K-Pop — Dreamcatcher Recall
Dual Wins Highlight Dreamcatcher’s Busy BONVOYAGE Promotions
Dreamcatcher’s hearts and schedules are both full as BONVOYAGE brings both expected and unexpected gifts.
Dreamcatcher entered week 2 on the momentum of a bunch of content and whirlwind scheduling the week prior for latest title track “BONVOYAGE” and album Apocalypse: From Us. A full week of music shows, variety content, and more await us, including some significant Dreamcatcher achievements, so let’s get right into it!
The official channel, as always with every comeback, began its run of behind-the-scenes items. One of these was the two-part Jacket filming, which followed the group as they took pictures for the album’s photobook. This time around, it really felt like the group took a ton of varying settings for their pictures, from a forest to an abandoned apartment building to a city underpass. The one constant, it seems, was the cold, with Dreamcatcher sometimes shivering their way through an hours-long set of pictures and feeling the elements pretty keenly. I’m always impressed at what has to be braved by both members and staff for days at a time to get the right pictures and settings to come out just the way they like it. As most fans who’ve probably received their albums by now have discovered, it seemed to be worth it.
From a music video front we got a double helping of videos, from the MV version of the Dance Video and the MV reaction. These are pretty much expected from now on, though I really liked the choice of setting for the dance video (seemed appropriate for the theme) while MV reaction carried with it the usual Dreamcatcher chaos. My favorite parts of these continue to be when the members of the group compliment each other on visuals, and this time around it started with Yoohyeon being praised and just continued all the way to the end of the video. The group seemed to enjoy doing a concept that was different than their normally darker stuff, and it showed — especially when the group treated SuA looking up at Siyeon protecting her like it was a moment out of a K-drama.
On the variety front, Dreamcatcher continued its huge content pace, wth radio getting a decent set of visits via Idol Radio and Hope Song at Noon. Interactions with the MCs are always fun for these, and Idol Radio in particular has come out with plenty of fun clips that have Dreamcatcher and ATEEZ members Yunho and HongJoong always having a good time. It’s nice to see Dreamcatcher be staples on these shows, providing them with some reliable places to go to promote new albums.
Esquire Korea came through this week with two fun videos for Dreamcatcher with two very differing vibes. The first, a performance video, took advantage of an all-black setup to present another visually stunning performance of “BONVOYAGE”, while E-Round, which seemed to be more variety show focused with two fun games, was very much “Dreamcatcher offstage”. The latter is probably my favorite variety video of the comeback so far, especially with Siyeon practically laughing every other minute seeing her fellow Dreamcatcher members misinterpret words she’s feeding them for “Shouting in Silence” game. All in all, like MBC Radio, Esquire Korea has turned out to be a stalwart Dreamcatcher variety partner and they delivered yet again on their content.
It’s Live seems to always enjoy Dreamcatcher because their band instruments are most certainly part of preserving that rock vibe. This one didn’t disappoint, and I did notice that the vocals were slightly lower (though still clear) while the instrumentation was up. This really brought out that progressive rock feel, and since these are always seemingly previews of whenever Dreamcatcher performs this in front of a live crowd and band, it seemed to go over pretty well.
Rounding out the variety content this past week were two more prior Dreamcatcher partners in ktown4u and SBS Morning Wide, both of whom have worked with the group before. Ktown4u has always made me just a bit envious of the pop-up store stuff — fans in South Korea certainly will have fun with and benefit from the various things in the store to do. As for Morning Wide, I’m always appreciative of the fact that news programs sometimes give Dreamcatcher a bit of time to promote the album and talk about things. SBS and MBC in particular have been pretty kind to Dreamcatcher, and as we’ll find out shortly, their networks provided the background for the highlight of this past week’s promotions.
SBS would be first out of the gate this week, awarding Dreamcatcher their 3rd overall music show win and second for The Show. The score was pretty much a landslide, with Dreamcatcher firing on all cylinders to emerge victorious. This time around, besides their multi-lingual thank yous, the group decided to break a few wooden boards used for martial arts training while singing their encore, resulting in a bit of humor (Siyeon in particular, was having a real hard time with hers while Yoohyeon, with Dami’s help, threw a knee up to break another). It was, overall, a fun encore stage.
Fun would still be had during the group’s first back-to-back music show win achievement and 4th music show win overall at MBC’s Show Champion, but there was a fair bit of emotion as well. It’s possible that the group may have thought it likely to win The Show, but not Show Champion, and I wouldn’t blame them — the final score was a game of inches, with Dreamcatcher winning by a mere 70 points. Additionally, the competition was four veritable titans in comparison to them, with aespa, (G)-IDLE, ENHYPEN, and LE SSERAFIM all in the running. The result was an unexpected surprise for the group, a quicker victory speech, and an encore that had a bit more feeling to it, especially from JiU, SuA, and Gahyeon, all of whom held back tears as they thanked every fan who contributed.
Winning like this certainly came with some circumstances that broke in the group’s favor, as many music show wins for mid/upper-mid tier groups are. The non-attendance of more popular competition definitely helped matters, for example. But there was also a fair amount of fan effort as well — Dreamcatcher overachieved in key categories responsible for the scoring, especially in the pre-vote and in streaming the music video. These ultimately would be responsible for a win by the skin of Dreamcatcher’s teeth.
The group’s win on Show Champion seemed so unexpected that Dreamcatcher took to Weverse briefly to explain their feelings and thank fans for their support, something repeated during the fanmeeting later in the week to celebrate the tail-end of “BONVOYAGE” promotions. It was, of course, a testament to the group’s thankfulness and willingness to recognize all of their fans for what they did for them — and I think that’s key. Fans may have contributed in different ways and to different degrees, but in the end, the group thanked InSomnia as a whole. These wins, along with the ones prior, don’t happen unless everyone helps, no matter how much their capacity, time, or money allows. For non S-tier groups, every contribution matters and should be celebrated as valid. I’ve had people disagree with me on this point, and try to audit contributions and attitudes as if it matters, when in fact the fandom is strongest when they’re unconcerned about such things and do their individual parts, to whatever degree they feel comfortable.
Aside from this, I really feel that more wins, regardless of how they happened, seemed to support both the group’s decision to renew contracts (a frequent topic in interviews as being the first album since that renewal happened) as well as Ollounder and Edenary’s new post-LEEZ era of music. The group is on record saying that they were a bit nervous about this comeback, especially considering the musical style change and concept. but thankfully, they had nothing to worry about. “BONVOYAGE” and the rest of the album have been hailed as a nice return to Dreamcatcher’s prior form while still being modern in their production, a blending of the best of both worlds.
That wins happened is a testament to that sentiment being realized in the amount of streams for the music video as well as other efforts. It also showed that the group truly is succeeding on “K-Pop industry Hard Mode”, that despite the general public being largely unaware of who they are, they’ve become at least sustainable. Even if they never reach S-tier status (the kind of echelon reserved for long-time big company-backed veterans such as TWICE/Red Velvet, or monster digital streamers like IVE or (G)-IDLE), they have nothing to be ashamed of. I’ll look forward to what they can achieve with however time is left to us with them — and that includes in the coming weeks with more of “BONVOYAGE” era. So until next week, when we get to check out even more Dreamcatcher comeback content, Be sure to enjoy all of what Dreamcatcher has achieved, including their double Encore stages.