[CONCERT] WOODZ bids a temporary farewell at 'OO-LI Finale' concert
Singer-songwriter WOODZ's “OO-LI Finale” concert on Friday was both a farewell concert to his fans as he leaves temporarily to complete his military service and a celebration of his achievements.
Jamsil Arena was closed for renovation, and Jamsil Baseball Stadium was quiet, but Jamsil Indoor Stadium and nearby restaurants and cafes were packed with WOODZ's fans waiting for the singer-songwriter’s "finale" concert at 8 p.m.
“WOODZ World Tour ‘OO-LI’ Finale” was announced in mid-December, shortly after WOODZ himself revealed he was starting his military service in January, joining the Army band.
While shocked and unnerved by the sudden news, many fans at the concert remained confident about WOODZ’s future.
“I’m really sad. It feels like he’s leaving us,” Yass, a 23-year-old fan who traveled from France, said. “But it’s fine because he will return in no time, and we will be here for him.”
“It still feels surreal and unbelievable, but I think he’s already at a stage solidifying his status as a singer-songwriter and an artist, so I’m sure he’ll be fine even if he takes a bit of a break,” another fan, Kim, said as she took a commemorative photo with the concert poster.
The feeling was shared with WOODZ, who tried to remain positive to comfort his fans.
“I very much look forward to my next chapter; I’m certain that my thirties will be better than my twenties,” WOODZ said during the concert. “I’m fine. I’ll complete my military service with a resolute mindset.”
WOODZ debuted in 2014 but had a rocky early career, with his first band, UNIQ, and his second band, X1, disbanding due to unfortunate circumstances, including political tensions with China and a reality show vote-rigging scandal.
However, he gained gradual success over the years as a solo artist capable of writing and producing his own albums.
WOODZ grew significantly more popular in 2023 with his fifth EP, “OO-LI,” and the subsequent “OO-LI” world tour that began in May. What started as a two-month-long tour around Asia and South America grew into the “OO-LI and” encore tour to cities in Europe and the United States.
He also began playing in larger venues, going from the 3,500-seat Jangchung Arena in May to the 6,000-seat Jamsil Indoor Stadium.
The Friday “Finale” concert also featured a completely different concert structure with a brand-new setlist.
“I’ve prepared the stages so that you wouldn’t feel like your money was wasted,” the singer told the audience. “I told you that today’s performance would be completely different from my previous concerts.”
WOODZ unveiled “Bright Light Flicker” and performed “Behind” for the first time at Friday’s concert while also bringing back “Touché” (2021) and other songs that he hadn't performed for a while.
“I ended up writing ‘Bright Light Flicker’ since I needed new songs to fill the gap as I changed the structure of my concert entirely,” WOODZ said.
“Today’s setlist will only be available here. If I return from the military service, I'll release a new album, thus a new setlist.”
The 2.5-hour-long concert included many of his hit tracks, including “I hate you” (2022), “Drowning” (2023) and the song from Tving’s hit dating show “EXchange” (2021—23), “Sun or Suck,” which WOODZ described as “more popular than WOODZ himself.”
WOODZ also interacted with the crowd, performing on stage extensions close to the seated audience in the arena and adding a special fan-participation session where he held a short dance lesson, followed by a dance contest with the audience.
“I, too, will miss you,” WOODZ said as the concert ended.
“I hope you achieve everything you wish, and let’s meet again happy. Actually, it’s OK if you're not that happy because then I’ll be there to comfort you.”
WOODZ said goodbye to his fans again as he left the concert venue late at night, with his blonde hair shaved, ready for his 1.5-year-long military service.
To find out more about WOODZ, visit Celeb Confirmed!
BY CHO YONG-JUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]