K-pop fandoms dazzled by EXO, Super Junior, SHINee and others at the SMTOWN Special Stage show [Review]

K-pop fandoms dazzled by EXO, Super Junior, SHINee and others at the SMTOWN Special Stage show [Review]

Cross collaborations between groups had usually competitive fans united in their cheering

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Suho, leader of EXO, greets the fans warmly on the day of EXO's third anniversary.
Photo: Angelina Wang

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Ground-breaking group SHINee performs one of their biggest hits, Sherlock.
Photo: Angelina Wang

S.M. Entertainment, known as one of the "Top 3" largest entertainment companies and renowned "Asian Star Factory", brought their special stage to Hong Kong for the first time last Saturday. While fans of different K-pop groups tend to compete against one another, the stellar roster of performers, including top K-pop idols EXO, SHINee, and Red Velvet, captivated the audience, uniting all different K-pop group fandoms into a single massive hall of adoring fans for one shining night.

Fresh off their recent succesful debut, teen idol group NCT DREAM opened the concert, exuding innocence with their singles Chewing Gum and My First and Last.


Why is K-pop so popular in Hong Kong?


What better way to capture the air of camaraderie than with three amazing cross collaboration stages? First, EXO’s Chanyeol paired his husky tones with Wendy of Red Velvet’s clear voice on a duet of the hit Beautiful from the Asia-wide hit Korean drama Goblin. Then, NCT’s Mark and EXO’s Xiumin radiated boyish charm as they swung backpacks around performing their July single Young & Free. Last but not least, Red Velvet’s Seulgi and Yesung of Super Junior’s gentle vocals melded together sweetly for their duet Darling U.

Popular girl group Red Velvet bopped to their 2017 hit Rookie.
Photo: Angelina Wang

However, the individual performances could not be ignored either. SHINee members Taemin and Jonghyun performed their singles Press Your Number and Déjà-Boo respectively, showing their sultry charm and impressing with their singing and dancing prowess. Meanwhile, Super Junior’s Yesung showed off his soothing voice with the heart-wrenching ballad Paper Umbrella.

Although girl group f(x) hadn’t performed in concert for a while, main vocalist Luna still showcased her killer vocals and charisma with her 2016 synthpop single Free Somebody. Despite confessing that she was nervous yet excited to perform her solo stage, she killed it, and promised to come back with the whole of f(x) next time.

Leader Taeyong of the hot rookie group NCT 127 said that he was proud to join the stage in Hong Kong with his senior colleagues, and certainly didn’t disappoint as NCT 127 exploded onto the stage with their single Cherry Bomb. They also hypnotised the audience with their dance hits Limitless and Fire Truck.

As the only full girl group of the evening, Red Velvet brought refreshing feminine charm with their summery singles Russian Roulette, Dumb Dumb, Rookie, and Red Flavor to their fandom ReVeluv.

Sub-unit members Donghyun and Eunhyuk of first-generation idol group Super Junior (D&E) perform their 2015 single Saturday Night.
Photo: Angelina Wang

Despite having a majority of their members in and out of mandatory military service in recent years, Super Junior sub-unit Donghae & Eunhyuk showed they still had the goods to their fans (known collectively as ELF), performing a medley of their singles through the ages, including Oppa, Oppa, Saturday Night and more. Eunhyuk even showed off his Cantonese, hushing the crowd suspensefully before fluently counting to ten, then dropping the mic as the crowd went wild.

The poster boy group of the “Korean Wave”, SHINee, drove their fans (called Shawols) wild with their classic debut single Replay, their pioneering hit Sherlock, topped off with their fiery military-themed dance song Everybody.

K-pop boy group superstars EXO debuted The Eve off their newest album The War.
Photo: Angelina Wang

“Today [August 5th] is the day of EXO’s 3rd Anniversary,” EXO leader Suho said to screaming fans, “and we’re glad to spend it with Hong Kong fans tonight!” As the frenzy grew to a climax, they rounded off the concert with a bang, performing their new reggae-inspired single Ko Ko Bop for the first time live!

After a spectacular video of generations of popular idols from SM Entertainment, the lights went up and the concert ended had ended twenty minutes early, much to the disappointment of fans. However, even that couldn’t put a damper on the feelings of electricity and communion in the air from the fantastic performances. Hopefully the SM family will return to the HK stage soon so their thousands of Hong Kong fans can look forward to having a blast with their favourite idols once again.

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