[Concert Review] The Rose Transform London into a Field of Roses at the OVO Wembley

Kirsty Bright
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The Rose in the UK for Dawn to Dusk tour
Photo Cr.  The Rose


“Beauty’s just a state of mind, You’re Beautiful, I’ll tell you why” with lyrics like that being crooned across a packed-out crowd at London’s OVO Wembley Arena, there was no choice but to come out of the show feeling positive and full of love.


But that is what Korean rock group The Rose brought to London in generous heaps to disperse across the audience. It’d been over one year since the four piece was last in London entertaining their fandom, Black Roses, and since then have conquered chart success with their 2023 release of album DUAL. With an electrically charged arena of fans equipped with their new lightstick, it proceeded to create a wonderful flower field of colour ready to greet them onstage.


With an intricate soft opening the carefully arranged imagery alluded to the tour name Dawn To Dusk, a conceptual exploration through cognitive thought and feeling which has been a key theme throughout their discography. 


Kickstarting with Eclipse, and with the lyrics "Take me to the dark," we were far from that in terms of mood and atmosphere. 


The first three songs were a treat for the eyes and ears. As an eruption of galaxies, stars, and space visually would dwindle in the background between songs, allowing us to float along and be enthralled by the spectacle onscreen as they sang to us. It was particularly soothing to the soul due to the superb vocals from Woosung and Dojoon who together sang with such passion. All this combined made it feel like you were at a high-energy rock show which is a true skill in itself.


One would think it couldn't get much better than this; however, it was time to take it out of first gear and into full throttle speed. The opening lyrics of Back To Me had the crowd erupting in unison “But I can’t make you come back to me.” Not only was it powerful, but adamant; it was as if everyone had been waiting with pent-up excitement to finally sing these words alongside their favourite artist live.


The Rose in Helsinki for Dawn to Dusk tour
Photography Cr.  Niclas Glasberg // KpopWise 


What was particularly wonderful was that the boys didn't need numerous endments to fill time; they knew how to entertain the crowd with pure talent alone. Proceeding to warmly greet their fans and to introduce themselves, the interactions were nicely slotted in, and they choose to reflect on how far they’ve come since their first show in London five years ago.

Lead singer Woosung proceeded to tease the crowd, by welcoming two of the best vocalists who were to join on the next track, I.L.Y.  Naturally, none other than their own members, bassist Jaehyeong and Drummer Hajoon would be stepping in to wow with their vocals. It was their time to shine, and Hajoon surprised everyone by showcasing his vocals in addition to his amazing skills behind the drums. Jaehyeong also showed he too had an impressive vocal range, together, their soft and gentle harmonies prompted a giant sway of arms and lightsticks as both sang out “I love you.”

Soon after, we were joined by a violinist and cellist, bringing a more theatrical attitude that continued into the next performance, which blended marvelously and sounded heavenly. In relation to Heavenly, how would one describe it? In just one word: Perfection. The band brought it to life both vocally and visually. It had the whole arena fixated on the beauty and tranquility that was unfolding in front of them. Another aspect had to do with the collective skill of all the musicians on stage. When Woosung finished the song with one of his famous guitar solos, which was intense, fast, and furious it was clear the angel had left and a devil had arrived in its place.

Discussing their beginnings in Hongdae, which is renowned for its street performers, they proceeded to reminisce about their first show having an attendance of just 20 people, joking that half of them were their friends. Cut to tonight, and looking out across the 10,000 people who were there to dance, jump, and sing loudly with them, it must have been a beautiful moment and vision before them.

Their drive and determination are evident in their passion for their artistry, and it’s their love for the art form they truly believe in. Woosung sincerely spoke about wanting to create good music and emphasising the deep meaning of their songs. This allowed them to intertwine a well-crafted setlist that catered to new and old fans by featuring fan favourites such as Red, Sorry, and, of course, Sour.

There aren't enough words in the English dictionary to accurately convey how charismatic and gifted these men are. What the Rose created tonight was nothing short of magic. Taking a large venue and having the ability to make it feel intimate, they could easily have been swept up in the grandeur of the arena, relying on over-the-top gimmicks to impress. Instead, The Rose have honed in on their craft and played to their strengths expertly. If you want a show brimming with immensely incredible live music, then The Rose is for you. If you ever get the opportunity to see this band live, do not turn it down; you won't regret it.


Read Also: [Photo Gallery] The Rose "Dawn to Dusk" Tour in Helsinki



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