Saturday, April 4, 2015

Infinite: One Great Step Returns DVD Review

As we all know, Infinite embarked on a stellar world tour, One Great Step, back in the latter half of 2013. This tour was really impressive because of the diverse countries they visited, really showing the meaning of a world tour. On February 28th and March 1st of 2014, Infinite held their encore concert in Seoul, One Great Step Returns. I would have thought that Woollim would capitalize on OGS by creating a concert DVD, which would be a great move to showcase their popularity around the globe, and their talent in various languages and performance skills in foreign countries. But instead Woollim released in theaters "GROW: Infinite's Real Youth Life" which showed bits of their performances but mostly focused on behind the scenes. And now that the OGSR DVD is released, it seems like they bypassed the OGS concert, despite always previously releasing all their Korean concerts on DVD. And on April 2nd KST (it was April 1st for me, so I thought it was an April Fool's joke), they announced the OGSR Live Album to be released on April 9th. Anyways...
This OGS DVD was originally set to be released on March 6th, but kept getting delayed until March 20th. I preordered it, along with the poster in a tube, for roughly $60. I saw earlier that it was for $55 but I waited too long and their shipping increased or something. My DVD took 13 days to arrive, and it was wrapped in three layers of bubblewrap, inside their waterproof envelope with an inner layer of bubblewarp. And this time they also used a rubberband to secure the DVD even more. It arrived in almost perfect condition, with one corner a little dented. My postertube arrived a day after my DVD.
To start off, the packaging is so cool. There are 3D rays radiating from the center. The diamond around the center also faintly lists the members. It's also very elegant in its simplicity, with no labeling on the sides. It's just a bit bigger than Infinite's typical albums, and of course it's thicker.
The backside has the setlist and DVD information.
Here is a closeup of the setlist for both discs. The second disc includes the making film for the concert.
It is for all regions and has subtitles in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. The English subtitles are really good, with only a few mistakes (spelling "Infinite" wrong, of course^^). It doesn't list the length of each disc, but the first disc is 1:59.44, the second disc's concert segment is 58.37, and the special feature is 18.54. I was hoping for a much longer special feature, but with such a long concert already (almost three hours!), I guess it's all good^^
And to open, you simply lift the top half up, and lift the contents from the top. Ahh the photobook smells like Infinite's albums~
Here is the photobook, which is 80 pages long. The font cover has a matte texture that matches the rugged and dark concept of the concert. The binding also labels the concert.
The backside matches the front, but with a smaller logo.
The photobook is very gorgeous and somehow the photos felt particularly special to me. The first two pages include messages from Infinite.
Then the photobook is divided into three chapters. The first is of the rehearsal the day before the concert, February 27th, 2014. It's so cool to see that rotating stage. This production was very big, with all their unique stages. It'd be so cool to witness this live.
I got so emotional just seeing Dongwoo in his ivory OGS hoody! It makes me happy that he was still wearing it even after the world tour was over. I feel like I can match Dongwoo whenever I wear mine now^^
The second section is the backstage of the two concert dates. This section is only 8 pages long, but it's cool seeing Infinite in their opening outfits in that lounge; this was exactly when they had their impromptu Line video hangout with fans, shortly before the concert! If you recognize the background wallpaper, this is also where Infinite held their Rally 2 (and therefore also Rally 1).
The third chapter is photos from the concert itself. This section is the bulk of the photobook, and includes many great shots of Infinite performing their various stages, and closeup individual shots. The last page lists the DVD credits.
The front cover of the DVD case has the image from the OGSR group poster. The backside is black, and sadly captured my fingerprints.
The DVD case is trifold. Opening up the top flap reveals the setlist, as well as the dates and venue of this concert.
Opening up the case fully reveals a gorgeous picture of the concert and Infinite on their rotating platform, though sadly we can't see all the members. The plastic cases holding the two DVDs are a lot more stable (unlike Second Invasion where the glue allows the plastic part to slide around, and That Summer Concert where one of my discs keeps falling out).

The breathtaking. You can really see the members' growth from their earlier concerts until now. I was sad that they didn't release OGS, but the introductory VCR paid tribute to Infinite's world tour by listing their stops, which is good enough. The main VCR included a really fun spin-off of Sunggyu's past reality game show, The Genius. I liked how they made the loser of the game do a dare at the concert, so it transitioned really nicely from the VCR to the concert. Also the stages were really well thought out, with a really cool transition between "Can U Smile" and "Going to You." They also showed a long preview for "Grow," which I hope they'll release on DVD. Also I love how they recycle their clothes, like one set of clothing they've used during the New Challenge photoshoot, an interview while on the LA stop of OGS, and various other performances.

I'm not one to cry by watching people perform, no matter how moved I get, but I cried during Woohyun's solo and Infinite F's debut. I was so happy and proud the maknae line and their improved vocals, and especially Myungsoo as the main vocal; he shows his confidence in his singing ability and I love that. They also only showed the beginning of the "Inconvenient Truth" music video, then Infinite came out and performed the whole song; I guess we'll never get the official release of the music video, unless they release One Great Step on DVD!

It was also cool seeing the VCR of their April 2014 comeback teaser as if we were a part of the audience (so the DVD also showed the stage and audience instead of just the VCR). Also Sunggyu funnily and subtly mentioned how painful it is when he thinks of "Come Back Again" and switching centers. Lastly, the one thing that annoyed me was how a lot of times the camera angle was up close on a member, so we missed the group choreography, losing its powerful impact.

The making film is split into seven parts, spanning over the days leading up to the concert. The first day (around February 20?), they said it was their first day practicing since performing in Dubai in December...that's incredible that they only need about a week to prepare for a concert! It showed Infinite in the ensemble room practicing their group singing, solo practice, choreography practice, the venue rehearsal, the minutes leading up to the concert in the waiting room, and finally the concert, shot at various angles like behind the stage and various vantage points of fans. And lastly, it showed the ending of the concert, and Infinite leaving the venue. "As Good As It Gets" was printed as part of their setlist when they practiced on the 25th (I saw this photo online), and the day before the concert, they were practicing day before the concert, they were practicing, yet sadly it wasn't in the concert.
My poster arrived rolled up inside its postertube, but the poster was still a little bent from the person rolling it and putting it into the tube. The poster itself is so beautiful, and so big! Usually I don't like grid posters (where the members are separated into their own photos), but for a concert poster it makes sense since there won't be a time where the members are all close together for a group shot. These individual shots are all in the photobook as well, under the third section, except for Sungjong's photo, which I couldn't find in the photobook. The poster is black and white and is about half an inch longer than Infinite's typical posters (New Challenge, Destiny, L's Bravo Viewtiful, etc.).

Overall, I think this is my new favorite concert DVD! What's especially special is because it's the latest concert DVD, we get to see more variety of performances (ranging from their debut album to Season 2 songs that were pre-released at this concert). Also their stages have all been upgraded, making for such a magnificent overall performance. If I could, I'd watch this every day!

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