K-Pop — Dreamcatcher Recall
Dreamcatcher’s Path To A Crossroads Begins With Previews And InSomnia Appreciation
Early March 2021 sees Dreamcatcher begin preparation for this month’s concert extravaganza and thank fans for their support.
We found out last week that the end of March is going to be an absolute whirlwind for Dreamcatcher, between an appearance at KCONTACT: Season 3, the upcoming release of their next Japanese album “Eclipse”, and a final cap to the month with not one but two concerts with partner MyMusicTaste entitled “Crossroads). We’d of course heard on an Arirang Super K-Pop Radio appearance by the group that their CEO had told them they were going to be “very, very busy”, but even the most hardcore of InSomnias would probably be hard-pressed to predict this explosion of activity.
That said, this past week was a last hurrah of sorts for the “Road to Utopia” album release. The variety front had a couple of notable appearances, the first of which was Dreamcatcher’s dual performances on MBC’s Mdromeda YouTube channel, which contains high-quality footage of live performances from various K-Pop artists. Dreamcatcher, a bit awed by the size and scope of the stage but never intimidated, got to perform both “Odd Eye” and “Wind Blows” in this setting, and as always, they killed it.
I can’t help but wonder if the appearance was certainly calculated to be timed with late March’s concerts in mind — this was, in essence, a tiny preview of what both “Road to Utopia” tracks would sound like with a live band and vocals, and though some fans thought that “Odd Eye” lacked a little punch from the band, “Wind Blows” got a bunch of praise for both the group’s stable vocal power and the band’s rocking accompaniment. I’m a bit more forgiving of the former — Dreamcatcher’s sound isn’t exactly a traditional one, and this is no “Monster” band (Dreamcatcher’s live band from their 7 Spirits concert in November 2020), who likely had the luxury of multiple practices to get used to Dreamcatcher. Either way, after hearing many performances of these songs during promotions, hearing them live like this was refreshing and great for fans, and 4K-resolution Dreamcatcher is, of course, nothing to complain about.
We also got the last of the “Idol Ground” episodes for this round of promotions, with loud and energetic main dancer SuA anchoring the “X or O” question game behind JiU, Siyeon, and Yoohyeon. I’ve always like NADOL for being able to have the freedom to take a bit more of a casual tone with the idols that appear on their video series, and their treatment of SuA was no different. We heard about why SuA is so absolutely high-volume all the time, how she approaches choreography, and most hilariously, about how she’s a notorious “Butt Hunter” when it comes to touching the other members of Dreamcatcher, with differing, humorous reactions. While Weekly Idol was quick to drop in a few quick and funny censors when this was discussed there, NADOL was more than happy to ask questions like “who has the best butt in Dreamcatcher” and “send a nice note to your fellow members for taking care of their butts”, with comedic results.
There’s no need to misinterpret this, by the way — being a bit touchy with each other in a platonic way to show closeness and affection (sometimes known as “skinship”) is a thing among some K-Pop groups, and SuA, like with many things she does, approaches it with gusto. I’m pretty convinced that if SuA doesn’t end up doing behind-the-scenes choreography post-Dreamcatcher, that she’d be perfect for variety with her boisterous personality and unforgettable laughter, and this was just the latest example.
We also had Dreamcatcher start the promotion cycle for KCONTACT: Season 3. We recently learned from the KCON official site that Dreamcatcher’s appearance would be on the 21st of March, and while it is likely to be a short one with a brief set and some comments, it will still no doubt be memorable.
We also got news that for those who’ve already picked up membership for KCONTACT: Season 3, Dreamcatcher is doing a “Live Premiere” on the 16th of March. These basically consist of a directed live Q&A by the artist along with them doing something for fans, which can be things like taking, autographing, and designing various items to be given away. It lasts around 45–60 minutes, so if you’ve already grabbed your membership, be sure to tune in and check it out (and if not, I plan on reporting on it).
Speaking of memories, though, much of the official content from the group was all centered on recognizing memorable moments and milestones. This was kicked off by the first part of behind-the-scenes for Dreamcatcher’s short “Wind Blows” promotions. It was only a week, but I’m glad we’re still getting standard “Dreamcatcher’s Note” videos for these — it really feels like “Wind Blows” is the first B-side to get a bunch more attention than ones they’ve promoted before, and having Notes to accompany it only seems fair, and worth it just to see things like JiU dispelling the common assumption that they’re starving themselves during promotions and Siyeon literally flirting with fried chicken.
