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Xikers live in London: K-Pop’s rising stars put on an electric show

Despite debuting less than a year ago, these K-Pop sensations already look like superstars in the making.

4.0 rating

By Joseph Kocharian

Xikers (Picture: Joseph Kocharian)

There was an insanely long line that snaked its way around the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Sunday evening. It was full of Xikers fans (known Road𝓨s) waiting patiently for the first show on their European leg of the Tricky House First Encounter world tour. The group, who only debuted back in March 2023, have had a meteoric rise, having already formed a huge international following, so much so that they gained the coveted title of being “monster rookies”- a K-pop term for a group that achieves success and popularity incredibly fast. The nine members, who are usually a team of ten (lead vocalist Junghoon has not joined the tour as he is recovering from an injury) continued to ride the wave of their successful US leg of the tour late last year. Their sound is a fusion of plenty of musical influences, blending pop-rock with dance, EDM and hip-hop that, like all good earworms, work their way into your brain. 

Living up to their reputation for high-energy performances, Xikers brought it right off the bat, performing their thumping, electrically charged opening track ‘TRICKY HOUSE‘ with explosive choreography and vocals and kept their levels up through ‘Doorbell Ringing,’ ‘Oh My Gosh.’ Tracks like ‘XIKEY’ are made for big crowds, with a whooshing ‘ooh la la’ chorus, and guttural barks and explosive melodies that allow them to bring attitude and personality, when combined with their dancing.

Hailing from KQ Entertainment and juniors to the astronomically successful ATEEZ, it’s evident that Xikers have kept the high performance standards that run in the music family. Bringing an immense amount of personality and swagger to the stage along with fusing intense music genres can descend into chaos quickly, but Xikers exerted control to both their vocals and dancing throughout, making for a meticulously slick show. Their energetic routines had an explosive energy, constantly rotating the focus letting each member have a moment to show their skill before they melted seamlessly back into the group. 

Having only formed in 2023, the group understandably don’t have a huge discography to pull from to perform at concerts yet, but they cleverly utilised this time to interact and connect with their fans, anchored expertly by leader Minjae, who encouraged the other members to speak to the crowd and kept things moving along. As well as chatting away happily with their audience, they also embarked on a dance medley section, splitting into randomly selected teams of three and dancing to K-Pop favourites such as ‘Dynamite’ by BTS and ‘Super’ by Seventeen before joining forces to all perform label-mates ATEEZ’ hit track ‘BOUNCY (K-HOT CHILLI PEPPERS.’ As they performed the viral dance routine, it produced a huge roar and singalong from the crowd. The Girl Group medley that followed including performing to BlackPink’s ‘Kill this Love’ and Tik Tok’s favourite ‘Queencard’ by (G)I-DLE. Minjae and Yujun particularly embodied the babygirlism sass required of the routine. Main dancers and Hunter Junmin finished off the dance portion of the show with a sultry, body-winding, hip thrusting duet to The Weeknd’s ‘Die for You’ that ATEEZ hyungs Mingi and San would have been proud of.

As fun as the dance interlude was for getting to know the members, it is their original material where the group really excel. When performing their own tracks, they were fully in with the crowd for the party, complete with floor shaking moments in the venue as they ramped up the energy with the more angsty emo-rock-EDM hybrid tracks including ‘ROCKSTAR’ and ‘Do or Die’ that melded rocky guitar riffs with dance beats and crashes of plenty of percussion. Instantly switching gear was no problem for the group either. The more industrial sounding booming songs such as the frantically paced ‘Doorbell Ringing’ saw Hyunwoo excel with both his vocals and his dancing, were punctuated by lighter, more joyful tracks like ‘Skater,’ ‘Sunny Side’ and ‘HOMEBOY’ that saw Seeun and Jinsik to shine.

Sumin rode the massive wave of cheers whenever he rapped (there was also a lot of love for his mini-ponytail too) silkily gliding to the centre stage with a quick flow. 

Sumin (Picture: Joseph Kocharian)

It’s also clear how much the band have formed an impressive unit and are able to put on an incredibly strong show in such a short time. Again, like their labelmates ATEEZ, they are allrounders and have versatility as a group. Each member was great at switching up their designated role in the group which further added to their impressiveness. Whether it was Yechan relishing and excelling at rapping, or Jinsik and Yujun bringing some serious stage presence with their dancing and singing. Hunter couldn’t stop flashing a winning smile as he performed with charismatic confidence, which again ran like a thread through the group.

They could rely on Hyunwoo, Seeun, Yujun and Jinsik to hit those high notes, Junmin, Yechan and Hunter to bring the attitude with their dancing, and Minjae and Sumin to take the lead with the rap portions, which gave them freedom to switch around and show their all-round ability. 

Despite being new to the game, Xikers lived up to their hype with a slick, mature and well-executed show that was, importantly full of magnetic joy. At moments you could see in their faces as they looked out at their crowd, chanting and screaming for them, an endearing, appreciative glimmer of awe in their eyes, that had been entirely generated by their energy and skill.