NCT Dream Lights Up Prudential Center in Green

NCT Dream made their U.S. tour debut in Newark and sat down with college student-journalists over Zoom to share advice on personal growth



NCT Dream Fans, referred to as “Nctzens,” pose alongside the band after their tour debut at Newark.


NCT DREAM, a South Korean boy band formed by SM Entertainment in 2016, kicked off the U.S. leg of their world tour, “THE DREAM SHOW 2: In A DREAM,” on April 5 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The seven-member group will continue their world tour in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle before going to Southeast Asia for their final stops. 

NCT, which stands for Neo Culture Technology is a K-pop group made up of 23 members and split up into four sub-groups: NCT U, NCT 127, NCT DREAM (which is referred to as 7Dream by fans), and WayV, and a sub-unit named NCT DOJAEJUNG. Once every few years, all 23 members come together to release an album under the name NCT U. 

NCT DREAM differs from other K-pop groups because of their futuristic-sounding music, as their fans would describe. But Renjun, a member of the band, explained that it is due to “our history and the story that we created since our debut.” As NCT 127 completed the U.S. leg of their world tour earlier this year, NCT DREAM embarked on their first-ever U.S. tour in April after their Europe tour dates. 

The K-pop group began the show with “Glitch Mode,” the titular song of their second studio album, which was released in 2022. They continued the set with a few more of their upbeat and energetic songs, including “Countdown (3, 2, 1),” “Stronger” and “Dreaming,” before they introduced themselves to the audience.

“We’re still growing. I feel like our fans are growing with us as well.” Mark Lee

The arena was illuminated with green lights — the band’s signature color. The fans waved NCT’s official group lightstick, a fanlight that is popular among K-pop concertgoers. 

NCT DREAM continued the show with two tracks, “My First and Last” and “Chewing Gum,” both of which are from their 2017 debut album “The First.” They then jumped into a series of ballads that highlighted the group’s vocal power. NCT DREAM proved not only that they have impressive voices but also rapping ability, which was shown in their performance of “Saturday Drip,” another song from “Glitch Mode.” 

I was very excited for the next set of songs, which included their most popular tracks throughout the years. “Ridin,” “Boom,” “We Go Up,” “Hello Future,” “Hot Sauce” and “Beatbox” were just some of the songs they played; I’d recommend them to anyone who wants to give NCT DREAM’s music a listen. 

Lastly, the concert ended with a beautiful encore of my personal favorite song, “Candy,” a remake of the song of the same name by the ’90s K-pop boy group H.O.T., SM entertainment’s first K-pop group to whom I’d also recommend listening.

Right before their Atlanta show on April 9, NCT DREAM attended a Zoom call with a panel of college student-journalists from across the country. The event, “NCT DREAM x Virtual Student Roundtable,” was organized by R&CPMK, a distinguished entertainment and culture agency that represents over 400 influential figures. R&CMPK led and discussed the band members’ lives and their connection to the band.

MARK, one of NCT DREAM’s members and the band’s main rapper, spoke on behalf of the group in English and shared that he was to be able to talk to student-journalists. 

The group spoke about the activities they do to recharge between shows. HAECHAN said that he plays video games and goes shopping in his free time. CHENLE jumped in to say that he likes to play basketball to reenergize himself. 

The performers shared advice they would have liked to receive. JISUNG, the youngest member, said that he would advise his past self not to be shy. “Back then, I was concerned about what people would think of me, but now I understand there’s no need for (shyness),” he said. 

JISUNG’s confidence can be seen on stage in his dance performances, as fans have pointed out his improvement in dancing since he joined the band at age 15.

On personal growth represented in their music, MARK explained that their development is visible in their emotions and experiences that are portrayed in their songs.

“We’re still growing,” MARK said. “I feel like our fans are growing with us as well.” 

Because NCT DREAM’s concept is based around youth and achieving one’s dreams, the group shared advice they have for college students who want to achieve their goals. RENJUN said, “It’s during your college years that you have the most passion and strength to pursue your dreams, so I would say do what you want to do and study hard without any regrets.” 

The seven members also talked about activities they did while exploring the many countries on their world tour, and both RENJUN and JISUNG said that the group enjoys visiting famous landmarks in different countries, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Times Square in New York City. The band is looking forward to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in California’s Universal Studios. 

RENJUN ended by explaining, “Every K-pop group has their own uniqueness, but for NCT DREAM, it’s really the hope that we give to the youth, the story that we have, and just the fun we’re able to show through our music and performances.”

In the end, NCT DREAM is a great introduction to the K-pop world and stands out from the rest of the pack with their authenticity and style.