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Concert Review: STRAY KIDS Turn Newark's Prudential Center Into an Electric Rave

Concert Review: STRAY KIDS Turn Newark's Prudential Center Into an Electric Rave

Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin, and I.N. brought their signature powerful performance to the second show of the 'Maniac' tour.

I have been to K-Pop concerts, and I've been to clubs, but never have I been to one event that felt like both rolled into one. That is, until I attended the Stray Kids concert at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on June 29. The show felt like the perfect amalgamation of concert and rave, with an energy I've never before seen at either.

Stray Kids are a group I always love to watch perform, any chance I can get. I recently dug up an old tweet of mine from 2020 in which I professed my desire to see them live someday. Two years later, and they did not disappoint!

The group's eight members, Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin, and I.N., opened the show with "Maniac", the tour's namesake and the group's most recent comeback.

Concert Review: STRAY KIDS Turn Newark's Prudential Center Into an Electric Rave

Photo Credit: Stephi Wild

The energy only ramped up from there, with flashing lights, bold artwork on the massive screens, and streamers and confetti falling from the ceiling. Of course, all of that showiness would be nothing without an incredible performance to pair it with. Stray Kids came through with their signature powerful vocals and intense choreography that Stays know and love.

The setlist was jam-packed with over three hours of the group's hit songs, including "God's Menu", "Thunderous", and "Back Door", alongside many favorite b-sides spanning their four-year career.

A personal favorite of mine is "Lonely St.", from their most recent album "Oddinary", which has a more toned down rock vibe from their signature EDM style. The members performed the song on the extended stage with mic stands, holding them out for the audience to sing along with the catchy "still astray-ay-ay-ay" hook.

At around the midway point, the group split into two four-member sections and performed some songs of their choice on the spot. Normally this type of thing can seem obviously scripted and rehearsed, but in this case, I could tell the boys were really going off the cuff. They made a big show of going to talk to the members of the live band positioned behind them with their instruments, presumably to tell them which song to play. Each member did either a solo or duet performance, much to the excitement of the nearly-20,000-person-strong audience.

Before Stray Kids performed their encore songs, each member said a few words about what the two concerts in Newark, which opened the American leg of the Maniac tour, have meant to them. Bang Chan, the group's leader, asked how many people in the audience were there alone, and he was shocked by the response. He proceeded to tell us all that we aren't alone, because Stays are a family, and we will all protect each other and look out for one another. It was a touching moment, and although I didn't know anyone in that arena, I felt like I just gained 20,000 new best friends.

Who Are Stray Kids?

Stray Kids (Korean: 스트레이 키즈) is a South Korean boy group formed by JYP Entertainment through the 2017 reality show of the same name. The group is composed of eight members: Bang Chan, Lee Know, Changbin, Hyunjin, Han, Felix, Seungmin, and I.N.

Stray Kids released their pre-debut extended play (EP) Mixtape in January 2018 and officially debuted on March 25 with the EP I Am Not.

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