Concert Review: Powerful vocals, water bottles and more at The One’s Toronto show

First off, I want to say that I was pleasantly surprised by The One’s concert in Toronto. I went to the show expecting to enjoy his voice – because he does have a beautiful voice – but not really anticipating much more than that. Turns out, The One (더 원) – the stage name of Jeong Sun Won (정순원) – is a consummate performer whose concert completely exceeded my expectations. From his forays into the audience to dancing to G Dragon’s “Crooked” there were lots to be entertained – and surprised if you were as new to his shows as I was – by. But that’s the beauty of live music.

The One performing in Toronto

Who is The One?

The One (Jeong Sun Won) is a singer and songwriter who won the second season of I Am a Singer (Korean version), a singing competition TV show, as well as placing third in the third season I Am A Singer (Chinese version). He’s well-known for writing OSTs so if you’re a regular Korean drama fan, you’ve probably heard some of his songs.

The One changed his clothes and his performance style

Why was I so entertained?

Beyond his powerful voice, which a quick listen on YouTube – or the fact that he won I Am A Singer – told me to expect, The One put on a complete show. From the fan service to his chats with the audience, I was always wondering what he would do next. The show started with The One appearing on the side of the balcony (see photo below) and while I didn’t realize it at the time, it set the tone for the show. Quirky and unexpected tidbits interspersed with fabulous and powerful vocals, it was fun to watch. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a performer throw a water bottle into the crowd, let alone up to a fan on the balcony. Throw water at the crowd, sure that’s normal, but toss a full water bottle – that’s a new one for me. And that wasn’t the only water moment – or the only water bottle shared – but more on that in a moment.

Like many Korean artists, he spoke with the crowd a lot, but while it was mostly in Korean, he also spoke briefly in English and I’m assuming Mandarin as there were definitely Chinese fans in the audience. Since he was quite funny in English – “I’m a little bit famous in Korea but I’m very famous in Toronto.” – he made me wish yet again that my Korean was better so I could understand more. He even sung a rather humorous song while throwing t-shirts (and more water) at the crowd. See, I told you there was more water in the review.

The One dancing to GD’s “Crooked” with Cherie, a local K-pop dance group

Interestingly, the tone of the show changed when he changed his clothes. The first half was more formal, more what I was expecting, although still very entertaining, but once he changed into more casual clothes, the show was also more relaxed. He moved and danced more. Although I’m not sure why he took his shoes off. I have to say, like many things in the show, I wasn’t expecting to see The One dancing to GD’s “Crooked” but it was entertaining and he wasn’t a bad dancer. Plus the backup dancers were a local K-pop dance group which was cool.

The show was a little more than two hours in total and from the looks on everyone’s faces as we exited the building, I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the show. And like many others, I bought a CD on my way out. It was also very well-organized by CBM Press and went smoothly from start to finish.

One of The One’s many forays into the audience

Final Thoughts

The One is an entertaining performer with a powerful voice that is extremely confident on stage and with the audience. There is no bad ticket at his show, or at least there wasn’t at this one, as he’s extremely mobile and ventured into the audience several times – singing, taking selfies with fans’ phones, posing and throwing water and t-shirts… and water bottles. It was a fun show and not just because he has a beautiful voice.

Huge thanks to CBM Press for the comped ticket to review the show.

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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