Live Report Exclusive

BE:FIRST 1st One Man Tour “BE:1” 2022-2023

16/03/2023 2023-03-16 22:00:00 JaME Author: Christine

BE:FIRST 1st One Man Tour “BE:1” 2022-2023

With their first arena performance, BE:FIRST celebrate an important milestone and prepare to take their next step forward.

© Seitaro Tanaka
Since their debut in 2021, boy group BE:FIRST have steadily grown from rapper/producer SKY-HI’s pet project into a successful entity in their own right. This January, the group had their first arena performance, held at Yoyogi National Stadium First Gymnasium on January 27th as part of their One Man Tour BE:1. Footage from this performance was streamed worldwide on February 24th, giving fans around the globe the opportunity to see the group's growth and celebrate this milestone with them. This report was written from the streaming video, which clocks in at about two hours long.

Tickets to watch the archive of the live stream are still available for purchase now here. Ticket holders can rewatch the archive until 11:59pm (JST) on March 26th.

The show began with a short heist movie-inspired intro video that showed the members once again trying their hand at acting. They quickly segued into BF is…, a song tailor-made to kick off concerts. Next came the high-energy Scream, which still hasn't quite been able to reach its full potential live as fans at BE:FIRST's shows have not been able to sing and shout along due to restrictions put in place to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continuing the aggressive tone was the refreshing rock song Brave Generation, which saw the members take a break from dancing, walking freely around the stage as they sang and the fans waved their light sticks. At the end, SHUNTO announced that the show was beginning in earnest, and the lights went out.

The tone immediately shifted to a more playful one however, as they moved into the well-known formation from Be Free, walking into a line and allowing each member to make an appeal to the camera. Confetti flew into the air as the chorus hit and the members danced to the upbeat pop song. Up next was the catchy but melancholy Don’t Wake Me Up, their Japanese remix of a track originally by Jonas Blue and Why Don’t We. A great festival tune, the big sing-along chorus and the group’s energetic performance got the audience fired up and clapping along, especially as the members walked the runway through the crowd.

Following a brief MC segment, Moment was up next. The mellow yet danceable track once again brought a playful energy to the stage, with the members dancing in front of a backdrop of colourful houses. A clock ticking and the tolling of a bell signalled the start of the hip-hop track Milli-Billi, a song that highlighted the group’s dance ability and featured a cocky vibe, with edgy vocals from SHUNTO and pyrotechnics.

The lights went out and fans clapped along to the distinctive bass intro of Betrayal Game. The alluring track was followed by a short dance break from SOTA, SHUNTO and RYOKI, which was followed in turn by a video seeming to show a window shattering underwater. Blue lights flooded the arena instead of water and when the brighter lights switched back on LEO, RYUHEI, JUNON and MANATO were on the stage instead, performing the mellow R&B song Softly. The minimal track and hip-swaying, mic stand-embracing choreography brought an intimate feel to the performance even in such a large venue, which was further enhanced when RYUHEI quietly delivered the spoken line “I need you for the rest of my life”.

Next came a short interlude from the “You’re My BESTY” video series where the members divided into two groups and faced off against each other playing an arcade racing game. The ending segued smoothly into Spin!, an aggressive hip-hop track performed by RYOKI, SHUNTO and SOTA, now all wearing dark shades. One of the most intense songs of the night, the track saw RYOKI screaming and running around frantically with an energy reminiscent of one of SKY-HI's shows and SHUNTO and SOTA bringing some extra swagger to their rapping. It transitioned smoothly into Move On, another track where RYOKI’s highly expressive performance and sharp, high-pitched voice added a powerful punch.

The beginning of First Step started to play next. RYOKI asked if everyone was having fun, which was met with applause, as the mask-wearing fans were still unable to voice their appreciation in other ways due to the restrictions. Fans of course knew this song was their designated time to pull out their towels, and the members had fun playing with their own towels on the stage, tossing them up into the air and catching them and leading the crowd in swinging them around. After, they transitioned into Kick Start, the first song they wrote together as a seven-member group. Continuing the trend of meaningful songs from their pre-debut journey was the audition track that became their very first music video, Shining One.

As if comparing their pre-debut selves with their current form, they moved into a new song next. The 90s-inspired sound of Boom Boom Back was contrasted against the futuristic video that followed it, which continued the story from the show's intro, showing a news reporter reporting on a mysterious device the members were using to hijack phones around the world. This segment highlighted some of the group’s accomplishments since their debut, before announcing the digital release of Boom Boom Back.

Following this, the dance performance video for Message was displayed on the screen and the members appeared dressed in the subdued, neutral-toned outfits from it on a circular platform. They sang the ballad with plenty of emotion, looking out at the faces of their fans as they danced along to the elegant choreography. Halfway through, the lights went out and a shooting star flew across the screen. Dots of light swirled around the arena like glittering stars, and the song ended with a confident smile from JUNON.

The arena went dark once again for Grateful Pain. Film reels were shown on the screens as the members sang the emotional lyrics they wrote about their journey together. Fans’ light sticks swayed beautifully in time with the track and the use of intense spotlights made it feel almost like watching a musical at points. The heavily autotuned section from SOTA was a bit jarring against the retro film reel imagery and costumes, but the emotional performance was still one of the highlights of the show.

LEO kicked off the next MC segment, thanking the crowd before the members took a group bow. His eyes got a bit misty as he gave a very deliberate speech about appreciating each step forward one takes even if others don't see its importance and being grateful for happy moments in life. He proclaimed that, to give such a happy day its endroll, they would perform Bye-Good-Bye, a song that, of course, concludes with LEO singing the fitting lines "Thank you and bye bye / I'll sing for you, through every tear, for all my life".

The upbeat, but bittersweet track brought the energy level and everyone’s mood back up. Following the performance, the stage was lit with magenta spotlights and the members held hands and took a bow. RYUHEI and SHUNTO each spoke about how grateful they were for all the fans who have supported them and made the arena performance and all of their progress so far possible. Then, the members performed the final portion of the song, before moving into the show's last song, their dramatic debut single Gifted..

The members took a final bow at the end. SOTA then took the mic, declaring to BESTYs (the group's fans) around the world that BE:FIRST plan to become a group that can perform at domes in the near future. “MASTERPLAN” was displayed on the screen behind him, conveying that they see this as not just a dream but a very attainable goal. He promised they would aim to achieve this sometime in 2024 and asked the fans to continue supporting them as they aim for the top. The show ended with applause and the line “We All Gifted.” from Gifted. displayed on the screen.

Set list

01. Opening
02. BF is ...
03. Scream
04. Brave Generation
05. Be Free
06. Don't Wake Me Up
- MC break
07. Moment
08. Milli-Billi
09. Betrayal Game
- Dance break
10. Softly
- You're My BESTY
11. Spin!
12. Move On
- MC
13. First Step
14. Kick Start
15. Shining One
16. Boom Boom Back
- Boom Boom Back_insertion (Mr. Kanechika)
- Interview video
17. Message
18. Grateful Pain
- MC
19. Bye-Good-Bye
20. Gifted.

BE:FIRST recently announced that Boom Boom Back will be featured on their third single Smile Again, which is scheduled for release on April 26th. A teaser for Smile Again can be viewed below. 

 Buy a ticket to watch the archive of the stream  Download or stream "Boom Boom Back"


Related Artists

Related Releases

Single Digital Release 2023-02-13 2023-02-13
Single CD 2023-04-26 2023-04-26
Regular Edition BE:FIRST

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