Starting off the U.S. leg of their Checkmate world tour, ITZY performed a sold-out show at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles. Fans, known as Midzys, flocked to the theater decked out in ITZY inspired outfits and armed with their official light rings, as this was the first time since their U.S. showcase tour in 2020.
While their previous tour was held during the rookie stage of their career when they were still finding their footing, this tour showed how far they’ve come. The girl group’s popularity has grown significantly in the past two years, along with their confidence and stage presence. Videos showed each of the members dressed like royalty in sleek black outfits with silver embellishments, with chess pieces and boards, building on the theme of the tour. Once the queen checkmated the opposing player’s king and moved forward, heavy smoke helped transition the shot to the group walking forward on the chess board in the queen’s place. Kicking off the show, the five members appeared on stage with life-sized chess pieces. The leader Yeji knocked over the queen as part of the powerful entrance, and the instrumentals for “Mafia In the Morning” began to play.
It was clear from the start that the show was prepared with a lot of time and effort to show Midzys only the very best. Special solo stages from each member showed off the group’s individual charms, as each of the girls took turns performing on their own, and each with a different vibe. Ryujin, known for her “girl crush” image, blew fans away with a cool rendition of Doja Cat’s “Boss Bitch,” which featured a choreographed dance, while youngest member Yuna showed off her cute style with an adorable performance of Conan Gray’s “Maniac” that started with her coming on stage riding a bicycle and holding flowers. Main vocalist Lia breezily sang Taylor Swift’s “Red,” paired with a simple spotlight on her, Chaeryeong wowed the crowd with a performance of Ariana Grande’s “Bloodline,” singing and dancing with ease, and Yeji prepared a vocal stage to Dua Lipa’s “Hot As Hell,” showing fans a different side of her other than her usual dancing and rapping.
Not only did they prepare these special stages, ITZY performed a setlist comprised of their diverse songs of all different genres. Their sharp, synchronized dance moves easily transitioned to smoother ones when needed, and their stable vocals never wavered. Songs like “Sneakers” had the sea of Midzys singing along to the chorus, and debut song “Dalla Dalla” had fans jumping and dancing in sync with the members on stage. For their performance of “SHOOT!,” the group brought out jeweled crowns to add some sparkle, and for their encore, ITZY came back to greet their fans dressed as angels. All of the preparations for the show were made to surprise fans, and one more to round out the night was the first ever live performance of their new English single, “Boys Like You.” Ecstatic Midzys confidently screamed the lyrics, and ITZY’s bright smiles could even be seen from the furthest seat in the house, as the girls had fun with their fans. Finishing out the night, the group was surprised by fans, when they raised banners during the song “Trust Me (Midzy),” a song written about and dedicated to their beloved fanbase. As another gift, ITZY brought out their own banners for a group photo with fans that read “Love You Midzy, Ain’t Nobody Like You,” specifically for their LA Midzys. ITZY closed out the night with slow and sweet song “Be In Love,” promising to return soon.
Although the performances, videos, and stage outfits, which included three outfit changes, were fantastically prepared, the show did not, unfortunately, go without a hitch. During their talk segments, the members’ microphones would not work, and would begin to malfunction, sending the screeching sounds of feedback throughout the theater. This also unfortunately led to a few awkward moments, where a certain member would ask something to the audience and receive no reply, as no one could hear them. Despite these moments, each high note could be heard loud and clear during their songs, and their performances were flawless as the group didn’t let the minor setback affect them. Performing on stage is certainly the biggest factor in determining their strength as a group, but being able to handle unwanted circumstances like this without even batting an eye is too. Carrying on like troopers and continuing their show confidently, ITZY’s attitude on stage also proved that these girls are no longer young rookies.
The show focused more on their performances and music rather than fan service or special stage effects. Since performing is what they do best, ITZY made sure to give each song their all, leaving Midzys with many memories to think back on until their next meeting.