This is an account of how an event reporter can start the week knowing little about the performers, and after one show, end up newly inducted into the fandom.

     After a simple (but thorough) deep dive into BLITZERS music videos, debut stages, dance covers, and stylized vlogs; I was eager to see how they were as a live act. A new year brings new opportunities for groups like BLITZERS to lay roots beyond online borders. Their first “Check-In” tour-stop, at the El Rey in Los Angeles, served as their first (in-person) debut stage, and from go, BLITZERS held nothing back.

     Opening their show with their debut song “Blitz”, this group of 7 members burst onto the stage with a mission to show us all what they are made of. As a high-energy, ‘This is how we party” track, the live performance of “Blitz” instantly cranked the audience energy, while effectively setting up the tone of the night. BLITZERS overflowing charm, precise choreography and passion was palpable from start to finish. The flow of each song seemed a well-crafted showcase of exactly what the BLITZERS team (formerly known as Wuzo Circle) have trained and practiced for years to present to the world. This group of 7 young men (Jinhwa, Go-U, Chris, Juhan, Sya, Lutan and Wooju) fell into formation effortlessly, progressing through the collection of singles off their 1st and 2nd album Ep’s, as if they had performed like this every night. “K-Pop” showed off BLITZERS finely tuned performance style, while the more relaxed freestyle of “Dream-Pilot” allowed the boys to vibe with the audience. Songs like “Hop-In”, gave just that right amount of playful, upbeat dance choreo with a healthy dose of fan-service built-in, that melted hearts and defined bias lists.

     During the talk segments, the audience greeted the BLITZERS team with the warmest welcome of cheers and shouts. While Chris often serves as the English-speaker for the group, every member did their best to communicate their feelings to their fans. BLITZERS reciprocated as many finger hearts and hand waves as they received from the crowd. Their genuine appreciation and happiness to stand in front of Blee’s was written all over their faces.

     After setting hearts aflame with their performance of “Will Make a Mistake”, BLITZERS slowed it down with a calmer pop-ballad, “Raindrop”. During this seated performance, the dulcet tones of each members vocals washed over an already enamored audience. Chris joined his fellow member Wooju, the maknae and one of the lead vocalists of the group, to help introduce a special stage. Wooju presented Blees with a tender rendition of Harry Styles, “Falling”, an impressive cover which had previously showcased on their official YouTube channel. Still, videos can’t compare to hearing vocals live and, with such a simple yet evocative performance, I wondered how many more individual charms this group holds in their arsenal.

     Following Wooju’s solo stage, the rest of the members trickled in with a full costume change, and even more charming banter. BLITZERS were eager to engage with the fans, and what better way to bond together than to take part in a massive game of rock-paper-scissors with the audience? The audience’s laughter and hijinks to win, created a greater comfort and sense of connection between the members and their fans. At this point, BLITZERS seemed at peak comfort and ease as they launched into their latest single “Bobbin”. “Bobbin” live encapsulates the rebellious vibes of youth, and with crisp choreography and powerful moves, BLITZERS left all their passions on the stage. Serving as another melodic cool-down from high-energy stages, “Drawing Paper” confirmed that BLITZERS has as much to offer in vocal harmonies as they have in performing prowess.

     As the group left the dark stage, the crowd at once launched into rolling chants of “Encore” and “BLITZERS”! Rocking their BLITZERS branded tour merchandise, the boys took the stage for their final songs of the night to fervent applause and cheers. Their “Breathe Again” stage found BLITZERS in their element, showcasing finely tuned choreography and a confidence that seemed effortless.

     During their final words for the night, the group expressed their appreciation and sincere feelings hearing the audience sing-along in Korean. Media often focuses on KPOP artists learning English to reach a global audience, but neglect to recognize that fans bridge the language gap with an equal amount of effort, translating and memorizing Korean lyrics. Blee’s came ready to sing-along, and Blitzer’s didn’t have to ask.

     “It’s time to say goodbye…” Chris announces. To which the audience response with groans and protestations. “Sorry guys, we need more songs”, Chris chuckles as they wave their goodbyes. Completing the showcase with a tender, fan-dedicated ballad “Forever in My Heart”, the guys took time to acknowledge and show appreciation to every Blee that came out to support. BLITZERS appeared as reluctant to leave the stage and the fans were even more reluctant to say goodbye.

     Blasting into the scene with an intense and powerful performance style, BLITZERS live up to their name. In a vast ocean of groups, BLITZERS are skilled at drawing the viewer in, exciting us, and leaving us wanting even more. BLITZERS debuted in a time where the artist-to-fan interaction was isolated to SNS and online content only, and because of the pandemic, these methods have proven crucial to sustaining the lifelines between artists and their global fandoms. Building and nurturing a fandom has proven difficult for even veteran performers; yet BLITZERS adapted, evolved, and persisted, long enough to see the day that the group and fandom could gather as one. In a time when media constantly tries to define “the next big thing”, BLITZERS holds their ground through sheer passion, abundant talents, and determination to evolve. The boundless energy of their live concerts proved that everything Blees could only experience via online, is real and even better in-person. For curious fans, the BLITZERS concert superseded expectations and turned many fans into official Blees.

     I am happy to count myself as a newly initiated member, and all it took was one incredible night with BLITZERS to make that happen. Thank you to Wuzo Entertainment and Powerhouse Live for this amazing opportunity!

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