Gabriella Raelyn: The best band I ever saw was Stray Kids on their Maniac tour at the BMO Stadium on April 2nd, 2023, by far. I’ve been a fan of theirs for two years already, and the reason I connect with them so much as an artist is that like me, they write and produce all of their own music. I especially relate to the group’s subunit, 3RACHA, composed of Leader Bang Chan, Changbin, and Han, since they produce, arrange, and even sometimes mix their own music–again, as I do. I have always had massive respect for that, since their level of creative freedom is sort of hard to come by in the Korean pop industry. Because of that respect, and also out of my pure enjoyment of their eclectic discography, I was pumped to go to their show.
One of the most memorable things about the show was the build up in the beginning. The house lights went down, and the only thing I could see was the large jumbo screen with the group logo on a flag. Energetic music blared through the speakers as if preparing for a battle. It swelled and crescendoed, building the energy in the room until it was palpable. Every single person in that stadium felt like a beacon of anticipation–my heart is racing now just remembering the sheer aura of the venue. And then, the first song began, and the group made their entrance, seeming to glow behind the smoke of the stage’s fog. As soon as they went, they did not stop going the entire show. Their energy is incredible, the music was fantastic, and I was also incredibly impressed with how amazing they are at performing. The stage presence, the vocals, the flawless execution of intense choreography–it all combined to make the perfect show. I could tell that they genuinely love what they do–their authenticity is off the charts. Hearing them talk about their journey and having seen them come so far motivated me to keep going on my own path, and it showed me that one day I could be standing right where they were.
All in all, it was a truly memorable night. Before the show was over, I remember Bang Chan pointing up and directing our attention to the night sky and all of its stars. I saw a particularly bright one, and made a wish that one day I could collaborate with them on a song. I wished upon a star–and that inspired me to release my latest song, wish upon a STAR. The Stray Kids concert was a show that is imprinted in my heart, one that will continue to influence me to keep doing my best.
Gabriella Raelyn Finds Stray Kids: Gabriella Raelyn’s “wish upon a STAR” is out now.
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