PHOTOS: Seventeen shows strength in numbers in San Jose

SVT, Seventeen, SVTinSJ

Seventeen (SVT) performs on the Ode to You World Tour at the SAP Center in San Jose on Jan. 21, 2020. Steve Carlson/Staff.

SAN JOSE — South Korean boy band Seventeen , also known as SVT, made its long-awaited—though short-handed—debut in the Bay Area on Tuesday at the SAP Center, the sixth of seven U.S. dates on the Ode To You World Tour. The diehard fans who packed the arena to see their idols up close showed no signs of holding a grudge for the long wait.

The band kicked off its lengthy set not with live music but SVT music videos, which got the assembled fans, affectionately known as “Carats,” into a great mood. Throughout the night they’d dance and sing along, holding and waving their diamond-adorned glow sticks in time to the music.

SVT, Seventeen, SVTinSJ

Seventeen performs on the Ode to You World Tour at the SAP Center in San Jose on Jan. 21, 2020.

The overwhelmingly female audience seemed to know the words to every song, and screams rose up every time a new singer would take his turn at the mic.

The group alternated through the night between uptempo bangers and soft ballads, often sung in a falsetto to the delight of the audience. But the show really hit its stride near the midway point when SVT encircled a secondary stage and led the audience through a singalong of hit ballad “Smile Flower,” after which a brief video montage played and the stage took on the look of an “SVT Museum” for a high energy run through early tracks like “Adore U” and “Oh My!”



The current tour is notable for the absence of the group’s leader, S.Coups, who announced a hiatus from the band in November to address “symptoms of psychological anxiety.” Though S.Coups wasn’t present in the building, the band acknowledged his absence from the stage early on. The demands and stresses of idol culture, with its lofty expectations of perfection and outsized influence, have risen to the surface tragically on occasion in an industry not previously known for transparency.

The 13-member was group is subdivided into three units, each with a specialty that showcased each member’s talents and made the performance a bit easier to follow for the uninitiated.

The vocal unit, led by Woozi and consisting of members Jeonghan, Joshua, DK and Seungkwan soared during the quieter moments. The hip-hop unit, which is normally led by S.Coups, included Wonwoo, Vernon and Mingyu, who added a punch of energy throughout the night. And finally, the “performance unit” was led by the charismatic Hoshi and featured dancers The8, Dino and Jun, the last of whom was ill and unable to perform. Despite missing two members, the group was able to elevate its performance so that the absences were hardly noticeable to all but the most hardcore fans.

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