K-Pop — Dreamcatcher Recall

Dreamcatcher Goes From Retro To Rocking It In Event-Filled Late June 2021 Activities

Radio, Retro, and a new Rock look keep K-Pop group Dreamcatcher moving as the month nears its end.

Dreamcatcher takes a group picture during the 27th Dream Concert on June 26th, 2021. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Summer is in full swing in South Korea, and the weather isn’t the only thing that’s staying hot. Dreamcatcher continues to blaze a trail of content through the season, and as June 2021 comes to a close, we’re seeing a ramp-up of Dreamcatcher activity. Is a comeback on the horizon? For now, nobody knows except Dreamcatcher and Dreamcatcher Company, but they’re certainly keeping fans busy in the meantime. Let’s take a look back to see what they’ve been up to in late June!

Sleepy, CNBLUE Kang Minhyuk, and SuA on SBS Youngstreet radio on 06/22/2021. Credit: sbsyoungstreet

We were treated to yet another SuA appearance on SBS Youngstreet this week, this time with fellow guest Sleepy and CNBLUE’s Kang Minhyuk. The trio brought up this week’s topic, a friend that you’d never introduce to your partner or lover, with the three choices being a friend that knows all your secrets, an over flirty friend, and a friend that jokes too much. The highest score went to number 2, by a huge landslide (67%), and even though Minhyuk had a bit of trouble keeping up with SuA and Sleepy’s crazy high energy, it was still an entertaining episode overall. Next week will be SuA’s last SBS Youngstreet appearance, and it’ll end with a great networking opportunity — the show has announced Brave Girls’ Yuna will be the DJ. Brave Girls has enjoyed a meteoric rise this year after going viral for their song “Rollin’”, so I’m looking forward to seeing how SuA interacts with someone who until recently, was in a group seen as underrated.

SuA and Yoohyeon were also on the vLive trail this week, with two more voice-only broadcasts that kept in touch with fans. SuA talked about her recent biking trip with Yoohyeon, a bit about what went into the filming of her special clip with JiU (including what was really written on that mosaic’d last page), and a bit about health and exercise, along with some fun moments about being teased for being short. Yoohyeon, for her part, continued messing around with fans about any potential comeback, talking about it being a “cute” concept where she’d appear in pigtails, and her sleeping and shopping habits. For my part, I never thought that JiU would be the big spender when it comes to shopping with her fellow members.

Dreamcatcher’s Note — JiU and SuA’s “Switch to Me” Behind the Scenes. Credit: Dreamcatcher official

Radio and vLive weren’t the only place where we saw and heard about SuA and JiU this week, though. A Dreamcatcher’s Note came out for behind-the-scenes footage of JiU and SuA’s recent special clip cover of Rain and JYP’s “Switch to Me and it was every bit as fun as the two appeared to have filming the video. Like how she scouted Siyeon, JiU sought out SuA to do this cover, and “JiBo” (a portmanteau of Minji and Bora, JiU and SuA’s real names) brought every bit of their chaotic energy to the shoot. Perhaps one of the best parts of this was seeing not only how much fun the two eldest Dreamcatcher members had with the filming crew (even going so far as to involve them in the shoot) but also how unafraid they were to be humble and do things that weren’t really things you’d normally do on an idol shoot, like talk with an older lady on an exercise device, run down the street and not care how silly you looked, and more. I think part of Dreamcatcher’s appeal is how down-to-earth they are, and I think not being afraid of breaking up the pristine and elegant stereotype that is the “idol” image is why I find them so charming.

Dreamcatcher Mind Episode 5, Retro Entertainment show “Back to the Game”. Credit: Dreamcatcher official

Perhaps that might be why this week’s Dreamcatcher Mind reality show episode was so much fun to watch — it definitely featured Dreamcatcher at their most messy, and while most veteran fans have come to expect a little chaos when it comes to Dreamcatcher, this throwback to old-school variety and fun games really brought that energy out in them.

Here’s the TL;DR of what happened in this episode:

  • Dreamcatcher decided to come out in old-school retro styling for this episode, with roller rink wear, bell bottoms, and loud colors ruled the day.
JiU casually touches and swings around her mystery object, much to everyone else’s cringing. Credit: Dreamcatcher official
  • The first throwback game was a “What’s in the Box” game, where one member would blindly reach into a box with an unidentified item and try to guess what it is without being freaked out, either by themselves or their fellow members. In a reversal of fortunes from last week’s Horror Hospital, JiU ended up scaring everyone else while Yoohyeon was completely fearful of whatever she was trying to touch.
Handong giving the face of someone about to commit tug of war destruction. Credit: Dreamcatcher official
  • The second throwback game was a “Waist Tug of War” game, a hail back to the more physical games of the shows near the end of the 20th century. After a bunch of matches that had some pretty hilarious moments between the members, Handong bulldozed her way to the top with some serious core strength and what appeared to be a desire for candy and winning in equal measure.
  • Missions/Challenges Cleared: N/A

While both games were ones that I remember watching some of back in the day purely for the cheese factor that they tended to generate, this was a great episode for me on a variety of levels. I was reminded of cable channel Nickoledeon’s old school game show Double Dare, which combined mental and psychological prowess with physical challenges (oftentimes resulting in a very messy looking team at the end). Sure, the games played were a bit more modern than that in terms of classic retro stuff, but the same idea of participants who weren’t bothered about looking a little ridiculous for the sake of having good clean fun and providing entertainment was present in this show.

