At the end of the first song, the legendary K-Pop boy group already had a sheen of sweat reflecting off them. “So, today is crazy day,” remarked Kyuhyun, cheekily offering up his sweat as a gift. Like the local weather, Super Junior delivered a concert that turned up the heat.
Needing no further introduction, Super Junior is one of the headliners for Gen 2 K-Pop. The artistes behind the world-famous “Sorry, Sorry” has enamoured millions with their catchy bops and stylish choreographies. After a 3-year gap from performing live due to the pandemic, they finally returned to local shores on Saturday to reunite with the fans.
Inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the stage setup was immaculate. Extended platforms branching off from the main stage ensured fans across the different ticketing areas could see the boys up close. Additionally, various innovations were built in to make the concert feel like an all-out music festival. Pyrotechnics, laser lights, a moving ceiling of spotlights, fog machines… You name it. The added visual effects made for a flashy concert deserving of Super Junior’s longstanding reputation.
The state-of-the-art stage lighting was complemented by the official light sticks, which were wirelessly controlled to respond, flash, and show different colours at different parts of the songs. The sea of fans was one in that experience, simulating some form of united feedback to the boys.
The concert kicked off with “Burn the Floor”. Fans would be familiar with the song’s artistic dance, using dramatic and dynamic lighting in the palms of the performers as part of the choreography. The fog cleared up to dramatically reveal the boys on stage. Instead of the light play, the beginning was executed differently – instead taking on the theme of a puppeteer. Red belts were strung on each of their arms, as if they were marionettes.
The crowd went wild at this debut. The cheering intensified when the red belts were snapped off of them, and the performers whipped out portable lights from seemingly nowhere. The later parts of the song were then performed with the iconic lights in their hands, yet again with flawless formations. It was truly a visual treat to witness!
Following that, high-power tunes like “The Crown”, “Super”, and “Mr. Simple” were performed to keep the energy up. Eunhyuk performed a dance solo as a prelude to “The Crown”, and despite being alone on stage, he maintained a strong stage presence with his riveting moves.
In the next segment, the high continued but with a sexier, enigmatic tone. There was a seamless transition from “Ticky Tocky” into “Paradox”, and then “Mystery”. The boys emerged clad in sparkly black tops and fitting pants, serving up slick dance moves against elaborate backlighting for contrast.
After a quick interval, Super Junior – K.R.Y. took over the stage to win hearts with their gentle voices and perfect harmony, belting it out to “I Can’t”. The rest joined them on stage to sing one of their earliest romantic classics, “Believe”, a Singapore-special addition to the setlist. A neat trivia to note: Heechul wrote the lyrics for this song! I want to believe that this is their way of manifesting his presence at the concert, since he was physically absent due to a leg injury.
At the end of this segment, the atmosphere has since settled from a crazed hype into something more subdued and relaxed. “My Wish” came on, tugging on the heartstrings of those who have witnessed their growth and changes over the years. Then, as if transitioning from a coming-of-age phase into that of a lovelorn phase, “Callin’” came right after.
Yanking the audience right out of their wallowing, a video pre-empted the upcoming lineup by featuring Super Junior roleplaying as famous musicians and composers. This is also likely thematic to the title of their latest album, “Renaissance”.
After a funny interjection of them introducing themselves in character, the idols reappeared onstage with the exact same wigs and outfits, much to everyone’s amusement. “SPY”, “Rokkugo”, and “Mamacita” were sewn into a medley that was executed in an orchestral style, with much fanfare and pompadour.
After the comic relief, the focus shifted to the dance pieces that got the audience cheering and jumping once again. Leeteuk, Shindong and Siwon performed a live special, “Latte”, and there was a dance segment in the song for each of them to shine.
Next, “House Party” had everyone singing along, with the lyrics still resonating among Singaporeans as we near the end of the lockdown measures.
“Everyday” was another upbeat, energetic song, but from here on, it became apparent that the performers were visibly trying to keep up their energy. If any of them were not in the limelight, they would be trying to catch their breaths. Despite that, there was significantly more fan engagement from this point onwards.
At “Wonder Boy”, Siwon and Leeteuk had unbuttoned their denim jackets to show their toned bodies, which got the audience riled up once more. Then, as did the earlier party songs, “Let’s Dance” got everyone jumping with them – everyone was hyped up!
The next segment was relatively short, comprised only of two bops that are nothing short of iconic: “Devil” and their latest hit, “Mango”.
The following segment embodied a bad boy theme. One of Super Junior’s most prominent duo, D&E, came on stage with two high-energy songs, “B.A.D” and “Danger”, showing their flawless synergy. Thereafter everyone rejoined the stage to perform “Black Suit”, with a refreshing rock rendition of their classic hits “Bonamana” and “Sorry, Sorry”.
Analogue Radio was shown on-screen while the performers went off-stage for their final outfit change. The pre-recorded video was stitched together with behind-the-scenes shots back when Super Junior was recording for other music videos and concert content. Although the video could be found online before the concert, it held more coherence and significance after witnessing all the performances prior.
When they had reentered the stage, they performed some songs that fans would find extremely relatable, as if the songs were addressed to the fans themselves. The symbolism behind “More Days With You” and “Walkin’” was made ever more poignant due to the pandemic, a trying period of time that has challenged even the most loyal ELF.
At the end of the two songs, all of them looked exhausted. As they took turns saying their final thoughts to the fans, some began tearing up. In gist, they shared common sentiments: to be in Singapore again after 3 years, at a concert still filled to the brim with fans who still so warmly welcomed them. It has made them so happy and thankful.
As Leeteuk thanked the fans and signalled the end of the concert, they presented their final piece, “Happiness”. Interestingly, a part of the lyrics to the song talked about being together forever, which was a recurring theme right from start to end. Talk about a wholesome ending.
With that, and the promise of them returning to Singapore, the concert closed on a happy, hopeful note. While it has become apparent that their individual energy has dipped compared to their younger days, it was incredibly humbling to see them equally as thankful for the support of their fans.
On top of their intense training and grooming, their long track record of being in the industry has given them the opportunity to further hone their on-screen, public personalities. This experience shone through during the concert, as they bantered on stage and entertained us in ways beyond just singing and dancing.
With such an unforgettable show that exceeded expectations, we know for sure that Super Show will return to our local sunny island very soon.
“We have a future together. And that future is with you.” – Siwon, at the end of Super Show 9, Singapore.
Photos courtesy of ONE Production.