Last night I had the pleasure of attending a concert I had been looking forward to for a few months. Some things didn’t go as planned and some aspects were way better than expected. I had a great time seeing this talented band live, and in this blog post, I will be sharing all the details with photos videos, info, and tips! Don’t forget to follow the blog on social media (Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook) for more concert and Toronto content! See below for a visual preview of what you can expect below!
The Rose is a South Korean indie-rock band that has been gaining global attention recently. Their music captures various elements of rock and consists of four members, Kim Woo-sung (main vocals, guitar), Park Do-joon (keyboard, guitar), Lee Ha-joon (drums), and Lee Jae-hyeong (bass guitar) who all provide vocals (similar to how 5 Seconds of Summer does). I’ll admit I just started listening to the band recently and that’s because I first heard of the lead singer, Woo-sung aka Sammy, because of his distinct, smooth yet raspy voice. I had a few of his solo songs in my library but it wasn’t until he was featured on BTS‘ Suga’s D-Day album did I do a deep dive into The Rose’s music. I am so glad I did because it was incredible and it is interesting how they have a balance of Korean and English in their lyrics. Fun fact: when Woosung/Sammy did a video on the Korean Englishman YouTube channel he revealed that grew up in LA but moved to Korea to participate in a reality show. When he got eliminated he became disconnected from music and was too embarrassed to come back so he stayed in Korea and taught English. At the time the other members met one another through busking in Hongdae going from a duo to eventually a trio. Dojoon then worked hard to recruit the final member, Woosung, and he eventually did “say yes” (pun intended) and the rest was history!
Currently, The Rose has released two studio albums since their debut in 2017. It was also cool to note that Woosung mentioned that their new album, Dual, was placed 83rd in the all-genre Billboard 200 chart which was special since The Rose debuted on August 3rd (8.3). The Rose are currently on a world tour starting with the North American leg to promote the album. Below is one of the promotional singles for the album, “Alive”, which they performed at the concert. I included the lyrics as well because I really liked it and this is probably one of my favourite songs of theirs.
I was initially worried about getting tickets because I saw there was a special presale code for Black Roses and thought tickets were sold out. It looked like there were several seats still left closer to the date which is why I saw more ads for it. The tickets were a bit more than expected (because of Ticketmaster fees) but for the actual seats not bad as I stood in Row CC for $81.50 CAD each. Mind you, there are VIP tier options available as well and you can check their website for more info on that.
The venue will vary based on location obviously and it seems like they are at venues that are in the middle between small to large venues. This was my first-ever show at the Coca-Cola Collesium even though I have been to the venues right beside numerous times before for concerts and sports. The venue itself was not bad and was easily accessible via public transit with plenty of paid parking nearby. Usually for Toronto concerts, I think this venue is used for artists that have a decent amount of listeners who are still growing but also have established a name for themselves. TIP: If you are not in a rush, I would advise parking somewhere outside of the specific venue location because it becomes really difficult to exit at the end of the concert.
The merch was interesting and that was something that didn’t go as planned. If you visit The Rose’s owned media (social platforms and officialtherose.com), you will see a lot of information including tour dates but something to note is that for every city, they have a pop-up. In the pop-up, there is supposed to be an exclusive t-shirt, photocards, and a 25% discount. It was scheduled for the day before at The Alley, a popular boba/bubble tea place. We went to see a massive line outside only to find out that it was canceled because the driver of the truck that had the merch was stuck at the border and he was not sure when he would be able to clear. Thankfully The Alley staff were nice and transparent about it, which is how we knew because the owner of the Koreatown location did advise fans waiting of the situation already. I was also speaking with someone from The Alley afterward and they mentioned how terrible they felt about the situation I assured them that things like this happen and it was out of their control. TIP: check the popup in your city and check the social media account of the boba shop hosting it for updates.
In terms of the merch, it is standard across all cities I believe which includes apparel, CDs, totes, and lightsticks. I bought my lightstick in advance because a) I think it looks incredible with the black rose (fanname) at the core and b) I didn’t want to run into the same situation I was in at the Seventeen concert with carat bongs selling out within a few hours. Buying merch at the venue was a bit confusing because there was a massive line outside the venue an hour before the show started with two separate lines because the staff said one line was for merch while the other was to get in. Unfortunately, there were actually two separate places to buy merchandise and the other venue did have a special t-shirt that was not seen here. We ended up missing the beginning of the concert because of this line. Keep in mind that these prices are listed higher since it is in CAD, so for the rest of the US cities it would be cheaper than what is shown here. TIP: Ask various staff for insight and info, and if you are going with someone, split up to check it out for yourself.
Overall Performance & Recommendations
From busking on the streets to performing in front of thousands in arenas, The Rose really knows how to put on a show! Thankfully we only missed a few songs in the beginning so we were able to enjoy the majority of the show (see the video below for an example). I was genuinely impressed by the stage presence and amazing live vocals of all the members. You have to understand that these guys started around eight and finished a little bit before ten because they sang their songs right after each other with maybe one or two breaks between their setlist (which you can listen to on Spotify). This is a show I would recommend to anyone who loves live music, especially rock. There was such a diverse crowd of all ages who attended the show and I can see why. Their music and performance really get people in their feels, happy to sad and I also like songs like “Red” and “Sour” you can change your lightstick to red and green even though I’ll admit some songs felt awkward with the lightstick (just my opinion).
Nonetheless, it is a great show and I would recommend The Rose give themselves some more time in between sets to rest. They are amazing live and I don’t think the fans would mind a little break in between with the concert ending a bit later. I would also recommend Transparent Arts and Windfall to have more frequent live story updates when it comes to merch and other details about the show. I can’t wait to see where The Rose will play next time they visit in Toronto because they do deserve more people come to come out and appreciate their talent! If you went to the show or wish you did, let me know in the comments below or on social media by following on Tiktok, Instagram, and Facebook as I will be posting more music and Toronto content in the near future!