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Eric Nam at HISTORY | Review and Photos

On October 16th 2023, Korean pop singer-songwriter and multi-hyphenate creative Eric Nam took the stage at the Danforth Music Hall as part of his House on a Hill tour. Kicking off the show was Canadian pop singer-songwriter Alexander Stewart. Dressed in a loose textured button-up over a white tank top, Stewart sang his heart out as he performed ballads like "House of Cards" and his more dancier pop hits like "when you love someone" and "Backwards."

Immediately upon looking at the audience, I noticed the sea of K-pop photo cards being flexed to strangers, adoring fans practicing his dance choreography and phones being prepared to make room for fancams. Now motivated by their passion for Eric Nam, I quickly stretched my legs both to take photos but also for the eventual dance break or two during songs. This was going to be a fun crowd and while my soul was willing to dance, my knees had mixed feelings.

Just before his set, he was introduced by a screeching guitar, a pulsating bass and a tasteful drum groove. He then appeared out of what I can only assume to be the door frame of the "House on a Hill", illuminated by a spotlight as if to greet us into his home. Nam performed songs from his most recent album along with selects from his extensive catalogue of hits, including "Wildfire", "Sink or Swim" and "I Don't Know You Anymore."

As he grooved on stage, it was clear that despite his lack of dancers on stage, his stage presence captivated the audience to dance along. While I knew he was an experienced podcast host, his charm and wittiness shined on stage as he would speak to the audience in between some of his songs. Eric spoke to the audience like you would banter with a friend, weaving little stories and comments about his experience as a Korean-American or exchanging quips with the audience. On one tangent, he explained that the album "House on a Hill" was inspired by him having an existential crisis. After asking the audience if they've experienced an existential crisis, he then went on to explain that there are only two answers:

A: It happened or

B: It's coming.

During another tangent, he announced his gratitude to all the unwilling boyfriends and parental chaperones in the crowd. He then transitioned into one of his dancier tracks and with his upbeat energy, you could witness the unwilling boyfriend slowly become start grooving to the music. The night was closed off with "Only For a Moment" and then an encore with "Congratulations". While I was disappointed by not being able to see his dancers on stage with him, Eric Nam's stage presence, smooth choreography and impressive vocals made this a memorable experience.

All photos by John Mendoza or @iblibs on Instagram


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