Ever since Singapore was announced as one of the South East Asian stops for the SMTOWN LIVE WORLD TOUR III, fans not only in Singapore, but around the region, have been eagerly waiting for the arrival of this mega concert. On 24 November 2012, the “mother of all K-pop concerts” finally descended upon die-hard fans of SM Entertainment’s super groups like TVXQ, Girls’ Generation and Super Junior. Some fans even started queuing for the concert a week in advance, a testament to the popularity of the groups, the reputation of the concert itself, and the devotion the fans in Singapore have towards their idols. Having performed at iconic venues of other countries like the United States, Japan and of course, Korea, the concert’s sixth stop in Singapore promised to be an event like no other, held on the world’s largest floating platform.
And what a spectacle it was. The venue, which held 23,000 fans, lit up with lights, lasers and fireworks against the backdrop of Singapore’s skyline and central business area. Not even the rain could subdue the energy of the performers and the enthusiasm of fans who screamed non-stop for their favourite artistes. Present were groups TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, SHINee, f(x) and EXO, and solo artistes BoA and Kangta.
Opening the concert with an apt song for Singapore’s weather, the 5-membered group of f(x) started the ball rolling with their hit songs, Hot Summer and Danger. Main vocalist, Luna, slipped on the stage but bravely stood back up again to continue f(x)’s signature contemporary dance routines to the cheers of fans. In fact, “professionalism” seemed to be the word of the day, with the groups performing one song after another, never losing their energetic demeanor. Onew of male group SHINee even declared that the fans were professional for having attended the concert despite the rain!
With a setlist of 50 songs, the concert had promised to be a long and exciting one, and the artistes delivered that promise flawlessly. Long-time SM artistes like Kangta and BoA were the perfect seniors and role models to their juniors, their experience shining through by their strong vocals and powerful dances, and SM’s newest group, EXO did their seniors proud with their sleek dance moves and powerful vocals when they performed their hit singles ‘History’ and ‘Mama’. Collaborations between the different members of the different groups covering popular American hits displayed the flexibility and talent of the artistes. Well-known in the K-pop industry for their strong execution of difficult dance choreography, it was a pleasant surprise when Super Junior’s Ryeowook, SHINee’s Onew, and EXO’s Chen and Baekhyun delivered a wonderful rendition of the Journey classic, ‘Open Arms’. Super Junior’s Kyuhyun and TVXQ’s Max Changmin, known to be best friends, also wowed the crowd with their cover of Bruno Mars’ ‘Just The Way You Are’. It sure was a memorable performance for one lucky fan who was picked to be serenaded by the beautiful duo; we could almost hear the breaking of thousands of fangirls’ hearts!
What was evident was that the songs produced by SM entertainment take on a new life when performed live. The strong beats and vocals reverberated throughout the area, and combined with the amazing choreography, was a spectacle to behold! Living up to their name of performance-oriented artistes, crowd favourites like TVXQ’s ‘Rising Sun’ and ‘Mirotic’, Super Junior’s ‘Bonamana’ and ‘Sorry Sorry’, SHINee’s ‘Lucifer’ and BoA’s ‘Hurricane Venus’ particularly brought the house down. The groups performed old and new hits, and it was amazing how the fans were familiar with every one of them, singing along with every word and even doing fanchants popularized by their Korean counterparts. Fans were real troopers during the concert, despite the wet seats from the rain before the concert started, and then staying in their seats despite the sudden heavy downpour towards the end of the concert.
The 4-hour concert was very obviously created specially to repay the love their fans have shown them. Speaking in a mix of Korean, English and Mandarin, the artistes tried hard to connect to their international audience, and Eunhyuk of Super Junior even attempted Singlish, to the delight of fans, by peppering his sentences with the colloquial term, “lah”! Interspersed between songs were videos showcasing the love the artistes have for each other, and also for the devoted “citizens” of SMTown, their loving fans. We’re pretty sure fans got teary-eyed when in a video, Girls’ Generation’s vocalist Jessica declared, amidst a cacophony of vocals of SM’s best, “Thank you, to all of our loving fans, for not only giving us this experience, but making it a reality. Today, we hope that all of you will hear and embrace a greater level of love through SM’s music. We, the SMTown family, will continue walking step by step today, to make history for a new tomorrow.”
SM Entertainment has had some great achievements so far, and can definitely add this SMTown concert in Singapore to its list. Kudos to concert organizer, Running into the Sun, too, for successfully running such a massive concert.
Thank you so much to Running into the Sun for inviting us to cover the event. ^^
For more photos of the concert, do visit our facebook page. =)
Photos credited to: Running Into The Sun