The South Korean indie rock band The Rose has during the fall and winter done a big world tour that took them through North and South America, large parts of Asia and now the tour has finally come to Stockholm.

The band has been together for seven years and debuted in 2017. They recently took a two-year hiatus to focus on solo projects and grow as people, as well as some of the members doing military service. Singer Woosung also had a successful solo career during that period. Last autumn, The Rose released their full-length album HEAL and the tour is aptly called ’HEAL TOGETHER WORLD TOUR’.

Technically the music goes under the incredibly broad definition ’k-pop’ but in my book this is more rock, regardless of language. The guitars are sometimes heavy, especially on the albums, but mostly the songs are soft and the ballads are emotional.

Fryshusets Arenan is sold out and filled to the brim with fans. It is obvious that the band is long-awaited and they get the most response on the slightly faster songs and the breakthrough song ”Sorry” which they give credit for being able to stand here today as it is the roots (Haha) of The Rose. The song ”Yes” also gets a very good response, as they interact with the audience and conduct choirs and seem to be having a lot of fun.

In the middle of the beautiful ”Beauty and the Beast” they interrupt the song to ensure that a case of illness in the audience is taken care of, they handle the situation with familiarity and calmness and then start the song from the top.

The last song before the encore is ”Sour” from the latest album. It’s nice to see that the latest album is so popular, not just older material as it can be sometimes.As the encore we get ”Black Rose” (which is also the name of the fans).

This was my first (but probably not last) k-pop concert, the biggest difference to other concerts is that the audience is equipped with glow sticks. A plastic handle with a lamp on top where the band’s logo (a black rose in this case) is cast. They shine surprisingly brightly and can be bought at the merch stand for SEK 950, something many had done. The audience is also significantly shorter than what I’m used to as a majority are girls of different ages, so you could see quite well even though you were standing far back.

K-pop is growing and is also taking part at the major festivals in the West. Black Pink headlines Coachella and Stray Kids come to Lollapalooza Paris this summer. So far, the k-pop concerts in Sweden are sparse, but I believe and hope that this is just the beginning. After Stockholm, The Rose continues the tour down to Germany and on to London, Paris and Barcelona. They say that we will see each other again soon, which gives me hope, even if we don’t have any released dates in Sweden yet.


 Artist: The Rose

Date: February 8th, 2023

Location: Fryshuset, Arenan

City: Stockholm, Sweden