By: Angeline Abrera
Credit: JYP Entertainment
Credit: JYP Entertainment
TWICE has set off on their fifth world tour, “READY TO BE” named after their 12th, and most recent, mini album release this past March. The JYP-signed, nine-member KPOP girl group finally made their debut performance in Houston, Texas on June 24th, 2023 at the Toyota Center to see Houston ONCEs for the very first time.
They opened up the show with SET ME FREE and went right into their next song, I CAN’T STOP ME, with no room for the audience to truly process how powerful their first stage, right off the bat, was. The first two songs were truly show-stopping and mesmerizing thanks to the choreography, their backup dancers, glimmering outfits, fireworks, and all. From the way they all danced in sync to their powerhouse vocals, you could feel their presence and power, women empowerment, that is, throughout the venue.
After I CAN’T STOP ME, they each introduced themselves as collective screams roared from the audience as a new member popped up on the front screens. Jihyo, the leader of the group, goes on to explain that READY TO BE means that they are ready to express their true selves to their fans. This is not to say that they have not done so before, but it goes to show how comfortable they are at displaying this side of themselves not only to their fans but to the public. And that despite them being a nine-member unit, they are each “READY TO BE” themselves individually and express what makes each of them unique.
Throughout the show, each member had their own solo stage. Six of the members, Dahyun, Tzuyu, Sana, Momo, Mina, and Jeongyeon performed a cover of the songs Try by Colbie Caillat, Done For Me by Charlie Puth ft. Kehlani, New Rules by Dua Lipa, MOVE by Beyoncé, 7 rings by Ariana Grande, and Juice by Lizzo respectively. While the rest, Chaeyoung, Jihyo, and Nayeon, sang one of their own - My GuitarNightmare, and POP! 
What made this night extra special is that Nayeon got to celebrate one year since her first solo album, IM NAYEON, had been released. During her solo stage for POP!, she brought out party decor to use as props such as a cake plushie, headbands and party blowers. This added element made it extra unique to Houston's day one show, with their second show being the next day, which I’m sure ONCEs will remember forever. With each of their stages varying in genre, we got to witness the range of talents that make up the group. Dahyun and Chaeyoung both played instruments, Momo incorporated pole dancing in her set, while others showed off their vocals and showmanship.
We were transported to a new environment as the front stage monitors created a whole new world for us in the few minutes that each of the women had to shine on their own. It’s safe to say that aside from the talent of these women alone, along with their backup dancers, the visuals themselves were well designed and thought out, creating a different story with each solo. It’s as if we were watching a music festival of various solo artists, having the stage to themselves, but in the end, coming together to create a collective and cohesive unit. It’s amazing to watch how seamlessly they regroup, as they dance and move together as one, despite having their own spotlight throughout the night. The connection they have with one another is also very clear. 
It’s no doubt that they called this tour “READY TO BE” because each of them was, indeed, ready for this tour, to show a piece of themselves, and show who they are as TWICE.
After their song Talk that Talk, there was a longer intermission before the big encore. While TWICE was putting on their last outfit backstage, it was now ONCEs’ time to shine: the fan dance cam. The monitors instructed that TWICE songs will be playing and if any fans know the choreography, they are welcome to stand up, dance, and possibly be featured on the front screens: “If the camera stops on you, don’t let the camera go somewhere else. With more passion and joy! Dance.” Cameras all around the venue panned across the audience in search of the best dancers to spotlight. Almost everyone that was featured knew all the moves to the songs being played. I’ve never seen this being done at a concert before, but knowing how popular TWICE’s choreography is in the KPOP world, it was the perfect touch to make the audience feel included, as if they were a part of the performance, too.
What I truly loved about TWICE’s concert is how interactive the members were, especially in a venue as big as Toyota Center. In comparison to much smaller venues where shows are much more intimate, I felt that same level of intimacy with TWICE because of how engaged they were with the audience. Earlier in their set, right before the first half of solo stages, four of the members taught the audience the choreography to their song Brave. They carefully went step-by-step through a single 8-count to make sure their fans nailed the move. 
Later in their set, whenever the group was on the extended stage, each of them made sure that each corner of the walkway was waved to. They didn’t want anyone to feel left out. And finally, for their encore, the members brought out a wheel of songs for them to spin and choose which two to close the show with, which ended up being MISSING U and TT. They would tease the crowd by moving the wheel on their own slowly, stopping on songs where the crowd made the biggest noise so they could gauge the audience’s favorites. And then of course the “fan dance cams” as mentioned earlier.
In all, not only are these women extremely talented and know how to put on an incredible show, but they all have a deep love for the fans that support them. By featuring songs both in their discography and the Western artists that we know and love today, their performance would’ve been enjoyable for non-fans as well. It’s safe to say that their testament, “READY TO BE,” was evident throughout the entire night.

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