On August 20, Korean artist Heize performed at KCON LA 2017. Read guest writer Cy’s review on Heize’s performance at M Countdown Concert.
I mentioned that KRNFX was the highlight of KCON LA for me (and I still stand by that statement). But if there was another artist in contention for that title it was Heize. Honestly, this was the performance of the weekend that I’d been anticipating from the second her name was added to the roster. Up until she took the stage on night two of KCON, I was entertained, but nothing could have prepared me for the emotional roller coast just two songs would take me on.
When her name is first called during the introductions she’s seemingly dwarfed by both the height and praise of her idol juniors. However, as soon as she takes to the stage, the eruption of applause she gets nearly pops my ears. And so it should be. She’s brought so much to R&B with her laid-back sensibilities. It’s more than just her vibe. There’s an unapologetic femininity to her music, a softness belied by a very real sense of honesty, brazen veritas. She brings that sense of honesty and openness to her stage.
A single beam of light shines a path to her microphone. While the acts before and after her are all mostly ostentatious and loud visuals, Heize leaves that energy for her voice. Still the audience is enraptured from the moment she opens her mouth to sing the first notes of “Don’t Know You.” It’s a midtempo piece of bliss wrapped in her spritely second soprano. The feeling of it infiltrates the limbs when amplified by the speakers and atmosphere of a stadium setting. She doesn’t do too much, simply sways with the music as she grips the mic in its stand and serves us the vocals we’ve come to love.
Then an emotional moment for all sitting there in the Staples Center, including our resident queen, almost brings tears to my eyes. The screen displays a message: “Special event that requires your participation. Please turn on your phone’s flashlight.” Apparently it was an event Heize had no prior knowledge of because as soon as she turned to face the other side of the stage, she became overwhelmed. All those lights, shimmering as the stars in the night sky she sings about in the song of the same name. It moved her to such an emotional place there wasn’t a single person in the room who didn’t feel the weight of it in their hearts.
— taeyangs head (@ssamssi) August 21, 2017
When I say absolute honesty, I mean it. She very much lets us into her world, into her soul with everything she does on stage no matter how small. This intimacy between her and her fans as she tries to pull herself together for the last song connects us. Even those new to her music can’t help but feel close to her in these moments. “Star” in and of itself is an absolutely heartrending piece of music, an emotional quake and warble that gets stuck in the throat like the feeling of crying for days after a lover’s touch fades from the skin. Heize portrays that raw sentimentality, gives us every ounce of what she’s feeling. Though she did manage to hold back the tears at the sight of all those beaming lights, we could all still feel just how much it meant to her. Coupled with the heartache in the song, Heize most certainly produced the most emotionally heady performance of the entire weekend.
Heize left me emotionally compromised for long moments after she left the stage. Her stature may be slight, her demeanor unimposing, but her connection to her audience, her candor, and her desire to reach out with all of her might and capture us as we sit there stunned is testament to her power as a performer. There’s a reason she garners as much applause as (and at times more than) her idol peers. She is absolutely captivating.
About the Writer: Cy is a digital journalist and blog writer specializing in reviews of music and film across a broad range of genres. Wherever there’s electricity, food and a good Wi-fi connection is where she makes her home. Find her on Twitter (@mindlesscy) and Instagram (@mindless_cy).