Popular Korean pop-rock band The Rose is quickly nearing the end of the North American leg of their massive HEAL Together tour, a world tour that has taken the four members of The Rose across the United States and will soon take them around the world, with the simple message; “healing through music.”
Taking over the at-times lackluster House of Blues in Anaheim, California, down the street from the happiest place on earth. It was the perfect setting for The Rose’s Southern California homecoming. This beautiful backdrop included a high school teacher of vocalist Woosung attending to add to the homecoming feel for these Korean rockers.
Black Roses from around the state of California and beyond the state’s borders quickly filled the growing queue that was slowly being consumed by the evening’s chill air. But, through sharing favorite memories of The Rose that could be overheard throughout the night air, the warm embrace of the night’s musical experience would quickly take over and melt the cold toes and red noses.
Doors would open a little past the posted open time of 6:30 PM, and fans would flood into the House of Blues at the Anaheim Gardenwalk for a night of fantastic music and healing.
After a couple of hours of fan chatter about tired feet and excitement, the lights would begin to dim after a raring semi-sing-along to My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade,” and The Rose would take the stage as the opening track from their latest studio album HEAL flowed throughout the exceptionally sounding venue.
Quickly jumping into their heart-stopping “Definition of ugly is,” The Rose promptly brought the crowd to life, pulling at heart-strings with dashing smiles and hands reached out, showcasing why they are one of the best Korean pop-rock acts in the world today.
Jumping around their setlist with electric precision, The Rose would go on to perform fan favorite, “She’s In The Rain,” which had concert-goers filling the House of Blues with tears as sing-alongs became intense and emotional energy filled the void in hearts, as The Rose and Black Rose became one, before quickly jumping into Woosung’s exceptional “Modern Life.” Which was only fitting, being down the street from Disneyland.
Having experienced “Modern Life” during Woosung’s MOTH showcase, I have to say having the wall of sound The Rose provides was a much more enjoyable experience for the track than the semi-laid back version performed at the showcase.
After such an intense and emotionally heavy performance, The Rose’s members would take a quick break to chat with the crowd and grow closer to their dedicated fanbase, making an array of jokes about being in Southern California and just throwing smiles across the stage.
The love between each member of The Rose is pure, honest, and a love worth striving for when around close friends.
Quickly jumping into the single “California,” off their mini-release RED, The Rose would continue to slam through their exceptional selection of songs which included “I Don’t Know You,” “Candy (So Good),” and “RED,” before giving an emotional performance of “See-Saw,” a performance that brought tears to my own eyes as bassist Jaehyeong introduced the song and his own personal struggles and path to healing.
Not missing an emotional beat, The Rose would jump from “See-Saw” right into “Childhood,” an already fantastic song that gets amplified tenfold thanks to the group’s live tone and onstage passion, which brings this already emotional song around the block for another round of heart-string pulling.
I’m a sucker for acoustic songs, so having a portion of the show dedicated to a block of acoustic tracks was perfect for me and had me falling in love even more with “I.L.Y.” and “Shift.” I can’t say it enough, but the emotional atmosphere of the night added to the overall live show experience; The Rose not being afraid to be themselves makes them feel like a close friend.
Those in attendance at the House of Blues show would be in for a treat as The Rose would bring out James Reid to perform their song, “Yes.”
The performance of the night for me as the energy blew the roof off the venue as each member of The Rose let loose and danced their butts off; Woosung took to the crowd for an intimate dance party, Dojoon continued to flash his smile, and showcase his eccentric dance moves on stage, never once missing a step as Hajoon continued to keep his heartbeat drum beats powering the night while Jaehyeong strutted across the stage with his body shaking bass lines.
James Reid? Oh, he commanded the stage like a true leader, as if it was his own concert, creating perfect chemistry between himself and The Rose. To add to the occasion, James Reid and The Rose would perform the Woosung featured track, “hold on tight,” together for the first time. A proper night to remember.
The Rose would once again fill the House of Blues with tears as they performed their first song together, “Sorry,” which kept the screams from the crowd low as fond memories would take hold, once more creating an intimate soundscape for fans and the band to embrace together.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was most excited to hear “Beauty and the Beast” and “Cure” live. Both tracks quickly became significant game changers while continuing my stay in The Rose rabbit hole. There was something intimate and special when it came to letting both tracks wash over my worn heart, eyes closed, and let the sweet sounds of healing take over. If you’re attending any of the upcoming dates of the HEAL Together tour, I highly recommend that you take the time, slow down, and close your eyes during “Cure,” and let your emotions take over. It proved to be a real eye-opener.
The night quickly coming towards its upsetting end, more notable events throughout the night featured a trans attendee putting the band to task to create their new name, an unforgettable moment that they will most likely remember for the rest of their lives. Dojoon would also become the official papi for the Latin Black Rose side of the fan base, in a hilarious interaction that had the band as a whole laughing.
“Officially” ending the House of Blues show with an emotional performance of their powerhouse single, “Sour,” The Rose would, as mentioned before, cement themselves as one of the best live performing pop-rock bands in modern times. If you have a chance to catch The Rose live this album cycle, it’s worth it for this track alone.
Cheers of “one more song” would erupt throughout the venue as each member of The Rose would begin to slowly walk onstage, performing their fan-dedicated song, “Black Rose,” taking pictures with concert-goers, passing out roses, and just overall taking the moment in, creating a core memory for themselves and their loving fan base family. A beautiful ending that had me aching for the next time I would see them live.
The Rose’s HEAL Together tour is one to remember. The emotional weight, friendly atmosphere, and jokes upon jokes kept the night flowing flawlessly from the first song to the last, with tears of joy and self-reflection taking hold at times. This show had it all, and it was perfection. A live performance can make or break any artist, and The Rose’s stadium-sized sound and onstage antics prove they’re one of the best.