I Went To ITZY’s ‘Born To Be’ Show For Nostalgia And Realised I Wanted More

ITZY Sydney Born To Be Tour

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ITZY’s first time performing in Australia reminded me why I became a MIDZY in the first place.

Watching ITZY perform at the ICC Sydney Theatre on Sunday night was spectacular. They are the second group I ever started stanning properly (the first being TWICE), so the show made me a little nostalgic for their old sound and, of course, seeing them as a four-member group was a little tough.

I remember getting stuck into the world of K-Pop with TWICE’s sweet and poppy sound, and I didn’t really expect to fall much deeper than that. To be brutally honest, it took quite a bit of effort to get to know all of TWICE’s comebacks, members, and history, and I wasn’t sure if I’d make that effort again.

As fate would have it, JYPE debuted a new girl group right when I was getting curious about what else K-Pop had to offer. That group was ITZY — specifically, their incredible debut Dalla Dalla’ in 2019. Their lyrics about revelling in being different might seem a little corny now, but it was genuinely refreshing at the time. The girlies just seemed like they were having so much fun. And so was I.

With comeback after comeback over a five-year stretch, ITZY was absolutely killing it. The gorgeously vibrant music video for ‘Icy’ still gives me joy, the shoulder choreography in ‘Wannabe’ remains a sacred moment in K-Pop history, and ‘Not Shy’ is still stuck in my head. Hearing those songs again at their ‘Born to Be’ concert reminded me why they were one of the standout groups of 4th generation K-Pop.

Somewhere down the line though, I have to admit that I lost interest. Whether it’s because of their actual music, or because they were suddenly hit with some massive competition from fellow 4th gen girl groups like NewJeans and LE SSERAFIM, I’m not sure. And they unfortunately had a few comebacks that didn’t quite land with fans, like ‘Sneakers’. (It’s kinda growing on me though. Put your sneakers on!)

Then there’s the whole Lia thing. I swear it wasn’t until ‘Wannabe’ and Ryujin’s iconic shoulder move that I really noticed Lia’s dance ability compared to the rest of the members. But once I did, it was hard to unsee. The thing is that Yeji, Chaeryeong, Ryujin, and Yuna are almost K-Pop anomalies in their combined dance ability. These girls can dance, and all four of them are way above the industry average. Which can make ‘normal’ dancers pale in comparison.

All I can say that is Lia’s absence from the ‘Born To Be’ tour was felt. She brings a softness to the group that is full of killer performers and powerful dancers, especially with the girl crush vibe of their later comebacks. And while the concert gave me a newfound appreciation for the later songs that I’ve admittedly overlooked among the other standout 4th gen K-Pop girl groups, it did leave me nostalgic for their earlier stuff. Regardless, ITZY is without a doubt one of the strongest performers in K-Pop, and I’m glad Sydney was blessed with their tour.