The 12 members of EXO shouted ‘one.’ They could not imagine EXO without even one member. But the reality was different. All 12 members of EXO could not be ‘one,’ due to Kris’ unexpected decision to leave the group.
But EXO was still EXO. Despite many people’s concern, they were not shaken up. The sweat and tears they shed were conveyed to the fans through perfect performances on stage. EXO splendidly launched the beginning of its Asia tour through its first solo concert.
The empty spot made by Kris’ leave was filled in by the fans.
The concert tickets were sold out as soon as they became available. 42,000 fans made their way to the gymnastics arena for the concert that took place between May 23 and 25.
The outside of the concert hall was crowded with fans who could not get the tickets and tried to buy canceled tickets or those from ticket scalpers. One ticket scalper said, “A ticket to a good seat can cost up to 1 million won.”
SM Entertainment decided to not turn the fans around. On the last day of the concert on May 25, the company decided to set up an electronic display for the 3,000 fans who could not get their hands on tickets. Ten performances were revealed through the digital screen. Despite the rain, the fans did not leave the spot.
An affiliate of SM said, “We decided to broadcast the concert at the entrance of gymnastics arena for the fans who came all the way to the concert hall. We revealed ten performances as fan service.”
The press conference also proved EXO’s current status at the top.
The conference was attended by over 50 media outlets from Korea and 22 from other countries, such as China, Taiwan and Thailand, gathering a total of around 200 reporters.
Most attention was on the members’ responses on Kris situation. Su Ho said, “We were shocked, more than anything. The members struggled physically and emotionally. But the members prepared for the concert by uniting with one another.”
Lay said, “I was heartbroken and was hurt. Strange rumors also arose, dividing up the fans to different sides. So I’m more upset. I hope something like this doesn’t happen again.”
But the damage was quickly healing. The members confidently said, “EXO became stronger through what happened. We were able to prepare perfect performances. You will be able to feel it after watching today’s concert.”
Even before the concert began, the concert hall was filled with heated excitement. The fans cheered upon seeing the members through a video prepared by SM. The 11 members appeared on stage by dancing ‘haka,’ a traditional dance of the Maori people from New Zealand.
The concert began with the members’ performance of MAMA followed by Lay’s solo performance. Their flawless dance movements and creative performance showed why they became a top idol group in Asia.
The members then expressed their gratitude to the fans.
Xiu Min said, “My whole body is wet due to all of your heat. We will present a hot concert for you,” and Chen said, “Thank you for coming. I hope you can all enjoy.”
Su Ho said, “I love you. We are one,” as he raised his thumb up, which is EXO’s trademark. He also added, “We are grateful that no member got hurt for the past two days.”
Then the concert continued with powerful performances of Thunder, Black Pearl, XOXO, Love Love love and Angel. The members continued to interact with the fans by entirely taking over the stage. The two hour concert finished with the group’s performance of Overdose. But neither the fans nor EXO could end it there. The fans kept on shouting ‘encore.’
EXO responded to the fans by reappearing on the stage and performing Wolf, Growl and Lucky, as the group successfully wrapped up its first solo concert.
EXO said, “EXO exists because of you all and the fans exist because of EXO,” as it stepped down the stage.