Do you ever have those moments where you float above yourself and witness just how fucking annoying and obnoxious, maybe even a little (a lot) pathetic you’re being?
That’s me nearly every day but it has been at an all-time emergency SOS level since I saw NCT Dream. Am I being neo-Beatlesmania over this? Yeah, I am. I acknowledge this. I have self-awareness, I promise, but sometimes my mania is so uncontainable that I have to just let go and observe from above as I completely lose my mind, scream, start sobbing at the job of a pin.
How does this happen? It’s borderline cult-like. Since the concert (and ok even weeks before with their Asia and Europe shows) I have been watching vlogs on YouTube of various and Henry just gives me the “dad look / sigh” but then he always ends up watching it too, lol. Before I went to get my hair done Saturday morning, I was watching concert footage of one of my favorite songs and I yelled, “HENRY ARE U WATCHING” and he said, “I have seen this so many times! Look, now they’re going to get into a circle and face Chenle,” Henry predicted, just as they…got in a circle and faced Chenle.
And then he did a double take and sighed, “Are you crying again?!”
Hint: my eyes definitely weren’t sweating.
“I just can’t believe I saw them, Henry! 7DREAM! I miss them so much!” I cried even harder then, while also breaking out into a crazed bray. I am so lost.
I have for sure written about this before, but let me breeze through a quick NCT Dream Cliffsnotes for you. They debuted as a 7-member sub-unit of NCT in 2016 and were known kind of like the “baby brothers” of NCT127 because they were made up of the youngest members of NCT. The concept was that it would be a fluid unit rather than fixed, so anytime a member reached the age 20 (19 in western years), they would “graduate” and then be replaced by a rookie.
The OG members were: Mark (oldest), Haechan, Jeno, Jaemin, Renjun, Chenle, and Jisung. Mark and Haechan are also in NCT127, which is a fixed unit. So perhaps some eagle-eyed readers of this dollar store Kpop site might recognize them from some of the NCT127 videos I have posted!
In 2018, Mark “graduated.”
To be honest, I was mostly paying attention to NCT127 at this time and kind of knew about the graduation thing but was also like, “Wait…what now?” I just know that the fans were traumatized by it, petitioning for SM to stop the insanity and make NCT Dream a fixed unit, etc. I think that they had never had a chance to have a real tour as a 7 member unit.
Then, I believe it was in 2019, there is infamous footage online of the remaining 6 members on stage at a concert, realizing that it was the last time that they would be performing together because the 2000 line (Haechan, Jeno, Jaemin, and Renjun) were all set to “graduate” after that. It was one of the saddest things I have ever seen that didn’t involve someone or some animal dying. I’m not lying. To watch Jisung, the youngest, fall to his knees, sobbing uncontrollably while the other members are also crying—it was a lot even for me and I still wasn’t a full stan yet.
Fast forward to 2020, SM dropped the graduation gimmick, brought Mark back and 7Dream was BACK TOGETHER. Their whole story is so precious, and the brotherhood they have created is inspiring. I literally cannot talk about this out loud without getting choked up and/or legit sobbing. Somewhere along the way, I started to realize that NCT Dream had become my favorite NCT unit.
Haechan recently said that to him, their true beginning was when Mark came back and they released “Deja Vu.” I love that.
Anyway, their The Dream Show 2: In a Dream tour is the first time that they had the opportunity to perform in the US as 7Dream and it was SO SPECIAL.
Everything about this show was special! I loved my seat! I loved the girl to my right, who brought a Mark Golden Hour sign in honor of him releasing a solo song that day. She was from Seatle and had flown to Newark to see their first US show, then flown to Chicago. I asked if she would be going to any others, and she said, “Oh yeah!” She was so chill, and then the concert started and she was screaming her face off and doing the fan chats and it was fine because I too was screaming my face off. I actually found her on YouTube and you can 100% hear my big fat mouth in all of her videos. As soon as I put one on, Henry said, ‘Yep, that’s you.”