Handong has no qualms about looking ridiculous in order to win, much to everyone’s amusement. Credit: Dreamcatcher official

That’s kind of what Dreamcatcher seemed to be going for with this episode. While plenty of K-Pop groups engage in offstage hijinx in order to increase their appeal with their fanbase, I do feel like Dreamcatcher goes that extra mile to show off how much fun they have being relatively themselves and doing things together in the spirit of just having a good time. From Gahyeon getting freaked out over toy centipedes, to JiU and Handong not being afraid to put their faces in the flour to get to the candy, to Siyeon having a laughter fit over being essentially yanked off her feet, there were a ton of “real” moments in the show — as real as you can get on a South Korean reality type show featuring K-Pop idols, of course — but real nonetheless.

Yoohyeon loses it over spilling the mystery object while Gahyeon and Siyeon troll her with exaggerated reactions. Credit: Dreamcatcher official

Despite what the industry markets idols as, there is a great deal of worth in seeing them not just what image they project on stage or in performance but also as regular people that experience regular reactions to unknown things like mystery boxes and fun/safe physical competitions. It’s the kind of stuff that endears fans to idol groups, and a reminder that at the end of the day, they put on their shoes one foot at a time to start off their mornings.

Handong is crowned the MVP of “Back to the Game”. Credit: Dreamcatcher official

Still, though, there can be only one monarch MVP of “Back to the Game”, and it was Handong and her complete domination of the Tug of War game as well as her scaring of Gahyeon during What’s in the Box. Halfway through the year, Handong continues to show her fellow members and the fans how much more confident and self-assured she is following her return to the group. Along with being crowned the “Insider King” at their TongTongTV appearance earlier in the year, it seems Handong is racking up the royal rewards that come with her hard work — and her apparently huge strength. One commenter said she wasn’t just a cat but a lioness, and I can’t help but think that might be accurate at least this week.

Dreamcatcher performs as the 27th Dream Concert on June 26, 2021. Credit: imbc

But Handong wasn’t the only one who proved to be beastly this past week. Her fellow Dreamcatcher members joined her at the 27th Dream Concert with a powerful, chain performance of Dystopia title tracks “Odd Eye” and “Scream” that showed that Dreamcatcher can mess around off-stage all they want, but when it’s ready to perform, they do so with the same power, energy, and presence that fans have come to love about them. South Korea’s revised policies about safe social distancing and crowds in the midst of the ongoing pandemic forced a late decision to make this completely online (though still performed in the stadium venue it was intended on being shown in), but that didn’t stop Dreamcatcher from delivering a great performance.

Gahyeon shows off a brand new red-haired look in time for Dream Concert 2021. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Of note were several changes — the first and foremost being new fashion stylings that gave off a kind of badass, punk rock-like vibe and which fit pretty well with the stage. Besides that were updated looks — most notably Gahyeon’s brand new crimson hair color and Siyeon’s reddish-brown hair-straightened look — as well as a few extra improvised gestures (salutes, shooting and clawing motions) that ignited a bit of speculation about how soon a potential next comeback could be. I’m not quite in the “these are signs a comeback is on the way” just yet — we’ve just gone past the five-month mark since the last comeback, which only just now puts us in the window for them to be on the comeback trail to another release. Additionally, Dreamcatcher, aside from having a bit of fun at the fans’ expense, hasn’t talked about comebacks at all just yet. In the end, it’ll happen when it happens, and trusting to the normal pattern of their comeback trail (Instagram “Behind” photos from their last comeback, followed by Mystery Codes and the Comeback schedule) appears to be the best way not to get knotted up in speculation.

Dreamcatcher points out their fan-made support banner at Dream Concert 2021. Credit: hf_dreamcatcher

Whether it shows up in a couple weeks or in a month or so, however, InSomnia will be ready to support the group through a new album release and new storyline/worldview, so for now, it’s probably best to enjoy what we do know is coming up, which included the very first offline fansign to happen since the beginning of the pandemic, a video call event to celebrate the release of Dreamcatcher’s first concert DVD, and more. As always, I’ll be here to recap all of what you missed, so be sure to drop a clap, follow, and a link to all your fellow Dreamcatcher fans for the weekly summary!

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Frank Sanchez

Frank Sanchez

Lifetime geek dual-wielding in the tech and games industries for over a decade. Builder of walls of text. Shameless Asian pop lover.