The K-pop group has broken into the States on their first-ever US tour

It was loud inside DC’s Warner Theater on Sunday night (May 14th). Like, really loud.

Before K-pop superstars NMIXX (pronounced “En” Mix) took the stage, their song “Love Me Like This” rose in volume with each verse, and with each verse the crowd got louder.

Then there was a blackout. Louder still.

A commercial for all of the famed JYP entertainment. BTS, Twice, and NMIXX received almost primal screams. Can’t get louder, right?

Then a video introducing each member played. Those members are Lily, Haewon, Sullyoon, Bae, Jiwoo, and Kyujin. As each had their moment in the montage, the crowd reached ear-piercing volume. That’s as loud as this mass can go, right?

Then all six walked out in darkness. The theater turned into an arena. Then the light hit them. The volume reached a height never before heard in a theater.

Such as the monstrously global appeal of K-pop. The mix of catchy beats, aesthetic cohesion, tight dance moves and earworm-y lyrics has proven a successful formula for many groups out of South Korea.

For NMIXX, that success has resulted in their first world “Showcase” tour. The Nice to Mixx You Tour featured 14 songs including “Tank,” “PAXXWORD” and their biggest hits “Dice.”

Throughout the night, they showcased their ability to move to the best, often instructing the crowd on dances before launching into song. There was a down-to-earth quality each time they addressed the crowd, as if the girls were giggling with friends on the school yard. They even shared stories behind songs and the origins of choreography.

But those moments prove a double-edged sword for those not familiar with K-pop in a live format: often long and repetitive, these moments would stop down the show and completely decimate the flow. The audience is there to party, and the least invested in the in DC crowd began to talk amongst themselves. Twice suffers the same problem, with shows often clocking in at over three hours as a result. So it might be a format successful in the Pacific, but Americans are not as patient.

That said, those disruptions would fall away the minute the music began again. One clever number, “Young, Dumb, Stupid,” combined the nursery rhyme “Frère Jacques” with hip hop beats. It was a truly creative moment.

The one thing that sets NMIXX apart from their K-pop contemporaries is their willingness to infuse R&B and hip hop into their music. While other groups stay strictly pop, this mix of genres gives these girls an urban appeal unique to the genre.

Also present at the show were the light up toys ubiquitous to K-pop kitsch. The glowing orbs were plentiful, preventing the house from going complete dark. They are clearly meant to offer a more personal connection between artist and fan.

And that’s the larger point: K-pop is a culture that has grown out of the individual fandoms. No matter your tribe (ie: favorite band) within K-pop, the fans have ways to recognize each other: through collecting the albums, the glow toys-called mixxsticks on this tour—or just a concert t-shirt.

It’s clear from the love NMIXX received during their high-energy DC show, they have been welcomed into that fold with open arms.