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We Bridge Music Festival and Expo Day 1 Recap: MONSTA X, Jessi, Kang Daniel, and More

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K-Pop artists descended on Las Vegas for the inaugural event on Friday, April 21.

The We Bridge Music Festival and Expo kicked off yesterday at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In its first year, the live event sought to bridge the gap between what is now new and next in Asian music, media, art, and fashion. 

Serving as MC for the night, actor Yuri Park kept fans entertained between performances, often fanboying over some of the artists, much to the delight of fans.

Headliner MONSTA X stole the hearts of MONBEBE, Jessi wowed with expert-level fan service, CIX and ONEUS showcased their high-class performance power, and so much more.

We’ve outlined the highlights and noteworthy setlist moments from day one below.

A TRIBUTE TO OUR SHINING STAR

Ahead of the opening act, the We Bridge Music Festival and Expo paid tribute to the late K-Pop idol MOON BIN, who passed away earlier this week. Illuminating the venue with their light sticks and phone flashlights raised high in the air, fans participated in a moment of silence for our fallen star. 

CIX

CIX returned to the U.S. just three short weeks after the conclusion of their second world tour, Save Me, Kill Me, for a dynamic performance. Appearing on stage in all-white tech gear ensembles, the quintet opened the night with their latest title track, “458,” before moving into strong performances of “Like It That Way,” “Win,” and “Movie Star.” 

The members spoke to the audience briefly in between each song, earning applause and scream from FIX in the crowd. Members Hyunsuk and Yonghee promised to return with more charms and cooler stages in the future, while BX told fans, “Just call us or text us. We will be there for you,” before the group concluded their performance with the track “Cinema.”

ONEUS

It came as no surprise to TOMOON when ONEUS hit the stage and figuratively burned the stage down with their powerful and hard-hitting set. Donning costumes from their seventh mini-album, Trickster, Seoho, Keonhee, Leedo, Hwanwoong, and Xion performed a mix of their best title tracks, including “Bring it On,” “Same Scent,” Luna,” a rock version of “Lit,” and “Black Mirror.” 

As the group delivered their final ment, Xion questioned the crowd saying, “This is our last song. Are you going to stay sitting?” Fans across the venue quickly took to their feet, singing and jumping along to the group’s final song, “No Diggity.” True to form ONEUS let everything on the stage and then some.

DREAMCATCHER

As expected, DREAMCATCHER, Known for their cool pop rock-inspired sound that infuses save the world messaging throughout their lyrics, turned everyone into an INSOMNIA by the end of their set. 

Jiu, Sua, Siyeon, Handong, Yoohyeon, Dami, and Gahyeon performed some of their biggest hits, such as “Maison,” “BOCA,” “Break the Wall,” “Silent Night,” and “May Day.” But the moment that got people talking the most was when they performed their fan-favorite track, “Scream,” the fabulous girls showcased their vocal prowess, rap skills, and why people keep coming back for more.

KANG DANIEL

Hot off his first world tour, First Parade, Kang Daniel took the stage in a simple black suit to share a few tracks from his growing discography. Joined by a group of talented backup dancers, the soloist sang his recent title track, “Nirvana,” as well as “Doesn’t Matter,” and a rearranged version of the fan-favorite song, “Antidote.”

He took time to speak to the crowd in between songs and offered words of comfort to fans, sharing that he wrote the song “Paranoia” during a dark time. As his set came to a close, he gave a beautiful performance of his song “Special Kind of Crazy,” which elegantly highlighted his vocals. 

JESSI

From strutting up and down the catwalk between the main stage and the small one to jumping into the crowd to give out hugs and more, Jessi delivered a one-of-a-kind performance that only she could. As she greeted fans, the artist joked that “she usually gets cut off on her sets because I like to talk. You guys didn’t come to hear just to hear me sing.”

She performed a set of fan-favorite tracks, including “What Type of X,” “Zoom,” “Gucci,” “Cold Blooded,” and “Nunu Nana.” An inspiring rap track, remixed and infused with elements of rock and jazz. Jessi effortlessly seemed to reclaim and reassert her position as one of the best soloists in the industry. It was a stunning return to form for the rapper, signaling a brand new era under a new label.

MONSTA X

Every MONSTA X performance is a historical event filled with cool costumes, intimate moments between the group and MONBEBE, and sky-high energy that is palpable, to say the least — their stage at We Bridge was no different. Prior to bursting on stage, four microphone stands appeared, signaling that Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M would start the evening with “You Problem.”

Starting off strong, MONSTA X moved into a dominant setlist of their b-side tracks, including “Burning Up,” “Zone,” “Secrets,” and the highly popular song, “Someone’s Someone,” off the group’s first English studio album, All About Luv. Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M greeted fans from all corners of the main stage and stage extension until the very last note of their song “Zone” (which they performed twice). Time seemed to fly by too quickly as confetti began to fall, and the members bid their farewell, closing day one. 

For more Hellokpop WeBridge Music Festival and Expo, follow along here


Image Credits: Peter Byun/IPE

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