Infinite’s ‘One Great Step’ London Review
If there is anything that will upset me about a performance it’s having to leave it early but unfortunately this is what I had to do when I went to see Infinite (Damn you full-time job!). But it certainly could not dampen my spirits when I left the Eventim Apollo, at which the group played, as the first thought that ran through my head and then continued on my journey home was ‘This group are wonderful’. Anyone expecting to see sloppy lip syncing and a lack of enthusiasm (I will not mention a certain other band who came to the UK and did this) need not have attended, as the group delivered in all ways possible: from their tight nit dancing to their care and obvious love for the fans present (something we will get to in a bit). The group never failed to disappoint in my eyes, and I was only there for just over an hour! But let’s start at the beginning of the night.
Although I arrived slightly late it was quite clear from far away that the crowd outside the Eventim Apollo was the one I should be joining. It was full of people holding banners with both the group and members’ names on and the buzz around the area was high. The crowd was definitely alive and ready to see the group, although some more than others, I found out after talking to a few fans, as many had been waiting outside since the early hours. But time quickly flew and as the crowd were led inside you could feel the excitement levels increasing as fans arrived from the seated ones to the ones braving the standing arrived within the venue. You could say it was a case of the hysteria increasing as the space decreased.
Upon entering and taking my seat I spotted that the space in the standing area was slightly limited and it looked as though the people there shared this thought. However all interests in space (or the lack of it) were pushed aside when Infinite MVs started to play on a large screen in front of the stage. One by one some of their best known songs – from ‘The Chaser’ to ‘Be Mine’ – played for close to 20 minutes alongside songs by fellow Woolim artists, such as Tasty, and fans excitedly sang and danced along until the time came along when they could not hold off anymore.
From the moment the backdrop changed, it was obvious that this would be a night full of high energy and the group certainly did not disappoint from the offset – the first performance was amazing. However the lighting was not. Instead of setting the tone for each of the songs, the lights caused more of a distraction during some of the performances. They were always far too bright or flashing too much (not best for a lot of people). But it never looked as though it was affecting Infinite throughout their performances. No matter how strong the lights were, and at one point they were strong enough to make a grown man cry, the group continued on performing at the highest level.
And boy did they perform. I have to admit that whilst I enjoyed the performances of Infinite thoroughly I do not recall the order they went in. This is because I spent a lot of my time counting the amount of fans being carried, lifted and assisted out of the standing by security. Throughout my entire time there I counted more than 30 people being taken from the crowd. Some due to the heat, but the majority due to being squashed by other members of the crowd who wanted to get closer to the group. Myself and friends spotted some fans being asked to remove themselves from the crowd (due to violence) in standing and instead of doing so shuffling back and refusing to, thereby blocking others in.
It was a shame to see this as it proved to many that some fans not only lack respect for other fans but also for the groups they claim to love so much. Yes, you want to see your favourite group but you need to be aware of one another and yourselves and ensure that everyone is kept safe and well. If the majority of people acting in such a childish manner had only listened to security when asked to stop in the first 5 minutes of the show, when the pushing first began, the first person taken from the crowd need not have been. But, better still, if only the fans had listened when Infinite themselves stopped after two songs to take a moment to talk to everyone and ask the people in standing to be careful of one another because people were being injured and removed in front of them. What would the show have become then? What would the show have been if fans had simply just listened for once instead of just being impulsive and doing?
While there were plenty of fans that were well-behaved and respectful of each other, there were a small number that seemed to be determined to ruin the night for everyone else. To me it was not the fans that made this show unfortunately (unlike at Super Junior where it was both the group and the fans on equal terms) but mostly Infinite and surprisingly the security team. The security team worked their ass off to ensure that everyone was safe. They handed out water to make sure people were not becoming dehydrated. They climbed into the crowd to help out those who were unable to climb out by themselves when they became trapped behind others. They deserve thanks from the fans for ensuring their safety when others fans wouldn’t. And Infinite, who continued on even though they were clearly distressed by what was happening in front of them. They showed just how hard they work as a group, even when faced with behaviour that could have been avoided. Even after all the issues and watching their fans being pulled out of the crowd and having to stop the show numerous times to ask people to calm down, they still gave out gifts to the same fans. They continued their performances with the same passion and energy as they began them and seemingly continued them this way (I asked the friends I had been sat with) even though more people had been pulled from the crowd after I had left.
In total it was estimated that just over 60 people were pulled over the barriers during Infinites first concert in London. Let’s hope it’s not their last here concert here.
Were you at the show? If you were let us know your thoughts on the night and tell us your experiences of it.