And then the girl to my right! Pamela! She was sooooo sweet and considerate, asked me if I was having fun, asked me if she was blocking my view. We chatted a bit during some of the VCR moments (when videos would play while NCT Dream was backstage changing) and it is just so nice to have the chance to fangirl with someone. She likes Taemin too!
For 2 and a half hours, my face was stretched out into the biggest smile, I laughed, I screamed, I cried, I shook.
Sorry, but I’m just going to dump a bunch of pictures here now.
When I say that this was in the Top 5 all-time best concerts of my life, I am not being hyperbolic. It was the second-best Kpop concert in general that I’ve seen (G-Dragon is 1st place, also one of the Top 5 all-time best concerts of my life!). It just hit different. The emotional connection is so strong with this one. I know it’s annoying when people film entire concerts but here I am, eternally grateful of all the different angles I’ve found on YouTube, lol.
OMFG. I have seen Haechan three times with NCT127 but this was the closest I have ever been to him and I nearly couldn’t breathe, LOL. And my Dreamie bias Renjun looking like an absolute ANGELBABY in the center. His vocals were ON POINT.
This was during Henry’s favorite song, “Saturday Drip.”
TRIGGER THE FEVER!
I can’t do a song-by-song recap. I mean, I never do that anyway, but I really feel so broken, lol. I felt so whole during the show and now there is a huge chunk of my heart missing. THEY DID THAT TO ME
OH and I finally got a Be Real notification while I was actually out doing something rather than just sitting in my house! Usually, I can spend the whole entire day out and about and it won’t be until the MOMENT I get home when Be Real is like, “OK, it’s time!”
And here I am on the video screen!
After the show, I reunited with Henry in the hall outside of my section and he surprised me with the other t-shirt I liked! I got another photo card with it – JAEMIN! Henry said he talked to the merch lady about the photo cards and she was saying it was her first time experiencing this phenomenon and people kept trying to get them from her, lol. NOT SURPRISED.
Outside the venue, we were standing around trying to figure out where all the vans were because I wanted to stand around like we did for NCT127 in Newark, and I saw my seatmate Pamela! She actually ran over and hugged me, and introduced herself to Henry, saying, “I love a supportive husband!” EVEN THO HE IS JUST MY BOYFRIEND but that’s OK.
Anyway, we stayed in the parking lot for what felt like at least an hour and it was FUCKING COLD. I think it was like 30 degrees that night and I only had on that thin denim jacket for warmth, and NO SOCKS. But even though one of the security guards gave us the run-around and said we were in the wrong spot (we weren’t!!), it was worth it just to see the silhouettes of their waving hands and to know that they saw us standing there in the cold to send them off. (We stood in the rain for NCT127!) So fucking worth it.
I know this probably feels disjointed and janky and that would be because I have been dragging this out for 2 weeks, adding a little here and there, because I cannot get myself to calm down long enough to do a coherent recap.
All I know is that I can’t remember the last time I felt more myself, so comfortable in my own skin, as I did for those 2.5 hours. It makes it even better that Henry likes them too, knowns their names, knows their songs. What a perfect fucking night. Take me back. I want to be where NCT Dream is.
SET LIST FOR MY OWN BENEFIT
1. GLITCH MODE
2. COUNTDOWN (3,2,1)
5. DEJA VU
6. MY FIRST & LAST
7. BYE MY FIRST
8. LOVE AGAIN
9. TO MY FIRST
10. SORRY, HEART
11. PUZZLE PIECE
12. CHEWING GUM
14. DIVE INTO YOU
16. SATURDAY DRIP
17. QUIET DOWN
18. BETTER THAN GOLD
22. HELLO FUTURE
23. WE GO UP
24. TRIGGER THE FEVER
25. HOT SAUCE
27. MY YOUTH
28. WALK YOU HOME
I’m crushed that “Life Is Still Going On” wasn’t performed but shit you guys, this setlist was stacked. NCT Dream just doesn’t have a single bad song.