Photo Credit: Timothy Norris (@timothynorris) / Kia Forum Photos
Nearly four years since their appearance at KCON LA, MAMAMOO returned to Los Angeles for a sold out night at the Kia Forum. MOOMOOs, armed with their radish light sticks, queued bright and early for the quartet’s long-awaited concert performance. Back in 2019, Wheein was unable to attend alongside the other members due to health concerns. However, this time she was able to join the group, and together they gave Los Angeles the best ending of the tour.
Solar, Moonbyul, Hwasa and Wheein strutted on stage to welcome their fans before the vocal powerhouse group slid into their first song, “1,2,3 Eoi!” For the past nine years, they’ve staked their reputation on their impressive live vocals, which instantly stood out against the concert band instruments and synths. Donning traje de luces-inspired outfits, they continued into the jazzy bop that put their names on the map: “Mr. Ambiguous.” Their dancers supported the introductions of each song, showing off their prowess and control over the physical art. The background design and light production were reminiscent of a Broadway musical, encouraging listeners to clap alongside the performance.
The group emphasized the benefit of being present live at their tour as they shook up the crowd with remixes and unique stages that only those attending could experience. While other concerts satisfy fans with a fixed set of VCRs, talk segments, and fan interactions, MAMAMOO took up the gauntlet and showed off everything they had in their arsenal. More than just a “mic on” performance, the group showed off impressive choreography in the sensual Spanish and EDM dance breaks of “AYA” and “ILLELLA.” Although the venue was filled with MOOMOOs, Hwasa commented, “There’s a lot of wolves here too,” in response to all the barking from the crowd.
Taking a break to interact with nearly 17,000 fans in the crowd, the singers encouraged fans to do the wave and set the stage for their next song, “Decalcomanie.” Their vocal belting and choreography enlivened the air, even leading to a confetti mishap. Solar playfully grabbed a long streamer, only for it to tangle around her until Moonbyul skillfully pulled it off her arm and tossed it to the side. The disco and funk-inspired “HIP” took on a rock remix, focusing on heavy guitar for the song’s catchy chords. During the song, Solar commanded, “LA, fucking scream!” Releasing their inhibitions, MOOMOOs put their backs into it alongside the four women. “LA has the louder screams so far,” said Hwasa. It came as no surprise as LA MOOMOOs gave it their hall to cheer loudly for the final stop of the tour. The concert production and arrangements gave long-time fans a unique chance to see each singer take on each other’s solo songs with their own added flair. Arguably, the groundswell cheers erupted during the solo song medley with the highly anticipated body rolling version of “Maria,” as the four showed off their frisky hip flexibility on the ground.
Following the power ballads of “Paint Me” and “Star Wind Flower Sun,” no one could doubt the innate creative and artistic talent behind MAMAMOO. The all-star combination of expert dancing, singing, and rapping made MAMAMOO the triple threat that keeps them a force to be reckoned for nearly a decade. More than halfway through their setlist, they showed no sign of weariness. “Your cheers makes us wonder when were we ever tired?” questioned Hwasa. Moonbyul followed up to ask, “Can you keep this energy going?” This was the signal for the climax of the show, featuring the group’s most popular songs but with a blistering hot twist. The black hole background behind the group represented their inherent allure that attracts crowds, as MAMAMOO effortlessly performed special arrangements of “Egotistic” and “Gogobebe” back-to-back.
During their goodbye messages, the members reflected on their journey and delivered a heartfelt desire to stay. “I just blinked and it’s already our last concert. We’ll be returning to Korea; I have to go home,” wailed Wheein. Solar and Moonbyul both teased her, asking the crowd if anyone had room in their house. Of course, the whole venue yelled enthusiastically, so all of them had plenty of places to stay if they ever wanted to. “I want to thank all the LA MOOMOOs who came to our show tonight,” exclaimed Hwasa. “Even though we performed the same stage multiple times, I saw a fan crying and that made me feel emotional as well. You guys made me realize that I’m living for the first time again.”
As a parting gift, the fans behind mooble made MAMAMOO cry with their wrap up montage of the tour. While the other cities had video submission from fans tailored specifically for those places, LA showed clips from all the U.S. stops. “It made me think that you guys really waited a long time for us. If you look at it one way, we did come a little late,” shouted Moonbyul before going into the final two encore songs. “But because we came late, we tried to do the most. We won’t make you wait again!”