Concert Experience: Woosung & Epik High

Epik High

Epik High Is Here Tour

Emo’s in Austin, TX

April 3, 2022

On April 3rd, I found myself back in the same line I had been in just weeks ago to see Eric Nam. However, this time I was there to see Woosung open for Epik High. 

I was originally attending the show to see Woosung, a Korean-American musician most commonly known as a member of the K-Pop group The Rose. Woosung released his first full-length album Genre in 2021 and has an EP coming out this upcoming May. 

The line was a stark contrast to how it’d been just weeks ago. Even though we’d arrived later in the day we were able to get great spots in line and we were joined once again by our friend, Amanda, who we met at Eric Nam’s show! 

After four hours of waiting in line (time is just different when you’re waiting in line for a show – it never actually seems like it’s that long?) we were able to smoothly get through security and inside. Emo’s is all general admission, but we were able to get great spots and secure our window to see (shout-out to the taller guy in front of us who moved behind us so we could see). 

After a small delay, the music started. Before you could see him you could hear Woosung’s vocals throughout the venue. He walked out from behind a curtain and started his set off with “FACE,” a song from his 2019 mini-album Wolf. I’m already blown away by Woosung’s vocals when I listen to him over Spotify, but his vocals are even more incredible live – his voice is so unique and has always stood out to me. Woosung led right into one of his first singles of 2021, “Lazy” and commanded the stage on his own – adding dance moves here and there and a very popular hip thrust moment to the beat of the song. Before continuing to set the stage he introduced himself and mentioned he will be touring in the future with his band, The Rose, once the members complete their military service in South Korea. 

Woosung went right back to singing and dancing on the stage, completely taking over the stage on his own. His song “Dimples” had the crowd jumping and singing along before he went into his iconic cover of LANY’s “ILYSB” that I’ve seen thousands of TikToks and Reels of and quite honestly, could not believe I was about to witness live (yes, it was everything). Woosung ended his set with an unreleased song “Phase Me” that will hopefully be on his upcoming EP Moth. 

The stage was now set for Epik High and the crowd was starting to buzz with excitement as the time ticked by. Once the lights dimmed, the screams started. The stage was being commanded by Epik High as their song “Here” began. All three members, Tablo, Mithra Jin, and DJ Tukutz gave back the same energy as the audience, constantly jumping and interacting with the crowd. They encouraged fans to jump, wave their hands in the air, and sing along to the lyrics – the show was in constant motion. Pretty early in the show, you also find out the members of Epik High love to twist the caps off of water bottles and wave them in the air to get the audience wet – the reach of the water was insane and shirts were definitely soaked with water by the end of the night.

After their upbeat song “Fly,” the trio introduced themselves in one of the most entertaining ways I’ve seen done by a group. With well-known scores in the background, Tablo introduced the members, stating DJ Tukutz was a “DJ world-champion gold-medalist” as the Avengers Theme Song played in the background, and Mithra Jin was introduced as the “maknae world-cup Champion” as the Universal Studios theme played on in the background. Tablo himself was introduced as the 20th Century FOX intro played in the background. Their humor was shown in these few minutes, however, throughout most of the set they would cause laughter with their antics and Tablo’s speeches.

In succession, Epik High played “Face ID,” “Rosario,” and “Burj Khalifa.” It’s not hard to understand why Epik High are legendary in the industry when you hear their rapping live – the delivery, energy, and passion of their performances are downright insane. 

The hip-hop group took another short break to interact with fans, Tablo leading into their next song by letting us know it’d be their only sad song of the night where we’d be allowed to cry (personally, one of my favorites by them – “Gray So Gray” feat. Younha). He was shocked when he asked what made us cry and made a joke saying he wasn’t expecting such serious answers before someone said they spend too much on concert tickets (relatable). 

Their 2007 track “LOVE LOVE LOVE” got the crowd back into motion, jumping up and down and shouting the words along with them. In one memorable moment, Tablo ran across the stage and jumped into Mithra Jin’s arms and like the rapping king he is, he perfectly delivered his verse while carrying Tablo. This is one of my favorite performances of the night, I loved hearing the audience sing-along and loved how effortlessly Mithra Jin held Tablo as he continued his verse.

DJ Tukutz had his center-of-the-stage moment during “One” showing off dance moves as the “king of K-Pop” (Tablo dubbed him as this earlier in the show). With their song “FAN,” Tablo and Mithra Jin joined in on the dancing, a funny group choreography taking place. After their final goodbyes and Tablo ensuring the crowd there would definitely not be an encore of any kind, they finished off their setlist with high energy songs: “High Technology,” “New Beautiful,” and “Don’t Hate Me” before leaving the stage.

With chants of Epik High, the letters EPIK flashed up on the stage, before each letter disappeared and reappeared one at a time – the crowd chanting each letter and spelling out E-P-I-K over and over until the trio came back onto the stage to perform “NO THANXXX” and “Born Hater.”

Keeping up with the trend of tossing water in the crowd, Tablo had his sights set on the beverage cooler full of water. While most of the water ended up on Tablo, those in the front were definitely in the splash zone as he tossed the water. 

It’s no surprise that Epik High has continued to be a staple in the industry for as long as they have. Epik High know how to work the crowd and make the most of their shows, even as someone who wasn’t familiar with a lot of their music I had more fun than I imagined and would definitely go to another one. 

While their tour is coming to a close, Epik High will be performing at Coachella so if you find yourself there – check out their stage!

You can listen to Epik High on Spotify or Apple Music

You can listen to Woosung on Spotify. He’ll also be touring this upcoming May, you can find dates and tickets here.

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