InSomnia were also waiting with patience to see how Dreamcatcher would recognize fans reaching their last video views goal of 20 million, and how that would be remembered and recognized by the group. After such creative “highest level video view reward” treats like “Scream” era’s “Dreamcatcher comeback outfits” version and “BOCA” era’s “K-Zombie” version fans were wondering what they would do this time around. What we got was a great sendoff to the “Dystopia” storyline, an “Odd Eye” performance with some really neat transitions between the outfits from all of 2020 and the appearance of some notable props. But the most important of these was the one used at the very end — a short shot of Handong “unmasking” with the mask worn by the masked dancer in Scream. The implication was that even though it was through a proxy, she never left the group and was the masked dancer all along. From a lore and emotional sentiment standpoint it was a nice little touch to add to the end, and a fitting capstone to the “Dystopia” trilogy.
But the rest of Dreamcatcher wasn’t about to let Handong off the hook that easily, and the result of that came in the long-awaited self-made MV of this promotion period for B-side “Poison Love”. Ever since this has been a thing with Dreamcatcher (the earliest being one for “July 7th”) their warm reception from fans have inspired the group to go further and more over-the-top with each one, and this one was no different. Making Handong the protagonist, the theme of “Poison Love” (falling in love but getting obsessed over it) is explored in comedic, hilarious detail, as each member falls for Handong with all the tropes that fans familiar with them have come to expect from K-dramas and anime series. Even Handong herself can’t help but love how she looks, and the results speak for themselves in predictable, hammed-up scenes.
I won’t spoil much more than that, as the video has to be watched to truly be appreciated, but this was so cool on a couple of levels. The first is obviously that Handong hasn’t been able to participate in any “Dystopia” story self-made MVs, so having her play such a prominent part in this one definitely makes up for it. The second is that it’s just such a nice gesture from Handong’s fellow members. Yes, it was completely overdramatic in the video, but you get the sense that the rest of Dreamcatcher really did miss Handong, and wanted to express that somehow while also giving her her moment to shine. I have yet to write the retrospective for this comeback (coming this week!) but one of the points is most certainly going to be that this has been Handong’s era, and deservedly so.
And what an era it’s been, too. The Gaon chart updated with numbers from February 2021, and Dreamcatcher has topped 120k on there (28.7k for the month), making it their best-performing album to date. Even though Gaon only tracks shipment and stock numbers rather than Hanteo’s individual sales (90k currently) this is still an impressive number and milestone for Dreamcatcher to have reached. Additionally, the Gaon and Hanteo numbers being so close together means that shipment stock is actually going out the door to fans. No doubt a bunch of fansigns and other factors drove these numbers, but the point is that Dreamcatcher is doing quite well for themselves.
As the path to Crossroads continues, here’s some other news tidbits from the past week:
- XOfficialShop, which is handling Dreamcatcher’s Lightstick orders, let buyers know they had to swap shippers due to restrictions in shipping items with batteries. Shipping starts the 15th for overseas customers, though some lucky fans have already gotten their hands on them. If you don’t mind spoilers, you can check out the video above.
- MyMusicTaste dropped a little partial setlist spoiler for the Crossroads concert. Some interesting songs in the acoustic Utopia side, if that’s where they end up, including normally hard-charging songs “Break the Wall” and recent title track “Odd Eye”, while Dystopia side has a couple of songs like “Diamond” and “Poison Love” that don’t have performance choreography that’s been shown. Combined with a recent voice vLive where Gahyeon and SuA said we’d see something we’ve never seen before, that just builds the hype for the end of the month. We also got a sneak preview of the Crossroads merchandise design and a hashtag event for a signed polaroid that asks fans to show how they were inspired creatively by Dreamcatcher.
- Kakao M and Spotify renewed a licensing agreement that was keeping some Dreamcatcher tracks (along with many other artists’ work) from being available on the Spotify platform. This included “Dystopia: The Tree of Language”, Siyeon’s solo “Paradise”, and “R.o.S.E Blue”, which are now back up and ready to be streamed once again.
- /r/kpop on Reddit announced that Dreamcatcher will be participating in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the site on March 16th at 6:00pm KST. This is yet another chance for international fans to interact with the group, so get those questions ready!
We’re halfway through the month and only 12 days away from Crossroads. The hype train is just going to continue moving forward, and I for one can’t wait to see what we get from Dreamcatcher as we roll towards what will be a slew of great music from the group. Stay tuned here for next week’s recap!