“I missed you guys so much! Did you miss me, too?”
If ticket sales and ardent screams are any indication: Yes, Minnesota missed Eric Nam, too.
Backed by a three-piece band and two dancers, Nam treated the shoulder-to-shoulder First Avenue crowd to a parade of songs from his Korean and English catalogs, including, of course, works from his brand new album, There And Back Again.
- A solid show launch with “Any Other Way” from the new album, and “Don’t Call Me” off of his 2018 EP Honestly.
- “Down for You” off 2020 Korean EP The Other Side (2020) and “You’re Sexy I’m Sexy” from from Before We Begin, both presented with heavy sides of body-rolls. No one objected.
- “Good for You” (Interview EP, Korean, 2016) and “One Way Lover” (There and Back Again) got special treatment with the lone accompaniment of a solo acoustic guitar – which worked very well for both songs.
- “Echo” -his 2021 collab with KSHMR and Armaan Malik– popped up unexpectedly mid-show.
- And in the third act, a special surprise -MINNESOTA EXCLUSIVE ONLY TIME HAPPENING ON TOUR- guest appeared! LA-based Soul/R&B singer Gallant came out on stage for a performance of “Cave Me In” – their 2017 three-way collaboration with Tablo. (Tablo, sadly, couldn’t make the 2/11 show – however, he will be onstage at First Avenue in March with his group, Epik High.)
No Eric Nam concert would be complete without a few pauses for self-deprecating jokes and a little wholesome fanservice.
“Who is here against their will?”
A smattering of hands (mostly male) went up around the crowd. Nam apologized to the “victims” and then helpfully suggested that they could all gather at the bar to commiserate over shots and wait out the concert together.
“Your signs are very triggering…I see signs I want to read out-loud, but I can’t because this is an All Ages show… ‘Spank Me’ being one of them…”
The crowd composition skewed female but was diverse in age and culture, and likely included a spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities. More than one orange-pink Lesbian pride flag was spotted in the crowd. All together, the crowd’s vibe was Ebullient. Everyone was just really happy to see Nam on stage and bask in his cheerful presence for a little while.
Every wave from the singer was met with enthusiastic hand-flailing, even in the very back of the GA section. And the crowd eagerly obliged at every call for audience participation, including taking the chorus on (“For you, oh baby, you”) on “Good for You” and providing cellphone flashlight mood-lighting on “Love Die Young.”
But most were appeased by the two-song encore of recent releases: “Wildfire” from There and Back Again -which sounded great live (really nicely arranged for the rock band trio)- and his 2021 single “I Don’t Know You Anymore” where Nam got to showcase some solid work in the upper end of his vocal range, live and in-person. Not always easy to do at the end of a show.
The whole concert was skillfully punctuated by some really lovely lighting effects – kudos to the designer and production team.
And the show was opened by TikTok sensation Lyn Lapid. She did a great job warming up the crowd as one part of her own three-piece band and this reviewer wishes she’d arrived in time to catch Lyn’s full set. She’s got a great voice for live stage performance.
Erik Nam and friends are welcome in Minnesota any time they’d like to visit. For now, fans can content themselves pre-ordering physical copies of There And Back Again at EricNam.com.