SuperM made their mark in New York with a sold-out show at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 19, making them the third K-pop act to ever headline the iconic arena.
Described as the “Avengers of K-pop” by South Korean media executive Lee Soo-man, SHINee’s Taemin, EXO’s Baekhyun and Kai, NCT 127’s Mark and Taeyong and WayV’s Ten and Lucas define what it is to be a K-pop supergroup.
The group debuted on Oct. 5 in Los Angeles with their five-song self-titled EP album. Although online fan communities had mixed reactions to SuperM’s formation, the album reached number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. SuperM embarked on their 10-date North American debut tour, “We Are The Future,” on Nov. 11.
Fans flocked from the tri-state area and beyond to see the tour. They waved flags from Puerto Rico and Brazil. People conversed in English, Korean, Spanish and Chinese outside the venue.
Alexandra Angelo and Rebecca Alexander, two freshmen from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, attended the concert.
“I bought the ticket as soon as it dropped,” Alexander, a K-pop fan since 2017, said. “I was in the car on the way to my cousin’s wedding buying the ticket.”
“I just know when they walk out on stage, I’m going to cry,” Angelo said. “I can’t believe I’m here right now.”
The concert setlist comprised powerful group performances intermixed with solos from each member and duets as well. Each performance delivered a different element of what makes SuperM a “supergroup,” ranging from powerhouse EDM dance songs to passionate self-composed rap. Chemistry flowed between the members during the group and duo performances despite the short amount of time the team has been together.
The septet opened with “I Can’t Stand The Rain,” a fast-paced pop song laced with Eastern instruments and ended with their fiery title song “Jopping.” Both songs represent SM Entertainment’s SM Music Performance (SMP) style, a company-created music genre that describes itself as needing to be seen at a live event, not just heard.
An experienced solo performer that fans are well acquainted with, Taemin took the first solo stage of the night. Taemin, who debuted with SHINee in 2008 at age 14, stunned fans with his songs “Danger” and “Goodbye,” as well as his famous fluid dance style and live singing.
NCT 127’s Taeyong and Mark performed their own self-composed rap songs. Taeyong’s performance of “GTA” made use of the two extended stage pieces, starting with him rapping in a bedazzled mask, later evolving to a dance solo that ended with him being dragged off stage on his back by back-up dancers. Mark, the youngest member of SuperM, commanded the enormous stage by himself with a goosebump-inducing performance of his song “Talk About.”
WayV’s Ten, another gifted dancer in the group with a background in acrobatics and modern dance, performed “Dream in a Dream” and “New Heroes.” His stunning agility and emotion-laced singing tone stunned fans. Later, he performed “Baby Don’t Stop” with Taeyong, an evident favorite of the night as shown by the fans chanting the lyrics “Stop! Baby don’t stop!”
Exo’s Baekhyun and Kai served up two flirty solos. Baekhyun’s showcased his impressive vocal register and charming personality during “UN Village” and “Betcha.” Kai made a devastatingly steamy part-dance, part-vocal show of “Confession.”
WayV’s Lucas, the member with the least amount of stage experience, brought on a more relaxed yet playful vibe with his performance. “Bass Go Boom” stars Lucas’s goofy and beloved on-and-off-stage personality, with a comical montage of himself playing on the screen behind him.
SuperM showcased two unreleased songs, “Dangerous Woman” and “With You.” The new songs tease SuperM’s potential as a group and possible upcoming albums.
The energy in the arena remained high from start to finish, and fans felt like they were running a marathon aided by blaring EDM pop music and blinding lights.
The only thing SuperM fans wished they had seen?
“More,” said concert attendee Evie Laclair. “It was short!”