Sunmi-Good Girl Gone Mad at Riviera Theatre

KPOP superstar, former Wonder Girls member Sunmi, kicked off the North American leg of her Good Girl Gone Mad tour here in Chicago Friday night. This is her second tour of the States as a solo artist, and her first outing since the pandemic shut down music venues around the world. I recently wrote about her latest single, “Heart Burn,” which was my first exposure to the artist. I can capture my experience seeing the show by quoting one of my favorite songwriters, Ike Reilly: “Came here as a faker, and you’re leaving as a fan.”

I had only been to one KPOP show prior to seeing Sunmi, and it’s been a few years. I remember being awed by how every person in the audience knew every word, and how the artists and fans truly became a community. This held true for Sunmi’s performance as well. Many in the crowd were crying, I spotted a “Marry Me” sign, and someone behind me said they were going to throw up out of excitement when she came to the stage.

The concert was a masterclass in stagecraft-3 acts, 4 outfit changes, amazing dancers, beautiful videos during the act changes, and so much gratitude from everyone performing. Every few songs, Sunmi would catch her breath and talk a little about the songs, and her journey in music since starting out when she was a teenager with Wonder Girls. There was quite a bit of interaction with the fans-when someone would yell something out, she took the time to respond, so it was more like a conversation with everyone involved.

I wish I had been able to photograph more of the show, since I only got to shoot the first outfit. It was still a blast, though. And they let us stay for the first four songs instead of the usual three (which is why there are more photos here than what I normally post). It was a great experience to see the show up close and see all the hard work that Sunmi and the dancers have to do to put on a great concert.

This show was so much fun! If you’ve never experienced a KPOP show, I highly recommend it. Even if you’ve never heard the music, I think you would have a great time.

The “Good Girl Gone Mad” Tour continues in the North America through September 15, with stops in: Toronto, Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver. You can find tickets for the remaining US shows here.