Amber Liu – The Varsity Theater – January 28th, 2020
By Sophiea Owen
Amber Liu, member of K-pop group f(x) and now embarking on a solo tour promoting her new EP “X,” came to the Varsity Theater on January 28th, 2020.
There were two openers for the show, the first being Justice Carradine, a young up-and-coming pop singer who made his name on the internet singing on Vine and Youtube. Justice warmed the crowd up in no time with silky-smooth vocals and pop star crooning. Even with a minimal stage setup, he managed to embody the space and get everyone grooving, all with a relaxed and chilled presence. His songs were a mix of R&B, electronic, and pop that just about anyone could sway to.
Next up was Meg & Dia, who slowly ramped things up, starting quiet and gaining more energy with each song they performed. Their music ranged from singer-songwriter to jazz to swing to rock to dream-pop, all somehow being encompassed in a particular style so that no change seemed out of place. The singer’s breathy low vocals complemented nicely with their heavy bass grooves.
Finally Amber Liu took the stage with energy and charm, blasting onto the stage in an all-white outfit with a sparkly silver chest harness. She was accompanied by two backup dancers, and they all immediately broke into dance. The combination of choreography and singing was immediately engaging. There was always something to be looking at when you weren’t listening to Amber’s beautiful range and belting vocals. There is a special sense of showmanship coming from K-pop music that was definitely present, even on such a small stage. Amber backed up amazing dancing with a killer belt of a voice, making her set a multi-talented experience. From sexy bops to heartfelt ballads, her set ran the gamut of emotions.
Amber herself had a charming spirit. She was chatty and cute with the crowd, making the whole experience very human and genuine. She declared the space a “be yourself” zone, invoking an environment of community. “No judgment, just good vibes,” she said, to the roar of the crowd.
As K-pop’s popularity grows in the US, with huge 7+ person groups coming and playing arenas and bigger venues, seeing a smaller group in a venue like this was a treat.