally, the night must come to a close. The two hours felt like seconds as the golden lights shimmered down on fans and the brilliant blue light of BTOB was the only thing glowing brightly from the stage and our light sticks. Their last and most famous track “Missing You” was the perfect send-off for such an extraordinary concert.
Although there was no encore or final gathering on stage, the ending was phenomenal and left you craving more and wanting to be trapped in the moment of K-Pop forever. Every fan feels this way after any K-Pop concert I’m sure. Overall, INK was a huge success and next year’s concert is guaranteed to be even more magical.
What did you think of the concert? Are there any artists you would want to see live from this lineup? If you’re looking to see more concerts in Korea and watch live performances, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to see live clips on our My Story page and more.